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Dr. Mindbender is first and foremost a master of mind control and interrogation but his expertise does not stop there. This evil genius has also dabbled in genetics, cloning and cybernetics. He is extremely meticulous and fussy, preferring to oversee every nuance of his projects, even projects that belong to others. That is why he has felt a need to master every science that involves some sort of manipulation or modification.
Mindbender was once a kind-hearted orthodontist. He tinkered with electric brainwave stimulation as a means of relieving dental pain. Using himself as a test subject, the experiment turned the good doctor into forever a hateful, deceitful and vain man. To other people, the experiment backfired but don't tell him that. To him, it has opened his eyes to the world and made him believe it his mission to change it. If you don't agree with him, he'll make you.
A Real American Hero continuity
Marvel Comics continuity
Mindbender became Cobra's primary science officer after his predecessor, Dr. Venom, was killed in action. He created the Battle Android Troopers and also made several modifications to Venom's prized creation, the Brainwave Scanner. He creates the composite-clone Serpentor in an attempt to engineer the ultimate soldier. Dr. Mindbender and other Cobra agents raid the tombs of noted military leaders, such as Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. Dr. Mindbender also takes the opportunity to add in the DNA of the ninja Storm Shadow. Mindbender loyally serves Serpentor until a Cobra Civil war between Serpentor and Fred VII, a Crimson Guardsman posing as Cobra Commander. This takes place on Cobra Island. When Serpentor is killed by Zartan, Mindbender switches sides, becoming an advisor to Fred VII. Even then he was not loyal, listening to a plan that would seemingly allow Cobra Commander to be cloned.
Eventually the original, non-clone Cobra Commander returns and threw all perceived traitors, including Mindbender, into a landlocked freighter on Cobra Island. Mindbender manages to preserve Serpentor's body, which was thought by many to be destroyed. The freighter itself is then buried inside a mountain. Though an escape plan was devised, Mindbender, along with some of the other traitors, dies of botulism before it could be enacted. However, he himself was later cloned, and loyally serves Cobra Commander for a time.
Devil's Due Comics continuity
Mindbender plays a major role in the first story-arc of the series G.I.Joe Frontlines. This takes place in the last few weeks of the original incarnation of the G.I.Joe team. Cobra forces have consolidated at Destro's castle. Mindbender involves himself heavily in the trickery and deceit that results when Cobra forces battle G.I.Joe throughout the castle for control of a space-based weapon.
Several years after Frontlines, Cobra re-organizes. One of Mindbender's new projects is a new, more powerful Battle Android Trooper. This is stolen by the ninja-mercernary Firefly.
When Serpentor returns, leading a renegade faction called the Coil, Mindbender returns to the side of his creation. When Serpentor was defeated again, Mindbender is captured, but managed to convince Cobra Commander to spare his life by offering him control of his latest creation, a weapon of mass destruction called the Tempest. However, after Cobra Commander gained control of the Tempest, he shoots Mindbender in the back, killing him. Before dying, Minbender helped the Joes to deactivate the Tempest, not for altruism, but as a vengeance against the Commander. This time, Mindbender's death appears to be permanent.
G.I. Joe vs. Transformers
Action Force (British) Comics continuity
Dr. Mindbender was in charge of an operation in Vietnam whereby a group of soldiers from the Vietnam War were manipulated into operating as a special operations group carrying out piracy operations, but to the outside world appeared to be a terrorist organisation. Mindbender used hypnosis and auto-suggestion to make them believe they were still fighting the war. The group, known as "Hades" operated from Grave Island in the Mekong Delta. When the Action Force member Gung-Ho heard about Hades he realised they were his old comrades from the war and travelled to Vietnam in search of them, followed by an Action Force team. Hades were rescued and the Cobra base on the island destroyed by an air strike. Mindbender disappeared in the explosions, but Gung-Ho doubted he was dead.
Sunbow animated series
Mindbender is Cobra's science officer. He hates Cobra Commander, and creates Serpentor because he feels Cobra needs a leader that can inspire courage in its cowardly troops. Mindbender is easily Serpentor's most loyal member of Cobra's high command (and as such Serpentor trusted Dr Mindbender the most out of the Cobra High Command, even being exceptionally lenient if a mission's failure is Mindbender's fault), but there are times when he considers the monarch to be a "spoiled brat".
In the new continuity set by the CGI animated movies, Dr. Mindbender once again serves as Cobra's chief scientist. In G.I. Joe: Spy Troops he creates a new and improved Battle Android Trooper, and uses stolen G.I. Joe technology to create headsets which allow Destro and Storm Shadow to control the BATs in battle. Mindbender is also working on Venom Troopers, but ultimately loses all of his research when the Cobra base is destroyed. Cobra Commander flippantly tells him to start over, leaving Mindbender shocked and appalled at such a suggestion.
For G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, Mindbender has rebuilt all of his research, and the Venom project is now fully up and running. Thanks to Mindbender's genius, Cobra begins kidnapping people from around the world and turning them into animal/human hybrids. Mindbender warns Cobra Commander about putting too much Venom into a single subject but the Commander ignores him. The captured General Hawk is transformed into Venomous Maximus, a being so powerful he quickly seizes power of Cobra with the help of Overkill. Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender are captured by Maximus and Overkill. As the Joes attack, after Maximus goes to launch his Venom missile, Mindbender is forced to join forces with his G.I. Joe rival, Hi-Tech, and work against Maximus. They reverse the polarity of the Venom missiles, which in turn destroy Cobra's base. In the confusion following the battle, Mindbender makes his escape.
Sigma 6 animated series
|A Real American Hero (1986)
Appearance: bald with black mustache; silver monocle and chest straps; bare chest and arms; purple wristbands and black gloves; purple legs with black belt, holster
Accessories: black cloth cape with silver Cobra emblem; silver pistol with circle in front of trigger guard; silver mind control wand with peg for hose; black stand-alone power box; standard long, black hose.
Variations: Mindbender's cape varied in material and whether the Cobra insignia was a patch or iron-on.
|A Real American Hero (1993)
Appearance: bald with black mustache; black headset; purple short-sleeved shirt with yellow straps and wristbands; yellow pants with black belt and boots; purple stripes on legs
Accessories: yellow "Iron Grenadier" laser pistol; yellow "'89 Snake-Eyes" submachine gun; yellow "Voltar" submachine gun; yellow "'91 Sci-Fi" laser rifle; yellow "Dee-Jay" laser rifle; yellow "Hydro-Viper" knife; purple "Alley Viper" spring-loaded missile launcher with yellow trigger.
- G.I. Joe vs. Cobra (2002)
- Like many of the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra carded action figures, Dr. Mindbender is packaged with a G.I. Joe rival, Beach Head. A second two-pack featuring the same design for Mindbender but with a different color scheme is packaged with another Joe rival, Dart.
- G.I. Joe vs. Cobra filecard
- Second G.I. Joe vs. Cobra filecard
- Valor vs. Venom (2004)
- The filecard included with the Valor vs. Venom action figure credits Mindbender with the creation of Cobra's V-Troops forces. Mindbender is carded in a two-pack with his G.I. Joe rival, Hi-Tech.
- Valor vs. Venom filecard
- "A Day in the Life of Springfield" revealed the orthodontist's name was "Dr. Binder," but there is a possibility that was just an alias adopted when he set up shop in Springfield.
- In addition to "Interrogator" and "Dr. Brainwave," other working names included "Dr. ?," "Professor Paine," "Count Vlad the Cruel" and "The Inquisitor."
- According to The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe, Dr. ?'s original filecard read:
|“||One source claims the mysterious Dr. ? is really a renegade IRS investigator who was dismissed for practicing dentistry without a license. Some believe he was a bill collector for a mail-order record club, another source swears that Dr. ? was a professional wrestler known in the ring as 'Vlad the Cruel.' It is quite possible that he could have been all three. In any case, he is a formidable interrogator: persistent, methodical and utterly merciless.||”|