Doctor Demonicus was 11-year old me’s ideal supervillain. I had only started reading comics a year before, if that, but I had been a fan of Godzilla and kaiju films since I was old enough to walk. (“Kaiju” didn’t enter my lexicon until I hit my thirties.)
His origin story wasn’t that interesting then, but now it’s rather hilarious: Doctor D. was a geneticist. He was really into the mutagenic properties of radiation, so he stages an accident where he’s exposed to radiation in an attempt to give himself superpowers. Alas, he only succeeds in giving himself skin cancer and getting fired from his job.
He finds this crazy radioactive meteorite, and then uses it to create giant monsters, the likes of which battle Godzilla as well as the Shogun Warriors (Danguard Ace, Combattra and Raydeen) in the late 1970s, back when Marvel Comic had licenses to use those characters.
Now that’s awesome: Guy wants to create giant mutant monsters that can destroy whole cities and then he does it. If it hadn’t been for those meddling robots and radioactive lizard, he might have done it.
I was able to get a bunch of those Godzilla comics and a few Shogun Warrior comics for a song. Luckily for me, Dr. Demonicus returned to comics around the same time. In Iron Man #193, a comic which I also owned, it’s revealed he had captured, mutated and enslaved Godzilla.
Again: This guy BEATS GODZILLA. WHILE BATTLING SKIN CANCER. What an inspiration! Go fuck yourself, Lance Armstrong.
(Because Marvel’s license had expired, they couldn’t call him Godzilla, but trust me, it was motherfucking Godzilla.)
Anyhow, the point being was that, to me, this guy was better than Doctor Doom, or Magneto, or the fucking Kingpin or whoever. What would Doom do if Doctor D unleashed a couple of 500-foot tall mutant monsters that pounded the fuck out of the Latveria’s castles?
He appeared a few more times over the years in The West Coast Avengers (which I never read even though I lived on the West Coast – those guys mostly just sucked). Apparently he drilled into the ocean floor and used the released magma to create his own nation – Demonica. Which – smart! But it looks he stopped creating giant fucking monsters and settled on mutating regular people, and that wasn’t such a hot plan. He was brought back again in the 2000s, where he hung out with The Hood and Norman Osborn and, again, was inconceivably not tasked with creating giant fucking monsters with which to conquer the world.
Anyhow, I’ve been saving up my knowledge of Doctor Demonicus to bust out in some bar conversation when ever someone tries to talk up how bad ass the Kingpin because he makes Daredevil sad. Unfortunately, in 18 years of going to bars, that’s never happened, so, congratulations, Tumblr, you get to hear my long-suppressed spiel about the greatest, unrecognized supervillain in all of American Comicdom.