Mikado (comics)

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The Mikado was a serial killer in the DC Comics universe who confronted the Question.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Mikado was Dr. Jerry T. Spaulding, a physician who worked at a hospital in a Hub City slum, performing emergency surgery on the victims of urban violence. He gained a reputation as one of the few doctors who actually cared about the people he was helping. Unfortunately for Hub City and its guardian The Question, the anguish caused by all the pain and suffering around him took its toll. A lover of fine comedy, including Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado, Dr. Spaulding decided to take the fight to the people who had caused all the pain. Wearing a mask of Japanese design, he adopted the nom du guerre "the Mikado" and began a series of attacks on the people who were causing all the pain. When he visited a prospective victim, the Mikado chanted:

"My object all sublime .. . I shall achieve in time - to let the punishment fit the crime."

Only when the mayor's wife, Myra Fermin, called in the Question did he get involved. By this time the Hub City police had worked out the Mikado's pattern, and the Question tracked him down. Their conversation touched Dr. Spaulding deeply, and he injected himself with a poison intended for the Question. By the time the Question had recovered from the Mikado's opiate injection, the Mikado had disappeared completely. He has not appeared since then.

Inspirations[edit]

The Mikado's name was taken from that of the Gilbert & Sullivan opera of the same name, and his chant is a line of a song sung by The Mikado, the Emperor of Japan, in Act II. The name of his alter ego was taken from the Groucho Marx character, Captain Spaulding. Marx portrayed Ko-Ko in The Mikado on television late in his career (1960).

Sources and references[edit]

1. Who's Who: the Definitive Directory to the DC Universe Update '87 Volume 4, page 9