WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
(First Name Unknown) Psycho
Residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age): Wonder Woman #5 (July 1943)
The criminal who ultimately became known as Dr. Psycho was likely born in the late 1910’s, one of the two brothers gifted with enormous intellect and deformed, dwarfen bodies. The brothers both excelled in science - one in psychiatry and medicine, the other had geology – but were rejected by society. The elder Psycho’s medical success won him the engagement of Marva, a beautiful woman who admitted his brilliance but was uninterested in him physically. Secretly Marva was having an affair with Ben Bradley, the schools top athlete. Psycho became aware of the affair and seeing her true love for Bradley, was considering breaking off the engagement to let Marva marry her true love. At the same time, Bradley had hunched over and disguised himself to resembled Psycho and stole aa large volume of radium from one of the high end laboratories on campus. The school had Psycho arrested and Marva, thinking she had seen Psycho, confirmed his “guilt”. Psycho was sentenced to several years in prison.
While incarcerated, Psycho learned that Marva had broken off
the engagement with him and married Bradley, knowledge which drove the diminutive
Psycho to madness and despair. He
resolved to avenge himself on those who had wronged him and during his
sentence, studied in the most experimental, near mystical forms of hypnosis and
psychological manipulation. He learned
he could tap into substances from ethereal realms and transport them to other
when he could manipulate them to create shapes or disguises from himself. He had also fallen under the sway of the
Duke of Deception while in school, further his madness and possibly explaining
Upon release, Pyscho’s first goal was to procure some radium
and force in down the throat of Ben Bradley, mimicking a stomach rupture so
that his death would not be presumed foul play.
With Bradley dead, Psycho returned to Marva and essentially enslaves her
to become a conduit to the ethereal realms.
Hypnotized, Marva marries Psycho and begins a life as a daily subject in
ectoplasmic experiments. After some
time, Psycho is able to create life-like version of even dead individuals and
announced a public venue where he would summon the spirit of George Washington. To the amazed crowd, the first President
appeared and launched into a harangue that women in the military were
undermining the war effort and should be removed at once. This tirade, fueled by Psycho’s increasing hatred
of women and his manipulation by agents of Mars, predicted that “carelessness
of women” would destroy a large munitions plant outside of Washington. Shortly thereafter, the enormous facility
exploding destroying extensive ordinance and killing scores. Shortly
thereafter, Psycho used ectoplasm to disguise himself as General Darnell
at Army Intelligence and frame some of his secretaries for stealing
Becoming suspicious, Trevor visited Psycho but was overwhelmed
by a blob of ectoplasm. Assuming Trevor’s
form, Psycho summons Wonder Woman where he traps her using an electrified cage
and an electro-atomizer to separate and bind Wonder Woman’s spirit. The Holiday Girls had also received Trevor’s
message and barge in and disrupt Psycho’s experiments, allowing Trevor and
Wonder Woman to escape and in combnation, overwhelm Psycho.
Psycho is convicted and sent to prison where he awaits execution for treason and murder. Using a secretary as an ectoplasmic conduit, he feigns his own death during a confession and assumes the form a guard when his “body” is found. Wonder Woman arrives to witness his burial and satisfied he is dead, departs. Psycho, still using the secretary, creates the character Buenos Noches and attempts to assassinate Steve Trevor, managing to kill one of his female yeomen before dissolving. Certain Psycho is not dead, Trevor runs to a plane, unaware that Psycho has sabotaged the landing gear. Wonder Woman saves the plane before it crashes and races to the prison graveyard, where she finds Psycho’s grave empty. Disguised as a guard, Psycho clobbers Wonder Woman from behind and then buries her in his own grave. Staying to make sure she dies, Psycho sees Wonder Woman burst from the ground and starts shooting before he is again defeated by Wonder Woman and the arrival of Steve Trevor and the Holliday Girls (Wonder Woman #5). He was sent to prison where he was eventually executed in 1946,
After World War II, the US military began experimenting with
methods to prevent outbreaks of war as it had previously experienced. One
experiment involved the creation of a ray to cause combatants to fall asleep
invented by Dr. Cerebrum. Psycho, who
had once more feigned execution and escaped prison, assumed the form of a reporter and then
Wonder Woman to gain access to a demonstration of the device. Impressed, “Wonder Woman” clobbered the
elderly Cerebrum and absconded with the machine. Wonder Woman gives chase but after being
eluded, recognizes the methods of Dr. Psycho and checks with the prison warden
to see if he is still in jail. The warden informs her that Psycho has been
executed but Wonder Woman reminds him that Psycho has faked his death
before. As if on cue, the prison doctor
bursts in and says Psycho’s “body” has disappeared.
True to form, Psycho had taken refuge in the mansion of a recently deceased eccentric. He upstaged her funeral by appearing as her, a knight, a dinosaur and then caveman via ectoplasmic constructs. Realizing that the Holliday girls were in attendance, he delightedly took revenge on Wonder Woman’s friends by subduing them with the Cerebrum device. Before the full succumbed, Wonder Woman bursts in and pulls them from the rays influence. While she uses her lasso to snag Cerebrum’s machine, Trevor pursues Psycho, only to see him disappear again.
Psycho reappears back at Army Headquarters as “General Nemesis” and verbally assaults General Darnell for his management of the Cerebrum affair. Diana Prince sees through Psycho’s disguise and he is once more compelled to flee. Realizing that Psycho needed a medium, Wonder Woman visits the WACs to see what has become of his wife Marva. There she find Marva has been hypnotized and hospitalized. Psycho has been periodically checking on her discussed as a military doctor and seeing Wonder Woman arrive, he hid Marva’s unconscious form and assumed her appearance as Wonder Woman came to see her. As Wonder Woman approached the bed, “Marva” subdues her with knockout gas and Psycho re-emerges. He takes Marva and Wonder Woman to an hidden lighthouse and where he uses the magic lasso to compel the amazon to lure her friends into a trap: An buoy rigged to explode when approached by boat. As Psycho lets go of the rope to leave her to her fate, she manages to summon her invisible jet and pulls herself to freedom. Quickly saving her friend in the approaching boat, she flies back to the lighthouse and rescues Marva, but Psycho had escaped again.
Surprisingly, Psycho turns himself into a local prison. Wonder Woman, realizing he needed a medium to generate ectoplasm, predicts that he has actually sought the prison of his former secretary Joan White and manages to get close enough to her to hypnotize her and begin summoning ectoplasm. Assuming the form of the prison matron, Psycho depart with Joan in tow and takes for the form of debonair man and disguises Joan as his elderly mother. He rigs an ectoplasmic booby-trap in Joan’s cell, and the resulting explosion convinced everyone that he and Joan have been blown to bits. From there, he attends a local gala where Wonder Woman will be in attendance, plotting her death as his revenge. His disguise enthralls Etta Candy, letting him get close enough to her, Trevor and other attendees until Etta’s boyfriend, Oscar Sweetgulper, stumbles onto Joan and realizes that Psycho is still alive and among them. Exposed, Psycho uses tentacles of ectoplasm to begin crushing the guests until Sweetgulper crashes in and subdues him. Liberated, he is carted off the local military and returned to prison.
The final fate of the Earth-Two Doctor Psycho
has yet to be revealed.
Note: A report dated 1942 involved a costumed version of Dr. Psycho engaging aliens to gain power and influence the war. Since Wonder Woman had not met him by this point, it appears this report is apocryphal (World’s Finest #248-249).
Powers and Abilities
Dr. Psycho's abilities stem from his ability to manipulate ectoplasmic matter derived from other dimensions into his own to create three-dimension constructs. This most often included disguises and human duplicates to distract and deceive but could also include other solid objected or tendrils to attack with. He obtained access to this matter through the use of medium, usually females he had hypnotized into being passive conduits to ectoplasmic realms. He was also extremely educated through medical school and was a brilliant psychologist. He mastered hypnotism to facilitate his access to ectoplasm but the origins of these skills are unknown.
Weaknesses and Limitations
The primary limitation in the ability of Dr. Psycho's abilities was his dependence on mediums to access ectoplasm. The duration of his abilities once the medium was engaged is unclear but was not permenant and might have been lost immediately once with the hypnotized women were wakened. Without the mediums, he had no real abilities. Afflicted with dwarfism, Psycho was a below par hand-to-hand combatant and easily captured by ordinary means.
The version of Dr. Psycho (real name Cyril Psycho) on the prior version of Earth-One is thought to have largely similar origins to his Earth-Two counterpart. He staged an extremely active and collaborative campaign against the Earth-One Wonder Woman working both as a solo operative as well as in concert with Giganta, Paula von Gunther and the Collector (Wonder Woman #160, 163, 165, 138 and 170). After his defeat in 1967, his activities are unrecorded for over15 years. In 1982, he discovered he could tap Steve Trevor as a medium and used him to create the identity of Captain Wonder and to covert the homely Helen Alexandros into the Silver Swan (Wonder Woman #288-290). During the last days of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he and Silver Swan engaged Wonder Woman again in a battle resulting in both of their deaths (DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman #1).
The version of Dr. Psycho (real name Edgar Cizko) on the Earth immediately after the Crisis on Infinite Earth is a powerful telepath and a criminal with an international reputation (Wonder Woman vol. 2 #54). Like his counterparts in other universes, he is a misogynist with a deep hatred of Wonder Woman and can draw ectoplasm from dream dimensions without the need for mediums. He is an ally of Circe and member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and the Injustice League (Villains United #1-6, Secret Six Vol. 2 #1-6). He is believed killed when Greek Goddess Nemesis was released by the Morrigans (Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #612).
This version of Edgar Cizko is similar to prior Earth-Zero version but is a much wider ranging criminal who has engaged Superboy and the Teen Titans as well as Wonder Woman.
The Dr. Psycho of this Earth is Leon Zieko, a con artists and charlatan who manipulates Wonder Woman when she first arrives in Man's World (Wonder Woman: Earth-One Vol. 2).
1st Appearance, vs. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman Archives #3, Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus #1, Wonder Woman: The Golden Age TPB #2, Wonder Woman Chronicles #3
Wonder Woman #18
vs. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman Archives #7, Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus #3