All-American Comics #25 (April 1941)
Infinity Inc. #19 (October 1985)
As Doctor Midnight:
Infinity Inc. #21 (December 1985)
Doctor Mid-Nite #1 (September 1999)
Stanley Josephs Aschmeier
John K. Snyder III
|Alter ego||Dr. Charles McNider|
Dr. Elizabeth Chapel
Dr. Pieter Anton Cross
Justice Society of America
U.S. Medical Corps
Black Lantern Corps
Perfect night vision
Ability to see in the dark via infrared lenses
Brilliant doctor and mathematician
Gifted physician and author
Superb athlete and hand to hand combatant
Employs "blackout bombs"
Great physician and scientist
Employs special ultrasonic lenses and "blackout bombs"
Doctor Mid-Nite or Doctor Midnight is the name of multiple fictional superheroes in DC Comics. The figure has been represented in the comics by three different individuals, Charles McNider, Beth Chapel, and Pieter Anton Cross. Dr. Mid-Nite was originally created by writer Charles Reizenstein and artist Stanley Josephs Aschmeier in 1941. The hero, represented first by Charles McNider, appeared for the first time in All-American Comics #25 (April 1941). He continued in All-American Comics until issue #102 (Oct 1948).
Like many Golden Age heroic characters, the original Doctor Mid-Nite appeared as a member of DC's Justice Society of America. His two successors were also represented as members of the group or an offshoot. Doctor Mid-Nite has never appeared as the solo protagonist of a regular title magazine, but the figure has been the subject of an anthology and a mini-series.
All three versions of Doctor Mid-Nite have exhibited the same basic features: a cowled costume featuring a crescent moon symbol, keen ability to see in the darkness at the cost of near or total blindness in sunlight, the use of special visors and "blackout" smoke bombs to gain tactical advantage in combat, a high degree of skill in martial arts, and jobs as physicians serving both normal human beings and "metahuman" superheroes. Additionally, two of the doctors have been accompanied by sidekick owls.
As a blind character, Doctor Mid-Nite is widely regarded as the first superhero in comics to exhibit a physical impairment, pre-dating the creation of Daredevil of Marvel Comics by more than twenty years.
Charles McNider made his live-action debut in the second season of Legends of Tomorrow played by Kwesi Ameyaw. Charles McNider also appears in Stargirl, portrayed by Henry Thomas in season one and Alex Collins in season two, alongside Beth Chapel, portrayed by Anjelika Washington.
Main article: Charles McNider
Charles McNider is the original Doctor Mid-Nite appearing in All American Comics #25 (April 1941) in the Golden Age of Comic Books and is a common member of the Justice Society of America. McNider, a young surgeon, was blinded when a grenade went off in front of him caused by gangster "Killer" Maroni, but he found that he could see in the dark. He made special goggles that allowed him to see in the daylight, and decided to use his special power to fight crime. In his civilian identity, he pretends to be a helpless blind man.
Main article: Beth Chapel
As the aging McNider spent less time in action, Beth Chapel, a medical doctor, stepped into the role of Doctor Midnight. She was an occasionally a member of Infinity, Inc.
Main article: Doctor Mid-Nite (Pieter Cross)
Pieter Cross first appeared in Doctor Mid-Nite #1. He is a doctor who develops the same abilities as Charles McNider after being drugged by enforcers from Praeda Industries and being in a car accident.
Both Charles McNider and Pieter Anton Cross train owls as sidekicks.
McNider trains the same owl which crashes through his window, an event that leads to the discovery of his powers. This owl named "Hooty" (sometimes "Hootie") shares many adventures during the Golden Age.
Cross keeps company with an owl named "Charlie". The bird is named after the original Doctor Mid-Nite Charles McNider. Charlie keeps a mini-camera around his neck that can feed video directly to a display in Cross's goggles.
Each incarnation of Doctor Mid-Nite has fought different enemies:
In 1965, DC Comics had no plans to revive Doctor Mid-Nite. DC editor Julius Schwartz gave M.I.T. student and comic book letterhack Rick Norwood permission to publish a Dr. Midnite story in his fanzine, Five. The story written by Norwood and illustrated by Steve Sabo features a doctor named Tom Benson who is blinded in battle. He discovers that his other senses are super-sensitive and dons the Doctor Midnite costume to fight crime.
Another version of the character was shown in Dan Jolley and Tony Harris' JSA: The Liberty File as a World War II United States intelligence agent code-named the Owl. This character, though a playboy, resembles other Doctor Mid-Nite representations. Though derided for his dalliances with the ladies, McNider was trusted as a valued field operative.
Batman: Holy Terror depicts an America ruled by a religious theocracy as a result of Oliver Cromwell living for a decade longer than he did in reality. McNider was a member of the underground resistance against the government years ago, working alongside Thomas Wayne, but they were discovered, with Thomas and his wife being killed while McNider was blinded and his own wife executed. McNider offers some advice to Thomas's son Bruce when he discovers the truth about his parents' deaths, leading Bruce on the path to begin his own resistance against the government.
In the Tangent: Superman's Reign series, a version of Doctor Mid-Nite his body completely covered by a black cloak is briefly seen.
In the new Earth-2 created in the wake of Infinite Crisis and 52, a version of Beth Chapel is shown to be a member of the Justice Society Infinity.
An unidentified Doctor Mid-Nite makes a cameo appearance in the opening credits of Justice League: The New Frontier as a member of the Justice Society of America.