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Titan is one of the more intriguing characters in Amazon Prime Video’s Invincible, and an example of what makes the show stand out. There are so many layers to him, and despite being a minor character, he’s got incredible depth. I was shocked at his final scene in season 1 of Invincible, but that’s diving into spoiler territory.
Speaking of spoilers, consider this your first and only warning. This article will be delving into every aspect of Titan’s character and will include details from across the episodes. If you haven’t seen season 1 of Invincible then I’d advise watching it first before reading this article. Unless, of course, you don’t care about spoilers, in which case, read away!
This guide will cover everything you could possibly want to know about Titan in Invincible. It’s the perfect refresher if you’re planning to get back into the show, but don’t have the time to rewatch season 1. In this Titan Invincible guide, I’ll focus primarily on the TV show character, but I’ll also talk about the comics. Anyway, enough preamble, let’s cut to the chase!
Who is Titan?
Titan is a character in Invincible who is first introduced in season 1. He works in Machine Head’s criminal empire, but by the end of season 1, he has taken over as the boss. He has the power to encase his entire body in rock, and this comes with super strength and durability. He manipulates Invincible and the Guardians of the Globe into defeating Machine Head alongside him. Titan’s real name is unknown.
What Does Titan Look Like?
There are two different answers to this depending on whether or not Titan is using his powers at the time. He’s one of the few superpowered individuals for whom their powers affect their appearances (another example would be Monster Girl). Therefore, for this section, I’ll describe both forms separately.
Titan is a tall, heavy-set black man. He appears to be around a foot taller than Mark Grayson (Invincible), and Mark is not a short guy. In the comics, his height is 6’2″, but I’d wager that he’s taller than that in the show. He’s got incredible muscles, and even without his powers, he looks like he could beat almost anyone in a fight.
He’s drawn with a sharp jaw and protruding cheekbones, and his face looks hardened. However, his features soften when he’s around his family. So, although his default appearance is very menacing, he does have a more friendly-looking side to him.
He’s bald, but he has thick dark eyebrows, and these are very expressive. He tends to wear neutral or dark clothes, which helps him blend into the shadows more. This is useful given his criminal activities.
One of Titan’s superpowers allows him to encase his entire body in rock. The rock is gray in color and matches the rough shape of his body. However, his facial features are concealed.
Interestingly, even though there are no visible eyes when Titan assumes this form, he still seems perfectly able to see. So this leads to the question of whether he’s able to see through the rock almost like a one-way mirror. The other alternative could be that Titan gains X-Ray vision whilst in his powered form, but this seems less likely as there’s nothing to suggest he can see through materials other than the rock that encases him.
The rock form of Titan appears to be approximately the same height as a regular Titan. He doesn’t really grow in size, he just adds the extra layer of rock.
What are Titan’s Powers?
Unlike the superheroes we’re used to in franchises such as Marvel or DC, the superpowers in Invincible work a little differently. Often, superheroes aren’t limited to just one power, instead, they’ll have a wide range of complementing powers. This means that each superpowered character has a smorgasbord of abilities that they can utilize in combat, and Titan is no different.
His most obvious power is the ability to encase himself in rock, and this is what makes Titan unique. Throughout the series, we don’t see any other characters with that particular power. However, turning into rock is only one part of what makes Titan powerful. He also has the following:
- Super Strength – In episode 5, we see him very easily smash through a wall and metal door just by running at it. He does this whilst his body is in its rock form, so it’s unclear if this is an ability he possesses at all times. He also throws a forklift in the same scene.
- Durability – In the above example of his super strength, Titan can immediately stand up as if nothing happened, clearly taking no damage. He also tanks several gunshots, and they are unable to harm him. Interestingly, they do permeate the rock, but that leads us on to the next ability…
- Endurance – He can endure prolonged combat, and can heal any damage he takes to his rock skin. We do see gunshots go through the rock layer, suggesting that his regular skin is also able to defend against the bullets. In fact, we do see blood spraying out of his head at one point during a gunfight, and yet this doesn’t seem to even faze Titan.
Is Titan a Hero or a Villain?
Well, the saying goes that everyone is the hero of their own story. But from an outsider’s perspective, it’s safe to say that Titan is very much a villain. Interestingly, though, for the majority of season 1 he seems to be more of an anti-hero, or at the very least, an anti-villain. It’s not until his final scene that his true motives are revealed.
The audience almost gets whiplash with Titan’s character arc. At first, he’s introduced solidly as a villain. He’s a criminal, and we see him working alongside henchmen to commit a bank robbery. In his next episode, he burns down a building, a decidedly villainous action. However, we then see him pay compensation to the very people whose lives he’s just destroyed, suggesting that he’s not all evil. That’s not the only time that he takes the high road; in another scene, we see him sparing the lives of workers.
When he’s working alongside Invincible, it’s easy to assume that he’s actually a good guy. He seems genuine in his motives, and Titan comes across as a guy who got in over his head. He doesn’t commit crimes because he enjoys it or that’s who he wants to be. He simply does it as he feels like he has no choice.
The more we get to know Titan, the more he seems like a man who cares deeply for the underdogs of society. He has a palpable hatred towards his boss, Machine Head, and it blurs the line between hero and villain. Whilst MH is undeniably a villain, Titan is arguably closer to a superhero than a supervillain. After all, even the official superhero teams like the Guardians of the Globe or Teen Team have characters with questionable morals. Just look at how much of a jerk Rex can be, or how much collateral damage they often leave behind.
However, just as the audience is lulled into seeing Titan as an anti-hero, it’s revealed that we were suckered in by his ploy. He did want to take down Machine Head, but it wasn’t for altruistic reasons. Instead of just removing the crime boss and freeing all those in his clutches, Titan assumes the role of the new head criminal. I was floored when I saw that scene, and I couldn’t believe how easily I’d been fooled.
Overall, Titan feels like a complex villain. Having seen him take over from MH, I can’t argue that he’s anything but a villain. However, I don’t subscribe to the idea that he’s truly evil, either. After all, nobody forced him to pay that money to the residents of the building he burned or to spare the workers’ lives. He chose to do that for his own reasons, so he clearly has a moral code of some sort.
I see Titan as more selfish than inherently evil. He doesn’t turn to villainy because it’s what he enjoys, he does it because it provides him with the best life. It’s all about the money, the power. But he’s not the kind of guy who hurts people for no reason, at least, certainly not yet. Whether that will change now that he’s in the driving seat, only time will tell.
Who are Titan’s Family?
Titan’s biggest redeeming factor is the love that he has for his family. This was a change made specifically for the TV series, as in the Invincible comics, we don’t see his relatives. I’m really glad that they added this facet to his character, as it adds so much depth. I love the trope of the big tough guy who has a soft spot for his kids.
Titan is shown to have a wife, Vanessa, and the two of them share a daughter, Fiona. Vanessa seems to understand what’s going on with Titan, or at the very least is aware of his indebtedness to Machine Head. In one episode she asks him whether he’s out of MH’s operation, and Titan has to admit that he’s not. Vanessa is visibly upset by this, so at first, we think she doesn’t approve of Titan’s criminal activities. However, given that she expresses no issues about him taking over from MH, we can safely assume that her main issue was with him being an underling, rather than a criminal.
Fiona is too young to really understand what’s going on, but she loves her daddy. She’s a really sweet little girl, and her relationship with her dad seems to be built on mutual trust and affection. He treats her with love and respect, characteristics that may seem incongruous for a villain. Fiona is really excited at the end when Titan takes over from Machine Head, and her naivete is exposed when she happily asks whether the penthouse is their new home.
The existence of Titan’s family really helped drive home the idea that Titan was a good guy. Watching his interactions with his wife and daughter allowed us as an audience to see that softer side of him and to root for him. It made the shock twist at the end that much more powerful, and I’m interested to see whether Vanessa will take a more active role in the crime organization going forwards.
Titan’s Appearances in Invincible
Whilst he only appears in a small handful of episodes, Titan truly commands each scene he’s in. He’s a minor character with a major impact. These are the episodes that Titan appears in throughout season 1:
- 1×01 – It’s About Time
- 1×05 – That Actually Hurt
- 1×08 – Where I Really Come From
Given that season 1 ends with Titan assuming the role of ultimate villain (Omni-Man excluded, obviously), we can expect to see a lot more of him in season 2. It’ll be intriguing to see Titan in full force as a crime boss, as opposed to a powerful lackey.
Titan’s Significance to the Plot
Amongst other things, Titan is a catalyst for Invincible’s character development. He highlights Mark’s inexperience in a way that’s more sinister than Mark simply losing in combat or being unable to save someone. Instead of playing on Mark’s lack of combat skills, Titan appeals to Mark’s humanity.
Invincible hasn’t been in the superhero game long enough to fully grasp the dastardly motives of villains, and he’s too trusting as a result. It doesn’t take very long at all for Titan to convince him that Machine Head is the real villain and that Titan is simply one of many victims. In that sense, Mark acts as a foil for the audience, as we too are tricked into believing that Titan is a good guy.
Titan also acts as the audience’s introduction to the criminal underworld. He’s the eyes through which we see the rampant corruption going on at a street level. The majority of Invincible focuses on epic battles between superheroes, but Titan’s scenes are much more relatable to real-world issues. We see a crime boss (Machine Head) taking advantage of vulnerable communities, and that’s something very applicable to modern-day US cities.
In a broader sense, Titan is also excellent for providing generic entertainment. Superhero shows are famed for their action sequences, and Invincible is no different. Titan has some really cool fight scenes, improved by his unique abilities. The transitions between his regular self and his rock form are brilliantly animated, and they’re a joy to see. We also get cool interactions with other characters as a result. For example, in one scene a man shoots him, and the bullet bounces straight off of Titan’s rock skin and ricochets into the man who shot him.
Titan is a complex villain whose story arc deepens the plot of the show. I really love when TV shows have multiple themes running concurrently. Obviously, Omni-Man’s plot takes the limelight in season 1 of Invincible, but it’s fantastic that they set up these subplots involving minor villains like Titan.
Season 1 also gives us a solid introduction to Titan’s character, which will likely be important going forwards. Given that Titan is the new head crime boss, I expect he’ll play a much more prominent role in season 2.
Who Plays Titan in Invincible?
Titan is played by Mahershala Ali, an American Actor whose full name is Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. He was born on February 16th 1974 and grew up in California. He’s named after the Biblical Prophet Isaiah’s son as his family are deeply Christian
He originally pursued a basketball career, but he was disillusioned by the way athletes were treated and ended up leaving sports behind. Instead, he followed a new dream of becoming an actor, following in the footsteps of his father, a broadway actor called Philip Gilmore.
Mahershala’s first professional role was as the character Dr Trey Sanders in Crossing Jordan. In total, he’s had 49 professional acting credits (as of March 2023). He’s still going strong and currently has 4 upcoming projects in the works.
Aside from working on Invincible, some of Ali’s other projects include:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (parts 1 and 2)
- House of Cards
- Luke Cage
- Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
As you can see, he’s no stranger to superheroes and has worked on a few Marvel projects. He was also the voice of Blade in Eternals and will be continuing that role in the 2024 feature film release of Blade. The film will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will likely catapult Ali’s already-successful career.
Titan in the Invincible Comics
As well as being a superb superhero adult cartoon show, Invincible is also a comic book series. Created by Robert Kirkman and published by Image, the comics feature the same concept, but with a few differences. Naturally, there are limitations of both mediums, and so certain things lend themselves to TV but not comics, and vice versa.
To avoid posting potential spoilers, I’m only going to refer to comic situations that occurred up to where the storyline concluded in season 1. Given that there are strong similarities between the comics and the TV show, it’s likely Titan’s story will take a similar trajectory, and I don’t want to ruin season 2 for anyone.
One of the major differences between the comic portrayal of Titan and the TV portrayal is the inclusion of his family. In the comics, his family don’t feature in Titan’s story, whereas in the show, they’re the driving force for his decisions. He shows immense love for his wife and daughter, and he wants to provide them with everything they could dream of. In the comics, Titan is instead shown to be a guy who’s only looking out for himself.
The dynamic between Machine Head and Titan in the show is tumultuous but existent. MH is Titan’s boss, and Titan begrudgingly does what he’s told whilst plotting against him. MH doesn’t see Titan’s betrayal coming until it’s too late, and after a tough battle, MH is betrayed by his henchman Isotope, who had secretly been collaborating with Titan.
In the comics, though, Titan attempts to overthrow Machine Head before the events of season 1 of Invincible. After failing, he is forced into secrecy and has to watch out for MH’s men who are trying to kill him. Eventually, though, the storyline converges in a similar way to that which we see in the show. Titan gains Invincible’s trust, and they work together to take down Machine Head, only for Titan to assume the role of the new crime boss.
There you go! The ultimate resource on Titan from Invincible. I had a blast talking about him, as he’s one of my favorite characters of the first season. I adore a complex villain, and Titan satisfied that for me. I love how his motives are shrouded in mystery, and it makes me more intrigued to see where they go with his storyline.
Hopefully, this guide has satisfied your thirst for knowledge. You should now have all the information on Titan that you could ever hope to know. Invincible has many awesome characters that it can be hard to keep track, so this article should’ve refreshed you on what happened in season 1.
If, like me, you haven’t read the comics, you may have been interested to see the similarities and differences between the comics and the show. It’s fascinating seeing how creators can diverge from the source material whilst still staying true to the essence of it.
Question: Will Titan Appear in Invincible Season 2?
Answer: Season 2 of Invincible is set to release in late 2023, although there’s no official date as of yet (March 2023). One can reasonably assume that Titan should feature prominently in it, given that he’s the new head criminal.
Question: Does Titan’s Entire Body Turn Into Rock in Invincible?
Answer: No, it’s simply a thick outer layer around his body, and his insides are not also rock. We know this as there are scenes where the rock is penetrated, and we see his real skin inside.
Question: Who is the Stone Villain in Invincible?
Answer: Invincible features many characters with defining physical appearances. One of which is Titan, who’s able to encase his entire body in a layer of rock. Viewers who have forgotten his name may refer to him as the ‘stone villain’ based on his striking appearance.