Georges Batroc, known in the criminal community as “Batroc the Leaper” for his mastery of Savate (French kickboxing), is an adept thief with questionable honor, making him the perfect mercenary for dark deeds.
After learning Savate while a part of the French Foreign Legion, the flamboyant Georges Batroc becomes a mercenary. Possessing a twisted sense of honor and unwilling to be less than the best, he constantly pushes his limits, training until he becomes capable of near-superhuman feats of acrobatics. Incorporating bounding jumps into his fighting style, he gains the sobriquet “the Leaper” as well as a formidable international reputation.
It was because of this éclat that A.I.M. chooses him to retrieve a cylinder of the powerful incendiary Inferno 42 for them after S.H.I.E.L.D. agents stole it. Batroc intercepts Sharon Carter, the agent delivering it, but his assault drew the attention of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. An admirer of the hero’s feats, Batroc was delighted to test himself in combat with Cap, but soon found himself outmatched. The hero reluctantly accepted Batroc’s assistance in tracking Sharon down before the unstable Inferno 42 ignited and destroyed New York. Catching up with the fleeing agent, Batroc snatched the cylinder and fled back to his employers. Captain America followed Batroc, and the A.I.M. agents fled during Cap and Batroc’s ensuing battle; Batroc soon proceeded to do the same once he realized he was again losing against Captain America.
Desiring a rematch, Batroc accepted a Hydra contract to eliminate Cap, kidnapping Sharon as bait to draw the hero in; however, when Hydra agents shot at Cap during their fight, the enraged mercenary attacked them for their dishonorable actions, and helped Cap rescue Sharon.
Batroc is proficient in virtually all unarmed combat, and is a master of Savate. He is also proficient with most conventional weapons, though he rarely uses any. An Olympic-level athlete in high jumping, long jumping and acrobatics, he can leap over 10 feet in a single bound. Agile enough to dodge bullets and arrows, or to kick Captain America’s shield out of the air, Batroc can also kick small objects, such as coins, with lethal intensity. Strong enough to lift around 500 lbs., Batroc’s lower body strength is even greater; he can kick through brick walls or shatter guns with a foot stamp. He is fluent in English (French is his native tongue), though he usually affects an exaggerated accent. His costume consists of bulletproof Kevlar. He has on occasional employed a whip-cane or neural shock boots.
Look Before You Leap
As a hired mercenary, Batroc works for the terrorist group Hydra as well as some unsavory characters, such as the subversive Baron Strucker, the ruthless businessman Ward Meachum, scientific genius Helmut Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo, and New York’s most powerful criminal Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin. Since they are also criminals, Batroc sometimes ends up getting the short end of the stick. For example, after taking a job from Calvin Zabo, AKA Mister Hyde, Hyde fails to hold up his end of the bargain and his diabolical plans threaten the lives of civilians. Batroc turns on him and seeks out his occasional enemy Captain America for help.
Leap of Faith
Despite the questionable reliability of his criminal affiliations, he forms a group of mercenaries dubbed Batroc’s Brigade. The first iteration includes Whirlwind and the Porcupine while a later team includes a dozen martial artists. At one point, Ferdinand Lopez, AKA Machete, and Zaran the Weapons Master join the brigade and the team gets hired out to do criminal jobs, often finding themselves defeated and humiliated by heroes such as Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye.
Batroc also frequently comes up against Captain America, mostly because he gets paid to do so by his employers. However, his moral compass is a bit more leveled than his employers would like, and he occasionally helps Cap out or requires his assistance to right his misdeeds.
Leap Into Batroc’s History
Batroc formed a mercenary partnership with Jacques Duquesne, AKA Swordsman, and Living Laser. The trio was hired to obtain a seismo-bomb hidden in New York by a foreign agent shortly before he was captured. Captain America, who was also hunting the weapon, overcame both of Batroc’s allies in turn, then battled Batroc just after he had located the device. Realizing it was about to detonate, Batroc withdrew, giving Cap the chance to disarm it. Later, when Baron Strucker felt Captain America was threatening his plans to create divisions within United States society, he hired Batroc and his “Brigade of Batroc” (Whirlwind and the Porcupine) to kill Cap, but the trio was ignominiously defeated on live television.
Laying low for months, Batroc took a contract from an unknown employer for his new Brigade, a gang of thugs, to kidnap children from New York’s ghettos and orphanages. Batroc believed they would be ransomed and returned unharmed, but after Captain America and the Falcon intervened, he discovered that his employer was the extradimensional Jakar, who allegedly intended to use the children’s souls to revive his own lifeless people. Stung by the heroes’ recriminations for abducting children, Batroc tried to restore his honor by rescuing the youths. Though Batroc failed, Cap ultimately convinced Jakar of the wrongness of his actions, and he departed, leaving his victims unharmed. Batroc was handed over to the police.
Ward Meachum later contracted Batroc and his new Brigade, now dozens of martial artists, to slay Iron Fist. Assisted by the mysterious Ninja, Iron Fist soundly defeated them all . Batroc hid for the next few months, until he encountered a monster that had recently arrived on Earth from the so-called Mad Dimension (then home to the Night People of Zero Street). Seizing the opportunity, Batroc befriended the beast, dubbing it Diable, and used its superhuman strength in an attempt to hijack a S.H.I.E.L.D. Transuranium shipment. Both Captain America and Spider-Man interceded; Batroc was arrested and Diable exploded soon after. Batroc was next hired by Sagittarius and Libra of the LMD Zodiac to join their ersatz Defenders in a robbery spree blackening the real Defenders’ reputation. Bolstered by temporary recruits (the “Defenders for a Day”), the true Defenders engaged the criminals in a running battle, during which Batroc repeatedly fought Hector Ayala, AKA White Tiger, until Hellcat’s psychic powers subdued the entire assemblage.
Despite his criminality, Batroc’s baroque style lent him some degree of public acceptability, and he briefly starred in an advertising campaign for a humor magazine that felt his eccentric image suited their publication. When Calvin Zabo, AKA Mister Hyde, offered $5 million to break him out of Ryker’s Island Penitentiary, Batroc arranged Hyde’s escape, but was angered to learn Hyde lacked the funds to pay. The savage Hyde forced Batroc into a temporary partnership and they hijacked the Roxxon L-N-G supertanker, The Queen of Egypt, threatening to blow it up in New York Harbor if they were not paid a billion-dollar ransom. Unhappy at endangering millions of innocents, Batroc also demanded Captain America as a hostage, hoping he might defeat Hyde. Batroc secretly loosened the captive hero’s chains, allowing Cap to escape. Unaware that Cap had successfully freed himself, Batroc attacked Hyde solo to stop his murderous scheme. Cap arrived in time to prevent Hyde from killing Batroc. Following Hyde’s defeat, Batroc slipped away with the ransom, but was swiftly apprehended.
Batroc formed a new Batroc’s Brigade with Ferdinand Lopez, AKA Machete, and Zaran the Weapons Master, sending them to steal Captain America’s shield for Stane International. However, after they succeeded, Batroc’s partners taunted him that he had never defeated Cap. Drunk, Batroc challenged Cap in single combat. Even though Cap allowed Batroc one clean shot in return for the whereabouts of his shield, Batroc still lost the fight. Shortly thereafter, the Avenger Hawkeye defeated Batroc’s Brigade single-handedly in Paris when Barton’s former mentor Buck Chisholm, AKA Trickshot, hired the trio to attack the archer.
Hoping to revive his dead father, Helmut Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo, sought to retrieve the five Bloodstones, which when combined, would create the Bloodgem, believed to have regenerative properties. He hired Batroc’s Brigade to assist, a quest that took them from New York to the Amazon, Bermuda, Egypt, and eventually Tokyo. Pursued by Captain America and Rachel Leighton, AKA Diamondback, in Bermuda, Batroc risked his own life to save Cap from sharks. The mission, however, proved a bust when the united gemstones allowed the extradimensional Exo-Mind/Hellfire Helix to possess Heinrich Zemo’s corpse. The Brigade fled, leaving Zemo and the heroes to deal with the threat.
Attending the annual A.I.M. Weapons Expo on Boca Caliente, Batroc grew tired of Red Skull henchman Brock Rumlow, AKA Crossbones’ boasts that he was the best unarmed combatant present. He challenged Crossbones to prove it in a series of five arena battles Batroc would arrange for the next Expo; Crossbones agreed.
Kingpin later recruited Batroc in a plot to take out several European underworld leaders, working alongside fellow killers Snakebite and Rapido and repeatedly clashing with Frank Castle, AKA Punisher. In the final London showdown, Batroc fought the Punisher’s ally Luis Alvarez, AKA Tarantula. Happy to test his skills against another kick-fighter; Batroc won the bout, but fled in search of an antidote after being scratched by Tarantula’s venom-covered foot-spike.
At the next A.I.M. Weapons Expo, Batroc renewed his challenge to Crossbones, unaware that it was Captain America in disguise. “Crossbones” defeated Mad Dog, Ramrod, General Wo and Razor-Fist in quick succession. Recognizing Cap’s fighting style, Batroc, the fifth and final opponent, threatened to expose Cap’s identity to all the Super Villains present if he didn’t throw the fight, but Cap still won the battle. Batroc briefly stayed in Montreal, stopping Adahm and the Goon-Squad from robbing a bank, before taking some of the cash for himself. Learning his friend Machete had been murdered by a superhuman serial killer, Batroc sought Cap’s aid. Cap informed him that the culprit, Zeitgeist, had already been caught. Not currently wanted in the U.S., Batroc convinced a reluctant Cap to share a few drinks mourning the friends both had recently lost, only to learn that Cap himself was terminally ill. As a last request, Cap asked Batroc to reform, and he agreed. However, Cap survived both this and a subsequent “death.” Batroc, believing Cap had deceived him, felt his promise was no longer binding. Seeking to pit his skills against his old adversary, Batroc took a Hydra contract to fight Cap in Rockefeller Center, a battle he again lost. Soon after, Batroc’s Brigade (with Ferdinand’s brother Alfonso as the new Machete) suffered another humiliating defeat from Hawkeye.
Relaxing at the Monte Carlo gambling tables, Batroc encountered the disguised mercenary Deadpool, whose associate Montgomery cleaned Batroc out. Seeking revenge, Batroc attacked them, kicking the crippled Montgomery out a window into the swimming pool to distract his foe. After confirming Montgomery was unhurt, Deadpool dropped a bound Batroc out another window onto concrete. Surviving with two broken legs, Batroc swiftly recovered. After failing to claim a price on the X-Man Gambit’s head, Batroc clashed with Captain America again when he stole S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to retrieve their helicarrier from Johann Shmidt, AKA Red Skull; Cap narrowly stopped Batroc from delivering the plans to the Nazi and apprehended the mercenary.
Next, attempting to rob a baseball stadium crowd using a fake bomb threat, Batroc was thwarted by Cap again. Employing a third Lopez brother, Mariano, as the new Machete after Alfonso’s death, Batroc and his Brigade were hired by Maelstrom to steal parts for his new doomsday device. The Brigade clashed with the Great Lakes Avengers and was soon apprehended by the Thunderbolts. After failing to talk Machete and Zaran out of accepting a contract for a terrorist attack on London intended to commit mass murder, Batroc covertly assisted Joe Chapman, AKA Union Jack, and his allies by providing them with Zaran’s cell phone number. Following the introduction of the USA’s Super Human Registration Act (SHRA), Batroc was captured by the Thunderbolts and briefly inducted into their expanded roster before accepting a training position in the government’s new Initiative program. Socializing with some of his criminal fraternity friends at New York’s “Bar-With-No-Name,” Batroc ridiculed lawyer Mallory Book, who had come to the bar hoping to reclaim some of the credibility she had lost with her clients when the press revealed her affair with Awesome Andy. After Batroc suggested her reputation might improve if she spent time with a real man, Mallory’s associate Two-Gun Kid punched him out, initiating a brawl.
Batroc’s daughter, Marie, had followed her father into the mercenary business, teaming up with Antonio Rodriguez, AKA Tarantula’s daughter. However, their first known case ended badly when Anthony Masters, AKA Taskmaster, shot both women.
Batroc then joined Ulysses Klaw and his team of mercenaries to invade Wakanda and kill the Black Panther. Batroc worked alongside the unstoppable force, the Rhino; legendary mercenary the Black Knight; psychic vampire, the Cannibal; and the devious Radioactive Man. While Klaw tried to get Black Panther to commit suicide, Batroc battled a pair of Dora Milaje warriors. Despite his skills, he got knocked out.
He eventually got back into the mercenary game and while attempting to steal from the United Nations, he confronted the new Captain America, Bucky Barnes, AKA Winter Soldier. He also worked with the Man with No Face and stole the remains of Jim Hammond, AKA Human Torch. Despite getting taken down by Cap, Batroc escaped with the remains. He and his Brigade, as well as their employer Kashmir Vennema, were later stopped during a technology attack in Madripoor by Cap and Iron Man.
He then worked for mob boss Daniel Gump and battled Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool, but the encounter ended quickly with Deadpool breaking Batroc’s leg, leaving him embarrassed and in great pain. Batroc held a grudge and when contacted with a contract to kill Deadpool from the corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Gorman, he accepted. When he faced Deadpool later, he failed a second time with Deadpool promising to kill him if he came at him again. The next time he faced Deadpool was on a subway train, but his peaceful alter-ego Zenpool was in control. Batroc also met Deadpool’s partner Shiklah, and in hitting on her, she shape-shifted into her succubus half, threatening him.
When Sam Wilson takes the mantle of Captain America, Batroc faces him and his ally Nomad at a Hydra base where he was protecting a machine that was apparently harming a young Inhuman boy. The battle also included Ian Zola who struck Batroc and apparently killed him. Batroc survived, and sought revenge against Zola but again faced defeat.
Batroc then worked for Mercenary Organization Dedicated Only to Killing, led by M.O.D.O.K., and alongside the sorceress Terrible Eye, the chemist Mega Tony, and the secretly powerless Gwen Poole. He trained Gwen Poole as opposed to revealing her lack of powers. Poole overthrew M.O.D.O.K. while Batroc and the others were captured by an alien army of Teuthidans who sought revenge against Poole. She defeated the army and rescued Batroc and the others who left her services afterward. Batroc worked with her later on heist which was successful and then they joined with the rest of M.O.D.O.K.’s former agents prior to the arrival of M.O.D.O.K. Superior who was off-world. Though he swore revenge upon them.