Did Marvel Seriously Have Two Titanias For a Couple of Years?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Steve M. wrote in to ask, “I was reading through the Captain America Justice is served Epic collection and saw an excerpt from the Thing #33 that shows Titania get killed. ‘Splattered all over the wall’, in fact. Obviously this wound up not being permanent, but I was wondering how she was brought back. I read several Wikis and her official marvel handbook page and saw no mention of it. So of course, I turn to you. Do you know?”

Here are the pages in question from Thing #33 (by Mike Carlin, Ron Wilson and Kim Demulder) that do, in fact, show Titania get killed…

Now, I have a whole column set up to cover the resurrection of characters called “Death is not the End,” so this looks like it belongs there, right?

Not so fast!

You see, the thing of it is that Marvel used to have TWO different Titanias in their comics! Now, as you may or may not know, Titania is the name of a fairy queen in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Shakespearean names tend to have a long shelf life and get used up a lot (how many Pucks have their been in comics?). The odd thing here, though, is how the two Titanias were A. so similar that it could easily confuse someone and B. overlapped for a few years!

The original Titania debuted in Marvel Two-in-One #54 (by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, John Byrne and Joe Sinnott), in a story that showed the old Fantastic Four/Thing adversary, Thundra, end up at a female wrestling outfit. She defeated them all easily, including Titania…

In Thundra’s first official match, though, in the next issue, Thundra cheated to defeat her…

In the next issue, the Grapplers officially became a team of super-villains, with the other wrestlers given artificial powers (one of the wrestlers, Screaming Mimi, eventually became the hero known as Songbird much later)…

(George Perez and Gene Day drew that issue).

So, the Grapplers continued to appear here and there into the 1980s (they were introduced in 1979), but then, in 1984, in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 (by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck and John Beatty, which came out in early 1984), we see that Doctor Doom has decided that rather than working with the other supervillains who had been brought to Battleworld (along with all of the superheroes), Doom instead took some of the civilians who were stuck on Battleworld and turned THEM into supervillains to serve him.

One of them is Mary “Skeeter” McPherson (named after a Marvel staffer at the time), who became Titania…

This new Titania quickly became the most popular Titania, but the other Titania was still around. This was the status for roughly two yeas, until the wrestler Titania was killed in Thing #33, from very early 1986.

So there ya go, Steven!

Oh, what the heck, you want to know how the original Titania came back, as well?

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