Mister Doll is an early, very minor Iron Man villain. He appeared once in 1964.
He came back to become an early, very minor Spider-Woman villain. But that was under a different identity — as Brother(s) Grimm — with different visuals and powers, and thus the remit of a separate profile.
- Real Name: Nathan Dolly.
- Marital Status: Married.
- Known Relatives: Priscilla Dolly (aka Madame Doll, wife).
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base of Operations: New York state (probably Long Island).
- Height: 5’7″ Weight: 150 lbs.
- Eyes: Dark brown. Hair: Black (balding).
Powers & Abilities
Mister Doll owns a figurine, which is apparently made of clay. He has trained himself to mould it (simply using his fingers) into a good likeness of a person within seconds. The bulk of the effigy doesn’t have to be sculpted – only the head, and particularly the face, counts.
Once the doll is in the likeness of a person, it can remotely inflict excruciating pain to that individual. The wielder simply has to apply pressure to the doll, usually using their fingertips. The victim will be wracked with pain in the corresponding area of their body.
This pain ignores all mundane protections (such as body armour or even force fields) but can presumably be magically countered.
Visit scenic Transia
Secondary sources note a link between the puppets used by the Puppet Master (Phillip Masters), and the Brother Grimm dolls that Nathan Dolly would later use.
Thus, it is *possible* that the effigy Dolly used as Mister Doll was also tied to these artifacts.
The commonality is the use of earth from Mount Wundagore, in the (fictional) South-Eastern European country of Transia. The foreboding mountain was infused by the essence of the Elder God Chthon, giving its clay and wood strong mystical properties.
(Elder Gods were the first things that came alive on Earth. They were immensely powerful. But most of them, especially Chthon, became profoundly corrupted. The primordial Elder Goddess Gaea, who had merged with Earth itself, eventually decided that enough was enough. She had a son, Atum, and unleashed him as Demogorge the God-Eater. He slew nearly all demonic Elder Gods.)
The figurine used by Mister Doll was procured somewhere in Africa, leaving us with three main hypotheses :
- It is made of Mount Wundagore clay, and made its way into Africa at some point.
- There is an area somewhere in Africa with similar properties to Mount Wundagore, acquired in similar circumstances with a chthonic Elder God fleeing the God-Eater.
- There is not genuine commonality between this doll and Mount Wundagore clay. It’s just a coincidence.
Nathan Dolly was an international dealer in curios. He had a specific interest in genuine mystical artefacts. Once, in an unspecified African country, he bartered with a “witch-doctor” for a magical doll. Apparently, Dolly fooled the man into thinking they were friends, and stole his secrets.
Coming back to the US (apparently Long Island) he created the identity of Mister Doll.
In 1963 he started torturing wealthy men using the magical effigy. Doll forced them to cede their fortune to him. Since Doll’s victims were too terrified to press charges, the police were helpless.
Given that Doll was going through Long Island’s richest men, he would soon run into Tony Stark. However, they clashed even before that. Mister Doll was terrorising one Mr. Carter. This forced Carter to cancel an urgent commercial contract with Stark.
When Iron Man came to investigate, he survived Mister Doll’s onslaught by but the thinnest margin.
This encounter is what led Tony Stark to redesign the Iron Man armour to make it much lighter. The goal was to lower the strain on his damaged heart when experiencing severe physical hardship (such as Doll’s power).
With this new suit and various manipulations of his pacemaker, Stark endured Mister Doll’s torture long enough to build a beam emitter. This gadget somehow could reshape the magic doll if pointed at it.
When Mister Doll saw that the effigy was turning into a duplicate of himself, he reflexively dropped it. The doll falling to the ground knocked him out, and he was arrested.
Nathan Dolly never recovered this effigy. Who took it is unclear – either Stark or the police.
A Grimm tale
Mister Doll eventually was released from prison – perhaps during the mid-1970s.
He soon started looking for a replacement magic doll. He eventually found one in Django Maximoff’s shop.
Maximoff, an aged Romani shaman, sensed that Dolly was evil. But the old man was depressed and did not care anymore, and thus agreed to the sale.
Dolly bought a pair of magic figurines made using Mount Wundagore wood. Maximoff taught him how to project his spirit into such a doll, possessing and animating it.
However, Dolly attempted to perform this on both dolls at once. His astral form was rent in two, and though he possessed both dolls at once he was trapped within. He could never return to his body.
Nathan Dolly eventually mailed himself back home, leaving his corpse behind. With his wife Priscilla, he would soon enter a strange new phase of his life.
The costume of Mister Doll may have had magical significance. In particular, the horned headgear is roughly similar to the one worn by the witch doctor who sold Dolly the doll. Plus, there was no apparent reason for Mister Doll to run around in a costume – so it may help operate the effigy.
A greedy, entitled, unempathic predator. He revels in the ability to effortlessly torture defenceless persons.
(Torturing Iron Man) “Hah ! If only the unknowing public could see their mighty idol now ! Your much-vaunted strength is useless against the mystic powers of Mr. Doll !”
“So long as I have the mystic power of my little doll, no force on Earth can resist me !”
DC Universe History
Mister Doll is nigh-negligible. But he’d make a passable Silver Age Hawkman or Atom villain.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 02||Str: 02||Bod: 02||Motivation: Power|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 04||Occupation: Dealer in curios|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 03||Spi: 03||Wealth: 005|
|Init: 011||HP: 010|
Accuracy (Magic doll’s Powers): 11, Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Occultist (Identify Artefact, Occult lore): 02, Vehicles (Land): 03
Lightning Reflexes, possibly Languages from his travels.
Magic clay doll [BODY 01, Charisma: 08, Sharpness (Stagger, Voodoo): 08, Stagger: 06, Voodoo: 03, Bonuses & Limitations:
- Stagger and Voodoo both target BODY/BODY.
- Stagger’s two resistors are Magic Field and Magic Shield.
- Stagger is based on pain and can be resisted by some bonuses such as the Pain Management Schtick.
- Charisma can engage as many APs as Stagger gained total RAPs over the previous two Phases].
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Helper(s): maficklin, Darci.
Writeup completed on the 3rd of June, 2016.