|Real name:||Drury Walker|
|First Appearance:||Batman #63 (February, 1951)|
|Created by:|| Bill Finger|
|Abilities:||Flight via suit, incapacitating cocoon gun, razor-sonar waves.|
|Portrayed by:||Tim Herbert|
Killer Moth was a costumed anti-Batman who aided criminals just as Batman aids the police, but only for money. He was originally a minor criminal named Drury Walker who, obsessed with fame and identity change, adopted the dual identities of society millionaire Cameron Van Cleer and master costumed criminal Killer Moth. He worked as a hired gun for Gotham's gangsters, but his ingenious weaponry—including his cocoon gun—did not protect him from regular defeat at the hands of Batman and Batgirl. Eventually, he sold his soul to become the powerful moth-monster Charaxes, but lost his human intellect in the bargain. As Charaxes, he was killed by Superman-Prime. Recently, one or more unnamed persons have adopted the Killer Moth name and costume; it remains to be seen if any of them are Drury Walker back from the dead.
Originally, Killer Moth was an incarcerated criminal known only by his prison number, 234026. The sinister concept of the Killer Moth was born in the mind of the convict, who resolved to use his hoard of stolen loot to become a virtual anti-Batman upon his release from prison, and sell his services to the underworld. After regaining his freedom, the ex-convict adopted the fake identity of millionaire philanthropist named Cameron Van Cleer. In this guise, he becomes friends with Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, he promotes himself to Gotham's criminals using his identity as Killer Moth, giving them each an infra-red Moth-signal, and used his ill-gotten wealth to construct the "moth mansion" residence in the suburbs of Gotham City. Tapping into Batman mythology, he also created a "Mothmobile," a high-powered auto modeled after Batman's own Batmobile, and a "moth-signal," and uses the hidden proceeds of his crimes to build a Mothcave modeled on the photos of the Batcave in the newspaper article he read. Killer Moth's colorful costume was complete with a utility belt, and a grotesque helmet mounted with a pair of antennae, which can pick up police radio signals and transport them into earphones cleverly hidden inside the headpiece. In his first job, he rescues some criminals from the police and then uses his Mothmobile to defeat and capture Robin. Killer Moth holds Robin hostage, whose life he wishes to exchange for a chance to pick up a few more ideas for his moth-cave, with a visit to the original Batcave. Batman agrees, but Robin escapes on his own, so Killer Moth tries to make a getaway, knowing his hold on Batman is gone, but the duo lead Killer Moth to a climactic battle on Gotham Bridge, which ends when the villain plunges one thousand feet into the river and disappears. (Batman #63)
Within two months, Killer Moth had returned, using his influence as Cameron Van Cleer on the museum board of directors to import a moth collection from South America, so he can steal it and therefore revive Killer Moth's shattered image. He tries twice, but is thwarted. Moth then becomes suspicious of Bruce Wayne being Batman, but the Dark Knight is able to convince him otherwise. At the same time, Killer Moth makes a slip revealing his own identity, allowing for Batman to finally unearth his millionaire alias and have him arrested at his home. (Batman #64)
With his Cameron Van Cleer alias lost to him, the Moth decided to steal the identity of a pre-existing socialite—and chose Bruce Wayne (whom he imprisoned in a vault). However, rather than ransoming Bruce, he hires a plastic surgeon to change his face into an exact double of Wayne's. With the plastic surgery altering his looks, the Moth fooled Dick Grayson into believing he was Wayne and Dick doesn't realize at first, so the canny Killer Moth works out Wayne's secret identity as Batman. The Moth goes out as Batman, deciding to enhance his criminal alter-ego's reputation by making it appear that the Dark Knight feared the Killer Moth. Wayne escapes, just in time to see Killer Moth shot down with bullets by one of his own gang, who thinks he's been doublecrossed. Moth's face is wrecked by the bullets, and the resultant cranial injury caused amnesia regarding recent events. (Detective Comics #173)
The Silver Age Killer Moth first appeared as an established character, with no origin given. In fact, his costume appeared before he did. As with several other Batman characters who first appeared in the late Golden Age (post 1950), we are left to assume his early Earth-1 history is essentially same as his Earth-2 history.
Killer Moth's helmet and costume were transferred to a police evidence closet in Meadow City, U.S.A. along with the costumes of several other arch-criminals. The costume was animated by the Three Demons, who sent the empty costumes on a crime spree. Thinking he was battling the real Killer Moth, Batman arrived on the scene and grabbed the villain by his legs, slamming him into a wall as he attempted to fly away. Discovering to his astonishment that he was fighting an empty costume, the battle was turning against Batman when he remembered that Killer Moth used an invisible wire to swing from building to building. Groping for the wire, Batman discovered it in the struggle and yanked the costume back down to earth as it attempted to escape. Using his own silken batrope, Batman subdued the costume and left the struggling bundle of cloth trussed up in a ball. (Justice League of America # 35)
It was not until 1967 the actual Killer Moth returned to action. Launching a brutal protection racket in Gotham with his henchmen, Killer Moth began extorting money from the same Gotham millionaires he'd once socialized with in his identity as Cameron Van Cleer, attacking them and leaving them pummeled, demanding large sums of money in exchange for not targeting them. He was encountered by fledgling heroine Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, on her way to a costume ball while waylaying Bruce Wayne. Halting Wayne's car by enmeshing it in the substances fired from their cocoon guns, Killer Moth and his moth-men found themselves, in turn, targeted by Batgirl, who gave Killer Moth and his gang a taste of their own medicine, and beating them up using her karate and judo skills. Bruce Wayne flees, only to return as Batman to face Killer Moth.
Trapping Batgirl in the cocoon-like substance fired from his cocoon gun, Killer Moth delayed Batman long enough to escape. Luring Killer Moth into a trap, Bruce Wayne ignores threatening letters by Killer Moth, and openly challenges the villain, stating in a return letter he will remain in Wayne Manor. Enraged, the furious Killer Moth watches Wayne Manor for three days, then viciously guns Wayne down. Batgirl attacks and dismayed at the sight of Bruce Wayne's bullet-riddled body, hurls herself into Killer Moth, throwing him across the room using a jujitsu move. Batman and Robin grab Batgirl in the shadows, explaining to her it was only a Bruce Wayne dummy she saw Killer Moth shoot down. The Dynamic Duo then also explained that they needed to allow Killer Moth to escape, in order to follow him to his hideout and find the extortion money. Trailing the Mothmobile back to Killer Moth's hideout, Batman and Robin are imprisoned in an anti-gravity room, only to have Batgirl free them. She leads the Caped Crusaders to Killer Moth's control room, where she smells out the Moth's hiding place behind one of the wall panels by tracking him using the scent of her perfume, which has remained on the villain's costume since her earlier battle with him at Wayne Manor. As a result of this issue, Killer Moth is frequently remembered as the first criminal Batgirl encountered. (Detective Comics #359)
Killer Moth remained a persistent enemy of Batman appearing throughout the remainder of the Silver Age of comics.
He continued to be seen at all the major gatherings of villains, such as the "Batman murder trial."
Killer Moth returned to plague Batgirl once more, pairing himself with another former Gotham millionaire, the Cavalier. (Batman Family # 10) The union continued for one story before the Moth took a step up by joining the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Killer Moth was soon charged with destroying the Freedom Fighters. (Secret Society of Super Villains # 15) In the wake of that debacle, Killer Moth left the Society briefly to exact his revenge against Batgirl once and for all, returning to his roots as a paid defender of the criminal element. (Detective Comics # 386)
Killer Moth returned along with Two-Face, Gentleman Ghost, and Clayface as part of a complex triple-cross scheme concocted by The Joker to use Killer Croc to defeat Batman, then to destroy him using Moth and the others, whom in turn, would be eliminated as well. The Joker's plans were preempted by the arrival of Robin and Batgirl, who quickly overpowered the villains and blocked the Joker's escape. (Detective Comics #526)
Killer Moth was also seen during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, amongst the many other villains taking advantage of the period of multiversal chaos.
In the 1990s, Killer Moth's real name is revealed to be Drury Walker. Before being sent to prison, Walker was an unsuccessful criminal whom no one took seriously. After so many years of being a frequent member of Batman's Rogues Gallery, Killer Moth began regarding himself as a second-stringer.
In Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Killer Moth resurfaced. He resolved to come up with a scheme guaranteed to put him and other "misfits" like him on top by abducting and seeking a ransom on Gotham's mayor, police chief and frequent Moth target Bruce Wayne. Killer Moth sets up a team of "Misfits," comprising third-string Batman villains such as Catman and Calendar Man, to help him make the planned kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne, as well as the other two prominent citizens. This team proves unsuccessful, turning against Moth when they realise he plans to kill the hostages. Once again, Killer Moth's schemes had ended in failure.
Killer Moth appeared as a part of the "Armageddon 2001" crossover event that took place throughout all of DC's Annuals in 1991. Armageddon 2001 refers to a gigantic battle between all of Earth's heroes and a villain known only as Monarch, in which the superheroes were slain and the all-powerful Monarch plunged the world into a totalitarian government underneath his rule. This Possible Future took place in the then-future year of 2001, hence the title. In the year 2030, Matthew Ryder, a scientist sent into the Timestream as a part of one of Monarch's experiments, becomes imbued with temporal superpowers and journeys into the past as Waverider to attempt to learn more about Monarch and determine who he is so he can be thwarted. At one point, Waverider shows Batman a possible future. In the (relatively) not-too-distant year of 2001, the Dark Knight is framed for the murder of his greatest enemies, including the Penguin, the Scarecrow, Ventriloquist, the Riddler, and Killer Moth. Shortly after the death of the Scarecrow, Killer Moth was brutally electrocuted, then thrown from a rooftop by an unknown assailant. His corpse was recovered by the GCPD. Although Waverider seriously contemplated this alternate timeline, he came to the conclusion that the Monarch was not Batman. The alternate future with the premature death of Drury Walker never materialized, and the Waverider continued on his search for the real Monarch.
During Underworld Unleashed, the lure of power offered by the demonic Neron was more than Killer Moth could resist. He had always sought power and respect, so Killer Moth was among the first villains who sold their souls to Neron. He asks to become feared, and he is subsequently transformed into Charaxes, a moth-like monster with great capabilities. Overpowered by the primal drive for food, the rechristened Charaxes had lost most of his reasoning faculties but had become a dangerous threat to the world around him. As Charaxes, Killer Moth resembles a vaguely humanoid, giant brown moth. He consumes humans and spins cocoons to keep his prey in. Charaxes has since been seen almost exclusively in the company of other, more lucid villains though he did have one brief solo clash with Starfire and Troia in Titans: Secret Files #1. Charaxes was later taken as prisoner by Lock-Up along with Two-Face, and minor rogues Croup, Veezy, Col.Vazri and later a disguised Tim Drake. When Nightwing infiltrated the prison and tried to free Tim, he unwittingly released the prisoners from their cells. Lock-Up then began to flood the jail with water in a last-ditch attempt to drown his prisoners. Charaxes was the first to reach the staircase exit but Nightwing wrestled the moth-monster in the water, and eventually subdued him as the floundering creature couldn't swim. In a later story, Charaxes begins laying hundreds of eggs, all of which hatch into duplicates of Drury Walker. Charaxes despises his progeny, but is unable to destroy them. Following his capture, these duplicates are taken into government custody. During an argument between various government bodies as to what should be done with them, they attack a scientist, and are destroyed.At around the same time, Oracle is confronted by a criminal named Danko Twag who claims to be the real Killer Moth (the one she had first defeated), and that Drury Walker had been an imposter. During a rant in which he claims they are going to be a team, she captures him in an energy cell and he seemingly disintegrates himself. He was later revealed to have been a crazed henchman of Felix Faust.
Booster Gold #11 and #12 explores a time disruption in the past that creates a chaotic Gotham City overwhelmed by crime led by Killer Moth altering the future before Killer Moth's transformation into Charaxes.
In the distant past before Charaxes, Batman, Robin and Batgirl had broken up a museum heist led by Killer Moth. But history is altered when Batgirl confronts a 27th-century time travelor named Wiley Dalbert and breaks a gadget of his. She then fades away, followed by her partners and Killer Moth. The only one left, the man named Dalbert, is arrested by James Gordon.
At the same time, the presnt Gotham City is altered into a chaotic city where Batman never came to be. The time-traveling hero Booster Gold decides to go back to Killer Moth's museum robbery and change events.
In the past, Dalbert had given Drury Walker the museum plans and advised him to rob it that night. After Dalbert disappears, Walker is knocked out by Booster Gold, who had arrived at that moment in the past. The hero dons the Killer Moth disguise and he assembles Killer Moth's henchmen and breaks into the museum. As before, the Dynamic Duo and Batgirl arrive, but Booster, as Killer Moth, is able to quickly defeat them. Dalbert arrives to take his share of the loot without any interference from Batgirl, and Booster departs, his job complete.
Booster arrives back in the present, but not the same one he left. The Moth Signal shines into the sky, and criminals run rampant under the command of Killer Moth. It seems that by posing as Moth and defeating Batman and his partners, Booster inadvertently gave Killer Moth street credit and allowed him to become a successful supervillain. The only way to fix the current timestream is for Booster to go back to the museum robbery again, this time as Batman.
The chaotic Gotham City ruled by Killer Moth eventually never came to be, and the timestream was returned to normal.
Face The FaceA new, human Killer Moth wearing a heavily-armored version of the original costume appeared in "Batman: Face the Face," but the identity of this Killer Moth is unknown. He is introduced in Batman #652, wherein he displays competence in hand-to-hand combat when facing Robin. He later appears working alongside fellow Gotham criminals Firefly and Lock-Up in the Gotham Underground limited series. The identity and origins of Killer Moth II remain unrevealed. He is gravely injured during a gunfight with Tobias Whale, and it is unlikely that he survived.
Several unknown villains wearing Killer Moth costumes appear in Secret Six v3 #7. At least one of them is shot and killed by Deadshot.
Justice League: Cry for Justice
In the first issue of the recent miniseries Justice League: Cry for Justice, two Atoms, Ryan Choi and Ray Palmer, are investigating the mysterious and recent murder of Ray's friend Mike Dante and find that connections to the death run straight to Killer Moth. The Atoms attack Killer Moth's hideout and defeat his gang. Between the two of them, they beat up the villain and ruthlessly torture Killer Moth into gasping out the name of Mike Dante's killer: ("--Prometheus!").
In Red Robin #9, Tim Drake as the Red Robin returns to Gotham City, where he runs into Killer Moth, who has returned from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tim confronts Moth, who is holding a man at gunpoint. Killer Moth seems to be scared and on the run, fleeing from Tim and shouting, "Are you with him? Are you with the Atom? I won't let you torture me, too!," a reference to Justice League: Cry for Justice. The identity of this Killer Moth, whether a resurrected Drury Walker or someone new, is unknown.
During Zero Year, Killer Moth tried to kidnap Moira Queen who was in Gotham City at the time. Despite her bodyguard, John Diggle, trying to protect her, Killer Moth used his "stinger" gun to get close to Moira. He was stopped by Batman and new vigilante Green Arrow.
Powers and Abilities
In his original incarnation, Killer Moth has no superhuman abilities; he relies on the vast array of equipment he has developed. Killer Moth’s range of gimmicks includes a moth mobile, a moth signal, and a steel-line, which allows him to swing through the skies. He carries a cocoon gun that fires a stream of sticky threads that can totally envelop a victim. The gun can also fire a grenade. He also achieved flight via his special winged costume.
- Moth Lantern: The Moth Lantern was Killer Moth's brief attempt to forge his own version of the Bat-signal. The lantern broke before he ever had the opportunity to use it.
- Moth Mansion: This was a large rural mansion located in Gotham City. It was the headquarters of Killer Moth and his underlings, Larva and Pupa. The mansion was outfitted with several secret panels and a trap door, which fed victims into a gravity well.
- Mothmobile: This was a custom made, convertible sports car used by Killer Moth. It's color and style were similar to the bright, pastel color scheme used in Killer Moth's costume.
-(As Killer Moth) Incapacitating cocoon gun -(As Killer Moth) Skilled inventor -(As Charaxes) Razor-sonar waves
In Other Media
Batman (1960s series)
A short episode of the 1960s live-action Batman television series that premiered Batgirl featured Killer Moth as the villain (played by Tim Herbert), but it was never aired. It has been circulated through bootlegs on the Internet or at conventions. However, in the character's simultaneous comic book introduction (Detective Comics #359, January 1967), "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl", Killer Moth is Batgirl's first and main adversary after he leads her to believe that he killed Bruce Wayne. Batgirl later learns that Wayne has not died, after confronting Batman and Robin.
- See: Killer Moth (The Batman)
- Killer Moth appears in The Batman as an incompetent, bumbling fool whose gadgets mostly backfire and trip himself in cocoon webs. The Penguin hires him when looking for members to join his new Team Penguin claiming he has the perfect job for Moth (getting coffee and doughnuts for the other members of the team). After absorbing unstable, corrosive chemicals into his bloodstream that fused with the webs from his cocoon gun, Killer Moth mutates into his Charaxes form, gaining super strength and acidic saliva. Despite his increase in power, Killer Moth remains loyal to The Penguin, who betrays the other members of the team so he only has to split his earnings with Moth. Unfortunately for him, Killer Moth's incompetence prevents him from posing a major threat to anyone.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Killer Moth appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite." He, along with The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Kite Man, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Catwoman, Catman, Tiger Shark, and several other villains are shown briefly in Bat-Mite's imagination. Later, Killer Moth also makes a cameo in the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" as one of the many costumed rogues caught under the hypnotic spell of the Music Meister and forced to sing a song for the amusement of the musical villain. It is mentioned in the episode "Color of Revenge" that he was robbing a train. In "Sidekicks Assemble!", A robotic duplicate of Killer Moth is shown as a training model at the Justice League of America's orbiting headquarters for heroes to practice and test their skills on. Killer Moth has also appeared in the episode "A Bat Divided!" at a bar with many other minor villains. He was pummeled by two atomic counterparts of Batman after he attempted to attack them with his cocoon gun. Most recently, Killer Moth's latest (and non-speaking) appearance appeared in the form of Moth's counterpart from an alternate reality, glimpsed in "The Super-Batman of Planet X!". The Killer Moth portrayed in this episode is an archenemy of a doppelganger Batman on the planet of Zurr En Arrh. When the Earth Batman pays a visit to Zurr En Arrh, he discovered that he had become imbued with superpowers due to the planet's unique atmosphere. Testing out his new powers on Zurr En Arrh's Killer Moth, the Batman of Earth easily thwarted an attempt by the villain and his moth-men to rob the Gothtropolis bank. Bending an iron rod into manacles, the Earth Batman pinned the entire Moth gang to a nearby wall, leaving them to be taken into custody by the interplanetary police. In the episode "The Last Patrol" he and his gang capture Batman and put him in a big tank. He send out giant moths on him until Batgirl arrives and defeats him.
- Killer Moth appears at the end of the first stage of the NES's loosely movie-based Batman game, in a suit of flying insect-like armor. He appears alongside villains Firebug and Electrocutioner; Killer Moth also appears as a boss character in the Nintendo video game Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- While Killer Moth does not actually appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, his bio can be unlocked by scanning a human corpse in the Aviary of Arkham's Botanical Gardens, adhered to the wall in what appears to be a cocoon.
- In the sequel Batman: Arkham City, there is a display case filled with moths among Penguin's display cases. The case is open so it is a possibility that Killer Moth was held there and escaped or was released.
- In Batman: Arkham Knight, it is mentioned by one of Black Mask's men that Killer Moth was killed by Jason Todd, under the guise of the Red Hood, within his DLC.
LEGO Batman Videogames
Although he does not directly appear in Batman: Assault on Arkham, he is indirectly alluded to when the Suicide Squad is rummaging through Arkham Asylum's evidence locker, where they found his apparel. King Shark claimed he never heard of the criminal before.