Dollmaker (comics)

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Dollmaker
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Marcel Mannequin)
Plastic Man vol. 2 #10 (June 1968)
(Anton Schott)
Supergirl vol. 5 #58 (January 2011)
(Barton Mathis)
Detective Comics vol. 2 #1 (September 2011)
(Matilda Mathis)
Detective Comics #2 (October 2011)
Created by (Mrcel Mannequin)
Arnold Drake
Jack Sparling
(Anton Schott)
Sterling Gates
Jamal Igle
(Barton Mathis)
Tony S. Daniel
(Matilda Mathis)
Tony S. Daniel
In-story information
Alter ego Marcel Mannequin
Anton Schott
Barton Mathis
Matilda Mathis
Species Human
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations (Barton Mathis)
Secret Society of Super Villains
The Dollmaker family
(Matilda Mathis)
The Dollmaker family
Notable aliases (Marcel Mannequin)
The Doll Maker, Doll Master
Abilities (Marcel Mannequin)
Use of dolls he can control
(Anton Schott)
Talented inventor
Genius-level intelect
Use of modified dolls as weapons
(Barton Mathis)
Gifted surgeon
(Matilda Mathis)
Surgeon
Agility

The Dollmaker is the name of several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The Marcel Mannequin version of Dollmaker first appeared in Plastic Man vol 2. #10 and was created by Arnold Drake and Jack Sparling.

The Anton Schott version of Dollmaker first appeared in Supergirl vol. 5 #58 and was created by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle.

The Barton Mathis version of Dollmaker first appeared in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1 and was created by Tony S. Daniel.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Marcel Mannequin[edit]

Marcel Mannequin, as he appears in the pages of Plastic Man #10.

The first character to use the name "Dollmaker" was Marcel Mannequin, an extremely talented doll-maker who uses his own sentient mechanical dolls to commit crimes. He fought against Plastic Man at the time when he had previously given a blood transfusion to Gordon K. Trueblood. Plastic Man managed to defeat Dollmaker at Madame DeLute's high society party.[1]

Anton Schott[edit]

Anton Schott as the Dollmaker II.

Anton Schott was the son of Winslow Schott, A.K.A. Toyman, and born on Christmas day. His father saw little interest in his son, whom he considered uninteresting despite Anton showing great promises as a skilled toymaker. Anton's mother took him away on the belief that Winslow was a pedophile but only to abandon him, leaving him to fend for himself in Metropolis. Anton soon found his father's old workshop and decided to make a name for himself as the Dollmaker. Driven by abandonment issues, Anton started kidnapping other children and turning them into cybernetic doll-like slaves.

Anton later became obsessed with Daily Planet reporter Cat Grant, who was the mother of a victim killed by Toyman, and planned on becoming her son. He sent a doll to Grant for every time a child was kidnapped by Dollmaker. Grant, along with Supergirl, initially mistook Toyman as being responsible for the missing children and confronted him at his incarceration in Arkham Asylum. They unwittingly brought one of Dollmaker's dolls to his father at which point it came to life and nearly killed Toyman.

Dollmaker soon personally confronted Grant and kidnapped her to his workshop. There, he told her of his origins and asked her to be his new mother. But Cat violently rejects him, infuriating Anton and causing him to decide on shutting down all his enslaved doll-children, which would kill them. However, Cat cried out for Supergirl's help, who immediately raided Dollmaker's workshop and disarmed the dolls. Cat personally knocked out Dollmaker and left him to be taken away by the authorities.[2]

Barton Mathis[edit]

Barton Mathis as the third Dollmaker

Debuting as part of The New 52, Barton Mathis, the third character to use the "Dollmaker" alias, went on several "hunting trips" with his father Wesley as a child. During these hunts, Barton watched as his father killed people and then cannibalized them. He would also witness his father being shot down by a young cop named James Gordon. After spending only a year in foster care, Barton disappeared for years before he resurfaced as the Dollmaker,[3] a serial killer who creates "dolls" out of the skin and limbs of his victims, whose mask is partially made of skin from his deceased father. Despite the ambiguity surrounding his whereabouts, it would later be revealed that Barton Mathis sees the Toyman as a father figure, who was at one point a member of the Dollmaker "family".[4]

The Dollmaker first appeared in current continuity during the Faces of Death storyline when he visited the Joker in Arkham Asylum. The Joker had planned to be caught and taken to Arkham for the sole purpose of having an audience with the Dollmaker. As planned, the Dollmaker cuts the skin from the Joker's face leaving the madman ecstatic with the pain. That night they celebrated believing themselves to be reborn.[5]

Upon tracking Ray Quimby, a serial killer associated with Wesley Mathis, to a location while believing Quimby kidnapped Commissioner James Gordon, Batman is ambushed by the members of the Dollmaker's "family" (members including Matilda Mathis, Bentley, Jack-in-the-Box, Sampson, Olivia Carr, and Orifice). Batman then encounters the Dollmaker who has brought in what appears to be Commissioner Gordon.[6]

As Batman crawls towards Commissioner Gordon, he discovers that the body is simply a "doll" of human body parts stitched together to resemble Commissioner Gordon. The Dollmaker announces his plans to make a doll of Batman's flesh and then sell it off to the highest bidder. Naturally, Batman resists and is forced to fight all of the Dollmaker's family with rapidly spreading paralysis in his body. With Jack-in-the-Box clinging to his back, Batman desperately leaps out a window in order to escape becoming too vulnerable in front of his enemy. Struggling to stand, he escapes while dragging the now unconscious Jack-in-the-Box with him. At an abandoned hospital, a kidnapped Commissioner Gordon overhears his captor, the Dollmaker, explaining that he plans to remove his liver before beginning the doll process, because he must save a life before his can be taken. He expresses an interest in filming the procedure, as he has a personal vendetta against Gordon for killing his father. Commissioner Gordon is unaware of who Dollmaker is talking about, but Dollmaker tells Gordon that he is staring his own victim in the face - suggesting that the skin making up his new face actually belonged to Wesley Mathis. When Batman arrives at the hospital upon receiving a message from the Dollmaker, Batman hears the Dollmaker's voice and is attacked by Bentley who chokes Batman into unconsciousness. When Batman awakens in a makeshift boxing ring, the Dollmaker then begins to auction Batman who is hanging upside down near some Joker Dolls.[3]

Suspended like a marionette, Batman is forced to fight the Joker Dolls when a crook named Raju arrives at the Dollmaker's lair to offer the Dollmaker a large sum of money in exchange for Batman. Raju's client is the Penguin who plans to pay Dollmaker some gold bars in exchange for Batman's body. The Dollmaker uses magnetized cables to immobilize Batman completely, and Batman is surprised to realize that the cables are of his own design as the Dollmaker has somehow gained access to Wayne Corp. Regardless, he uses a demagnetizer in his suit to free himself, leaping forward and knocking Penguin's thugs out. Freed, he easily defeats the Joker Dolls and begins his search for the Commissioner. Meanwhile, the Dollmaker receives a call from an unseen benefactor who warns him that the GCPD are on their way. The benefactor orders that Commissioner Gordon be killed. The Dollmaker and Matilda make their escape while his thugs Bentley and Sampson gather all the organs and body parts they can salvage. Meanwhile, Batman begins kicking down every door in the hospital, in search of Gordon. Batman defeats Bentley and Sampson and finds the Commissioner and Olivia Carr as they get to safety. Seeing the Dollmaker escaping in a car, Batman leaps down onto the roof crushing it down around him. Unexpectedly though, the car explodes. When Batman investigates, he discovers that the car was filled with decoy dummies that he had mistaken to be the Dollmaker and that the real Dollmaker must have escaped in the police chopper.[7]

During the Death of the Family storyline as Batman travels through the Joker-controlled Arkham Asylum, he discovers a twisted "royal tapestry" created for him as a "tribute from [his] faithful", made entirely of living bodies sewn together, kept alive via tubes in their stomachs. The Joker tells Batman that it was made "with a little help from the Dollmaker."[8]

The Dollmaker is later found by the Joker's Daughter, who asks him to sew the Joker's face onto her own and inject the Joker's blood into her veins. The Dollmaker follows through with her request.[9]

During the "Forever Evil" storyline, Dollmaker is among the supervillains that are recruited by the Crime Syndicate of America to join the Secret Society of Super Villains.[10]

Dollhouse[edit]

Dollhouse as she appears in the panel of a comic book

According to Matilda Mathis, she comes from a bloodline of supervillains, with Matilda serving as a successor to the Dollmaker (Barton Mathis) and the Dollmaker serving as a successor to his surrogate father, the Toyman.[4] Prior to taking up the name "Dollhouse", Matilda had a doll mask grafted on top of her face and wore a nurse's outfit, killing her victims with a sledgehammer. Eventually, Matilda began to join her father in his organ trading business. When the Dollmaker kidnapped the Batman, though, the business started to go wrong. Following the events of the "Faces of Death" storyline, Matilda was forced to retreat and go into hiding with her father.[11]

Some time after Batman's defeat of the Dollmaker family during the "Faces of Death" storyline, Matilda Mathis began to follow in the footsteps as her father, Barton Mathis, taking on the identity of "Dollhouse." As Dollhouse, Matilda adopted Barton Mathis' modus operandi as the Dollmaker.

Dollhouse kidnapped homeless children, prostitutes and junkies of the streets of Gotham City and took them back to her facility. At her facility, Dollhouse would spend weeks nursing her kidnapping victims to their peak healthy condition before killing them and selling their organs for the Dollmaker's organ trade business. Dollhouse would then stuff the remainder of the corpses and turn them into human dolls, putting them on display in her garden.[12]

As she continued to kidnap people off the streets, she drew the attention of Catwoman. Catwoman, who grew up on the streets of Gotham, took these kidnappings personally and began investigating them. In doing so, she ran into Dollhouse several times during her attempted kidnapping spree and, while she was able to save some of the potential victims, she failed to defeat Dollhouse during each encounter due to Dollhouse's heavy artillery and military grade weaponry.[13] With the help of GCPD Detective Carlos Alvarez, Catwoman was eventually able to track down the location of Dollhouse's facility and, after a confrontation, Catwoman, Alvarez and Batman were able to free Dollhouse's remaining victims and end her kidnapping spree. Dollhouse managed to evade capture, however.[4]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The first Dollmaker uses dolls that he can control.

The second Dollmaker is a talented inventor with a genius-level intellect who can use dolls that he has modified into mobile weapons.

The third Dollmaker is a gifted surgeon known for creating dolls made of human flesh. He is skilled enough to make the dolls almost perfectly resemble specific human beings when he has the right pieces of flesh.[3] The Dollmaker also has some access to Wayne Enterprises technology and resources, as shown when he used WayneCorp cables against Batman.[7]

In the Faces of Death story arc, Matilda Mathis is shown to be quite agile and to be in possession of a sledgehammer that she uses as a weapon against opponents.[14] As Dollhouse, Mathis uses heavy artillery and military grade weapons such as grenades and machine guns. Mathis is also a somewhat skilled surgeon.[15]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Dollmaker appears in the Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show episode "The Case of the Dreadful Dolls", voiced by Frank Welker. This version of the character creates voodoo dolls that allow him to control the people in whose likenesses they are made, in this case, the Super Friends. His hideout is in Shott's Toy Factory. In the DVD commentary, it is stated that the show's producers created the Dollmaker to be used in the episode in lieu of Toyman who was not available to them.
  • Barton Mathis appears in the Arrow episode "Broken Dolls", played by Michael Eklund. Mathis is portrayed as a serial killer who murders young girls by pouring "a flexible polymer" into their throats, which hardens and suffocates them. He subsequently dresses and poses the bodies in the manner of a bisque doll, prompting the police force and media to nickname him 'The Dollmaker.' Detective Quentin Lance had imprisoned Mathis six years before the episode and is determined to recapture him after his escape from Iron Heights Penitentiary during the Undertaking. Quentin contacts Arrow and they work together to capture him, but he manages to escape a trap Lance and Team Arrow set. Mathis later kidnapped Lance and his daughter Laurel and attempted to turn Laurel into a doll with Quentin watching, but Arrow shows up and saves the Lances. Barton threatens to turn the vigilante Canary into a doll as well. The Canary, who is secretly Quentin Lance's long-lost daughter Sara Lance, kills Barton in retaliation for attacking her family. In the episode "State v. Queen", it is revealed that Count Vertigo released the Dollmaker during his own break out of the prison and claimed to be a fan of Mathis's work.
Dollmaker visits Fish Mooney as seen in the Gotham episode "Everyone Has a Cobblepot"
  • The Dollmaker appears in Gotham, portrayed by Colm Feore.[16] This version of the character is a "mad European scientist" named Dr. Francis Dulmacher. He has done various experiments and even found ways of reviving the dead.[17] The Dollmaker was first mentioned in the episode "Selina Kyle", in which he has two of his minions named Patti and Doug to pose as members of the Mayor's Homeless Outreach Program to kidnap street kids as part of a child-trafficking ring while using Trident Intercontinental Shipping as a front for their smuggling. When the Dollmaker's minions get the street kids, they ship them off to the Dollmaker's lair. Detectives James Gordon and Harvey Bullock end the trafficking ring, however.[18] Through the events of "The Scarecrow," "The Blind Fortune Teller," and "Red Hood," it is revealed that the Dollmaker has been kidnapping and imprisoning people for unknown purposes, among them being Fish Mooney. Mooney eventually learns from the Dollmaker's office manager that they are intended to be used for organ trade and the Dollmaker's surgical experiments. To evade having her eyes used in Dollmaker's experiments, Mooney rips out her left eye with a spoon and steps on it before collapsing. The Dollmaker makes his first physical appearance in the episode "Everyone Has a Cobblepot," in which he visits an imprisoned Mooney upon learning that she tore out her own eye to avoid being used for organ trafficking. Mooney tells the Dollmaker about her history with Carmine Falcone and attempts to convince him to let her become his partner. To show her the consequences of failing him, the Dollmaker shows her one of his experiments: the former office manager whom he dismembered and reassembled with different female body parts. Dollmaker finds it amusing. In order to prove herself to him, Mooney ends a mutiny among the prisoners and secures the release of a guard the prisoners took hostage. After the job is done, the Dollmaker welcomes her to the upper management. Upon looking outside the window, Mooney finds that his facility is on a remote island somewhere off the European coast. The Dollmaker confronts Mooney as she tries to escape and threatens to turn her into one of his patchwork creations. Before he could do that, the unlocked prison cell enabled the other prisoners to get out while knocking out and wounding Dollmaker in the process.[19]

Film[edit]

The Dollmaker as he appears in Batman vs. Robin
  • The Dollmaker appears in the animated film Batman vs. Robin, voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic.[20] This version of the character is Anton Schott by name with elements of Barton Mathis incorporated into the character.[21] A strong man who was a near-victim of his serial killer father in childhood, Schott wears a broken doll mask and kidnaps children from Gotham City, turning them into cyborg dolls (with modifications like chainsaws implanted on their arms) in an abandoned toy factory. Schott claims that this way, they can never be hurt again. After fighting against Robin (who reluctantly spares his life), he is killed by Talon of the Court of Owls, who rips Schott's heart out and inadvertently frames Robin for the murder when Batman arrives just as Talon left, making Batman think Robin did it until he finds an owl feather as a clue.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plastic Man vol. 2 #10 (June 1968)
  2. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #59 (February 2011)
  3. ^ a b c Detective Comics (vol. 2) #3 (January 2012)
  4. ^ a b c Catwoman (vol. 4) #12
  5. ^ Detective Comics (vol. 2) #1 (November 2011)
  6. ^ Detective Comics (vol. 2) #2 (December 2011)
  7. ^ a b Detective Comics (vol. 2) #4 (February 2012)
  8. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #16
  9. ^ Batman: The Joker's Daughter #1
  10. ^ Forever Evil #1 (November 2013)
  11. ^ Detective Comics (vol. 2) 1–4. DC Comics.
  12. ^ Catwoman (vol. 4) #10. DC Comics.
  13. ^ Catwoman (vol. 4) #10-11. DC Comics.
  14. ^ Detective Comics (vol. 2) #2
  15. ^ Catwoman (vol. 4) #7-12
  16. ^ "Report: GOTHAM Finds Its DOLLMAKER in THOR's COLM FEORE". Newsarama.com. 
  17. ^ "Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Arrow, Once, NCIS, The 100, Vampire Diaries, Gotham, Bones, H50, Castle and More". TVLine. December 17, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Selina Kyle". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 2. September 29, 2014. Fox. 
  19. ^ "Beasts of Prey". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 19. April 13, 2015. Fox. 
  20. ^ "Animated 'Batman vs. Robin' Movie Finds Its Voice Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Jay Oliva on Weird Al Yankovic’s Role In Batman vs. Robin". Crave Online. March 10, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]