DC Database

Doll Man was a superhero with the power to shrink to a height of six inches.

Scientist Darrel Dane developed a serum that gave him the power to shrink to a height of six inches and grow back to his normal size by willing himself to do so. After using his new power to save his girlfriend Martha Roberts, and her father Professor Roberts, from a murderous blackmailer, Dane decided to fight crime. Since he could shrink himself to the size of a doll, he called himself Doll Man. His girlfriend later joined him, first as Midge, and later as Doll Girl.


  • Size Alteration: Darrel Dane possesses the unique power to condense the molecules of his body by exerting his will power.[2]
  • Superhuman Strength: At his six-inch height Doll Man is as strong as 20 full-sized men.[3]


  • Chemistry: Doll Man developed the formula that endowed him with his super powers.[3] This formula is known to nobody else.
  • Aviation: Doll Man could pilot the small "flying saucer" that the duo used, and was able to operate other small vehicles as needed.


  • This version of Doll Man, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • At the beginning of his career, Doll Man had superhuman strength,[3] not just disproportionately to his tiny size, but genuine boulder-flinging,[4] whale-punching,[5] jail-cell-dismantling,[6] super strength. Later in his career, this strength diminished severely.[citation needed]
  • At first, Doll Man got small by drinking the formula directly from a test tube.[3] In his second adventure, he shot himself up with a hypodermic needle.[7] In his third adventure, he swallowed it in pill form.[8] In his fourth adventure, the opening caption states that he "can reduce his body to the size of a doll at will." This took place off-panel, so it's not clear whether he used the pill-swallowing or the brow-furrowing technique.[9] In his sixth adventure, he was still taking the formula in pill form,[10] but this is the last time the pills are depicted or even mentioned. Henceforward to the end of the series,[11] Doll Man gets small thru a mental effort of will.
  • In his first adventure, it was established that Doll Man's caped costume grew along with him, when he returned to normal size.[3] Then very early in his career, it was also shown that Darrel Dane's regular clothes simply vanished, then reappeared with no explanation, in correlation with his changing size.[5] But in the following adventure, when he resumed normal size, Doll Man's costume didn't grow, and his street clothes had been burned in a fire.[12] Later still and more confusing yet, Doll Man gets small with no visible use of potion or pill, and steps out from under his business suit, in a saloon, has a fistfight and a chase, then gets big again in a pet shop, once again wearing the same suit that we last saw on the floor of the saloon.[13] After this, for the duration of his career, the clothes simply disappeared and reappeared, as needed, with no explanation ever given.
  • At the beginning,[3] and early part of Doll Man's career,[10] circa 1939 and 1940, his secret identity was known to both his fiancee Martha Roberts and her father Professor Roberts. By late 1941, these two were shown to not know his secret identity.[14]

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  • Starting in issue #31, Darrel Dane was in charge of a "Laboratory Against Crime". Prior to this he had worked for Professor Roberts.
  • Also in that same story,[15] Dane adopted and empowered Elmo the Dog, with a super health ray of his own invention. One exposure to this ray made a sick and starving stray dog into a virtual super dog, massively increasing his size, strength, vitality, and intelligence.
  • The character is somewhat of a precursor to size altering heroes like the Silver-Age Atom and Marvel's Ant-Man.