Doctor Alchemy

    Character » Doctor Alchemy appears in 169 issues.

    Albert Desmond used a special gun to commit crimes as Mr. Element. Later, he discovered the fabled Philosopher's Stone and used it to do battle with a number of heroes, most often the Flash.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Doctor Alchemy last edited by sergiovse on 06/28/21 03:20PM View full history

    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.

    His emblem shall be the model of a carbon atom. His headquarters shall be among these underground rocks. He wore an atmosphere-filter only to inhale pure oxygen.

    He had named six underlings (eg Argon, Radon, Krypton, Xenon) due six inert elements. It was because they can't make a move without him.

    Even as a boy He had always been fascinated by the chemical elements. When He grew up and became involved, he profited by his boyhood reading. He carried out his idea with his usual thoroughness, secured an adequate hide-out and designed his own uniform.


    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.

    Character Evolution

    Bronze Age

    Alvin Desmond was originally introduced as Albert Desmond's "astral twin" with whom he is psychically linked.

    Modern Age

    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.

    Keystone Kops

    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.

    Other Media


    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.


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