giant apes with kryptonite vision

Superman Annual #1 (1987)

This issue begins with Lois Lane visiting a scientific installation, so you know something is going to blow up soon. In this case, Dr. Thomas Moyers is conducting an experiment by pumping energy into a chimp – I’m not clear on what he hoped to accomplish by this, but presumably it had something to do with harnessing ape tears into a new type of fuel. However, in a surprise twist something goes wrong and the ape gets pumped with too much energy and starts growing into a giant. At this point, whichever lab assistant decided that the ape should be named Titano said “Wow, never saw that coming.”

Superman fights the increasingly gigantic and upset Titano in the middle of Metropolis until he manages to knock him out by throwing him in the river and handing him a giant electricity cable, which somehow doesn’t kill everyone else in the river at the time (or at least we don’t see their corpses). Lois then manages to calm Titano down because she was nice to him back at the lab, so obviously he loves her. Then Dr. Moyers, that dick, shoots the incapacitated ape anyway and he shrivels down and dies in Lois’ arms. THE END.


In the old comics, Titano was a giant gorilla who could shoot kryptonite rays from his eyes. In this version they got rid of the greatest part of the character, so he’s basically just King Kong now. Dr. Thomas Moyers, meanwhile, is the indolent asshole who blew up a piece of equipment in his co-worker’s face and turned her into a monster back in Superman #8. Normally you’d go to prison for that sort of thing, but he stayed out by becoming pals with the U.S. government and doing shady experiments for them (we see cameos of two DC government operatives in this issue: Amanda Waller and Sarge Steel).


Lois Lane calls Amanda Waller “chubs,” and somehow doesn’t get killed by a sniper right away. That’s clearly a continuity error.