Anthony Ivo

Professor Anthony IvoIn the last Arrow episode League of Assassins we met the man who’ll probably be one of the season’s main villains: Anthony Ivo, portrayed by Dylan Neal. In the show, he reaches Lian Yu on a ship searching for something related to a grave full of Japanese deformed corpses. He “rescues” Sara Lance and brings her to his room-laboratory, declaring he’s going to save humanity with his experiments… which actually involve abducting people and testing their strength by shooting them and challenging them to remove the bullet themselves. Well, not exactly a good man. In the comics, he’s much worse. Even in the appearance: far from being a handsome middle-age man, he more or less resembles an evil, deformed dwarf. Anyway, let’s see together who Professor Ivo is in the comics.

Anthony Ivo was a very peculiar man, since his very childhood. As all children do at a certain point, he discovered he would have died, sooner or later, but he simply couldn’t accept it, and developed an incredible fear of death, that stayed with him even when he became an adult. He couldn’t even go to his mother’s funeral because of the horror he felt towards death, and started to use his unborn genius to find a way to reach immortality, thus vanquishing what terrified him the most. He started studying many brands of science, including cybernetics, a field he became an absolute authority in. His studies drew the attention of Locus, a criminal organization looking for new talents to enlist. Ivo didn’t care much of the use they made of his researches, as long as they allowed him to continue his studies and to become immortal. After the first battle of the Justice League of America, the one that actually created the team, Ivo was rewarded by Locus with the corpse of one of the aliens that the heroes were fighting, the Appellaxians. The Professor dissected it and studied it, getting from it information and technology to perfect his cybernetic knowledge. Using the alien’s vital patterns, he created his first and maybe most powerful android, Amazo, able to absorb the life essence of living beings, and powers from superhumans. In order to give his creature a mental and biological pattern, professorivocomics1Ivo killed his own father (and some strangers passing nearby) to give life to his android. When Amazo was completed, he sent him against the Justice League, instructing him to collect all of the heroes’ powers, wanting to gain immortality claiming the powers for himself. Amazo defeated the JLA, and captured both Batman and Superman. He used his machines to still the abilities and memories from the two heroes, and used the alien technology to synthesize a serum out of them. The serum actually gave him the ability to live for 500 years, with the possibility of creating new serum anytime he needed to extend the life span. Ivo was triumphant… but not for long: Green Lantern intervened, freed his friends and used his Power Ring to give them back powers and memories. The three together defeated Ivo and Amazo, and while the second was turned off and locked in the Trophy Room of the League, the first one was sentenced to 500 years of prison…

Years later, Ivo escaped from prison, and, following an old legend, he found an immortality serum created through an ancient formula. Freedom from death was at hand, and Ivo drank the serum. He finally became immortal… but some side effects brought him to be horribly disfigured, with his skin becoming scaly and hard as rock. The disfigurement increased Ivo’s insanity, and he blamed the JLA for his condition. Holding a grudge against the heroes, Ivo created cybernetic copies of himself, but the robots, disgusted by their creator’s madness, locked him away. They, however, kept following the mission of destroying the League, and their attack resulted in the death of Vibe and in the irreversible coma of Steel. Out of his imprisonment once again, Ivo retired on an island, which he populated with robots, the Amazoids, similar to Amazo, but capable of absorbing only one power each. It was in this time that Ivo discovered that the rocky skin wasn’t a side effect of immortality, it was immortality itself: the infection was spreading, and he was becoming a living statue, more and more unable to move. He sent the Amazoids against the Justice League, and they stole the powers of Geo-Force, Rebis, Valor, Red StarPower Girl and Starman. When they came back, tailed by the rest of the Justice League, Ivo ordered professorivocomics2them to use their full power on him, in a desperate attempt to commit suicide: an eternity as a statue scared him more than death. Unfortunately, he was truly immortal, and even the combined attack of his robots failed to kill him. One of the heroines come on the island, Ice, was moved to pity looking at the man, and unconsciously used Guy Gardner‘s Power Ring to cure Ivo from his condition. The mad scientist was thankful… but not for long. Now that he was mortal again, the terror of death came back stronger than ever, and he ended up drinking the immortality serum once again, this time knowing what the consequences would have been. In the following years, Ivo created other murderous cyborgs, such as Tomorrow WomanRed Volcano and OMAC Prime, becoming to the world a disfigured, puny man looking for someone to lighten his curse.

Professor Ivo is an absolute genius, and his works are centuries ahead of modern scientific discoveries. His genius is however accompanied with folly, and he used his many talents for just one goal: gain immortality. Now an immortal, Ivo has actually discovered that being unable to die can be an impossible burden, but he’s nevertheless unable to withstand his fear of death. Being one of the 13 immortals walking the planet, he’ll be able to die only if somebody willingly takes his place… something that Ivo wants and fears at the same time.



  1. […] the last episode: during all the series, Oliver Queen and his friends (while on Lian Yu) face Anthony Ivo and his mercenary crew, who came to the island looking for the Japanese miracle drug Mirakuru. […]

  2. […] Volcano, Red Inferno and Tomorrow Woman, and working with other evil scientists such as Professor Ivo he perfectioned his science even more, most of the times building weapons and lethal robots. His […]

  3. […] serving in the Justice League, Paco Ramone got killed by one of Professor Ivo‘s androids, becoming one of the few heroes dying on the line of duty for the team. He was […]

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