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The Cavalier

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W-logo CHARACTER W-logo
Cavalier
The Cavalier
Real name Mortimer Drake
Debut Detective Comics #81 (November 1943)
Created by Bob Kane
Affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities Expert fencer and marksman
Played by Greg Ellis (voice)

The Cavalier is a villainous swordsman who speaks in Shakespearean English and dresses in a French musketeer costume. His real name is Mortimer Drake. The Cavalier, formerly a minor rogue of Batman, has crossed swords with Wonder Woman on occasion.

History

Mortimer Drake was a Gotham City millionaire of exotic and idiosyncratic taste. When he found himself unable to purchase more exotic valuables for his collection legally, he resorted to theft. Donning a costume resembling that of a Musketeer, he called himself the Cavalier. His course of actions ultimately brought him into conflict with Batman.

Drake first spewed his flowery turn of phrase out at the Dark Knight in late 1943. Far from the usual ruthless and cunning supervillain, the gallant rogue once stopped a crime caper to help an old lady carry her shopping!

However, as a villain he was little more than an obscure costumed felon, and in his Renaissance swashbuckler's outfit, he sometimes found himself mocked by other criminals. Discouraged at his constant defeats with Batman, the Cavalier faced Batgirl and Batwoman. Drake couldn't find a way around his code of chivalry, which prevented hitting females, but after a self-examination, he concludes "the devil with gallantry" and struck Batgirl with his fist.

Thirty years after his last battle with Batman, the Cavalier returned in Len Wein's first issue of Wonder Woman in 1974. Having been driven nearly insane by his failures in Gotham City, the ruined and miserable Drake decided to turn his attentions elsewhere. Determined to make his comeback after years in prison, the Cavalier concocted an elaborate scheme to match wits with Wonder Woman. To that end, he developed a chemically-enhanced ability to force women to bow to his will in his attempt to defeat the heroine.

But Wonder Woman already had enough trouble on her hands than to worry about the third-rate rogue. A confused Superman at the time quizzes Wonder Woman about when her powers returned, but she has no idea that she ever lost them, and does not know that she ever went on leave of absence from the Justice League, as Superman claims. He tells her to come to JLA Headquarters for the team to help solve the mystery. Superman picks Wonder Woman up, and gets her to the JLA satellite. Once there, Superman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern confirm that she has no memory of her powerless period, and she wishes to retrieve her lost memories.

The heroes wish her to return to the Justice League, but Wonder Woman fears she might have another memory-loss while in action and thus jeopardize her teammates. Then, inspired by Hercules’s Twelve Labors, she declares that she will rejoin the League if she can perform twelve assignments successfully. She orders the JLA members to individually monitor each of her next twelve cases, and, if she is judged worthy, she will return. They agree. Superman is chosen to monitor her first "trial", which would amount to her struggle against the Cavalier.

In his casebook, even Superman noted Wonder Woman's battle with the Cavalier as "Wonder Woman's strangest story", and recorded the event along with the rest of the Justice League of America.

Now dubbed as "The Man Who Mastered Women", Mortimer Drake put his plan against Wonder Woman into action. Using his mind-controlling chemicals on women, he forces them to attempt assassinations of Indira Gamal, Prime Minister of the nation of Pamanasia. With Gamal's death, the Cavalier hopes to put to effect his most ambitious scheme yet: To take control of Pamanasia and rule it as his own kingdom. He also uses this as his opportunity to clash with Wonder Woman, who is serving as Ms. Gamal's bodyguard.

Near the United Nations building, the Cavalier unleashes his female drones on Gamal, but Wonder Woman rescues the prime minister. Enraged, Drake also targets Morgan Tracy, only to be thwarted by Wonder Woman here as well, in her other identity as Diana Prince. In return, Tracy offers Diana a job as his assistant.

As the Cavalier plots his next move, Wonder Woman is driven to grief when she discovered her lost memories include the death of Steve Trevor, and that the Steve Trevor she has known lately is in reality a “mentally-induced substitute designed to maintain [her] psychological stability”, as noted by Queen Hippolyta. Powered in her grief with a new determination and drive to finish her first "trial", as well as placing Cavalier behind bars and halting the attempts on Ms. Gamal's life, Wonder Woman goes into action. As Diana Prince, she joins the U.N.’s Crisis Bureau, and accepting the job offer by Morgan Tracy. In short time she deduces that Drake is behind the entire scheme, coming to the correct conclusion that through attacking her, the villain hopes to control the prime minister, and thus, control her country. She then attacks the Cavalier directly, intending to make short work of him.

While surprised initially at her direct approach at confronting him, Drake makes feeble attempts to resist, calling upon his skills as an expert fencer. Drawing his electric rapier, the Cavalier expected to either slash her with the sword or shock her into unconsciousness, but he was sadly mistaken. No sooner had the rogue drawn his rapier when Wonder Woman broke the slender sword into pieces, rendering him defenseless.

Seizing Drake by his collar and holding the smug villain up as if he were a mere toy, Diana fumed, "You epitomize every replusive, evil thing I've dedicated my life to defeating... and I won't let you make a mockery of that!" Viciously backhanding the Cavalier across the ground, Wonder Woman knocked him senseless with ease. The defeated villain found himself behind bars again, and Superman, who had been monitoring the heroine for her first "trial", makes his report to his fellow Justice Leaguers, and it is deemed a success.

Although he escaped prison, the Cavalier never got a chance to exact his revenge on Wonder Woman. Instead, he wad recalled by the Joker to Gotham City to attend a supervillain gathering designed to urge an elimination of Killer Croc.

Some years later, in Justice League of America #44, a penniless Drake turned to drinking with his fellow villains. He was defeated by Blue Beetle, who clotheslined him in an alleyway.

Wonder Woman and the Justice League currently tolerate the Cavalier as a informant in the Secret Society of Super Villains.

In Secret Six Volume 3 #7, Drake teamed up with a number of other villains to collect a bounty on the heads of the Secret Six, including Doctor Poison, Cheetah III, and Jinx. The attempt failed and the Cavalier was left for dead by Bane, his back broken.

Upon recovering from his critical injuries, Cavalier returned to Gotham City following the supposed death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid.

Powers and Abilities

The Cavalier has no superhuman abilities; he is however, an athlete, a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and a swordsman. He carries a rapier that emits electric blasts. The feather plume on the Cavalier’s hat is actually a steel tipped dart.

In Other Media

  • The Cavalier appears in two pieces of Batman media, as an enemy of the Dark Knight. His first was in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Eyes of Despero" voiced by Greg Ellis. He speaks in Elizabethan era style (to which Batman remarks "Somewhere Shakespeare is spinning in his grave."). He also appears facing Batman during a brief exchange in the 1994 BBC radio adaptation of the DC Comics Knightfall storyline.

Notes/Trivia

001Cavalier 01

Wonder Woman defeats the Cavalier, as advertised on a collectible mug released by Thermo-Serv.

  • The Cavalier appears on a Wonder Woman SuperStein Plastic Mug, being pictured as defeated by Wonder Woman. The mug was released in the 1970s by Thermo-Serv, after the villain's first comic book encounter with the heroine.

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