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This villain was proposed but was rejected by the community for not being heinous enough or lacks what is necessary to be a Pure Evil villain. Therefore, this villain shall be added to our "Never Again List", where proposed villains rejected by the community shall be placed to prevent future proposals of the same evil-doer. They can be proposed again (with the permission of an administrator) if new elements appear in their series that can change their status as non-PE villains.

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Six. Six people have been taken this week. This thing that took your son… We don’t really understand it. But its behavior is predictable. Like all animals, it eats. It will take more sons. More daughters. I want to save them. I want to save your son. But I can’t do that. Not without your help.
~ Dr. Brenner explaining the Demogorgon to Joyce Byers.

Dr. Martin Brenner is the overarching antagonist of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. He serves one of the two main antagonists (along with the Demogorgon) of the first season and the overarching antagonist of the second and third seasons.

He was a senior research scientist and director of Hawkins National Laboratory. He raised a test subject named Eleven in the lab, testing and pushing the limits of her psychic abilities through various experiments. In one such experiment, Brenner indirectly unleashed a monster from another dimension into Hawkins, allowing Eleven to escape the lab. In the following week, Brenner and his team searched for Eleven while investigating the newly opened gateway to the other dimension.

He is portrayed by Matthew Modine, who also portrayed Gordon Rickett in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

History

Background

Most of Brenner's past remains a mystery, expect that he was involved in a controversial project under the codename MKUltra, a CIA-sanctioned research program designed to develop mind-control techniques in which the subject suffered extreme conditions at the hands of the researchers, including use of psychedelic drugs, physical and mental abuse, sleep deprivation, and malnourishment. One of the test subjects was Terry Ives, a pregnant college student, who gave birth to a girl named Jane, who had developed dormant psychic and psychokinetic abilities due to the experimentation on Terry. Brenner and his staff abducted the child, claiming Terry had miscarried, but Terry knew otherwise. She tried to sue Brenner in order to get her daughter back, but failed due to lack of evidence, and eventually entered a lethargic and unresponsive state caused by the trauma and distress of losing her child.

Over the next few years, Brenner raised Jane, now referred to only as "Eleven" (referencing her status as a test subject), in seclusion in Hawkins National Laboratory. Using her youth and lack of social contact to his advantage, he built himself up as a father figure, making her refer to him as "Papa", all the while training and developing her psychological abilities, such as forcing her to crush a Coke can with her mind. On one occasion, he demanded that she kill a cat using her psychokinetic powers, to which she refused. As punishment, Brenner had two members of staff drag the pleading girl to a cell in the lab, but she defeated them, throwing one bodily against the wall and snapping the other's neck. While Eleven sobbed, Brenner picked up up tenderly, considering this new development to be "extraordinary".

Later, Brenner wished to test Eleven's abilities to eavesdrop over long distances. He placed her in a sensory deprivation tank, referred to as a "bath", and she entered a psychic void where she found a Russian agent. Using her powers, she sent the Russian's words back to the lab. However, though the experiment was successful, she also discovered a mysterious creature in the void and became panicked, forcing Brenner to abort the experiment.

Intrigued, Brenner had Eleven placed in the tank again, this time with the goal of making contact with the creature. Eleven succeeded, finding the creature, but in her fear she unintentionally opened an inter-dimensional rift between the laboratory and the monster's dimension. In the chaos, Eleven escaped the lab through a drainpipe.

Season One

Shortly after the Gate's opening, Brenner and a team of scientists went down to the lab's underground subsystem, which had been overrun by otherworldly tendrils and toxic biological growth from the other dimension. He resolved to hunt down Eleven and the Monster, hoping to recover his asset and eliminate the inter-dimensional threat.

The Monster abducted a local boy named Will Byers and takes him into the other dimension. To ensure the secrecy of the lab's illegal experiments and the subsequent incursion, Brenner had the disappearance covered up by placing a fake body in the nearby quarry, employing some Indiana State Police Troopers and a replacement coroner to discover it and ensure that nobody gets too close to it. However, this ruse was found out when Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper infiltrated the morgue and performed an unofficial autopsy, discovering cotton stuffing inside the body.

Brenner discovered that Eleven was hiding with Will's friends (Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair and Dustin Henderson), and he and a team of agents left Hawkins Lab to recapture her. However, they were spotted by Lucas, who managed to alert Mike, Eleven and Dustin to their approach. A chase ensued, during which Eleven flipped a government van with her mind, allowing them to escape.

Later, when Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers tried to infiltrate the lab, they are apprehended and brought to Brenner. In exchange for access to the Gate and a chance to save Will, Hopper disclosed that Eleven was located at Hawkins Middle School. Brenner and his agents set off for the school to recapture her. Connie Frazier and a team of agents ambushed her and her friends in a corridor, but she used her biokinetic powers to crush their brains in their skulls, killing them. Brenner held Eleven, who was drained of strength, and attempted to persuade her to return to the lab, but she refused, able to see through his facade as she now understood what love and friendship truly is. The blood of the dead agents drew the Monster through from the Upside Down, and it began slaughtering the agents, allowing Eleven and the boys to escape in the carnage. A horrified Brenner was subsequently attacked and presumably killed by the Monster, although his fate was left ambiguous.

A newspaper clipping, which had been placed on Hawkin's Police Station's bulletin board by December 1983, revealed that Joyce alleged that Will was "the subject of a secret government program" run by Hawkins Lab, while a "massive investigation" into "the hidden organization" took place. The article goes on to say that "under legal advise, Brenner has issued no comment" on the allegations. This suggests that either Brenner survived the attack, or that this was a false and libelous statement issued by the lab on his behalf, seeking to present the appearance of normalcy following his death.

Season Two

In the wake of Brenner's death, it was revealed that Eleven survived her battle with the Monster. She tracked down her biological mother Terry, and communicated with her via telepathy, seeing a younger Brenner taking Eleven - or Jane, her birth name - from Terry immediately after childbirth, and the lies told by Brenner's agents regarding Terry's 'miscarriage'.

Later, Eleven left her mother's house in search of her lost 'sister', who had been a fellow test subject at the lab. She met up with subject 008, now named Kali, who had become a vigilante gang member who uses her power - the ability to induce mental hallucinations - to hunt down and take vengeance on the people responsible for her and her friends' pain and neglect. Eleven, having now retaken the name Jane, accompanied Kali to the home of a former agent of the Department of Energy, and hurt him using telekinesis. Pleading for his life, the agent claimed that Brenner was alive, and that he could tell her his whereabouts. Jane leaves, sparing the agent.

As a reminder of the torture the Lab inflicted on both her and Jane, Kali used her power to conjure a hallucination of Dr Brenner in Jane's mind. However, this was not enough to keep Jane at the gang's side, and after having a vision of Hopper and Mike in danger at the Lab, she leaves Kali and the gang to rescue them. Ultimately, Brenner's true fate is left ambiguous; it is unknown whether the agent's claims were true or false.

Personality

In most situations, Brenner is calm, collected and remote, but his quiet and curious nature hides an utterly ruthless personality. He is shown to have little care for human life in his pursuit of scientific progress, willingly keeping a young girl in isolation in Hawkins Laboratory and repeatedly subjecting her to physically and emotionally draining experiments, remorselessly submitting her to cruel psychological torture when she fails or refuses to do so. He acts gently and kindly to Eleven, but in truth the only thing he sees her as is a test subject, and an unstated threat is present in every tender word he says. Despite this Brenner showed some humanity as he attempted to get his people to save Shepard from death and was genuinely distraught when Shepard died.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Executive producer Shawn Levy confirmed in an interview that Brenner survived the attack. Also, after the first season was released, director Matt Duffer stated in an interview that Brenner most likely survived.
  • Brenner is a German-language surname. It originates from the Middle High German term "brennen", which means to burn.

Navigation

           StrangerThingsTitle.png Villains

Season 1
Martin Brenner | Demogorgon | Connie Frazier | Lonnie Byers | Troy and James | Tommy H. and Carol | Mind Flayer

Season 2
Mind Flayer | Billy Hargrove | D'Artagnan | Martin Brenner | Demogorgon | Neil Hargrove

Season 3
Mind Flayer | Billy Hargrove | Grigori | Larry Kline | General Ozerov | Heather Holloway | Tom Holloway | Bruce Lowe | Hospital Creature | Demogorgon

           Netflix logo.pngVillains

Movies
Animated
The Little Prince (2015): The Businessman | The Conceited Man | Academy Teacher
Sahara (2017): Omar
Duck, Duck, Goose (2018): Banzou the Cat
White Fang (2018): Beauty Smith
Next Gen (2018): Ares
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling (2019): Mr. Dupette | Ed Bighead
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2019): Zim | GIR | Mini Moose | Gaz Membrane | Almighty Tallests | Irken Empire
Klaus (2019): Mrs. Krum | Mr. Ellingboe | Olaf | Pumpkin | The Krum Clan | The Ellingboe Clan
Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie (2020): Agent Red | Mugg-1N5 | The Hazmats
The Willoughbys (2020): Father and Mother
A Whisker Away (2020): Cat Mask Seller
Animal Crackers (2020): Horatio P. Huntington | Zucchini | Samson | Stabby | El Diablo
Bigfoot Family (2020): Arlo Woodstock | Connor Mandrake
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On the Run (2020): King Poseidon | El Diablo | Plankton | Karen Plankton | Mr. Krabs
Barbie: Princess Adventure (2020): Prince Johan | Reggie | Rose Ross
Barbie & Chelsea: The Lost Birthday (2021): Don | Tiki the Statue
Arlo the Alligator Boy (2021): Ruff and Stucky
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021): PAL Labs (PAL, PAL Max, Glaxxon 5000 and PAL Max Prime)
Wish Dragon (2021): Pockets
America: The Motion Picture (2021): Benedict Arnold | King James
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (2021): Bellroc | Skrael | Zong-Shi
Vivo (2021): Lutador
The Loud House Movie (2021): Morag | Aggie
My Little Pony: A New Generation (2021): Sprout Cloverleaf

More to be added

Live-Action
Beasts of No Nation (2015): The Commandant
The Ridiculous 6 (2015): Frank Stockburn | Cicero
Hush (2016): The Man
The Do-Over (2016): Heather Fishman
Spectral (2016): The apparitions
Clinical (2017): Alex Green
Okja (2017): Nancy Mirando | Lucy Mirando | Frank Dawson | Johnny Wilcox | Mirando Corporation
You Get Me (2017): Holly Viola
Naked (2017): Vicky | Cody Favors
Death Note (2017): Light Turner | Mia Sutton | L | Ryuk | Antony Skomal | James Brode | Kenny Doyle
Little Evil (2017): Reverend Gospel | Lucas | Miss Shaylock | Satan
Gerald's Game (2017): Raymond Andrew Joubert | Gerald Burlingame | Tom
The Babysitter (2017): Bee | Max | Allison | John | Sonya | Satanic Cult | Melanie
1922 (2017): Wilfred James
Annihilation (2018): The Shimmer
Cam (2018): Lola Lola
22 July (2018): Anders Behring Breivik
Christmas Chronicles (2018): Charlie Plummer | Vincent | Vincent's Goons
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018): Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Bandar Log
Bird Box (2018): Creatures | Gary
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018): Stefan Butler | Pax | Jerome F. Davies | Peter Butler | Dr. Haynes
Polar (2019): Mr. Blut | Vivian | A-Team
I Am Mother (2019): Mother
The Highwaymen (2019): Bonnie and Clyde
Malibu Rescue: The Movie (2019): Brody | Logan | Spencer | Garvin Cross
The Silence (2019): Reverend | The Hushed | Vesps
Murder Mystery (2019): Grace Ballard | Juan Carlos Rivera
Secret Obsession (2019): Ryan Gaerity
In The Tall Grass (2019): Ross Humboldt
Eli (2019): Eli Miller | Dr. Isabella Horn | Paul Miller
Rattlesnake (2019): The Woman | Billy
The Irishman (2019): Frank Sheeran | Jimmy Hoffa | Tony Provenzano | Russell Bufalino | Tony Salerno | Joe Gallo | Sally Bugs | Whispers DiTullio
I See You (2019): Greg Harper | Alec
6 Underground (2019): Rovach Alimov | Four Horsemen | Baasha Zia
The Social Dilemma (2020): A.I.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020): The Twins
Extraction (2020): Amir Asif | Farhad | Colonel Bajlur Rashid | Saju Rav | Gaspar | Ovi Mahajan Sr. | Shadek
The Old Guard (2020): Steven Merrick | Booker | Copley
Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave (2020): Wayno | Kezza | Team Aussie | Brody | Spencer
Freaks: You're One of Us (2020): Dr. Stern | Elmar Mund/Electro Man
The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020): Melanie | Max | Allison | Sonya | John | Bee | Diego | Jimmy | Satan
Hubie Halloween (2020): Mrs. Dubois | Hal
Run (2020): Diane Sherman
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting (2020): The Grand Guignol | Peggy Drood | Toadies | Shadow creature
Love and Monsters (2020): Cap | Dana | Rocko | Monsters
The Strange House (2020): Gerold Röckl | Mrs. Röckl
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020): Don Juan Diego | Gustafson
Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020): Belsnickel | Speck
We Can Be Heroes (2020): Ojo | Ms. Granada
Major Grom: Plague Doctor (2021): The Plague Doctor | Evgeny Strelkov | Kirill Grechkin
Army of the Dead (2021): Zeus | Martin | Zombie Queen | Bly Tanaka | Burt Cummings | Zombies
Fear Street series (2021): Nick Goode | Satan | Skull Mask | Camp Nightwing Killer | Ruby Lane | Billy Barker | The Milkman | Pastor Miller | The Shame Killer | Goode Family (Solomon Goode)
Black Island (2021): Helena Jung
Nightbooks (2021): Natacha
Army of Thieves (2021): TBA

More to be added

Series
Live-Action
Black Mirror: Carlton Bloom | Iain Rannoch | Victoria Skillane | White Bear Visitors | Baxter | Waldo | Matthew Trent | Joe Potter | Jennifer | Saito Geimu | Kenny | Hector | The Hackers | Arquette | Garrett Scholes | Robert Daly | Marie | Trick | Mia Nolan | Dogs | Rolo Haynes | Catherine Ortiz | Dr. Munk
House of Cards: Frank Underwood | Claire Underwood | Doug Stamper
Orange Is the New Black: Piper Chapman | Linda Ferguson | Pornstache | Natalie Figueroa | Desi Piscatella | Thomas Humphrey | Artesian McCullough | Aydin Bayat | Pennsatucky | Yvonne Parker | Stella Carlin | Maria Ruiz | Galina Reznikov | Denning Sisters | Madison Murphy | Dayanara Diaz | Carlos Litvak | Kubra Balik
Better Call Saul: Saul Goodman | Mike Ehrmantraut | Charles McGill | Juárez Cartel (Hector Salamanca, Lalo Salamanca, Nacho Varga, Tuco Salamanca, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, Juan Bolsa, Krazy-8, Arturo Colon, Gonzo & Don Eladio) | Los Pollos Hermanos (Gustavo Fring, Victor, Tyrus Kitt, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle & Gale Boetticher) | Huell Babineoux | Ed Galbraith
Scream (2015): Ghostface (Piper Shaw, Kieran Wilcox, Third Killer, Beth & Jamal Elliot) | Brandon James | Haley Meyers | Tom Martin | Becca | Tommy Jenkins | Luther Thompson | Avery Collins | Nina Patterson
Stranger Things: Mind Flayer | Billy Hargrove | Demogorgon | Martin Brenner | Connie Frazier | Lonnie Byers | Troy and James | Tommy H. and Carol | D'Artagnan | Neil Hargrove | Grigori | Larry Kline | General Ozerov | Heather Holloway | Tom Holloway | Bruce Lowe | Hospital Creature
The Good Place: Shawn | Michael
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Count Olaf | Esmé Squalor | Hook-Handed Man | Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender | White-Faced Women | Bald Man | Carmelita Spats | Hugo, Colette & Kevin | The Man With a Beard But No Hair | The Woman With Hair But No Beard | Dr. Georgina Orwell | Sir | Vice Principal Nero | Ernest Denouement | Ishmael | Bombinating Beast
Money Heist: The Professor | Berlin | Arturo Roman | Alicia Sierra | Cesar Gandia | Palermo
Dark: Adam | Eva | Noah | Sic Mundus
Elite: Carla Rosón | Lucrecia Montesinos | Polo Benavent | Cayetana Grajera | Teodoro Rosón | Begoña Benavent | Andrea Villada | Armando
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Father Blackwood | Madame Satan | Weird Sisters (Prudence Blackwood & Agatha Night) | Batibat | Plague Kings (Beelzebub, Asmodeus & Purson) | The Pagans (Pan, Circe & Nagaina) | Green Man | Caliban | Jimmy Platt | Dorian Gray | Bartel | Jerathmiel | Mehitable | Satan
Sex Education: Michael Groff | Adam Groff | Ruby Matthews | Anwar Bakshi | Olivia Hanan | Hope Haddon
Malibu Rescue: The Series: Thornton Pavey | Garvin Cross | Brody | Spencer | Logan | Craig
Control Z: Raúl León | Gerry Granda | Pablo García | Darío | Ernesto | Bruno | Alex
Dark Desire: Esteban Solares | Darío Guerra | Antonio Guerra
Lupin: Hubert Pellegrini | Leonard Kone
Snabba Cash: Ravy
Sweet Home: Security Guard | Glutton Monster | Blind Monster | Spider Monster | Tongue Monster | Eyeball Monster | Protein Monster | Reach Monster | Speed Monster | Outlaws | Ui-myeong
Squid Game: Oh Il-nam | Front Man | The VIPs | Masked Men (Masked Supervisors | Masked Soldiers | Masked Workers) | Cho Sang-woo | Jang Deok-su | Byeong-gi | Player 278

Animated
Turbo Fast: Hardcase | Dirtbeard's Crew (Dirtbeard) | Hayaku | Clip and Clap | Queen Invicta | S.E.C.R.E.T. | Chef Lombardo | Wendell | Ace Gecko | Breakneck | Cajun Cliche | Dean Cuizeen | F.A.J.I.T.A | Broaches | Baron Von Schwarzhosen | Gigundus | Barth | Crowzilla | Guy Gagné
The Adventures of Puss In Boots: Bloodwolf | Duchess | Scimitar | El Moco | Beast | Evil Dulcinea
Dragons: Race to the Edge: Johann | Dragon Flyers (Krogan, Mr. Murderous Pile of Yak Dung, Flyer Leader) | Dragon Hunters (Viggo Grimborn, Ryker Grimborn, Cleve, Ingar Ingerman, Dragon Hunter Commander, Fight Master) | Dagur the Deranged | Amos | Gruffnut Thorston | Slitherwings | Firecomb Crasher | Hookfang's Nemesis
Dinotrux: D-Structs | Skrap-It | Splitter | Blayde | Pounder | D-Stroy | Goldtrux
Magi: Adventure of Sinbad: Barbarossa | Falan | Memphis | Shaka | Zayzafon | Rotter | Gyokuen Ren | Matal Mogamett
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Emperor Zarkon | Lotor | Haggar
Trollhunters: Gunmar the Black | Bular the Butcher | Gumm-Gumms | Angor Rot | Queen Usurna | Dictatious Maximus Galadrigal | Stricklander | Otto Scaarbach | Nomura | Krax | Morgana
Castlevania: Dracula | Isaac | Hector | Blue Fangs | Carmilla | Death | Bishop
Kakegurui: Yumeko Jabami | Mary Saotome | Hyakkaou Private Academy Student Council (Kirari Momobami, Vice-president, Itsuki Sumeragi, Yuriko Nishinotouin, Midari Ikishima, Yumemi Yumemite, Kaede Manyuda, Runa Yomozuki & Sayaka Igarashi)
Devilman Crybaby: Ryo Asuka/Satan | Demons (Zennon, Psycho Jenny, Sirene, Medoc, Kaim, Vegard & Jinmen) | Moyuru Koda | Babo | Hie | Angels | God
B The Beginning: Gilbert Ross | Minatsuki | Laica | Kamui | Quinn | Izanami | Takeru and Kukuri | Market Maker | Red | Blue | Yellow | Richard Crouse | Henry Crouse | Julian Crouse | Jean Henry Richard | Dead Kyle
Barbie: Dreamhouse Adventures: Poppy Reardon | Tammy | Whittaker Reardon | Gloria Vaughan | Cameron Vaughan | Mr. Pearlman | Vladimir Borislav
Harvey Girls Forever!: Zoe, Stu, Maria, Patty Pupé
Hilda: Kelly | Trevor
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Melvin Sneedly | Benjamin Krupp | The Splotch | Socktopus | Theodore Murdsly | Smartsy Fartsy | Melvinborg | Teachertrons | Croco-bats | Butt-erflies | Dr. Disgruntled
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Hordak | The Horde (Catra, Shadow Weaver, Scorpia & Double Trouble) | Horde Prime | Galactic Horde | Light Hope | First Ones
3Below: General Morando | OMENs | Zeron Brotherhood | Halcon | Magmatron | Tronos Madu | Gwendolyn | Colonel Kubritz | Gaylen
Carmen Sandiego (2019): Professor Maelstrom | Coach Brunt | Countess Cleo | Dr. Saira Bellum | V.I.L.E. (The Cleaners | Roundabout | Cookie Booker | Tigress | Le Chevre | El Topo | Paper Star | Mime Bomb | Neal the Eel | The Mechanic | The Driver | Lady Dokuso | Otter Man and Moose Boy | Spinkick and Flytrap | The Troll | Madame Goldlove | Dash Haber)
Seis Manos: El Balde | El Balde’s Jefes
Green Eggs and Ham (2019): Hervnick Z. Snerz | Goat
Dragons: Rescue Riders: Magnus Finke | Slinkwing Trio (Lurke) | Waldondo del Mundo | Erik the Wretched | Svetlana the Sly
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Scarlemagne | Mod Frogs (Jamack & Mrs. Satori) | Newton Wolves (Bad Billions and Good Billions) | Scooter Skunks | Humming Bombers | Tad Mulholand | Fun Gus | Human Resistance (Dr. Emilia, Greta & Zane)
Wizards: Bellroc | Skrael | King Arthur | Morgana | AAARRRGGHH!!!
Blood of Zeus: Hera | Seraphim
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: Scorpios rex | Henry Wu | Toro | Indominus rex | Eddie | Mantah Corp | Mitch & Tiff | Hawkes | Reed | Eli Mills
Kid Cosmic: Fantos the Amassor | Stuck Chuck | Biker in Black | Krosh | Erodious the Planet Killer
Go, Dog, Go!: Frank and Beans
I Heart Arlo: The Bog Lady
Centaurworld: The Nowhere King

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