Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Although DC has tried to reinvent him a couple of times, Captain Marvel's classic villain Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana has usually worked best as the pinnacle of the mad scientist. And Sivana is mad by any definition of the word: his ideas are usually off the wall; he's actually insane; and he's generally pissed off all the time, over not getting the respect for his work he felt he deserved. Sivana's grudge against humanity would solidify over the years to the point that he would never let it go; even when he won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

After Billy Batson reads the newscast, as Captain Marvel he wants to give Sivana the news face-to-face, and visits him in prison. Early in his career, before he went bad, and occasionally over the years; Sivana would invent something he couldn't use for crime, like a death ray that only killed rats or a process to make food out of rocks. Sivana is embarrassed by those inventions, and doesn't consider the Nobel to be an honor. He's holding out for "rightful ruler of the universe." Interestingly, Sivana had four kids: two older ones, that were good and hoped their dad would redeem himself; and two evil younger ones ashamed Sivana was going soft.

Captain Marvel offers to take Sivana to accept the Nobel, handcuffed to him. But Sivana escapes with a remote controlled teleporter, and immediately plans to "wipe out the ignominy" of winning the Nobel, by starting World War III. He knocks out an aggression ray, and tests it on some passersby. Captain Marvel settles the victims down, but Sivana starts work on a bigger, more powerful satellite model; that would make everyone in the world aggressive for twelve hours. Sivana figures someone will start a nuclear war then, and he can take over afterwards.

As Sivana launches his satellite, destroying a condemned building, Captain Marvel sees it, then rewires it to reverse the effect. Instead of aggression, everyone mellows out for twelve hours. Terrorists surrender, invasions are cancelled, political prisoners are freed. Even Sivana cheerfully surrenders and accepts his Nobel, affected by the ray. The next day, back in jail, Sivana is mortified to hear he stopped like six wars, and is probably a shoo-in for next year's Nobel Peace Prize.

From World's Finest #273, "Sivana's Nobel" Written by E. Nelson Bridwell, pencils by Don Newton, inks by Dan Adkins. Oddly, the only other Nobel Prize winner I can think of in comics is Morbius, the Living Vampire...


Randy Jackson said...

I've always loved Sivana. Crazy, evil, funny, but at the same time he comes up with some wacky, off the wall schemes that are actually plausible.

Any attempts to make him grim-n-gritty are a waste of time. Better to give him a mustache to twirl.

Bird of Paradise said...

Dr Sivana had invented a deathray that only kills rats,a mahine that turns rocks into food a crinimal detector among the many of his good inventions which Captian Marvel gave to the world and the last was a 24 hour of world peace from a sattlite Captian Marvel rewired using solomons wisdom