Cover to Batman: Orpheus Rising #2, art by Dwayne Turner.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman: Orpheus Rising #1 (October 2001)
Created byAlex Simmons (writer)
Dwayne Turner (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoGavin King
Team affiliationsHill Street Gang
Batman Family
Stealth suit allows him to blend in shadows
Expert martial artist and dancer

Orpheus is a fictional comic book character appearing in books published by DC Comics. He first appears in Batman: Orpheus Rising (October 2001), and was created by Alex Simmons and Dwayne Turner.[1]

Fictional character biography

Gavin King grew up in Gotham dreaming of becoming a professional dancer and singer. His ambitions made him a target for local bullies, and after one too many beatings, King began studying the martial arts, excelling at them from the start. His father, a TV sports producer, and his mother, a former professional dancer, were very supportive—as long as he completed his college education.

Having reached his goal in his late teens, King toured the world as part of a famous dance troupe, but his travels exposed him to a world full of famine, poverty, violence, prejudice and lack of faith. King tried to help these unfortunates on more than one occasion, nearly getting himself killed in the process. Eventually, he was recruited by a secret organization dedicated to correcting some of the world's problems. Getting special training and technological support in the form of a stealth-circuitry-enhanced costume, King became Orpheus – a force against evil and ignorance.[2]

Reasoning that Gotham City needed a black hero, Orpheus returned to his native city as a successful entertainment producer as well as a crimefighter. Orpheus' first cases in led him into contact with the Batman, who was not fond of the debut of another inexperienced vigilante in Gotham, but still recognized Orpheus as a competent force for good.

War Games

Main article: Batman: War Games

During the 'War Games' story arc which took place in several Batman-related issues, Spoiler, desperate to prove herself, took one of Batman's contingency plans and set it into action. The plan was to get all of Gotham's crime lords under the control of Orpheus, an agent of Batman, and therefore under the control of Batman himself. The plan failed because Spoiler was unaware that the man who was set to meet with the crime lords, Matches Malone, was really just one of Batman's disguises. When "Matches Malone" did not show the meeting quickly broke out into a fight, leaving many dead.[3] This quickly erupted into a brutal gang war on the streets of Gotham.

When Spoiler comes to tell Orpheus what he must do to reclaim the situation, Black Mask appeared from the shadows and cut Orpheus's throat before torturing Stephanie to learn the extent of the plans so that he can instead appear inside Orpheus's stealth suit.[4]


Further reading


  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 282. ISBN 9780345501066.
  3. ^ Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure #1 (October 2004)
  4. ^ Batman: Gotham Knights #57 (November 2004)