John Dee, also known as Doctor Destiny, is a supervillain from the DC Comics universe who appeared in the second issue of The Sandman. The biological son of Ethel Cripps, Dee was confined to Arkham Asylum, where his mother gave him the Dreamstone stolen from Dream of the Endless, a token of immense power, so he could escape the Asylum. Overuse of the gemstone's powers weakened his body and mind, while giving him extraordinary powers. While his body and sanity eroded, his powers grew.
Dream of the Endless sought the ruby to repair the damage Destiny had created by tampering with it, but Dee started a fight with the Dream Lord that only ended when he himself destroyed the ruby in the hope that Dream would die with the destruction of the talisman in which he had invested much of his essence. Instead, the destruction released all the power Dream had poured into it, revitalizing Morpheus, and enabling Dream to defeat Destiny and give him back his ability to dream. He then sent Dee back to Arkham Asylum.
As an adult, John became a supervillain named "Doctor Destiny" and used his genius to commit several crimes. He would experiment on the Dreamstone of Morpheus, forcing flaws and adding circuitry, until it was attuned to him and not Dream. John rechristened the Dreamstone as the "Materioptikon", which allowed him to create reality from the fabric of dreams. Eventually, John was defeated by the Justice League of America and incarcerated at Arkham Asylum while the Dreamstone was place in a storage facility.
At some point, he fathered a son, Heather After's father.
Escape of Arkham Asylum
In 1989, Ethel located John and briefly visited him in his cell. After his mother's visit, John was informed of her passing one week later, and that she bequeathed to him her family heirloom. Provoked, he decided to get out of the asylum to retrieve the Dreamstone.
He shows the signs of long incarceration with a wizened and scrawny appearance, and greyish skin. He has lost most of his hair and his teeth are in poor condition. His eyes are those of a madman.
A criminal genius and inventor, John was obsessed with world domination, using his knowledge to create a dangerous machine to threaten the world into submission. Like most super villains he is a megalomaniac. He is also a demonstrated sadist, at one point casually shooting an innocent woman and using his power over the ruby to brainwash several people into committing violent self-harm for his amusement.
Powers and Abilities
With the Dreamstone ruby, Dee could manipulate the dreams of sleeping mortals.
- His name is a reference to the real-life John Dee.
- While John's paternal origins were never specified in the comics, the audio drama of the series' seventh chapter quotes that Roderick Burgess is his father, making him and Alex Burgess half-brothers.
- Dr. Destiny was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. He first appeared in Justice League of America #5 dated June 1961.