DR. DORCAS

Real Name: Lemuel Dorcas

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Scientist

Group Membership: None known

Affiliations: Attuma, Byrrah, Dr. Dorcas robot, Dragon Man, Ferrig, Gregson Gilbert, Kei, Kor-Konn, Krang, Men-Fish, Orka, robot assassin, Robot Guard, Saru-San, Tiger Shark;
    formerly Diane Arliss

Enemies: Diane Arliss, Doctor Doom, Dorma, Hydro-Men, Dr. Jennings, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Betty Dean Prentiss, Songbird, the Special United Nations Council on Nuclear Armaments (including Alexi, Dimitri, and Dr. Keller), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Stingray

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None known

Base of Operations: Various undersea bases

First Appearance: Sub-Mariner I#5 (September, 1968)

Powers/Abilities: Dr. Dorcas had no known superhuman powers, but had a great scientific knowledge.  He employed many devices, ranging from the Morphotron to laser guns and nuclear bombs. Dr. Dorcas later mutated himself with regenerative starfish tissue, altering his appearance but allowing him to regrow limbs. The extent of his abilities are not yet revealed.

Height: 5' 1" 
Weight
: 195 lbs. 
Eyes
: Blue; post-mutation: red 
Hair
: Brown; post-mutation: none

History: 

(Sub-Mariner I#5 (fb)) - Doctor Dorcas came in contact with Todd Arliss, a former Olympic swimmer who'd been injured and was now unable to swim.  Dorcas promised Arliss a cure, though he told Arliss the demands would be high.  Despite Dorcas's reservations, Arliss brought his sister Diane with him to seek the cure, and the three of them went to stay in Dorcas's mansion on the New York coast.  Dorcas angrily put Diane in her place.  Dorcas began working treatments on Arliss's back, and simultaneously building a Morphotron chamber for his own plans. 

(Sub-Mariner I#5) - Doctor Dorcas's Robot Assassin captured Namor when the hero came near the base.  Dorcas brought Namor inside, realizing that he could use the hero's power in his experiments.  He put Namor in an Electroni-vest that would respond to Dorcas's touch, and which Namor would be powerless to escape from.  Dorcas confronted Namor, showing him the power of the vest. Dorcas had the vest-weakened Namor brought into the Morphotron chamber to 'cure' Arliss.  He attached cables to Arliss, Namor, and a tank of tiger sharks and started the machine.  Dorcas ran the machine, draining the powers of Namor and the sharks into Arliss.  After Arliss's cries of pain, Dorcas thought he'd killed Arliss, but Arliss was transformed into a man/shark hybrid calling himself Tiger Shark.  Dorcas bragged of his plans to use Tiger Shark for his own means, but Tiger Shark cast Dorcas roughly into the wall, knocking him unconscious. 

(Sub-Mariner I#6) - His head wrapped in bandages, Dorcas was threatened by Diane if she found that Arliss was not okay.  Yelling in rage, Dorcas watched Diane don diving gear and go after her brother.  Soon, Namor returned with an injured Diane and forced Dorcas to treat her for minor shock.  Namor told Dorcas to take care of her and left, with a promise to return soon.

(Sub-Mariner I#15 (fb)) - Dorcas aligned with Diane, promising her that he would cure her brother.  He partnered with Gregson Gilbert, creator of the Dragon Man, and the two of them led an expedition to find Dragon Man and control him.  Dorcas also rebuilt the Morphotron on Empire State University campus.  Dorcas instructed Diane to capture Dorma (using Dragon Man) and then to lure Namor into a trap.

(Sub-Mariner I#15) - Planning to use Namor in a plot of his, Dorcas was eager to see his plans come to fruition.  Namor soon attacked, with Gregson already subdued, shocking Dorcas.  Namor freed Dorma and battled Dragon Man.  Dorcas fired the Energo-blaster (the same weapon he controlled Dragon Man with) at Namor, but Diane hit his arm to deflect the shot and the blast hit Dragon Man, sending him into a rage.  Dragon Man destroyed the lab and the Morphotron, then Namor defeated Dragon Man.  Namor left, making Diane promise to renounce Dorcas, though Dorcas continued trying to convince Diane that only he could cure Todd.

(Sub-Mariner I#23 (fb)) - Dorcas built an undersea base and a new Morphotron.  He formed an alliance with Warlord Krang and Orka, who came upon the base by chance.  Dorcas, needing a pawn with a weaker will, subjected Orka to the Morphotron and gave him the powers of a killer whale instead of a shark.  He equipped Orka with a costume and a belt that connected Orka to the Morphotron.  He captured a small group of Atlanteans, including Lady Dorma and Vashti, and held them captive in a forcefield with sharks poised to attack them if he deemed necessary. 

(Sub-Mariner I#23) - After Namor repelled Orka's attack on Atlantis, he followed Orka back to Dorcas's base and confronted the doctor.  Dorcas showed Namor the captive Atlanteans, and Orka and Krang both entered.  Krang explained their villainous plans for Atlantis and the surface world to Namor.  Dorcas used the machine to draw the power from the whales and feed it into Orka, increasing Orka's size and strength.  Orka battled Namor until Namor grabbed Krang and threatened his life unless Orka saw the captive Atlanteans released.  Dorcas recognized Namor's ploy to turn them against each other and refused, so Orka threw Dorcas over a waterfall.  Namor, realizing that Dorcas was the only one who could save the Atlanteans, dove in after him and rescued Dorcas from a killer whale's jaws, though Dorcas's leg was damaged.  Orka then retrieved Dorcas on Krang's orders, and Dorcas told Krang how to rescue the Atlanteans from the sharks (as Krang wanted Dorma to himself).  Orka defeated Namor and a control-collar was placed around the hero's neck.  Krang denounced Dorcas as an ally, and planned to lead an attack on Atlantis.

(Sub-Mariner I#24) - Dorcas warned Krang that Namor was still dangerous, but Krang did not listen and Namor injured Krang's wrist.  While Orka held Namor off, Dorcas pressed the punisher device on Krang's belt, halting Namor's attack.  Dorcas and Krang piloted a ship to attack Atlantis, with Orka, the Sub-Mariner, and a large horde of killer whales with them.  Dorcas had to remind Krang of Dorcas' role in this plot.  Namor was seemingly slain when the Atlanteans fired, but Namor soon attacked Krang and Dorcas upon their ship.  Tiger Shark then attacked Namor, but Orka took it as an attack on Krang and attacked Tiger Shark.  Seeing things propel out of control, Dorcas and Krang fled.

(Sub-Mariner I#33 (fb)) - Dorcas and Krang allied with Byrrah, and set off a small nuclear explosion near Atlantis.  Byrrah planned to take over Atlantis, and then to bring Dorcas and Krang with him to rule.

(Sub-Mariner I#33) - Byrrah infiltrated Atlantis, turning the people to his cause, and sending Namor on a quest to prove Byrrah a traitor.  The Special United Nations Council on Nuclear Armaments traced the nuclear source back to Dorcas's location and passed the information on to Namor.  As Namor approached, Dorcas and Krang sent their robot guard against him, but Namor defeated it.  Namor dragged Krang and Dorcas back to Atlantis with him to prove Byrrah's treachery.

(Thunderbolts I#171 (fb) – BTS) – Dr. Dorcas experimented on himself, implanting regenerative starfish tissue in his body.

(Marvel Team-Up I#14 (fb)) - After setting up an undersea lab with surface access through an immobile ship, Dorcas designed a group of Men-Fish, more susceptible to his control than either Tiger Shark or Orka had been.  Hoping to give them greater power, he set up a trap for Namor and allied with Tiger Shark and a group of thugs to lure Namor to him.  Dorcas helped design a water-suit for Tiger Shark so the villain could operate on land better.

(Marvel Team-Up I#14) - After Tiger Shark returned to the lair, he reported that Namor and Spider-man would both be arriving soon.  Dorcas looked in on the Men-Fish, then set up decoys that looked like he and Tiger Shark.  When Namor and Spider-man attacked the decoys, they were knocked unconscious with a pre-set contact poison.  Spider-Man was placed in a restricting tube while Namor was strapped to the machine that would help him to power the Men-Fish.  When the two heroes escaped, Tiger Shark battled Namor while Spider-man moved for Dorcas.  Dorcas quickly released his Men-Fish to battle Spider-man, then fled.  His base was soon destroyed in an explosion.  Dorcas and the Men-Fish were believed destroyed in the explosion.

(Super-Villain Team-Up I#1 (fb)) - Having survived the explosion, Dorcas again allied with Tiger Shark, and formed a new alliance with Attuma and his forces. Dorcas redesigned some of Attuma's Octo-Meks and built a new ionic ray.  He used the ray to knock unconscious the population of the Hydro-Men on Hydro-base.  The Octo-Meks and Attuma's men, including Kor-Konn and Saru-San, then secured the island. Only Dr. Jennings escaped.

(Super-Villain Team-Up I#1) - When Namor arrived on the base to investigate and found Jennings, Dorcas, Tiger Shark, and Attuma revealed themselves.  Namor savagely battled Attuma and Tiger Shark in the ocean inconclusively until Dorcas vanquished Namor with an electric blast. 

(Super-Villain Team-Up I#2) - Namor was placed in a room designed by Dorcas to keep Namor dehydrated.  When Doctor Doom arrived on the island, the villains considered making him an ally.  Doom soon attacked, with Betty Dean Prentiss (one of the Hydro-Men and an old flame of Namor's), who Dorcas slapped in anger when she was defiant.  The slap woke up Namor, and Doom helped the hero escape by blasting Attuma and Tiger Shark aside.  Trying to salvage his plans, Dorcas fired a fatal blast at Namor, and was shocked when Betty Dean leaped in front of it and was slain. 

(Super-Villain Team-Up I#3) - When an enraged Namor moved to slay Dorcas, Attuma and Tiger Shark barely held Namor off so Dorcas could retreat.  Doom soon took Namor off island to recover.  Later, Dorcas and Tiger Shark searched for the missing Dr. Jennings when Doom attacked again aboard an airship.  He drained Tiger Shark's power, then destroyed all of the Octo-Meks protecting the island.  Fearing that hostages may not work against Doom, Dorcas called Attuma for help.  Attuma joined them, then Namor caught all three villains in a Doom-designed energy shell, effectively defeating them.  Namor released them, though, seeking to defeat the villains in hand-to-hand combat.  While Namor was fighting Tiger Shark, Dorcas grabbed a lethal gun and aimed it at Namor, but Tiger Shark kept getting in the way.  Finally defeating Tiger Shark, Namor tossed the villain into an Octo-Mek that fell and crushed Dorcas, apparently killing him. 

(Namor I#42 (fb)) - Namor and Stingray pushed the Octo-Mek and Dorcas's corpse into the ocean. The Octo-Mek later developed slight sentience and became a robot based on Dorcas.

Dorcas with starfish implants exposed (Thunderbolts I#171 (fb) – BTS) – After Namor seemingly killed Dorcas, he revived, mutated, and built a base on Tetiaroa Atoll. He mutated several creatures to serve him, keeping them in his control with neuroleeches, and hired the handsome Kei to bring him women. Much later, he arranged for Songbird to be brought to the island.

(Thunderbolts I#171) – Dorcas operated on Sonbird, augmenting her powers, and kept her captive while she recovered. When the small mutate Ferrig was put under her control via sonics, he released her, and she turned Dorcas’ creatures against him.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Frank Giacoia.

For a villain with no powers and very few appearances, Dorcas left behind quite a legacy.  Two creations, Tiger Shark and Orka, have a bulk of appearances in the Marvel Universe, and Dorcas killed Namor's World War 2 girlfriend, Betty Dean.  And as far as villainous motivations go, isn't his last name cause enough?  Poor guy.

He received an entry in the OHOTMU Deluxe Edition#17 (Book of the Dead).

Profile by Chadman

Clarifications:

Doctor Dorcas has no known connections to:


Robot Assassin

(Sub-Mariner I#5) - The robot designed by Dr. Dorcas was sent to attack the Sub-Mariner on the New York coast.  Equipped with pincers, great strength, and an eye laser, it battled the Sub-Mariner briefly until Namor tore the robot apart.  When it was destroyed, it exploded, knocking Namor unconscious.



--Sub-Mariner I#5


the Special United Nations Council on Nuclear Armaments


(Sub-Mariner I#33) - While having a conference to discuss nuclear warfare, the Council registered the small nuclear blast that Dr. Dorcas, Krang, and Byrrah unleashed near Atlantis.  They traced its source, then realized that Namor may storm the conference in suspicion of the surface world.  Namor did so, and after calming him, they gave him the information.  Council members included Dimitri (a spokesman), Alexi (a guard), and Dr. Keller (who traced the source).

 Dimitri   Alexi   Dr. Keller

--Sub-Mariner I#33


Robot Guard

(Sub-Mariner I#33) - When Namor approached Dorcas and Krang's hideout, they sent their robot guard against him.  Armed with electric antennas, eye blasts, and great strength, the creature battled Namor and tried to eat him until Namor seized the antennas and caused the creature to explode.



--Sub-Mariner I#33


images:
Sub-Mariner I#5, p5, pan1
Sub-Mariner I#5, p13, pan4
(robot) Sub-Mariner I#5, p2, pan3
(Council) Sub-Mariner I#33, p14, pan3
(Dimitri) Sub-Mariner I#33, p14, pan4
(Alexi) Sub-Mariner I#33, p14, pan1
(Dr. Keller) Sub-Mariner I#33, p15, pan3
(with starfish implants) Thunderbolts I#171, p16, pan1


Sub-Mariner I#5 (September, 1968) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Frank Giacoia (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#6 (October, 1968) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Dan Adkins (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#15 (July, 1969) - Roy Thomas (writer), Marie Severin (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#23 (March, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Marie Severin (penciler), Johnny Craig (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#24 (April, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#33 (January, 1971) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Team-Up I#14 (October, 1973) - Len Wein (writer), Gil Kane (penciler), Wayne Howard (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Super-Villain Team-Up I#1 (August, 1975) - Tony Isabella (writer), George Evans (penciler), Frank Springer (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Super-Villain Team-Up I#2 (October, 1975) - Tony Isabella (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Fred Kida (penciler/inker), Len Wein (editor)
Super-Villain Team-Up I#3 (December, 1975) - Jim Shooter (writer), George Evans (penciler), Jack Abel (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Namor I#42 (September, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), MC Wyman (penciler), Bud Larosa (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Thunderbolts I#171 (May, 2012) – Jeff Parker (writer), Kev Walker (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Tom Brennan (editor)


Last updated: 04/13/12

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