Doctor Mayavale encountered the Legion when a legion cruiser on which Karate Kid, Dream Girl, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy and R.J. Brande encountered a ship resembling a streetcar with a large letter "D" on one side. After Karate Kid, Dream Girl and Chameleon Boy had boarded it, it took off at incredible speed, far faster than a legion cruiser, until it landed on a planet to be greeted by Mayavale, sitting in a chair, bearing anachronistic garb (including a Cowboy Hat and an "I Like Ike" button), who appeared human but with a number of extra green arms which surround him but did other than accentuate his emotional condition (shaking fists in anger, thumbs up, etc.).
He then reveals he is from a planet that believes in reincarnation, and that, ignoring the warnings of his teachers, he had entered a chamber of souls in which he learned the details of all his past lives. There he learned that these three legionnaires in particular had apparently betrayed him in many of his past lives, all of which were apparently on Earth, despite the fact that Dream Girl nor Chameleon Boy were neither human nor Earth-born.
Further claiming that, in all his past lives, he had devoted his life to goodness, he had decided that, to balance his karmic scales, he had to devote one lifetime to pure, unrelenting evil. He then proceeded to get this underway by using a gas (one of his many inventions) to knock the legionnaires unconscious, and proceeded to laugh at them for a full hour.
He then makes the legionnaires relive the moments he claimed to be in their where they had betrayed him, using robot androids as stand-ins.
- In one of Dr. Mayavale's past lives he was Julius Caesar. And Karate Kid was Brutus.
- In another, Dr. Mayavale was an Native American chief during the "Indian wars", tracked down by 7th U.S. Cavalry scout Chameleon Boy.
- In the last, he was a NYPD detective betrayed to the mob by his girlfriend, Dream Girl.
Karate Kid and Chameleon Boy succeed in defeating the robots, and Dream Girl punches Dr. Mayavale, catching him off guard. The fact that he was caught off guard stuns him, he states that "evil" should never be caught off guard, therefore he is not evil enough, and he frees the legionnaires and retires to his streetcar, to further study the ways of evil. He vowed to return.
Whether or not there was any truth to his claims is unknown.
Powers and abilities
While he was an inventor, his only apparent inhuman trait was his additional arms.
Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Steve Ditko, Dr. Mayavale was a one-shot villain from a period that is often regarded as the low point in Legion history (this came right after the "Space Circus of Death" storyline). It is seldom brought up except as mockery. The artwork is atrocious, and the storyline even more ridiculous (though J.M. DeMatteis would go on to insert topics of reincarnation and past lives into other (non-legion) books more eloquently in the future).
Some time ago on one of the legion mailing lists, after his name was trashed repeatedly, a "DMADL" was founded, also in jest, the "Dr. Mayavale Anti-Defamation League", which tracked the "crimes" of those who mocked the "good name" of the doctor. It became for a time kind of a running joke.