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Doctor Phosphorus is a criminal and prisoner of D.E.O.

Physical Appearances

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Season Eleven

Superboy attacks Phosphorus.

At San Francisco, a prisoner of D.E.O with the power of fire manipulation, named Doctor Phosphorus has just escaped from its headquarters in Alcatraz island and causes havoc in an amusement park nearby asking for someone to stop him. While he terrorizes some children and their parents making fires starting all over the place, Superboy suddenly appears and engages into a fight with him. Phosphorus then sets a Ferris wheel on fire and says to Superboy to choose between stopping him or saving the kids on the wheel from the fire.

Surprisingly, Jay Garrick's team appear and Megan Morse says to Superboy that he must go and save the kids on the wheel and leave Phosphorus to them.

Phosphorus attacks Megan Morse.

The team knocks Phosphorus in the water.

Blue Beetle fights with Phosphorus with the Scarab saying to Jaime that their opponent is made on fire. Speedy asks from Blue Beetle to get clear and she then shoots at Phosphorus two arrows with fire-fighting foam to suppress his fire but Phosphorus proves that the foam cannot stop him, saying that he can run hotter than that. Meanwhile Megan telepathically communicates with the tourists and the citizens, that are at the scene, assuring them that the situation is under control and that D.E.O. is on route but when Phosphorus fires at Megan. The rest of the team confronts Doctor Phosphorus with Speedy, Blue Beetle and Jayna combining their abilities to defeat him and knocking him into the water.

The D.E.O. recaptures Phosphorus.

Later, some D.E.O. agents proceed to recapture Doctor Phosphorus from the bottom of the ocean, putting him in a containment box. One of them wonders how he could actually escaped from the prison in the first place and says that he knows it didn't happen from the inside so that means that someone outside of the prison helped him. Hidden in a roof close by a mysterious woman who is watching the agents reveals that she was the one who let Phosphorus escape.

In the Comics

Doctor Phosphorus as he appears in the comics.

Dr. Alex Sartorius was selected to work at a nuclear power plant. While working there, the nuclear core went unstable and his body was dumped with thousands of red hot radiated sand. His body transformed into living Phosphorous and turns to flame whenever he is in contact with air. He tried to kill the people who hired him to work at the plant, namely the city council. This lead to a series of clashes with Batman. He then vowed vengeance on Gotham City for turning him into a freak.

During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, he is one of many villains to sell his soul to the demon Neron. In exchange for his soul, he is granted greater power and more control; for example, he can now wear normal clothing without it bursting into flame.

In James Robinson's series Starman he is initially hired by the Mist to kill the original Starman, Ted Knight, but is defeated by the retired hero. However, they face each other a second time; this time, Phosphorus has given Knight a significant dose of radiation, which gave him terminal cancer. In a third and final confrontation, Knight is determined to ensure that Phosphorus would harm no one else. During the battle, he uses his cosmic rod to tear the pavement from beneath Phosphorus and drive him into the earth, apparently killing him.

Phosphorus returns in Detective Comics #825, where he is being held in Cadmus Research laboratories . When one of the scientists examining him says he heard Sartorius had died, the other replies, "From being crushed? Hardly". He then reveals that everything human in Sartorius was consumed by fire long ago and that his powers manifested a fusion reaction that completely sublimated his central nervous system, creating functional facsimiles of his heart, his lungs, his kidneys, all working in concert to produce a near-endless supply of clean energy. Phosphorus escapes from Cadmus, and once again seeks revenge on those responsible for his condition. He is defeated by Batman during an attack on Rupert Thorne, and he is imprisoned in Arkham Asylum.

During Batman's absence after his presumed death, Phosphorus escapes custody along with the other Arkham inmates. He kidnaps both Kirk Langstrom and his wife Francine for information about Langstrom's research.

During the Brightest Day crossover event, Phosphorus is freed from Arkham when Deathstroke and the Titans attack the facility. However, before Phosphorus can escape, he is attacked by Arsenal.

In The New 52 as part of the Forever Evil storyline, Doctor Phosphorous is among the villains that the Crime Syndicate of America recruited to join the Secret Society of Super Villains. He is also going to be featured in Catwoman title along with Joker's Daughter.


  • In the animated TV series The Batman, Firefly (Garfield Lynns) becomes a version of Doctor Phosphorus, when an accident occurs while he and his girlfriend steal a phosphorous isotope.
  • Doctor Phosphorus was an inspiration for two characters:
    • Blight a.k.a. Derek Powers, a corrupt business man who had Terry Mcginnis' father killed, he appeared in Batman Beyond TV series and comics.
    • Phosphorus Rex, a flaming member of Professor Pyg's Circus of Strange, who also appeared in Beware the Batman TV series.