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Doctor Alchemy

Albert Desmond as Doctor Alchemy, as he appeared on a splash page of The Flash # 764 (October, 2020) Art by Will Conrad

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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance(Albert Desmond)
Showcase #13 (April 1958) (as Mr. Element)
Showcase #14 (June 1958) (as Dr. Alchemy)
(Curtis Engstrom)
The Flash (vol. 2) #71 (Feb. 1992)
(Alexander Petrov)

The Flash (vol. 2) #202 (Nov. 2003)
Created by(Albert Desmond)
John Broome
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Full nameAlbert Desmond
Dr. Curtis Engstrom
Alexander Petrov
Notable aliases(Albert Desmond and Alexander Petrov)
Mr. Element
(Curtis Engstrom)
AbilitiesTransmute any substance into any other substance
Transform the molecular structure of the human body

Doctor Alchemy is a name used by three different supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The most notable was Albert Desmond, who originally used the name of Mister Element.

The character appeared as a recurring cast thành viên on The CW television series third season of The Flash played by Tom Felton. The character makes his cinematic debut in the DC Extended Universe film The Flash, played by Rudy Mancuso.

Publication history[edit]

The character of Albert Desmond, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appeared in Showcase #13 (April 1958) as Mister Element.[1] His second, and more frequently used, identity of Doctor Alchemy first appeared in Showcase #14 (June 1958).[2]: 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[edit]

Albert Desmond[edit]

Desmond, originally Mister Element, as appeared in The Flash #216 (June 1972). Art by Dick Dillin (pencils) and Dick Giordano (inks).

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.[3] Under his darker personality, he applies his knowledge of chemistry to tướng create the identity of Mister Element. He creates elemental weapons such as bulletproof silicon to tướng shield his cars, and discovers a new element, Elemento, a magnetic light with which he sent the Flash into space.[2]: 92 

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After being sent to tướng jail as a result of his first encounter with the Flash, he learns of the Philosopher's Stone from his cellmate. He escapes jail, finds the Philosopher's Stone, and uses its power to tướng transmute elements to tướng restart his criminal career under a new identity – Doctor Alchemy. Eventually his good personality resurfaces, causing him to tướng quit crime and hide the Philosopher's Stone. Shortly after, a new Doctor Alchemy appears and is revealed to tướng be his astral twin "Alvin" Desmond, with whom he shares a psychic liên kết. 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 identity of Doctor Alchemy.[4] While he was 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.[2]: 92 

Curtis Engstrom[edit]

Dr. Curtis Engstrom is an advisor on the project when S.T.A.R. Labs acquired the Philosopher's Stone with intentions of using one of its fragments in their microscopic medical computer.[5] 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 phối out to tướng retrieve the microchip that had been taken from him by Miglian, calling himself the Alchemist. After being defeated, Engstrom and Miglian were both sent to tướng prison.

Alexander Petrov[edit]

Alexander Petrov is a criminologist working for the Keystone City Police Department. But in order to tướng advance his career, he uses one of Albert Desmond's weapons used as Mister Element to tướng freeze the lab supervisor solid. Petrov is promoted to tướng replace the dead supervisor and discovers he likes the thrill of killing. He continues to tướng eliminate members of the department he sees as "threats" to tướng his position, using the weapon and ice-based effects. He uses the effects and his position as head of the crime lab to tướng shift suspicion to tướng 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 tướng 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" – never frame another Rogue for your own crimes.[6]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As Mister Element, Desmond dons a suit equipped with an oxygen mask and selects the model of carbon as his suit emblem.

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Doctor Alchemy possesses the Philosopher's Stone which once belonged to tướng Merlin. By pressing the stone in various points, he has the ability to tướng transmute any substance into any other substance (e.g., steel into rubber, or oxygen into carbon monoxide) and also possesses the power to tướng transform the molecular structure of the human body toàn thân, having once turned the Flash into a being of water vapor.[2][4] Albert Desmond can also control the Philosopher's Stone from a distance via telekinesis.

Other versions[edit]


In the Flashpoint reality, Mr. Element's gun, among others, is used by Oliver Queen, who runs Green Arrow Industries, to tướng combat Vixen's daughter.[7]

In other media[edit]


  • Doctor Alchemy and Mister Element make non-speaking cameo appearances in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance".
  • Doctor Alchemy appears in the third season of The Flash (2014), portrayed by Tom Felton and voiced by Tobin Bell.[8] This version is Julian Albert Desmond, a forensic scientist, Barry Allen's rival in the Central City Police Department (CCPD), and the result of a time aberration due to tướng the "Flashpoint" timeline being erased. In the past, Albert led an archeologist team to tướng track down an artifact he researched called the philosopher's stone ví he could resurrect his dead sister. While he finds the stone, his team is killed and he began to tướng experience blackouts, during which he was called upon by Savitar to tướng become his servant "Alchemy" and use the stone to tướng restore metahumans from the "Flashpoint" timeline. Eventually, Albert is apprehended by Allen and Jay Garrick who discover Albert's identity and use him to tướng liên hệ Savitar via the stone. After being saved from Savitar, Albert makes amends with Allen and briefly joins Team Flash to tướng defeat Savitar before moving back to tướng the United Kingdom.[9]


Albert Desmond appears in The Flash (2023), portrayed by Rudy Mancuso.[10] This version is a thành viên of the Central City Police Department and co-worker of Barry Allen and Patty Spivot. In an alternate reality, Albert is Barry and Patty's roommate.

See also[edit]

  • Philosopher's stone


  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to tướng the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 344. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ a b c d Beatty, Scott (2008). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1.
  3. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 84. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  4. ^ a b Who's Who in the DC Universe #6 (Aug. 1985)
  5. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #71 (Feb. 1992)
  6. ^ Geoff Johns (w), Alberto Dose, Howard Porter (p). "Ignition (parts 2 through 6)" The Flash, vol. 2, no. 202-206 (November 2002 – March 2003).
  7. ^ Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1
  8. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 23, 2016). "Comic-Con: Flashpoint Debuts in First Trailer for 'The Flash' Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  9. ^ Leane, Rob (September 26, 2017). "The Flash season 3 recap". Denofgeek. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 2023-05-22.

External links[edit]

  • Doctor Alchemy/Mister Element I at DC Database
  • Mister Element II at DC Database
  • Alchemist at DC Database
  • Doctor Alchemy at Comic Vine