Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The origin of the Killer Moth!

Just who is the Killer Moth? He's the original anti-Batman. A
villain intent on emulating all of the tricks and tropes of the caped crusader way before Hugo Strange, The Wrath or Prometheus ever did. Plus he's got the greatest name and coolest costume ever!

BATMAN #63 (1951)
"The Origin of the Killer Moth!"
Story by Bill Finger, Art by Lew Sayre Schwartz and Charlie Paris

The man who was to be known as the Killer Moth, was once PRISONER 234026, serving out his sentence at Gotham penitentiary. What crime he committed or even his true name are a mystery to this day...

Taking inspiration from the famed crime-fighter, Batman, he plotted for the day of his eventual release.

Years passed and convict 234026 rejoined the world. He quickly set his plans in motion. Using stashed loot, he built the identity of millionaire playboy CAMERON VAN CLEER. But that lavish lifestyle was merely a ruse
as he made preparations under his estate. As you can see, Van Cleer was far from reformed...

Van Cleer assumes an identity to start what would be a spectacular criminal career as THE KILLER MOTH! Stealing the thunder from his inspiration, Batman, The Killer Moth creates a Mothmobile, crime lab and even a trophy room in his subterranean Mothcave.

He vows to make the mask of Batman the first trophy of his crime career! The Killer Moth plans to establish himself as Gotham's premier criminal...

As he waits for the summons from his criminal customers, Cameron Van Cleer dines with fellow Gotham museum board member, Bruce Wayne! Both are oblivious to each other's secret lives!

Both of the two millionaires make hasty excuses and speed off to the scene of the crime!

The villainous Killer Moth arrives first; sending the cops scattering as he swoops in on a steel cable, guns blazing!

However Batman and Robin arrive on the scene and give chase in the Batmobile!

The Dynamic Duo are overcome by gas from the Mothmobile. Killer Moth gleefully takes them hostage! What awful fate does he have planned for our heroes?

With Robin left to a gruesome fate, the Killer Moth forces Batman to lead him to the secret location of the Batcave, where the he can further steal Batman's thunder! However, the clever boy wonder frees himself from the deathtrap and radios Batman that he is safe.His trump card lost, the Killer Moth flees with Batman in hot pursuit!

The furious chase ends with the two combatants dueling high atop Gotham bridge! The crafty criminal sprays grease on the cables, making Batman slip. When it looks like the Killer Moth has the upper hand...

...Batman turns the tables and lands a toppling blow to the would-be crime king of Gotham. Is this the last we've seen of the villainous Killer Moth? Of course not!

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