Ratcatcher (DC Origin) – Comic Basics

DC's Ratcatcher

Origin of DC’s Ratcatcher

Real Name: Otis Flannegan

First Appearance: Detective Comics #585 (April 1988)

Powers: After years of working with them, Ratcatcher is able to communicate with rodents. He is also able to manipulate various forms of gas. The most notable of these is cyanide. 

Affiliation: Suicide Squad

Did You Know? Ratcatcher is one of the most obscure comic books villains to ever appear in a movie.

A Little History

The origin of DC’s Ratcatcher is pretty straightforward. 

Ratcatcher first appeared inside the pages of Detective Comics #585 in April of 1988. He was created by the trio of Alan Grant, John Wagner, and Norm Breyfogle. 

In his origin story, Otis Flannegan worked for the Gotham City Sanitation department. While employed there, an altercation broke out with one of the participants being fatally injured. Although he wasn’t the only one involved, Otis took the brunt of the blame. As a result, he was sentenced to Backgate prison for manslaughter. While in prison, Otis convinced himself that the infestation that hurt Gotham wasn’t the rats that he tried so hard to get rid of. Instead, it was the citizens of Gotham. This changed Otis as he now had compassion for rodents and hatred for people.

Once released from Blackgate for good behavior, Otis began scheming ways to get his revenge. He decided that because he knew Gotham‘s sewer system better than any, he would abduct every city official responsible for his incarceration. Over the course of many years, the officials were subjected to both physical and verbal torment. He would never have been caught had Commissioner Gordon not handed the case over to Batman

Now back in Blackgate, Otis fine-tuned his communication with the rats. With their aid, he was able to create a better system whereby his fellow inmates would pay him to courier (with the help of the rats) things around the jail grounds. 

And that’s it. The origin of DC’s Ratcatcher.

Title Image © DC

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