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The experiments of Arthur Harrow

At least MCU!Harrow didn't go too far out of his lane where his original comics version conducted a whole new level of pain.

Good. The subject's nerves are sensitized and inflamed. They didn't go far enough in Auschwitz. The war's end interrupted their brilliant work. Now transcutaneous stimulation... there. But soon... soon I will succeed where Hauptborg and Schold failed. Fame and glittering prizes will be mine. My facial paralysis will be cured. And the raging pain I endure will end.
~ These are the words of an unsubtle, glory-seeking scientist on the verge of finishing where past Nazi scientists failed, and to think a cult leader of soul takers is proven to be more subtle than the former. Thankfully.

Out of curiosity, I've decided to come across on once again, delving into the world of Marvel comics to foresee what else they have in store today. Looking back on MCU's Moon Knight series, an idea sparked to my mind and remembered there was a time Arthur Harrow was in the comics and was the reason for replacing Raoul Bushman as the main villain of the first season due to technical difficulty with the planning and overall execution. But is this Harrow like the one we know and love as of today? Not exactly...

Fact! Did you know the comics Harrow is a lot worse compared to the MCU one, even though heinous-wise, whereas the latter aids in a grand theft animarum that sees millions of souls consumed, the former abducts and captures dozens to perform truly vile experiments based on actual Nazi scientists!? This is no joke, even for only one single issue alone was the original Harrow be able to do enough to be both a heinous individual and a vile bastard at the same time. What surprises me the most is just how much the MCU counterpart is actually proven to be a lot more well-written compared to the real deal in person. Oh, the irony of things. That said, I'd figured it'd be fair to bring him up just to help drive the point just how much the MCU did right but doing wrong right even in the modern phase.

Everyone, this today's discussion talks about the the original Arthur Harrow.

What's the Work?[]

Moon Knight is one of the most prominent comic books in the Marvel franchise. Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Moon Knight himself is a lunar-themed, hooded superhero who holds the complex case of Dissociative Identity Disorder between two identities, Marc Spector and Steven Grant, going about hunting down and delivering justice onto only the evilest of criminals and entities.

Focusing on Volume 2, "Fist of Khonshu", follows six different tales of Moon Knight confronting several enemies, ranging from one of the incarnations of Anubis the Jackal, a vile scientist conducting inhumane experiments, a fired writer posing as a pirate, and a female drug lord from the south who runs a cult.

Who is He? What has He Done?[]

Arthur Harrow is a scientist with facial paralysis (trigeminal neuralgia) and currently an agent researcher for a mysterious organization called O.M.N.I.U.M. who found interest in Harrow's work. His researched is documented after previous inhumane experiments from Nazi scientists of a concentration camp from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Upon years of medical knowledge, Dr. Harrow came across unknown means of accessing old experiment files from Nazi scientists, finding benefit to his research related to pain theory. It was then he begins conducting his vile experiments on an uncertain amount of victims during his time in the Vanguard for the Noble Committee, the procedures involve converting electrode implants onto the victim's entire body, injecting serums that causes desensitized the nerve systems, transcutaneous stimulation, skin-carving with a razor, and it was all but further steps till the victim is fully lobotomized and insensitive to pain. When Dr. Harrow was nominated for a reward, fellow committee member Dr. Victoria Grail objected after discovering his research was more than falsified to be from animal research but the very experiments he conducted.

Revoked, Dr. Harrow finds himself new work under O.M.N.I.U.M. and settled conducting his experimental operations in Yucatan, Northern Mexico under the guise of studying Fauna-Jaguars and Armadillos. In actuality, he continued the inhumanely cruel Auschwitz-experiments that sees several slave workers from labor fields and plantations kidnapped and later converted into mindless soldiers, thus starting a routine where he sends few of his best to scout out and capture few more on the way to his secret laboratory beneath a Mayan temple, conducting the same procedures repetitively where newcomer victims are seen locked up in cages while Harrow himself tends to the current victim on the operating table, one by one. Already working one his latest victim, Dr. Harrow is notified by O.M.N.I.U.M.'s chief leader that they failed to kill Dr. Grail through their hirelings when she got suspicious with him and advised the doctor to immediately evacuate when they were on their way.

Sooner as Moon Knight and Dr. Grail entered his secret laboratory, he sends in a jaguar to kill Dr. Grail until Moon Knight subdued the creature and tied it up. As he was about to escape, he ordered his mindless soldiers to attack Moon Knight as he makes his way to his assigned helicopter, though Moon Knight manages to only shove them aside, knowing they are only victims as a result of the doctor's heinous work. Sadly, Dr. Harrow manages to aboard the helicopter in time and launches down a grenade right at the approaching Moon Knight and Dr. Grail, thus leaving behind quite a mess of mindless soldiers who'll now required immediate help from the situation he placed them in. He's last seen in his boss' office in O.M.N.I.U.M., being transferred to a new laboratory in Asuncion, Paraguay to continue his inhuman experiments once more.

It has been years and we've never heard from Dr. Harrow or O.M.N.I.U.M. in general, they're sadly still walking amongst the shadows scot-free for the time being.

Heinous Standards[]

In the universe of Earth-616 in the Marvel franchise, elsewhere lies the many criminals and entities Moon Knight has ever faced in his entire career. They run about, whether be it a human with natural or supernatural resources, go about mass murder, attempted populicide, street-level crimes, conspiracies, world-threatening schemes, or unique exceptions like animal cruelty or rape being uncommon.

For starters, Raoul Bushman is the top dog contender out of Moon Knight's enemies and stands out as his most heinous, personal foe, he went from several villainous occupations. You name it; a merc, a terrorist, a crime lord, and a dictator of all things to where this guy's so absurdly heinous. He was responsible for millions of deaths during his tyranny in Burunda, his own home country, and lobotomized an asylum of patients to wreak havoc, almost 90% of the time his crimes were done solely to spite Moon Knight. And to limit a few examples of Moon Knight's enemies, Robert Plesko/Black Spectre uses a special kind of sound tech that drives populated areas full of people to brutally tear each other apart and enslaved the Moloids to the point it once cost Moon Knight his life, Nimrod Strange/Arsenal is a dictator who indoctrinated hundreds into build an en masse army, treats his three female bodyguards as sex slaves and cannon fodder, and hatched plans to attack two-dozen major cities all over the world with New York being one of them. Then there's Germain Royce who tried to place down a fate worse than death that sees people brainwashed into serial killers where all thoughts and free will are erased.

So what does that leave Arthur Harrow here? Simply enough, the dude's an average scientist with limited access to be in whatever lab he's working on, the Mayan Temple being an example and only has few equipment involving surgical-based tools used for medical procedures and transcutaneous stimulation, as well as knowledge over past experimental results from a Nazi concentration camp from Auschwitz. To be specific, he's got fewer resources than a majority of Moon Knight's enemies who were at least dictators of an entire country/world, supernatural abilities, highly-advanced tech, or a group varied on different crime operations whereas Dr. Harrow is merely working under an organization as their only scientist and agent under general circumstances. That even goes to say how his resources obliged him to perform only the most heinous experiments ever foreseen out of any Marvel scientist-based baddies.

The result of Harrows work

The man has routinely conducted and converted mindless soldiers by at least dozens

Harrow's experiments involve subjecting his victims to the worst kinds of pain imaginable or unimaginable, such as completely lobotomizing them into being insensitive to pain but at the same time, losing any sort of humanity after their nerve systems have been desensitized and during transcutaneous stimulation when converted with electrode implants. Dr. Harrow has done over at least one dozen or more, most of them being black people who were slaves at that time, and to the point he referred to his subjects as "human cattle", which only cemented his vile actions further. Now, yes, O.M.N.I.U.M. are likely to be the ones who ordered Dr. Harrow to perform these experiments but it is made clear this isn't the first time since Harrow was already under suspicion from the Noble Committee when a discovery over his falsified files traced back to the original Auschwitz experiment files, and even then, he isn't fully cooperative with the organization at hand. It's also noted that he left quite an impact and damage over the lobotomized soldiers whose lives were ruined thanks to him, the worst part? The dude got away with everything scot-free!

Even by Earth-616's history of mad scientists (such as Arnim Zola, Conrad Meer, and Contagion), Arthur Harrow, like any other one-shot whose screentime is limited to only one chapter, have fewer resources as a mere minion, and only simply being a human with no aid from supernatural spells or scientifically-advanced gear, manages to do enough not just Marvel standards but also by the standards of Moon Knight himself.

Mitigating Factors[]

Let's get his one out of the way spontaneously and immediately. Dr. Harrow has a Freudian Excuse regarding his facial paralysis (trigeminal neuralgia) - a chronic pain centered around the left side of his face and has been feeling his excruciating pain for his entire life, he wants nothing more than to find a cure to put an end to his life-enduring pain. Now, in both on paper and in-person, that sounds sympathetic by default and it would actually be tribute to his crimes, though there are several loopholes that makes his excuse rather trivial than it is pertinent on how it does not connect with his crimes nor does it make him a victim of being a product of his own pain or something.

I'd like to point out that when he first brought up his motivations during the time he examined his newly abductees and one of his experiments, he simply wanted to make a cure under a selfish ulterior than it is motivated to make it out of genuine solace, it doesn't help the second time he brought it up was to first prioritize getting acknowledgement and fame for his work than it is simply prioritizing his well-being. For everything he's gone through and worked for makes it clear that Dr. Harrow isn't doing this out of finding any sense of seizing his pain for good but rather out of egotistically selfish motives to continue these experiments in hopes of succeeding where Nazi scientists like Hauptborg or Schold failed. What doesn't help his excuse to sympathize him is that he takes wholehearted delight in subjecting his victims to greater pain similar to his and outright dismisses the idea of relating himself to them via discourse, laughing a bit at it even. So whatever is supposed to make Dr. Harrow sympathetic is completely thrown off the window (Hell, it's really no wonder his MCU counterpart works well as a tragic figure compared to the comics one).

Anything else? Any loyalty to O.M.N.I.U.M. is a hundred-percent zilch. Most of the time he's fed up with listening to their orders and outright believes they have no authority to dictate how he should run or work in his laboratory, certainly thinking about leaving once he got his cure and cut ties with the organization, likely speaking. The presumed reason for why he worked with them in the first place is because they somehow got hold of his Auschwitz experiment files after he had been discovered. That said, nothing at all, Dr. Harrow is a gleeful scientist who takes great pride in his vile experiments with little to no empathy for the victims whose pain subjected by him is no better than the pain he felt for a rather long time. Hell, I'd say he's a one-dimensional Nazi scientist wannabe virgin in comparison to his MCU three-dimensional cult-leading chad.

Final Verdict[]

To many it may not be a strong keeper if he had the crimes of his MCU counterpart, however, quality speaks bigger than quantity and the damage he did is enough to warrant myself a solid yes due to all the graphically painful lobotomies.