Cluemaster

The Cluemaster is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. Cluemaster first appeared in Detective Comics #351 (May 1966) and was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.

A failed game show host, the character became a criminal who leaves clues to his crimes, but unlike the Riddler's clues, they are not in the form of riddles.[1]

Cluemaster
Detective 810
Detective Comics #810, art by Jock
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #351 (May 1966)
Created byGardner Fox
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter egoArthur Brown
Team affiliationsInjustice League
Justice League Antarctica
Secret Society of Supervillains
Suicide Squad
Notable aliasesThe Reformer, Aaron Black
AbilitiesHas a number of plasti-glass pellets attached to the front of his costume that he can hurl as weapons (these pellets variously contain a blinding incendiary flare, smoke bombs, paralyzing gas and high explosives)

Publication history

Cluemaster first appeared in Detective Comics #351 (May 1966) and was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.

Fictional character biography

The Cluemaster starts his criminal campaign by a daring but unsuccessful attempt to learn the secret identity of the Batman, in order to gain a fighting edge.[1][2] He returns to Gotham for a rematch with Batman,[3] then appears in several supervillain crowd scenes over the years.[4]

With several other villains, Cluemaster becomes a member of the Injustice League, a team of out-of-luck supervillains who, when banding together, become even less successful than they have been in their individual careers.[5] The Injustice League have been defeated time and again by the Justice League International, at least when they are not making laughingstocks of themselves. Trying to reform, the members later become the core of the equally laughable hero team Justice League Antarctica.[6] They help out the Justice League when JLI liaison Maxwell Lord lies in a coma,[7] but again later reform as the Injustice League as henchmen of Sonar.[8]

Cluemaster reappears in Detective Comics #647 by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle. In this three-issue story, Cluemaster has reformed and been released from Blackgate Prison. Cured of his compulsion to leave clues, Cluemaster originally joins a gang and plans their heists in exchange for 10 percent of their winnings. He later kills the leader by suffocating him with a strong polymer over his mouth and nose, and begins to plan a master heist.

During this time it is revealed Arthur Brown has a daughter named Stephanie, but rarely spends any time with her due to long periods of incarceration. Stephanie is furious when she discovers that he has returned to crime without his need to leave clues behind. Making a costume for herself, she calls herself The Spoiler, finds out her father's plans, and leaves clues so that the police and Batman can stop him. Robin spots Spoiler on the rooftops during a police bust of Cluemaster's apartment and unmasks her, though she incapacitates Robin by hitting him in the face with a brick. Robin tracks her down and Batman, Robin and Spoiler set a plan in motion to take down Cluemaster. Spoiler was forbidden from going to the bust because she was only motivated by revenge. Catching Cluemaster at his mall heist whilst he hauls a giant glass canister of money away by air, Stephanie is then held hostage by Cluemaster atop the canister, holding a vial of acid to her face as Batman tries to stop him. Batman tells Cluemaster to stop and Cluemaster, thinking Batman will only lecture him about how it is morally wrong to disfigure a child, is taken aback when Batman simply reveals Spoiler is his daughter. Spoiler uses the shock of the revelation to gain the upper hand and uses one of the chains attached to the Gunship lifting the canister to strangle Cluemaster, but Batman prevents this. Cluemaster is taken back to Blackgate.[1]

Each time the Cluemaster escapes or start some new plan, Stephanie dons her costume again in order to foil him. Eventually, she realizes she enjoys being a hero, and begins regular patrols as Spoiler. For a brief period of time she even replaces her boyfriend, Tim Drake, as Robin.

Cluemast
Cluemaster mourning the loss of his daughter. Art by Pete Woods.

Apparent death

Cluemaster and his teammates in the Injustice League volunteer to join the second Suicide Squad, a group sanctioned by the US government, in return for a full pardon of his crimes. The Cluemaster also hopes to make Stephanie proud of him.[1] During the mission, which involves dealing with terrorists and a lovesick genetic experiment, Cluemaster sees his friends, Big Sir, Clock King and Multi-Man die (though Multi-Man has the power to be reborn again). In the resulting chaotic battle, Cluemaster seemingly saves Major Disaster's life twice, though the Major admits the situation was confusing. Cluemaster is seen shot many times through the chest. He survives this incident, with a year's recuperation in the hospital and many, many scars. He is encouraged by thoughts of his daughter.[9]

When he gets out and discovers that his daughter has been killed, he takes on the secret identity Aaron Black and creates the "Campaign for Culpability", blaming Batman for his involvement in Stephanie's death, saying that she was not the first child working with Batman to die, and that Batman should be brought to justice.

It is later revealed that Stephanie survived the incident that everyone believed had killed her, and spent some time recuperating overseas.[10]

Robin #177 was planned by Chuck Dixon intended to feature Cluemaster, but Dixon's abrupt exodus from DC meant the issue was scrapped.

Cluemaster finally reappears after Stephanie Brown has become the new Batgirl. He is revealed to be the man who has been funding the Reapers, a group of young supervillains who have been battling Batgirl.[11]

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, as part of the Forever Evil storyline, Cluemaster is among the villains that the Crime Syndicate of America recruited to join the Secret Society of Super Villains.[12] Cluemaster appears as a villain in the Batman: Eternal series, plotting with several other minor villains when interrupted by his daughter, Stephanie Brown, who overhears part of the plotting by her father and his associates. This is Cluemaster's first appearance in the New 52 continuity.[13] He is later revealed to be the final mastermind behind the systematic attack on Batman by various villains; inspired by an old theory he had when talking with other lower-grade villains that they could take action while Batman was occupied with the bigger criminals, he sent out invitations to other big-league foes to take action after the fall of Commissioner Gordon, and then all he had to do was slip a basic mind-control drug into Gordon's coffee to make him see a threat that wasn't there and let the other villains do what they wanted, guessing correctly that Batman would never think to look at a small-timer when so many bigger villains were playing a part in the scheme. Although Brown manages to capture and unmask Batman, Bruce is able to escape his bonds and fight back, but he has taken such a beating over the course of the storyline that Cluemaster manages to overpower him, only for Lincoln March to show up behind Cluemaster and slit his throat,[14] revealing that he funded Cluemaster's plans solely so that he could kill Batman at this point in secret.[15]

DC Rebirth

During The War of Jokes and Riddles, Cluemaster is seen as a member of The Joker's team.[16] After Batman joins the war on the side of the Riddler and begins taking out Joker’s allies one by one, Cluemaster suggests to Kite Man that they let themselves be beaten rather than flee and face the wrath of both kingpins. However, he is then gassed by the Scarecrow, one of Riddler’s allies, and taken out of the conflict.

Powers and abilities

Unlike most of Batman's villains, Cluemaster is completely sane, which gives him a unique relationship with Batman. Cluemaster has no metahuman powers or abilities. He has a number of plasti-glass pellets attached to the front of his uniform. The pellets contain various offensive weaponry including: blinding incendiary flares, smoke, incapacitating gas, and explosives.

Other versions

Flashpoint

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Cluemaster is imprisoned in military Doom prison. He is subsequently killed by Eel O'Brian who hides inside Cluemaster's body killing him to break Heat Wave out.[17]

In other media

Television

ClueMaster
Cluemaster as seen on The Batman.
  • A considerably different version of the Cluemaster has appeared on the animated series The Batman voiced by Glenn Shadix as an adult and by Kath Soucie as a child. He first appears in the episode "Q & A", in which he is an insane, obese genius with a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome who seeks revenge on the people he blames for rigging his last question on Think Thank Thunk. Losing after a twelve-week string of victories, Arthur's mother filed a lawsuit for what the host, Ross Darren and producer, Hebert Ziegler did to make Arthur lose, Arthur believing that they gave his opponent, Yelena Klimanov an easier question to ensure her victory rather than accept that he lost. However, the host and producer had friends in high places in the Gotham City Hall who overturned it, and Arthur spent the next twenty years planning his revenge and eating his 'reward' of a lifetime supply of Kremelo chocolate bars, leaving him so fat that even a direct kick to the chest from Batman does nothing to him. In his debut episode, Cluemaster attempts to take his revenge on Bert Ziegler, Ross, and Yelena who had beaten him. After humiliating them in public, his midget henchmen kidnapped them one by one and Cluemaster places them on a patently unfair parody of Think Thank Thunk where a loss means death in a large tub of acid. Batman manages to save them by tracking down Cluemaster's lair and goading him into playing a bonus round of "all or nothing". He stumps the Cluemaster with the one question he does not know: the identity of the Batman. Throwing a temper tantrum, the Cluemaster attempts to unmask him but is defeated by Batman just as Cluemaster's mother arrives. Cluemaster later appears in the episode "Rumors", as a captive of the title character, a ruthless vigilante, along with the bulk of Gotham's master criminals. At the episode's end, Batman frees Cluemaster from his imprisonment by Rumor. He was accidentally frozen by Mr. Freeze.
  • Cluemaster appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "A Bat Divided." He is seen in a bar populated by D-list supervillains when Firestorm and the three Batmen show up.

Video games

In Batman: Arkham Knight, there's a poster Arthur Brown's game show "Price Change" in the entrance of Panessa Film Studios. His villain alter ego is mentioned during a conversation amongst thugs where they compared him to Riddler.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Cluemaster", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 84, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Detective Comics #351
  3. ^ Batman #201
  4. ^ Batman #293–294, Batman #336, Crisis on Infinite Earths #9, Batman #400.
  5. ^ Justice League International Vol. 1 #23
  6. ^ Justice League America Annual #4
  7. ^ Justice League America #53
  8. ^ Justice League Europe #49–50
  9. ^ "Suicide Squad" Vol. 2 #1 (November 2001): "Almost a Good Idea"
  10. ^ Robin #174 (July 2008)
  11. ^ Batgirl (vol. 3) #23 (July 2011)
  12. ^ Forever Evil #1
  13. ^ Lee, Roger (April 27, 2014). "Villains in the Batman: Eternal Series". Superhero Reviews. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  14. ^ Batman Eternal #51
  15. ^ Batman Eternal #52
  16. ^ Batman Vol 3 #26 (September 2017)
  17. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1 (June 2011)
Batman Eternal

Batman Eternal is a year-long weekly limited series published by DC Comics, that began in April 2014. The series featured Batman, his allies, and Gotham City, and was written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley. John Layman was originally scheduled to write for the series as well, before leaving the project in January 2014 and being replaced by Higgins; his final issue was issue 10. Batman Eternal ran through April 2015, after which it took a hiatus, before returning in October 2015 for a 26-issue weekly sequel series titled Batman and Robin Eternal.

Blackgate Penitentiary

Blackgate Penitentiary is a fictional prison appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in stories featuring the superhero Batman. The facility first appeared in Detective Comics #629 (May 1991), written by Peter Milligan with art by Jim Aparo and Steve Leialoha.

Serving as a prison and a genetic modification facility, Blackgate Penitentiary is located on a small island in Gotham Bay, which is part of Gotham City. Batman: The Long Halloween suggests that it was preceded by Gotham State Penitentiary, which appeared often in comics prior to the continuity change brought about by 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Court of Owls

The Court of Owls is an organized crime group and secret society appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with the superhero Batman. They have secretly existed since colonial times in Gotham City. The Court kidnaps child performers from the circus, only to train and transform them into their assassins, known as Talons which first appeared in Batman #2 (2011). As part of the 2015-2016 "Robin War" storyline, the Court of Owls had expanded internationally and is referred to as the Parliament of Owls.

Cypher (DC Comics)

Cypher is a supervillain created by Chuck Dixon and Michael Netzer, who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Cypher is primarily an adversary of Batman and Tim Drake.

Electrocutioner

The Electrocutioner is a supervillain alias used by three fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe.

Glenn Shadix

William Glenn Scott (né Shadix, April 15, 1952 – September 7, 2010), known professionally as Glenn Shadix, was an American actor and voice actor known for his role as Otho in Tim Burton's horror comedy film Beetlejuice and as the voice of the Mayor of Halloween Town in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Injustice League

The Injustice League is the name of two fictional supervillain teams appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

Justice League Quarterly

Justice League Quarterly (JLQ) was a quarterly American comic book series published by DC Comics from Winter 1990 to Winter 1994; it lasted 17 issues. It had a variable cast, pulling from the Justice League membership. The title centred on short stories featuring a differing number of characters, often solo stories, and in later issues often featured a pin-up section of members of the Justice League. Various writers and artists have worked on the title.

List of Batman creators

Although Bob Kane achieved renown for creating the fictional superhero Batman, he and others have acknowledged the contributions of Bill Finger for fleshing the character out, writing many of his early stories, and creating the character's origin. Many other comic book creators (writers, artists, and sometimes editors who contributed important ideas or altered how the character would be presented) have contributed to the character's history since Batman's introduction in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. This list identifies some who made notable contributions with enduring impact.

List of The Batman characters

The following is a list of characters that have appeared in the television series The Batman, which ran from September 11, 2004, to March 22, 2008. The animation style bears a strong resemblance to that of Jackie Chan Adventures, since Jeff Matsuda was the chief character designer for both shows. Many of the supervillains who appear in the series, like the characters Joker, Penguin and Riddler (minus Two-Face), are very different from those of their comic counterparts (especially through their designs). While many characters adapted from the mainstream DC comics appear, some of them only appeared in the show's tie-in comic called The Batman Strikes. Characters that were planned for a guest appearance but ultimately did not appear were Wonder Woman, Bizarro, Vigilante, and Owlman.

Major Disaster

Major Disaster is a former DC Comics supervillain and reluctant amoral superhero.

Naomi Kusumi

Naomi Kusumi (楠見 尚己, Kusumi Naomi, born June 17, 1954) is a Japanese voice actor from Fukuoka Prefecture. He was formerly attached to the Seinenza Theater Company; as of 1999, he is attached to Mausu Promotion. He is often typecast in either overweight or middle-aged roles in voice acting. He is the official Japanese dubbing voice for Scooby-Doo in the titular franchise, after Kazuo Kumakura passed the role to him.

Riddler

The Riddler (Edward Nigma or Nygma) is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. He first appeared in Detective Comics #140 (October 1948). The character is commonly depicted as a criminal mastermind in Gotham City who takes delight in incorporating riddles and puzzles into his schemes, leaving them as clues for the authorities to solve. The Riddler is one of the most enduring enemies of superhero Batman and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up his rogues gallery.

In 2009, The Riddler was ranked as IGN's 59th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including feature films, television series, and video games. The Riddler has been voiced by John Glover in the DC animated universe, Robert Englund in The Batman, and Wally Wingert in the Batman: Arkham video game series. He has been portrayed in live-action by Frank Gorshin and John Astin in the 1960s Batman television series, Jim Carrey in the 1995 film Batman Forever, and Cory Michael Smith in the FOX television show Gotham.

Stephanie Brown (comics)

Stephanie Brown is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, most commonly associated with Batman. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #647 (June 1992) and was created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle.

The daughter of the criminal Cluemaster, the character originated as the amateur crime-fighter named Spoiler. Later, she briefly became the fourth Robin and the fourth Batgirl. From 2009 to 2011, she was the star of her own ongoing Batgirl comic book series. In 2014, following a company-wide relaunch of all DC Comics titles as the New 52 in 2011, the character returned to the Spoiler identity in Batman Eternal, completely resetting her to the beginning of her crime fighting career. She is the only character to have been both Robin and Batgirl in mainstream continuity.

The Phone (Australian TV series)

The Phone is an Australian reality television show, based on the Dutch version of the same name.

Batman family
Supporting
characters
Enemies
Alternative versions
Other media
Robins
Supporting characters
Enemies
Related identities
In other media
Publications
Alternative versions
Related
DC Comics
EC Comics
Warren Publishing
Other publishers
Related pages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.