Mad Mod

(redirected from The Mad Mod)
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Teen Titans vol. 1 #7 © 1967 DC Comics. COVER ART BY NICK CARDY.

Mad Mod

(pop culture)
The Mad Mod, the Teen Titans' (TTs) most rakish rogue, was cut from the psychedelic cloth of mid-1960s Carnaby Street fashions. The TTs discover in Teen Titans vol. 1 #7 (1967) that the smuggling ring they've tailed to London is fronted by Neil Richards, aka the Mad Mod, clothing designer for touring Brit rocker Holley Hip, a patsy whose “loverly” threads secretly conceal contraband. Once the Titans are hip to the Mod's scene, the fiendish fashion plate nearly bags them with a series of deathtraps until the TTs take the Mod to the cleaners. The brainchild of madcap scribe Bob Haney and illustrator Nick Cardy, the mop-topped Mad Mod was prescient of Austin Powers and Zoolander, decades before those parodies were born. Fads die as quickly as they rise, and after a 1968 return gig at which he stole the Queen's scepter, the Mad Mod, along with mod fashions themselves, peacocked down the runway to limbo, although in a token 1997 appearance the Mod announced that he had reformed. That same year, however, comedian Mike Myers made mod cool again with the soon-to-be-franchised spy spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. On the Italian-leather heels of Powers' third movie in 2002, a Carnaby-conscious public met the Mad Mod—“'Ello, Guv'ner!”—on television's anime-like Teen Titans (2003–2006). TV's mind-bending Mad Mod is a brazen bloke who detained the Titans in a brainwashing school (“Mad Mod,” original airdate: September 27, 2003), then tried to reclaim New York City as the property of England (“Revolution,” October 16, 2004). Rampant pop-culture references dominated both episodes, from A Hard Day's Night/Scooby- Doo–inspired musically accompanied chase scenes to pastiches of the movie A Clockwork Orange (1971), the latter of which starred Malcolm McDowell, the actor who also provided the Mad Mod's cartoon voice.
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