Kite Man
Batman working with Kiteman, both in the air using Kite based gliders to help each other.
Interior artwork from Batman #27 (September 2017).
Art by Clay Mann and Danny Miki.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #133 (August 1960)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoCharles "Chuck" Brown
SpeciesHuman
AbilitiesExcellent hang-glider pilot
Uses a variety of gimmicked kites

Kite Man (Charles "Chuck" Brown) is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics who uses kite-based weapons to commit crimes. He is commonly depicted as an adversary of Batman. His name is an homage to Peanuts protagonist Charlie Brown, due to the latter character commonly being shown flying kites into trees. The character has been generally regarded as a joke in comparison with other supervillains, due to his dimwitted personality and laughable gimmick. However, with his appearance in the DC Rebirth arc "The War of Jokes and Riddles", Kite Man gained a reputation as a cult favorite character among fans, due to his tragic backstory, persistence and motivation to become a better villain, and his catchphrase "Kite Man, hell yeah!"[1][2]

In recent years, Kite Man has been adapted into several forms of media outside of comics, such as the adult animated series Harley Quinn, in which he is voiced by Matt Oberg. Oberg is set to reprise his role in Kite Man: Hell Yeah!, a spin-off focused on the character.

Publication history

Kite Man first appeared in Batman #133 (August 1960), and was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang.[3] He subsequently appeared in Batman #315 (September 1979) by Len Wein.[4]

Tony Isabella would use the character in Hawkman #4 (November 1986), give him the real name of "Chuck," and use Charlie Brown's catchphrase "Rats!" as he fell into a tree to make the connection to the Peanuts character. Following this he was primarily used as a minor character, until Tom King featured him in his run on Batman in the DC Rebirth era.[4]

Fictional character biography

Charles "Chuck" Brown is a man who armed himself with kite weapons to be used to commit acts of evil. He flies with a big kite strapped to himself or in a kite plane. He also uses an array of specialty kites to overwhelm his enemies and commit crimes.

In his first appearance (which he announces), in Batman #133, he first drops tear gas from his kite to steal a precious ruby then frees mobster Big Bill Collins, nearly killing Robin along the way and capturing Batman. Leaving mobsters to guard Batman's room, on his return Kite Man is defeated when Robin returns, frees Batman and they use his own amazing Kite weapons against him, leaving a Kite Plane trophy on the Batcave wall.[5]

Writer Len Wein brought him back in a story about payroll heists.[6]

Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna confront him again, in Hawkman's title. His real name is revealed. Zatanna defeats him in midair, and he falls into a tree and exclaims "Rats!"[7]

Kite Man is one of many criminals to take advantage of the supervillain-friendly atmosphere of the fictional country of Zandia. He ends up joining its sports team and later becomes involved in a fight against an invading troop of superheroes.[8][9]

In Infinite Crisis, Joker reports that Brown was thrown off Wayne Tower without his kite by Deathstroke, after he refused to join the new Secret Society of Super Villains.[10]

Brown, however, survives his fall and reaches some low rank in the post-Crisis Gotham City's underworld in the pages of the weekly series 52. He is captured alongside Sewer King, Dawson, Lamelle, The Squid and Mirage. As with the other prisoners, Kite Man is killed and eaten by Bruno Mannheim upon refusing to side with him.[11]

DC Rebirth

Kite Man appears in the DC Rebirth universe. This version is referred to as Charles, Chuck, and Charlie Brown. He seems to be happier, constantly chanting the catch-phrase "Kite Man, hell yeah!", a reference to his son, Charles Brown Jr.'s reaction to the first time he tried flying a kite. He first appears robbing a luxurious party, before being quickly foiled by Gotham Girl.[12] He is then seen in a prison cell in Arkham Asylum as Batman walks down the aisles looking for criminals.[13]

At some point, he escapes, as he is later 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 in Gotham City.[14] Kite Man later sold a kite to a pawn shop, where Headhunter purchased it to use to kill Swamp Thing's father. Batman and Swamp Thing interrogated Kite Man later.[15]

In a story set during the early years of Batman's career, it is revealed that he studied wind in school. He was a divorced father, became an alcoholic and began a life of criminal activities, eventually being recruited by the Joker to design the Jokermobile. During "The War of Jokes and Riddles", he becomes encircled by Batman, who commands him to get the Joker's phone number and, later, to meet him. Shortly after, the Riddler kidnaps Charles, wanting to know about his future meeting with the Joker. After being freed, he is kidnapped again, this time by the Joker, who tells him about his encounters with Batman and the Riddler. He is then forced to serve as a suicide bomber by the Joker to kill Batman, but realizes that the bomb is fake. Charles Brown Jr., his son, is poisoned by the Riddler and subsequently dies. Wanting to get revenge on the Riddler, Charles Brown creates the persona of Kite Man to join the Joker's side.[16]

After Batman joins the Riddler's side on the war he starts to defeat every villain on Joker's side, leaving Kite Man for last. When Kite Man is captured he tells Batman and the Riddler about Joker's last secret hideout on a building and provides them and all the villains on Riddler's side kites so they can infiltrate it. After breaking inside, Riddler and his villains turn against Batman, who tells Kite Man to activate the jet-propelled inverse parachutes in their packs, making the villains ascend to be captured by Alfred Pennyworth in the Bat-Blimp.[17] After a scuffle, the Riddler then reveals that the creation of Kite Man, and his own defeat at Kite Man's hands, was part of an unsuccessful plan to solve the Joker's depression and make him laugh again.[18]

Other versions

In the alternate timeline of the 2011 Flashpoint storyline, Kite Man is one of the many villains killed by that reality's Batman.[19]

In other media

Television

Film

Video games

See also

References

  1. ^ Polo, Susana (2017-10-19). "How Batman's villain, Kite Man, went from a joke to a tragic figure". Polygon. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  2. ^ Mollo, Drew (2022-06-29). "One DC Villain's Catchphrase is so Much More Tragic Than Fans Realize". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  3. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 216. ISBN 9780345501066.
  4. ^ a b Polo, Susana (19 October 2017). "How Batman's villain, Kite Man, went from a joke to a tragic figure". Polygon. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  5. ^ Batman #133 (August 1960)
  6. ^ Batman #315 (September 1979)
  7. ^ Hawkman (vol. 2) #4 (November 1986)
  8. ^ Young Justice #50 (December 2002)
  9. ^ Eury, Michael; Kronenberg, Michael (2009). The Batcave Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 220. ISBN 978-1893905788.
  10. ^ Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006)
  11. ^ 52 Week Twenty-Five (October 2006)
  12. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #6
  13. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #9
  14. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #14
  15. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #23
  16. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #27 (September 2017)
  17. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #31
  18. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #32
  19. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #84. DC Comics.
  20. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (November 12, 2019). "Harley Quinn Comes Out Swinging in Full Trailer".
  21. ^ "Harley Quinn Spin-Off Series in the Works at HBO Max [SXSW]". 14 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Annecy: Max Unveils New Animation Slate, Including 'Young Love,' 'Ten Year Old Tom' and 'Fionna and Cake'". Animation Magazine. June 15, 2023. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  23. ^ Eclarinal, Aeron Mer (August 31, 2020). "The Suicide Squad: James Gunn Talks About Considering Joker, Heroes & Obscure Villains For Sequel". The Direct. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Gunn, James (August 30, 2020). "I didn't think it was the freshest way to go. But who knows what the future holds". Twitter. Retrieved September 1, 2020.