Heroes and villains who were trained as psychologists or psychiatrists

Discussion in 'Misc. Comics' started by Lorendiac, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Lorendiac Registered

    Apr 30, 2004
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    A couple of months ago I asked my fellow fans to help me list psychiatrists and psychologists who have become superheroes or supervillains. Characters in any comic book universe, from any publisher, would qualify! I ended up defining "psychologist" as "anyone who has a Bachelor's or any higher academic degree in Psychology."

    Here's the list of those who made the cut:

    Ahab (Rory Campbell). Psychologist (Ph.D, apparently). Villain. [Marvel]

    Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm). I hear he recently changed his alias to Doctor Voodoo, but I'm old-fashioned. Ph.D. in psychology. Hero. [Marvel]

    Doc Samson (Leonard Samson). Psychiatrist. Hero. [Marvel]

    Doctor Bong (Lester Verde). Villain who eventually acquired a Ph.D. in psychology and tried to make an honest living that way -- but he later backslid into villainy. [Marvel]

    Doctor Druid (Anthony Ludgate Druid). Psychiatrist. Hero. [Marvel]

    Doctor Fate (Kent V. Nelson). Psychiatrist. The latest of several heroes to use that alias. [DC]

    Doctor Faustus (Johann Fennhoff). Psychiatrist. Villain. [Marvel]

    Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton). Third villain to use this alias. Psychologist who treated Harry Osborn. Died after a short career as a villain in the late 1970s. [Marvel]

    Guy Gardner. Has a bachelor's degree in psychology. Hero. [DC]

    Harley Quinn (Harleen Quinzel). Psychiatrist, then villain. I am told that lately she seems to have reformed, more or less, but I don't know if I can call her a "hero." (Haven't read her latest appearances, for one thing.) [DC]

    Hugo Strange. A psychiatrist, according to his Post-COIE continuity. (For about 50 years before that, nobody seemed to know what subject he had formerly taught as a professor!) Villain. [DC]

    Hypnos (Otto Kaufmann). Psychiatrist in "Tiger-Man" #3; villain. [Atlas]

    Jack Serious (John Cereus). Psychologist; chief of staff at Dorkham Asylum; he once fought She-Hulk during the time Steve Gerber was writing her title (around 1990); died in that same arc. Basically a Joker knockoff. Villain, of course. [Marvel]

    Mister Terrific (Michael Holt). According to one online resource site, psychology is one of the many subjects in which he has either a Master's or a Ph.D. Hero. [DC]

    Moonstone (Karla Sofen, sometimes known as Meteorite). Psychiatrist. She has worked on both sides of the fence. [Marvel]

    Overshadow (Philip Nolan Voigt). Psychologist. New Universe character. Often used his powers in villainous ways. (He even became President of the United States, and that's often a bad sign!) [Marvel]

    Professor X (Charles Xavier). Has a Ph.D. in psychology (along with at least two other doctorates). Hero. [Marvel]

    Psuper Psychiatrist (Dr. Fischkoder). Character who fought "Wonder Warthog" in some underground comics by Gilbert Shelton. That's about all I know. Since Wonder Warthog was the main character, I arbitrarily assume Psuper Psychiatrist was presented as a villain. If I'm wrong, somebody say so! [Gilbert Shelton]

    Sauron (Karl Lykos). Apparently he was a psychiatrist. He had an M.D., and also a Ph.D. in psychology. Villain. [Marvel]

    Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane). Former professor of psychology; presumably had a Ph.D. in the subject. Villain. [DC]

    Zoom (Hunter Zolomon). Used to work as a profiler for the Keystone City police; presumably he had one or more degrees in psychology to qualify him for the job, but I don't know the details. Villain. [DC]

    I make that 21 names, with 7 of them usually portrayed as "heroes," and one who was a villain for a long time but seems to be heroic at the moment (Moonstone). If we count her, that gives us 8 good ones and 12 bad ones, and I'm undecided regarding how seriously I should take Harley Quinn's apparent reformation.

    I don't think this proves any bias against psychologists and psychiatrists on the part of the comic book writers, however. As someone pointed out in a response to my query two months ago, it is the nature of the beast that the villains are more numerous in the genre. Spider-Man, for instance, is usually the only hero getting prominently featured in any of the many titles he's had over the years, but the writers have had to invent dozens of colorful adversaries for him! With that in mind, I think psychiatrists and psychologists are doing very well for themselves.


    Interested fans made many suggestions, some of which didn't pan out. I don't want anyone to think I completely ignored his suggestions, so here are some quick comments on names which I considered and rejected.

    Someone suggested that Phobia (of the Brotherhood of Evil) and Doctor Psycho (the Wonder Woman villain) both qualified. As near as I can tell from online research, however, neither of them has ever been a psychiatrist, nor completed any degrees in psychology.

    Doctor Thirteen was also mentioned, but while he's a good guy, I've never noticed him trying to be a "superhero."

    Someone thought the Golden Age "The Web" (one of the many characters now considered one of the "Archie heroes" or "Red Circle heroes") was a psychiatrist, but my research indicates he was actually a professor of criminology.

    White Queen (Emma Frost) is allegedly a licensed sex therapist, but I have not heard that she has any degrees in psychology, so I don't count her as a psychologist. (Likewise, I don't count any other powerful telepaths who ought to have a superb understanding of how the human mind really works.)

    Someone thought the very obscure villainess known as Bluebird (Zora Loftus) who fought Spider-Man in a single story in 1982 had been a psychologist. It turns out that she, like The Web, was actually a criminologist.

    Someone thought the original Doctor Mid-Nite (Charles McNider) had switched from surgery to psychiatry as his medical specialty after he was "blinded." As near as I can tell from online research, that is not true -- alhough it is true that there was a Silver Age story in which he hypnotized Barry Allen when Wally West was very worried by some bizarre behavior on Barry's part.

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