AboutAlbert Desmond suffered from a split personality, his dominant side being a decent citizen, and his alternate personality darker and criminal. Inspired by his interest in chemistry, he became Mr. Element, using his knowledge of chemistry to commit his crimes and escapes. After being apprehended by the Flash, he learned that his cellmate’s “lucky stone” was actually the famed Philosopher’s Stone*, which granted its bearer the power to transmute elements. He escaped prison, found the stone, and began a second criminal career as Dr. Alchemy.
Eventually, Desmond’s good side became dominant again. He abandoned his life of crime, married, became a friend of Barry Allen’s, and yet every once in a while he would face the lure of his evil side. Soon, however, a new Dr. Alchemy surfaced, revealing himself to be Alvin Desmond, who claimed he had a psychic link with Albert Desmond such that he became evil when Albert became good. This “psychic twin” impersonated the original Dr. Alchemy several times, and Albert would sometimes battle him as Mr. Element.
Now divorced, Albert moved to a house on the outskirts of Central City to pursue scientific experiments. The last time Alvin tried to impersonate him, it was revealed that Alvin was not a “psychic twin” at all, but a construct generated, complete with false memories, by the Stone itself in response to the submerged evil in Albert’s psyche. Once he was able to recognize and accept that part of himself, the threat of “Alvin” was eliminated.
The Stone was obtained by S.T.A.R. Labs, then stolen by Dr. Curtis Engstrom. Engstrom donned a similar costume, calling himself the Alchemist, and embarked on a brief career of attempted murder and general mayhem.
Desmond has recovered the stone and again become Dr. Alchemy, although he has lately seemed more concerned with study than with crime. Unfortunately, his line of study is likely to turn deadly—for other people—and he is not above crime as a means to his end.
Real Name Albert "Al" Desmond
Current Alias Doctor Alchemy
Aliases Mister Element
Relatives Alvin Desmond (brother); Rita Desmond (ex-wife)
Affiliation Formerly Rogues, Injustice League
Base Of Operations Central City
Marital Status Divorced
Occupation Professional Criminal
Height 5' 11"
Weight 171 lbs (78 kg)