Lew Moxon

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Lew Moxon
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Golden Age: Detective Comics #235 (November 1956)
Modern Age: Batman #591 (July 2001)
Created by Bill Finger (writer) &
Sheldon Moldoff (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Lew Moxon

Lew Moxon is a fictional character in the DC Comics Batman series. He is most famous for hiring Joe Chill to murder young Bruce Wayne's parents in early versions of Batman's origin story, thus making him indirectly responsible for Batman's existence.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Golden / Silver Age version[edit]

Sometime prior to their murder, Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha attend a costume party to which Dr. Wayne wears a bat-like costume. Thomas Wayne is taken from the party at gunpoint to meet racketeer and bank robber Lew Moxon who orders Thomas Wayne to remove a bullet from his shoulder. Thomas Wayne carries out the operation before overpowering Moxon and his men.

Lew Moxon is arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for armed robbery. As he is taken away, he swears revenge on Thomas Wayne. Ten years later, a free Lew Moxon informs Thomas Wayne that he will get someone else to exact that revenge. It is suggested that Lew Moxon ordered Joe Chill to kill the Waynes but keep young Bruce alive, thus providing a convincing alibi for Moxon.

Years later, Batman learns of Lew Moxon's involvement in the murder of his parents, by which time Lew Moxon is operating a blimp business. Batman's first attempt to convict Lew Moxon for the murder of his parents fails as Lew Moxon is now suffering from amnesia and is able to pass a lie detector test. He is then released on bail with his only official crime being assault. Batman determines that Lew Moxon's blimp business must be a cover for illegal activities and continues to trail the gangster.

Eventually, after uncovering Lew Moxon's illegal activities, Batman confronts the criminal while wearing his father's costume (his own had been ripped during an earlier fight). On seeing Dr. Wayne's costume, Lew Moxon suddenly remembers what he had done. Thinking Batman was actually Thomas Wayne's ghost seeking revenge, Moxon panics and runs out into the street where he is run over by a truck and dies.

Modern Age (Post Zero Hour) version[edit]

Lew Moxon was reintroduced into modern Batman continuity as an aging mob boss with failed political aspirations, who returned to Gotham City after several years in exile. In the past, Lew Moxon traveled in the same circle of wealthy socialites as Bruce's parents, and considered the Waynes to be friendly associates despite their disdain towards his immoral leanings. Upon Lew Moxon's return, Bruce is invited to a party, at which he is reintroduced to Lew Moxon's daughter Mallory who turns out to be Bruce's childhood sweetheart. At the party, Wayne discovers that Lew Moxon is the target of an assassination by Deadshot. For protection, Moxon has employed Philo Zeiss as his bodyguard.

During an earlier story, Zeiss killed Bruce's friend Jeremy Samuels. When Bruce confronts Zeiss as Batman, Zeiss reveals that the murder of Samuels was carried out under the order of Lew Moxon himself, as retaliation for something that Thomas Wayne had done to Lew Moxon years ago.

Lew Moxon survives Deadshot's assassination attempts (though he is now confined to a wheelchair), and Batman discovers Mallory is an active member of the family's criminal empire. Ultimately Batman discovers that Thomas, Martha and (a very young) Bruce Wayne had attended a costume party (to which Dr. Wayne wore a Zorro costume) which was also attended by Lew Moxon. At the party, Angelo Berretti, an 'employee' of Lew Moxon's, told Dr. Wayne that a man's life was in danger. Dr. Wayne made Berretti promise his safe return before departing. Dr. Wayne was informed that Lew Moxon's nephew required a bullet to be removed from his shoulder (following a failed armed robbery). Dr. Wayne performed the operation, but refused to take any money, and started a fight with Lew Moxon. Following this, Lew Moxon had ordered the murder of Thomas Wayne. However, this was not carried out because of Berretti's promise.

Years later, Batman questions Angelo Berretti as to whether Lew Moxon had been involved in the murder of the Waynes (which occurred a few months after the costume party). According to Berretti, Lew Moxon was not involved. After Batman accepts Berretti's word and departs, Berretti holds his hand to his face and utters an ambiguous "Oh, thank God". Lew Moxon's involvement in the killing of the Wayne is, therefore, left to the reader's imagination.

Lew Moxon (alongside his current bodyguard Hellhound) is killed by Zeiss at a meeting of Gotham's gang bosses (arranged by Spoiler). This event occurs at the commencement of the Batman: War Games story line.

Place in continuity[edit]

During the Golden Age of Comic Books, Lew Moxon was established as the man who hired Joe Chill to kill Bruce Wayne's parents.

During the Silver and Bronze Age of Comic Books, the Lew Moxon story remained canonical for tales set on Earth Two. For several years no mention is made of Moxon's role regards the origin of Batman on Earth One - that is until the Len Wein written mini-series, The Untold Legend of the Batman (published in 1980) re-introduced the Lew Moxon story, exactly as it was told in 1956. The canonical presence of the character is reinforced in the feature story in Detective Comics #500, "To Kill a Legend" when Batman and Robin are sent to a parallel Earth to avert the murder of that version of the Waynes. To accomplish that goal, the superheroes find and question that world's version of Moxon about the whereabouts of Chill. Unfortunately, Moxon had not yet hired Chill to perform the murder and with the attention of this bizarre figure, accelerated his plan with a different killer to first murder Chill and then the Waynes. Fortunately, Batman discovered the dying Chill and deduced that the Waynes were in danger that very night; thus, Batman managed to arrive in Crime Alley in time and stop the murder.

During the post-Crisis era, no mention is made of Lew Moxon, making his canonical status during this time uncertain. In Batman: Year Two Batman confronts Joe Chill, much as he did in the Golden and Silver Age continuities. However, just as in previous continuities, Chill makes no reference to Lew Moxon before his demise.

During the post-Zero Hour era, while Lew Moxon does appear in several issues, Joe Chill does not.

After the events of Infinite Crisis, Joe Chill is again known to be responsible for the murder of the Waynes, and he was arrested for the crime on that same night. In Grant Morrison's Batman #673, Batman learns Chill acted on his own.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Lew Moxon appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Chill of the Night!" voiced by Richard Moll. The episode mirrors many elements from the original story from the comics. Like the earlier appearances, he was the one who hired Joe Chill to kill Thomas Wayne. In this version, he admits to some guilt for leaving Bruce an orphan as the hit was only to be for Thomas Wayne and not his wife Martha. Disguised as a priest, Batman learns of Joe Chill's identity from Lew Moxon as he gives his confession on his deathbed. When Phantom Stranger brings Batman to the past where he encounters his parents at a masquerade ball, he and Thomas Wayne fend off Lew Moxon's thugs who crash the masquerade ball. While in prison, Lew Moxon hired Joe Chill to dispose of Thomas Wayne. When he learns of this, Batman finds a lead on the identity of the man who killed his parents.

See also[edit]