Doctor Mid-Nite

Doctor Mid-Nite or Doctor Midnight is the name of multiple fictional superheroes in DC Comics.[1] The figure has been represented in the comics by three different individuals, Charles McNider, Beth Chapel, and Pieter Anton Cross. Dr. Mid-Nite was originally created by writer Charles Reizenstein and artist Stanley Josephs Aschmeier in 1941. The hero, represented first by Charles McNider, appeared for the first time in All-American Comics #25 (April 1941).[2] He continued in All-American Comics until issue #102 (Oct 1948).[3]

Doctor Mid-Nite
AllStars6.jpg
Cover to JSA: All-Stars #6. Art by John Cassaday and Mark Lewis.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceMcNider:
All-American Comics #25 (April 1941)
Chapel:
Infinity Inc. #19 (October 1985)
As Doctor Midnight:
Infinity Inc. (vol. 1) #21 (December 1985)
Cross:
Doctor Mid-Nite #1 (September 1999)
Created byMcNider:
Charles Reizenstein
Stanley Josephs Aschmeier
Chapel:
Roy Thomas
Todd McFarlane
Cross:
Matt Wagner
John K. Snyder III
In-story information
Alter egoDr. Charles McNider
Dr. Elizabeth Chapel
Dr. Pieter Anton Cross
SpeciesMetahuman
Team affiliationsMcNider, Cross:
Justice Society of America
McNider:
All-Star Squadron
U.S. Medical Corps
Black Lantern Corps
Justice League
Chapel:
Infinity, Inc.
Shadow Fighters
Notable aliasesMcNider:
Starman
Chapel:
Doctor Midnight
AbilitiesAll:
Perfect night vision
Ability to see in the dark via infrared lenses
McNider:
Brilliant doctor and mathematician
Gifted physician and author
Superb athlete and hand to hand combatant
Employs "blackout bombs"
Cross:
Great physician and scientist
Employs special ultrasonic lenses and "blackout bombs"

Like many Golden Age heroic characters, the original Doctor Mid-Nite appeared as a member of DC's Justice Society of America. His two successors were also represented as members of the group or an offshoot. Doctor Mid-Nite has never appeared as the solo protagonist of a regular title magazine, but the figure has been the subject of an anthology and a mini-series.

All three versions of Doctor Mid-Nite have exhibited the same basic features: a cowled costume featuring a crescent moon symbol, keen ability to see in the darkness at the cost of near or total blindness in sunlight, the use of special visors and “blackout” smoke bombs to gain tactical advantage in combat, a high degree of skill in martial arts, and jobs as physicians serving both normal human beings and "metahuman" superheroes. Additionally, two of the doctors have been accompanied by sidekick owls.

As a blind character, Doctor Mid-Nite is widely regarded as the first superhero in comics to exhibit a physical impairment, pre-dating the creation of Daredevil of Marvel Comics by more than twenty years.

Charles McNider made his live-action debut in the second season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow played by Kwesi Ameyaw. Charles McNider also appears in the DC Universe series Stargirl, portrayed by Henry Thomas, alongside Beth Chapel, portrayed by Anjelika Washington.

Fictional character biographiesEdit

Charles McNiderEdit

Charles McNider is the original Doctor Mid-Nite appearing in All American Comics #25 (April 1941) in the Golden Age of Comic Books and is a common member of the Justice Society of America.[1] McNider, a young surgeon, was blinded when a grenade went off in front of him caused by gangster "Killer" Maroni, but he found that he could see in the dark. He made special goggles that allowed him to see in the daylight, and decided to use his special power to fight crime. In his civilian identity, he pretends to be a helpless blind man.[4]

Beth ChapelEdit

As the aging McNider spent less time in action, Beth Chapel, a medical doctor, stepped into the role of Doctor Midnight. She was an occasionally a member of Infinity, Inc.[5]

Pieter CrossEdit

Pieter Cross first appeared in Doctor Mid-Nite #1. He is a doctor who develops the same abilities as Charles McNider after being drugged by enforcers from Praeda Industries and being in a car accident.

Owls of Doctor Mid-NiteEdit

Both Charles McNider and Pieter Anton Cross train owls as sidekicks.

McNider trains the same owl which crashes through his window, an event that leads to the discovery of his powers. This owl named "Hooty" (sometimes "Hootie") shares many adventures during the Golden Age.

Cross keeps company with an owl named "Charlie". The bird is named after the original Doctor Mid-Nite Charles McNider. Charlie keeps a mini-camera around his neck that can feed video directly to a display in Cross's goggles.

EnemiesEdit

Each incarnation of Doctor Mid-Nite has fought different enemies:

  • "Gallows" Gallagher - A gangster who had his brother take his place in prison with help from a corrupt prison warden.[6]
  • "Hands" Hannigan - A gangster who wanted to take advantage of Regis Morgan's telescopic vision and make him a lookout for his gang.[7]
  • "Killer" Maroni - A gangster who was responsible for the grenade that blinded Charles McNider and became Doctor Mid-Nite's first opponent.[8]
  • Banshee - [9]
  • Big Mouth - The leader of a gang who worked with Jasper to set up hallucinations to frighten Japser's aunt Martha Yates and his uncle Ambrose Yates.[10]
  • Doctor Light - A villain who uses light technology.[11]
  • Dr. Gamwell - A man who used a home for the blind as a front for his criminal activities.[12]
  • Fisherman - Kurt Hartmann is a fisherman-themed criminal.[13]
  • Hans - A Nazi demolition diver.[14]
  • Herman Gherkin - A Nazi general.[15]
  • Ice Ingram - [16]
  • King Cobra - A hooded gangster.[17]
  • Madame Zara - A criminal who operated as a psychic.[18]
  • Malcolm Mumm - An inventor who invented a sound-nullifying device and operated as the self-proclaimed Master of Silence. He used his invention to cover up the sounds related to his bank vault robberies.[19]
  • Mister Nitro - [20]
  • Slim - A mobster that planned to sabotage the games of the Yellow Jackets football team.[21]
  • Tarantula - A crime lord whose minion Logger suspected that Charles McNider and Doctor Mid-Nite are the same people.[22]
  • Terrible Trio - The members in the aliases of Fisk, Shackley, and Volper run Praeda Industries.[23]

Other versionsEdit

In 1965, DC Comics had no plans to revive Doctor Mid-Nite. DC editor Julius Schwartz gave M.I.T. student and comic book letterhack Rick Norwood permission to publish a Dr. Midnight story in his fanzine, Five. The story written by Norwood and illustrated by Steve Sabo features a doctor named Tom Benson who is blinded in battle. He discovers that his other senses are super-sensitive and dons the Doctor Midnight costume to fight crime.

Another version of the character was shown in Dan Jolley and Tony Harris' JSA: The Liberty File as a World War II United States intelligence agent code-named the Owl. This character, though a playboy, resembles other Doctor Mid-Nite representations. Though derided for his dalliances with the ladies, McNider was trusted as a valued field operative.

In the Tangent: Superman's Reign series, a version of Doctor Mid-Nite his body completely covered by a black cloak is briefly seen.

In the new Earth-2 created in the wake of Infinite Crisis and 52, a version of Beth Chapel is shown to be a member of the Justice Society Infinity.[24]

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

Live-actionEdit

  • Doctor Mid-Nite appears in the Smallville episode "Absolute Justice", in the painting depicting the Justice Society of America.
  • The Charles McNider incarnation of Doctor Mid-Nite appears in The CW's Arrowverse series Legends of Tomorrow's second season as a member of a 1940s incarnation of the JSA,[25] portrayed by Kwesi Ameyaw.[26] This version is legally blind, but possesses the metahuman ability to see perfectly in the dark. According to his former teammate Obsidian, he was presumed dead after going missing on a mission in 1956. However, the Legends later learned that he was placed in the distant future of 3000, where he used futuristic tech to restore his eyesight. He was later murdered by a brainwashed Rip Hunter as he was protecting a fragment of the Spear of Destiny.
  • Both Charles McNider and Beth Chapel appear in the DC Universe series Stargirl, portrayed by Henry Thomas and Anjelika Washington respectively.[27] In the pilot episode, McNider was killed along with the JSA by the Injustice Society, his uniform being put up as a memorial in his honor. Beth is shown to be a socially awkward girl who has not made any friends like her mother encourages her to do. In the episode "Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite", she becomes the new Doctor Mid-Nite and helps Rick Tyler learn his parents were killed in a car accident caused by Injustice Society member Solomon Grundy.

AnimationEdit

  • The Charles McNider version of Doctor Mid-Nite makes several brief appearances without dialogue in Justice League Unlimited, most notably in the episodes "Dark Heart", "Divided We Fall", and "Destroyer" (where he was highlighted along with fellow JSA members Doctor Fate, Hourman, and Wildcat).
  • The Charles McNider version of Doctor Mid-Nite appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes "The Golden Age of Justice" and "Crisis 23,000 Miles Above the Earth", voiced by Corey Burton. He is shown as a member of the Justice Society of America and the team's resident doctor.
  • Doctor Mid-Nite appears in episode 46 of Mad, voiced by Kevin Shinick. In the "That's What Super Friends Are For" segment, Doctor Mid-Nite joins the other superheroes into asking Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman about being called "Super Friends." Doctor Mid-Nite's part has him mentioning how he once asked Batman to take him to the airport, but Batman answered that it was "best to take a cab."

FilmEdit

Dr. Mid-Nite makes a cameo appearance in the opening credits of the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. He appears as a member of the Justice Society of America.

ToysEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide pto the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Doctor Mid-Nite I & II", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 104, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  3. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 147. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Kurt; Thomas, Roy (2019). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1940-1944. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-1605490892.
  5. ^ Infinity Inc. #21. DC Comics.
  6. ^ All-American Comics #27. DC Comics.
  7. ^ All-American Comics #76. DC Comics.
  8. ^ All-American Comics #25. DC Comics.
  9. ^ All-American Comics #65. DC Comics.
  10. ^ All-American Comics #74. DC Comics.
  11. ^ All-American Comics #82. DC Comics.
  12. ^ All-American Comics #48. DC Comics.
  13. ^ All-American Comics #69. DC Comics.
  14. ^ All-American Comics #53. DC Comics.
  15. ^ All-American Comics #42. DC Comics.
  16. ^ All-American Comics #79. DC Comics.
  17. ^ All-American Comics #29. DC Comics.
  18. ^ All-American Comics #31. DC Comics.
  19. ^ Adventure Comics #51. DC Comics.
  20. ^ All-American Comics #66. DC Comics.
  21. ^ All-American Comics #75. DC Comics.
  22. ^ All-American Comics #88. DC Comics.
  23. ^ Doctor Mid-Nite #1-3. DC Comics.
  24. ^ Justice Society of America Annual #1
  25. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Legends of Tomorrow' to Tackle Legion of Doom Villain Team In Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  26. ^ Byrne, Craig (September 29, 2016). "Commander Steel, Obsidian, Dr. Mid-Nite, Vixen & Stargirl In New "Justice Society of America" Photos". DCLegendsTV. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  27. ^ Agard, Chancellor (December 17, 2018). "DC Universe's Stargirl casts Haunting of Hill House star as the JSA's Dr. Mid-Nite". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  28. ^ St-Louis, Hervé. "Golden Age Dr. Mid-Nite Action Figure". ComicBookBin.com. Retrieved 17 October 2016.

External linksEdit

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