Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Special: Top Ten Comic Book Doctors

As America buzzes over last night's landmark Health Care Reform Bill vote, our nation's increasingly polarized citizens are dividing into two camps: those who support the bill because they want to have, say, Doc Savage as their primary care physician and those who oppose it because they've fallen under the sway of Doctor Destiny.

Or, you know, something like that. I'm not sure of the specifics, but there's no doubt that everyone's talking about doctors right now, so it seemed like a good time to pay homage to some of the most popular and powerful adherents to the Hippocratic Oath: The Vault's list of the Top Ten Comic Book Doctors.

10. Doctor Faustus

Ever since his first appearance back in Captain America #107, Doctor Faustus has been menacing heroes not with super powers or advanced technology, but with something far deadlier: really evil psychiatry. His mind-bending insights have allowed him to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the Red Skull, and we also have him to thank for one of the most complex villains in comics, his protege Moonstone.

9. Doctor Psycho

One of the coolest Wonder Woman villains (which is not saying much, unfortunately), Doctor Psycho is a psychopathic misogynist who also happens to be a telepathic dwarf. In general terms, that's all around a bad combination, and he pretty much uses his powers to do exactly what you'd expect. As interesting as he is, though, he's still not quite as cool as his occasional partner, The Duke of Deception, who no doubt will appear at some point on our list of the Top Ten Fake Noblemen in Comics list.

8. Doc Samson

Therapists aren't always evil, of course, despite what Dr. Faustus and Moonstone might have you believe. They can also sometimes help you, like Doc Samson has helped Hulk over the years. Okay, considering they get in a massive fight every time they meet, maybe that's not the best example, but trust us: Doc Samson is really a cool guy. Hey, he smokes a pipe, so he has to be cool, right?

7. Dr. Manhattan

Don't get distracted by Dr. Manhattan's giant blue junk: despite his odd and usually naked appearance, Dr. Manhattan is a regular ol' American joe, doing his part to help Uncle Sam do important things like win in Vietnam and, you know... build chandeliers on Mars. He's not really a medical doctor, though, he's more of one of them science doctors, so we don't recommend going to him for your health care needs. After all, he couldn't keep his ex-wife from dying of cancer, could he.

6. Doctor Spectrum

Now, there have been a bunch of different versions of Dr. Spectrum -- the Squadron Sinister version, the original Squadron Supreme version, the MAX version and, like, a couple other versions in Defenders or somewhere equally obscure. But the real version, from the real Squadron Supreme, is a real medical doctor, the first on our list. No, wait, sorry. He's an astronaut. Okay, I'm not sure where the Doctor part comes in here, but this guy is way cooler than Green Lantern and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

5. Dr. Mid-Nite

Okay, now we're talking. Dr. Mid-Nite is not only a classic Golden Age superhero, he's an actual, honest-to-god medical doctor. When he's not dispensing much-needed medical aid to his fellow superheroes, Dr. Mid-Nite, who is normally blind, wears a special pair of infa-red goggles that allow him to see, but only when it's dark. Because of this he carries around special darkness bombs that plunge the area into pitch blackness, plus, as you can see by this picture, he sometimes has a pet owl. Cool name, cool concept, cool costume. This guy is the bizzomb.

4. Dr. Octopus

Otto Octavius is another science doctor, but we have to hand it to him: he takes things to a whole new level. After all, he's got a bunch of robot arms grafted to his back fat. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of Dr. Octopus, though I did like the story where he got engaged to Aunt May, but I have to give him his due.

3. Dr. Fate

Perhaps one of the most poorly utilized major superheroes in the history of comic books, Dr. Fate has a fantastic name, a simple but striking costume and a unique mystical skillset (well, unique at the time; there have been plenty of imitators since). Too bad he's usually relegated to second banana status and has been shafted with a typically convoluted DC-style backstory. Someone do something cool with this guy, please.

2. Dr. Doom

Once again I'm not quite sure what this guy has his doctorate in, but I suspect he's like The Doctor on Doctor Who: he's just, you know... a doctor of everything. Still, I'm not sure any health care plan would be able to afford his rates.

1. Dr. Strange

Not only is Dr. Strange one of the coolest characters ever created, and the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth (and don't give me that Dr. Voodoo bullcrap), but he was once also the most skilled and famous surgeon in America. Now that's living up to your potential. He's got a hot girlfriend from another dimension and a way with words that makes Street Poet Ray green with envy. He's just the man. Or, should I say: he's the Doctor.

Number one with a bullet, Doctor Strange, the Top Doctor in Comic Books.

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