Monday, March 5, 2012

Monster Monday: Mad Scientists

Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.

~William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), Hamlet, Act III, sc. 1

The modern incarnation of the shaman, witch doctor, or wizard – men with supernatural knowledge and the ability to conjure magic, heal or curse at will, as well as create life, often in the form of monstrous beasts - is the Mad Scientist.

AKA: Monster Maker.

Mad Scientists are noteworthy for many reasons. They walk among us, equally feared and celebrated for their innovations. In the Victorian era we had Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein and his reanimated, piece-meal monster, as well as, H.G. Well’s and the vivisection performing, human-animal hybrid creating Doctor Moreau. These men walk the line of insanity and reason, blending alchemy with science, such as the controversial claims of Paracelsus, an alchemist who created homunculus, an artificial human.

We must keep our MWM’s eyes on them…for they breed some of the monsters we hunt.

Most watched were men like the brilliant Nikola Tesla. Tesla sparked the invention of electricity, wireless communication, and constantly rivaled with his nemesis, Thomas Edison until the end of his career and his eventual production of a “death ray.”

In popular culture we have the powerful Doctor Doom from Marvel Comics, and the evil genius of Lex Luthor. While some Mad Scientists may have good intentions, the road to hell, as we all know, is paved with those babies. Friendly Mad Scientists just might be the most dangerous of all. Take the earnest, bumbling Doc Brown from Back to the Future, Vincent Price as “The Inventor” from Edward Scissorhands, “The Scientist” from 9, or Doctor Horrible from Joss Whedon’s Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.

Survival Tip: Mad Scientists have an unofficial uniform: lab coat, wild hair, goggles, and may be wearing gloves and holding beakers. If you see an individual matching this description – KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN – they may lead you to one of the other Most-Wanteds on our hit list.

We leave you with the first act (of three) from Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog:

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