There are plenty of doctors in both DC and Marvel comic universes. Some of these characters took the moniker of a doctor because A) they wanted to B) they decided that they were cool enough for it C) actually are doctors or D) really wanted to be a doctor. No matter the reason, each does have the title of doctor in their superhero/villain name. Some of them are well-known and some, well, could disappear and nobody would notice. Sad, I know. But that’s the truth. Who are they, you ask? Good question. Let’s see who are the top 10 comic characters with doctor in their name!
10. Dr. Psycho
A product of his time, Dr. Psycho is a doctor who has a peculiar way of looking at women. That is, he strongly dislikes them. Dr. Psycho is a character who can hypnotically control any who he wishes. Once under his control, he convinces his victims that he has a multitude of special powers and abilities.
Where Dr. Psycho becomes interesting as a character is when it’s learned that he was created by William Moulton Marston. As a creation of Marston, many, myself included, believe that Dr. Psycho was created as an expression of his own interests in spiritualism. Dr. Psycho was inspired by both Lon Chaney and Marston’s undergraduate advisor Hugo Münsterberg. Adding another level of depth to Dr. Psycho, Münsterberg was opposed to feminism, and women’s suffrage, and had an interest in metaphysics.
9. Dr. Faustus
A nemesis of Captain America, Dr. Faustus has been around for over 50 years. Dr. Faustus is an Austrian psychiatrist who uses manipulation and deceit against his enemies. The most famous example of this is also the most recent.
The events of the 2006s Civil War story saw the superheroes of the Marvel Universe more divided than they had ever been. Some sided with Iron Man and his pro-superhero registration beliefs while others followed Captain America and his anti-registration beliefs. After months of battling, one superhero death, and countless amounts of damage, Captain America conceded. As he walked up the courthouse steps, he was shot and killed. It was eventually revealed that his on and off again girlfriend, Sharon Carter, was responsible for his death.
The death shook and reshaped the Marvel landscape for years to come. Not only did Bucky Barnes become the new Captain America, but Sharon Carter was left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. As the story continued to unfold, Sharon and the other heroes learned that Dr. Faustus had used psychiatric manipulation and brainwashed Sharon into killing Captain America. Dr. Faustus may not be the most powerful doctor in Marvel, but that hasn’t stopped him from causing some of the most damage.
8. Dr. Light
Many supervillains have taken the name Dr. Light. Of them all, the most famous is the second one, Arthur Light.
Arthur became Dr. Light after his partner at STAR Labs, Jacob Finlay, was accidentally killed. The two had been working on a power suit that utilized light to fight crime. With Finlay dead, Arthur took the suit and assumed the name, Dr. Light. However, instead of using it for good as Finlay had hoped, Light used it for evil. There was a time when Arthur tried to use the suit for good. Unfortunately, this was short-lived as he was killed on Apokolips by the Parademons.
In most iterations of the character, Arthur Light is seen as the laughingstock of the DC Universe. This, however, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t belong on this list of comic characters with a doctor in their name. Quite the contrary. Arthur does belong here and here’s why. The world needs laughter and Dr. Light provides it.
7. Dr. Mid-Nite
During the 1940s, renowned physician Charles McNider was asked by the police to treat a key witness who had been shot in the back before testifying against “Killer” Maroni. While operating on the witness, one of Maroni’s henchmen broke into the hospital and threw a hand grenade into the operating room. The resulting blast left McNider without the use of his eyes.
Wanting to regain all that he had lost, McNider began physical therapy. While in therapy, he learned that he gained more energy at night. In addition to this, he found that he could see in the dark much in the same way that an owl sees in the dark. This revelation caused him to develop infrared glasses. Now able to properly see, he adopted the name Dr. Mid-Nite, captured Maroni, and helped start the Justice Society.
6. Doc Samson
Doc Samson isn’t as well-known as many other doctors on this list. This is primarily because he’s most used as a supporting character in many Incredible Hulk stories. This, however, doesn’t take away from how important he is to Marvel. Just look at the incredible work from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Hulk: Gray.
The book is told from Bruce Banner’s perspective as he sits down and recounts to Doc Samson his first few weeks as the Incredible Hulk. Samson is inquisitive, and patient, and asks the questions that the readers want to ask. While Doc Samson is formidable in his own right, his character, as shown in Hulk: Gray is best used when he humanizes the super-powered beings around him.
If you haven’t read it, Hulk: Gray is haunting, beautiful, well written, and will leave any who read it with a better understanding of life with a monster. The reason for this is Doc Samson.
5. Dr. Octopus
As one of the most famous Spider-Man enemies ever created, it should come as no surprise that Dr. Octopus has made this list of comic characters with a doctor in their name
Dr. Octopus first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #3. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and came to be after an explosion fused four metal tentacles to his body. Once fused, he found that he could control them with his mind. With nothing left to lose, he turned to a life of crime. Dr. Octopus has been involved in some of the most famous Spider-Man stories ever created: My Uncle, My Enemy, The Death of Captain Stacy, Doc Ock Wins, Unmasking Spider-Man, A Dying Wish, Cold Arms, Negative Exposure, The Owl/Octopus War
Dr. Octopus was also brought to life by Alfred Molina in arguably the best Spider-Man movie to date, Spider-Man 2. Not only did that movie set the tone for what Spider-Man movies should be, but it also paved the way for many other superhero movies.
4. Dr. Manhattan
Before there was Dr. Manhattan, there was Jonathan Osterman. Jonathan Osterman was a student of nuclear physics. One day while working at a secret facility, he inadvertently wound up locked inside a test chamber. With nowhere to go and once the generator was turned on, Osterman’s body was bombarded with nuclear power. The nuclear power tore his body apart and transformed him into a being with unheard of power. He took the name Dr. Manhattan and began exploring exactly what he was capable of.
And what he was capable of is impressive, to say the least: Space travel, size alteration, resurrection, teleportation, time travel, replication and duplication, matter disintegration
Although he’s not on the same scale of studies as, let’s say, Dr. Strange, Dr. Manhattan is a must-include on this list and all like it. And why? They wouldn’t be the same without him.
3. Dr. Fate
Even though there have been numerous characters to take the name Dr. Fate, the original and most important one first debuted on the pages of More Fun Comics #55 back in 1940. This version was created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman.
As a trained Sorcerer, Dr. Fate has cemented himself as one of the most important and powerful characters in DC Comics. His power is augmented by the Helmet of Fate. With it, he can turn himself invisible, has telepathy, can fly, is able to control anything that can be magnetized, can travel through time, can erase memories, is resistant to most damage and immune to most diseases, is immortal and invulnerable, can teleport, manipulate reality, levitate, cast illusions, and project mystical bolts, he can phase through objects, doesn’t age, has superhuman attributes, and is incredibly intelligent.
Because there isn’t too much he can’t do, Dr. Fate is one of the most important comic characters with a doctor in their name in the history of comic books.
2. Dr. Strange
Dr. Stephen Strange was a surgeon who thought himself to be the best at what he did. He worked on only the most high-profile of surgeries and amassed the wealth that most dream of. With his work, however, came selfishness and egotism.
While driving his car, Stephen Strange was involved in a car accident. Although his life was saved, the car accident cost Strange the use of his hands. Now a surgeon without the use of his hands, he sought out the help of the Ancient One. Sensing his arrogance, the Ancient One told him that there’s more to life than money, luxury, and fame.
Eventually, the Ancient One did take on Strange as a student. Under his guidance, Strange became a master of the Mystic Arts and one of the most powerful characters ever created. Stephen Strange deserves to be on this list, because any list without him, is just incomplete.
1. Dr. Doom
Very few characters can command the amount of respect and cause as much fear as Dr. Doom.
As the ruler of Latveria, Dr. Doom commands an army that my government is afraid of. He’s proficient in magic of all kinds, is more than capable in most known sciences, understands weaponry, and can build just about anything that his mind can think up. Like Annihilus, he was initially thought of as an enemy of the Fantastic Four. Now, however, this just isn’t the case. Doom’s war has spilled over to every corner of the Marvel Universe. He has, at one time or another, fought the likes of Captain America, Black Bolt, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, and Spider-Man.
As far as comic characters with a doctor in their name go, Doom is as important as any.