|This article is about Armand Singh. For Aruna Singh, see Hashtag.|
Dr. Armand Singh wants only for his genius to be unfettered and unrestrained. A brilliant, omnidisciplinary scientist, Singh's expertise and lack of scruples led to him taking a prominent part in the Manhattan Project and the CIA's MK-Ultra program; but even in projects such as these, he was tied down by "regulations", "ethical concerns", or the idea that his goals were "impossible". That's why he has joined up with the global terrorist conspiracy Cobra, who have given him free reign to pursue ideas that most would laugh or balk at... even if they do make him use the absurd codename Dr. Mindbender.
After Cobra's collapse, Singh has been known to adopt the false identity Verstal Bender.
Armand Singh was born in Mumbai, India, to a prominent businessman who was willing to grease palms and pay bribes to get his son the finest education available. Prompted by his father, Singh realised that science and technology were the key to power, and so enrolled at both Oxford and Cambridge, obtaining degrees in a multitude of disciplines including neuroscience, psychology, physics, and engineering. A life in academia held no interest for Singh, however, and he instead went on to make a name for himself as one of the world's finest scientific minds; he was brought on by the United States government to help develop the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, and later to the CIA's covert MK-Ultra program, as well as working on countless subliminal advertising campaigns.
Singh eventually drew the attention of the criminal conspiracy Cobra, who invited him into their organisation, Destro — believed his ideas to be mad.where he was assigned the codename "Dr. Mindbender"; a name that he hated, eventually leading to him killing the person who assigned it to him. On joining the organisation, Mindbender's first task was to eliminate the inferior minds ranking above him by sabotaging their work, ensuring that he was installed as Cobra's chief science officer. While at Cobra, Mindbender researched tachyons in the hope of achieving time travel, though some — such as
After the fall of Cobra, Singh adopted the new identity of "Dr. Verstal Bender." Optimus Prime annexed Earth, Miles Mayhem tapped Dr. Bender's psychology expertise to help him determine the ideal recruits for Project Spectrum.When
Later, Matt Trakker, wishing to recruit new members to M.A.S.K., broke into a highly-secured facility guarded by Cobra Vipers to see Bender. Trakker knew about Bender's participation in the Project Spectrum recruitment and wanted to see the profiles of the V.E.N.O.M. members to know what personality traits to avoid. Bender showed Matt the profiles, warning him that a war was coming and that Trakker must be prepared for it. He then summoned the Vipers, telling Matt that although he excused it this time, he would not tolerate him trespassing again.
Dr. Mindbender was present at the official reformation of Cobra when the Baroness took on the Cobra Commander mantle.
At some point, Joe Colton recruited Mindbender to his villainous alliance. During the invasion of Cybertron, Mindbender donned the Baron Ironblood costume and led the main attack on Iacon, serving as a decoy while Colton and the rest of the villains took the Talisman to the center of the planet. He was stopped by Scarlett, who unmasked him. The Joes threatened Mindbender, but he refused to divulge Colton's real plan.
- In M.A.S.K.: Revolution, Miles Mayhem erroneously refers to Mindbender as "Armand Singh" in his internal monologue, but then refers to him as "Dr. Bender" as if Bender were his surname, with no reaction from Singh. This mistake was (seemingly) explained by the first issue of the ongoing, which featured a character list identifying him as "Verstal Bender." Evidently, the character was mistakenly given a new name, which was caught and corrected in the narration box, but not the dialogue.
- The Hasbro Heroes Sourcebook eventually sorted this out by explaining that "Verstal Bender" was an assumed identity of Armand Singh. Whether this was something planned from the beginning, or fixing a mistake, is unknown.
- So, if Mindbender is old enough to have taken part in the Manhattan Project, that would make him in his late eighties at the youngest. He sure has aged well!