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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 Comments Refresh
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Posted by Hutzebraedl

Oh Doctor Bong, you so silly.

Posted by Jake Fury

Dr. Rot from Wolverine Weapon X
Posted by zmanm407

Doctor Bong, w00t! 

Posted by Caligula

well most doctors are pretty intelligent. and there is an old saying I forget where it comes from but it says "There is a thin line between Genius and Psycho".

Posted by RazzaTazz

Maybe they are honorary doctorates from universities looking for some infamy?

Posted by Chane

Well, they do need to be smart to come up with all those lovely toys...

Edited by Angelique_LeCount

Simply because we need "normal" villains for "normal" heroes. the bad side of super heroes is that there are so many of them...most of the time when a villain steps out of his closet he is usually jumped by a team of or a legion of superheroes embarrassed or bare assed and then locked up to sit and brood. Unsure if any of you (which im sure you have) have been locked up at anytime in your life but when you are you usually pick up a few books or start school with a side of revenge boiling in the back and forefront of your mind. Those villains that arent slapped around are those from another planet with the power to destroy most of the street level heroes which are in short amounts these days do to readers losing interest in villains or heroes with no "good" powers and you cant have hella omega powered villains out there cause there arent really that many omega leveled heroes and if it was a fair or even fight these books would just lose its appeal so the villains who dont want to be curb stomped or out numbered have to be smarter than the heroes or at least seem to be in making factions with less intelligent villains or the ability to create some virus or some other table turner such as understanding the inner workings and makings of a bomb. Then you have the doctors with no ability who are in the lab and some hero comes swinging in knocking them into or pouring some type of chemical on them to morph them into something worth fighting in our eyes. As the saying goes if it isnt broke dont fix it. I wonder how many heroes have created their enemies in this manner or if there werent any doctors in comics what would be the interest? I can just imagine the poor pissed off teenage Food Lion bagger who just tires of it all putting a paper bag on his head with a couple of holes and running out shooting everything/everyone  in site to only see someone like Superman, Thor, hulk or sentry standing there with a hard on and a smile...

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I'm not so sure they are all board certified, akin to chiropractors. That or maybe they are like Rand Paul. He made up a board to certify himself.
Wouldn't it be funny if they did have to be certified to get their villainous doctorate. Every few years they need to re-qualify. Makes me wonder what their malpractice would be.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Why did he mention Dr. Robotnik? I thought this was a comic book website! (And don't tell me there's a Sonic comic...)

Posted by Feliciano2040

Most likely the "Doctor" trend started because of prejudice against science and, consequentially, scientists.

Edited by Billy Batson

Good article. 

Posted by G-Man
@mooseymcman: I know you said not to tell you but he's appeared in over 500 issues with his main title reaching issue #225.
Edited by EdwardWindsor
The problem with the term doctor is people asume it its medical realated when quite frankly there are more types of doctor who have nothing to do with biology than are infact medical doctors. Most villians seem to be doctors of fields outside of medical and biological science.
Posted by TheMinister707

 The Only Doctors That Matter

Posted by punchline

my friend and me were talking about this not to long ago. get out of our heads comicvine

Posted by G-Man
@lazystudent: But are all these villains actual doctors of any sort? I'm not just talking medical (as in the case with Doc Ock or Dr. Bong).
Posted by EdwardWindsor
@G-Man:  i would of thought Doctor Doom was essentailly a doctor of something chemistry related but without the offical qualification unless he was given a doctorate from a university and its never been covered. Doctor Hurt being a  psychiatrist would also probs have to have the knowledge of a qualified doctor or be an actual doctor due to the nature off his characters work,  ithink generally they should be considered equal to someone who has the qualification even if they technically  do not.
Posted by GraveSp
Well most people who become villains start out as researchers and depending on the field you need to have a doctorate to do research.  Heres the big question, why is Mister Freeze, who is a Doctor, called Mister?
Posted by JokerMan24

Let's face it. Being a 'Doctor' sounds better. lol

Posted by weapon154

I'm pretty sure it's a way of bragging about how trained they are.

Posted by The Psyentist

My goal in life is to become a doctor, a psychiatrist. And quite possibly take over the world someday. 
(A side note: I don't care if Doctor Doom is a REAL doctor. He's adorable. <3)

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

I know one good doctor.....

Posted by Donnieman v5.1

There's a lot of stress that comes along with so much formal education..... :P

Posted by perry_411

Doctor is a formal title that infers respect should be given, and that intelligence is implied. The use of the title is an attempt to turn a positive connotation into a negative quality. 

Posted by Video_Martian

Posted by Deadknight

Edited by Evpraksiya

A title sets authority, it says even if you discover the man for the first time that they're not just random villains like condiment king...he's got king in his name but seriously guys were high when they've created him... 
Plus doctor thinks that they're powerfull since they're needed..power brings bad things to some people...

Posted by sdc10
Well its entirely possible that Doom being ruler of his own country just awarded himself a doctorate
Posted by descendentsage

Theres so many doctors that are evil because getting your phd makes you a crazy asshole (i work in IT at a college i know believe me)

Posted by ArdennesKorps

Doctor Hurt is real Doctor. (see in Batman and Robin 15). He might be even more perfect Doctor than Tommy Elliot.

Posted by NXH
@mr.obvious:  lol I was just thinking the exact same thing!
Posted by G-Man
@mr.obvious: He's actually mentioned twice. At the end and in the tags.
Posted by MTHarman

Whats so funny about Doctor Octopus, is that his work earns him the title of Professor instead of being known as a Doctor. 
you may be wrong about Doctor Octopus being a real Doctor seeing how he never specialized anything related towards human health until the nineties.
Posted by franklinrichards86

lol. doctor BONG, seriously i didnt know who that was but ill read up on him now, what a great name.

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

Some of them have their "Doctor" status in name only.

Edited by Doctor!!!!!

I'm the only Doctor that matters....
11th Doctor
Posted by Shadowdoggy

I think the real quetion should be "why do so many doctors turn evil?"'s the golf.
Posted by TerryMcC

Mr. Doom just doesn't have the same panache. 

Posted by El_Derrico

There's one person we can be sure is actually a doctor...  

           Doctor Rockso, the Rock and Roll Clown from Metalocalypse
 I believe he has a doctorate in cocainology from UC Berkeley.
Posted by NightFang
@El_Derrico said:
" There's one person we can be sure is actually a doctor...  
           Doctor Rockso, the Rock and Roll Clown from Metalocalypse
 I believe he has a doctorate in cocainology from UC Berkeley. "
Posted by Man of Lengend

YAY Dr. Bong love!!

Posted by The Impersonator

Doctor Bong sounds silly. I think he should have been called as Doctor Bell.

Posted by hrdwrkngXsoldier


I would like to counter point the plethera of GOOD doctors in the comic/pop-culture verse.

Dr. Jekkyl from LoEG, Dr. Strange, Dr. Conners (though not in lizard form most times), Dr. Banner, Dr. Pym, Dr. Jehrico Drumm, Dr. Cecilia Reyes, Dr. Talbot (GI Joe), Dr. Roa, Dr. McTaggert, Dr. Nemisis, Dr. Dre, Dr. Henry McCoy, Dr. Van Helsing, DOC (GI Joe), Dr. Light (mega man), Dr. Who, Dr. J, Dr. Bill Cosby, Dr. Watson, and sooooo many more. 

Posted by The Devil Tiger
@JokerMan24 said:
"Let's face it. Being a 'Doctor' sounds better. lol "

This, and how dare you denie the title of doctor from Victor Von Doom !!!  
He own Latveria, I really doubt that the university of Latveria hasn't give him the title anyway.
Posted by 00 Raiser
@mr.obvious:  Hey I wonder why they dont call him that anymore. I always here Doctor Eggman which sounds retarded in my opinion.
Posted by thebatman1

well maybe some of them have a PhD in Horribleness!

Posted by Hailinel

You don't go to Evil Medical School to be call "Mister."

Posted by Mezmero

I'm not a huge Hulk fan but would Doc Samson count?  How about Arnim Zola did he go to med school?  All these guys have PhD's in kick assery.

Posted by KZR
@zmanm407:  Is it just me or does that sound quite wrong.
Posted by Rhi
@Hailinel said:
"You don't go to Evil Medical School to be call "Mister." "

Unless you're Mr. Sinister.
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