Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fall under the protection of .... the Killer Moth!

Oh, admit it; you know you want one, too. This is my soon-to-arrive-from-totaltoyz Killer Moth custom clix, in all its garish glory.

Killer Moth is one of our favorite villains here at the Absorbascon, because he is an exemplar of the villainous virtue of confidence. That, and his fashion sense.

Laugh at him if you want, but he's appeared repeatedly in every decade since his creation in 1951 and has (in a hybrid form) appeared in the Teen Titans cartoon (how many villains can make that claim!).

It's mostly forgotten now, but he was originally set up to be an "anti-Batman". Same schtick, but based on a different flying creature, with the goal of helping criminals instead of police. Yep; Superman got Bizarro, Green Lantern got Sinestro, Flash got Zoom -- Batman got Killer Moth.

Interestingly, starting in his second appearance (Batman #64, The Return of Killer Moth), he is already considered a laughingstock among the Gotham underworld he had been trying to impress in his first outing (Batman #63, The Origin of Killer Moth). Thus, his reputation as a costumed crook trying to gain respect as a villain is the same WITHIN the comics as it is here "on the outside".

He is the ideal also-ran, the patron saint of the world's forgotten villains, who himself remains unforgettable. There are no webshrines for Kite-Man, SignalMan, or the Human Flying Fish (YET!), but there sure is one for Killer Moth.

His unique role created a quandary in choosing a dial for him. Should he be a real threat or a pushover? A flying or earthbound? Debit or credit?

I chose a 14 point Hand Ninja dial from Marvelclix for him. He's got a range of 6 and can do two clicks of damage on his first slot, like a Veteran Criminal with a gun, so that's about right. While he has faked flying through various mean, he doesn't really fly, so I wanted him grounded. He's got some clicks of Stealth, like a good Bat-enemy should to avoid getting bopped by a batarang immediately. His real impact comes from his "Hydra" Team Ability, which adds on to the damage done by attacks by his adjacent teammates. He's dirt cheap at 14 points and his stats are kind of weak and shallow, meaning you can go old school and have Batgirl knock him down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by hitting him in the head with a shoe (Tec #486).

So, he's cheap and easy to clobber, and hides alongside other criminals helping them make their attacks. You might occasionally see him as a player on his own, but usually he'll just be there in the background, shadowing the other Batvillains, who'll be even more impressive because they're standing beside him.

And that's how Killer Moth should be.


Anonymous said...

A more direct "anti-Batman" was the Wrath: seen only once, I think. He didn't have nearly the staying power of Killer Moth, I guess.

Scipio said...

When was that?

Anonymous said...

Vincent refers to an early-80s Batman Special, I believe. The story was retconned out of existence just a few years later in the aftermath of the Crisis.

The Wrath was the son of two criminals who were killed by a rookie Gotham policeman named Jim Gordon. Like Bruce Wayne he trained himself to seek vengeance on his parents' killer.

In the post-Crisis DC Universe, Jim Gordon was never a rookie cop in Gotham City. Unless that has been retconned again in the aftermath of Xerox Hour or one of the other post-Crisis restructurings.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Wasn't "Prometheus" from Grant Morrison's JLA run also an "anti-Batman?" He's still around.

These two need to meet. Hells yeah.

Anonymous said...

When and how can I get one of those? Killer Moth is awesome!

Anonymous said...

i was just gonna let you all know that in the current batman cartoon
"The Batman"
in this upcoming september, the fourth season starts
killer month IS going to be in this show
and there IS going to be a killer moth The Batman toy (The Batman toyline will change from EXP Extreme to something else, cant think of the name at the moment)
but i have seen a picture of the killer moth toy at
its great!