In the first episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we were introduced to a very peculiar character. Batroc The Leaper has an intriguing history in the comics and had already been introduced in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. However, many will be surprised to discover that the comics’ villain is far less “serious” than his movie version.
Known for being a Frenchman’s caricature, Batroc is a pretty classic enemy of Captain America, who has also faced such powerful heroes as Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Iron Fist. And here, we have made a brief overview of everything you need to know about the character!
First Appearance and Creators
Georges Batroc first appeared in comics in March 1966, in the Tales of Suspense #75, which featured two stories – one of Iron Man and the other of Captain America. The Leaper first showed up in the Sentinel of Liberty storyline.
Batroc was a joint creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, like much of Marvel’s major classic heroes. Initially, he was conceived as a mercenary and thief who always gave Captain America a hard time, even though he wasn’t particularly dangerous or lethal.
Georges Batroc was born and raised in Marseille, France. After his brief stint in the French Foreign Legion, he eventually became a famous mercenary, hired by various crime lords to carry out thefts and robberies considered impossible. And so he met Steve Rogers.
Batroc and Captain America had always clashed over the years, and although both were on the opposite side of the law, the two had a sort of mutual respect for each other. When Captain America “faked” his death in the 1990s, Batroc even mourned the death of his adversary.
Other Conflicts and Appearances
Although he was created as a “serious” villain, the extravagant look and even the name Batroc, The Leaper eventually became a punchline among readers. Soon after, he became a banter villain who always showed up to take a good beating from other Marvel heroes.
Just to name a few, Batroc has faced Iron Fist, Black Panther, Daredevil, and Spider-Man, always getting beaten badly. As for the teams he has been part of, we can mention the Lethal Legion, the Teen Brigade, and even the Thunderbolts.
Although he is most strongly associated with Steve Rogers‘ stories, The Leaper has faced other wearers of Captain America‘s mantle. He once attacked Bucky Barnes while the latter was part of the New Avengers, shortly after the events of the Civil War.
When Sam Wilson wielded the shield, they even faced each other since Batroc was providing HYDRA services during this period. Batroc has met another important character is Ian Rogers/Nomad, the original Captain America’s adopted son.
Powers and Abilities
Despite his phenomenal stunts, Batroc has no powers and no enhanced or superhuman abilities. All his abilities result from extensive physical training and a lot of practice facing superheroes over the years. But still, it is important to mention his tactics and fighting styles.
He is an Olympic weight lifter and has incredible agility and reflexes for a normal human being. His leg muscles are particularly well developed, allowing him to jump great distances equal to those of an Olympic athlete.
He is a martial arts and grappling expert specializing in Savate and adept in judo, karate, and Krav Maga. Georges Batroc is a parkour expert and is also a skilled military strategist. He also has a lot of knowledge about firearms and is a first-rate thief, capable of pulling off impossible thefts.
Animations are the media that best capture the essence of Batroc, The Leaper, outside the comics. He has appeared in numerous cartoons, almost always as a silly villain who is stealing something and gives the heroes little or reasonable trouble.
Among the standout animations, we can mention The Super Hero Squad, as well as Ultimate Spider-Man. He also made a minor contribution in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which became a cult classic among the team’s fans.
In games, Batroc’s presence is almost negligible since he is not much trouble in combat. His most notable appearance was in The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge, a game released in 1989 in which he was a secondary boss.
He also appeared in two extinct games: Marvel Avengers Alliance, and the Marvel Heroes RPG, where he had a minor role.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Georges Batroc also has his version in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here, he is an Algerian pirate and mercenary who, in his first appearance, intercepts a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship at the behest of Nick Fury himself as a way to uncover classified data from the organization.
Now he has returned, also carrying out a theft mission. In his two appearances (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), the character was played by Georges St-Pierre, a former UFC champion who is well known for his kickboxing techniques.