Nowadays, Batman villain Kite-Man has discovered surprising fame amongst comedian e-book readers because of his quirky kite-based theme, surprisingly tragic origin story, and common catchphrase, “Kite-Man, hell yeah!” However when he was first launched, Kite-Man was little greater than a thinly-disguised parody of an even bigger cartoon loser – Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame.
That’s proper – though he would possibly think about himself to be a serious Gotham Metropolis felony at this time, long-time followers of the high-flying villain know that Kite-Man’s actual identify is Charles “Chuck” Brown. Even sadder, Chuck’s entire modus operandi is probably going based mostly much less on a psychotic want for energy and extra on a useless want to lastly outwit a sure kite-eating tree. Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the very early days of Kite-Man and see simply the place his villainy really rose from.
Very similar to the Joker, Kite-Man is a villain with a number of backstories. In his hottest DC Rebirth origin, Charles Brown was a divorced father and alcoholic who heard his son Charles Brown Jr. utter the notorious phrase, “Kite-Man, hell yeah!” upon making an attempt to fly a kite. He was subsequently recruited by the Joker to design the Jokermobile and later took on the identification of Kite-Man after the Riddler poisoned and killed his son.
A distinct story within the Batman: The Courageous and the Daring animated collection reveals that Kite-Man was obsessive about Benjamin Franklin and tried to recreate his kite-flying experiment one darkish and stormy evening. Nonetheless, he selected to fly his kite in a lightning storm whereas carrying steel braces and standing in a bucket of water. Thanks to those silly selections, he was struck by lightning and psychologically traumatized into committing… “kite-centric” crimes (sure, actually).
And within the grownup animated collection Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy merely postulates that Kite-Man was just a few man who purchased a hand glider at a retailer at some point and determined to turn out to be a supervillain.
The reality is, Kite-Man has at all times been a little bit of an enigmatic determine in comics. Though he appeared as early because the 1960s in Batman #133, he was merely portrayed as one other throwaway theme villain for Batman and Robin to beat up. He resurfaced years later in Batman #315 however was once more portrayed as little greater than a hand gliding villain with kite-shaped weapons (though Batman did begin to marvel why sure children by no means appeared to develop up and put away youngsters’s toys like kites).
It wasn’t till Hawkman #4 that Kite-Man’s true persona started to point out itself. In a battle towards Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna, Kite-Man was known as “Chuck” by certainly one of his cohorts. He later crashed right into a tree because of certainly one of Zatanna’s kite-nullifying spells and uttered the immortal line… “Rats!”
The road, a preferred catchphrase of Peanuts character Charlie Brown lastly clued readers into who Kite-Man actually was. Though authorized points saved writers from spelling it out in painful element, followers knew that Kite-Man was actually Charlie Brown, someway pushed criminally insane after one too many encounters with the kite-eating tree.
Tragic as this revelation was, what occurred within the ensuing years proved much more tragic for Charlie Brown (aka Kite-Man). As if being thought of a C-Record villain wasn’t unhealthy sufficient, poor Kite-Man skilled much more abuse in Gotham Metropolis than Charlie Brown ever did from the Peanuts gang. Throughout Infinite Disaster, Deathstroke threw Kite-Man off of Wayne Tower – with out his kite. Resilient as at all times, Charlie Brown someway managed to outlive and eke out some low-level notoriety within the Gotham Metropolis underworld. Sadly, he was later killed and eaten by Superman villain Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim.
Nonetheless, you’ll be able to’t preserve a great kite down, and Kite-Man was later rebooted to life in DC Rebirth, which lastly gave him an origin with extra pathos and a small quantity of respect. Followers started to love Kite-Man sufficient to have him make extra appearances in additional media retailers than he had in years (together with a quick cameo in The LEGO Batman Film). But, surprisingly, Kite-Man’s most touching victory got here in a really delicate method in current episodes of the Harley Quinn grownup animated collection.
Longtime Peanuts followers know that Charlie Brown was at all times in love with the little Purple-Haired Woman and recurrently tried to impress her. Sadly, his perpetual unhealthy luck and wishy-washiness at all times appeared to get in the way in which of befriending and even assembly her. But in Season One in every of Harley Quinn, Kite-Man inexplicably finds himself confidently flirting with the attractive (and red-headed) Poison Ivy – who inexplicably finds herself drawn to the C-Record supervillain. The 2 find yourself courting and whereas Ivy is initially embarrassed to be seen in public along with her Charlie Brown, she finally brazenly admits to being his girlfriend.
So, whereas it could have taken over fifty years and a descent into felony psychosis, Charlie Brown lastly managed to get collectively together with his Little Purple-Haired Woman. Few villains can say that years of being overwhelmed up by Batman led them to their dream life, however we’re prepared to wager that Kite-Man is without doubt one of the few exceptions.