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Dr. A. Orta (first name unrevealed) was an experimental physician and researcher in Dick Tracy's city. He had an office and laboratory was decorated with an elaborate mural of the circulatory system on the wall.

Dr. Orta was bald, with short dark hair on the sides of his head. He typically wore eyeglasses. He was the foster father of Smallmouth Bass.

The Heart Smuggling Scheme[]

Dr. Orta was attempting to successfully transplant a human heart from body to another. He commissioned Olga (another doctor) to procure a heart from a healthy (and unwilling) donor. Olga secured the heart and stored it in a special container that she had developed which kept it alive and beating. Before Smallmouth Bass could collect the heart, it was found by police.

Olga insisted on still being paid what Dr. Orta had promised her. Orta resisted, since he had not received the heart. Olga threatened Orta, and later managed to turn Smallmouth Bass against Orta. Bass and Olga subdued Orta and removed his heart, killing him.

Orta's body was hidden inside a scarecrow on a nearby farm, where it was later discovered.


  • The name A. Orta is a play on "aorta", the main artery in the human body.
  • Part of Orta's plan was to remove Smallmouth Bass' heart and replace it with the heart taken from "Pigskin" Parson. He would then give Bass' heart to Olga. Presumably, Orta was operating on the assumption that he would be more likely to succeed in transplanting a heart from one healthy body into another healthy body. However, unlike Olga, there was no indication that Orta had ever performed a successful heart transplant. Therefore, readers may assume that Orta was willing to risk the life of his foster son in order to further his research.