I am always interested in the ways in which insects infiltrate into pop culture, and here’s another comic book villain from the Golden Age (1951): Killer Moth!killermoth

He had a rather strange fashion sense, rather like the Red Bee (covered earlier @ the Bug Blog.)
Striped purple, lime green, and pink tights? With an orange cape?

Call the fashion police, because he’s a villain, all right.

According to the Batman Wiki (not making that up), Killer Moth sets himself up as the anti-Batman, including a Moth Cave, MothMobile, and infra-red Moth Signals for criminals in Gotham City to summon him.

(You can read a more detailed account of his origins at the fan site for Killer Moth. From what I can see of the MothMobile, it shares the….interesting… color scheme of Killer Moth himself.)

His powers? Err.

“Abilities As Killer Moth: Flight via suit”

Come on. Not even sweater destruction at a distance?  Oh wait, sorry. I missed this:

Weapons: Incapacitating cocoon gun

Killer moth returned briefly to Batman comics in the 90s and sold his soul to a demon to gain power. He changes into Charaxes:

“As Charaxes, Walker resembles a vaguely humanoid, giant brown moth. He consumes humans and spins cocoons in which to keep his prey. In a later story, Charaxes begins laying hundreds of eggs, all of which hatch into duplicates of Drury Walker. Charaxes despises his progeny, but is unable to destroy them.”

Well, that’s something, although I wonder if he knew his bargain with the devil would include a sex-change.

Killer Moth has also appeared on Television in several different incarnations, none of which are particularly flattering. He does seem to have toned down the pink and lime green a bit, though.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. That’s terrible. Everybody knows that Charaxes are butterflies and not moths.

  2. Have you mentioned Tarantula yet? He must have been around in about 1974/75 as he first appeared in a Marvel Comic when I was about 9/10. He was an assassin sent after Spiderman.

    An older one was Praying Mantis Man, a villain who went up against Blue Beetle.

    Then there were Insect Queen (Lana Lang), Comrade Cockroach, Bumblebee, Flyman and Flygirl, Yellow Jacket (there were a couple of them) and more.

    And you’ll have to see if you can find any references to Thorax Comics, from Australia. They introduced Bugman, his sidekick Roachboy and the femme fatale Madame Moth.

    Yes, I used to be a comic book fan.

  3. Thanks for the tip!
    I’m slowly working through all the insecty comics–although all of the heroes and villains seem to have a pretty startling fashion sense :D

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