Cover to Birds of Prey #87. Art by Adriana Melo.
|First appearance||Detective Comics #463 (September 1976)|
|Created by||Bob Rozakis (writer)|
Mike Grell (artist)
|Full name||Noah Kuttler|
|Team affiliations||Fearsome Five|
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Abilities||Computer genius and expert strategist with access to a range of high-tech gear and loyal criminal contacts. |
Technopathy & Cyberpathy; able to access the internet without a computer and manipulate machinery with his mind.
As is commonplace in comics, the character was based on a topical event or trend; in this case, Noah Kuttler took his powers and costume design from the recently popular pocket calculator. His costume had a large numerical keypad on the front and an LED display on the headpiece. When he typed upon the keypad, he could make "hard light" constructs appear from the headpiece, fashioning tools and weapons in the style of Green Lantern's power ring. While using this modus operandi, the Calculator was defeated by Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), The Atom (Ray Palmer), Green Arrow, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Hawkman, Batman and Air Wave.
Fictional character biography
He was featured in a series of one-shot adventures in Detective Comics, stealing objects "when they are their most valuable" and fighting many Justice League members. As he was defeated by hero after hero, he presses a special button on his keypad that would (as it was revealed to the reader in a thought balloon) "turn defeat into victory". After months of appearances, the Calculator's scheme is revealed. The button somehow analyzes the powers or tactics of the hero defeating him, and effectively inoculates him from ever being defeated by that hero ever again. This immunity manifests itself as a force field, rendering a hero unable to touch or otherwise affect the Calculator. This of course meant he could only be defeated by a new hero; the heroes had many allies to draw upon. The Calculator could also be defeated when his own weaponry was turned against him.
The Calculator made intermittent appearances in DC titles over the years, such as Blue Beetle and Hero Hotline. In the 2004 miniseries Identity Crisis, he was revamped as a non-costumed villainous analogue to Oracle; a source of information for supervillains planning heists, offering suggestions of weaponry, assisting with logistics, etc. — but charging $1,000 per question, unlike Oracle, who works pro bono. He became a major player in the Infinite Crisis crossover Villains United as a core member of Lex Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains. His allies included such villains as Doctor Psycho, Doctor Light and Deathstroke.
Calculator suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, unbeknownst to his peers (even though this was hinted at when he was in charge of monitoring Supergirl), and initially controlled this with medication. However, in Birds of Prey, he became obsessed with finding out the identity of Oracle, and this led him toward a mental breakdown. He stops taking his medication and suffers from nightmares about the green mask that Oracle uses as an avatar. In Birds of Prey issue #111, Noah finally meets the woman behind Oracle face-to-face at a computer-industry conference, but is depicted looking far younger than his previous illustrations in DC titles and his history would indicate. Both are using aliases, and Noah is prevented from learning Oracle's true identity only at the last possible moment through a stratagem devised by Oracle's allies.
A year after the Crisis, Calculator led the Society, taking over from the deceased Alexander Luthor, Jr.. The Society has become a union for super-villains, with all major heists being done through the Society itself.
The Society is taken over from the inside out when the villain Libra proves he can trade loyalty for a criminal's deepest desire. This is all part of a successful plan to conquer the Earth and the Calculator is left a groveling witness to various Libra-headed executions. Calculator is there because he is accused of sending computer codes that will help the resistance. The extent of his betrayal is detailed later; he claims to have created an eighth layer of the TCP/IP protocol and used it to set up a hidden Internet, named the Unternet, able to be used by tech-savvy supervillains to act undetected by Libra and Darkseid, and then let Oracle and the superheroes use it to coordinate their efforts against the Apokoliptans on Earth.
In Birds of Prey #126, the Calculator copies Kilg%re's programming into himself, gaining the ability to control all forms of technology. He then uses this power to launch an attack on the Birds of Prey.
In the Oracle: The Cure miniseries, the Calculator seeks out the remnants of the Anti-Life Equation, hoping to use it to save Wendy. As the Calculator arrives at the hospital, Wendy recovers from her coma on her own. However, she is unable to feel her legs. Oracle (who had followed him to the hospital to prevent him from using the Anti-Life equation on Wendy) tells Calculator that he has Anti-Life residue on him. The residue makes him traceable if he uses the internet. Calculator is then thrown out of the hospital by guards.
Calculator later gathers together a new version of the Fearsome Five to target the Titans. He has the Five send a nuclear powered metahuman into a meltdown powerful enough to destroy the city of San Francisco. His plan is foiled by Eddie Bloomberg, who flies the metahuman above the city, sacrificing himself in the process. Calculator also has the Fearsome Five abduct Kid Eternity, who he uses to repeatedly summon the spirit of Marvin. The captivity proves fatal for the hero.
Later, the Calculator creates robotic duplicates of himself to attack the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans are able to dispatch all of the robots and find the Calculator's hideout. Once inside the team is captured by the Calculator, who admits that he killed Kid Eternity when he was unable to see Marvin. After Wonder Girl breaks free she attempts to kill him, for the dead Teen Titans member Kid Eternity, but is stopped by Red Robin. Robin, however, attacks Calculator who is revealed to be another robot double.
Powers and abilities
The Calculator has a genius level intelligence and is a skilled manipulator and superb strategist. The Calculator also has a vast array of criminal contacts.
In his early career Calculator has used a battlesuit with a large calculator in the chest area. The computers in the suit can accurately predict the actions of any hero or even the Earth itself. A projector in the helmet is linked to the suit and can create items by solidifying the dust in the air. Calculator no longer uses this battlesuit and its whereabouts are unknown.
Recent issues of the Birds of Prey series shows just how cunning Calculator truly is, when he worked around four other supervillains in a cabal he was part of in order to bestow superpowers onto himself, having absorbed some of Kilg%re's nanotech into his bloodstream to wire his brain directly into machinery and the Internet. This bestows on him vast cyberpathic abilities coupling in a bolstered intellectual prowess due to the micro-machinery augmenting his intellectual capacity. He can now enter and exit cyberspace on whim as well as remold any kind of technology into whatever he wishes it to be.
In other media
- Calculator appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Huntress", voiced by Armin Shimerman. This version is an overweight, apparently middle-aged man named Myron who lives in his mother's basement and wears the classic Calculator costume (that is several sizes too small for him). Huntress brings Batman and Blue Beetle to Calculator's house to get some info revolving around Babyface. Calculator finishes his call with Weather Wizard telling him that Flash will be out of Keystone City for a few days enough for Weather Wizard to commit his crimes there. Afterwards, Calculator is confronted by Batman and Huntress who interrogate him about why Babyface sprung his old gang out. Calculator tells them that Babyface is planning to break into Warehouse X.
- Noah Kuttler / Calculator appears in Arrow, portrayed by Tom Amandes. He is the father of Felicity Smoak and while she initially believes he abandoned her and her mother Donna 18 years earlier, Donna actually abandoned him after learning he was a criminal. Debuting in the season four episode "Unchained", Kuttler is a career cyber-criminal, who appears in Star City attempting to assemble a "cyber-nuke" that would allow him to destroy the Internet. After being foiled by Team Arrow, Kuttler seeks out the hacker who bested him, discovering his daughter. In the episode "Sins of the Father", Kuttler attempts to reconnect with his daughter, claiming to be a changed man, but she catches him stealing from her and has him arrested. In the episode "Monument Point", Team Arrow recruits Kuttler to help them deal with Damien Darhk's plan to launch nuclear missiles all over the world. In the process of foiling the plan, Kuttler takes a bullet for his daughter. Afterwards, Donna requests Noah to leave their lives again, out of fear that Felicity might gain his worst traits. Kuttler reappears in season six episode "Irreconcilable Differences", taking part in Felicity and Oliver's wedding reception.
- In the season seven flashforwards, which take place in 2040, Felicity is referred to as the Calculator.
- Calculator appears in the Justice League Action episode "The Cube Root", voiced by Ely Henry. He crashes the unveiling of the new Science Center dedicated to Mister Terrific and hacks his T-Spheres in order to start a crime spree that also involves causing a city-wide blackout. During Mister Terrific and Firestorm's fight with Calculator, Calculator uses the hacked T-Spheres to split Firestorm back into Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein where the hacked T-Spheres make off with Ronnie Raymond. This causes Mister Terrific and Martin Stein to work together to rescue Ronnie Raymond using the S-Cubes as a diversion so that Martin Stein can combine with Ronnie Raymond in order to form Firestorm. Mister Terrific and Firestorm reclaim control over the T-Spheres, defeat Calculator, and hand him over to the police.
- Calculator was reportedly featured in David S. Goyer's script for an upcoming Green Arrow film project entitled Escape from Super Max. In the script, Calculator appeared as an inmate of the Super Max Penitentiary for Metahumans.
- Calculator appears in the animated film Batman: Bad Blood, voiced by Jason Spisak. He appears as one of Talia al Ghul's henchmen. He is killed when Alfred Pennyworth kicks him into some electrical wires which in turn also kills Mad Hatter as an indirect result.
- Calculator appears in The Lego Batman Movie. He is shown to be dressed up like a calculator. In the movie, Calculator builds a CD rack in the Joker's hideout only for it to fall apart.
- Calculator is a main character in DC Universe Online, voiced by Tracy W. Bush. He gives mission briefings to players on the villain campaign. When he communicates with the players on the villains' side, he is mostly shadowed except for his glasses.
- Calculator appears in the world of the Lego Batman Movie portion of Lego Dimensions.
- Calculator appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comic issue #6, only with a different look than his appearance in the TV series.
- A LEGO minifigure version of the Calculator (in a more armor-clad version of his classic suit with the "number display" visor showing "07734"; "HELLO" when read upside down), meant as a tie-in to The Lego Batman Movie, is featured in Series 20 of the LEGO minfigures line alongside other Batman-oriented heroes and villains in blind bags.
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Calculator", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 65, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Detective Comics #463-468
- Final Crisis #1-5
- Birds of Prey #126
- Teen Titans vol. 3 #74
- Teen Titans vol. 3 #92 (February 2011)
- Newsarama Interview with Diedrich Bader
- Arrow Season 4 episode 12
- Mayimbe, El (May 19, 2008). "Supermax: Green Arrow Story Details + Villains/Inmates Gallery". LatinoReview.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2019.