Classification: Extraterrestrial race
Location/Base of Operations:Tzin Empire, interstellar space (location unrevealed)
Known Members: None identified (one used alias Harry)
Affiliations: Drug Lords (Crack (Frederick Pemberton), Ice (Yoshi Nagai), Ms. Fix (Felicia Beyer), Weed (Jack Wiley))
Enemies: Mitch Baskin, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Dorreen Caragonne, New Warriors (Firestar, Kid Nova, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Silhouette, Speedball), Teen Brigade (Keith Wilson, others)
First Appearance: Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1 (1990)
Powers/Abilities: Tzin have highly malleable forms and can be condensed to match an adult human’s conformation; to pass for humans they disguise themselves in realistic but brittle and easily shattered artificial skin. Tzin technology is crystal-based and powered by Darkforce energy. Using a Mutation-Generator (M-Generator), the Tzin can bestow powers and abilities on others.
Traits: The Tzin investigate what forms of resistance a civilization may offer before attempting to conquer it; those offering strong resistance may be obliterated, although the Tzin consider such actions a waste of resources. These investigations can take many forms, with the Tzin secretly afflicting worlds with plagues, strife and drugs.
(Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1 (fb)) – After conquering thousands of worlds, the Tzin met resistance from the Halvings of Origi III, forcing the Tzin to destroy them.
(Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1) – Tzin scouts studied Earth’s viability for conquest, but the results were inconclusive; to find a definitive answer, the Tzin found four young humans determined to have the potential to be major contributors to humankind and made Tzin-created drugs available to them. If two of the four succumbed to drug use, Earth would be a prime candidate for colonization.
A Tzin operative disguised as drug dealer “Harry” supplied drugs to one candidate in Columbus, Ohio, high school pitcher Mitch Baskin. Mitch’s subsequent erratic behavior worried Teen Brigade member Keith Wilson, who contacted Captain America. Cap intervened after Mitch accidentally injured another baseball player while under the influence. When Mitch confronted Harry about the drugs, he destroyed Harry’s human disguise, which Cap discovered shortly after the Tzin agent teleported away.
(Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#2 (fb)) – Having seen Earth’s defenders in action after encountering Captain America, the Tzin selected four weak-willed humans to serve as super agents, enhancing them with the M-Generator. Crack (Frederick Pemberton), Ice (Yoshi Nagai), Ms. Fix (Felicia Beyer), and Weed (Jack Wiley) became the Drug Lords, spreading Tzin drugs on Earth. Simultaneously, Captain America continued investigating the extraterrestrial drugs, as were the the New Warriors, following unrelated leads in New York City. The heroes joined forces and discovered Ms. Fix supplying dealers and followed her to where the other Drug Lords waited with the Tzin commander.
(Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#2) – When the New Warriors unmasked the Tzin commander during battle, he teleportetd himself and his agents to the Tzin mothership. The Drug Lords’ performance was far below the commander’s expectations, but at Ms. Fix’s insistence, he gave them more drugs and another chance. Ms. Fix located Dorreen Caragonne, a high school dance and Tzin target, along with Dorreen’s friend and New Warrior member Silhouette Chord. Hoping to recruit Silhouette into the Drug Lords, Ms. Fix teleported the three back to the Tzin ship; Cap attacked during their transport and arrived on the ship with them. Crack attacked Cap, inadvertently destroying the M-Generator’s energy containment chamber and starting a chain reaction that would destroy the ship. Cap confronted the commander, but relented to escape with Silhouette and Dorreen. When the Drug Lords realized the Tzin drug supply (their only reason to be loyal to the Tzin) was being destroyed along with the ship, they attacked the commander. The Tzin ship exploded moments later, apparently killing the Drug Lords and Tzin invaders.
Comments: Created by Peter David (writer), Sal Velluto (penciller) and Keith Williams (inker).
The Drug Lords' real names and Dorreen's last name were revealed in the Tzin profile in Captain America: America’s Avenger#1 (August, 2011). Dorreen is named for her co-creator George Caragonne, who died not long after writing the Drug Lords' first appearance.
The two initial Tzin appearances were published as part of an effort to encourage readers to become drug-free, in association with the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Both stories were republished in Captain America Drug War #1 (April, 1994).
In the initial their appearance, readers could only see the Tzin hands (at right), but Mitch’s reaction implied their faces were hideous. In the second appearance readers could finally see the Tzin in all their glory.
Before getting involved with the Tzin situation, Cap took out an unrelated drug ring to help his friend FBI agent Demery, who has a wife named Kathleen. Neither here nor there, but worth noting.
Keith e-mailed Captain America with his concerns – a novel idea in 1990!
The title of the second story is “Druglords” (no space), but inside the issue the team was referred to as “Drug Lords” (with a space).
The New Warriors didn’t know about the Baskin incident, so presumably they were seeking drug dealers found near Dorreen’s school, since she was a friend of Silhouette and a target of the Tzin.
The Tzin commander teleported six individuals away from their initial confrontation with Cap and the New Warriors – but the commander and Drug Lords were only five individuals, so who was the sixth?
The Tzin spacecraft appeared in both issues and was drawn exactly the same, but colored different. In the original it was shades of green and yellow, in the second appearance it was silver with red “sails” and detailing. It’s possible this is an effect of changing light conditions.
As the ship was exploding, Silhouette used her abilities to repower the Tzin teleporters; whether this allowed anyone other than the heroes to escape is unclear.
Here are the big questions: If Mitch and Dorreen were two of the four people targeted by the Tzin because they would become major influences to humanity in the future, who were the other two? And did they pass or fail the Tzin test? Considering the Tzin’s unorthodox methods of conquering and colonization, would humanity even know they had been conquered, or just be too drugged up to care?
Profile by Kevin Garcia.
The Tzin race name have no known connections to
Mitch Baskin, Joannie Baskin, Mr. Baskin
Columbus, Ohio, resident Mitch Baskin had always been seen as gifted, especially in sports, but he disliked the spotlight and tried drugs supplied to him by “Harry” (a Tzin agent) to be more like other people. When his performance and attitude changed, his teammate Keith Wilson (a Teen Brigade member) contacted Captain America. Cap arrived shortly after a drug-influenced Mitch accidentally beaned opposing batter Ricky. Mitch ran off, while his parents, Mr. Baskin and Joannie Baskin (at left), talked with Cap. That night, Mitch confronted “Harry” and destroyed Harry’s human disguise. Before he could contact anyone about it, Ricky’s teammate Tony and others attacked Mitch. Cap saved him and helped Mitch decide to go clean. Cap found Harry’s disguise shortly after Mitch returned home.
Mitch played for the Eagles with jersey number 27.
--Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1
New York City high school student Dorreen “Dorrie” Caragonne was a star student of dance teacher Ms. Ramirez and friend of New Warrior member Silhouette Chord, but she accepted drugs from secret Tzin agents, hoping they would make her an even better dancer. After witnessing Tzin agent Ms. Fix fight Captain America and Silhouette, and transporting with them to the Tzin scout ship in orbit, Dorreen was shocked to see how far people would go to get drugs. She decided to quit, with Silhouette’s help.
--Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#2
"Harry" was the disguise used by the Tzin agent supplying drugs to Mitch Baskin in Columbus, Ohio.
--Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1
Columbus, Ohio, resident Keith Wilson was only a member of the Teen Brigade for a few months when he noticed his friend Mitch Baskin behaving strangely and meeting with a drug dealer. Mitch contacted Captain America through the Brigade’s computer network and helped Cap investigate after Mitch injured Ricky.
Keith played baseball for the Eagles with jersey number 32.
--Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1
Captain America Drug War #1, p34, pan1 (main image)
Captain America Drug War #1, p4, pan4 (spaceship)
Captain America Drug War #1, p4, pan5 (Tzin hand)
Captain America Drug War #1, p8, pan2 (Mitch’s parents)
Captain America Drug War #1, p15, pan7 (Mitch)
Captain America Drug War #1, p28, pan4 (Dorreen)
Captain America Drug War #1, p7, pan3 (Harry)
Captain America Drug War #1, p8, pan5 (Keith)
Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#1 (1990) - Peter David (writer), Sal Velluto (penciller), Keith Williams (inker), Marcus McLaurin and Glenn Herdling (editors)
Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs#2 (1994) - George Caragonne (writer), Colleen Doran (penciller), Greg Adams (inker), Glenn Herdling (editor)
Captain America Drug War #1 (April, 1994) - reprinted both stories.
Last updated: 07/11/12
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