WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

Doctor Clever

Personal information

Character History

Real Name: Unknown


Residence: Mobile 
Occupation: Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age):More Fun Comics #74 (December 1941).
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): None 

The origins of the criminal known as Dr. Clever are unrevealed.  The first known case involving Dr. Clever occurred in December of 1941 when he was peddling supposed miracle food on the streets of Queens.  A chef claiming his “synth-food” could be artificially produced in large quantities and tasted as good as real food was giving away free samples to public.  Johnny Chambers and Tubby Watts investigate and Tubby samples an array of food.  Johnny, suspicious, slips in to the back and discovers real food in the meat locker and that synth-food is some odd scam.  The chef see him inside and bars the door, allowing Johnny to freeze to death.  Meanwhile, everyone outside who has eaten “synth-food” has developed blue stained skin.  While Johnny utters the formula that turns him into the speedster Johnny Quick, Dr. Clever emerges and offers to sell an antidote to the blue color for an exorbitant price.  The synthe-food scam, it turns out, was a trick to get them to ingest the chemicals that turned them blue. 

Johnny Quick bursts in and pelts him with a buy, inviting all of his victims to do likewise.

Confronted by Quick. Dr. Clever says he can’t be arrested for selling antidotes and there is no proof who poisoned the food, forcing Johnny to let him go.  Back in his hideout, Clever shows his henchmen a new trick, a machine that turns sea water into gold.  They are amazed until Clever reveals there was gold in there the whole time and it’s yet another scam.  Rather than let them partner in it, Clever kills them both.  Opening up a new business to sell his gold, Clever again attracts the attention of Johnny and Tubby and Johnny vows to investigate that evening.   See Clever leave his lair, Johnny follows him to find he is stealing more gold to fuel his scam. Johnny catches him but he gases the hero and escapes again.

Needing a new scam, Clever opens a business offering loans to file patents on new inventions, inventions he intends to steal.  To trick him, Johnny Chambers disguises himself as an inventor with a ray gun that caused items to explode. To demonstrate, he fires it out the window at a trash can that promptly explodes.  Impressed Clever takes it but in reality, the demonstration was orchestrated with Tubby blowing up the trash can out of view.  That evening, Clever attempts to rob a bank, using  the ray gun to explode the doors.  The gun not only fails but begins to emit a high-pitched siren, drawing the police.  Clever flees but is captured by Johnny Quick and the police and taken to jail (More Fun Comics #74).

A couple of months later, Clever fakes his own suicide by hanging a dummy made of sheets.  When the guard opens the door, Clever kills his captors and escapes.  Back at his hideout, Clever reveals a new device. Through physics unknown and by mechanisms unrevealed, Clever acquired a ray that causes temporary super-speed.  Testing it on a stray cat turned it to a high speed furball without evident ill effects, leading Clever to apply it to his henchmen.  His lead minion, Breezy, was the first to go and became a literal speed demon.  Launching an accelerated crime spree, Breezy snatched money from bank tellers and pearls from jewelers faster than anyone could see.

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Not satisfied with wealth, Clever long for revenge against Johnny Quick for prior defeats.  Learning of a charity boxing match in which Quick is taking all comers.  Watching from the side of the ring, they watch Quick rapidly dispatch 5 experienced boxers at once.  Clever sends Breezy to offer $1000 for a chance in the ring.  Breezy surprised the hero with his speed but Quick is much more experienced and gains the upper hand.  Breezy fakes injury to lure Quick in where he head-butts him at super speed, leaving him unconscious.  Declared the winner, Quick is taken out on a stretcher. 

Quick is loaded into a waiting ambulance that is not an ambulance, but a van in which he is carted off to Dr. Clever’s hideaway.  There he is place in a rotating metal cage which is to be heating to scaling temperature, roasting Quick alive.   

Gloating, Clever turns on the heat and leaves for his next crime.  He left too soon however, as Quick rapidly rotates that cage until the stress of speed tears it apart, freeing him.  Exploring Clever’s hideout, he finds a reversal ray that he suspect counteracts the effects of Clever’s speed ray.  In the meantime, Clever and Breezy have found a jewelry auction and as Breezy snatches a diamond necklace, Johnny Quick appears and makes short work of the startled henchman.  Dr. Clever pulls a bomb from his cloak which he threatens to detonate.  Before he can, Quick shines the speed reversal ray on him, grinding him speed to near paralysis.  An uppercut lifts Clever from his shoes and the two criminals, bereft of their advantage, are sped off to jail (More Fun Comics #76).

Shortly thereafter, Clever is being held in a prison cell when he has a henchmen disguised as a lawyer bring him a special pen.   The pen is in fact a poisonous air gun, which he promptly used on the thug.  Claiming his lawyer has had a heart attack, Clever lures in his guard who also promptly dispatch by what Clever calls Murder Method #23.  The dead guard is relieved of his keys and Clever burns a trail of death to the outside world, where his henchmen speed him away.

Secluded in his new hideout, Clever lays out a plan to methodically murder an aviation industrialist, throwing the stock market into a turmoil that Clever could exploit.  He has somehow acquired tools for murder that markedly resemble those of Mister Zero, tho the aged criminal is not mentioned and it’s not clear how Clever has adopted so similar a scheme.   He dispatches his thugs to an airfield to intercept and murder the industrialist but the timely arrival of Johnny Quick.  Following the trail back to Clever, Johnny is captured by murder method #999, a glass dome in which to be suffocated.  Clever leaves him to die and finish the job at the airfield.

Dr. Clever and his men don gas masks and flood the airfield with a poisonous sleeping gas that will kill within 30 minutes.  Johnny Quick, in the meanwhile, has struck the idea of spinning his body like a top, pressuring the dome and break it outward, freeing him.  In hot pursuit, Quick arrives and seeing the sleeping men, races around the hangar clearing the air.  In the main office, Clever and his men have cornered the leaders of the field brokering a new merger and as he threatens them Quick arrives.  Plugging the gas guns with hot dogs, the encumbers thugs are not match for the King of Speed.  Rapid fisticuffs later and Dr. Clever and his gang are on their way back to prison (More Fun Comics #78).

The following year, Clever was again on the loose and had learned of an armored car en route to Camp Calumet. As it happened, Johnny Quick was there putting on a show for the soldiers racing bullets and performing other feats of speed.  Two of Clever’s men are caught up in the crowd and insult Quick’s performance, leading to a scuffle with two soldiers.  The men escape and the soldiers return to their kitchen duties of peeling potatoes and washing dishes.

Later as Johnny Quick is again performing by crafting a replica of the Statue of Liberty, he is interrupted when a large stone smashes his work.  As he addresses the crowd, a radio held aloft by a balloon broadcasts ridicule of his efforts.  Realizing something is afoot, he follows Tubby’s clue that the soldiers on kitchen duty had witnessed hostile civilians.  Rapidly finishing their chores for them, Quick takes the two on a high speed tour around the camp to spy the two thugs they had tussled with before.  Seeing Quick, they flee but end up leading quick straight to Dr. Clever.

Clever is not unprepared however and quickly gases Quick into unconsciousness and then leaves to perform his intended task: Robbery of the armored car.  After subduing the guards, he changes his henchmen’s clothes into their uniforms and stations them at the gate.  Back in the camp, the two soliders from before smell gas and finding Quick, quickly revive him.  Racing toward the guardhouse, Quick finds Clever and his henchmen almost escaped with the goods.  A quick melee later, the guards are revived and it’s Clever and his gang’s turn to be out cold (More Fun Comics #89).

The later activities and ultimate fate of Dr. Clever are unknown.

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Powers and Abilities

Dr. Clever was possessed of devious criminal intellect and an exceptional degree of cunning,  He was able to manipulate individuals with a high degree of confidence and gain access to technology and material that would otherwise inaccessible to the average criminal.  He did not possess any obvious super-powers and the basis of his physical appearance is unclear.  The horns may have been costume appliques or a medical condition (cornu cutaneum) that caused their growth.  While it possible Dr. Clever was not human, most evidence suggests that he was.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Stripped of his equipment and minions, Doctor Clever was likely an ordinary human, flightless and vulnerable to overwhelming force.

Multiversity Villains



A version of Doctor Clever exists on this Earth who staged a series of Christmastime robberies in 1943 until he was thwarted by Bulletman, Bulletgirl and more pointedly, Bulletdog (Bulletman #11).  Whether he is a true counterpart of the Dr. Clever of Earth-Two is not clear.




Reprinted in

More Fun Comics #74

First appearance, vs. Johnny Quick

More Fun Comics #75

vs. Johnny Quick

Wanted: The World’s Most Dangerous Super-Villains #7, Wanted: The World’s Most Dangerous Super-Villains HC

More Fun Comics #77

vs. Johnny Quick

More Fun Comics #80

vs. Johnny Quick