Lew Moxon
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #235 (November 1956)
Created byBill Finger (writer)
Sheldon Moldoff (artist)
In-story information
Full nameLewis Moxon
Team affiliationsMoxon Crime Family

Lewis "Lew" Moxon is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is most famous for hiring Joe Chill to murder young Bruce Wayne's parents in early versions of Batman's origin story, thus making him indirectly responsible for Batman's existence.

Publication history

Lew Moxon first appeared in Detective Comics #235 and was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff.[1]

Fictional character biography

Golden / Silver Age version

Roughly 10 years before their murder, Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha attend a costume party, to which Thomas wears a bat-like costume. Thomas is subsequently taken from the party at gunpoint to meet notorious racketeer and bank robber Lew Moxon, who forces the doctor to remove a bullet from his shoulder. After completing the operation, Thomas overpowers Moxon and his men and escapes. Moxon is then arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison for armed robbery. As he is taken away, he swears revenge on Thomas Wayne.

Ten years later, Moxon's first order of business after getting released is to inform Thomas that he will get someone else to exact revenge against him. It is suggested that Moxon ordered Joe Chill to kill the Waynes and make it look like a mugging, but to spare their son Bruce in order to leave a witness who will describe his parents' murder as a robbery gone wrong.

Years later, Batman learns of Moxon's involvement in the murder of his parents, by which time the aging gangster is operating a blimp business. Batman confronts Moxon and accuses him of ordering the Waynes' murders, but Moxon, who is suffering from amnesia, has no memory of the crime and is able to pass a lie detector test. He is then released on bail with his only official crime being a minor charge for assault.

Batman determines that Moxon's blimp business must be a front for illegal activities and continues to trail the gangster. Eventually, after uncovering that Moxon is indeed using his blimps for criminal purposes, Batman confronts him while wearing his father's costume (his own having been damaged during an earlier fight). On seeing Dr. Wayne's costume, Moxon suddenly remembers what he had done. Thinking Batman is actually Thomas Wayne's ghost seeking revenge, Moxon panics and runs out into the street, where he is struck and killed by a truck.[2]

Post Zero Hour version

Lew Moxon was reintroduced into the post-Zero Hour Batman continuity as an aging mob boss with failed political aspirations, who returned to Gotham City after several years in self-imposed exile. Years earlier, Moxon had traveled in the same circle of wealthy socialites as Bruce's parents, even though the Waynes privately disdained him as nothing more than a common thief.

Bruce is invited to a party celebrating Moxon's return to Gotham City, where he is reintroduced to the old man's daughter, Mallory, Bruce's childhood sweetheart. At the party, Bruce discovers that Moxon is the target of professional assassin Deadshot. For protection, Moxon has employed the ruthless Philo Zeiss - who murdered Bruce's friend, Jeremy Samuels, in an earlier story - as his bodyguard.[3] When Bruce confronts Zeiss as Batman, Zeiss reveals that Moxon had ordered him to kill Samuels as retaliation for something that Thomas Wayne had done to him years earlier.

Moxon survives Deadshot's assassination attempts (though now uses a wheelchair), but fires Zeiss for his failure. Batman discovers Mallory is an active member of her family's criminal empire.[4]

Ultimately, Batman discovers that Thomas, Martha, and (a very young) Bruce Wayne had attended a costume party (to which Dr. Wayne wore a Zorro costume) which was also attended by Moxon. At the party, Angelo Berretti, an "employee" of Moxon's business, told Thomas that a man's life was in danger. Thomas made Berretti promise his safe return before departing. He was then informed that the man in question was Moxon's nephew, who needed a bullet removed from his shoulder following a failed armed robbery. Thomas performed the operation, but refused to take any money for his services, and attacked Moxon. Following this, a furious Moxon had ordered a hit on Thomas, only to be thwarted by Berretti, who wanted to honor his word.

Batman questions Berretti as to whether his former boss had been involved in the murder of the Waynes, which occurred a few months after the costume party. Berretti tells him Moxon was not involved. After Batman accepts Berretti's version of events and departs, Berretti holds his hand to his face and utters an ambiguous "Oh, thank God". Moxon's involvement in the killing of the Wayne is, therefore, left to the reader's imagination.[5]

During the Bruce Wayne: Murderer? storyline, Nightwing stakes out Moxon's house, where he overhears him and Mallory arguing about the news revolving around Bruce Wayne.[6]

Moxon (alongside his bodyguard Hellhound) is later killed by his former protector Zeiss at a meeting of Gotham's crime bosses (arranged by Spoiler). This event occurs at the commencement of the Batman: War Games story line.[7]

DC Universe

In Batman: Three Jokers, Lew Moxon was mentioned to have owned a restaurant called Lew's Restaurant. It was mentioned in the news that the last members of the dwindling Moxon Crime Family were killed at their restaurant where an eyewitness states that the Joker was responsible. It was also mentioned that the Moxon Crime Family were accused of orchestrating the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, only to be exonerated when Joe Chill confessed that he committed the murders alone.[8]

Place in continuity

During the Golden Age of Comic Books, Lew Moxon was established as the man who hired Joe Chill to kill Bruce Wayne's parents.

During the Silver and Bronze Age of Comic Books, the Lew Moxon story remained canonical for tales set on Earth-Two. For several years no mention is made of Moxon's role regarding the origin of Batman on Earth One. The Len Wein's mini-series, The Untold Legend of the Batman (published in 1980) re-introduced the Lew Moxon story, exactly as it was told in 1956. The canonical presence of the character is reinforced in the feature story in Detective Comics #500, "To Kill a Legend", when Batman and Robin are sent to a parallel Earth to avert the murder of that version of the Waynes. To accomplish that goal, the Dynamic Duo find and question that world's version of Moxon about the whereabouts of Chill. Moxon had not yet hired Chill to perform the murder and with the attention of this bizarre figure, accelerated his plan with a different killer to first murder Chill and then the Waynes. Batman discovered the dying Chill and deduced that the Waynes were in danger that very night; thus, Batman managed to arrive in Crime Alley in time and stop the murder.

During the post-Crisis era, no mention is made of Lew Moxon, making his canonical status during this time uncertain. In Batman: Year Two, Batman confronts Joe Chill, much as he did in the Golden and Silver Age continuities. However, just as in previous continuities, Chill makes no reference to Moxon before his demise.

During the post-Zero Hour era, while Moxon does appear in several issues, Chill does not.

After the events of Infinite Crisis, Chill is again known to be responsible for the murder of the Waynes, and he was arrested for the crime on that same night. In Grant Morrison's Batman #673, Batman learns Chill acted on his own and that his parents' deaths were not ordered by someone else.

Other versions

In the prequel comic to Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Batman (who, in this continuity, is really Dr. Kirk Langstrom, aka Man-Bat) tracks down Moxon during a meeting with several other crime bosses, along with his right-hand man, Joe Chill. When Batman corners them, Moxon offers him money to come work for him, but Batman refuses and then kills Moxon by sucking his blood.

Langstrom later attends Moxon's funeral, where he meets Moxon's wife Angela and his son Jeremy. He befriends Jeremy and reveals his secret identity to him. Jeremy then agrees to help Langstrom find a cure for his condition. When Angela is murdered, Jeremy reveals that his father's rival crime lords believe that he had evidence against them and killed Angela to make sure she did not go to the police. Batman later tracks down Angela's murderer, who turns out to be Joe Chill, who became a vampire after Batman killed him. Batman fights Chill and kills him again, this time with an axe.

Batman reveals to Jeremy that Chill was trying to kill him, as well, and that he knows that Jeremy was being groomed by his father to succeed him. Jeremy then reveals that he knows that Batman killed his father, and then offers to work with him. Batman kills Jeremy by sucking his blood, leaving his body seated in front of his fireplace.

In other media

Lew Moxon appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Chill of the Night!", voiced by Richard Moll. He gives a deathbed confession to Batman, who is disguised as a priest, in which he admits to ordering Thomas Wayne's murder as revenge for the doctor testifying against him in court, but he insists that he did not want Martha to die and expresses remorse for making Bruce Wayne an orphan. With his dying breath, Moxon identifies the hitman he hired as Joe Chill.

See also


  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 267. ISBN 9780345501066.
  2. ^ Detective Comics #235. DC Comics.
  3. ^ Batman #591. DC Comics.
  4. ^ Batman #593. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Batman #595. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Nightwing (vol. 2) #66. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure #1. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Batman: Three Jokers #1. DC Comics.