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Arthur Reeves

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Arthur Reeves
Arthur Reeves
General Information
Real name: Arthur Reeves
First Appearance: Detective Comics #399
Created by: Denny O'Neil
Affiliations: None
Abilities: None
Portrayed by: Hart Bochner

Arthur Reeves was a Gotham City councilman with an anti-Batman agenda. He often opposed Batman, and repeatedly tried to turn the public against the Dark Knight. Reeves believes that Batman is as insane as the villains he apprehends, and will stop at nothing to present Batman as Reeves believes he should be: A lawless vigilante.


When Denny O'Neil signed on to the Batman series in 1969, he tried to reinstate the mood of the early days but couldn't actually make the Dark Knight an outlaw. Instead, he introduced a spokesman for the anti-Batman front in the form of Public Works Commissioner Arthur Reeves in Detective Comics #399. Condemning Batman's decision to hide behind a mask, Reeves replied to the Dark Knight's questioning that he was "absolutely" in favor of full disclosure. Without another word, Batman peeled off Reeves' toupee and dropped it in the councilman's palm. O'Neil continued in that vein for five subsequent appearances through 1972, most hilariously in the Neal Adams-illustrated "Half An Evil", as Reeves regaled Commissioner Gordon with an account of how he'd take the Dark Knight "down a peg or two": "I may decide to see how tough he is! An Arthur Reeves left....followed by by an Arthur Reeves right!" Batman then slipped up behind Reeves, said "Boo!" and let a smile crack through his stoic facade as the councilman charged out the door.

Reeves resurfaced in 1976 for Detective Comics #463 and 464s account of Black Spider, a much more sinister vigilante. Reeves also appeared briefly in Batman #315 as part of a meeting on a possible move by a major Gotham business, showing that the councilman's life did not revolve entirely around tirades against The Batman.

Reeves made another appearance in later years that found the councilman running for Mayor on an anti-Batman platform while his opponent, Hamilton Hill, wanted a shake-up of the Gotham Police Department. Within days of the election, Reeves was provided with photographic evidence of the Dark Knight's real identity, which he gleefully provided to the press. The pictures, revealing Batman as a crime boss, were easily proven as fakes and the ensuing scandal cost Arthur Reeves the election. And that was exactly what Hamilton Hill's backer, disgraced political boss Rupert Thorne, had wanted when he gave the photos to Reeves. Weeks later, Reeves confessed about Thorne's role in the election debacle and finally retired from Batman and politics.

In other mediaEdit

  • 80

    Reeves in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    Reeves turned up in the animated Batman continuity by way of 1993's Batman: Mask of the Phantasm feature film as a corrupt city official who was once an intern for Carl Beaumont (before "selling his name to the mob"). He later becomes involved with Valestra's gang in order to gain the influence to enter City Council. Reeves holds a press conference in an attempt to rally support to go after Batman. Commissioner Jim Gordon refuses, saying that Batman doesn't kill. Reeves objects to this, claiming that half the police force believes that Batman is just as crazy as the criminals he brings in. Despite this, Gordon refuses to hunt down Batman. Thanks to a shady past,however, Reeves fell under the shadow of the Joker and ended up laughing maniacally in a hospital ward, Joker Venom coursing through his veins. His last appearance in the movie is at the Gotham City Mental Hospital, recovering from the effect of exposure to the Joker's poisonous chemicals. Because he was desperate for money during his first election campaign, he sold out Beaumont's hiding place in Europe to the Valestra mob. A sequel in 1996's BATMAN & ROBIN ADVENTURES ANNUAL #1 (written by Paul Dini) found Reeves completely unhinged by the experience, his facial muscles contorted into a permanent smile. He took Andrea's Phantasm persona for his own and attempted to kill the young woman. Not only he found out that Andrea was the Phantasm, he also found out that Batman was Bruce Wayne, the two people he betrayed many years ago. Andrea manipulated Reeves into leaping from a skyscraper balcony before leaving Gotham.


Reeves in the comics was arrogant and was against Batman.

In the Movie Mask of the Phantasm he is a handsome yet selfish arrogant young man who is a corrupt official who acts as a puppet to the mob. Although nasty if his life or career is threatened he will become quite nervous and anxious as shown when the Joker brutaly assaults him and he starts panting and sweating knowing that what the Joker has in store for him isn't good. He would do anything to save his own skin and would not care who would get hurt in his place evident by the fact that he pleaded with the Valestra Mob to help him if he sold Carl Beaumont out to them. Although seemingly in love with Andrea Beaumont's he never told her that he let her father die (at the hands of the man who would become the Joker) knowing that she might leave him or report him to the police. He seems to be insecure about himself and acts overly confident or even cocky around others to get his way.

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