Real Name: Lester Verde
First Appearance: Howard the Duck #15 c. 1977
Abilities: Genius Level Intellect in genetics
Bong! It is a sound that in the late 70’s struck fear into the hearts of readers everywhere. It was the calling of one of the craziest looking villains to ever grace the pages of a Marvel Comic. It was the call of the one and only Doctor Bong!
During the 70’s one of the most shocking success stories in Howard the Duck. It was one of the most popular books of the time. While Howard battled many villains over the course of the series, only one would become his Arch-Nemesis and that is the good Doctor. Though he has not been prominent in some time, he has made some cameo appearances in the Marvel Universe such as a recent issue of the Superior Foes or Spider-Man.
But who is Doctor Bong? Well sit back kids and enjoy Uncle Spin’s Grand Ole Timey Player Profile.
To understand this oddly helmeted character we must look at his past.
Lester Verde was an overweight and bullied child who found the best way to channel his anger was to delve into the wonderful world of journalism. His brand of journalism was at best a bunch of lies and false accusations that would lead to the death of a girl whom he had become enamored with while in college. This girl was Beverly Switzler the future companion of our favorite dimension lost waterfowl, who Lester had written false stories about, and as her boyfriend raced to see her, he was killed in a car accident.
After his foray into writing was over Lester decided to try his hand at music by first being a critic before joining the punk rock band Mildred Horowitz. This career move was once again to try and impress Beverly who he still pined over to the point it has become dangerous. During this time his lies once again lead to consequences as during a mock fight his hand was severed in a prop guillotine. This would be the changing point in Lester’s life as he lay on the floor clutching his arm he looked up to the bells overhead and thus his sanity was gone. From that point on Lester was gone and Doctor Bong was born.
(The Doctor’s history was shown in Howard the Duck #16 c. 1977)
After gaining a physique that could rival Hulk Hogan in his prime and becoming a master at sonic and genetic engineering, Doctor Bong set up his super-villain empire and started plotting his devious plans. Most of which included getting Beverly as his own, and his opportunity came when Howard and Beverly found themselves on his island. Using the threat of death to Howard he blackmailed Beverly into marrying him, though he still experimented on Howard turning him into a human.
After Beverly escaped by creating child clones of the Doctor, he would go on to notice that his kids loved animated cartoons. He decided to create Bong-Vision to transform the cartoons into three-dimensional realities, trapping the She-Hulk inside. Though he was defeated and trapped in Bong-Vision, the Doctor would reemerge as a psychiatrist who tried to pit Deadpool in violent fights with Wolverine, though he stopped when he saw Deadpool make progress in his therapy.
Later he would be discovered as the head of Globally Branded Content and hired Brenda as the supervisor of his own genetically engineered boy band. After being found as the head of the company, he caused an explosion that resulted in Howard being trapped in the body of a mouse and would try to pit multiple characters against him hoping to end in his death. Though once again he was defeated and has since been relegated to cameo appearances.
A strange character that has a lot of history in the realm of the Marvel Universe, Doctor Bong is a twisted genius that has used his powers to alter reality, change the genetic code of individuals and even created beings such as Fifi the Duck. While he may not be a big time villain these days, it is only a matter of time before the good Doctor comes back and in style.