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leaper

Batroc the Leaper

Batroc the Leaper (Georges Batroc) is a fictional villain from Marvel Comics. His first appearance was in Tales of Suspense #75.

Publication history

Batroc's stereotypical accent ("Batroc ze Leapair"), and funny name (Batroc resembles "Bat-Rock" or "Batrachia", the animal order to which frogs belong), along with his clumsy vocabulary which has the tendency to insert whole French words (which are sometimes erroneous, ex. "mon capitan"), Dali-like moustache, lack of superpowers, and an apparent inability to win a fight have made him a very comedic character.

In more recent years, some writers have attempted casting Batroc in different light. In an issue of Mark Waid’s run on Captain America he was portrayed as a comical but highly talented martial artist capable of holding his own against Hawkeye and the Captain at the same time. Years later, during George Pérez and Kurt Busiek’s long awaited JLA/Avengers crossover, Batroc actually managed to briefly get the drop on Batman.

Sporting a new costume designed by John Romita, Jr., Batroc served as Klaw's top lieutenant in the first arc of the 2005 re-launch of Black Panther.

Fictional character biography

Georges Batroc was born in Marseille, France, and served in the French Foreign Legion. He is a French costumed mercenary who specializes in savate (also known as "La Boxe Française"), a form of kickboxing. Although he has primarily appeared in the pages of Captain America, he has also faced off against the Punisher, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, and Gambit. Batroc has occasionally led his own team, "Batroc's Brigade", whose membership has changed over time. The group has primarily fought Captain America.

He has functioned as a member of Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil (one of the stronger recurring villain teams that plague the heroes of Avengers).

In Batroc's first appearance, he was hired by THEM to steal the Inferno-42 cylinder. He first battled Captain America during this mission. He was again hired by HYDRA and abducted Sharon Carter for them. He lured Captain America into a rematch, and again lost.

Batroc was then hired by a foreign power to locate a "seismo-bomb" with the original Batroc's Brigade (consisting of the original Swordsman and the Living Laser). Batroc battled Captain America again. The Machinesmith's Baron Strucker android known as "the Hood" then hired a new Batroc's Brigade (consisting of Porcupine and Whirlwind) to battle Captain America.

Batroc then formed a third Batroc's Brigade, which consisted of various unnamed henchmen rather than known supervillains. Jakar hired this group to abduct children from New York and to battle Captain America and the Falcon. Batroc later turned against Jakar, and aided Captain America and the Falcon against him. Ward Meachum then hired Batroc's Brigade, who battled Iron Fist and a ninja warrior.

For a while after that, Batroc operated without the Batroc's Brigade. Alongside an extra-dimensional demon ally, Batroc attempted a theft of transuranium, but was stopped by Captain America and Spider-Man. Batroc was also a member of the ersatz "Defenders", a group of villains who were impersonating the actual Defenders. They committed robberies while posing as members of the Defenders, until stopped by a Defenders contingent. Alongside Mister Hyde, Batroc attempted an extortion scheme. He battled Captain America, but then turned against Mister Hyde and aided Captain America against him.

Batroc then formed a new, longer-lasting lineup of Batroc's Brigade - this one consisting of Zaran the Weapons Master and Machete. This team was first seen when Obadiah Stane contracted them to steal Captain America's shield. Trick Shot then hired Batroc's Brigade to battle Hawkeye. Baron Helmut Zemo then hired Batroc's Brigade to acquire the fragments of the Bloodstone. They battled Captain America and Diamondback. Alongside Snakebite, Batroc also battled the Punisher.

Later, the Leaper showed up as member of a small army of villains organized by Klaw to invade Wakanda, which included Rhino, Radioactive Man, the Cannibal, and the villainous Black Knight. However, he was still ultimately defeated by Black Panther's royal bodyguards.

Batroc was next seen as an inmate of the extremely high-security prison The Cage. The prison sports a field that mentally suppresses inmates' abilities to use their superpowers. Wolverine states: "It doesn't matter how big you were on the outside. In here, combat experience is everything. Thugs like Wrecker and Thunderball might throw their weight around, but they'd never even dream of touching the big shots. Guys like Batroc and Kangaroo. Yeah, I know."

Batroc has a daughter who is teamed in villainy with the daughter of similar B-list supervillain Tarantula. Both daughters take their fathers' respective costumes and titles. The Taskmaster expresses his shock that Tarantula and Batroc are heterosexual before soundly beating the two villains' offspring, tossing them effortlessly off of a building, noting that he also "hates ethnic stereotypes."

Batroc is mentioned to have faced the Runaways when he came to Los Angeles looking to take over after the deaths of the supervillain group known as the Pride. He was apparently defeated quickly, as he is referred to as "Batroc the Loser."

Civil War/The Initiative

Batroc briefly served among the group of villains forcibly drafted into Baron Zemo's Thunderbolts army. However after returning to federal custody, Batroc registered with the Superhuman Registration Act and was sent to a superhuman training facility located at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia to train recruits in martial arts before being transferred over to Camp Hammond.

Powers and abilities

Batroc has no superhuman abilities, but is in peak physical condition in every respect. He is an Olympic-level weightlifter and has extraordinary agility and reflexes. His leg muscles are particularly well developed enabling him to leap great distances with the equity of an Olympic athlete. He is an expert hand-to-hand combatant and specializes in savate (French-style kickboxing), though he is proficient at virtually every form of unarmed combat. He is also a skilled military tactician, having formerly been in the French Foreign Legion.

Batroc is also an experienced thief and smuggler, and is fluent in both French and English.

Quotes

Batroc uses many French terms which may strike even the American reader who makes up most of Marvel's audience as stereotypical; a native speaker of French may find Batroc's dialogue not only stereotypical but hilariously badly translated:

  • "Zut alors!" (Batroc uses this term in a totally inappropriate context)
  • "Sacre Bleu!" (An expression spelled as one word in French.)
  • "Alas, you are too sensitive, mon cher! But, c'est la vie!"
  • "Nom du chien! Your insolence is insupportable-- insufferable!! For zat you shall pay un mille fois!" (Batroc should say "Nom d'un chien" and he shouldn't use the "un" for "mille fois")
  • "Is it not très formidable!"
  • "Ah, mon pauvre petit!"

Batroc inserts so much mangled French terminology into his speech, that Captain America once asked him "Who gave you your English lessons, Doctor Doom?"

Other media

Batroc appears in the Captain America segment of the Marvel Superheroes show (1966).

References

External links

  • http://marvel.com/universe/Batroc_%28Georges_Batroc%29

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