It’s been too long since I talked about comic-book related stuff that just tickles me pink. And I want to rectify that by talking about one of my favorite comic-book villains, Doctor Demonicus. No, really!
I’ll admit, I love Doctor Demonicus a bit more in concept than in execution. He’s only appeared in a few stories, mostly licensed stuff from the 70s like Godzilla and Shogun Warriors, and he’s never really been used to his full potential…but then again, that’s kind of what I love about him. Because Doctor Demonicus, for those of you unfamiliar with the character (and I don’t blame you) is an evil genius and mad scientist who schemes to take over the world through the use of comic-book style Mad Science!
Only, well, he tends to get the kind of results you get in the real world when you try to use Mad Science. Being hit with radiation gave him disfiguring skin cancer, mutating animals into giant monsters just led to rampaging giant monsters all over the damn place, and the island he raised from the ocean depths to be the seat of his new empire a) turned out to be the site of a demonic temple, and b) sank again. (And the UN wouldn’t recognize it as a country anyway.) What sets him apart from all the other disposable worldbeaters and mad geniuses of the Marvel Universe is that he always gets the bad breaks. And he responds with predictable, hilarious impotent fury at the cosmic injustice of it all.
I love this idea. I love the idea of a frustrated, pissy Doctor Doom wannabe who never manages to make any of his schemes work because the laws of narrative don’t recognize him as an A-list supervillain the way they do Doom or the Red Skull, and so he constantly gets screwed over by petty little setbacks and ordinary hassles as much as by superheroes. I want to write a whole series of Doctor Demonicus, Would-Be World Beater, dealing with random shit that constantly derails his plans for world domination. Things like labor negotiations with his evil henchmen going south in the middle of a superhero battle, leading to them all staging a walkout on him just as the Avengers arrive. Or his plan to forge an alliance with Kang the Conqueror getting bogged down in the treaty stage because Kang insists that as a sovereign of a foreign power (ie, the future) he needs to nail down all the details now to avoid pointless infighting later. That kind of thing.
We haven’t seen that–as I say, he’s not really been used much at all, and certainly not by a writer who’s explored that angle. But conceptually, Doctor Demonicus is just perfect. Because he’s such a total failure.