Doctor Druid

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Doctor Druid
DoctorDruidClassic.jpeg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Amazing Adventures #1 (June 1961)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Anthony Ludgate Druid
Team affiliations Monster Hunters
Avengers
Legion of the Unliving
Notable aliases Druid, Doctor Droom
Abilities Telepath
Skilled magician

Doctor Druid, also known as Doctor Droom and Druid, is a fictional character, a supernatural monster-hunter in the Marvel Comics universe.

Co-created by writer-editor Stan Lee and penciller Jack Kirby, he starred in his own continuing feature that debuted in Amazing Adventures #1 (June 1961), predating Lee & Kirby's milestone creation The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961).

Publication history[edit]

In his earliest five appearances, in Amazing Adventures #1–4 & #6 (June–Sept. & Nov. 1961), the character was called Doctor Droom. The first strip was drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko, two of Marvel's most prominent artists. More a monster-story appendage than a serious attempt at creating a three-dimensional character in the manner of Ditko's upcoming Spider-Man or Kirby's Fantastic Four, Doctor Droom vanished into obscurity for years after the series was re-titled and reformatted as Amazing Adult Fantasy with #7 (eventually the magazine was retitled Amazing Fantasy with issue #15). He resurfaced in the 1970s as a guest character in The Incredible Hulk, where he was re-titled Doctor Druid to avoid confusion with the far more recognizable Doctor Doom. Doctor Druid also appeared in Ghost Rider (1973 1st Series) #26 (Oct. 1977) when he attacked Johnny Blaze, mistakenly thinking the Ghost Rider was evil.

In the 1990s he appeared in Quasar #23–25, 28, 38, 45–46, 50–51, Captain America #402–409 and Secret Defenders #15–24. He starred in the miniseries Druid #1–4 (May–Aug. 1995), by writer Warren Ellis and artist Leonardo Manco, and co-starred with Ulysses Bloodstone and others in the flashback title Marvel Universe #4–7 (Sept.–Dec. 1998). There he was retconned as a member of the group the Monster Hunters, whose adventures took place between the "Age of Monsters" and the "Age of Heroes". This theme would be picked up with his appearance in issue #2 of a subsequent flashback title, Marvel: The Lost Generation.

Doctor Druid was one of the feature characters in the 2011 three-issue limited series Chaos War: Dead Avengers.

Doctor Druid appears briefly in Secret Avengers #20 (Feb. 2012), written again by Ellis, drawn by Alex Maleev.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Weird Wonder Tales #19 (Dec. 1976), an edited reprint of "I Am the Fantastic Dr. Droom" from Amazing Adventures #1 (June 1961). Art by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

Doctor Druid's real name is Dr. Anthony Ludgate Druid, although he usually refers to himself as Dr. Anthony Druid. He is a psychiatrist and explorer as well as a minor telepath and magician, specializing mostly in hypnosis and other feats of mesmerism. He has minor magical abilities that have varied over the years. He is also an expert on the occult, having been trained by a Tibetan lama who had come to the U.S. for medical attention. Many years later Druid discovered that the lama was in fact the Ancient One[1] who selected Anthony Druid as a back-up in case his grooming of Doctor Strange failed. Ludgate was later revealed to be a distant descendant of the real-life Amergin the Druid of the 10th century.

Doctor Druid remained on the sidelines for years. He eventually appeared again and teamed with the Hulk against the Maha Yogi.[2] With the Avengers, he encountered the Fomor and his ancestor Amergin.[3]

Doctor Druid some time later aided the Avengers in thwarting Baron Zemo and the fourth Masters of Evil's takeover of Avengers Mansion, making contact with the mentally damaged Blackout and helping him resist Zemo's control while also prompting him to bring Avengers Mansion back to Earth after banishing it into his Darkforce Dimension.[4] He joined the ranks of the Avengers shortly after helping to defend from this attack.[5] He battled a Dracula doppelganger in the realm of Death.[6]

His membership was tainted when he was mind controlled by supervillainess the Terminatrix (at the time impersonating the space pirate Nebula) into manipulating the team on her behalf. While in this state, he even assumed chairmanship of the team for a very short period.[7] When "Nebula" was cast into Limbo, Druid followed, as he was still under her thrall.[8] He eventually regained control of his own mind and returned to Earth, where, after learning his true origin, banished "Nebula" and became younger by magic.[9]

Due to his actions while in the villain's thrall, Druid was disgraced. He was briefly reunited with his former teammates while working with Doctor Strange during the Infinity War, and later became leader of the Secret Defenders.[10] In that role, he was once again victimized by a villain's mind control, this time by the demon Slorioth. Doctor Druid and the demon were defeated, Druid faked his own death, and the team disbanded.[11]

He then abandoned his spandex costume and became even more of a real, traditional druid, a fact reflected by his taking on the simple name of "Druid", and the new nature of his nature powers,[12] but he let his feelings of rage and power lust take him over, went insane, was betrayed by his allies, and was finally killed by Hellstorm, the putative Son of Satan.[13] Druid's ghost appeared later alongside the spirits of other dead ex-Avengers, confirming that Druid had in fact died this time.[14] The Avengers later placed a memorial statue of him in the garden of Avengers Mansion.

A mere 36 hours before his death, Druid is visited by a time traveling Black Widow. He happily assisted her with magical research pertaining to her mission, no wiser of his imminent demise.[15]

Doctor Druid's son is introduced as one of Nick Fury's new recruits to fight against the Secret Invasion.[16] Secret Invasion #4 reveals that he is operating under the name of Druid.

During the Chaos War storyline, Doctor Druid is among the dead heroes brought back to life when Amatsu-Mikaboshi dominated the death realms.[17]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Doctor Druid's latent mystical abilities were activated by the Ancient One.[18] He has a variety of psionic abilities including telepathy which enables him to scan or project his thoughts to any mind on Earth, the ability to mesmerize minds less adept than his own, and the ability to perform mass hypnosis. Doctor Druid's hypnotic abilities enable him to achieve numerous illusory effects, including invisibility, altering the appearance of himself and others, and the projection of illusionary objects or beings. He has psychokinetic powers enabling him to levitate himself or other people and objects. Doctor Druid has limited precognitive abilities and can sense the presence of recent uses of magic and trace them to their sources.

Doctor Druid's druidic powers have a special vulnerability to iron, as did the powers of his ancestors. Iron tends to act as a lightning rod for the magical forces he employs, sometimes disrupting their effects.

Doctor Druid employs the mystical knowledge and skills of the ancient Druids. Through magic rituals that may involve chants, runes, candles, potions, mystic symbols, and other such preparations, Doctor Druid can achieve various magical feats. These rituals tap the inherent mystical energies in natural objects and materials. Doctor Druid possesses various Celtic mystical artifacts as well. At one time, Druid even had access to the Moebius Stone,[volume & issue needed] which was a mystic item Agamotto created that had a limited ability to manipulate time. The stone was able to raise the dead, absorb the life-force of another and accelerate or reverse the passage of time within a confined area, though sometimes random time-related side effects occurred. Doctor Druid eventually destroyed the artifact because he felt it was too powerful to fall into the wrong hands.[volume & issue needed] Doctor Druid can also call upon the Celtic war goddesses Morrigan, Macha, and Badb for mystical assistance. Doctor Druid also possesses various yogic abilities including control over involuntary functions of his body, such as his heartbeat, respiration, bleeding, and reaction to pain.

In his latest and final incarnation, when he was called only "Druid", he has been seen manipulating fire,[volume & issue needed] and making a tree instantaneously grow in a person's stomach from the seeds of an eaten apple.[volume & issue needed] These powers were nature-based (elements, plants, etc.) as the druids of old worshipped nature.

Druid has earned an M.D. from Harvard, completed a residency in psychiatry, and has extensive knowledge of occult lore, especially Celtic lore.

Original Doctor Droom appearances[edit]

"Dr. Droom" banner, Amazing Adventures #1 (June 1961). Art by Jack Kirby & Steve Ditko

Amazing Adventures

All reprinted in Amazing Fantasy Omnibus (2007). The previous reprints below were edited to reflect name-change to "Dr. Druid" plus other retcons.

  • #1 (June 1961)—"I Am the Fantastic Dr. Droom"
Reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #19 (Dec. 1976)
  • #2 (July 1961)—"The World Below"
Reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #22 (May 1977)
  • #3 (Aug. 1961)—"Dr. Droom Meets Zemu"
Reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales #7 (Dec. 1974)
  • #4 (Sept. 1961)—"What Lurks Within?"
Never reprinted outside Amazing Fantasy Omnibus
  • #6 (Nov. 1961)—"Dr. Droom Defies the Menace Called ... Krogg"
Reprinted in Giant-Size Man-Thing #3 (Feb. 1975)

Other versions[edit]

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

In an alternate future, detailed in the Killraven series, Martians had come to Earth and wiped out much of humanity. Doctor Druid is one of the few survivors of the North American battles and leads a resistance movement based in Ireland. He also works to make sure the Martian battle is recorded in the Book of Kells.[19]

Marvel Apes[edit]

An alternate universe version of Dr. Druid appears in the 2008 miniseries Marvel Apes #2-4 (Nov.-Dec. 2008). Druid plays a key role in issue #3 (Dec. 2008) in which he uses his staff, the Monkey's Paw to control the realm created by Doctor Strange.

Marvel Zombies[edit]

An alternate universe version of Dr. Druid appears in the 2007 miniseries Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness. Infected with the zombie virus, he visits Doctor Strange seeking help to stop from turning. With Strange having left to join the resistance, a ravenous Druid reluctantly consumes Strange's assistant, Wong. Despite pleading for mercy and understanding from Ash Williams, Dazzler and the Scarlet Witch, Ash surprises Druid and blows his head off with his shotgun.[20]

Other characters[edit]

Doctor Druid is not the subversive cult leader, Dredmund Druid, also known as The Druid.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avengers Spotlight #37 (Oct. 1990)
  2. ^ Incredible Hulk #210-211
  3. ^ The Avengers #225-226 (Nov.-Dec. 1982)
  4. ^ Avengers #276 (Feb. 1987)
  5. ^ The Avengers #278 (April 1987)
  6. ^ West Coast Avengers Annual #2 (1987); Avengers Annual #16 (1987)
  7. ^ The Avengers #295 (Sept. 1988)
  8. ^ The Avengers #297 (Nov. 1988)
  9. ^ Fantastic Four #337-338 (Feb.-March 1990)
  10. ^ Secret Defenders #15 (May 1994)
  11. ^ Secret Defenders #25 (March 1995)
  12. ^ Druid #1 (May 1995)
  13. ^ Druid #4 (Aug. 1995)
  14. ^ The Avengers vol. 3, #10-11 (Nov.-Dec. 1998)
  15. ^ Secret Avengers #20 (Feb 2012)
  16. ^ The Mighty Avengers #13 (July 2008)
  17. ^ Chaos War: Dead Avengers #1
  18. ^ Avengers Spotlight #37 (Oct. 1990)
  19. ^ Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual #3 (Jan. 1993)
  20. ^ Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #3 (July 2007)

External links[edit]