Batroc the Leaper
|Batroc the Leaper|
Batroc the Leaper
Art by Luke Ross
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Georges Batroc|
Masters of Evil
|Notable aliases||The Leaper|
|Abilities||Master French kickboxer
Expert hand to hand combatant
Olympic level athlete and weightlifter
Extraordinary agility, flexibility and reflexes
Experienced thief and smuggler
Batroc (Georges Batroc) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #75, 1966. He is a mercenary and a master of the French form of kick boxing known as savate. Writer Mark Waid described the character as ahead of his time, elaborating "He was a Jean-Claude Van Damme, but he was in the 1960s."
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His name is apparently a humorous bit of covert wordplay indulged by Stan Lee. "Batroc" is not at all a common French surname; however, the name sounds similar to Batrachian (pertaining to or frog-like). Thus, the French leaper is a "Frog", a mildly derisive term applied to the French.
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, with acrobatic skills and articulate unusual flexibily. 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" although membership has changed over time. The group has primarily fought Captain America.
In the character's first appearance, he was hired by Them to steal the Inferno-42 cylinder. He first battled Captain America during this mission. When Batroc introduced himself with typical bluster, Cap revealed, to Batroc's delight, that he had already heard of the mercenary: "Batroc the Leaper, eh? A master of la savate, the French art of boxing with the feet!" Later, he was again hired by Hydra and abducted Sharon Carter for them. He lured Captain America into a rematch, in which he insisted Hydra not intervene, and again lost; however, when Hydra agents prepared to kill both Cap and himself, Batroc, incensed at such "men wizout honair," switched sides to help Cap against Hydra. In both of these stories, Batroc was regarded as a deadly combatant, his skill respected by enemies and employers alike.
Batroc was then hired by a foreign power to locate a "seismo-bomb" with the first known 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 since supervillains had failed Batroc in the past. The alien Jakar, concealing his true nature and intent, hired this group to abduct children from New York and to battle Captain America and Falcon. Although Batroc felt no compunction about abducting children, upon learning Jakar's true nature and his intent to use the children's souls to revive his comatose race, he felt his "sense of honair" had been violated by the deception, and he again switched sides, aiding Captain America and the Falcon to rescue the children. Ward Meachum then hired Batroc's Brigade, who battled Iron Fist and a ninja warrior, several Brigade members dying in the process.
For a while after that, Batroc operated without a 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 against Manhattan. He battled Captain America, but when Mister Hyde decided to carry out the threat, which would kill thousands, Batroc, again showing that there were some lines he would not cross, aided Captain America against Hyde, saving the city.
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 and Batroc finally succeeded. 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. The brigade was later hired by Maelstrom to help him build a device that could destroy the universe and battled the Great Lakes Avengers. 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. He was defeated by Black Panther's royal bodyguards.
During the crossover JLA/Avengers, Batroc briefly confronted Batman when he was one of the villains recruited by Krona for his army. The Dark Knight defeated him (off-panel). Batroc's Brigade then face Batman, but he is assisted by Black Panther, Huntress and Black Widow, in defeating the Brigade.
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. 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 briefly served among the group of villains forcibly drafted into Baron Zemo's Thunderbolts army. But 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.
Ultimately, however, Batroc found government work unsatisfactory and returned to his mercenary life, confronting the new Captain America while on a job to steal an item from the United Nations. Also, he was working with The Man with No Face, a mysterious being from Captain America's past. It is soon revealed that Batroc was stealing the original Human Torch's remains for reverse engineering.
Powers and abilities
Batroc the Leaper 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 equal to an Olympic athlete. He is an expert martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant and specializes in savate (French-style kickboxing). He is also a skilled military tactician, having formerly been in the French Foreign Legion.
Batroc is also an experienced thief and smuggler, and can speak both French and English. Although, as a mercenary, he does not hesitate to perform any number of criminal acts for his clients, Batroc has a strong sense of honor; he will turn against any client who he feels has unfairly deceived him into committing crimes to which he might not otherwise have agreed.
The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Batroc the Leaper is a French jewelry thief. This version's martial arts skills are also present. When he and his thugs were robbing a jewelry store, they're stopped by the new Spider-Man's "venom strike".
In the alternate continuity of the 2005 "House of M" storyline, Batroc the Leaper is a member of the The Hood's extensive-criminal empire. He participated in the takeover of Santo Rico and stayed to fight when the Red Guard came, to protect the sapiens population. He was the first of them to die, attacked by Agent Toad and terminated by two S.H.I.E.L.D.'s soldiers.
In other media
- Batroc the Leaper appears in the Captain America segment of The Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Gillie Fenwick.
- The character appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Stranger From a Savage Land", voiced by A. J. Buckley. He assists Sabretooth, Thunderball, and Toad into stealing Zabu from the Super Hero City Zoo.
- The character appears in the 2010 Black Panther: The Animated Series, voiced by J. B. Blanc. He is among the supervillains recruited by Klaw to invade Wakanda.
- The character makes a brief appearance in the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "The Big House". He appears as one of the many villains incarcerated in one of the four prisons as Mad Thinker explains to fellow prisoner Whirlwind.
- The character appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced by Rob Paulsen in a French accent. In this series, his moniker "the Leaper" stems from a pair of exoskeletal leg bracers which enhance his kicking and leaping power. He is also capable of scaling up vertical walls, providing that they have footholds for him to brace his feet against. In the fourth season, Hydra upgrades him with a full-body exoskeleton formed from pure energy.
- Batroc the Leaper appears in the 2014 feature film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, portrayed by French Canadian former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre. He appears as an Algerian pirate who is holding a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship hostage. Captain America, Black Widow and a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents rescue the hostages. Batroc then has a fight with Captain America but is eventually defeated, and later escapes. He is captured by Alexander Goodwin Pierce and brought in for questioning, but is seen to remain silent during interrogation. Nick Fury later reveals he hired Batroc to hijack the ship to give him an excuse to send Black Widow on board so she could steal confidential S.H.I.E.L.D. files pointing to a Hydra conspiracy.
- Batroc appears in the video game Spider-Man and Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge (1989).
- The character appears in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. That version of the character is a sub-boss in Spec-Ops 17, loosely based on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Batroc can be confronted in Wakanda, should the player choose to take on the White Gorilla terrorists under Dell Rusk's advice.
- Batroc also appears in Gazillion Entertainment's Marvel Heroes online MMORPG. A player can go to Industry City and find him in one of the events that take place there.
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- Batroc the Leaper at Marvel.com