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Off My Mind: Why are so Many Villains Doctors?

Do they all go to the same school of villainy?

Besides wanting to take over the world, there's one thing that many supervillains have in common: a doctorate. For some reason there are several villains with the title of doctor in front of their name. What is the connection between them? It's possible some of them have actual degrees but others are a little more questionable. Was it their intentions to become a doctor? Did something go wrong that turned them against the profession and towards the idea of world domination? Is the idea of paying for medical school simply too much for these promising physicians?

Not all doctors in comics are evil but you would be surprised how many pop up if you did a simple search with doctor or dr. using our search menu. Let's look at some of the more common evil doctors and try to determine if they are actual doctors.

== TEASER ==

Doctor Doom

Victor Von Doom was a brilliant college student until he blew up his face trying to reach his mother's spirit in Hell. He was born a gypsy and his mother was a sorceress. His father was a healer so perhaps little Victor had plans to follow in his father's footsteps.

When the Dean of Science at State University found him and offered him a scholarship, Doom was busy making inventions rather than trying to heal others. There didn't seem to be any desire to help others.

After getting kicked out of the university, he journeyed to Tibet to learn the forbidden secrets of black magic and sorcery. Once his new armor was complete, he simply proclaimed himself a doctor.

Is he an actual doctor? No.

Doctor Octopus

Otto Octavius had a different upbringing than Doom. He grew up the son of an abusive factory worker father. Seeing the importance of an education, Otto quickly dived right into his studies (which resulted in more bullying from his classmates).

Continuing his hard work and studies, Otto was awarded a scholarship, focused on science, worked at an engineering firm and later became a nuclear physicist.

When a lab accident caused his mechanical arm apparatus to become fused to his body and caused his brain to be damaged, Doctor Octopus was born.

Is he a real doctor? Yes.

Doctor Hurt

The story of Simon Hurt is a complex one. Complex as in the accuracy of facts can be called into question. Working with the Gotham City Police Department and the Pentagon, a psychiatrist by the name of Simon Hurt was put in charge of a program to create replacement Batmen. When an isolation experiment required Batman to spend 10 days under Hurt's care, the seeds of future trouble for Batman were put in place.

Doctor Hurt would later turn up, trigger a post-hypnotic phrase that would make Bruce Wayne lose his memory and go a little crazy. Hurt even tried to tell the world he was actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father.

Is he an actual doctor? Maybe. It's possible he was an actual psychiatrist.

Doctor Bong

As a child, Lester Verde was also bullied (looks like this is another common link between many evil doctors). Despite the abuse he received, Lester always came up with witty comebacks to his tormentors. He became a journalist, lost his hand while performing in a punk band and then decided to become a villain named Doctor Bong.

After some crazy schemes, Doctor Bong gave up his evil ways and earned a PhD in psychology. Doctor Bong even tried to treat Deadpool.

Bong's turn to helping others didn't last long as he went back to the crazy schemes.

Is he a real doctor? Yes.

There are so many other evil doctors out there. Others that come to mind are Doctor Sivana, Doctor Hugo Strange, Doctor Demonicus, Doctor Light, Doctor Polaris, Doctor Horrible, Doctor Robotnik, Doctor Mindbender and so on. Some of them are actual doctors and others are just evil. Just looking at the few above, many have had some sort of traumatic childhood, often filled with bullying and abuse.

Why do you think so many doctors become evil? Who is your favorite evil doctor?

73 CommentsRefresh
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Posted by MTHarman

Why's Castle Grey Skull in the picture with Dr Bong and the She-hulk?
Posted by El_Derrico

Come to think of it, what about all these superheroes named captain? Are they really commissioned officers in the military? Captain America. Captain Marvel. Captain Atom. Captain Planet. Captain Crunch. Maybe Captain America and Captain Crunch. Captain Marvel is just a kid and Captain Planet, as far as I can tell, is some elemental creature that cares more about blades of grass being stepped on than crime on the streets. In the U.S., it's a crime to impersonate an officer in the military. I demand a congressional investigation on these non-captain captains!

Posted by MattDemers

Doom's probably got every honorary degree there is in Latveria.

Posted by Nefilim927
We all know those credits don't dum bum
Posted by ImperiousRix

It's ironic that possibly the most powerful evil doctor (Doom) isn't even really a doctor. 
I guess the name Mister Doom doesn't evoke the same commanding presence.

Posted by EganTheVile1

I like most evil doctors for some odd reason, especially ones put in charge of psychiatric care, like Hugo Strange or Paine, those types of doctors usually lead you to cheer on the villain left in their care. The mad scientists also have their appeal though,

Posted by rouju

Probably cuz comic lover once was stigmatized as nerd, and the most awesome nerd is doctor, so in commemoration of "Revenge of the Nerd", what could be more appropriate to be a kick ass villain than doctor?

Posted by MatKrenz


I guess it's because they want to show off how powerful they became with their intellect but THIS GUY decides to be an awesome asshole with his knowledge. 
But of course the ultimate doctor are THESE GUYS !

Posted by MTHarman
Sadly Hugo Strange is a Professor that decided to pursue in a career as a televised psychiatrist, not a real doctor. 
Guess G-man's "Expert in just 3 minutes" isn't working out very well
Posted by MTHarman

Whats funny is that Doctor Doom isn't a real Doctor in America, but dictator within Latveria, Doom could've easily reinstated and quickly earned his doctorate degree. 
Posted by Band Lone

Mr. Evil went to evil medical school :D

" It's Dr. Evil, I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called "mister," thank you very much."
Sorry O_o

Posted by EganTheVile1
@rouju said:
" Probably cuz comic lover once was stigmatized as nerd, and the most awesome nerd is doctor, so in commemoration of "Revenge of the Nerd", what could be more appropriate to be a kick ass villain than doctor? "
That really may explain it
Posted by jamdown

the face of evil 
Posted by theicon

doc savage

Posted by Eyz
@Rhi said:
" @Hailinel said:
"You don't go to Evil Medical School to be call "Mister." "
Unless you're Mr. Sinister. "
Zing! XD
Posted by Rincewind

Dr Bong looks ridiculous ! hah

Posted by Metatron_Da_Don

super intelligence

Posted by thechessclub

I think Dr. Polaris is a chemist or something like that. I just got GL V2 #65 and his alter ego was in the north pole on a research expedition doing some stuff...

Posted by cennobite

Well a lot of them were scientists who after some disaster or calamity went a little mad, Doom after that device blew up in his face, Doctor Octavius the metal arms fused to him, Dr.Mahatten blew apart and pulled himself back together. Also a lot them had troubled childhoods, Doc Octavius was bullied as a kid for example. 

Posted by christopherwalken

I think it can all be explained quite easily, actually. PhDs are harrowing experiences that tend to push most normal, well-adjusted human beings over the edge and down the abyss of madness and despair.

This would account for the enormous amount of villainous doctors.

Doctor Doom, in fact, has a Doctorate in Comparative Literature from University of Massachusetts Amherst. His thesis was a Lacanian enquiry into the similarities and differences in the representation of madness in Don Quixote and Batman: The Killing Joke.

True story.

Posted by notarandomguy

@TheMinister707 said:

The Only Doctors That Matter
Posted by notarandomguy

@MatKrenz said:

I guess it's because they want to show off how powerful they became with their intellect but THIS GUY decides to be an awesome asshole with his knowledge.

But of course the ultimate doctor are THESE GUYS !

Posted by crackerjack82

It comes down to pure intelligence, the higher an IQ, the more "crazy" you are, Mainly due to the fact that you view things differently from the common fodder. We also view dumber people as problems, This also leads to a drive to challenge themselves by finding people who are their counterparts, I say we due to IQ, and the fact that my state list me a non-dangerous Sociopath, Due to high IQ. I have a handful of friends due to my need to push their buttons so that they push mine

Most modern doctors, are not geniuses, they are smart, yes true Genius no, most not all, all comic doctors are classified at genius level intelligence.

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