Batman #63 (February 1951)
Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995)
Batman #652 (June 2006)
|Created by||Bill Finger (writer)|
Dick Sprang (artist)
Lew Schwartz (artist)
|Alter ego||Drury Walker|
Secret Society of Super Villains
Cameron van Cleer
Killer Moth (Drury Walker) is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, usually as an adversary and dedicated original foil personality of Batman (prior to the creations of Wrath, Prometheus, and Hush). Like Batman, he has no superpowers and relies on his technical equipment, including a Mothmobile and numerous gimmicks. Killer Moth originally wore a garish costume of purple and green striped fabric, with an orange cape and moth-like mask. In Underworld Unleashed, Killer Moth is transformed into the monster Charaxes with superhuman abilities.
Killer Moth first appeared in Batman #63 (February 1951) and was created by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang, and Lew Schwartz.
The original Killer Moth was a prisoner identified only by his prison number, 234026. While in prison, he reads a newspaper article about Batman and decides to set himself up as the "anti-Batman", hiring himself out to Gotham City's criminals to help them elude capture by police. Upon his release, he uses the hidden proceeds of his crimes to build a "Mothcave", modeled on the photos of the Batcave in the newspaper article he read. Killer Moth also establishes a false identity as millionaire philanthropist Cameron van Cleer. In this guise, he becomes friends with Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, he promotes himself to Gotham's criminals using his identity as Killer Moth, giving them each an infrared Moth-Signal. In his first job, he rescues some criminals from the police and then uses his Mothmobile to defeat and capture Batman and Robin. The duo escape and lead Killer Moth to a climactic battle on Gotham Bridge, in which he is defeated. In his third appearance (Detective Comics #173 (July 1951)) Killer Moth kidnaps Bruce Wayne and learns his secret identity. However, he is shot by other criminals and the resultant cranial injury causes amnesia. He remains a persistent enemy through the Silver Age of Comic Books, being the first villain Batgirl encounters in Detective Comics #359 (January 1967). He teams up with the Cavalier twice: the first time in Batman Family #10 (March-April 1977), where they battle Batgirl and Batwoman (Kathy Kane, who comes out of retirement for the first time in years) and the second (and final) time in Batman Family #15 (December 1977-January 1978), where they battle Batgirl and Robin.
In the 1990s, in the Post-Crisis continuity, Killer Moth's real identity is revealed as Drury Walker, an unsuccessful criminal whom no one takes seriously. He again adopts the false identity of Cameron van Cleer and the persona of Killer Moth to fight Batman. This version first appears in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #7-9 (December 1992-February 1993), with a more detailed origin story appearing in Batgirl: Year One #1-9 (February-October 2003).
In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #7-9, Killer Moth sets up a team called "the Misfits", comprising Batman villains such as the Catman and the Calendar Man, to make another kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne, as well as other prominent citizens. This team proves unsuccessful, turning against Killer Moth when they realize he plans to kill the hostages. He is one of the villains who sells their souls to the demon-lord Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995) and in Robin (vol. 2) #23-24 (December 1995-January 1996), where he asks to become feared instead of always being laughed at. He is metamorphosed into a carnivorous moth-like monster called Charaxes. As Charaxes, Walker resembles a vaguely humanoid, giant brown moth. He consumes humans and spins cocoons in which to keep his prey. In a later story, Charaxes begins laying hundreds of eggs, all of which hatch into duplicates of Drury Walker. Charaxes despises his progeny, but is unable to destroy them. Following his capture, these duplicates are taken into government custody. During an argument between various bodies as to what should be done with them, they attack a scientist and are killed. At around the same time, the Oracle is confronted by a criminal named Danko Twag who claims to be the "real" Killer Moth (the one she had defeated), and that Drury Walker had been an impostor. During a rant in which he claims they are going to be a team, she captures him in an energy cell and he seemingly disintegrates himself.
In Infinite Crisis, Charaxes is killed by being ripped in half by Superboy-Prime during the Battle of Metropolis. To ensure the existence of Batman, Rip Hunter tells Booster Gold and Skeets that they have to make sure Wiley Dalbert, a time-travelling criminal who had hired Killer Moth, completes his crime successfully. Booster does this by dressing up as Killer Moth and taking his place. During the robbery, he is forced to fight with Batman and Robin and takes them both down. An unfortunate, unintended side effect of this is that, when they return to the present, Gotham still has no Batman and Killer Moth is now a serious threat, thanks to the "street cred" from the robbery. Booster, Skeets and his sister Goldstar attempt to fix the anomaly they created by taking Batman's place in the robbery, but things go wrong when Alfred Pennyworth intervenes; the Time Masters barely escape in the Batmobile. Instead they steal Batgirl's costume and purchase an Elvis costume for Booster. Booster stops the version of him dressed as Killer Moth from defeating Batman and makes sure that Wiley gets away with the loot, thus restoring the timeline.
During the Adventure Comics series' Blackest Night tie-in story, Charaxes is reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps. Superboy-Prime destroys Charaxes on Earth Prime, using the black ring cycling through the power set, resulting in a burst of colored energy that destroys Black Lanterns. In The New 52, a more serious, less garish Drury Walker/Killer Moth appears as an enemy of Green Arrow.  This version, preferring the title "Moth", utilizes a gas mask and a compression gun which he calls a "Stinger". Moth later appeared as a member of Richard Dragon's Longbow Hunters. He first appeared in the "Zero Year" story arc in which he was defeated by both Batman and Green Arrow, teaming up for the first time. In DC Rebirth, Killer Moth is again Drury Walker, a low-level criminal sporting a purple outfit and helmet.
A new Killer Moth appears in Batman #652, during the Face the Face storyline wherein he displays competence in hand-to-hand combat and the ability of flight when facing Robin. He later appears working alongside fellow Gotham criminals the Firefly and Lock-Up in the Gotham Underground miniseries. The identity and origins of this new Killer Moth remain unrevealed. Several villains clad in Killer Moth costumes appear in Secret Six (vol. 3) #7. At least one of them is killed by Deadshot. Killer Moth recently appeared in the first issue of the miniseries Justice League: Cry for Justice. He was hired by Prometheus to kidnap and torture Mike Dante, ex-assistant to Atom ally Professor Hyatt. The two current holders of the Atom identity, Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi, tracked Killer Moth and his goons down to a hideout in Albuquerque, New Mexico and defeated them all. Ray Palmer then tortured Killer Moth by entering his head via the nasal pathways and growing inside his skull. Killer Moth immediately gave up Prometheus as his employer. In Red Robin #9, Red Robin returns to Gotham City where he runs into Killer Moth in his classic costume, holding a man at gunpoint. Red Robin thinks to himself: "I think this is Killer Moth. The costume and the man change from time to time, so you can never really tell". This Killer Moth seems to be scared and on the run, stating: "Are you with him? Are you with the Atom? I won't let you torture me, too!"
In his original incarnation, Killer Moth has no superhuman abilities, but relies on the vast array of equipment he had developed. His range of gimmicks includes a Mothmobile and zipline cables, which allows him to swing through the skies as if he were flying. He even carries a cocoon gun that fires streams of sticky threads to totally envelop his victims. As Charaxes, he possesses immense strength, stamina, durability, speed, agility, and reflexes, as well as winged flight, natural weapons, and the secretion of acidic substances.
In the New 52, he utilizes an air pistol, which shoots out compressed waves powerful enough to stop bullets in mid-air.
Killer Moth appears as a boss in Batman: The Video Game.