Doctor Poison is the name of two fictional characters, supervillains who appear in DC Comics publications and related media. Both villains were members of the super-villain team Villainy Inc. and have appeared as major recurring enemies for Wonder Woman.
Doctor Poison debuts in Sensation Comics #2.
|First appearance||Princess Maru:|
Sensation Comics #2 (February 1942)
Wonder Woman #151 (Vol. 2) (December 1999)
|Created by||William Moulton Marston|
Harry G. Peter
|Alter ego||Princess Maru|
|Team affiliations||Villainy Inc.|
Secret Society of Super-Villains
Fictional character biographyEdit
Doctor Poison first appeared as the chief of the poison division for a Nazi spy band who had planned to contaminate the United States Army's water with "Reverso," a drug that compels whoever takes it to "do the exact opposite of what they are told." She disguised her sex by wearing a bulky hooded costume and a mask. Doctor Poison's underlings captured Steve Trevor and brought him to their base in America where he was questioned by Doctor Poison. Wonder Woman, disguised as a nurse, aided Steve Trevor but was forced to flee the scene after a lengthy battle. Meanwhile, the Reverso drug was successful in turning thousands of American soldiers against their superiors. Wonder Woman recruited Etta Candy to help her create a diversion for Doctor Poison's troops, which led to the defeat of the villain. When Wonder Woman pulled her disguise off, she discovered Doctor Poison to be Maru, a Japanese princess. Maru made one more attempt to defeat the amazon, but was tackled by Etta Candy and coerced into giving up the antidote. She was later taken into police custody.
Later, Princess Maru escaped imprisonment and disguised herself as Mei Sing, a "princess" who worked in a Chinese nightclub. She once again captured Steve Trevor, who couldn't see through her disguise. This led to another encounter with Wonder Woman, who Maru defeated with an anesthetic gas grenade. Maru had been perfecting a green gas which would clog the carburetors of the US planes. This plan was foiled once again by Wonder Woman.
Instead of placing Maru back in prison, Wonder Woman sentenced her to Transformation Island, the Amazon penal colony where many female criminals were sent to reform. Although the majority of inmates have reformed with loving submission, Maru and seven other women refused to change their ways. The Saturnian slaver Eviless banded these rebellious super-villains together under the name Villainy Inc. Maru returned to her Doctor Poison disguise and tricked Queen Hippolyta into believing men had invaded Paradise Island. The villains were able to capture Hippolyta's girdle, which they used to defeat Wonder Woman. Doctor Poison then joined Eviless, Blue Snowman, and Cheetah on a boat with the captive Wonder Woman, plotting to imprison the Amazon on Transformation Island for revenge. Wonder Woman attempted to escape by turning over the boat, but the four members of Villainy Inc. defeated her once again. After traveling to Transformation Island, Eviless tortured Wonder Woman until the reformed criminal Irene led a mutiny against Villainy Inc. In the ensuing chaos, Wonder Woman and Hippolyta broke free of their chains and managed to defeat Doctor Poison and her three companions.
After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Doctor Poison was a founding member of Villainy Inc., but the team was created by Queen Clea instead of Eviless. As part of Villainy Inc., Doctor Poison battled Hippolyta, the first Wonder Woman, in the 1940s. It was later revealed by her granddaughter that she had died after creating the Reverso drug, as she accidentally reversed her own growth patterns and had forgotten the antidote by becoming too young too fast, eventually reverting to a fetus and then nothing.
The grandchild of the original Doctor Poison, this second incarnation appears in league with the demi-goddess Devastation. Doctor Poison's sex remains ambiguous, the only clues being long fingernails and a lipsticked grimace. She also joined the second Villainy Inc. and once again battled Wonder Woman. This incarnation of Doctor Poison confirmed that her grandmother did battle Queen Hippolyta as Wonder Woman during World War II. She also explains that her grandmother met her own demise by the creation of the drug called "Reverso". The original Doctor Poison accidentally reversed her own growth patterns and had forgotten the antidote by becoming too young too fast, eventually reverting to a fetus and then nothing.
Doctor Poison is one of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell free card from the Secret Six.
Doctor Poison was later asked to be a part of the Secret Society of Super Villains, which she accepted. Joining the other scientists on the team, she was assigned to collect soil samples from Logor Jasenovac, Croatia. She added her samples with that of other areas on Earth where genocide took place and helped create the new Wonder Woman villain Genocide. Following the Final Crisis, she was with Cheetah's Secret Society of Super Villains.
The New 52Edit
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Doctor Maru is re-introduced as the Caucasian daughter of a Russian pair of scientists renowned for their knowledge of poisons. American spies had approached her parents as they thought the doctors' expertise could lead to the United States' domination in biological weaponry. When they refused, the Russian government discovered their practices. Her parents were branded terrorists by Russia, and imprisoned near Siberia where they died during interrogations. Doctor Poison blamed the United States for her parents' deaths and planned to take revenge through chemical attacks.
After the events of DC Rebirth, Doctor Poison's history had been altered. In the current continuity, she is Colonel Marina Maru, a Japanese soldier working for the organization called Poison which had been founded by her family. During Wonder Woman's first few months in the United States, the Amazon discovered a group of men infected with the Maru Virus, a poison that drives its victims to rage-induced murder. Ten years later, after Wonder Woman had discovered she had been living a lie for several years, Veronica Cale sent Doctor Poison to attack the Amazon.
In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Doctor Poison is among the villains that attend an underground meeting held by Riddler that talks about the Superman Theory. Doctor Poison talks about a rumor that the Amazons forcefully took Wonder Woman back to Themyscira.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Doctor Poison is an expert in the use of poisons, toxins, and plagues.
In the DC Rebirth universe, in addition to her scientific expertise, Doctor Poison is a trained soldier.
Doctor Poison appears in the Wonder Woman sections of anthology series Wednesday Comics.
DC Super FriendsEdit
Doctor Poison is among several scientist-themed super-villains who band together to fight the Super Friends in the story "Weird Science" from the series DC Super Friends.
In other mediaEdit
- A version of Doctor Poison appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous." She is seen working as a bartender at a tavern populated by D-list supervillains when Joker pays a visit to it and meets Weeper.
- Doctor Poison appears in the DC Extended Universe film Wonder Woman (2017), portrayed by Elena Anaya. In this adaptation, her identity is Dr. Isabel "Doctor Poison" Maru, a Spanish chemist recruited by General Erich Ludendorff to create chemical weapons for the German army. Due to facial disfigurement, she wears a ceramic mask over the left side of her face. It marks the character's first live action appearance, although the setting is World War I rather than the World War II setting of the comic books. When Steve Trevor steals a book of Doctor Maru's notes on her new chemical weapons that would render the gas masks useless against them, he crash-lands on Themyscira during his escape, which alerts Diana to the current war. She initially believes that Ares is directly responsible for the war, but later learns that all he did was provide a few ideas for the weapons to the likes of Maru while the decision to use the weapons was still the choice of the humans themselves. Ares attempts to sway Diana to his point of view by offering her a chance to kill Maru for her sins and part in the war, but Diana rejects his offer upon realizing of Trevor's sacrifice that inspires her to recognize that she must accept humanity for its flaws rather than condemn it for not being perfect. This leads Diana to spare Maru out of mercy, who then flees.
- Sensation Comics #2 (1942)
- Sensation Comics #24 (1943)
- Wonder Woman #28 (1948)
- Wonder Woman: Our Worlds at War #1
- Wonder Woman #81
- Wonder Woman #48 (Mar 2016)
- Wonder Woman vol. 5, #13 (Dec 2016)
- Wonder Woman vol. 5, #12 (Dec 2016)
- Doomsday Clock #6 (July 2018). DC Comics.
- Wednesday Comics #2 (2009)
- DC Super Friends #24 (2010)
- O'Hara, Helen (April 2017). "Alpha Female". Empire. pp. 60–67.