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|First appearance||(Albert Desmond)|
Showcase #13 (April 1958) (as Mr. Element)
Showcase #14 (June 1958) (as Dr. Alchemy)
The Flash (vol. 2) #71 (Feb. 1992)
The Flash (vol. 2) #202 (Nov. 2003)
|Created by||(Albert Desmond)|
|Full name||Albert Desmond|
Dr. Curtis Engstrom
|Notable aliases||(Albert Desmond and Alexander Petrov)|
|Abilities||Transmute any substance into any other substance|
Transform the molecular structure of the human body
The character renamed Julian Albert Desmond appeared on The CW's live-action television series third season of The Flash, portrayed by Tom Felton and voiced by Tobin Bell. This version of Doctor Alchemy was actually a forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department being possessed by Savitar.
The character of Albert Desmond, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appeared in Showcase #13 (April 1958) as Mister Element. His second and more frequently used identity of Doctor Alchemy first appeared in Showcase #14 (June 1958).:92 The Alchemist made his first appearance in The Flash (vol. 2) #71 (Feb. 1992) and was created by writer Mark Waid and artist Greg LaRocque. The character of Alexander Petrov made his first appearance in The Flash (vol. 2) #202 (Nov. 2003) and was created by Geoff Johns and Alberto Dose.
Fictional character biography
Albert Desmond is a lowly chemist who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Desmond has two distinct personalities: one major driving personality and another criminally inclined one. Under his darker personality, he applies his knowledge of chemistry to create the Mister Element identity. He creates elemental weapons such as bulletproof silicon to shield his cars, and discovers a new element, Elemento, a magnetic light with which he sent the Flash into space.:92
After being sent to jail as a result of his first encounter with the Flash, he learns of the Philosopher's Stone from his cell mate. He escapes jail, finds the Philosopher's Stone, and uses its power to transmute elements to restart his criminal career as Doctor Alchemy. Eventually his good personality resurfaces, causing him to quit crime and hide the Philosopher's Stone. Shortly after, a new Doctor Alchemy appears and is revealed to be his astral twin "Alvin" Desmond with whom he shares a psychic link. It was later revealed that Alvin was a construct of the Stone created by Albert's criminal personality. When Albert confronts and defeats "Alvin", he resumes the Doctor Alchemy role. While incarcerated, both of his costumed identities were used by others: Curtis Engstrom using the Philosopher's Stone as the Alchemist and Alexander Petrov using the Mister Element identity.:92
Dr. Curtis Engstrom is an advisor on the project when S.T.A.R. Labs acquired the Philosopher Stone with intentions of using one of its fragments in their microscopic medical computer. He stole the computer with the help of a small time crook Moe "Mouthpiece" Miglian, but he was later arrested. After escaping from prison, Engstrom donned his own Dr. Alchemy costume and set out to retrieve the microchip that had been taken from him by Miglian where he became the "Alchemist". After being defeated, Engstrom and Miglian were sent to jail.
Alexander Petrov is a criminologist working for the Keystone City Police Department. But in order to advance his career, he uses one of Albert Desmond's weapons used as Mister Element to freeze the lab supervisor solid. Petrov is promoted to replace the dead supervisor and discovers he likes the thrill of killing. He continues to eliminate members of the department he sees as "threats" to his position, using the weapon and ice-based effects. He uses the effects and his position as head of the crime lab to shift suspicion to Captain Cold. His plan comes undone when profiler Ashley Zolomon enters his office as he is putting on his mask. The Flash is able to stop him from killing Zolomon, but Captain Cold interrupts them before the Flash can take him into custody. Captain Cold kills Petrov for breaking one of the rules of the Rogues' code of "ethics" - framing another for your own crimes.
Powers and abilities
Doctor Alchemy possesses the Philosopher's Stone, which once belonged to Merlin. By pressing the stone in various points, he has the ability to transmute any substance into any other substance (e.g., steel into rubber, or oxygen into carbon monoxide) and also possesses the power to transform the molecular structure of the human body, having once turned the Flash into a being of water vapor. Albert Desmond can also control the Philosopher's Stone from a distance via telekinesis.
In other media
- Doctor Alchemy and Mister Element have non-speaking cameos in Justice League Unlimited. In the episode "Flash and Substance", both villains can be seen in the bar where Wally West's enemies unwind.
- Doctor Alchemy makes his live-action debut in the third season of The Flash, portrayed by Tom Felton and voiced by Tobin Bell. This version of the character is Julian Albert Desmond, a forensic scientist and Barry Allen's rival in the CCPD. Barry discovers that Albert was actually an aberration due to "Flashpoint", an alternate timeline which Barry created then erased. In the past, Julian lead an archeologist team to track down an artifact he researched called the Philosopher's Stone that would bring back his dead sister. However, when he finds the stone, his team is killed and since then he had begun to experience blackouts. During those blackouts, he was called upon by the God of Speed known as Savitar to become his servant "Alchemy" by using the stone to call out those who had meta-human powers from Flashpoint and restoring them. Eventually, he is apprehended by the Flash and Jay Garrick, who discovers Albert is infact Alchemy and uses him to contact Savitar via the stone. After saving his life from Savitar, Julian makes amends with Barry and briefly joins Team Flash before moving back to Britain.
- Beatty, Scott (2008). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1.
- Who's Who in the DC Universe #6 (Aug. 1985)
- The Flash (vol. 2) #71 (Feb. 1992)
- Geoff Johns (w), Alberto Dose, Howard Porter (p). "Ignition (parts 2 through 6)" The Flash v2, 202-206 (November 2002 – March 2003)
- Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1
- Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: Flashpoint Debuts in First Trailer for 'The Flash' Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- Leane, Rob (September 26, 2017). "The Flash season 3 recap". Denofgeek. Retrieved November 21, 2019.