Dr. Mindbender (G.I. Joe)
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There are many rumors about Dr. Mindbender's past, but the most persistent one is that he was once a kind and honest orthodontist experimenting with electric brainwave stimulation as a means of relieving dental pain. Using himself as his own test subject, the doctor performed an experiment that went awry and transformed him into the cruel, vain and amoral Dr. Mindbender. Now free from any sense of right and wrong, Mindbender continued to experiment with mind control and other projects that no reputable or ethical scientist would ever conceive of.
Mindbender began to build quite a reputation in the underworld and caught the attention of Cobra. Using his "creeper bombs" -- incredibly fast-growing vines that grew pods that could burst open and release sleeping gas -- and his incredibly advanced Battle Android Troopers, Mindbender demonstrated his abilities to Destro and the Baroness by attacking a group of newly-recruited Joes being trained by Lady Jaye. (At the time, the Doctor had no idea that some of his BATs' components were actually supplied by Destro's weapons manufacturing company.) The Joes defeated the Doctor's creations, but Destro and the Baroness recognized his genius. Even so, Destro was still disgusted by Mindbender's extreme arrogance, sometimes mocking the Doctor by calling him "Dr. Brainwave". Cobra Commander shared Destro's distaste for the scientist, noting upon their first meeting: "Hrmph! This Dr. Mindbender thinks more highly of himself than Major Bludd does!"
When he first arrived on Cobra Island, Mindbender used his jet ski-like torpedo transports (Hydro-sleds) against the Joes when they attempted to rescue Ripcord, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. During the battle, the Baroness gunned-down and seemingly killed an unarmed Storm Shadow. Keeping his reasons to himself, Mindbender ordered that the ninja's body be kept and stored.
Shortly after joining Cobra, Dr. Mindbender proposed an incredibly ambitious project to Cobra Commander. To assure Cobra's success, the organization needed a great warrior to lead it into battle. But, instead of trying to find such a man, why not create him? He postulated that by using cloning technology to combine the DNA of several ideal candidates, a new, perfect soldier could be created. But instead of using genetic materials of the living, Mindbender would combine the genes of history's greatest warriors. Cobra Commander was willing to let the Doctor attempt it, and authorized the use Cobra's resources to that end. With the help of Destro and the Baroness, Mindbender broke into tombs, museums and mausoleums to find the remains of history's most famed soldiers. Once that was complete, Mindbender set up a laboratory in the Museum of Antiquities in the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield. Highly advanced computers and medical equipment combined the dead men's DNA into a single pattern. Mindbender created a dozen separate clone bodies, and used each one as a test for his final creation. When he had mastered the process, Mindbender finally encoded the DNA pattern into a single clone body. That would give the warrior the best mental and physical potential of all the great soldiers. After accelerating its growth to artificially age his new creation, to give the new being memories, Mindbender simply entered data into the brain as one would a computer -- with the help of the late Dr. Venom's Brain-wave Scanner -- and historical fact became several lifetimes of memories. In addition, Mindbender connected himself to the scanner to instill a loyalty to Cobra in his creation. He also used the apparently lifeless body of Storm Shadow as "fresh meat" for his project, which may have helped wake Storm Shadow from the near-death ninja trance that helped him survive being shot. In the midst of the final stage of the project, the G.I. Joe team staged an invasion of Springfield. As the battle raged outside, the new being came to life. Mindbender dubbed him "Serpentor", because it had "a snake-like ring to it". Serpentor seemed to know every move the Joes were making and he convinced Destro to allow him to lead the Cobra troops in a holding action against the Joes to let Cobra evacuate the town. In the fighting that followed, Serpentor led the attack personally, displaying not only his tactical skills but his charismatic leadership. Upon arrival at Cobra Island, the Commander ordered Mindbender to destroy his other young clones, fearing they would fall into the wrong hands. In reality, the Doctor transferred the clones, still floating inside giant vats, to a hidden laboratory on the island that even Cobra Commander was unaware of. Mindbender remained at Serpentor's side, seemingly enamored with his own creation. Serpentor's successes boosted Mindbender's already high opinion of himself. He took Serpentor's side when he and Cobra Commander were at odds after the Battle of Springfield. After an attack on G.I. Joe headquarters, Cobra Commander and Destro were presumed dead, allowing Serpentor to take control of Cobra.
As Serpentor expanded Cobra's weapon sales business, Mindbender took charge of the Terror-Drome project. Cobra sold their Terror-Drome launch bases to any nation that could pay for them, and in doing so played a part in further destabilizing already-chaotic regions of the world. Mindbender and the Baroness were stationed at the Terror-Drome in Sierra Gordo in the midst of the counter-revolution. When Snake-Eyes was sent in on a recon mission, the commando was captured and subjected to Mindbender's upgraded version of the late Dr. Venom's Brain-wave Scanner. Mindbender also had a new lab set up in the Cobra Consulate in New York City, were he continued to refine the Scanner. The Terror-Drome project finally came to fruition many months later when the launch base's secret was revealed in Frusenland. The bases' paranoia-inducing low frequency sound wave transmitters were activated, helping to spark civil unrest in the country. The Joes arrived just in time and revealed Cobra's treachery to the country's prime minister, ruining the Terror-Drome operation. Shortly after the debacle in Frusenland, Mindbender and Serpentor discovered that Cobra Commander was in fact an imposter: the Crimson Guardsman Fred VII. They kept the information to themselves, hoping to find the best way to use the information to their advantage.
Mindbender's next creation was the surgically-enhanced Cobra pilot known as the Star-Viper. He was intended to pilot Cobra's new Stiletto rocket plane, but Mindbender wanted to prove the Star-Viper's usefulness in other areas. With Serpentor's approval, the Star-Viper was sent to investigate the Utah Army base where some G.I. Joe activity had been detected. The enhanced Viper infiltrated Joe headquarters and stole a top secret electronic "black box" from the space shuttle Defiant. The device was extremely valuable to the Pentagon, but when the Star-Viper returned to Cobra Island with his prize, a fist fight broke out between Serpentor and the Cobra Commander impostor, Fred VII. The fight quickly led to a civil war on the island, and though most had forgotten the black box, Mindbender snatched it up for safe keeping. Mindbender was Serpentor's closest adviser during the war, and when the war seemed to be favoring Fred VII, the scientist suggested using the black box to make a deal with the United States. Mindbender himself flew to Washington and a deal was struck for the G.I. Joe team to enter the war on Serpentor's side. With the Joes' help the tide of the war turned, but in the middle of a battle, Zartan fired an arrow that struck and killed Serpentor. Fearing for himself, Mindbender ran towards enemy lines and quickly made a deal with Fred's forces. The Joes were forced to leave the island, in disgrace. Afterwards, the Doctor told Fred VII that he knew his true identity, and allied himself with the fake Cobra Commander. Hoping to stay in Fred's good graces, Mindbender then staged an assault on the Pit in Utah, based on the information provided by the Star-Viper. The Joes learned of the invasion and moved the base's surface buildings to hide their true underground headquarters. Cobra forces destroyed the Joes' buildings and discovered solid earth underneath. Mindbender was enraged and humiliated.
Since even before Serpentor's death, Dr. Mindbender had been experimenting with one of the other Serpentor clones. He modified its physical appearance, and artificially aged so that it would in no way resemble the original Serpentor. Following the Cobra Island civil war, he hatched a plan and recruited Zartan's brother, Zandar, to help him. Through an alias, Zandar served as Mindbender's representative while he brokered a deal with one of the corrupt generals who was part of the cabal known as the Jugglers. Mindbender sold the altered clone to the general, who intended to use it in the future as a super soldier under his own control. But Mindbender himself hoped to use the clone as a secret weapon against both G.I. Joe and Cobra, should the need arise. With the help of the hypnotist, Crystal Ball, the clone was programmed to be suggestive to commands and controllable through various post-hypnotic code-word triggers. The Jugglers were unaware of the post-hypnotic suggestions, allowing Mindbender to have a sleeper agent hidden amongst his enemies. Circumstances would soon bring an abrupt end to Mindbender's plan, but many years later, the Jugglers would activate the clone under the guise of General Philip Rey.
Months after his failure in Utah, Dr. Mindbender was approached by Raptor, who offered to tell him where the body of the original Cobra Commander was buried. They both considered using the Commander's DNA and the technology that created Serpentor to create a new leader. After they arrived at the Commander's grave site, they discovered Cobra Commander was alive and well, having been rescued years before by his loyal Crimson Guard. The Commander decided it was time to return, to Cobra and rounded up many of his enemies, including Mindbender. Along with several others, Mindbender was imprisoned inside Cobra Island's landlocked freighter, which the Commander buried under the rubble of a collapsed volcano. Nearly all those inside apparently died from spoiled rations -- the only food inside the ship. Mindbender's lifeless body was discovered by Cobra Vipers months later.
That should have been the end of the story of Dr. Mindbender, but for a man who learned to create life, death was only a challenge to overcome. Before his death, Mindbender had stored the data that made up his memories in the same computer system he had used to construct Serpentor's brain. With this and samples of his own DNA, the evil genius left behind a blueprint for his own resurrection. His equipment remained untouched in his lab on Cobra Island for years until Cobra Commander abandoned the island and took back control of the Silent Castle in Trans-Carpathia. There, the Commander set up Mindbender's lab equipment, which now included a lifeless body floating in the same cloning tank that Serpentor had emerged from years before. It was in the Silent Castle that the body began to show signs of life. A short time later, Cobra Commander traveled to the Cobra-controlled town of Millville. While Vipers were off-loading the cloning tank from a helicopter, a resident of the town began to resist Cobra's brainwashing and knocked the tank to the ground. The tank shattered and the man smashed a portable Brain-wave Scanner near it, sending bolts of electricity into the liquid surrounding the barely alive body. The jolt of energy suddenly brought life to the body, and Dr. Mindbender had returned. The scientist soon returned to his evil ways, now fully supporting Cobra Commander. With Mindbender's help, the Commander used mind control to bend Destro, the Baroness, Zartan and Billy to his will, giving Cobra a new high command. The Doctor also created holographic illusions to confuse any who entered the Silent Castle, and designed a new suit of battle armor for Cobra Commander that could be hidden beneath his normal uniform. Just as Cobra gained territory in Eastern Europe, an allied military force attacked and defeated the terrorist organization. In the wake of that conflict, most of Cobra's high command scattered and went into hiding.
Dr. Mindbender went underground for years (though he did spend some time working for Destro's weapons company) until 2001, when Cobra Commander called together his former lieutenants. Mindbender was one of the many who answered the call, ready to serve a new, revitalized Cobra. One of his first new projects was yet another upgrade to his Battle Android Trooper. But Mindbender lost control of his newest BAT and was nearly killed in the process. The android went on a rampage through Chicago while Mindbender, the Dreadnoks and a number of Joes tried to stop it. After the failure of his BAT, Mindbender went into hiding as he began to have strange dreams of his past life, long before he was revived in his new cloned body. Through his current dreams he began to realize that he had some kind of psychic link to the Serpentor clones he had left on Cobra Island when he died, perhaps because his new body was created the same way that they were. He also came to know that Serpentor's body had been preserved many years ago and had since been revived by a secret group known as The Coil. The other clones, now children, had been discovered some time after Cobra Island was abandoned and had been placed with foster families. Dr. Mindbender gathered three of the children and when Serpentor finally revealed himself to rescue the remaining children from the Joes, Mindbender joined him.
With The Coil as his personal army headquartered on Cobra Island, Serpentor launched an attack on the world. His forces soon battled the Joes and Cobra, and were defeated. When the battle was over, Serpentor was missing and presumed dead. Mindbender fled for his life as the Commander vowed that he could never escape him. The Doctor eventually found his way off of the Island and made his way to the Dreadnoks' compound in Florida, hoping to make a deal with Zartan. He told Zartan he would not reveal to Cobra Commander that Zandar had betrayed him on Cobra Island if Zartan helped him retrieve a device called the Tempest, which The Coil was digging up in Europe. Despite his threats, Mindbender was held prisoner at Zartan's compound while he left to rescue Cobra Commander from incarceration in a government facility. But he was soon horrified to discover that the person he thought was Zartan had been Cobra Commander in disguise, and it was in fact Zartan who had been rescued. All along the Doctor had been telling Cobra Commander the details about the Tempest.
Dr. Mindbender learned that the Tempest had all ready been transferred to Cobra Island, where Destro was now running Cobra and had recently welcomed the members of The Coil back into the organization. Mindbender then joined Cobra Commander when he traveled to the Island and wrested control back from Destro. He then took control of the Tempest, a device that could seed the clouds to make it rain. With Dr. Mindbender's help, it was used to make the flash-eating Death Angel virus rain down upon a chosen area. The Commander then set up a new Cobra headquarters in the European nation of Badhikstan, and prepared to launch the Tempest into orbit on board a satellite. After Dr. Mindbender finished preparing the Tempest, the Commander shot him, wishing to put an end to Mindbender's constant betrayals. Soon, the G.I. Joe team lead an assault on the Cobra base. Cobra Commander escaped, leaving Mindbender bleeding on the floor. When the Joes found him barely alive, he helped them destroy the Tempest satellite before it could be activated, betraying Cobra one last time. It was to be Dr. Mindbender's final act before bleeding to death from the Commander's gunshot wound.
File Name: Unknown
Primary Military Specialty: Genetic Engineer
Secondary Military Specialty: Orthodontist
First Appearance: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982) #44
Dr. Mindbender (G.I. Joe) is a favorite character of 2 users
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
G.I. Joe (1982)
#44 G.I. Joe (2001)
- 'Improvisation sur un theme!'#47
- 'Combat naval'
G.I. Joe (2004)
#26 G.I. Joe (2005)
- 'Scott Sturgis is a Reasonable Man...'#27
- 'Paradigm Shift'#29
- 'Players and Pawns: Two of Five'#30
- 'Players and Pawns: Three of Five'#31
- 'Players and Pawns: Four of Five'#32
- 'Players and Pawns: Five of Five'#36
- 'Union of the Snake: Part One - "SHROUD"'#37
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Two'#38
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Three'#39
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Four'#40
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Five'#41
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Six'
#20 G.I. Joe and The Transformers (1987)
- 'All the King's Men'
#1 G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers III: The Art of War (2006)
- 'Blood on the Tracks'#2
- 'Power Struggle'#3
- 'Ashes, Ashes...'#4
- '...All Fall Down'
G.I. Joe Yearbook (1985)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2008)
#7 G.I. Joe: America's Elite: Data Desk Handbook (2005)
- 'Destro Vs. Iron Grenadier: Move and Countermove'
#1 G.I. Joe: Battle Files (2002)
- 'Data Desk Handbook'
TPB G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander Tribute - 100-Page Spectacular (2011)
G.I. Joe: Frontline (2002)
#1 G.I. Joe: Special Missions (1986)
- 'The Mission that Never Was 1 of 4 "One If By Land"'#2
- 'The Mission that Never Was 2 of 4 "Two If By Sea"'#3
- 'The Mission that Never Was 3 of 4 "Assault on the Silent Castle"'#4
- 'The Mission that Never Was 4 of 4 "Endgame"'
#7 G.I. Joe: The Data Desk Handbook A-M (2007)
- 'The Old Switcheroo'#16
- 'Tight Circle'
The G.I. Joe Order of Battle (1986)
#3 Transformers/G.I. Joe (2003)
- 'The Official G.I. Joe Handbook, 3 of 4'
Cobra (G.I. Joe)
Coil (G.I. Joe)(Devil's Due)
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