Welcome to Comics Wiki Adventures, a weekly deep dive into just how unhinged comics can be. I will randomly select a character from comics and read their wiki each week.
I will then take only the choicest bits and serve them to you, over easy. What does that mean? I don’t know.
Anyway, today’s randomly generated character is:
DC Comics Own: Ratcatcher
When James Gunn was picking his lineup for The Suicide Squad, he absolutely scraped the bottom of the DC barrel. It has pulls so deep that it features a man whose only power is his limbs can detach. Yet even when we are featuring the absolute worst that DC has to offer, they still replaced Ratcatcher with his daughter (who, as far as I can tell, does not exist in the comics) and he only appears in brief flashbacks.
Is it better to be mentioned but replaced or not mentioned at all, like Condiment King or Eggman? Probably the former, but it doesn’t support my thesis that Ratcatcher is a loser, so forget I mentioned it.
Let’s Get To The Wiki!
Otis Flannegan (Ratcatcher) is described here as an “Extremist former exterminator,” which seems a bit judge-y. Is kidnapping and imprisoning four people in the sewer for five years extreme? How about replacing all humans with rats and installing himself as their king?
Ok, those are both bad. Let’s be clear, though, Otis is not proposing to kill all humans, just replace them. So humans would still be around. One assumes we’d live how rats live now, but is that so bad? Scuttling through sewers, eating pizza slices larger than our heads, and getting our tails stuck together so we can live as one large pile…doesn’t seem like that bad of a deal.
Or the rats may allow us to live among them as equals. We already know they can be great cooks. For all we know, they may also be great tax accountants, air traffic controllers, and brain surgeons. It may be that humans would be relegated to primarily manual labor in such a world. Still, considering the mess we’ve made being in charge so far, that could be for the best.
Enough With The Rat Supremacy Stuff!
That’s his whole thing. Uh…ok. Well, it’s a short wiki, but let’s see what else we have.
Well, we don’t get much about Otis as an exterminator. But we do find out he spent a dime in the Gotham State Penitentiary after stabbing a man to death in a street fight. Why an exterminator, a job which especially in a big city like Gotham must be in high demand. Not to mention the easy access to chemicals (will this come up every time? Hopefully, yes).
Looks like Batman beat Ratcatcher. No surprise there. It does say he accomplishes this after he “got rid of all the rats.” It leaves a suspicious gap about how exactly that was managed, however. Huh. Well, so Batman corners Otis…
You know, no. Just this once, as a special treat, I’m going to go outside the wiki for some extra info. Just to find out what Batman, the good guy, did to bypass a group of animals. Animals who do not understand evil, who cannot possibly be evil. Cute fuzzy little mammals that do this. Or eat a Cheerio like it was a bagel. If you are reading this in the future and the links are dead, just google cute rat for the general idea.
He Burned Them.
Yup, lit ’em up. Classy, Bats. Burning an entire mischief of rats with a single torch impressed me, I have to admit. Especially in a sewer which is, historically, a damp place. It seems a long shot. But it worked. The whole mess of them dies, and Bats just walks through and punches out Otis. Who, even if he weren’t utterly distraught at the loss of his stormvermin, was never going to be a match for Batman.
Otis goes to jail for some time; who can really say in comics how much time ever passes outside backstories? At some point, he either is released or escapes. Or, all of reality reforms itself so that he never really went to prison. Who can say? The wiki doesn’t, and I’ve already broken my rules once today.
Ratcatcher rebuilds his rat army and also joins the homeless community in Gotham. Finally, things are turning around for Otis. Sure, he’s still collecting rats, presumably to take over the world. But at least he’s making connections. Getting out there in the community.
And then the cops show up. Which might actually be fair enough. Otis might be an escaped criminal, after all. Or maybe he had already paid his debt to society, and these were just thugs in blue looking to rough up some poor people. I’ll leave it to you, gentle reader, to say which is more likely.
So Otis’ best pal, or maybe just some homeless guy nearby, the wiki gives us no clue on any pre-existing relationship, jumps in front of the cops. They easily swat him aside and…
Hold on, what did I just read? Ok, folks, we are going on this trip together on this. The homeless man is something called an OMAC. He doesn’t even seem to know what that is himself, but getting shoved activates his OMAC…ity. So he declares Ratcatcher is a “gamma level threat” and immediately annihilates Otis.
The only thing in all that I understand is gamma. And by that, I mean I know that gamma is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. So I don’t know if this thing thinks Otis is a significant threat or a low-level one. The absolute off-the-chart nature of the response sure makes me think the former, though.
Ok, Absolutely the Last Time. You Can’t Make Me Learn More About Comics Today
So I looked up OMACs, and this is…yeah. So the Justice League had an HQ in space, occupied by Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man (Stretchy guy who is not Plastic Man). I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I’m trying to explain comics, so bear with me.
A complete D-list villain named Doctor Light attacks and, as the wiki puts it, “violated” Sue, which I will not look into in more detail. For some reason, when some of the junior league Justice Leaguers capture him, they decide they will use mind control to change Light into a bumbling idiot and just let him go.
Batman stumbles on this, and they’re like be cool, Bruce. But Bruce is very not cool about it for some weird reason. So they wiped his mind too. That would have ended it if the conspirators were good at mind control. But it didn’t stick, so when Batman remembered, he did the obvious thing. He set up a satellite called Brother I to watch metahumans and figure out their weaknesses.
So it was hacked by multiple supervillains, went bad, and changed its name to Brother Eye. The name change was not particularly evil; it’s just ridiculous, so I thought it was worth mentioning. In its new form, it plotted to destroy all superheroes and supervillains. So it created a virus that could infect people and turn them into sleeper agents. They could then be activated to attack metahumans. Or if they were shoved, that would also do it.
I Am Tired Now. So Very Tired.
So that’s Ratcatcher! I tried to stay on topic this time. I really did. But when comics drop something like mind-controlled sleeper agents triggered by minor jostling in your lap, you gotta follow that train, am I right?
Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, you might also like this previous entry on White Rabbit! Or if for some inexplicable reason, you want to check out something I didn’t write, you can check out this randomly selected review of Sherlock Holmes The Awakened! What’s that? I wrote that too? What a strange happenstance. Well, you know what they say! Randomness is clumpy.
Let me know in the comments below who the most minor character in comics is and who I should randomly select for next week!