Dr. Mindbender is a fictional character from the 1980s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comics, and animated series. He is a scientist who works for the fictional terrorist organization COBRA.
Dr. Bender was at one time a peace-loving orthodontist. He built a machine to relieve dental pain, using electric brainwave stimulation. Unfortunately he tested it on himself, and when it went haywire, he became hateful, deceitful and vain. Dr. Mindbender abandoned his practice and joined forces with Cobra, devoting all his time to perfecting his digital brain-scrambling. He is a master of mind control and interrogation, but his expertise also includes genetics, cloning, dentistry, and some cybernetics.
Doctor Mindbender is first shown in the G.I. Joe episode "No Place Like Springfield Part 2" voiced by Brian Cummings. Shipwreck runs through Cobra's base and knocks a vial of chemicals out of the doctor's hand. They land on his head, causing him to lose his hair. Mindbender is Cobra's chief interrogator and science officer. He hates Cobra Commander (who calls him "Fender-Bender"). In "Arise Serpentor Arise", he collaborates with Destro and Tomax and Xamot in a plot to obtain DNA samples of the best militaristic minds in history, because he feels Cobra needs a leader that can inspire courage in its cowardly troops. This results in the creation of Serpentor. Doctor Mindbender is easily Serpentor's most loyal member of Cobra's High command (and as such Serpentor trusted Doctor Mindbender the most out of the Cobra High Command, even being exceptionally lenient if a mission's failure is Mindbender's fault), but there are times when he considers the monarch to be a "spoiled brat".
G.I. Joe: The Movie
In G.I. Joe: The Movie, it is revealed that the idea to create Serpentor was planted in Mindbender's brain by Golobulus (the leader of Cobra-La) using the "Psychic Motivator". Doctor Mindbender appears outraged by this, as he had thought of Serpentor as his own creation, but he quickly falls into line and begins serving Cobra-La. Doctor Mindbender is present in the final battle between Cobra, Cobra-La and the Joes.
Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom
In the new continuity set by the rendered 3D movies, Doctor Mindbender once again serves as Cobra's chief scientist. In G.I. Joe: Spy Troops, he creates a new and improved Battle Android Trooper, and uses stolen G.I. Joe technology to create headsets which allow Destro and Storm Shadow to control the B.A.T.s in battle. Doctor Mindbender is also working on Venom Troopers, but ultimately loses all of his research when the Cobra base is destroyed. Cobra Commander flippantly tells him to start over, leaving Doctor Mindbender shocked and appalled at such a suggestion.
For G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, Doctor Mindbender has rebuilt all of his research, and the Venom project is now fully up and running. Thanks to Doctor Mindbender's genius, Cobra begins kidnapping people from around the world and turning them into animal/human hybrids. Doctor Mindbender warns Cobra Commander about putting too much Venom into a single subject but the Commander ignores him. The captured General Hawk is transformed into Venomous Maximus, a being so powerful he quickly seizes power of Cobra with the help of Overkill. Cobra Commander and Doctor Mindbender are captured by Maximus and Overkill. As the Joes attack while Maximus goes to launch his Venom missile, Doctor Mindbender is forced to join forces with his G.I. Joe rival, Hi-Tech, and work against Maximus. They reverse the polarity of the Venom missiles, which in turn destroy Cobra's base. In the confusion following the battle, Doctor Mindbender makes his escape.
Doctor Mindbender did not appear in G.I. Joe: Sigma 6. Instead, Overkill has taken over his role as Cobra's chief scientist.
See Dr. Mindbender (G.I. Joe: Renegades) for full overview of this version.
This version is a noticeably younger than most and little is known about him other than his is a ruthless scientists who is working with Cobra to create an invincible army and make their leader immortal. Over the course of the show he is shown to be somewhat cowardly and rather sadistic. As of the series finale he was sucked into a wormhole along with the Baroness before Cobra Commanders base implodes due to the Joes damaging the teleportation device he was working on. His ultimate fate is unknown due to the shows cancellation.
Doctor Mindbender also appears in a flashback in the 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra played by Kevin J. O'Connor. In the remainder of the film the character known as 'The Doctor' is implied to be Doctor Mindbender by his characteristic monocle. It is revealed that he passed the secrets of nano-technology on to Rex Lewis (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who was 'The Doctor' before assuming his Cobra Commander persona. His fate in the film is unclear; their laboratory is destroyed (leading to the Commander's severe scarring) but Rex tells Duke that Doctor Mindbender trained him in nanotechnology after the attack. In the DVD release, additional dialogue indicates that Doctor Mindbender survived. In the commentary, director Stephen Sommers says there is a good chance Doctor Mindbender would return in a sequel. However he does not.
- Mindbender could be the Bigger Bad in Rise of Cobra because he trained Rex in nano-technology, and therefore he's indirectly responsible for Rex's transformation into Cobra Commander.
- Doctor Mindbender appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Joint Point" voiced by Seth Green. In a documentary segment that parodies the Terror Drome in the style of The Office, Doctor Mindbender explains how he runs a class to train the Cobra Organization's new recruits.
- The figure receives a brief mention in the 'Stephen King Companion' non-fiction essay collection.
- The character is described on page 128 of the magazine 'The New Yorker'. Volume 62, 1986.
- Another mention is made in 'Out of the garden: toys, TV, and children's culture in the age of marketing'.
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