Tot Rodor: 1947 - Present
Aristotle "Tot" Rodor was something of a child prodigy, showing a talent for invention from an early age. As a boy, Aristotle was raised mostly by his uncle as his father died in a car crash and his mother came down with a fatal strain of influenza. Tot's uncle was a bound to a wheelchair from the same accident that took the lives of Tot's father and his uncle's wife. Despite his handicap, Uncle Horatio was an active man and did his best to help foster the minds of Tot and his own son, Alvin.
Though he was a natural genius, he was also something of a gadfly who never received his doctorate, having refused to submit inferior work in the pursuit of advanced degrees. Several inventions developed by Tot while he was still in his twenties left him with a regular, if modest, income and got him enough prestige to get a job at Metropolis University teaching a variety of courses in technology, biology, and philosophy. Among Tot's students was a young Charles Zsasz. Zsasz's disruptive behavior, cunning mind, and earnest heart endeared him to Tot right away. Tot took an interest in Zsasz's education. Tot even helped Zsasz get financial aid and grants, and offered the kid a spare room in his home to be certain the kid hit a rough patch in life while doing the right thing.
In 1999, a few years after Zsasz graduated and moved on to become a famed investigative journalist known as Vic Sage, Tot met another student that kindled a love of teaching and so he decided to quit teaching and entered the private sector. Tot ended up in Hub City working for a BioMed research company where he developed a prototype skin graft substitute.
This was fortunate as Tot was able to seek out his old student (and probably the only person in the world Tot trusted) when his two co-inventors turned up dead in mysterious accidents. To allow Vic to investigate, Tot made a mask using the same prosthetic (called Pseudoderm) to cover Vic's famous features. What Vic uncovered in a manner of nights exposed a grand conspiracy that sent ripples nationwide and would forever the two men's destiny, reshaping them into a couple of conspiracy-chasing do-gooders and vigilante heroes.
When Vic suddenly fell ill from lung cancer, Tot followed Vic to his native home of Gotham and helped Vic make his final arrangements and train a successor to the faceless mantle. With Vic's passing, Tot has been hurting. He carries on as a mentor to Renee Montoya , the new Question, but I'm told by those who knew Tot best that he's changed. The old Tot died with Vic.
- Chemistry: Tot is the inventor of psuedoderm and closely guards the chemical formula to the specific formula used for the Question's mask. He also created a bonding gas used to seal the mask.
- Driving: In Hub City, Tot would moonlight as a taxicab driver as a way to make some spare cash and to assist Vic in the field. When the pair relocated to Gotham, Tot kept his cab which Vic often used for undercover work. Nowadays, Tot mostly works from the Lighthouse but if Renee runs into a problem, he doesn't hesitate to grab the cab and start driving her way. Over the years, Tot's cab has been covertly turned into an armored barricade crasher and has been used more than once as a makeshift ambulance. Its trunk is especially reinforced to both protect and contain prisoners.
- Espionage: Tot has proven himself quite skillful in the act of espionage, spying on his enemies and allies alike just to keep tabs as well as confirm his suspicions.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: Supposedly Tot was once a brilliant pugilist and used to hone this skill while helping Vic train.
- Interrogation: Tot is known to be particularly effective at interrogations, supposedly having taught Vic a few tricks.
- Invention: Rodor is best known as an accomplished inventor and tinkerer. He is not particularly fast or flashy in his creations, but they get the job done.
- Investigation: Tot is an accomplished detective and master conspiracy theorist. Though, I fear he often connects dots that he does not need and draws some truly bizarre conclusions and ideas early into an investigation, but who am I to argue with his results? In my opinion, Tot is the best background checker I've ever met... Yes, dare I say, he's better than me.
- Genius Level Intellect: Even Bruce Wayne has been known to describe Tot as "too smart for his own good". Tot excelled in philosophy, political science, chemistry and mechanical engineering in his schooling days.
- Anti-Social: Tot is a truly difficult person to get along with. He seems to have built himself a small family of crime fighters connected to Vic Sage, with himself taking on the role of patriarch or grandfather, but I doubt of them would even claim that Tot is their friend. Even Renee keeps her relationship with Tot mostly 'business'. It's kinda sad, but I feel like Tot is going to die sad and lonely.
- Infirm: Tot is in failing health. He limps around, complains of stiff joints, and has been known to cough up massive amounts of bloody phlegm. Tot also has poor eyesight due to his glaucoma which he self-medicates with homegrown marijuana (and that which he can get his hands on with forged prescriptions).
Trivia and Notes
- Tot doesn't trust doctors. He hasn't been to one in years. He also doesn't trust barbers and has Renee cut his hair twice a month.
- Tot's favorite drink is Gingold. Vic brought home some bottles that Ralph Dibny gave him at the Hall of Justice. Apparently, Vic and Tot tried the drink together. Vic didn't care for it, so Tot took the rest for himself. He gets two six packs delivered to the Lighthouse every week since then. Sometimes he mixes it with vodka or rum to cap off a successful case. Interestingly, the main ingredient in Gingold is Gingo fruit, which is also used in the creation of pseudoderm.
- Tot believes that his glaucoma was caused by vapors in creating the bonding gas. His experiments with the dye additive used to change the color of Vic's hair and clothing also caused Tot's own eyes to slowly change color from hazel-green to a vivid blue.
- During the tail end of the Cataclysm, Vic Sage and Helena Bertinelli became close and began a romantic relationship. Vic wanted to train her to be his replacement but Tot convinced him to break things off with her and train Renee Montoya instead. Tot reasoned that Helena was too young, too full of potential, and too invested in Vic emotionally that it would not be fair to have her suffer through the tragic loss of another boyfriend.
- Tot tried to quit smoking when Vic died of lung cancer but he became too depressed to be of any help to Renee. He began smoking Morleys again when Renee found some of Vic's old cigarettes. Thankfully, Tot is not a chain-smoker like Vic, usually only smoking when he is working on something that requires precision or when stressed out.
- He forges prescriptions to get medical marijuana.
- He has parapsychology tools that allow him to talk to ghosts.
- He had a bit of a crush on Dinah Lance when he first met her.
- After Vic Sage's death, he became the world's foremost expert on Victor Zsasz.
- His backstory is a nod to the New Earth continuity.