Real Name: Dr. Derek McDowell

Identity/Class: Human, mad scientist

Occupation: Neurosurgeon

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Former controller of Frankenstein monster;

Former ally of Dr. Owen Wallach; Former fiance' of Tisha;

Enemies: James, the Master (James Sinoda), and Dr. Owen Wallach

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Formerly Manhattan, New York City, and Chicago, Illinois

Appearances: Monsters Unleashed#2 (September, 1973)

Powers: None. He is extremely intelligent, and an extraordinary neurosurgeon, able to successfully perform complete brain transplants. He is also hot-headed, abusive, and willing to do anything to accomplish his goals

History: I'm not sure where McDowell went to school, but he billed himself as the "Boy Wonder Neuro-Surgeon." His interests tended a little out of the ordinary. Derek had read Mary Shelly's book, "Frankenstein," and became obsessed with finding the monster. He drug his girlfriend, Tisha, out to a carnival in Illinois, where he had heard that the inert form of the monster had been unearthed. Derek tried to force them to sell the monster to him. When they refused, he came back to his hotel room and took his anger out on Tisha. Feeling that Derek's obsession with the monster was the source of problems in their relationship, she sneaked onto the carnival grounds and attempted to torch the monster. However, she had used too much gasoline, and was instantly engulfed in the flames, as well. She was rescued by carnival-workers, but was taken to a hospital in shock, and severely burned over most of her body. The monster itself was awakened by the heat from the flames, and went on a brief rampage until it was again incapacitated by a bazooka blast and a fall from the top of a Ferris wheel. The inert monster was taken in police custody.

Derek learned of this and bribed the cops to gain custody of the monster. He flew it back to his laboratory in Manhattan, leaving his critically injured girlfriend behind. Derek shared the news with his associate, Dr. Owen Wallach, and briefly demonstrated his ability to awaken and control the monster. Wallach was dying, and convinced Derek to use the monster to obtain a young, healthy, male specimen into which Derek could transfer his brain. After a few attempts, in which Derek could not control the monster well enough to prevent it from crippling or killing the "specimens," Derek decided to transfer Wallach's brain into the monster itself. Wallach awakened, and less than pleased with his new, 8' tall, grotesque body, choked Derek to death and then threw him in the harbor.

Derek was not done, quite yet. Another pyscho, known as the Master, sought the body of Frankenstein's monster for his own purposes. Possessing some training in voodoo, the Master somehow revived the dead and decayed form of McDowell, and sent it, still possessing its own mind and will, back to retrieve the monster. Unaware of what had gone one while he was dead (see Wallach, below), Derek found the unconscious form of James, and used Wallach's Molecular Transponder to transfer his mind with James's. Derek, now in a strong and healthy form, used a tranquilizer gun to subdue the monster, and brought it back to the laboratory. Derek used the Transposer to remove the new brain from the monster (thinking it was Wallach's), and return its own brain to its rightful body. Derek was bewildered when he saw the tiny brain (from the rat) that had been transferred out of the monster's body. He was intently trying to figure it out when the monster removed itself from its restraints, and smashed Derek from behind, killing him again.

Comments: Created by Gary Friederich and John Buscema.

This is a crazy, crazy story. It definitely keeps your attention, but perhaps some hallucinogens were involved?

I think the burnt Tisha should revive, locate Derek's old lab, and seek some revenge on the Frankenstein monster.

These stories are actually supposed to have taken place during 1973-1974, prior to modern/sliding Marvel continuity (ie. Fantastic Four#1). This is why Frank, aka Frankenstein's Monster, appears as a character in Marvel: The Lost Generation.

Good ol' brain transplant! Works every time. Derek was so good, he didn't even need to use sterile technique!

Not that anything else is rational, but if the brains were actually being transferred from one being to another, then why didn't the rat's head explode, or Wallach's brain get squished into mush?

See the entries on the Owen Wallach and James below, and the separate entry on the Master for the continuation of this freaky saga. The entries intertwine somewhat.

Yes, this story was done in black and white.

Clarifications: The Master is not to be confused with:

Dr. Owen Wallach was another mad scientist. After McDowell transplanted his brain into the body of the Frankenstein monster, he killed his innocent nurse, Ruthie, accusing her of always teasing him. He then sought a new, normal and healthy body for himself. He targeted a trapeze artist, James, and forcibly took him from the circus in which he worked. He used the Molecular Transposer, a device of his own creation able to electronically transfer the brain of one person into another, planning to swap his own for James's. However, while he was held inert in the transfer process, one of his laboratory rats escaped, ran up James's leg, and underneath the transfer helmet. Instead of his intended switch, Wallach's brain was switched with the rat's. The rat, disoriented in the monster's immense frame, swatted (but didn't kill) James, and then smashed its old body, killing Wallach in the process. The rat then broke out of the laboratory and went on a rampage in the city of Manhattan. (the rat's brain was later removed by McDowell using the Molecular Transposer, and it presumably remains within the nutrient tank in that laboratory)

--Monsters Unleashed#4 (5/8, 6(fb)


James, the trapeze artist, grew up in poverty, teased and abused by other kids for his worn out clothes and other differences. When he was still in elementary school, his dad died of pneumonia after getting sick when they couldn't pay the electric bill. He was forced to take a job and work to pay the bills, and over the years built himself into excellent condition from the difficulty of the physical labor he performed. He eventually took a job as a cage cleaner in a circus. He was fascinated by the trapeze artists, and took up training on his own when no one else was around. Eventually he demonstrated his skill to the circus owner, and was given a job performing alongside a female artist, Gretchen. Gretchen and James fell in love, and were soon married. However, Dr. Owen Wallach, in the form of the Frankenstein Monster, came to the circus in search of a healthy body for himself. Gretchen was distracted by the monster's appearance, missed her timing with James, and fell to her death. Wallach then clubbed James from behind and abducted him to become his new body. The transfer process went awry, and Wallach's brain was switched with a rat's. James' unconscious form, however, was then used by the resurrected (and decomposed) Derek McDowell, who used Wallach's Transposer to swap his own brain for James'. The Frankenstein monster killed McDowell, and befriended the despondent James, who was trapped in McDowell's decomposed body. James told the monster how it had worked his whole life to maintain a strong body, and had finally achieved happiness and love, when it had all come crashing down. McDowell had been resurrected by the Master, who then chose to influence James' mind to have him lead the monster back to the Master's base. Upon arriving there, the Master had no use for James or his reanimated form any more, and so discontinued his influence on the body. James promptly dropped dead.

--Monsters Unleashed#5/8 (7(fb), 5/8, 6, 7, 8

Monsters Unleashed#2 (September, 1973) - Gary Friedrich (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#4 (February, 1974) - Gary Friedrich (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#5 (April, 1974) - Gary Friedrich (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Win Mortimer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#6 (June, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#7 (August, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (artist), Tony Isabella (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#8 (October, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (artist), Tony Isabella (editor)

Last updated: 01/07/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters