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Der Gender-bender

Der Gender-bender Real name: Unknown

Hair: None
Other distinguishing features: Six arms
Race: Human/octopus hybrid

Occupation: Super-villain and cosmetic surgeon
Legal status: German citizen
Identity: Secret
Base of operations: Moloch Grossstadt

Story: Der Gender-bender was created by the story department as an arch enemy for Engelmann. Besides fighting Engelmann on several occasions, he worked as a cosmetic surgeon.

Skills & abilities: Regenerative powers shown.

Continuity: Engelmann
Publisher(s): Carlsen Verlag GmbH
First app.: Engelmann - "Der Gefallene Engel"
Creator(s): Nicolas Mahler
Country of origin: Germany Germany

Background notes: Der Gender-bender is the super-villain and the embodiment of popular traits in classical villains. He's a doctor, he's got the manic laughter and thirst for world domination, he's virtually impossible to kill, and he fights Engelmann for no apparent reason, other than the story department created him for the sole purpose of being an arch enemy for Engelmann.

The graphic novel about Engelmann (Angel Man) is a satirical comment on both the modern super-hero genre and the industry. Like other heroes his destiny is dictated by the story department, but unlike other heroes, he knows about the story department, and has meetings with them. He is thus aware of why his life makes no sense and why strange things happen, e.g. the story department want to cash in on the Lord of the Rings franchise and next we see Engelmann with long blond hair and long soft wings, and his arch enemy Gender-bender is suddenly a magical fairy. Like other super-heroes he tries to help people, along with his friend Captain Analpho, fight with his arch enemy, der Gender-bender, and generally find his place in life as a super-hero, with a secret identity as a female. His demise is the result of insufficient sales, and not being able to find an independent publisher.

The humor is black with a lot of in-jokes, and for those who do not know the genre and the industry, it probably makes little or no sense at all. As a part of the joke, it seems, a compact cassette, limited edition (one copy), with the sound track for the series was made for the Fumetto Comix-Festival 2010, containing themes for Engelmann.

Examples (click to enlarge):

Related links/characters:
- Captain Analpho
- Engelmann
- Kantinenwart, Der