This article is about Albert Desmond, the first Mr Element and Doctor Alchemy. For the second Mr Element, see Alexander Petrov. For The Alchemist, see Curtis Engstrom.
A chemist by trade, Albert Desmond suffered from dissociative identity disorder. While one personality was a law-abiding scientist, the other was a criminal. This criminal personality took on the identity of Mr Element, and used his chemistry knowledge to commit crime. Following a confrontation with the Flash, he was sent to jail.
Albert Desmond was created by Carmine Infantino and John Broome, making his first appearance in Showcase #13. The Doctor Alchemy persona was introduced in Showcase #14.
Alvin Desmond was originally introduced as Albert Desmond's "astral twin" with whom he is psychically linked.
Alvin Desmond is retconned as a construct of the Philosopher's Stone.
Major Story Arcs
The Doctor Is In
While in prison, Desmond learns from his cell mate that the fabled Philosopher's Stone exists . He locates it and uses it to create the identity of Doctor Alchemy. Using the stone, he is able to transmute one element into another. He rotates between being Doctor Alchemy and Mr Element, each time clashing with various heroes, and each time he is defeated. He also occasionally fights alongside the Rogues.
Eventually, his good side wins out and Albert retires from crime. However, a man who is identical to him takes up the name Doctor Alchemy and continues committing crime. It becomes clear that this new Doctor Alchemy, who calls himself Alvin Desmond, is actually a construct of the Philosopher's Stone created by Albert's evil side. Albert confronts and destroys the construct. In so doing, he resumes the Doctor Alchemy persona and returns to crime.
Desmond sets up a lab in Gotham that is visited by officers Andrew Kelly and Donald Peak. Some of the chemicals spill on Kelly and he is set alight and mutated by them. This is ultimately discovered to have been a trap set by Desmond in an effort to transform someone into a mutated creature. The creature is stopped by Batman and the GCPD, while Desmond is extradited from Keystone City in the hope that he will be able to cure Kelly. He refuses to do so, and Kelly is ultimately shot after going on a rampage under Desmond's influence.
Powers and Abilities
Albert Desmond has no known superhuman powers or abilities. He is very intelligent and a skilled chemist.
Equipment and Weapons
As Mr Element, Desmond wields an element gun that affects the structure of elements. As Doctor Alchemy, he wields the Philosopher's Stone, which has the power to transmute any element into any other element. He can control it from a distance through the use of a telekinetic link.
Justice League Unlimited
Doctor Alchemy appears in the episode "Flash and Substance" as one of the patrons of a bar frequented by Rogues and criminals. Like the other patrons, he flees when Flash, Batman, and Orion arrive. He does not speak in his appearance.