Doctor Thaddeus Paine was a brilliant surgeon who fell victim to an accident involving an experimental anesthetic that caused him to permanently lose all ability to feel tactile sensations. Falling prey to the madness of being unable to experience either pain or pleasure, Paine became obsessed with medical freaks and oddities like himself. He began conducting ruthless experiments on his "patients," experiencing a visceral thrill from operating them without anesthesia.
Doctor Paine was created by Len Kaminski and Ron Garney. He first appeared in 1992's Morbius: The Living Vampire #4.
Major Story Arcs
Learning of Michael Morbius, the Living Vampire, through a biochemist they both knew, Paine became interested in Morbius' pseudo-vampire state, and sent out his Orderlies to capture him. The Orderlies managed to locate Morbius during a fight between him, Spider-Man, and Simon Stroud. Reeling from a series of tranquilizer darts administered by Stroud, Morbius was unable to prevent the Orderlies from capturing him.
Holding Morbius prisoner, Paine began an in-depth study of his condition. Deprived of blood, Morbius was unable to offer any resistance against Paine and his Orderlies. Paine viewed Morbius as a colleague, admiring Morbius' research that he'd acquired, as well as his relentless drive to survive. Giving Morbius a tour of his facility, Paine forced his captive to watch as he conducted brain surgery on a patient without any anesthesia, eventually killing her in the process while trying to see whether the tumor she had was a new form of life. Already infuriated by Paine's atrocities, Morbius grew only more enraged when Paine revealed that his studies showed that Morbius' disease was not in remission, it was actually still killing him. Morbius used the resulting rush of adrenaline to break free of his restraints and overwhelmed Paine's Orderlies as the mad doctor rushed to safety. Paine escaped Morbius' wrath that night, but Morbius swore that he would bring an end to Paine's horrific experiments.
Venom: The Hunger
Re-establishing himself in Long Island, Doctor Paine opened the Innsmouth Hills Sanitarium where he was contacted by Bellevue Hospital to consult on the matter of a John Doe that had been brought in by the police, and who was ranting about brain-eating aliens. The John Doe was actually Eddie Brock who had been separated from the alien symbiote, Venom, after it had developed a ravenous craving for human brains. Paine initially believed that Brock was simply mad due to Organic Brain Syndrome, but a series of painful experiments convinced him otherwise. Realizing that Brock was telling the truth about this symbiote, Paine became increasingly interested in this unique alien life form and the experiments he could perform on it. Forcing Brock into a hypnotic state, Paine learned more about the symbiote's hunger for human brains and its separation from Brock. Through his studies of Brock and the information he gave, Paine realized that the symbiote was starved for phenethylamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of joy and love in the human brain. Having already drained Brock's brain of the chemical, the symbiote was now seeking it out in the brains of other humans. Paine then allowed Brock to escape the sanitarium so that he could lead his Orderlies to the alien life form through a tracking implant he had placed inside Brock without his knowledge.
Using Paine's discovery of the symbiote's hunger for phenethylamine, Brock was able to subdue it by feeding it enough of the chemical. As Brock was in the process of re-bonding with the symbiote however, Paine's Orderlies intervened, knocking out Brock and taking the symbiote.
When his Orderlies returned with the symbiote, Paine wasted no time in conducting a series of torturous experiments on it. He was forced to halt his experiments though when Brock returned to the sanitarium to free the symbiote. Killing his way through several Orderlies, Brock was soon successful and reunited with his other half to become Venom once more. They then turned their attention to Paine for some payback, but Paine smugly informed them that his complete inability to feel pain would make any form of physical torture pointless. Venom therefore instead injected a portion of his symbiote into Paine's brain and sucked it completely dry of phenethylamine, directly mirroring what Venom had suffered through. Paine immediately found himself overcome with a ravenous hunger that he could only sate with human brains, and so he quickly began devouring those of his Orderlies that Brock had killed.
Doctor Paine is presumably still out there, conducting his grisly medical experiments, but now also cursed with an insatiable desire to feast upon the brains of his victims.
Powers & Abilities
Doctor Paine is completely unable to experience any form of tactile sensation, rendering him immune to all forms of physical pain or pleasure - essentially a form of invulnerability - and has cybernetic hands with a multitude of interchangeable surgical tools for the fingertips that he can swap around as his work requires; these tools include scalpels, hooks, saw blades, and drills - all razor sharp. He also possesses a wealth of medical knowledge, especially concerning the human body, that he makes use of for his heinous experiments.