The exact origins of Dr. Dedalus are currently unknown. He has described himself as an "unrepentant nazi master criminal" and has the capabilities to experiment with meta-human genetics, which links him to possibly being the leader of the shadowy super-human engineering organization, Leviathan.
Dr. Dedalus was created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Yanick Paquette, first appearing in the third issue of Batman, Incorporated.
Major Story Arcs
A self-described "unrepentant Nazi master criminal", Otto Netz became obsessed with a fifth classical element, which he named "Oroboro". He convinced Adolf Hitler to send him on a mission to England to learn more. Hitler gave him a special cane with a concealed knife in it, but Netz was captured, an outcome that he seemingly wanted.
Little else is known of Netz after that, except that, years later, he put together an espionage group known as "Spyral" for the UN from a shortlist of exceptional people from across the globe. Under the guise of Agent-Zero, he led the organization. Somewhere along that time he sired two or three daughters: Kathy Kane and/or Luka Netz and Frau Netz.
Sometime during the Falklands war (ca. 1982), the original Knight and a team of British Super-Heroes are sent to trap Dr. Dedalus, former member of Spyral, and the worlds "most dangerous spy," in a lighthouse. When Knight and his team enter, their equipment starts to malfunction, they become surrounded by smoke, and when all is said and done, Knight is the only one who makes it out of the lighthouse alive. Being carried to a medical evacuation, Knight proclaims that they "got him."
Decades later, on a Batman Incorporated trip to Argentina, El Gaucho explains to Batman that Dr. Dedalus was a manipulative figure in a book of short stories called "Oroboro" written by an imaginary author by the name of Espartanco Extrano. Extrano's identity along with his entire backstory was created by a group of avant-garde poets, including Jorge Luis Borges. Gaucho also explains his sorted past with the original Batwoman Kathy Webb-Kane and Dr. Dedalus. Before the Falklands War, Dedalus had reinvented himself as Agent Zero and took over a special department of the UN called Spyral. Dedalus had been estranged from his daughter for far too long so he took it upon himself to have Agent 33 aka El Gaucho recruit Kathy Webb-Kane.
Gaucho tries to induct Kathy into Spyral's ranks after the passing of her husband. Her husband Nathaniel Kane was the son of Roderick and Elizabeth Kane and was originally in charge of Kane's Kolossal Karnival. Nathaniel died prematurely at the age of 47 by a severe stroke. The tabloids have branded the male members of the Kane Family as the unfortunate victims of the Curse of Kane. As Nathaniel's beneficiary, Kathy inherited a portion of the Kane family fortune and Crest Hill estate where generations of the Kane family have long since lived.
Kathy was given the mission of finding out who the Batman was. Kathy studied Batman's exploits in Gotham but her attention to details transformed into admiration and eventually affection. Kathy became Batwoman and fought alongside Batman. Batman eventually proposes to Kathy during a near death scenario orchestrated by Dedalus. Dedalus questioned Kathy's loyalty to Spyral so he set up a trap that exposed her and Batman to the same hallucinogen that effected Professor Pyg's psyche. Fortunately, Kathy was able to administer a cure for both her and Batman. Kathy is then called in by Dedalus for a debriefing. It is at this point that Dedalus reveals that he is the father of Kathy Webb-Kane as an unrepentant nazi master criminal.
The duo are eventually led to the Falkland Islands, where they, along with Batwoman and the Hood , believe Dr. Dedalus has long resided. Turns out that the Dr. Dedalus on the island, was the warden who was put in charge of securing the real Dr. Dedalus. The warden suffered from severe alzheimer's and was conditioned by subliminal suggestions to adopt the persona of Dr. Dedalus, while the real Dedalus was liberated from his imprisonment by the leader of Leviathan...Talia al Ghul.
Batman finally tracks down Dr. Dedalus to a large freighter somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Batman and his Robins get caught in what Dedalus calls his web. Dedalus uses the ship's intercom to torment Batman and his allies. Batman takes the initiative by separating from the group and finding Dedalus on his own. Dedalus takes advantage of the situation by exposing Batman to an hallucinogen that causes alzheimer's like effects thus weakening Batman's memory while he makes his way through the labrynth. Batman finally finds the room that Dedalus' voice was coming from but all he finds is Dedalus' corpse. It seems that real Otto Netz had died not too long after being freed from his imprisonment on the island. The voice over the intercom was coming from someone else who was mimicking Netz's voice. The voice says "There is no Otto Netz. Only recordings. Netz is gone and I am the plan he left behind. Recordings cannot be bargained with. Netz cannot be reasoned with." All of sudden, Batman comes under attack by El Gaucho who is Dedalus' Agent 33 of Spyral.
Batman is baffled by the idea that someone else has been posing as Dedalus all this time and quite well for that matter. This Dedalus cackles as Batman is in utter disbelief that one of his allies is a double agent. Dedalus reveals that he has sent meta bomb weapons into orbit. Each bomb has been placed in a key point around the world and now they surround Earth like a deadly strand of pearls. Dedalus gives Batman a sadistic chance to avert this catastrophic event but his mind is so out of balance due to the hallucinogen. Dedalus activates the detonation sequence while a weakened Batman tries to disengage the bombs. However, Gaucho's betrayal turns out to be a ruse. Gaucho gives Batman the antidote to the hallucinogen but Dedalus anticipates Gaucho's double cross. Dedalus stabs Gaucho in the neck with a hidden stiletto concealed in his cane. Gaucho's wound was near fatal but Damian came to Gaucho's rescue.
Even though the effects of the gas were fading from Batman's system, he was still too weak to reach the button that would stop the bombs. Dedalus activates the electric prod at the end of his cane and attempts to electrocute Batman to death. Fortunately, Damian pulls the stiletto from Gaucho's neck and throws the blade right through Dedalus' right temple. The blade exits out through Dedalus' left eye. Damian Wayne hastily cries out to his father that there was nothing else he could do, knowing his father's beliefs on killing. Though Dedalus and Otto Netz were dead, they were ultimately pawns in the greater scheme of things. On the other side of the world, Kathy Webb-Kane is enjoying her self exile in paradise until she receives a call from Talia and replies by saying "I'll send flowers" to his funeral because "he hated flowers."
Dedalus is mentioned in the series Grayson as having a rivalry with Lex Luthor as well as the establishment of his daughter Frau and Luka/Katarina. After only being mentioned, the Doctor is set to appear in issue 14 though it is unknown if it will be in the past or a return to the present. It is revealed that Dedalus created an artificial form of his mind as the Spyder that runs Spyral even after his death.
Netz demonstrated the ability to plan amazing death-traps and double-feint operations, leaving those involved confused as to what was going on.
Dementia: Alzheimers' had begun to render him ineffective without assistance. He required notes of his plans, usually dictated into a microphone and played back.