Issue(s): Sub-Mariner #23, Sub-Mariner #24
He's actually an Atlantean killer whale, a minion of Krang's that was transformed by Dr. Dorcas using the same process he used to create Tiger Shark.
Luckily for Krang, he's exceedingly loyal, since Krang is pretty abusive to the poor guy, even after he's transformed into something stronger than Sub-Mariner that can also breathe out of water and can control other killer whales.
By the way, the movie Orca: The Killer Whale ("Don't call it a Jaws knockoff!") didn't come out until 1977, so as far as i know, Orka's only inspiration are actual killer whales.
Before stumbling upon Dorcas, Krang was actually preparing to propose an alliance with Attuma, and had been collecting treasure from sunken ships to bring as an offering. I thought it was cool to see Krang being humble enough to realize that he'd have to bring something to the table for an alliance, but i also assumed that all Atlanteans, and especially the barbarian Attuma, didn't care much for the abandoned treasures of the surface world.
Anyway, Krang winds up in the alliance with Dorcas instead of Attuma...
...and after defeating the Sub-Mariner pretty soundly...
...they launch an attack on Atlantis.
But in an interesting twist, Lady Dorma, who was fleeing from Orka's whales with Vashti, runs into Tiger Shark...
...and she agrees to marry him if he'll save them and defend Atlantis.
Apparently just being engaged to Dorma while Namor isn't home is enough to make you the leader of Atlantis...
...but Tiger Shark actually does a decent job of getting the kingdom's defenses prepared for Krang & Dorcas' attack.
Namor eventually gets free (well, more specifically, he was tied to a giant killer whale that was launched at Atlantis, and Tiger Shark ordered the Atlanteans to destroy it, but Namor survives)...
...and when he hears about the promise that Dorma made, he grudgingly accepts it.
But i guess Tiger Shark figures that a marriage to Dorma isn't worth much if Namor is alive, because he attacks Namor during the battle. Which is too bad, because a sneering "So, we're gonna be cousins-in-law!" would have been kinda cool. Orka interferes during the fight...
...and eventually Orka and Tiger Shark are seemingly killed in a cave-in, burying them beneath the ocean floor.
Orka is not an A-list villain, but he's pretty cool. Like Tiger Shark, he's actually a lot more powerful than one might realize from just reading Sub-Mariner comics, since Namor himself is a powerhouse. So put him up against, say, the Avengers, and he's a serious threat. The fact that Dr. Dorcas was able to pull off this sort of thing twice shows that he's no joke, either.
Severin's art continues to be nice but issue #23 is her last on the series. John Buscema returns just for issue #24 before his brother Sal takes over for about a year beginning next issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Sub-Mariner is on his way home from last issue's encounter with Dr. Strange at the beginning of this arc.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showDr. Dorcas, Krang, Lady Dorma, Orka, Sub-Mariner, Tiger Shark, Vashti 1970 / Box 5 / Silver Age
1970 / Box 5 / Silver Age
Do we ever get a motivation for Dr Dorcas's evil? Or is just his name motivation enough?
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | February 10, 2013 2:33 PM
I've just re-skimmed his first appearance and there's nothing specific, but he falls into the generic mad scientist category. In that appearance he's really just interested in performing his experiment for the sake of seeing what happens, plus Diane calls him "mad".
In these issues he happily takes the treasure that Krang intended for Attuma, but i think he's equally interested in being able to continue his experiments on Orka.
And yeah, with a name like Dr. Dorcas, you're pretty much destined to not become a pediatrician.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 10, 2013 3:22 PM
And isn't Dorcas's first name "Lemuel"? Yeah, he's pretty much doomed to social embarrassment, so you might as well go full evil, I suppose.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 1, 2014 2:41 AM
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