Monday, January 14, 2013

Killer Moth Week, 1: Papilio Fatalis

Moths can be scary.

Have you ever seen the film "Mothman Prophecies"?  Spooky; not coherent, but all the more spooky for it, really.  It taught me the scariest word in the English language:

Chapstick.  Brrrr.

Hey, the idea of some big moth-like man-thing can be pretty scary.  

Of course, that's a mysterious mothlike monster.  The idea of a guy dressed like a moth can be... more difficult to carry off.  Still a guy who thinks of dressing like a giant moth, well, that's kind of crazy and crazy can be pretty scary.

Laugh all you want; "Mothman" happens to be one of the sexiest men alive.

Ladies and gentleman, another fine Martian Manhunter villain: Mr. Moth.  Yes, really.
And try not to think about what size his head must be to fit in that mask.

But, scary or not, the most enduring modern moth man in literature is, of course, Drury Walker, a.k.a. Cameron Van Cleer, a.k.a. Prisoner 2340026, a.k.a. ...


Yes, you.  I'm trying to help your image; work with me, KM.

I was trying to explain this, the real Killer Moth, to my friend Van Google, who knew him only from his portrayal by Thomas Hayden Church (Tom; miss you, handsome; call me!) on Cartoon Network's Teen Titans.  

He was having a little trouble wrapping his mind around the concept of the Killer Moth as a serious villain.  

Not quite so funny when the crazy person has a gun pointed at you, is it...?

Understandable; even the greatest of minds have difficult comprehending the rarefied conceptual glory of Killer Moth.

Van Google got stuck on the name. "Wait, why would you call yourself 'Killer Moth'?  Is he some sort of crooked entomologist?  Does he use moths to commit crimes?"  

Just exactly how do you count live moths?

"A crooked entomologist? Don't be silly," I replied.  "What kind of lunatic would use moths for crime?"

Okay.  That kind of lunatic, then.

I gave the answer that I had always assumed was true: "Well, you know; he's named after the killer moth species. Papilio Fatalis, I guess. It's a type of moth, you know, like, like a Killer Whale."  I mean, obviously.

Aside: Dang! Wouldn't a Killer Whale make a great villain?!

Okay. Maybe not.

My friend wasn't buying the "killer moth species" explanation. He's not called "Van Google" for nothing; besides, he has a degree in Nature, or something.  "There's no such thing as a killer moth," he says. So we looked it up.  Sure enough.  There is no such thing in nature as a 'killer moth'.

Which is...


I was too overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it all to be ashamed of my life-long ignorance about moths.  Because it means that rather than just call himself "the Moth" (because who would be afraid of that?), this guy...

...Prisoner 234026, just added "Killer" in front of "Moth" to make himself sound scarier, at severe risk of oxymoronic ridiculousness.

Damn.  That takes some real mothballs, people.

That's the kind of commitment to concept we admire here at the Absorbascon!  And so, we celebrate with Killer Moth Week, which tomorrow focuses more on Prisoner 234026.


CobraMisfit said...



Scipio said...

Heh. Thanks.

Ronald said...

No reference to Watchmen's Mothman?


Mostly off-topic, the contrast to the "lame" villain with a gun is the "lame" hero who pulls YOU out of a burning building or whatever. Whattaya gonna do, say "get lost, I want somebody COOL to rescue me?"

Scipio said...


You mean something other than the photo of the Watchmen's Mothman being hauled off to the loony bin, and the captin that mentions him by name..?

Ronald said...

Sorry, I actually had no idea what that image was from. I only know Mothman from the comic book, not the movie.

Ronald said...

Incidentally, in case anyone cares, there was a genuine golden age Moth (albeit not MothMAN):

Bryan L said...

I will state now that I loved the depiction of Killer Moth in Teen Titans. I was crushed when they didn't make an action figure.