Dr. Demonicus makes his first cover appearance. From Shogun Warriors # 14
|First appearance||Godzilla #4 (Nov 1977)|
|Created by||Doug Moench and Tom Sutton|
|Alter ego||Douglas Birely|
|Team affiliations||Pacific Overlords|
Doctor Demonicus (Douglas Birely) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He possesses advanced knowledge of genetic engineering and has clashed with the Avengers and Shogun Warriors in addition to S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Fictional character biography
Douglas Birely was born in Culver City, California. As a scientist, he was studying the correlation between radioactivity and mutation when he is contaminated by a radioactive spill. As Doctor Demonicus, he is a criminal geneticist and subversive. His discovery of the Lifestone allows him to create immense monsters mutated from animals. These include Batragon, Ghilaron, Lepirax and Centipoor. Using his monsters and his troops he raids oil tankers from his secret laboratory on one of the Aleutian Islands. The monsters are defeated by Godzilla and Demonicus is defeated by Gabe Jones and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. When Jones confronts Demonicus during this story, Demonicus is altogether willing to tell him his background, and when referencing his monsters' creations he says "Knowing of his nuclear radiation mutation, I took my cues from Godzilla himself." When Godzilla begins slaying the creatures he has made, Demonicus becomes unstable, even claiming he would battle Godzilla directly in order to save the last of the creatures.
Demonicus becomes an ally of the alien Myndai, Maur-Konn, who gives Demonicus his gigantic space satellite base orbiting the moon. Demonicus later uses his genetic and robot monsters the Starchild, Cerberus and the Hand of Five against the Shogun Warriors Raydeen, Combatra and Dangard Ace. Demonicus launches a meteor strike against Earth from his space station base. He is foiled by the Shogun Warriors and taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. again.
He eventually captures, enslaves, and further mutates Godzilla (however, the creature is deliberately not named as such because Marvel's license to use the monster had by that point expired. To give readers a clue as to who the creature was, Demonicus refers to the creature as being "my once-greatest enemy", referring to Godzilla's defeat of his original creations. This version of Godzilla, according to G-Fan magazine, still makes occasional appearances in the Marvel universe). The creature also, for reasons unknown, shrunk once Demonicus had captured and enslaved him. He sets Godzilla against the Avengers West Coast. Demonicus also salvages Iron Man's original armor and uses it to attack the Avengers West Coast personally. He is defeated by Tony Stark. He is later mutated by the Lifestone and the demon Raksasa. His alter ego, Douglas Birely, develops skin cancer which is kept under control by devices in his costume.
Demonicus is the founder, creator and leader of the Pacific Overlords, and with them battles Sunfire and the Avengers West Coast. He raises a land mass from the Pacific Ocean floor just north of Hawaii, and on it founds the new nation of Demonica with himself as ruler. He attempts, unsuccessfully, to get the United Nations to recognize Demonica as a sovereign nation. However he is seemingly killed when Demonica sinks back into the Pacific.
Doctor Demonicus is eventually arrested, convicted and incarcerated for his crimes. He was sentenced to "The Raft", a supervillain prison facility. He was among of the 43 villains who escape during the breakout engineered by Electro.
The Hood hires him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act. He helps them fight the New Avengers but is taken down by Doctor Strange. Demonicus participates in the Hood's temporary alliance with superheroes in order to battle an invading Skrull force. As seen in flashbacks, the Hood had used his powers to help Demonicus and the others escape jail. During a secretive gathering, Demonicus and the others learn of the Skrulls' attempt to infiltrate and control their organization. He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.
Powers and abilities
Doctor Demonicus is a genius with a Ph.D. in genetics, and has an advanced knowledge of genetics and of the advanced technology of the alien Myndai. The doctor wears a costume that contains life-support devices which keep his skin cancer in remission. He has demonic-looking features, including mottled skin and horns on his forehead. He carries a blaster that fires an unknown form of concussive energy. He uses advanced genetics, robots and force field technology adapted to various weaponry. Doctor Demonicus possesses the Lifestone, a radioactive meteor, with which he has created artificially mutated monsters and humans.
- Godzilla #4-5
- Shogun Warriors #8-14
- Iron Man #193, 196
- Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 49–51. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6.
- Avengers West Coast #70-74
- New Avengers #2
- New Avengers Annual #2
- Secret Invasion 1-6
- New Avengers #46
- New Avengers #50