Real Name: Nathan Dolly
Identity/Class: Human magic user
Occupation: Former professional criminal, megalomaniac, dealer in curios and art objects
Group Membership: Brothers Grimm
Affiliations: Madame Doll, Magnus, Django Maximoff, Pyro-Technics, unidentified witch doctor
Enemies: Charleton Carter, Jerry Hunt, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), James T. Wyatt
Known Relatives: Priscilla Dolly (alias Madame Doll, wife)
Aliases: Brother Grimm, Brothers Grimm, Jacob/Jake and William Dolly; "Mister Pain" (see comments)
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed (see comments);
formerly North Hollywood, California;
mobile across the world
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#48/1 (December, 1963)
Powers/Abilities: As Mr. Doll, he used a magic talisman (doll) that he could rapidly mold 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 (see comments).
As the Brothers Grimm, his precise
physical abilities and limitations were unrevealed, although as a spirit
inhabiting wooden forms, they would have likely been immune to need for
air, food, water, etc., and they were likely 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 could 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 unrevealed. Among the items they
conjured were knockout gas, dehydrating gas, detachable exploding hands,
exploding Grimm grenades, hard beans that served as throwing weapons,
and 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, which they could use to 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 them, via another chemical.
Height: 5'9" (by
Weight: 190 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Dark brown (balding)
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#2: 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, and 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 for her collection, which she loved.
(Tales of Suspense I#48/1 (fb) - BTS / Spider-Woman I#12 (fb) ) - Once, in Africa, he procured an extraordinary doll and headdress (see comments) from a witch doctor. Taking the alias of Mr. Doll, he used that talisman to increase his income considerably by inflicting pain on others and forcing them to surrender their fortunes to him.
(Tales of Suspense I#48/1) - Mr. Doll used his talisman to force wealthy steel tycoon Charleton Carter to legally sign over his business. As Tony Stark had a deal abruptly severed by Carter, Iron Man (in his bulkier golden armor) confronted Mr. Doll, but was forced to flee when Mr. Doll turned the talisman against him. Stark later remade his armor into its lighter, first red-and-gold version, to allow him to more easily battle Mr. Doll. However, even though Iron Man could stand up to the attacks, he was still virtually immobilized by the pain Mr. Doll caused him. Iron Man then designed a small device (a "transistor-powered force beam") that could alter Mr. Doll's talisman. When he next confronted Mr. Doll, Iron Man used the device to transform the talisman 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#2: 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 the two dolls in the room at once; when he attempted to animate one of the dolls, his life essence was split in 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#2: 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--which she called 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 so that both Spider-Woman and Hunt could follow him. Leading them to the Playhouse Theatre, 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 divided spirit from the Brothers Grimm manikins 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 manikins, and without a body, his spirit apparently disintegrated (see comments).
(Iron Man I#187 (fb) - BTS) - After Priscilla Dolly's death, the Playhouse Theatre--containing the Brothers Grimm costumes and life-sized manikins--was obtained by realtors 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) was 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 I #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
Since that horned headdress Mr. Doll wore hardly made
him inconspicuous, and considering that witch doctor wore it as well,
then perhaps the headdress was needed to be used in conjunction with
the talisman to make it work.
Maybe that witch doctor had some connection to Akra.
He may have only been a second-rate Puppet Master
(Phillip Masters), but it looks like Zolton Drago (alias Mister
Fear) thought enough of Mr. Doll to sculpt a figure of him (see
red circle) for his wax museum.Hmm... You don't suppose that after he
abandoned the Jacob and William manikins, maybe Nathan's spirit went
on to inhabit that wax
figure? Could we some day see the eagerly-awaited return
of Mr. Doll?!!
Profile by Snood. Expansion (sub-profiles, except for Madame Doll) by Ron Fredricks.
Mister Doll, aka the Brothers Grimm, and Madame Doll should not be confused with:
Charleton Carter no known connections to:
Priscilla Dolly was the wife of
Nathan Dolly/Mister Doll; she always enjoyed receiving the dolls he sent
to her from his world travels.
When Nathan's life-force split and animated 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.
Priscilla used her home as a boarding house, with her residents including Jonathon Drew, and later Jessica Drew and Magnus. Priscilla eventually learned that Magnus had magical powers and--taking the identity of Madame Doll--she tried to force him to transfer Nathan Dolly's split spirit into Jerry Hunt. However, Magnus and Spider-Woman foiled the effort, and Nathan's spirit was seemingly lost forever. After 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 realtors Percy and Barton Grimes.
--Spider-Woman I#3 ([Spider-Woman I#4(fb)], 12 (fb), 3-5, 10-12, 19
Appearing to be human, they were actually two manikins that
had been magically animated by the split life-force of Nathan Dolly.
Desiring children, Dolly's wife Priscilla came to believe that the manikins were really her children, so she fabricated identities and pasts for them--perhaps to indulge her, Nathan played along as he guided her to find a new host body for him.
Each manikin possessed an aspect of Nathan Dolly's personality--"Jacob" (blond hair) was the more outgoing and eccentric of the two, while "William" (dark hair) was cold and calculating, and employed by Pyro-Technics.
Dolly used the manikins as the Brothers Grimm, a pair of costumed criminals; but his divided life-force eventually abandoned them in a failed attempt to use Jerry Hunt as a new host body; afterward, the insane Priscilla Dolly lovingly cradled her two "sons," pleading with them to wake up, because their "father" would be home soon.
Later, the costumes of the lifeless manikins were used by brothers Percy and Barton Grimes, and they went on to become the next Brothers Grimm.
--Spider Woman I#3 (Spider-Woman I#3, 4, 7, 11-12, Iron Man I#187
A native of Africa, he possessed a magical figurine which
could be molded into anyone's likeness; he could then inflict great pain
upon the person whom the figurine resembled.
A wealthy tycoon, he owned Carter Steel, which had supplied
Stark Industries for 32 years.
images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#48/1, p1 pan1 (Main Image - Mr. Doll, using talisman to inflict pain on Iron Man)
Tales of Suspense I#48/1, p14, pan3 (head shot, Mr. Doll explains where he got the talisman, as he molds it into Iron Man's likeness)
Spider-Woman I#12, p7, pan1 (in flashback, Nathan Dolly enters a trance to release his life-force, as narrated by Priscilla Dolly)
Spider-Woman I#12, p7, pan2 (in flashback, Nathan Dolly's life-force is split and sucked into both death effigies, as narrated by Priscilla Dolly)
Spider-Woman I#11, p17, pan1 (Nathan Dolly as the Brothers Grimm; Madame Doll (center) )
Daredevil I#6, p8, pan1 (wax figure of Mr. Doll (in red circle) in Zolton Drago's wax museum; Mister Fear (Zolton Drago) (foreground) )
Spider-Woman I#10, p5, pan2 (Priscilla Dolly, holding a Brother Grimm effigy)
Spider-Woman I#11, p4, pan1 (Priscilla Dolly, holding both Brothers Grimm effigies)
Spider-Woman I#12, p12, pan2 (Jake and William Dolly, about to attempt transference)
Spider-Woman I#12, p17, pan3 (insane Priscilla Dolly cradles lifeless manikins)
Spider Woman I#12, p6, pan3 (in flashback, Nathan Dolly (left) bargains with witch doctor for doll talisman, as narrated by Priscilla Dolly)
Iron Man: The Iron Age#1, p31, pan2 (Charleton Carter)
Tales of Suspense I#48/1, p3, pan2 (Charleton Carter being tortured by Mr. Doll)
Tales of Suspense I#48/1, p7, pan4 (Charleton Carter at police precinct)
Tales of Suspense I#48/1 (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 (January, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Spider-Woman I#11 (February, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Spider-Woman I#12 (March, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Al Gordon (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)
First Posted: 10/10/2004
Last updated: 11/23/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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