This article contains information on an episode that has yet to be aired and therefore contains spoilers.
|“||In the beginning, I didn't understand why you brought them together. But now, I've seen the light. I believe in the Injustice Society of America. More than any of the others.||”|
Shiro Ito is a deadly and mysterious hooded doctor and a controversial scientist who has been experimenting on himself and his victims since the 1900s. He was thought to have been executed in 1947 after his science was responsible for mass plagues and deaths. Dr. Ito has also altered his DNA to become a human-reptile hybrid. He also operates under the mysterious alias, Dragon King.
Born in Japan in 1901, Shiro Ito was a controversial scientist and member of the Japanese military, serving during the 1930s and 1940s. He created numerous conventional and biological weapons, perhaps the most prominent being the bacilli bombs, which spread destructive plagues throughout China in 1932 and 1933. He was eventually arrested and, after being tried and convicted of war crimes, executed on March 13, 1947.
Dr. Ito somehow survived his execution and escaped his war crime charges. He then assumed the alter-ego "Dragon King". At some point, Dr. Ito potentially joined the Injustice Society. He wasn't present on the night when the ISA slew the Justice Society, nor is his image part of their mural, however, he is noted to have worked alongside them on numerous occasions. He also had a daughter with an unnamed woman, who died under ominous circumstances. He views Cindy as his greatest creation and continues to work on her enhancements daily.
In the underground ISA headquarters, Jordan Mahkent encounters Dr. Ito as he self-monologues, remarking how he was the one who believed in the ISA the most. Jordan makes chit chat - Dr. Ito says he's been busy working on his daughter. Jordan says he's accelerating Project: New America and needs him to build his machine. Dr. Ito agrees, relishing that it's finally time and that this generation's ultimate sacrifice will protect the next. He adds that he won't fail him like The Wizard or betray him The Shade did, saying Wizard was quite vile. He asks if he can have Wizard's body. Unsettled, Jordan tentatively says yes.
Dr. Ito catches his daughter spying on the Injustice Society of America's meeting, and yanks her back to his lair. He scolds her for eavesdropping and denies her request to have a seat at the ISA table. He remarks that if she is bored she should throw a party or buy new clothes, he doesn't care. Cindy makes it clear that she is bored with teen life, and to prove her point and skills, she produces a blade from her wrist and nonchalantly kills one of her father's carefully cultivated assistants. He scolds her for this saying it takes weeks to condition them. He notes that Cindy has learned “nothing” from her mother’s death, brushing off her claims that it was an accident and she was young. Dr. Ito reminds her that he gave her powers to protect herself, not to “enhance her tantrums”. When Cindy takes a liking to the suit on display, he demands that she leave it be but she ignores him and takes the scepter instead. He forcibly yanks it from her hands and commands that she stays focused on Henry. Cindy wants to break up with him but he commands that she stay focused on Henry, whom she apparently was tasked with monitoring, in case he exhibits the same powers as his father, Brainwave. If Brainwave doesn't wake up they will have to use Henry's abilities to drive the machine Dr. Ito is building. Throughout the discussion, he looks at blueprints for a device he is building.
Cindy triumphantly returns from her fight against Stargirl, announcing that she did what no one else in the ISA could - she found Stargirl. Dr. Ito already knows this and gestures to the monitors. He comments that she didn't alert him, and asks if Stargirl's dead. Shiv answers probably, and he takes her Staff and angrily throws it, saying Stargirl survived. He sent minions to collect the body but it was gone. Shiv tells him she beat Stargirl, but there was someone else there but she couldn't see them. He deduces it was another JSA member and begins to angrily berate her for taking the Shiv suit "before graduation". He continues on about her reckless actions that almost jeopardized everyone. Cindy coutners that she hurt Stargirl, to which he doesn't doubt as he snidely says she hurts a lot of things. She demands he stop bringing up her mother but he coldly states that he didn't mention her mother. She begs for him to listen to her but he's done. He laments how instead of focusing on his important work, he had to explain his daughter's ill-attempt to the other ISA members, and notes she might never get her seat at the table now. Shiv exclaims she did nothing wrong, but he angrily tells her that Stargirl was in the tunnels and is still alive. He orders her to go back home and he'll call for her when the time comes. She stares in defiance, and he dares her to make him remove her hood. Out of fear of his true form, she leaves the lair and he returns to his work.
Beth Chapel wanders through the halls of the Burman-Ito residence, and enters Cindy's room where she finds a picture of an older Japenese man. She asks Chuck who the man is, and he identifies him as Dr. Shiro Ito, a controversial scientist from the 1930s. She asks him to elaborate, so Chuck shares more on Dr. Ito's backstory. Including how he allegedly was executed for war crimes in 1947, leaving Beth confused as to why Cindy has his picture. She later gives it to Pat who already knows about the scientist, remarking that he believes the new JSA to be bad luck.
At the King residence, Henry discovers his father's secret room filled with Brainwave paraphernalia. In the room, he finds a letter penned from Ito to Dr. King. Ito attached a photo of Cindy to the letter and wrote about how he is thankful for the opportunity to show off Cindy. He remarks the Cindy is very good at watching things and will keep a close eye on Dr. King's son, Henry Jr. Upon reading the letter. Henry is confused and drives off to the Burman residence.
That night, Dr. Ito watches his monitors as Cindy and Stargirl battle it out once again on the streets of Blue Valley. He presumably sends his minions to fetch Cindy and bring her to him through a sewer grate. He also watches Henry King Jr. exhibit telepathic or telekinetic abilities that resemble that of his comatose father. Ito blissfully realizes that his daughter was wrong, and Henry does have his father's powers.
The Dragon King seems to be one who values trust among allies and what the Injustice Society stands for, thus he has a low opinion of those who turn against it like The Wizard and The Shade. This in turn reveals he has a vengeful and petty side, admitting the gratitude that The Wizard was dead due to apparent hostility he showed him in the past. He is also fairly honest, saying directly to Icicle he had no intention of turning against him despite the fact that he initially had doubts and reservations when Icicle first formed the society.
As a scientist he seems very dedicated to his experiments with seemingly no concern for ethics, mentioning he was already experimenting on his own daughter, busying himself in that endeavor, and sought to use the body of the deceased Wizard for some unknown end. This show of ruthlessness was such it even left the normally cold-hearted Icicle stunned. The Dragon King seems to have little if any regard for human life, viewing his numerous servants as merely expendable tools, more annoyed at the amount of work it took to "condition" one his daughter killed rather than the death itself.
As a parent, he is extremely distant from his daughter in spite of his claiming he gave her powers to protect her. He repeatedly denies her requests to join the Injustice Society, referring to her acts of violence as tantrums, and coldly assumes she can be pacified with mere clothes or parties. Whether he actually does care about her beyond as a subject for his experiments is currently unknown.
Dragon King's primary attire consists of a dark green hood with a yellow dragon in the center, a similarly dark green cape with a high collar and matching dragon symbol on the back, green gloves, a yellow leather apron with various bloodstains and a crimson-colored belt containing numerous surgical tools.
While his actual face can't be seen due to his mask, there are visible scales around his eyes, which have silted pupils and two sets of eyelids, much like an alligator.
- Reptilian Physiology: Dr. Ito has been experimenting on himself since the 1940s. He altered his DNA to become a human-reptile hybrid.
- Longevity: Ito has been alive since 1901 yet shows no signs his advanced age has affected his physical condition.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Dr. Ito is shown to be an exceptional scientist, able to develop chemicals that have enabled him to live well beyond a normal human, as well as covering both technical and medical fields since he was tasked by Icicle with spearheading the construction of a machine which shall be crucial for the implementation of Project New America as well as modifying organics to serve Ito's causes. Under his tutelage, his daughter would become knowledgeable in the field of chemistry, so much that she did not even have to look at the instructions for one of her assignments.
- Dragon King Suit: Ito wore a suit as his alter-ego, Dragon King.
Notes and Trivia
- Dr. Ito is now in possession of William Zarick's body, after requesting it from Jordan Mahkent in "".
- He built the Shiv Armor for Cindy and is alluded to being the brains behind the ISA.
- According to costume designer Laura Jean Shannon, the "Dragon King" suit was the hardest to translate from paper to product.
- In the comics, Dr. Ito and Dragon King are separated characters:
- Dr. Ito was a Golden Age enemy of the Americommando and a Japanese General during World War II.
- Dragon King was a brilliant scientist living in Imperial Japan. He joined the Black Dragon Society when World War II began, making him second only to the Emperor as regards to power in his country.