Douglas Birley

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Douglas Birley
Doctor Demonicus in Iron Man #196
Species Human
Nationality American
Occupation Geneticist
Related to Batragon, Ghilaron, Lepirax, Centipor (creations)
First appearance Godzilla, King of the Monsters #4

Doctor Douglas Birley, operating under the moniker Doctor Demonicus, is a recurring character in the Marvel Universe, who first appeared as a foe of Godzilla.

History[edit | edit source]

Douglas Birley was a geneticist fascinated by mutation, which he did studies on. After being contaminated by a radiation spill, he went mad when he realized he did not gain super-powers, but instead got skin cancer. Without a job, Birley saw a report of a meteorite crashing in one of the Aleutian Islands, which he took over with his army of Demon-Soldiers (former mercenaries and criminals), enslaved the native Inuit who lived there, and planned to use the meteorite - which he called the Lifestone - against the world he felt had betrayed him.

Inspired by the giant monster Godzilla, Birley, now calling himself Doctor Demonicus, began to subject the tissues of various animals to the radiation of the Lifestone. He then extracted the hormones from the mutated tissues, then injected them back into the animals, and exposed them to the meteorite. The animals mutated and became giant monsters, the first of which became Batragon, followed by Ghilaron, Lepirax and Centipor.

He sent Batragon to attack a Liberian oil tanker so his Demon-Soldiers could get the oil for him. After Godzilla fought and wounded Batragon, the creature retreated back to Demonicus' base to have his wounds healed by the Lifestone. Demonicus ordered the Inuit to continue their work on what was going to be a giant flying craft made out of meteorite ore - basically, a portable Lifestone - or he'd set his monsters free to devour their wives and daughters. Batragon was eventually killed by Godzilla and Demonicus prepared to use the rest of his creations against Godzilla.

S.H.I.E.L.D. found the base and the other three monsters, and Demonicus sent Ghilaron, Lepirax and Centipor against them. Gabe Jones made it into Demonicus' presence, but Demonicus held him at gunpoint. Demonicus got distracted by Centipor's death at Godzilla's hands, was finally defeated by Gabe Jones, and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, while Ghilaron and Lepirax were also slain by Godzilla.[1]

Some time later, Doctor Demonicus allied himself with Maur-Kon, a member of an alien race known as the Myndai, who provided him with a new space station base and his race's technology. With this knowledge, he confronted the Shogun Warriors (three giant samurai robots named Raydeen, Combatra and Dangard Ace, who were piloted by Richard Carson, Genji Odashu and Ilongo Savage, respectively) with three more giant monsters of his creation named Cerberus, the Starchild, and the Hand of Five (who were all created through a combination of genetic mutation and robotics that were based on both his scientific methods and those of the Myndai), first using the three of them individually against each robot and then combining them as a team. All three monsters were slain by the combined might of the Shogun Warriors and Demonicus was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. again.[2]

After escaping custody, Demonicus somehow managed to find and capture Godzilla, then placed him under his control and mutated him even further. Demonicus was in the process of creating more monsters by cloning Godzilla when Godzilla downed an Avengers Quinjet that was piloted by Tigra. Not wanting to attract any attention, he ordered Godzilla to destroy the aircraft and the superheroine. Tigra radioed for help, and escaped the craft. Demonicus then sent Godzilla and some of his Demon-Soldiers to attack a nearby village. With Hawkeye and the Mockingbird stopping his Demon-Soldiers and Iron Man, in his Mark I armor, taking Godzilla out to sea, Demonicus escaped.

Godzilla brought Demonicus the empty Mark I Iron Man armor that Tony Stark abandoned, and Demonicus sought revenge on the superhero, putting his other plans on hold. Using the newly-acquired armor, Demonicus traveled to California to investigate reports of the Iron Man Mark VII armor there, and found the armor at Tony Stark's base. Believing this armor was piloted by Iron Man (when, in reality, it was being controlled by the extradimensional entity Omnos), Demonicus attacked it. Stark activated the magnetic circuitry in both suits of armor, locking them together, and Demonicus was defeated once more.[3]

"The Choice and the Challenge"[edit | edit source]

After capturing his hated nemesis Godzilla, Demonicus mutated the creature beyond recognition and gained control over its mind and actions. While operating from an underwater base in the Pacific Ocean, the former Godzilla attacked an Avengers Quinjet that drew too close, and it crash-landed on a nearby island, forcing the creature and Demonicus himself to search the island for the pilot. They quickly found a village, and on surmising that the pilot must have gone there, he ordered the beast to destroy it. This drew out Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson), the pilot, who tried to defend the villagers. However, shortly after, Avengers Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and the Mockingbird (Barbara "Bobbi" Morse) saw Demonicus and took out his guards before they were forced to drive the monster back and let Demonicus escape.

Iron Man #196[edit | edit source]

However, Demonicus' monster was not destroyed like he feared it had been, and it returned to him with pieces of Iron Man's armor. Immediately, Demonicus put his plans for his "Pax Demonicus", a term he coined for his rule over the world with his army of clones of his monster, on hold in order to use the armor to seek revenge on the Avengers. Donning the armor, Demonicus followed their departing Quinjet to Avengers headquarters. Seeing what he assumed was Iron Man flying to where the jet had landed, Demonicus attacked. However, as opposed to Iron Man, it was in reality an extradimensional being named Omnos inhabiting another Iron Man armor. However, an Avengers Quinjet launched from the facility, and its pilot, Tony Stark, ended up magnetizing the two warring armors together. Demonicus was apprehended again, and the alien disappeared.

Post-Godzilla appearances[edit | edit source]

In comics from this point on, Demonicus abandoned his attempts to create kaiju, and instead focused on mutating humans with pieces of the Lifestone (which had been destroyed off-panel, possibly by S.H.I.E.L.D.) that he had recovered to create his own team of mutated supervillains named the Pacific Warlords (Kain, Jawbreaker, Cybertooth, Irezumi (meaning "Tattoo"), Kuruko, and Taifu/Typhoon, his wife Pele and their son Big One) who became enemies of the West Coast Avengers and fought them twice.[4]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Douglas Birley. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Godzilla, King of the Monsters #4-5
  2. The Shogun Warriors #7-14
  3. Iron Man #193-194 and 196
  4. Avengers West Coast #69-74 and 92-95

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