Mad surgeons, eh? I'm pretty sure that cleavers are a surgical tool. Those are definitely doctor's spectacles at any rate.
So, I'm still mildly appalled at the colouring (oh god, the shoes! The shoes!). I think I'll just have to carry on screwing it up until I learn better, then go back and redo all the old abominations. The blood worked out better than I'd imagined. I mean, it's still not great, but it doesn't look quite as awful as it could have done.
I'm pretty sure these guys are evil; as I mentioned before I'm planning on a couple of hideously deformed experimental subjects. But the more I look at them, the more I think they're not irredeemable. Maybe I'll come up with some visual cue to make them more obviously evil - nastier surgical tools perhaps? The scissors and scalpel look a little vanilla next to the mad cleaver. Maybe just "evil-up" the colour scheme with purple and green.
Of course I could take it the other way instead and make them heroes (dodgy term). Maybe there's a way to double-dip. Redeeming a mad surgeon might be an ok idea. There'll likely be a pretty wide range of villains that could almost work as heroes, but if everyone can be recruited then the whole thing will look watered down and a bit "gotta catch 'em all".
So here's an idea: limited redemption. You can turn a mad surgeon into an eccentric surgeon. There might well be a dozen or two redeemable villains around, but there's a hard limit on how many you can recruit. Maybe two or three? It'll mean that everyone has different choices, which is nice. It runs the risk of there being certain optimal choices that everyone takes, and might end up being a lot of effort, but it might be worthwhile to give it a go.
Or, rather than limited options to recruit, make the redemption a super-rare event? Could even reduce the chances of it turning up based on how many you've already redeemed to even out RNG. Rarity can patch over a lot of problems and would certainly help with variety and potential player abuse - but at the cost of farming. A good mechanic might be able to overcome that though.
Too many options and it's too early to start deciding between them. This isn't the kind of feature that needs to go in at the start. Anyway. Badly coloured mad surgeons - woo!