Dr. Victoria October is an ARGUS scientist and “probably the foremost expert in post-human bioweaponry” by her own admission. She is also a transwoman, preferring she/her pronouns, and she has had a working relationship with Batman since before she made her transition. She believed her transition could be the cure to the “prickly” parts of her personality. It didn’t quite change those parts of her personality, however, it allowed her to accept those parts of herself becoming a stronger person.
Dr. Victoria October made her debut in Detective Comics #948 by James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, and Ben Oliver. The general critical response to her introduction considered it a tasteful addition of diversity rather than a superficial twist.
Major Story Arcs
October worked with Batman and Batwoman regarding Monstertown. She considered Dr. Hugo Strange’s monster venom to be the most dangerous new innovation in bioweaponry. She was scared it could cause a new arms race, and it is that concern that has delayed the disposal of the Monster Men corpse’s from the neighborhood of Gotham already re-named Monster Town. She has turned it into a quarantine zone and has been collecting and studying any animals that feed on the serum that is leaking from the corpses and saturating the area.
She asked for the Bats’ help because an intruder from The Colony broke into her field lab and stole three canisters of the venom that she was able to isolate from the corpses. Batman would also lend Clayface from his new detective squad to hunt for mutated vermin in the sewers for her.
October has always had a soft spot for monsters and takes to Clayface right away. She promises him to find a cure better than his temporary wrist controller that Batman gave him. First, she needed to track his degradation while in Clayface form, so she asked him to stay in it as long as he could.
Unfortunately, she pushed her luck, and Clayface snapped under the stress of his moral degradation. He lashed out at her, but Cassandra Cain defended her, thankfully, and reactivated his wristband to turn him back into human. Rattled, October moved away from tracking his degradation and went right into creating a solution. She had a promising prototype to test against a DNA sample, but she longed for a less serious case to test it on.
Karlo tells her about one of his victims, Glory Griffin. She had been transformed into a Clayface-like humanoid and might be what October is looking for. October made plans to visit her at Arkham but sent Karlo in first to announce her proposition. That’s when Glory’s team, the Victim Syndicate, attacked Karlo and freed him from any sense of control.
October was working as fast as she could to produce an effective dose, however, any hope of using it was lost when Karlo broke into the excess mud vault becoming a feral clay giant. The dose couldn’t bring his body back with that much clay, but she believed it would bring back his mind. She trusted it to Cassandra, Karlo’s closest confidant on the detective squad. It briefly brought back both his mind and body, but as his body started to fail, Batwoman shot him, not taking any chances that his sanity would remain stable.
In the aftermath, Monster Town doubled in size, but to honor Karlo’s last wishes, she still used the cure successfully on Glory. However, Karlo survived and ultimately left town with Dr. October.
In the DC Bombshells universe, Dr. Viktoria October was a Soviet scientist working on a top secret cosmonaut project until it went bad. On the run from Soviet authorities, she became a powerful voice in the ethics of bioweaponry.
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