*The following contains spoilers for recent comic books
The DC and Marvel Universe have a great amount of characters who have the title of “doctor” in their names, and while they may not all be literally doctors in the medical or academic sense, here are 10 of them that that will definitely send you to the emergency room, or help you get there.
10. Doctor Death | DC
You might not instantly recognize him since he hasn’t appeared much in mainstream comics lately, but due to the fact that he was one of Batman’s first real “super”-villains, if not the first, he leads the top of the countdown. His first appearance came in Detective Comics Vol. 1 #29 way back in 1939, with the doctor creating a lethal poison, with the intent to harm the wealthy citizens of Gotham. Later in a chemical explosion, the future member of the Science Squad is presumed dead, but returns to Gotham with a disfigured body and enhanced physical abilities.
His powers and abilities include a genius-level intellect, and advanced expertise in chemistry and bio-weapons engineering. In the New 52, Doctor Death also possesses superhuman strength.
9. Doctor Psycho | DC
A psychopath with the power to shape your dreams and control your mind, Doctor Psycho is a telepath most notable for being one of Wonder Woman’s top villains. His hatred towards women has made the Amazons and Themyscira one of his many common targets. Doctor Psycho has had several relevant roles throughout the comic landscape, serving as one of the Anti-Monitor’s controlled villains during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and forming part of Lex Luthor Jr.’s Secret Society of Supervillains along with Deathstroke, Black Adam, Talia al Gul, and the Calculator.
8. Doctor Polaris | DC
Considered to be DC’s version of Magneto, Doctor Polaris is an actual medical doctor who became obsessed with the powers of magnetism. He is a recurring villain of the Green Lantern and the Justice League, and has also appeared on the television animated series Justice League Unlimited. Apart from being a ferrokinetic, Doctor Polaris also has a genius-level intellect. There has been two alterations of Doctor Polaris, the most notable being the Neal Emerson version.
7. Doctor Druid | Marvel
An actual doctor and a psychiatrist, Doctor Druid unleashed his ancestral Celtic powers with the help of the Ancient One. He is a former member of the Avengers and has gone on several mystical adventures alongside Doctor Strange and the Defenders, where he was once the leader. He was soon killed by Hellstorm, the Son of Satan, later to revived by the villain, Grim Reaper.
His powers and abilities include telepathy, telekinesis, the ability to detect magic, control and manipulation over the earth and plant life via Druid spells, as well as an array of other mystical spells.
6. Doctor Light | DC
One of the Teen Titans’ and Justice League’s main foes, Arthur Light/Doctor Light is a genius-level physicist with the ability to manipulate light. In the New 52 he was a scientist working for Amanda Waller who after becoming Doctor Light, was made a member of the Justice League. Most known as a villain, he has been a member of the Suicide Squad and the Secret Society of Supervillains.
Doctor Light appeared in Cartoon Network’s Teen Titan animated series, and a female version was portrayed in the CW’s The Flash, played by actress Malese Jow.
5. Doctor Fate | DC
Probably the most famous “doctor” in the DC universe, the Doctor Fate mantle has been used by many characters throughout the comics, most notably Kent Nelson and Hector Hall. A former member of the Justice League and the Justice Society of America, a person achieves the position of Doctor Fate when the helmet of Nabu is put on, with the spirit of the ancient sorcerer Nabu inhabiting the body of the helmet-bearer (Though in the issue JSA #80, Nabu was able to manifest as Doctor Fate without the use of a host). His powers and abilities include mastery of magic and sorcery, telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, divination, among many other mystical powers.
Doctor Fate has appeared in various television shows, animated films, and video games such as: Young Justice, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. He was played by actor Brent Strait in the CW’s Smallville.
4. Doctor Octopus | Marvel
One of Marvel’s most recognized supervillains, Otto Octavius is able to mentally control his biomechanic tentacles, making him one of Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s most dangerous and recurring foes. Octavius is a genius-level scientist with expertise in nuclear radiation and bioengineering. He has formed part of the Sinister Six, the Masters of Evil, and the Thunderbolts. Recently, in the 33-issues-comic book series “The Superior Spider-Man”, Octavius inserted his mind into Peter Parker’s body and became the new Spider-Man. In further issues Peter Parker’s mind was later returned back to his body.
Doctor Octopus has been present in many television shows, such as the ‘90s Spider-Man animated series, and Ultimate Spider-Man. He was played by actor Alfred Molina in Sony’s Spider-Man 2.
3. Doctor Strange | Marvel
The most powerful sorcerer in the Marvel Universe, Doctor Stephen Strange was an actual surgeon, who after losing the ability to use his hands after a car accident, turned his talents to the mystic arts. Doctor Strange’s mystic powers and abilities are in essence limitless, as he has being shown in the comics to battle and defeat some of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful entities, like Dormammu, the In-Betweener, and Galactus. Apart from his mystic powers, Strange also possesses several artifacts that enhances his mystical abilities, like the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation.
Later this year, the Sorcerer Supreme will be portrayed by the critically-acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. Doctor Doom | Marvel
Ranked by IGN as the #3 top comic book villain of all time, Victor von Doom has shown more than once what a terrible threat he is to the Marvel Universe. He’s been the principal foe of the Fantastic Four for quite some time and has been in the center of many of the Marvel Universe’s most important story arcs. He was the sole emperor of Battleworld in 2015’s Secret Wars, and in 1984’s Secret Wars, he successfully stole the powers of the cosmic entity, the Beyonder.
Doctor Doom has been presented in several television shows and films. He was portrayed by actor Julian McMahon in 2005’s Fantastic Four, and again in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Actor Toby Kebbell portrayed Doom in the 2015 reboot.
1. Doctor Manhattan | DC
Coming in at #1 is the Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan. Practically a living god, the blue skinned superhero is an immortal being who could essentially create something out of nothing with his control over matter. Basically, think of any super power and Doctor Manhattan is totally able to do it.
His powers are immense enough, that it was recently revealed in DC Rebirth #1 that he was the source behind the creation of the New 52 universe. Doctor Manhattan was portrayed in the 2009 live-action movie adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen by actor Billy Crudup.