Here’s my good friend S.J. Delos to talk about his supervillain character, Doctor Maniac!
They say people root for the heroes. But we all know that, sometimes not so secretly in fact, we find ourselves more interested in the bad guy. From Darth Vader to Doctor Evil. How did they become what they are? What sort of diabolical scheme will they come up with next?
I would like to bring into the spotlight my own fictional bad guy, Doctor Maniac. In my books, the good Doctor is the super-villain working behind the scenes. He is considered by the general population of the world to be the most evil and dangerous man on the planet. If given a choice between running into the Devil or running into Doctor Maniac, most people would pick the former.
However, thing I enjoy most about the creation of this character isn’t the fact that he is a megalomaniacal genius with hundreds of murders under his belt. Nor is it his hubris, of which he has spades. Instead, it is his twisted infatuation with the series’ protagonist, Kayo. He calls it love, and it might be in some weird, disturbing fashion inside his head. However, Kayo considers it to be an uncomfortable situation that never seems to actually go away. Doctor Maniac becomes that ex we all have had at one time or another. One that just can’t get past the fact the relationship is over and move on.
In a reversal of the usual comic villain trope, Doctor Maniac is not prone to engaging in a useless monologue with his opponents. He also most certainly does not design elaborate traps that can be foiled with some ingenuity and dental floss. When it comes to dispatching those in his way, he will have them killed and not lose a moment’s peace over the decision.
However, despite the magnitude of the betrayal (in his eyes) by Kayo, he cannot bring himself to actually harm her. Even in Some Kind of Hero, his actions are far less severe than they could have been.
Another thing that I enjoy about writing this character is the mystery surrounding him. While Doctor Maniac is connected in some manner to the chief villain in each book, he himself is not the orchestrator of the danger that Kayo faces. He actually helps her, in his own strange way, though you have to wonder what exactly is going on in his mind.
One of the things I would like to point out is that the reader only gets to see what Doctor Maniac is like from Kayo’s perspective. And it’s a perspective skewed by the fact that while she is trying to show the world she can be a hero, Kayo can’t stop thinking about all the things she did at his request when they were together. Kayo wants to believe that the only reason why she was a bad girl for so long was because was young and in love with the charismatic Doctor.
Until now, I’ve been content to leave Doctor Maniac as a character whose true motivations and history are as much as mystery to Kayo as they are to the reader. Interestingly enough, more than one person has read So Not a Hero and told me afterwards that they found Doctor Maniac to be one of the more interesting characters in the book. I have to agree, though I hope that doesn’t mean that the other, more prominent, characters were not enjoyable.
I’ve decided that Doctor Maniac will be more visible in the third book, Just Like a Hero. I think it is time for the reader to know just what it is that makes this man, who can strike fear into hearts with just the mention of his name, tick. I want people to know what really transpired between a young, pre-hero Kayo and the man who controlled her life for so many years.
I think everyone’s going to be fairly well surprised.
S.J. Delos is a self-proclaimed “average geek” living in Greensboro, North Carolina with his long-suffering wife, Kim and their two sons, Connor and Cameron. When not making up stories and writing them down, he spends his time reading comic books, playing Skyrim, and watching Doctor Who.
You can find him, or his books, at any of these fine links: