Titano the Super-Ape

Titano the Super-Ape

(pop culture)
Kryptonite meets King Kong, in one skyscraping package—that's Titano the Super-Ape. During the late 1950s, when the various Superman media (TV, newspapers, and the host venue, comic books) incestuously passed ideas back and forth, Titano thumped into view in a 1959 Superman newspaper comic-strip sequence in which the mammoth monkey was called “Big Boy.” Promptly thereafter, he made his more canonical comic-book debut in DC Comics' Superman vol. 1 #127 (1959). Otto Binder and Wayne Boring's “Titano the Super-Ape” rolls out “famous intelligent chimp” Toto, hamming it up for a charity event and becoming the “friend for life” of the mistress of ceremonies, reporter Lois Lane. The next day, Toto enters the space race, his orbiting satellite smacked with radiation from colliding uranium and kryptonite meteors. When he returns home, he mutates into a gargantuan gorilla that goes ape for lovely Lois. Superman arrives but is waylaid by Toto's—rechristened “Titano” by Lane—eye-emitted kryptonite beams. In a game of monkey-see monkey-do, Lois gets Titano to don lead-lined glasses to block his kryptonite vision, long enough for Superman to hurl the Super-Ape into the “prehistoric past,” where he frolics with dinosaurs. This story was retread in 1966 as “The Chimp Who Made It Big,” an episode of Filmation's animated The New Adventures of Superman. Titano occasionally appeared throughout the early to mid-1960s, returned in 1970 and 1978, then wasn't seen again until his nostalgic reintroduction into the Man of Steel's revised continuity in Superman Annual vol. 2 #1 (1987). “Monkey Fun,” a 1997 episode of the WB's Superman animated series, brought the giant ape to television for a new generation of fans.