Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #585 (April 1988)
Created byAlan Grant (writer)
John Wagner (writer)
Norm Breyfogle (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoOtis Flannegan
Place of originPortugal
  • Control over an army of sewer rats
  • Manipulation over various things with cyanide gases
  • Use of gas gun

Ratcatcher (Otis Flannegan) is a character appearing in American comic books and other media published by DC Comics, primarily as an enemy of Batman. He belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up the Dark Knight's rogues gallery. Once an actual rat-catcher in Gotham City, Flannegan sank into a life of crime. Calling himself the Ratcatcher because of his special ability to communicate with and train rats, Flannegan has used his minions to plague Gotham on more than one occasion by unleashing hordes of the vermin.

A female version of the character named Cleo Cazo / Ratcatcher 2 appears in the DC Extended Universe film The Suicide Squad (2021), portrayed by Daniela Melchior. Taika Waititi portrays the first Ratcatcher, Cleo's father.

Publication history

Ratcatcher first appeared in Detective Comics #585 (April 1988) and was created by writers Alan Grant and John Wagner, and artist Norm Breyfogle.[1]

Fictional character biography

Otis Flannegan used to work as a rat-catcher in the Gotham City Sanitation Department who claimed he could train rats to attack before he was eventually arrested and spent ten years in Gotham State Penitentiary after stabbing a man to death in a street fight. After being released, Flannegan kidnapped the four officials responsible for his arrest and subsequent sentence and took them to his hideout in the city's sewers, where he kept them for five years. During this period, Flannegan developed his criminal alter-ego of the Ratcatcher. Wearing protective equipment and using his animal training skills, Flannegan gathered a large swarm of rats to torture and restrain his prisoners.[2]

After five years of captivity, one of Flannegan's prisoners escaped. Though he ordered his rats to kill him, the latter reached the surface, where Batman discovered his body, followed the rats back to Flannegan, and easily defeated him upon dispersing his rats.[3] After being re-incarcerated, he escapes his parole hearing using a flute he carved to control rats via a high-pitched frequency, only to be foiled by Dick Grayson disguised as Batman and captured again.[4]

During the events of Infinite Crisis, Flannegan found refuge with Gotham's homeless community. When the authorities found and re-arrested him, one of the homeless men discovers he is an OMAC while attempting to help Flannegan and vaporizes him.[5]

When DC Comics created The New 52 to reboot their comics, Flannegan was revived and makes a minor appearance in Batman Eternal.[6]

Powers and abilities

The Ratcatcher possesses the ability to communicate and control an army of rats and in-depth knowledge of Gotham City's sewer system and Blackgate Penitentiary's layout. Additionally, he wields a gas gun and can manipulate various objects with cyanide gas.

Other versions

Master Comics

An alternate universe incarnation of the Ratcatcher named Ransom Trappe appears in Master Comics as an enemy of Bulletman and Bulletgirl.[7]

Mother Panic

In the Mother Panic ongoing series, a reformed and homeless Otis Flannegan, now reformed and homeless, moves into the basement of the hotel that Violet Paige uses as her headquarters.[8]

In other media



A female incarnation of the Ratcatcher named Cleo Cazo / Ratcatcher 2 appears in The Suicide Squad, portrayed by Daniela Melchior.[9][10] This version is the daughter of an unnamed previous Ratcatcher (portrayed by Taika Waititi), both of whom originated as homeless individuals from Portugal until he invented technology to get the city's rat population to help them. Following his death from a heroin overdose, Cazo came to America and began a criminal career, only to be arrested for armed robbery due to her rats being considered weapons and recruited into the eponymous Suicide Squad. Joined by her pet rat "Sebastian" (vocal effects provided by Dee Bradley Baker) and wielding her father's equipment, she assists the squad in infiltrating and destroying Jötenheim, a Corto Maltesean laboratory containing Starro, dubbed as the secretive "Project Starfish", forming bonds with her teammates Bloodsport and King Shark along the way.

Video games

The Ratcatcher appears as a boss in Batman: Dark Tomorrow, voiced by Jonathan Roumie.[citation needed]


See also


  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 307–308. ISBN 9780345501066.
  2. ^ Detective Comics #585 (April 1988). DC Comics.
  3. ^ Detective Comics #586 (May 1988). DC Comics.
  4. ^ Detective Comics #678 (September 1994). DC Comics.
  5. ^ Infinite Crisis #1 (December 2005). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Batman Eternal #24 (September 2014). DC Comics.
  7. ^ Master Comics #41 (August 1943). DC Comics.
  8. ^ Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #1 (May 2018). DC Comics.
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 30, 2019). "Newcomer Daniela Melchior Eyed For Ratcatcher Role in 'Suicide Squad' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 7, 2019). "'Suicide Squad 2' Exclusive: Meet the New Characters James Gunn Will Introduce in Sequel". Collider. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  11. ^ Batman: Arkham Unhinged #29 (May 2012). DC Comics.
  12. ^ Batman: Arkham Unhinged #30 (May 2012). DC Comics.
  13. ^ Batman: Arkham Unhinged #31 (May 2012). DC Comics.
  14. ^ Batman: Arkham Knight – Genesis #1 (October 2015). DC Comics.
  15. ^ Batman: The Adventures Continue #16 (December 2020). DC Comics.