Dr. Frederick Walden was a renowned linguist. He was arrogant, aloof, as well as preferred to work alone. He was not interested in sharing his findings with Lex Luthor until Lex threatened him.
He published a book entitled Deciphering the Mysteries of Hieroglyphics, which Clark Kent used to study the etchings in the Kawatche Caves. Lex Luthor discovered Clark's copy of the book and hired Dr. Walden to translate the strange markings.
Frederick Walden was a very smart and logical individual. Walden, as a linguistic, was rather fasinated with the human language, to the point where he was driven to study the markings and paintings etched onto the walls of the Kawatche caves, determined to discover their meaning. After getting zapped by a beam that got released from Caves' activation wall, Walden became unresponsive, later falling into a coma, exhibiting white eyes, often mumbling, "The day is coming". Mysteriously waking up from his coma, Walden felt compelled to expose Naman and appeared almost psychotic, doing whatever it took to achieve his cause, believing it was his responsibility to kill Naman, seeing him as a threat.
Powers and Abilities
- Energy projection: Walden could shoot Kryptonian energy from his hands. That energy was able to harm Clark, although only superficially, and he was able to use it to lift Clark and hold him mid-air.
- Technopathy: With this ability, Walden was able to rearrange the symbols in the Kawatche caves. He was also granted the ability to read the Kryptonian language.
- Healing factor: Walden's eyes were somehow healed and no longer needed glasses. He also was able to recover incredibly quickly from a tranquilizer.
At first, Dr. Walden was not interested in working with Lex no matter how much he was going to pay him, but when he got to see them firsthand, his interest was piqued. Against Dr. Walden's wishes, Lex provided Clark with unlimited access to the caves because he was convinced that Clark knew more about the markings than he let on. Dr. Walden was doubtful that a Kansas farm boy could have deciphered the language and continued to balk at Clark's presence in the caves.
After Clark put the key into the identically-shaped impression in the cave wall, it flew out and wedged itself sideways into the opposite wall. Dr. Walden pried it out and also put it in the slot. However, the resulting burst of energy short-circuited his cerebral cortex and put him into a coma. Doctors declared him catatonic due to a sort of "information overload" and predicted that he would probably not recover. Dr. Walden was transferred to Belle Reve.
When Clark's ship began to broadcast a Kryptonian message, Dr. Walden's brain functions normalized and he woke up. Also able to hear the message, he kept repeating the phrase "The day is coming." He continued to slowly improve, eventually scribbling Kryptonian symbols all over the ceiling of his padded hospital room. Walden gained energy-projection powers, burst out of his room, then escaped to the Kawatche Caves. He discovered that the messages were for Clark and tried to expose Clark's alien origins to Lex. He ranted that Lex must kill Clark until Dr. Marcus shot him with a tranquilizer dart.
On the way to the hospital, Dr. Walden came out of sedation, shorted out the ambulance, then escaped to recover the Key at the Kent farm. Clark encountered him and he emitted bursts of energy that threw Clark several feet. While trying to destroy Clark, Walden caused an explosion that incinerated himself and burned the key's imprint into his palm. Lionel Luthor used this imprint to create a duplicate key out of refined kryptonite.
- Rob LaBelle, who played Dr Walden, also appeared on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, in the episode Just Say Noah.