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The Inventor is the main antagonist of the 1941 Superman animated cartoon The Mechanical Monsters. He is an expert technician that uses his titular Mechanical Monsters to rob Metropolis of its valuables, but is defeated by Superman and arrested.
Although the origins of the Inventor are unclear, he is established as a successful criminal as he had apparently stolen enough jewelry to be collectively worth millions before the events of the film.
In his latest heist, one of his mechanical monsters, "5", robs the Metropolis National Bank and returns to the Inventor's secret lair in a rocky hillside. The robot flies in and lands before depositing the stolen valuables.
Later, an exhibit known as the House of Gems is set to open, featuring fifty million dollars worth in jewelry. Due to the threat of the Mechanical monster, precautions are taken to ensure the exhibits safety. Nevertheless, the Inventor sends "5" out once again to rob it. Hardly phased by the police's efforts, the robot successfully steals the valuables and begins it's flight back, unaware that Lois Lane had stowed away in the robot's abdomen.
At the National Bank in Metropolis, a giant robot robs the bank. Extending its' wings, it flies off to the lair of the villain who invented it, a greedy scientist. The scientist collects the money that the robot had stolen and has the robot set back in a row of dozens of other robots. The robot is then suddenly attacked by Superman who tries to rescues Lois, but the Inventor detects an interference and controls the robot to throw Superman off. Superman is sent plummeting into series of power-lines, but the jewels all fall from the robot's storage in the process.
Eventually, the robot lands in the base and discards Lois. Outraged by this, the Inventor captures Lois and takes her into the bowels of his underground lair, leaving her suspended over a large smelting pot filled with molten metal. However, Superman busts through the entrance and the Inventor recognizes him, rushing to his control panel and activating the controls.
One by one, all of the Mechanical Monsters jump to life and march towards Superman. Initially, the Inventor is pleased to see Superman losing the fight as the Mechanical Monsters pummel him and burn him with flamethrowers. However, Superman begins taking each robot out and eventually destroys the control panel while the Inventor flees. The Inventor barricades the door draws a knife as Superman breaks his way in, threatening to cut the rope holding Lois above the molten metal. Superman quickly saves Lois and the Inventor pulls as switch to dump the molten metal on them both, only for Superman to shield them both with his cape.
The Inventor attempts to flee once more but is captured and carried away by Superman. He is later said to have been arrested and all of the artifacts he had stolen were returned.
The Inventor is a man with a prominent brow, a hooked nose and cleft in his chin. He has slick black hair with thick eyebrows and a curly mustache, as well as yellow eyes with green irises. He wears a dark purple dress suit with a white over-shirt and black bow-tie.
The inventor is an evil genius and an expert in technology and engineering, demonstrated in both his Mechanical Monsters and the elaborate layout of his secret lair. However, he has little regard for the lives of innocents and only cares about growing his immense wealth through crime. But in the face of Superman, he resorts to underhanded methods of combating the hero and constantly fleeing from danger.
His lair is defended by a heavy metal door that only opens from the inside, leading to his control room where he keeps his Mechanical monster. The rest of the lair is made up of several smelting foundry and work tables for building more Mechanical Monsters.
His true name was never revealed, and his title of the Inventor is only mentioned in the newspaper when he is arrested.
In the scene preceding his capture by Superman, he is seen climbing over the rails and jumping off a cliff towards what seems to be molten metal below. This has given way to assumptions that he may have been attempting suicide to avoid imprisonment.