|First appearance||Howard the Duck #15 (Aug 1977)|
|Created by||Steve Gerber
|Alter ego||Lester Verde|
|Partnerships||Fifi the Duck|
Advanced knowledge of genetic engineering
Wears a bell-shaped helmet that can be struck to create a number of effects
Doctor Bong (Lester Verde) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character possesses an advanced knowledge of genetic engineering, and his bell-shaped helmet can be struck to create a number of effects. He is depicted as a foe of Howard the Duck.
The character subsequently appears in Howard the Duck #16-20 (September 1977-January 1978), #24-25 (May–June 1978), #27 (September 1978), #30-31 (March, May 1979), The Sensational She-Hulk #5 (September 1989), Deadpool #26-27 (March–April 1999), Howard the Duck #1-3 (March–May 2002), Daughters of the Dragon #3 (May 2006), and The Amazing Spider-Man #552 (April 2008).
Doctor Bong received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #2.
Fictional character biography
As a child, Lester Verde was severely bullied. When complaining about it to his mother, she noted his creative use of insults against his tormentors and sparked his desire to use his creativity to become a writer.[volume & issue needed]
Originally a journalism student whose yellow journalism got his professor fired, his hand is severed by a miniature guillotine when performing with the punk band Mildred Horowitz. This is a big factor into becoming the villain Doctor Bong. How he developed his paraphernalia was never explained.
It is revealed that he was also a skilled scientist, using his knowledge of chemistry and physics to create several devices and creatures to do his bidding, particularly Fifi the Duck, who was the closest thing Bong had to a henchwoman.
He had a longtime crush on Beverly Switzler, whom he eventually married. Before he was removed from the book, Steve Gerber had intended for their marriage to last and for her to no longer be a main character in the Howard the Duck series. After Gerber left, Bill Mantlo brought Beverly, now single again, back to the book.
John Byrne later pitted Bong against She-Hulk, trying to uncensor sanitized violent television so that his genetically-engineered quintuplets would be raised not finding violence at all attractive. She-Hulk, using her abilities to break the fourth wall, manages to defeat him.[volume & issue needed]
It is later revealed in his initial appearance that he had given up supervillainy to obtain a PhD in psychology. His first patient is Deadpool, who came to him for treatment after the events of the Dead Reckoning. He was, however, back to supervillainy by the Max Howard the Duck series.[volume & issue needed]
Bong later appears as one of the many villains in a bar that Colleen Wing and Misty Knight enter in search for information. They defeat all the villains, with Bong himself accidentally taking out the Jester. At sword point, Bong reveals all the information he knows about current power struggles.
Doctor Bong is one of the many villains kidnapped into a roller derby staged by the cosmic game-obsessed entity called the Grandmaster. The bullet proof nature of Bong's helmet is a vital part of the hero's winning plan.
Doctor Bong created imperfect clones of Steve Rogers, Moon Knight, and Black Widow and lured Deadpool into teaming up with them. While at their main base the real Secret Avengers infiltrated the base causing the real Steve Rogers to battle with Deadpool. After pummeling each other, the real Moon Knight steps in and things finally calm down enough that Cap and Deadpool can talk, Doctor Bong realizes that he has officially lost. He sets off an explosion that kills the Marc Spector and Natasha Romanoff clones, apparently collapsing the building on all the occupants. Deadpool then teams up with the Secret Avengers to stop Doctor Bong. Doctor Bong tries to confuse the Secret Avengers and Deadpool by dressing all his genetic regenerative clones as Deadpool. Then during the fight Deadpool slips away and cons Doctor Bong to think that he is one of his genetic clones and escapes with Doctor Bong. Black widow makes Doctor Bong crash his escape car and Deadpool brings the unconscious Doctor Bong body back to the Secret Avengers, after the Secret Avengers kill all the fake Deadpools. Doctor Bong wakes up and about set another explosion using his bell hand, but Deadpool slices off his arm leaving him helpless in the hands of the Secret Avengers.
After hiring the Headmen (Angar the Screamer, Shrunken Bones, Gorilla-Man, Ruby Thursday, and Chondu the Mystic) as backup, Doctor Bong breaks into the Beyond Corporation© so he can use its powerful anechoic chamber in conjunction with his "Cosmic Bong" to turn himself into a God. Bong and his allies are defeated and handed over to S.H.I.E.L.D. by Spider-Man, who was suffering from laryngitis at the time.
Powers and abilities
Doctor Bong has no superpowers but he is a genius scientist with advanced knowledge of genetic engineering. He also wears a bell-shaped helmet which creates a number of effects when struck.
In other media
- Doctor Bong is set to appear in the second season of the Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 116.
- Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 122.
- "Howard the Duck" #17
- Deadpool #27
- "Daughters of the Dragon" #3.
- Amazing Spider-Man #562
- "X-Men: To Serve and Protect" #4 (Feb 2011)
- Deadpool #28
- Deadpool #29
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man #3
- Jai Nitz (w), Ron Salas (p), Ron Salas (i). "The Quiet Room" The Amazing Spider-Man Annual v3, #1 (10 December 2014), United States: Marvel Comics