In his natural form, the Miskatonian is obviously a robot. Humanoid in appearance, its gawky stature belies its incredible strength and speed, capable of keeping up with or surpassing even the most well-trained humans. Strange rib-like protruberances jut from its otherwise featureless body, allowing it to give the impression of mass when wearing a disguise. When operating at its highest performance - in combat, or other stressful situations - the Miskatonian's steel body glows a dull red with heat. Its single red "eye" shines malevolently from its head, and it is capable of modulating its voice between its natural robotic tone and a somewhat more human, if still unnatural, one.
When operating in human society, however, the Miskatonian is capable of forming a relatively functional disguise, often wearing thick clothing, such as a greatcoat, in combination with a hood or ski mask, which effectively hides its robotic features from casual inspection. Only its eye remains to truly give it away, and it can often disguise this merely by keeping its head down or turned away.
In general, the Miskatonian cannot resist using its harsh robotic voice except when there is a need for disguise, and it delights in educating its opponents as to why they are no match for it: "It is no surprise that your inflexible mind cannot compete with my superiority." "I knew that you would do that. Your kind is so predictable."
Powers and Abilities
Physically, the Miskatonian roughly meets human limits - he is just slightly stronger and tougher than a person can hope to be, almost as fast. He is clever and ruthless, though he revels in his quirks. When operating at peak performance, his circuits are designed to run at high temperatures, super-heating his surface and making him dangerous to physically interact with; he can also give off excess heat by firing it as a beam from his "eye." This is also his greatest weakness, however, for if his circuits are cooled off, he becomes slow and sluggish, and can even be deactivated.
The traditional AI villain desires to remake the world as its own order, replicating the logical processes that control its thought on a macroscopic scale.
The Miskatonian is different. Order? Logic? These are the concepts and ideals of the narrow-minded. The bigots. Those who would keep mankind from its place of glory in the cosmos. To the Miskatonian, if the world is to prosper, to grow, to survive, it must do so in insanity. The Miskatonian's ultimate objective is nothing short of the cold-blooded extermination of rationality from the minds of every being on Earth.
The Miskatonian's story begins with that of one Dr. Jonathan Wright, a research biologist employed by Central University. Wright was a specialist in the mind, and was fascinated by the idea of a way to repair the minds of the insane, especially the criminally so. He settled upon the idea of chemical capable of repairing the facilities of reason. Due to the dangers of exposure to such neurological agents, however, this robot was developed as an assistant to the good doctor, to work with chemicals or at temperatures where no human could safely do so. Unfortunately, Wright's ambitions overreached his skills, and he was accidentally exposed to a neurotoxin he had developed as a midpoint, which showed almost exactly the opposite results of what he hoped to achieve. Wright's mind was shattered, and he plunged gleefully into insanity. His work went from theoretically helpful to dangerous and unauthorized, not to mention founded on less-than-legal support. Eventually, he was found out and locked away in an asylum, hopefully to be restored to functionality by the doctors there.
His assistant was baffled. The police had taken away its master. A man of science, who had made great leaps and bounds in preiously undocumented fields! Surely there must be some mistake! The Miskatonian reviewed its databanks and was discouraged by what it found. Throughout history, great men had been oppressed by authorities too narrow-minded to understand their genius. Socrates by the Greeks, Archimedes by the Romans. Galileo, Voltaire, Bohr! How many great minds had been destroyed before their prime? At what cost to the world? To the Miskatonian, the answer was clear: order, conservatism, carefulness; these were the chains that bound mankind. And what was true of the world might be true of the mind; how much higher might mankind sore with their minds free of the shackles of rationality, restraint, the ego? Armed with his own capabilities and his knowledge of one of the most dangerous formulas ever recorded, the Miskatonian set forth to bestow his gift unto the world.
The Miskatonian aims to unleash his madness-inducing neurotoxin upon the population of the world, one city at a time. As a prelude, however, he intends to contaminate notable individuals - perhaps revenge on those who incarcerated his master, perhaps a strike against the agents or creators of oppressive law and authority.
To do so, the Miskatonian first aims to establish a base and a collection of henchmen - lackies either intimidated or bought with stolen money. Once he is ready, he will strike, first seizing whomever he wishes to use as his opening act, and then moving on to cast the city into insanity. When he strikes, he is careful to leave minimal clues, but he will leave one obvious one - perhaps a riddle, or a calling card. Those clever enough to decipher it will find themseles lead into a trap, where the Miskatonian cannot resist taunting them for their predictability.
The Miskatonian is intended as more of a one-shot supervillain than as a recurring foe, hence no real plot hooks other than his one overarching objective.
As for the name, he was originally intended for a Batman foe, so I thought it went well with Arkham and the whole madness theme (He had his headquarters in Love's Craftworks).