A Boy Named Sue is the first part of the 6th episode of the third season of Dexter's Laboratory. In this episode, Mandark's birth and origins as the child of hippies are revealed, as are the causes of his villainy and the beginning of his rivalry with Dexter.
Mandark is in his laboratory laughing and basking in his pure evil. He then asks himself how he ever became so deliciously evil. Mandark sits back, and begins to flash back to the day of his birth. He tells his story, which takes place in the peaceful land of Flowertopia where his hippie parents Oceanbird and Windbear were in a lake giving birth to him. With Oceanbird's last breath of maternal exhalation, she had finally brought her new born lovechild into the world. They both wanted their son to be good and just like them, but as soon as he was born, he was struck by a random bolt of lightning which made him truly evil on the inside.
Later, Oceanbird and Windbear were up on top of a hill where they thought about what they would name him. Oceanbird and Windbear named their child Susan because Oceanbird had requested a name without the preconceived gender connotations. The moment the two of them named him Susan, he started crying. Oceanbird and Windbear started teaching him all about their hippie beliefs and made him do rituals with them. Their full intent was for him to be a good and pure flowerchild and for him to believe in peace just like them. Susan however, was still truly evil on the inside and didn't like this. Just then, Susan came across a metal gizmo on the ground. He loved everything about it and was mezmorized by how great it was. He turned it on and it was a light bulb. Susan wanted to know everything about this and to be someone who is related to science. However, his plans for said thing would have to wait, because Oceanbird and Windbear had a different idea for his development.
Oceanbird and Windbear constantly kept doing hippie rituals with him. Activity after activity and he didn't like any of them and always tried to be evil. They tried making him hug trees, but he bit a large chunk out of the tree. They tried painting beautiful murials, but he painted demonic horrors, and they tried balancing amethysts, which Mandark hated. Years after, on Susan's birthday (which they ironically address to as his annual name day), Susan finally snapped because he couldn't take any more of this. He said he was done with this. He wanted meat, and he wanted science. Oceanbird and Windbear came to the realization that they were neglecting their son's needs and then had the idea to drop out. They tried traveling the world to try and cure his craving for evil and technology and Susan went along with this and did not deny it. Even though he wanted to become good, he still had the need to be evil.
Oceanbird and Windbear moved out of their town and into the neighborhood where Mandark lives now. He tried to make friends with Dexter, but Dexter laughed at him for being dressed like a girl and having the name Susan. Susan was so angry about being made fun of that he decided to become an evil genius named Mandark. He became evil and wanted only to destroy Dexter and his laboratory. He even went out to do so after he told the story but when he was about to get to the door, Oceanbird and Windbear stopped him so he would put down the weaponry and do hippie rituals with them. Mandark said that even though he was here with Oceanbird and Windbear now, he would get his revenge on Dexter someday.
This episode reveals deeper into Mandark's backstory.
This is the first physical appearance of Windbear.
Although this episode premiered in 2002, it was produced in 2001 according to the credits.
This episode completed production in April 2001.
This episode has the same name of a song called "A Boy Named Sue" It may be possible that this title is a pun or reference to that song.
Mandark's parents seem to be a parody of the romantic relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Mandark drinking root beer in a martini glass before telling his story may be a reference to Dexter doing so at the end of "Dexter's Rival".
The mirror and scissors Mandark used to cut his hair were seen again in the episode "A Mandark Cartoon".
In the beginning of Mandark's flashback, there is a boy flying a kite who looks exactly like Timothy from the episode "Rushmore Rumble". However, it is not likely that they are the same person because the boy was seen before Mandark was born.
At one point when Oceanbird and Windbear are holding baby Mandark, his diaper is the color of his skin.
When Windbear was first holding Mandark up to the tree, his shirt was white and not orange.
When Windbear first started to think of a name for his baby, the white line on his hair went missing.
Mandark said that the first time he and Dexter met was in their neighborhood where Dexter made a huge machine and made fun of Mandark for being a girly hippie named Susan, although in the episode "Dexter's Rival", they first met in school where Mandark was a new student who was a lot smarter than Dexter.
It may be possible that the two first met as shown in this episode, and meet again in Dexter's Rival with Dexter not recognizing Mandark as Susan.
In this episode it showed that when Mandark's lab was first built, it had the creepy gothic look but in the episode "Dexter's Rival" it showed that the first time it was built, it had the futuristic look.
After Mandark finished the story, it showed him sitting in his chair wearing his normal clothes, but then in the next frame, he was out of his chair standing up and he was wearing his evil costume.
At the end of the episode, the lenses of Oceanbird's glasses are darker.