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|“||I wonder if I should kill you now... or just give you cancer.||„|
|~ Doctor Phosphorus|
|“||Sacrifices must be made. I didn't come to rule Charneltown by being nice.||„|
|~ Doctor Phosphorou|
Dr. Alexander Sartorius, also known as Dr. Phosphorus, is a scientist turned radioactive monster in the DC universe and is primarily an enemy of Batman, though he had also fought other characters. He first appeared in Detective Comics #469 (May 1977) and was created by Steve Englehart and Walt Simonson.
Doctor Phosphorus was originally known as Dr. Alexander Sartorius. While working with a nuclear reactor, the reactor cracked and shot him full of radiation making his skin and organs invisible and making his touch radioactive. He could also shoot radioactive energy beams. Angry at his hideous transformation, he began seeking revenge on those he deemed responsible. He sold his soul to Neron in exchange for control over his previously uncontrollable powers. He became an assassin for hire and tried to kill Starman when hired by Mist, Starman's archenemy. He would face him a second time and give Starman terminal cancer. The third encounter would send Doctor Phosphorus plummeting into the earth. He would eventually be retrieved by Cadmus Laboratories who wanted to study him as an infinite power source. He escapes and seeks revenge on the people he blames for his condition, but is stopped by Batman and imprisoned in Arkham.
In Other Media
- In Batman Beyond, although Doctor Phosphorus himself never appears, the main antagonist of the first season, Blight, has a design that strongly resembles him, along with similar radioactive powers. In an interview with Bruce Timm in the Modern Masters volume profiling him, Timm, a professed fan of the Englehart/Rogers Batman run, readily admits to the similarities between Blight and Phosphorus. In Batgirl #6 (2010), Roulette refers to Phosphorus as "the Baron of Blight". Derek Powers was a wealthy businessman. After years of bidding, his company, Powers Technology, merged with Wayne Industries. Wayne was now an old man, and took little interest in day-to-day operations. In the mean time, Powers shifted the company into shady waters. Despite a weapons embargo, he set up a deal for a dangerous nerve gas with Kaznia. An employee, Harry Tully, found out and passed the information along to his co-worker, Warren McGinnis, before being killed by exposure to the nerve gas. Desperate to retrieve the information, Powers set his assistant Mr. Fixx to kill McGinnis and make it appear the latter was the victim of the Jokerz gang. However, Fixx did not obtain the disc of information, which had been earlier found by Warren's son Terry. Terry gave the disc to Bruce Wayne, whom Terry discovered was once Batman. Terry would take up the guise of Batman to avenge his father's death. In the confrontation with Batman, Powers was exposed to the nerve gas himself. In order to fight the effects, he underwent a nuclear radiation therapy that had a side effect in that it gave his skin and muscles into a toxic green color. He would mask this appearance with a special synthetic skin. The radiation took its effect, and after the "Blight" side of Powers was exposed, he went into hiding. Only his assistant, Miss Winston, knew of his whereabouts - Powers hid in an old nuclear sub that would conceal his own radiation. After following her, Batman fought Blight and the submarine sank. Blight's body was never found.
- In The Batman, the series' incarnation of Firefly becomes a version of Doctor Phosphorus after he and his girlfriend Dr. Jane Blazedale steal a phosphorous isotope to upgrade his arsenal, only to end up being mutated by it during a fight with Batman, gaining the power to control heat while slowly being driven insane by his transformation. He was defeated by Batman when he uses Liquid Nitrogen on him. This version of Phosphorus resembles molten lava and burns orange flames.
- Doctor Phosphorus appears in The Lego Batman Movie as one of Joker's henchmen.
Powers and Abilities
- Radiation Production: Powers was transformed into a living nuclear hazard. He gave off dangerous amounts of radiation even passively that makes it lethal to be near him let alone touch without some form of protection. He has no control over this.
- Energy Projection: Powers could manipulate this radiation for various effects. At first, he could only project this radiation from his hands as energy beams or fireballs. As his powers grew increasingly unstable, he was able to emit wide range waves of radiation.
- Thermokinesis: His powers also caused him to be extremely hot in the literal sense. Powers is incapable of feeling heat.