Doctor Mindbender -- now there's a cat who had it all!! Introduced to the G.I. Joe rogue's gallery in the mid-80's (officially 1986, though he was called "Dr. Brain-Wave in that first appearance), this Cobra-affiliated villain had the looks, the bod, fighting skillz, fashion sense, and a vault of intellect covering both the mundanely mechanical and the intricately biomechanical. As G.I. Joe bad guys go, he might have been a second banana, but he was first class all the way.

For starters, check out that outfit -- knee-high black boots pulled over purple pants (to be fair, most Cobra employees seemed to go for high boots -- must be some wading involved in the job), and the sonofabitch never wore a shirt!! But then who would wear one when they could be showing off a totally ripped musculature like that? But still, a roguish cape with Cobra-themed epaulets and hi-tech suspenders. Not sure if they're meant to be blue or silver, but they match that holster by the way. (But two points against him for wearing both suspenders and a belt -- as another great villain once said "How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can't even trust his own pants.") Oh, and purple gloves, too.

And hairstyle? Try none -- as in bald as a shaved beaver (the woodland creature, O ye of dirty minds), but with a truly classic twisted handlebar mustache, and a monacle to match up with that heavy German accent. For some reason, the action figure came with a length of hose (maybe for spraying some devious gas?).

But Mindbender wasn't all about the looks. He was a man of action. While other Cobra high command members were always backbiting and looking to snatch the mantle of leadership from Cobra Commander, Mindbender didn't seek to become the new leader; instead he designed and built one, genetically engineering Serpentor from the DNA of past generals and warriors. He also threw together some battle android troopers, made synthetic people, dallied about with varied mind control gambits, and so on. And, though no ninja, he had the chops to hold his own in a regular rumbleabout.

I'll leave the comic book bio for another to discuss -- suffice to say that the official story is, he was once a mild-mannered dentist who tested a pain-moderating machine on himself and it made him go nutsoblammo. In the convoluted multiple Universes of GI Joe, Mindbender's been "killed" a few times in the comics, and resurrected via the that standard Comic Universe devices (cloning, it was a double that was done in, just plain ignoring the earlier death). But whatever twists and turns the plots have thrown this character through, he's remained true to his brilliant, deviant, insane creed -- a true hero for villainy everywhere.

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