Dr. Psycho

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Dr. Psycho

(pop culture)
Writer William Moulton Marston envisioned his creation, Wonder Woman, as perfection personified; one of the Amazon Princess' first foes, Dr. Psycho, represents just the opposite. A wideeyed dwarf with a bulbous head, this malevolent misogynist created by Marston and artist H. G. Peter in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #5 (1943) is conditioned to hate by a society that ridicules him—particularly women, who rebuke his romantic advances. In college, he hypnotizes a co-ed to marry him, but after she turns on him Psycho kills her lover and swears retribution against women. Using ectoplasm from the “spirit world,” Dr. Psycho demolishes a World War II munitions plant with a female workforce, earning Wonder Woman's ire. This “psychopathic madman,” attired in a tuxedo and looking like a ventriloquist's dummy gone amok, was drawn with lightning bolts or dotted lines emitting from his bulging eyeballs to convey his hypnosis. Dr. Psycho's brother, the “iron giant” King Ironsides, also fought Wonder Woman during the Golden Age (1938–1954). By the late 1940s Psycho had vanished, returning in issue #160 (1966) for the first of several appearances. He once succeeded in capturing the Amazon with an “electroatomizer,” which separated her soul from her corporeal body, and split her into three Wonder Women, each with a different personality, using his “personality scrambler machine.” Psycho was back for another go in 1982, ectoplasmically masquerading as the supervillain Captain Wonder. Both hero and villain were excised from the DC Comics canon once Wonder Woman was rebooted in 1987. Writer George Pérez and penciler Jill Thompson brought Dr. Psycho into contemporary continuity in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #54–#55 (1991). A psychotherapist who stimulates nightmarish visions and delusions through dream manipulation, Dr. Psycho on occasion has gotten into the heroine's head. During his rare incarcerations, an electronic headband has been required to nullify his hallucinatory powers. Dr. Psycho's profile was dramatically increased during the best-selling Villains United miniseries of 2005, in which Lex Luthor invited Psycho into his inner circle as one of the six core members of his new Society. Despite this supervillainous union, Dr. Psycho cannot be trusted. He attempted to telepathically control his comrades in Villains United #4 (“One can hardly blame the scorpion for its sting,” dismissed Luthor).