John Dee was a criminal scientist capable of creating technology far beyond those of the contemporary era; his first foray in super-villainy involved creating an anti-gravity device that allowed him to capture Green Lantern, impersonate him, and design a series of traps to capture the JLA, calling himself Doctor Destiny. While defeated, it was but his first attempt.
His next attempt at the business was pointed towards the manipulation of dreams. He managed to create a drug designed to alter reality through dreams, though all subjects had burned out while under its influence. He then realized that all that was necessary to counter this was blood-pressure medicine, and used his drug to battle the JLA. Defeated, he then decided the medicine was not the way to go; instead, he built a series of powerful machines designed to alter reality much like his drug had done; he called these machines Materioptikons; the strongest was a blood-red gemstone, also called Materioptikon.
While he was tremendously successful with his first machine, bringing his dream to torture the Leaguers; a world ruled by a fascist, brutal JLA. The real JLA barely managed to defeat the doubles and destroy the first Materioptikon; however, Destiny then proved able to recreate the stone whenever he wished through his dreams. The JLA then employed a psychiatrist to destroy Dee's ability to dream; this turned him into the shrivelled wreck of a man, and filled him with animosity against the JLA. Destiny would return many times, seeking to reconstruct or reactivate his Materioptikons, money, the defeat of the JLA, power, and mostly the restoration of his human appearance.
Dee was again a petty criminal scientist; but when after his first defeat he was imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, his mother, who had one been the mistress of one of the captors of Dream of the Endless and was then possessor of one of his symbols of office, his ruby, visited Arkham and handed over the gem to him so he could escape with its power. While Dee was successful, overuse of the gem left him a shriveled wreck, much like his Pre-Crisis appearance. Traumatized by the effects of the gemstone on her son, Ethel Cripps committed suicide.
Soon, Dee used the gem for crimes, but was stopped and imprisoned in Arkham once more. In preparation for any possible plans involving dreams, the Arkham doctors took away Dee's ability to dream, driving him insane. Dee then recieved his mother's amulet, which would protect him from anything. Using its power, Dee escaped Arkham and took a gun from a guard, using it to force a woman to drive to where he hid his ruby.
Upon arriving, Dee shoots the woman dead and finds his ruby in the hands of its original owner, Dream. Dee took the gem from the unconscious personification of stories and went to a diner to enact his plan to drive the world mad.
At the diner, Dee manipulates the diner's customers and owner's minds all the while watching his power take affect on the world on the news. Within 24 hours, he makes the inhabitants of the restaurant confess to their sins, be punished for them, act like beastial animals, have sex, sing, and worship him as a god of sorts until having them kill themselves.
Dream, regaining consciousness, goes to the diner to find disfigured bodies and a bored Dee playing around with the ruby. Dream explained to Dee that the ruby has part of his soul, thus a major amount of his powers are under Dee's control. However, Dee instead decides to use the ruby to replace Dream as the Dreamlord, at which they enter the Dreaming to do battle. After going through several dreams, Dee finally confronts Dream and, attempting to kill him, destroys the ruby.
Unexpectedly, the destruction of the ruby instead unleashed the energies within it and they return to Dream, empowering him with his omnipotence once more. Knowing that the ruby did considerable damage to Dee's mind, Dream dismisses the madman's crimes and instead brings him back to Arkham where Dream gives him back his dreams.
The New 52
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
John Dee has been mentioned by John Constantine as a magic-user active during the 1500s. He is known to have fought the demon Choronzon at some point. His spells are used to help the Justice League Dark fight their first enemy Enchantress. It is later shown that Steve Trevor of A.R.G.U.S. is in possession of his Dreamstone, keeping it with their magical artifacts in the Black Room. Trevor uses it as a bargaining chip to gain the League's assistance.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Power Instability: Inability to dream had turned him into a twisted, skeletal wreck of a man; while better, he is still extremely feeble.
- Reality Alteration: He acquired reality-warping powers great enough to create entire realities out of dreams and memories, even without the stone itself in his possession.
- When he was hooked on the Materioptikon, Dee ate very little, and thus withered away to a near-skeletal appearance. More recently, he seems to have regained his appetite, and thus looks more normal.
- 45 Appearances of John Dee (New Earth)
- 4 Images featuring John Dee (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about John Dee (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: John Dee (New Earth)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."