Charles McNider: 1972 - 2003
Charles McNider was always a good kid. He got straight A’s through school and was one of the first students from a low-income household to receive a sponsorship to the renowned Brentwood Academy in Gotham City. Committed to make the most of this opportunity that his scholarship afforded him, Charles worked diligently to maintain exemplary grades and never shirked from his studies. When he finished school, Charles had a highly developed sense of duty and an interested in pursuing a medical career.
However, despite his grades, Charles was not accepted into any institutions to further his education. To receive his financial assistance, McNider enlisted in the U.S. Army and went through their basic leadership course before attending medical school on the Army’s dime. After completion of his education, Charles worked in a military hospital and was later deployed during the first wave of U.S. troops in the Middle East after the Khandaqi terrorist attacks of 2001. Due to his qualification and distinguished service, Major Charles McNider was chosen to assist in Project Victory. As part of that joint-operational task force, Charles made acquaintances with Team 7 and even Wonder Woman's unit briefly before he resigned his commission in order to return to the States to pursue his own practice.
While awaiting renovation of an office space he had brought to serve as the location of his private practice, Charles took a job at the Emergency Room at Elliot Memorial Hospital. There he met the love of his life, a beautiful trauma nurse by the name of Myra Mason. Charles and Myra were in the middle of flirting to pass the time on a long night-shift one evening when Sal Maroni had been brought in, having been shanked at Blackgate, supposedly under orders from the Sionis family. Charles had just stabilized his patient when someone threw a grenade into the operating room. Charles’ military reflexes triggered and he kicked the grenade away from the patient, saving the lives of everyone in the room, Maroni included; but the in the process, Charles received an unhealthy dose of shrapnel to his eyes, blinding him instantly. Little did McNider realize, however, that the stress of this event would trigger his dormant meta-gene…
Dr. Midnight: 2003 - Present
As Charles McNider began the process of adapting to his life as a blind man he was surprised to find that Myra Mason quit the hospital. She came to work for him as his personal nurse and assistant. Charles was hesitant to hire her as he was uncertain how long he could employ her with his future as unclear as it was, but she insisted.
When Charles discovered he could still see, but only in absolute darkness, he only confided in Myra and his former intern, Dr. Beth Chapel. With their help, Charles rigged up to light filtering goggles that gave him the ability to see shapes in bright environments. Furthermore, Charles discovered that his other senses were amplified and his brain was able to better utilize this sensory information which not only gave Charles enhanced senses of hearing, taste, touch, and smell; but also better sense of direction, balance, quicker reflexes, and an all-around more acute awareness of his surroundings. With this advantage, Charles found a way to retain his medical license, becoming a consulting diagnostician at the hospitals and clinics around Gotham City and Metropolis.
Eight months after he was blinded, a serial killer that preyed upon nurses was loose in Gotham and Myra just happened to have nearly been a victim of the killer, but had managed to escape by clawing the man’s face and running away. After hearing Myra’s harrowing tale, Charles realized his senses could be used to help people in different way. Batman, Robin, and I found the Shadower but not before the guy had been beaten to a bloody pulp by Charles. When we tracked down Charles to his apartment, we were very surprised to find he was blind. Charles came out with his secret to us, showing us his goggles. After that, Batman surprised him by asking him what else he had invented and helped him create his heroic persona.
Now calling himself Dr. Midnight, Charles is the physician on call for the Justice League and has become a leading expert on metahuman medicine.
- Metahuman Sensory Synchronization
- Advanced Development of Auxiliary Senses
- World-Class Surgeon and Medical Doctor
- World-Class Expert on Metahuman Anatomy
- "Hooty" (Medical, Combat and Rescue Drone)
- Extrasensory Light Filtration Goggles
- Special Sensory "Blackout" Grenades
- Photophobic Blindness
Trivia and Notes
- Dr. Midnight joined the Justice League of America in 2006 nominated by Black Canary.
- Oracle suspects Charles may be a member of the Court of Owls.
- Charles is named Dr. Midnight in Earth-27 instead of Dr. Midnite (as he is named in comics) to distinguish him from Papa Midnite.
- Charles' address is a nod at his first appearances in comics: Reinzenstein Apartment is for his creator Charles Reinzenstein, and apt 41 is the year he debuted (1941).
- Beth Chapel is an identity of another Dr. Midnight in the comics. Oracle Files: Gabrielle Doe 2 mentions Dr. Cross, who also was Dr. Midnight.
- Charles McNider's image in E27 is based on Charlie Cox, who portraits another blind hero, Daredevil.
- In the comics Myra never married Charles because she was killed by a serial killer called Shadower.