MISTER DOLL

Real Name: Nathan Dolly

Identity/Class: Human, magic user

Occupation: Former professional criminal, megalomaniac, and art & curios dealer

Group Membership: Brothers Grimm

Affiliations: Madame Doll, Magnus, Django Maximoff, Pyrotechnics, unnamed witch doctor

Enemies: Charleton Carter, Jerry Hunt, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), James T. Wyatt

Known Relatives: Priscilla Dolly (Madame Doll, wife)

Aliases: Brother Grimm, Brothers Grimm, Jake/Jacob & William Dolly, Mister Pain (see comments)

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly North Hollywood, California;
    New York;
    mobile across the world

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#48 (December, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: As Mister Doll, he used a magic talisman (doll) that he could rapidly mold at will to mimic the facial appearance of any other human (and possibly other beings). By concentrating on the doll or by touching it at various points of its body, he could cause great pain in its target being.

    As the Brothers Grimm, his precise physical abilities and limitations were unknown (though as a spirit inhabiting wooden form, they would have likely been immune to need for air, food, water, etc. and resistant to aging, disease, and various forms of injury). The Brothers Grimm could conjure a variety of novelty items with special offensive capabilities. The objects appeared as if by sleight of hand, and seemed to be limited to a size that can be held with one hand. Apparently they could conjure whatever items they could imagine; the limit to the number of items they could conjure in rapid succession is not known. Among the items they conjured are knockout gas, dehydrating gas, detachable exploding hands, exploding Grimm grenades, hard beans that served as throwing weapons, a pile of dough-like material that could adhere to the face of its target. They have also used conventional weapons, such as an axe or anything they could get their hands upon.
    The Brothers Grimm have employed floating five-pointed stars or small cloud banks to perch upon, and upon which they can travel at moderate speed. They could also appear and vanish in a puff of smoke.
    Their masks were adhered to their faces via a chemical compound, such that none but they could remove it, via another chemical.

 

 

History:
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition: Brothers Grimm (fb) - BTS) - Long ago, the Elder God Chthon was imprisoned in Wundagore Mountain, in the Balkans of Central Europe. The demon infused the entire mountain and all that was in or on it with his mystical might.

(Spider-Woman I#12 (fb)) - Nathan Dolly was a world traveler, a dealer in curios and art objects.

(Spider-Woman I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Wherever he went in the world, Nathan would send his wife Priscilla a doll, which she loved.

(Tales of Suspense I#48 (fb) - BTS / Spider-Woman I#12 (fb)) - Once, in Africa, he procured an extraordinary doll from a witch doctor. Taking the alias of Mr. Doll, he used that talisman to increase his income considerably by forcing others to surrender their fortunes to him.

(Tales of Suspense I#48) - Mr. Doll used his talisman to force wealthy steel tycoon Charleton Carter to legally sign over his business. As Tony Stark had abruptly had a deal severed by Carter, Iron Man confronted Mr. Doll, but was forced to flee when he turned the talisman against him. Stark then remade his armor (into its lighter, first red and gold version) to allow him to stand up to Mr. Doll. However, even though Iron Man could stand up to the attacks, he was still virtually immobilized by the pain they caused. Iron Man then designed a device that could alter Mr. Doll's talisman. When he next confronted Mr. Doll, he transformed the talisman's appearance to mimic Mr. Doll's appearance; Mr. Doll was so shocked that he dropped the doll, and when it hit the floor, he was knocked unconscious.

(Spider-Woman I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Mr. Doll's talisman was taken away from him, leaving him powerless.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition: Brothers Grimm (fb) - BTS) - Django Maximoff carved a number of dolls from the wood of Wundagore mountain. Due to Chthon's energies, the wood, and therefore the dolls, possessed great magical potential.

(Spider-Woman I#12 (fb) / Avengers I#182 (fb)) - Dolly sought out another doll that would give him the power he craved. In the Balkans (see comments), he chanced upon the old toymaker Django Maximoff, who had crafted small wooden death effigies, which could be brought to life by one's own spirit. Dolly took two of these effigies, but did not realize the danger of having two dolls in the room at once; when he attempted to animate one of the dolls, his life essence was split into two and pulled into both dolls, leaving his body totally bereft of life, with no way to reverse the process. Dolly then mailed his doll-selves to his wife in America.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition: Brothers Grimm (fb) - BTS) - Back in the USA, Dolly researched the occult until he discovered a way to transfer his life essence from the dolls to full-sized manikins, which also gained magical powers. As the Brothers Grimm, or using only one form as Brother Grimm, he committed crimes and acts of mayhem.

(Spider-Woman I#12 (fb)) - Priscilla Dolly, desiring children, fabricated identities and pasts for the two manikins--Jake and William--and came to believe that they actually were her children. Perhaps to indulge Priscilla, Nathan played along as he guided her to find a new host body for him.

(Spider-Woman I#12 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Priscilla gained ownership of the Playhouse Theatre.

(Spider-Woman I#4 (fb) - BTS) - William Dolly worked at Pyro-technics at the same time as Jonathon Drew, though in separate divisions. For a few weeks, Jonathon Drew boarded at Priscilla Dolly's house.

(Spider-Woman I#3) - Brother Grimm assaulted a play featuring Hansel and Gretel, forcing everyone present to surrender their valuables to him (Grimm behaved like a lunatic in the process). Brother Grimm then blackmailed Congressman James T. Wyatt to give him $50, 000, after which he locked Wyatt in a bank vault (Grimm was cold and calculating in the process). However, Grimm soon realized that the money was counterfeit, and he confronted Wyatt, demanding $100, 000 of real cash. Spider-Woman had been grilling Wyatt for information on the death of her father, and she defeated Grimm, leaving him for the police to arrest. Afterwards, however, Spider-Woman was ambushed by Brother Grimm (goofy again), who warned her to stay out of his business. Spider-Woman later learned that Grimm had escaped from prison an hour and a half AFTER she had fought him.

(Spider-Woman I#4) - Brother Grimm stole diamonds from a merchant and fought off Spider-Woman when she tried to stop him. Grimm then paid a man to frame a third man for the diamond theft, but Grimm's agent was stopped and killed by the Hangman. "Jake and William" were later introduced to Jessica Drew and Magnus, who were boarding at Priscilla Dolly's house. Later, Spider-Woman encountered William Dolly while investigating Pyro-Technics, but she was then assaulted by Brother Grimm. The battle was interrupted by the Hangman, who abducted Spider-Woman and left Grimm in the Pyro-Technics building as it exploded.

(Spider-Woman I#7) - Spider-Woman again confronted Congressman Wyatt over her father's death, but she was subdued by the goofy Brother Grimm.

(Spider-Woman I#10 - BTS) - Priscilla was seen holding one of the Brothers Grimm effigies.

(Spider-Woman I#11) - Jessica Drew happened upon the Brothers Grimm effigies in one of Priscilla's drawers. Later that night, the goofy Brother Grimm assaulted the restaurant in which Jessica was having dinner with Jerry Hunt. Drew changed to Spider-Woman and fought Grimm to a standstill, after which Grimm fled on his floating star, moving just slowly enough that both Spider-Woman and Hunt could follow him. Leading them to the Playhouse theatre, the Brother Grimm captured and restrained them both; the two awakened to Priscilla, calling herself Madame Doll, standing side by side with the Brothers Grimm.

(Spider-Woman I#12) - The dolls in Priscilla's house alerted Magnus to a potential threat, and he followed the magical emanations to the Playhouse. After revealing her husband's fate, Madame Doll forced Magnus (via threatening Spider-Woman's life) to use his magical powers to transfer Nathan Dolly's spirit from the Brothers Grimm effigies and into Jerry Hunt. However, Magnus suspected the truth, and he signaled Spider-Woman to disrupt the process, subduing Madame Doll and knocking Jerry Hunt out of the pentagram in which he had been placed. Nathan Dolly's spirit was released from the full-sized Brothers Grimm, but found Hunt's pentagram empty. Magnus prevented Dolly's spirit from re-entering the Brothers Grimm, and without a body, his spirit apparently disintegrated.

(Iron Man I#187 (fb) - BTS) - After Priscilla Dolly's death, the Playhouse Theater, containing the Brothers Grimm costumes and life-sized manikins, was obtained by Percy and Barton Grimes, who went on to become the next Brothers Grimm.

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, "Sturdy" Steve Ditko, and Dick Ayers.
    The Brothers Grimm and Madame Doll were created by Marv Wolfman, Carmine Infantino, and Tony DeZuniga (with the final wrap-up by Mark Gruenwald).

I guess the Brothers Grimm were employed by Pyro-Technics, but it was never quite clear to me what the deal was, and why the Brothers Grimm would have assaulted Wyatt, who was also allied with Pyro-Technics. Maybe they were just crazy.

I THINK Jacob (blonde hair) was the one who played the goofy Brother Grimm, and William (dark hair) the more cold and calculating one, but it was never quite clear to me. Jacob was more outgoing, while William was more shy. They were both just aspects of Nathan Dolly's personality.

According to Avengers I#182, which came out after Spider-Woman I#12, Django had moved to Vladivostok in Russia by the time he sold the dolls to Nathan Dolly. Perhaps Django was visiting the store, or selling some dolls to the real store owner when he encountered Dolly during his trip.

I remember once seeing the original cover for Tales of Suspense # 48 (I believe it was in The Jack Kirby Collector) where the character was originally called "Mister Pain" rather than "Mister Doll", but Marvel was forced to change the name due to the Comics Code restrictions.
--John Kaminski

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mister Doll, aka the Brothers Grimm, should not be confused with:

 


Madame Doll

Priscilla Dolly

The wife of Nathan Dolly/Mister Doll, she always enjoyed receiving the dolls he sent to her from his world travels. After he became trapped within the two effigies and animated the two manikins, Priscilla--desiring children--fabricated identities and pasts for them. She named the two manikins Jake and William and came to believe that they actually were her children. Perhaps to indulge Priscilla, Nathan played along as he guided her to find a new host body for him. She used her home as a boarding house, with her residents including Jonathon Drew, and later Jessica Drew and Magnus. She eventually learned that Magnus had magical powers and--taking the identity of Madame Doll--she tried to force him to transfer Nathan Dolly's spirit into Jerry Hunt. However, Magnus and Spider-Woman foiled the effort, and Nathan's spirit was lost forever. Losing her husband and her faux children simultaneously, Priscilla went insane. Jessica later visited her in the hospital, where she still believed her children to be alive.

Priscilla eventually died under unspecified circumstances, and her Playhouse and the Brothers Grimm costumes were obtained by Percy and Barton Grimes.

 

--Spider-Woman I#3 (4(fb) - BTS, 12(fb), 3-5, 10-12, 19

 


images:
Spider-Woman I#3-5 (June-August, 1978)
Spider-Woman I#7 (October, 1978)
Spider-Woman I#10-12 (January-March, 1979)
Avengers I#182 (April, 1979)


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense I#48 (December, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Spider-Woman I#3-5 (June-August, 1978) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks)
Spider-Woman I#7 (October, 1978) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Steve Leialoha & Al Gordon (inks)
Spider-Woman I#10-12 (January, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Al Gordon (#10, 12) & Frank Giacoia (#11) (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Avengers I#182 (April, 1979) - David Michelinie (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Spider-Woman I#19 (October, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald & Steve Grant (writers), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Iron Man I#187 (October, 1984) - Denny O'Neil (writer), Luke McDonnell (pencils), Steve Mitchell (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)


Last updated: 12/11/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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