Real Name: Dr Nikola
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Master criminal
Affiliations: Unnamed cat
Enemies: Hatteras, unnamed one-eared Mongolian assassin
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: A castle in Scotland.
First Appearance: A Bid for Fortune (Windsor Magazine, 1895)
Powers/Abilities: As well as an astounding intellect, Nikola was incredibly strong and a master of disguise. A potent mesmerist, he is capable of hypnotising the strongest mind, and can fool people into seeing anything he wants. He has created a variety of mutant creatures which do his bidding. He is also a skilled chemist, having manufactured a drug which can extend life indefinitely.
History: Dr Nikola was a master criminal, described as being slightly above average height, with broad shoulders, "perfectly shaped" muscular limbs, but very slim, with small hands and feet. He had glossy black hair and was clean shaven (his face "was destitute of beard or mustache"). He was handsome, with skin of a dark olive hue, and had piercing black eyes and pearly teeth. Impeccably dressed, his neatness "bordered on the puritanical". His age was difficult to deduce from his appearance, and he could have been anything between twenty-eight to forty; in reality he was thirty-three. His pet/companion was an enormous black cat with a literally unnatural intelligence.
Charming and genial in person, Nikola was gifted with great intelligence, and despite his world-conquering aims was relatively reluctant to kill, sparing his nemesis Hatteras a number of times. When he kidnapped Hatteras' fiancée he acted as a perfect gentleman towards her, and when Hatteras married his bride, Nikola sent them a collet of diamonds with a note reading "With heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Lady Hatteras, in memory of an unfortunate detention and a voyage to the Southern Seas, From her sincere admirer, Dr. Nikola."
Nikola's main goal in life had been the hunt for immortality, which he believed to could be obtained from a mysterious sect of Chinese monks who lived in a hidden monastery somewhere in Tibet. To aid him in this endeavour he used both dimwitted but brave men whose loved ones Nikola had a hold over (through blackmail or kidnapping), various freaks and mutants he created through his own mad research, and Chinese servants held to him through fear. After stealing the secret which allowed him to make his life expanding drug, Nikola was hunted by a Mongolian assassin missing half of one ear; no matter how hard he tried, Nikola could never quite manage to eliminate this nemesis.
Comments: Dr Nikola is a creation of Australian author Guy Boothby. He first appeared in an eight part story in Windsor Magazine in 1895, with that story then being collected into A Bid for Fortune (1895) (also known as "Enter Dr. Nikola!" and "Dr Nikola's Vendetta"). There were four more Nikola novels including Doctor Nikola (1896), The Lust of Hate (1898), Doctor Nikola's Experiment (1899), and Farewell, Nikola (1901). He eventually reformed in time for his final novel.
Many thanks to Terry Hooper for first bringing this character to my attention and for providing the picture of him used at the top of the page. As Terry describes him, "Nikola was a cross between Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu and Moriarty pales into insignificance to the evil doctor!"
There is an excellent, extensive entry for Doctor Nikola on the Fantastic Victoriana site.
Thanks to Copper for additional info.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Doctors
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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