Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ask a Super-Villain: Batroc the Leaper

The second installment of “Ask a Super-Villain” will use a slightly different format. While Stilt-Man is an accomplished scientist and engineer and thus comfortable with computers, today’s super-villain, Batroc the Leaper, is not. Rather than spend a week teaching Batroc how to use the internet, I met with him and asked questions based on reader mail.

First, a bit of background. Georges Batroc is a master of savate, the French art of kickboxing, and a widely-employed mercenary. His most frequent superhero sparring partner is Captain America, though most recently he found himself enmeshed in a failed coup d’etat in Wakanda, and thus on the bad end of that country’s monarch, the Black Panther.

Georges met with me for lunch in a small restaurant near the Capitol here in Washington, DC. To capture the flavor of the afternoon, I decided to transcribe the taped conversation with Batroc’s accent intact.*

Mon Dejuner avec Georges


Harvey: Thank you for your time, M. Batroc. I know that you’re a busy man, and that you’ve only recently returned from Wakanda.

Batroc: Not at all, M. Zherk-watair. I know zat I ‘ave many fans in America, and it is only right zat I ansser zair questions, zat zey may come to know the true Georges Batroc.

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Harvey: Let me see. “Where did you learn savate?”

Batroc: Ah, I learned eet in zee French Foreign Leezhon, when I was stationed in Djibouti.

Harvey: Djibouti?

Batroc: Not a pleasant land, my friend, but a fun name to say aloud, n’est-ce pas?

Harvey: Next question: “You get beaten up an awful lot. Have you ever defeated a superhero?”

Batroc: Of course! Captain America ‘as met defeat at my feet many times. Othairs to fall before my prow-ess include ‘awkeye, Iron Feest, and ze Mighty Thor.

Harvey: Uh, Georges, that’s not true.

Batroc: Truth, lies, eet’s all a web of subjectivity, no?

Harvey: No.

Batroc: Pfah! Ce n’est pas important.

Harvey: [Laughs] Oui, oui, c’est vrai. Next question: “How do you keep your moustache so delightfully pointy? Even when someone punches you in the face, it never droops.”

Batroc: Years ago, I engaged the services of a man of whom you may ‘ave ‘eard, a Docteur Victor Von Doom. ‘E created for me a most powerful moustache wax made from…qu’est-ce qu’on dit…”unstable molecules.” Mère de Dieu! Should, zrough some ‘orrible tragedy, Georges Batroc should be incinerated or...struck by lightning, destroying my body, my beautiful moustache would retain its beauty forever. Such is zee power of zis wax.

Harvey: Amazing! I must say, your moustache is impressive.

Batroc: Bien sûr.

Harvey: It looks quite sharp. Have you ever stabbed anybody with it?

Batroc: ‘Ave you ev-air wondaired why zat peeg Nicholas Fury ‘as only one eye?

Harvey: You don’t say…

Batroc: Such is the wrath of Batroc zee Leapair! [Laughs]

Harvey: Next question: “What is your opinion of the efforts of the new Prime Minister, Domenique de Villepin, to reduce unemployment in France?”

Batroc: Hm. Zat is a difficult question, requiring much in zee way of thought. [Batroc takes a sip of coffee, thinks.] Perhaps someone should keek heem in ze face?

Harvey: Perhaps. I see our time has run out. Thank you so much for this rare opportunity, M. Batroc.

Batroc: Zee plezh-air was mine, I assure you. To you on zees “inter-nets,” I say watch for Batroc zee Leap-air, for soon he will enlarge his legend! [Sound of Batroc leaping onto his chair] Weeth courage indomitable and skeel beyond compare, ze world, she is mine for ze taking!

[Sound of Batroc leaping to the tabletop and his head colliding with a light fixture.]

[Sound of large Frenchman collapsing onto table, then floor.]


Come back soon for the next round of “Ask a Super-Villain!”

*Dialect Humor + High School French = Big Time Comedy Laffs.



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