- "I have been speared by Mayan warriors, survived Mongols' arrows, and the cold steel of Crusaders' blades. What makes you think the sting of a 9 millimeter could slow me down?" - Curtis Knox, to Lex Luthor, Cure
Curtis Knox is an immortal doctor who supposedly cured meteor freaks from their powers and psychosis. In actuality, he was obsessed with trying to make his wife Sophia immortal by harvesting kryptonite-infected body parts from meteor freaks.
Knox is a normal height man, roughly 6ft tall, with dark curvy hair, and a seemingly shaped physique.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: The ability to remain unchanged by the passage of time, unable to die, and simply live forever. Knox is unfazed by any injury, no matter how grievous, he restores from any wound he may incur within seconds. He cannot age, wither, or degrade. It is impossible for him to truly die. He automatically and instantly resurrects from any death he suffers. He perfectly regenerates and completely recovers from any injuries, all damages (internal and external) that he gained when he died or had prior to death heal without a scar or a trace, even decapitation, incineration, etc. When he recovers, he's in peak condition, as healthy as possible. He does not get sick, and does not need to eat, drink, or breathe.
- Healing Factor: Dr. Knox instantly regenerated after being shot 6 times.
- High Pain Tolerance: Dr. knox was able to manually pull six bullets out of his chest with minimal discomfort. He also reffered being shot with 9 millimeters bullets as "a sting".
- Super Intelligence: Curtis most dangerous trait is his super intelligence. He is capable of perfect recall, pattern recognition and cross-correlation, his brain has unlimited information storage capacity. He is able to instantly analyze and understand the mechanics behind anything. Notably languages, machinery, tactics, systems, and people's minds and actions within a matter of seconds.
In addition to his powers, Dr. Knox developed non-metahuman abilities during his long life. He was a brilliant neurosurgeon who developed a cure for meteor freaks. He cured them, while simultaneously removing all of their memories of having powers and of Lex's experimentation.
Dr. Knox lacked the power of physical invulnerability. He was capable of being wounded: when he was shot by Lex, he bled and was knocked down for several seconds before he started breathing again. The extent of his wounds seems to be limited: by the time Dr. Knox recovered from the gunshot wounds and stood up, his bleeding appeared to have abated.
He was also capable of being knocked out: when Clark electrocuted him by throwing him into a generator, Dr. Knox was knocked unconscious for several seconds.
Dr. Curtis Knox has been alive for millennia. He has fought warriors from the Mayan culture, a civilization which reached its height between 250 and 900 AD. The Maya were still a viable empire during the time of the conquistadors, which may be when Knox encountered them. He also fought in the Crusades which lasted from the 11th to the 13th century.
Lex Luthor found research that showed that Knox's facial features match those from a painting from 1675.
Knox also revealed that he was Jack the Ripper, a mysterious figure who murdered five prostitutes in in the Whitechapel District of London in 1888. Lex also found a picture of Knox with Hitler, indicating that he was most likely a member of the Nazi Party prior to and during World War II.
Dr. Knox targeted metahumans with high concentrations of kryptonite in particular organs, which he would then transplant into his wife's body. He killed Sasha Woodman and then attempted to dispose of her dead body at the Smallville Fertilizer Plant. He also targeted Chloe Sullivan, because of the high concentration of kryptonite in her heart.
Lex Luthor found out what Dr. Knox was up to and tried to kill him by shooting him in the chest six times. Knox then got back up, bleeding but otherwise unhurt, hinting that he had been alive for over 1,000 years. He knocked Lex unconscious and was about to kill him when Clark Kent arrived and knocked the doctor into a live power line.
Clark then went to Dr. Knox's lab to save Chloe. He fought with Dr. Knox in the lab and during the battle Dr. Knox severely damaged some of the equipment keeping his wife alive. She died and Dr. Knox knelt next to her and cried, much to the surprise of Clark and Chloe.
Clark later handed Knox over to the Martian Manhunter. He imprisoned Knox in a holding facility on Mars, somewhere even an immortal would have difficulty escaping from, alongside Batman's doppelgänger as a cellmate.
In the Comics
According to the writer Bryan Q. Miller, Curtis Knox was originally intended to be Vandal Savage but the character was off limits so they had to change his name. The presumption is that he is Savage operating in present day under an alias. In recent years, Savage has been depicted in the comics as harvesting organs from his own long-lived descendants: he does this not to extend his wife's life, but to extend his own as his powers fade.
Vandal Savage is immortal, and has plagued the earth with crime and violence since before the beginning of recorded human history. He is a brilliant tactician with immense technological prowess. He is one of DC's most persistent villains and has fought hundreds of heroes throughout history. In 2009, Vandal Savage was ranked as IGN's 36th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
In the New 52, Savage is a supporting character in Demon Knights, a story based on Arthurian Lore, co-starring with characters like Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, an Shining Knight. This story taking place in the Middle Ages, starring group of individuals who happened to be in the same area when a massive army under the command of the Questing Queen and Mordru aims to smash through the town of Little Spring to get to Alba Umbra, a mysterious city Savage is, at this point, traveling the world content to simply enjoy life, living for wine, women and war. He is a master tactician and incredibly strong and uses his many skills that he's picked up over his long lifetime to aid his teammates. Vandal's appearance in Demon Knights is a contrast to his previous appearances as he provides much of the comic relief of the book. While he still posses great strength and skill of arms and leadership skills as he ends up being the traininer and commander of the small garrison of Little Spring, Vandal appears to be thinking mostly with his stomach, such as reacting with gleeful delight when dinosaurs crash into the inn, claiming he hadn't eaten one in centuries. Vandal however still has his darker sides and unknown to the other Knights, he was once close to the Questing Queen, but was banished for kissing her.
An older Savage appears in DC Universe Presents, fashioned as an infamous serial killer, Jon "the Vandal" Savage. He claims to be of ancient origin, his crimes sacrifices to forgotten gods which he claims grants him immortality. He has a daughter, Kassandra, who is a police officer that changed her last name from Savage to Sage, was a stand-out student at the FBI academy in Quantico and now dedicates her life to stopping serial killers like her father. This visit marks the first time she's seen her father in sixteen years. Since he was arrested and sent to Belle Reve.
One could argue that Curtis Knox is also the Smallville TV Show's equivalent to Ra's Al Ghul, due to his obsession with immortality, learning new skills throughout his immortal life, self-righteous attitude, and using his good intentions to rationalize his horrible deeds.
Knox also share some similarities with Mr. Freeze, in that he's a low-level superhuman obsessed with keeping his wife alive at almost any cost.
- Lex: Doctor, three of my patients are missing. You wouldn't happen to have any idea why someone with a brand new lease on life would suddenly disappear.
- Dr. Knox: Perhaps it's because you insisted on eradicating any recollection of their stay at Hotel 33.1.
- Lex: No, I insisted they be able to start new lives unfettered by disturbing memories
- Dr. Knox: Especially those that could incriminate you.
- Lex: I used face recognition software to run an image search. (pulls up image of Knox with Nazis) There we go.
- Clark: Knox wasn't alive during World War 2, Lex. He's too young.
- Lex: He's much older than he looks. This is Knox in 1888. And here he is in 1675. Clark, he's had a thousand names and he's lived for centuries. That's why you can't kill him. Curtis Knox is immortal.
- Chloe: I came here for help, not to be cut up by some Jack the Ripper wannabe.
- Dr. Knox: I was Jack the Ripper.
- Dr. Knox: Your powers might be far beyond those of mortal men, but you've met your match.
- Clark: I won't let you kill anyone else.
- Dr. Knox: I'd kill a thousand more to never have to be alone. You don't know the pain of living centuries, watching the woman you love grow old and turn to dust.
- Clark: What'd you do with Knox?
- Martian Manhunter: Your father and I had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it came to crime and punishment. I suggest we abide by the same rules.
- Clark: You didn't kill him, did you?
- Martian Manhunter: Knox is immortal, Kal-El. You can't kill him.
- Dr. Curtis Knox is played by Dean Cain, who played Clark Kent/Superman in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He would later also play Jeremiah Danvers in the CBS/CW television series Supergirl.
- Dr. Curtis Knox's initials are "C.K", just like Clark Kent's. This is an homage to Dean Cain's role as Clark Kent on Lois and Clark (on that show, "C.K" is what Jimmy Olsen called Clark Kent ).
- In the episode he starred in, Clark told Knox they had more in common than Knox realized, a possible reference to the fact Cain previously played Superman.
- Knox's powers and abilities are similar to those of Vandal Savage, infamous DC Comics immortal, who often used aliases. Knox was rumored to be a portrayal of Savage, though the official character was off-limits for Cure. Bryan Q. Miller, writer and executive story editor on Smallville, confirmed that the character was indeed intended to be Vandal Savage until studio restraints demanded it to be removed. With his recent appearance in the Smallville comic book, the presumption is that he is Savage operating in present day under an alias. Bryan Q. Miller later confirmed this on Twitter that it was Curtis Knox stuck on Mars and he is actually Vandal Savage.
- In the animated Justice League series, Vandal Savage was voiced by Phil Morris. Phil Morris has played Martian Manhunter on Smallville in a number of episodes.
- Dean Cain is the fifth Superman alum to have a role on Smallville and the first alum of a media besides Superman feature films.
- When Lex explained to Clark how Dr. Knox has been around for centuries, a search revealed photos of Dr. Knox for the past hundreds of years. One of these was of Napoleon.
- In the DC's Legends of Tomorrow episode "Night of the Hawk", Vandal Savage uses the alias Curtis Knox.
Other faces of Vandal Savage
- Smallville Season 7 The Official Companion
- Bryan Q. Miller Introduces Batman, Nightwing to "Smallville"