Who Is The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’s Batroc The Leaper?
Batroc the Leaper, perhaps one of Captain America’s most comically D-List villains, akin to Spider-Man’s Spot or Fantastic Four’s Mole Man, first appeared way back in 1966, but he joined the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, donning the color scheme of the comics and his hilarious powerset – leaping.
Well, technically he has no powers. Shocker. No, that’s another villain. Rather, he’s an Olympic athlete spurned by the world, a weightlifter with top-notch agility and reflexes – you know, the usual fluff for a non-powered foe to explain how they can keep up with a literal superhuman that can lift a car like it’s a pack of quavers.
That’s the comics, at least. The MCU is a tad different – our Batroc is a lovely mercenary and pirate turned into one of Interpol’s most wanted. Nick Fury hired him to hijack and ransom the Lemurian Star but he decided, “You know what? I’m going to take over and kidnap the crew and the SHIELD agents.” So, he demanded a ransom and ended up on Captain America’s list. So, where did he come from and what’s he doing now? Let’s delve deeper into Batroc’s history.
The Creation of Batroc
A ’60s villain coined by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Batroc the Leaper first appeared in Tales of Suspense #75 in March 1966. We poke fun at this Olympian jump-and-kick-you-in-the-face baddy, but Flash and Daredevil writer Mark Waid said that Batroc was ahead of the times, calling him the Jean-Claude Van Damme of the 1960s. High praise for this D-lister, that’s for certain.
When he first appeared, he wore his expected getup, a purple onesie with orange underpants, boots, gloves, and of course, his mask with black pointed eye holes and his long, exaggerated, stereotypically French mustache. Intimidating, to say the least. John Romita Jr. eventually gave him a bit of an update, turning this onesie into a tracksuit with separated pants as opposed to it all being one bit of fabric.
For the MCU, Marvel Studios opted to go with Canadian mixed martial artist Georges St-Pierre. The Winter Soldier wasn’t his debut as an actor. From Kavi in Kickboxer: Vengeance to Georges in Never Surrender to Shaman in Death Warrior, he’s played roles in other films. He even produced a documentary called The Boneyard with Georges St-Pierre. His costume is essentially the revamp brought to life, albeit with less exaggerated colors and plain pants/boots. The mustache is also, sadly, omitted.
Batroc the Leaper’s tragic comic-book tale
Batroc was born in Marseilles, France, and joined up with the French Foreign Legion only to leave, setting himself on the path of a mercenary. He became known for his fighting style, as he opted to use La Boxe Francaise, a unique French kickboxing style, hence his alias – Batroc the Leaper. However, like with any mercenary in the Marvel universe, he was on a road to butting heads with a hero – it just turned out that this hero would be Captain America himself. He was hired by THEM – no not them, THEM – to steal the Inferno 43 cylinder.
Naturally, Captain America walloped the villain, but foes don’t stay down for long. He resurfaced, forming his own mercenary gang aptly called Batroc’s Brigade, who specifically went out of their way to target the star-spangled Avenger. Following this expected failure, Batroc went after Iron Fist with an army of assassins of all things. He lost, again. Then he joined a villainous version of the Defenders and got defeated – again. He teamed up with Mr. Hyde, the Lethal Legion, the New Brigade, Baron Zemo, Eurohit, Crossbones, and even fought Batman in the Justice League crossover. He lost every time. So of course, he helped Klaw invade Wakanda.
Now, with Zemo being in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, it’s his adventures with the Civil War villain that are perhaps most intriguing. Zemo hired Batroc’s Brigade to find fragments of the Bloodstone, a gem that gives the wielder superhuman strength, durability, immortality, and a healing factor.
Our MCU Comrade – What’s His Deal?
Georges Batroc, played by St-Pierre, has a fairly similar history in the MCU. Born in Marseille, France, he later joined the French Foreign Legion, but – before becoming a mercenary and terrorist – he was an agent of the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieures’s Action Division. Following that, he became a mercenary, terrorist, pirate, bad guy, Captain America victim, SHIELD prisoner, all around down on his luck villain, etc.
After Captain America knocked him out in The Winter Soldier, he woke up to find Steve Rogers and Black Widow arguing, so the crafty little son of a bitch lobbed a grenade their way and ran out the door. For what it was worth, he got swooped up by SHIELD and arrested in Algiers. As for how he got out – whether he escaped or was released or a victim of dumb luck thanks to the snap like perhaps Zemo is – isn’t clear, but he’s free now, up to no good yet again in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. His being in captivity is why he didn’t crop up in Civil War and perhaps he’s lucky for that since maybe Scarlet Witch would’ve ended him.
If he does survive Falcon and his blatant disregard for human life – just how many helicopters did he blow up in that pilot? – then maybe he’ll end up on Zemo’s definitely-coming-despite-not-being-officially-confirmed Thunderbolts team along with the likes of Abomination (who is set to appear in She-Hulk) and Red Guardian (who is debuting in Black Widow).
For now, though, Georges played by St-Pierre is a recurring villain in the new Disney+ show, so keep your eye out for the poor Frenchman and his horrendous bad luck.
Next: Finally, A New Genshin Impact Code To Redeem For Free Primogems This March
James Troughton is a writer at TheGamer. He’s worked at the Nintendo-based site Switchaboo and newspaper TheCourierOnline and can be found on Twitter @JDTroughton.
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