Cavalier from Detective Comics #81,
artist Bob Kane
|First appearance||Detective Comics #81, (November 1943)|
Don Cameron (writer)|
Bob Kane (artist)
|Alter ego||Mortimer Drake|
|Team affiliations||Secret Society of Super Villains|
Skilled hand to hand combatant and swordsman
Carries a rapier that emits electric blasts
Feather plume-like steel tipped dart on his hat
Fictional character biography
Mortimer Drake was a man of exotic and idiosyncratic taste. When he found himself unable to purchase more exotic valuables for his collection legally, he resorted to theft. Donning a costume resembling that of a Musketeer, he called himself the Cavalier. His course of actions ultimately brought him into conflict with Batman and Robin. Drake matched wits against Batman and Robin several times, and escaped them in each encounter, but Batman was able to deduce the Cavalier's identity, leading to Drake's eventual imprisonment.
In Batman Family #10, Batgirl and Batwoman teamed up to defeat Killer Moth and the Cavalier. Cavalier could not find a way around his code, which prevented hitting females, but after a self-examination he concludes "the devil with gallantry" and hit Batgirl with his fist.
Five issues later, in Batman Family #15, Killer Moth teamed up with Cavalier again and made a bet with him that he could find the way into the Batcave from Batgirl before the Cavalier could get it off of Robin. While Killer Moth was led to a fake cave, Cavalier was shown a large nest, to which the Cavalier came to the conclusion that Robin was an alien bird lifeform.
Before Crisis on Infinite Earths the Cavalier existed both on Earth One and Earth Two. The stories where he harmed women, something that neither the Earth-One nor Earth-Two versions of him would ever do, can be assigned to the alternate world of Earth-B, an alternate Earth that included stories that could not be considered canonical on Earth-One or Earth-Two. Later "Earth-B" would be formally divided into two separate Earths: Earth-Twelve and Earth-Thirty-Two.
Post-Crisis, Cavalier appeared in Justice League America #43-44 as part of a group of supervillain drinking buddies who were trying to regain their lost items of power. He was defeated by Blue Beetle, who clotheslined him in an alleyway.
During Knightfall, he faced Batman once again, but was defeated with ease. Cavalier had become insane and was kept in Arkham Asylum. It remains to be seen how Drake went insane, or if his origin has changed because of the first crisis. The Cavalier was in a closeted gay relationship with Captain Stingaree, another low-level Batman villain.
His back was broken by Bane in Secret Six #7, but he acted as a bodyguard for Leslie Thompkins in Battle for the Cowl: Gotham Gazette. Both stories were published in the spring of 2009, though their relative chronology has yet to be determined. In Red Robin #16 he is shown to still be acting as a bodyguard to Dr. Leslie Thompkins.
The Cavalier's re-entry into active crime followed, when he was seen attempting multiple small heists around Gotham, only to be foiled each time by Batman or Catwoman. However, those small crimes were merely an attempt to hide his role as the mastermind behind the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the Wayne Enterprises pension fund. Eventually, Batman and Catwoman, working together, were able to follow the money trail to Drake, expose his role in the embezzlement, and return the funds.
In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34 (June–July 1992) writer James Robinson and Tim Sale introduced a new Cavalier by the name of Hudson Pyle into the Batman official continuity in his story-arc entitled Blades. Since Blades takes place early on in Batman's career, Hudson Pyle is actually the original Cavalier, and therefore may have even influenced Mortimer Drake.
In Blades, Pyle, an ex-Hollywood stuntman looking for fame, becomes The Cavalier, a masked crime-fighting vigilante that brandishes a razor-sharp sword, quick wit, and handsome smile. It is not long before the people of Gotham fall in love with the new hero. While Pyle's motives and actions are revealed to be honorable, he harbors a dark secret which ultimately leads to his downfall. Pyle is in love with a woman who is being blackmailed by gangsters, and as a result of this winds up being blackmailed as well. In order to save his love, Pyle is forced to commit burglaries and thus loses the confidence of the people.
Pyle soon kills the gangsters. He comes into conflict with Batman, defeating him in a sword duel. He leaves Batman, who is unable to move due to a leg injury and purposely charges nearby police officers. He is gunned down and dies of his injuries.
The beginning of the Blackest Night series shows that his remains are in the Justice League's storage facilities for dead super-villains. He is one of many dead super-villains revived as members of the Black Lantern Corps.
Cavalier appears in the "DC Rebirth" reboot universe. He wears the costume traditionally worn by Pyle, but his real name is unknown. Cavalier is one of the many villains taken down by Batman and Catwoman after he takes her along with him on an average night of his job.
Powers and abilities
The Cavalier has no superhuman abilities. He is however, a good athlete and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman. He carries a rapier that emits electric blasts. The feather plume in the Cavalier’s hat is actually a steel-tipped dart.
Cavalier appears in a 5-page back up story in The Batman Adventures #1. His portrayal is a cross between Robin Hood and Zorro, in stealing from those he perceives rich and using his sword to slash a large "C" in that person's clothes, and is supposedly based on the Hudson Pyle Cavalier.
In other media
- The Cavalier was considered to be featured in The New Batman Adventures. Regarding the character, producer and writer Paul Dini once stated, "We've thought about using the Cavalier, and will probably get around to telling his story sooner or later." Later, Dini stated that the Cavalier's chances for an appearance in the series had become a "long shot." Ultimately, the Cavalier did not appear in the show, though he did appear in the accompanying comic book Batman: Gotham Adventures. In it, he wore the Hudson Pyle costume.
- The Mortimer Drake version of Cavalier appeared in several Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes. He first appears in "The Eyes of Despero!" voiced by Greg Ellis in an Elizabethan era style accent to which Batman remarks "Somewhere Shakespeare is spinning in his grave". The Dark Knight makes quick work of Cavalier before being sent to space by Hal Jordan's ring. Cavalier later returns in "Night of the Huntress!" as an inmate of Blackgate Prison trying to break out. He makes another appearance in "A Bat Divided" where he is hanging out with the other villains in a bar. When Firestorm and the three Batmen show up, Cavalier is the only villain who notices there are three Batmen stating: "Methinks mine eyes deceive me! Batman thrice?" Cavalier is subsequently tasered by the normal Batman and is defeated. He also makes a cameo as one of the singing prisoners in "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" The Cavalier appears again in "Night of the Batmen" where he battles Green Arrow who is disguised as Batman. During the fight, the Cavalier exclaims "Have at thee, thou dankish, foul-born ratsbane!" The Cavalier's most substantial role was in "Bold Beginnings" where he is the starring villain of the cold open. In it, Batman and Green Arrow fight Cavalier who has captured Ruby Ryder. It turns out that Cavalier and Ruby Ryder were in collaboration when they trapped Batman and Green Arrow. Batman and Green Arrow manage to escape the death trap and defeat Cavalier and Ruby Ryder.
- The Cavalier battled Batman during a brief exchange in the 1994 BBC radio adaptation of Batman: Knightfall. He was one of the escaped Arkham Asylum inmates. After Batman defeats the Cavalier, the foppish rogue says, "You broke my nose, you cad!" The Cavalier was portrayed by actor Kerry Shale.
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Cavalier". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 76. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017
- "The World's Finest - Backstage - Unused Villains Database - The Cavalier". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- "Cosmic Treadmill - Batman Family #10 reference". Cosmictreadmill.com. 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- "Cosmic Treadmill - Batman Family #15 reference". Cosmictreadmill.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- letter page on Who's Who: The Definitive Directory to the DC Universe #9 (November, 1985)
- Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition (Nov. 2005)
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1 (July 2009)
- Red Robin #16
- Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money #1 (Jan. 2011)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (vol. 2) #2 (October 2011)
- Blackest Night #1 (September 2009)
- Blackest Night #4 (December 2009)
- Batman vol. 3 #14