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Get out of my operating room, MISTER Fate!

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#19 Doctor Light



Doctor Light was a legacy character; the original one was a physicist named Dr. Arthur Light. Through pretty much all of his reboots, the fact that Light was a physicist and invented the technology that powers him stays pretty constant, though his stupidity for much of his criminal career was later retconned to be caused by a badly-done mindwipe.

There was a period in the Silver Age when Dr. Jacob Finlay (another physicist!) had been Light’s partner and a superheroic first version of the character, whose death haunted Light.

Dr. Kimyo Hoshi was originally established as an astronomer. Her area of study has expanded to pretty much all light-based technology, and writers occasionally think she’s a medical doctor, too. In general this holds for spinoffs and adaptations: The DC Bombshells version of her is chief scientist for the Bombshells project!

(The Arrowverse presents two versions of Doctor Light: Both are briefly-appearing metahuman criminals; neither is likely to actually have a doctorate, but it’s never ruled out.)

Actually, the only appears of a Dr. Light I can find where we can be certain they don’t have a doctorate is DC Super Hero Girls, in which Kimyo is a student at Super Hero High.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Dr. Simon Hurt was introduced as a psychologist working with NASA, experimenting with hallucinogens on Batman. But because Grant Morrison was the writer who brought him back, it’s entirely possible that he’s the devil, the immortal demon-worshiping ancestor of Bruce Wayne, a reincarnated Thomas Wayne, or an avatar of Darkseid.

He might also be a delusional actor or a time traveling robot if I recall. Dr. Hurt was weird...
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
For real though, Dr. Hurt was one of my favorite non standard bat villains and I wish they would use him more/add more convoluted and contradictory back stories to go with his increasingly overly complicated circuitous schemes.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#20 Doctor Manhattan



Dr. Manhattan was originally Dr. Jonathan Osterman before he became they only actually super-powered character in Alan Moore’s Watchmen. He had a doctorate in physics.

Entertainingly, the character was based on (and originally supposed to be) Captain Atom, a Charlton Comics character acquired by DC. Captain Atom is, in fact, actually a Captain; he’s US Air Force Captain Nathaniel Christopher Adam.

Or, at least, that’s the case in modern continuity. The original Captain Atom was actually a scientist, Dr. Allen Adam!
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#21 Doctor McNinja



The eponymous character from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja; Dr. Patrick McNinja has a proper MD and wide range of medical expertise. Honestly, I’d expect no less.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#22 Doctor Mid-Nite



The original Dr. Mid-Nite was Dr. Charles McNider, a surgeon. He could also have been Captain Mid-Nite if he wanted to; he was in the US medical corps in WW2. He generally pops up as a member of the Justice Society.

In the 80s, he was succeeded by Dr. Beth Chapel, whose first appearance was actually as a random doctor in a hospital treating an injured superhero. When she gained darkvision powers similar to McNider’s, she generally used “Dr. Midnight” as her hero name. She was a member of Infinity, Inc and eventually died in a battle against Eclipso, though she’s been back at least twice since.

The third Dr. Mid-Nite, Dr. Pieter Anton Cross, was introduced running a free clinic on Washington State, but he was shown to be an expert surgeon during his heroic career. His solo title was extremely short-lived, but he became a go-to “we need a superhero doctor” character.

On a related note, Cross was frequently seen in the company of the second Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt, another character who prefers to use “Mister” despite having 14 PhDs. (The original Mr. Terrific, Terry Sloane, was a genius but never earned any advanced degrees.)
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#23 Doctor Mirage



Another Valiant Comics character, Dr. Hwen Dong Fong, aka Dr. Hwen Mirage is a parapsychologist. As much as it pains me, this is a real thing you can get a doctorate in. (Though, to be fair, in a world where ghosts and superheroes are real, it’s a lot more valid.)

I didn’t realize until I started researching this that Valiant had rebooted the character, with Dr. Shan Fong taking the title of Dr. Mirage. (In both cases, the book centers around a ghost husband and living wife; in the original the ghost was the hero and in the reboot the live medium is the hero.)
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#24 Doctor Mist



A DC Comics hero, his real name is Nommo and he’s over 11,000 years old, because back when he was wizard-king of Kor, he gained immortality from the rolling pillar of life. He founded a massive empire that sprawled across Africa, misused his power, retreated to seclusion, and eventually emerged to join the Global Guardians.

On one hand, his biography doesn’t actually mention earning a doctorate at any point. On the other hand…11,000 years is a really long time. Even if he spent half of that just meditating in a cave somewhere, that’s still plenty of time to get bored enough that grad school seems like a good idea. While this is probably another “Mr. Mist” situation, I don’t want to totally rule it out.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Another Valiant Comics character, Dr. Hwen Dong Fong, aka Dr. Hwen Mirage is a parapsychologist. As much as it pains me, this is a real thing you can get a doctorate in. (Though, to be fair, in a world where ghosts and superheroes are real, it’s a lot more valid.)
From an accredited university?!
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I was going to be real bummed that my alma mater was on there, though listed incorrectly as "California of University Davis," but reviewing their course catalog today and doing some minor research shows that they no longer do offer any courses nor do they have professors teaching any such courses (the one who seems to have done so has moved on to UC Irvine.)
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#25 Doctor Nemesis



There were two unrelated characters in Marvel Comics called Dr. Nemesis. The first was Dr. James Bradley, a medical doctor who worked with Professor Phineas T. Horton to build the Golden Age Human Torch (who was not, in fact, human—he was an android). After building the Human Generator (another android!), he put on a surgical mask and used his fighting ability and hypodermic needle full of truth serum to fight gangs and costumed madmen as Dr. Nemesis.

30 years later, Michael Craig Stockton was a scientist studying the subatomic who became a rival of Ant-Man, and gained size-changing powers from stolen Pym technology. Interesting, though his occupation is “scientist”, nothing I can find refers to him as “Dr. Stockton”. While it’s likely he had a PhD, that’s not strictly necessary to become a research scientist. He’s only a “maybe”.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Are either of them related to the mushroom headed Dr. Nemesis who I only know from Way of X?
That's also Dr. James Bradley, who was rebooted/reintroduced as a superintelligent mutant in the modern era. (But still the same guy who built the Human Torch android. He's so good at DNA manipulation he just made himself live longer.)
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
And he’s also on the Avengers.

Well, nominally; I don’t think he’s actually shown up since the Agents of Wakanda were established
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#26 Doctor Occult



A member of DC’s Trenchcoat Brigade, Dr. Occult is a magician and private investigator specializing in the supernatural. He actually dates back to the early Golden Age—he was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster before Superman and originally wore a blue suit and red cape! He was rebooted as the trenchcoat-wearing detective character in the 80s. His real name is Richard Occult (and for a while he shared a body with his partner, Rose Psychic), and in modern continuity he did formally earn a doctorate (though in what is unclear) in the 1920s.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#27 Doctor Thirteen



Speaking of DC’s occult detectives, Dr. Terrance Thirteen’s gimmick is that his incredible skepticism makes magic fail around him. (His daughter, Traci Thirteen, is a genuine sorceress, and this annoys him to no end.) It’s unclear what Dr. Thirteen’s doctorate is in, by Psychology and Parapsychology are often cited as likely cases.
 

Fredde

Let me rock you Chaugnar Faugn
#26 Doctor Occult



A member of DC’s Trenchcoat Brigade, Dr. Occult is a magician and private investigator specializing in the supernatural. He actually dates back to the early Golden Age—he was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster before Superman and originally wore a blue suit and red cape! He was rebooted as the trenchcoat-wearing detective character in the 80s. His real name is Richard Occult (and for a while he shared a body with his partner, Rose Psychic), and in modern continuity he did formally earn a doctorate (though in what is unclear) in the 1920s.
A small nitpick: He did wear the trenchcoat and hat in his earliest appearances, it was only later that he got the cape and blue underwear.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
A small nitpick: He did wear the trenchcoat and hat in his earliest appearances, it was only later that he got the cape and blue underwear.
A fair nitpick! He first appeared in the trenchcoat in New Fun Comics #6, then became "Dr. Mystic" for one issue of The Comic Magazine before taking that outfit back to More Fun Comics #14.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#28 Doctor Octopus



Everybody knows good ol’ Doc Ock; Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius is a particularly noteworthy enemy of Spider-Man. His PhD is in Physics, and he’s worked as a nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant and university lecturer. He most certainly earned his title.

While we’re on the topic, the Ultimate Universe Doc Ock was a OsCorp scientist (and had a PhD); Alfred Molina’s movie Doc Ock was also an OsCorp scientist and absolutely a doctor of nuclear physics; and Dr. Olivia "Liv" Octavius of Into the Spider-Verse is the chief scientist at Alchemax (which, as noted, is a role that requires a PhD).

Doc Ock: Always a Doctor.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#29 Doctor Phosphorus



Before he became a radioactive DC Comics supervillain, Dr. Alex Sartorius was a scientist trying to build a nuclear power plant in Gotham City. While the details of his doctorate are not revealed anywhere I can find, he’s consistently referred to as “Dr. Sartorius” and a PhD in nuclear physics or engineering would be very helpful in getting hired to build a nuclear power plant. Also, it goes with the theme of Batman’s villains all having doctorates.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#30 Doctor Polaris



Like many DC villains, Dr. Polaris was a legacy character. The original was Neal Emerson, a classic split-personality villain with good and evil halves. (Getting the “good” side to surface was the resolution of a number of his plotlines.) Emerson was a medical doctor, though clearly inspired by real-life quackery, as he was obsessed with health-by-magnetism and his original costume was a magnetic suit designed for public speaking events.

The second character was businessman and Intergang associate John Nichol, a follower of Neal Emerson's exploits, who became the second Doctor Polaris after the Emerson’s death. Nichol spent more time off-panel than on, with his first appearance being a reference to him in a battle, and is last appearance was a discussion of how Zombie Emerson had killed him. Nichol had an MBA; he was not a doctor.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#31 Doctor Psycho



Possibly the most blatant misogynist in comics (and that’s saying something!), Dr. Psycho has consistently been short, ugly, and out to get Wonder Woman for almost 80 years. His powers have changed periodically (occultism, metahuman telepathy, psychic or psionic powers, etc) but Dr. Edgar Cizko reliably started his career as a psychiatrist upset about getting made fun of in medical school for believing in mental superpowers. Some places actually list his natural talent for psychotherapy among his powers and abilities.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#32 Doctor Shocker



Dr. Shocker (no relation to the Spider-Man foe The Shocker) was a very brief foe of Booster Gold; a member of the 1000 who pulled some strings to manipulate Booster and then never reappeared. Nothing useful of his background was ever presented, but I found a wonderful fan theory: Dr. Shocker was a future Booster Gold, manipulating events so history happened correctly.

Michael Carter (Booster Gold) never earned any advanced degrees. He was a failed sports star and a defender of the timestream, but not a doctor.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
#33 Doctor Sivana



Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana is a Fawcett comics and later DC comics supervillain; the eternal foil of Captain Marvel/Shazam and a brilliant and evil scientist (and, in modern continuity, the former CEO of his own Sivana Industries). The thing is, though he’s universally referred to as “Dr. Sivana”…there’s nothing I can find about where he actually went to school or what doctorate he was granted. In his original origin story, he was laughed out of the academy for his wacky theories and moved to Venus for twenty years! His modern and New 52 variations cut out that part and establish him as a more typical businessman/mad scientist type, allowing for plenty of time to actually go to grad school for something. The best theory I could find was that he spent his early 20s using his genius intellect to do multiple dissertations in assorted fields and earn several doctorates; but I can’t find any textual evidence to actually back that up.

(I find it amusing how often comics genius characters are said to have some absurd number of doctorate degrees. I actually find it most believable for Sivana, who is universally depicted as an older man and a consummate multitasker—like, if anyone could find the time to defend his 9th dissertation between building a new spaceship and shrinking Captain Marvel to ant-size, it would be him!)
 
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