Cover to Birds of Prey #87. Art by Adriana Melo.
|First appearance||Detective Comics #463 (September 1976)|
Bob Rozakis (writer)|
Mike Grell (artist)
|Full name||Noah Kuttler|
Secret Society of Super Villains
Vast array of criminal contacts
Battlesuit with a large calculator in the chest area that can accurately predict the actions of any hero or the Earth
Projector in the helmet that can create items by solidifying the dust in the air
As is commonplace in comics, the character was based on a topical event or trend; in this case, Noah Kuttler took his powers and costume design from the recently popular pocket calculator. His costume had a large numerical keypad on the front and a LED display on the headpiece. When he typed upon the keypad, he could make "hard light" constructs appear from the headpiece, fashioning tools and weapons in the style of Green Lantern's power ring.
Fictional character biography
He was featured in a series of one-shot adventures in Detective Comics, stealing objects "when they are their most valuable" and fighting many Justice League members. As he was defeated by hero after hero, he presses a special button on his keypad that would (as it was revealed to the reader in a thought balloon) "turn defeat into victory". After months of appearances, the Calculator's scheme is revealed. The button somehow analyzes the powers or tactics of the hero defeating him, and effectively inoculates him from ever being defeated by that hero ever again. This immunity manifests itself as a force field, rendering a hero unable to touch or otherwise affect The Calculator. This of course meant he could only be defeated by a new hero; fortunately the heroes had many allies to drawn upon. The Calculator could also be defeated when his own weaponry was turned against him.
The Calculator made intermittent appearances in DC titles over the years, such as Blue Beetle and Hero Hotline. In the 2004 miniseries Identity Crisis, he was revamped as a non-costumed villainous analogue to Oracle; a source of information for supervillains planning heists, offering suggestions of weaponry, assisting with logistics, etc. — but charging $1,000 per question, unlike Oracle, who works pro bono. He became a major player in the Infinite Crisis cross-over Villains United as a core member of Lex Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains. His allies included such villains as Doctor Psycho, Doctor Light and Deathstroke.
Noah suffers from severe Obsessive-compulsive disorder, unbeknownst to his peers (even though this was hinted at when he was in charge of monitoring Supergirl), and initially controlled this with medication. However, in Birds of Prey, he became obsessed with finding out the identity of Oracle, and this led him toward a mental breakdown. He stops taking his medication and suffers from nightmares about the green mask that Oracle uses as an avatar. In Birds of Prey issue #111, Noah finally meets the woman behind Oracle face-to-face at a computer-industry conference, but is depicted looking far younger than his previous illustrations in DC titles and his history would indicate. Both are using aliases, and Noah is prevented from learning Oracle's true identity only at the last possible moment through a stratagem devised by Oracle's allies.
A year after the Crisis, Noah led The Society, taking over from the deceased Alexander Luthor, Jr.. The Society has become a union for super-villains, with all major heists being done through the Society itself.
The Society is taken over from the inside out when the villain Libra proves he can trade loyalty for a criminal's deepest desire. This is all part of a successful plan to conquer the Earth and the Calculator is left a groveling witness to various Libra-headed executions. Calculator is there because he is accused of sending computer codes that will help the resistance. The extent of his betrayal is detailed later; he claims to have created an eighth layer of the TCP/IP protocol and used it to set up a hidden Internet, named the Unternet, able to be used by tech-savvy villains to act undetected by Libra and Darkseid, and then let Oracle and the heroes use it to coordinate their efforts against the Apokoliptans on Earth.
In Birds of Prey #126, the Calculator copies Kilg%re's programming into himself, gaining the ability to control all forms of technology. He then uses this power to launch an attack on the Birds of Prey.
In the Oracle: The Cure miniseries, the Calculator seeks out the remnants of the Anti-Life Equation, hoping to use it to save Wendy. As the Calculator arrives at the hospital, Wendy recovers from her coma on her own. However, she is unable to feel her legs. Oracle (who had followed him to the hospital to prevent him from using the Anti-Life equation on Wendy) tells Calculator that he has Anti-Life residue on him. The residue makes him traceable if he uses the internet. Calculator is then thrown out of the hospital by guards.
Calculator later gathers together a new version of the Fearsome Five to target the Titans. He has the Five send a nuclear powered metahuman into a meltdown powerful enough to destroy the city of San Francisco. His plan is foiled by Eddie Bloomberg, who flies the metahuman above the city, sacrificing himself in the process. Calculator also has the Fearsome Five abduct Kid Eternity, who he uses to repeatedly summon the spirit of Marvin. The captivity proves fatal for the hero.
Later, the Calculator creates robotic duplicates of himself to attack the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans are able to dispatch of the robots and find the Calculator's hideout. Once inside the team is captured by the Calculator, who admits that he killed Kid Eternity when he was unable to see Marvin. After Wonder Girl breaks free she attempts to kill him, for the dead Teen Titans member, but is stopped by Red Robin. Robin however attacks Calculator who is revealed to be another robot double.
Powers and abilities
The Calculator has a genius level intelligence, is a skilled manipulator and superb strategist. The Calculator also has a vast array of criminal contacts.
In his early career Calculator has used a battlesuit with a large calculator in the chest area. The computers in the suit can accurately predict the actions of any hero or even the Earth itself. A projector in the helmet is linked to the suit and can create items by solidifying the dust in the air. Calculator no longer uses this battlesuit and its whereabouts are unknown.
In other media
- Calculator appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Huntress" voiced by Armin Shimerman. This version is an overweight, apparently middle-aged man named Myron who lives in his mother's basement and wears the classic Calculator costume (that is several sizes too small for him). Huntress brings Batman and Blue Beetle to Calculator's house to get some info revolving around Babyface. Calculator finishes his call with Weather Wizard telling him that Flash will be out of Keystone City for a few days enough for Weather Wizard to commit his crimes there. Afterwards, Calculator is confronted by Batman and Huntress who interrogate him about why Babyface sprung his old gang out. Calculator tells them that Babyface is planning to break into Warehouse X.
- Calculator is reportedly featured in David S. Goyer's script for an upcoming Green Arrow film project entitled "Super Max".
- Calculator is a main character in DC Universe Online voiced by Tracy W. Bush. He gives mission briefings to players on the villain campaign. When he communicates with the players on the villains' side, he is mostly shadowed except for his glasses.
- Calculator appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comic issue #6, only with a different look than his appearance in the TV series.
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Calculator", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 65, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- "Final Crisis" #1-5
- Birds of Prey #126
- Teen Titans vol. 3 #74
- Teen Titans vol. 3 #92 (February 2011)
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