Batmen of All Nations
(also known as the Club Of Heroes)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #215 (January 1955)
Roster
See: Members

Batmen of All Nations are a group of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The characters were inspired by the superhero Batman to fight crime in their respective countries. The group first appeared in Detective Comics #215. Later the Batmen of All Nations were renamed the International Club of Heroes, often known as just the Club of Heroes. Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, they were named the Dome (see Global Guardians) and were not inspired by Batman but the Justice Society of America.

Grant Morrison featured them in his 2007 run on Batman (#667-669). Morrison revealed the modern period fates of the "Club of Heroes":

It was kind of neat looking at what could go wrong with Batman. The Italian guy who was a Mature type film hero has become this big, fat guy who loves eating and trades on his past glories as The Legionary. The Knight and The Squire are still active but it's a grownup Squire and The Knight has his own Squire. The Gaucho has become a serious Argentine superhero who is well respected—he's the real deal. Wingman, who Batman trained in the past is now really pissed off, and doesn't want to admit that Batman ever trained him because he wants to make his own way.
Grant Morrison on 2007 plans for Batman.[1]

Organization history

In the 1950s, the legend of the Batman had reached the whole world. Many people in other countries were inspired by this to become superheroes themselves. Years later, Batman decided to hold the first meeting with his counterparts in Gotham City.

First, in Batman #56, Batman trained Bat-Hombre at the request of a South American president but he turned out to be a member of an outlaw band. Batman took the identity himself and the original Bat-Hombre was killed fighting him.[2] In Batman #62, he met the Knight and the Squire in England. In Batman #65, he trained Wingman. In Batman #86, he met the Sioux Man-of-Bats and his son Little Raven. In Detective Comics #215, Batman invites the Knight and Squire, the Musketeer, the Gaucho, the Ranger, and the Legionary.[3] In World's Finest Comics #89, philanthropist John Mayhew invites Batman and Robin, Superman, the Legionary, the Musketeer, the Gaucho, and the Knight and the Squire to award them membership in his Club of Heroes. The Knight and Squire then joined the Ultramarine Corps in JLA #26 and had an adventure with them in JLA Classified #1-3.

Recent history

Left to right (top row): The Musketeer and Dark Ranger. Middle row: El Gaucho with Raven Red and The Legionary. Bottom row: Man-Of-Bats, and Wingman. From Batman #667.

A three-issue story arc in Batman #667-669, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by J. H. Williams III, shows what has become of the Batmen of All Nations:

In the arc, the group was reunited on John Mayhew's island resort in the Caribbean. The heroes were confronted with a disturbing video showing Dr. Hurt, purportedly wearing the severed skin of Mayhew over his face. On behalf of the Black Glove organization, he challenges the club as representatives of 'good' against his 'evil', destroying their means of transport and threatening to kill them all. The various members of the club are killed or injured in the styles of their various archenemies, causing some to suspect that a 'Club of Villains' has been assembled.

In a traumatic flashback, the Knight reveals the reason that the club originally disbanded and never succeeded as an international superteam; after losing Batman's commitment, the club was brought down by scandal when the original Knight discovered that Mayhew had killed his wife and framed Mangrove Pierce, an actor with whom she had been having an affair, for her death. Cast out of the team for his accusations, the Knight lost focus and was murdered by Spring-Heeled Jack; the other heroes went their separate ways, their faith in Mayhew and the team as a whole similarly shattered.

Batman, the Gaucho, and Dark Ranger appear to be the last ones left alive, but Batman realizes that Dark Ranger is in fact Wingman, having swapped suits with the real Ranger and faked his own death. Wingman has been working in concert with the sadistic Mayhew to do the bidding of the Black Glove, having always been jealous of Batman's prowess. Despite injuring the Gaucho, Wingman is defeated by the Argentinean hero and Batman and executed by the Gaucho's archenemy, El Sombrero.

As El Sombrero escapes the island, Batman follows him to unmask him as an impostor, none other than John Mayhew, whose death was also faked by the Black Glove (Dr. Hurt was later to claim that the skin used in the video was that of Mangrove Pierce, who was the star of The Black Glove, a film which Mayhew produced and directed). Mayhew reveals his motivation behind joining the Black Glove and gambling with lives is his boredom at being an aimless socialite; he appears to escape via an ejector seat, leaving his helicopter for Batman to use to rescue the survivors of the Club of Heroes. Mayhew is summarily killed by the Black Glove in the destruction of his island, having foolishly bet that 'evil' would win against 'good'.

Members

Club of Villains

In the storyline "Batman R.I.P.", the Batman family fights against the Club of Villains, a counter-group specifically built by the Black Glove Organization to destroy Batman, followed by the remaining Club of Heroes members. The club was composed of:

Other versions

Kingdom Come

A different version of the Batmen of All Nations appears in the critically acclaimed Kingdom Come comic series. The members of this group include "Cossack, the Champion of Russia", "Samurai, the Champion of Japan", and "Dragon, the Champion of China". They were joined by "Batwoman, a Batman admirer from the Fourth World".

International Delegation of Masked Archers

The International Delegation of Masked Archers (also known as The Green Arrows Of The World) were a similar group based on Green Arrow rather than Batman. They appeared in Adventure Comics #250 (July 1958), in a story very similar to the Detective Comics story that introduced the Batmen of All Nations. The members included:[verification needed]

International Sea Devils

The International Sea Devils were a similar group based on a team known as the Sea Devils:

In other media

The Batmen of All Nations appear in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Powerless!", with Musketeer voiced by Diedrich Bader, El Gaucho by Jeff Bennett, and Legionnaire by John DiMaggio while Knight, Ranger, Wingman, and Impala have no dialogue. In the episode, the Batmen of All Nations battle the "Jokers of All Nations", formed by the Joker and consisting of unnamed Jokerized versions of an Inuit, a Canadian hockey player, a Scotsman, a Cossack, and a Sumo wrestler. Additionally, the Club of Villains make a non-speaking cameo appearance in the episode "The Knights of Tomorrow!", consisting of Pierrot Lunaire, El Sombrero, Swagman, King Kraken, Charlie Caligula, and Scorpiana.

References

  1. ^ Wizard Entertainment Archived January 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 25. ISBN 9780345501066.
  3. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008), "Gaucho", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 123, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1
  4. ^ Batman Incorporated #7
  5. ^ Batman Incorporated #3-4
  6. ^ a b Batman #681
  7. ^ Batman Incorporated: The Deluxe Edition; paperwork section
  8. ^ a b c Batman #668
  9. ^ Batman #669