Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lame-ass villain #14: Dr. Dorcas

From the Wikipedia entry for the word "dork:"

Dork (n) Dork is a slang word for a quirky and usually socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. The word often used synonymously with nerd and geek. In modern usage, the term can be applied without respect to the intelligence of the subject, but it has classically referred to those of sub-average intellect, an exception being when "dork" is used as a synonym for "nerd" and/or "geek." In that situation, high-intelligence (often of the bookish sort) but low social functioning is often indicated.

Dr. Dorcas.

You don't even have to look at the guy to know that this is not an A-list villain. Dorcas was renegade marine biologist that Namor beat up a few times. You read that correctly - a renegade marine biologist bent on world domination! How intimidating is that? That's like if Richard Dreyfuss's character from Jaws decided to be a super-villain.

He's such an easy target and is so obviously not cool that I feel a little sheepish making fun of him. I mean, where do you start? The name? The outfit? The incredibly unrealistic life goals? I don't know where to begin, so I shall not.

Dorcas allegedly died in the pages of Super-Villain Team Up #3, but in reality he moved to Glendale, AZ, where he lives in anonymous retirement and occasionally flies into a rage when those damn punk kids ride their bikes over his goddamn lawn.

"You kids stay off my goddamn lawn!"


Anonymous said...

Or, from our friends at the American Heritage Dictionary:

"dork n.
-Slang. A stupid, inept, or foolish person: “the stupid antics of America's favorite teen-age cartoon dorks” (Joshua Mooney).
-Vulgar Slang. The penis".

Merriam-Webster is more direct:

Main Entry: dork
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps alteration of dick
slang : NERD; also : JERK 4

call me Dr. Jerk.

N. J. Pozner said...

Still, you have to admit, the dude's pretty ripped for a marine biologist.

Jason Langlois said...

I've always pronounced it dor-KAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!

As opposed to the dorky, DORK-asssssssssss pronounciation.

Matthew E said...

Dorcas is actually a woman's name. Doesn't get used too much these days; wonder why?

Anonymous said...

I never understood how anyone thought this dude was a threat to Namor. I mean, what's his advantage? Well manicured facial hair??

Anonymous said...

So, I guess you could say that he's a "dorcas malorkus."

Ha! I kill me.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, he created Tiger Shark and Orka, so in his field he was not such a dork. However becoming a supervillian himself was definitely lame-ass.


Anonymous said...

Another horrible stereotype against people with facial hair. We're not all psychos people!

Marine Biologists on the other hand would make furniture out of your skin given half the chance....

PHSChemGuy said...

It's simple enough that his creators had to name him a DorkAss...poor bastard...

Anonymous said...

You could start by ridiculing that pose he's in. That's one dorky pose: Arms raised halfway up, fists clenched, feet apart, and a not-very-terrifying grin make him look like he's just happy to be included in the OHMUDE, rather than inspiring any sort of fear or menace in the reader.

Anonymous said...

I like him I think he's kinda HOT!!!

Anonymous said...

God Damn, SVTU was a CRAZY series! I remember buying #3 off the stands when I had been buying comic books for just a few months and I was, like, THIS IS THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER! LOOKIT! LOOKIT! IT GOTS NAMOR AND DR. DOOM! AND LOOKIT THE RED GIRL WITH THE BLOND HAIR AND THE SKIMPY OUTFIT!

It certainly WASN'T the best comic book ever. But it might have been the best IDEA for a comic book ever.

And Dr. Dorcas, yeah, whatever.

(Does anyone know what happened to Tamara? I eventually got some of her earlier appearances (with Bill Everett art) and she's kind of interesting. I don't remember ever seeing her after SVTU.)

Anonymous said...

You could start by ridiculing that dorky pose he's in: Arms raised halfway up, fists out and clenched, feet apart, and a "Goddamn, am I a handsome motherfucker or what?" smile make him look like he's just happy to be included in the OHOTMUDE, rather than, you know, inspiring fear or menance.

I had the entire run of the OHOTMUDE, including the Books of the Dead, and I swear I don't remember that guy.

And I remember that the Corruptor was from Deleware.

Mark W. Hale said...

You know who enjoyed marine biology? Emperor Hirohito.

Anonymous said...

A marine biologist, eh? I'll start hitting some golf balls into the ocean and have him prove himself.

"The sea was angry with me that day, like an old man sending back his soup at a deli..."

Anonymous said...

My MOTHER'S name is Dorcas!

Anonymous said...

Yeah...but WHY is he wearing one of PLANT-MAN's old hand-me-down's?

Is there a Super-Villain Thrift Shoppe?

Looks like the kinda guy who wouldn't even wash it before putting it on (and probably never has washed it since).


Dweeze said...

I like the idea of a super-villian second hand store for the folks who can't afford to go to the Tinkerer. "Uhm, are these shrink rays really five for $20?" "Yes, but you're buying them as is - no guarantee that they work - and no trying them out in the store!"

RobB said...

a Dorcas is apparently greek for a type of female gazelle.

I was always curious about the origins of the name ever since Gene Wolfe used the name for a character in his phenomenal Book of the New Sun. I never had the inclination to really look it up until this post Dave, and I personally thank you.

I've know something new today, and knowing is half the battle.

Dave's Long Box - full of crap and edu-tainment.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's the uniform of Generic Man! You give that back!

Seriously, though, isn't that just the Basic Uniform Template (catalog # 573F) in Watermelon? Was Sage sold out?

Look, dude, you're never gonna be a supervillian if you can't even be bothered to sew a little decal on yer chest. Sheesh.
What a Dorcas.

Anonymous said...

BTW, wouldn't a cooler name for a renegade marine biologist be Dr. Dorsal?

Anonymous said...

I dunno. There's so many cool and appropriate villain names in the Marvel universe that it reminds me of strippers in the real world.

I think doctors must go to parents and say stuff like "Mister and Mrs. BaZoom? We think your newly born daughter will become a stripper, so you should name her something alliterative, ideally ending with an 'i'. Like 'Betti' or 'Barbi.'"

The thing is that after a while, the guys who grant doctorates would get hip to it, and they'd be all, "Bill, remember that PhD student named Octavius with the design for new waldos? Of course you do. And that other intendant, Von Doom? We're responsible for making them doctors. And now you're sponsoring a grad student named Maximus Worldsmasher? Forget it. It ends here, Bill. Not on my watch."

And then instead of Dr. Maximus Worldsmasher Spider-Man would be fighting Max Worldsmasher, MS. Which would kind of suck.

So, yes, we need the occasional lame villain name, or the cool ones would stop entirely.

Anonymous said...

Only a Dorkas marine biologist would retire to Arizona.

Phillip said...

I think of this guy whenever I talk to a guy at work named Lemuel. He probably wouldn't get the reference, though.

Phillip said...

Also, I'm pretty sure dork means penis.

Anonymous said...

A marine biologist would probably have to swim a lot, hence the muscles...?

And he's probably just mad because he never had some kind of electrical accident with a fish, turning him into Doctor Orca! He swims! He sings! He has a pod! He herds prey fish into small areas and eats them with great efficiency!


J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

New profile for Dave! Wow! First in a year! I think!

Anonymous said...

"Dorcas allegedly died in the pages of Super-Villain Team Up #3, but in reality he moved to Glendale, AZ, where he lives in anonymous retirement and occasionally flies into a rage when those damn punk kids ride their bikes over his goddamn lawn."

I understand he can often be found on the links playing 18 holes with Alice Cooper.

Chris Arndt said...

dork means penis.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I thought of after seeing that pic was Plantman too, so I guess I'm in good company. But I think he's saying, "Check out these abs!" Apparently his days in his evil underwater lair weren't so booked up that he couldn't spend hours with the Ab-Smasher. (Not the Atom-Smasher--he's a different guy--the Ab-Smasher.)

Dr. Dorcas wasn't an effective character in the world domination sense, but he was useful in the plot device sense. He was an enabler for underwater supervillains, much like the Tinkerer or Dr. Jonas Harrow were for lower-powered supervillains. And he didn't create lightweights, either: Tiger Shark and Orka would be tough as hell against most heroes, they just make the mistake of going up against Namor. Dorcas invented a machine called the Morphotron, and you got powers based on what kind of creature he put in there. (Namor was actually captured in with the bunch of tiger sharks Dr. D used to create--you guessed it--Tiger Shark, so he got an extra boost of power off of Namor.) But the Morphotron was an excellent plot device for any writer who wanted an easy excuse to create a villain with fish powers. Which is to say, the people writing Namor's book.

I still laugh at the fact that Tiger Shark came within an inch of killing Wolverine in a way that made perfect sense: he dragged Wolverine down to the sea floor and embedded his claws deep in stone. Sure his claws are adamantium, but he had no leverage and just the strength of a strong normal human. His much-touted adamantium skeleton was like having an anchor tied around his waist, and his healing factor was about as useful as an extra penis on his forehead (although personally, I think Marvel is ready for a new Unicorn), for all the good it was going to do him when he ran out of air. As it was, he barely managed to brace his feet under him and crack the stone around his claws, and as I recall he just made it back to the surface before he passed out and somebody saved him. If Tiger Shark had acted like a professional instead of being cocky, he would have watched and made sure Wolverine drowned. Then again, sometimes being in your own book is the best superpower of all in terms of survival.