Catman is a very minor Batman foe who appeared in 1963. He was a cinematically skilled hunter and athlete, and had magic fabric that reportedly gave him nine lives as long as he wore it.
Over the decades he became something of a joke as he lost his focus. He became unable to credibly fight any super-hero.
In 2005 he resurfaced. He soon joined the Secret Six team and recovered his edge and skill. This profile focuses on this era, as I’ve only seen a few of his pre-2005 appearances.
- Real Name: Thomas Blake.
- Marital Status: Single.
- Known Relatives: Thomas Jr. (Son), Sienna (mother, deceased), Reese (father, deceased).
- Group Affiliation: Secret Six; formerly The Misfits.
- Base Of Operations: House of Secrets, unrevealed.
- Height: 6’0” Weight: 200 lbs.
- Eyes: Green Hair: Red
Powers and Abilities
Catman is an Olympic level athlete, a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and a renowned hunter. He is armed with sharp edge “catarangs” which he uses at range, or as melee weapons. Beyond those, he’s capable of using anything he finds lying about in creative ways.
He has been shown as an extremely capable fighter, standing against foes such as Monsieur Mallah or Captain Nazi.
He seems to have an affinity for big cats, having been accepted among a pride of lions for a while.
He’s also apparently an incredible baccarat player, able to beat even the Gambler, who cheats.
(A general history of the Secret Six can be found in the team entry).
Thomas was the son of a big game hunter and an actress. He earned his father’s disgust due to his weakness and unwillingness to kill. Blaming Thomas’s mother for coddling him too much, his father killed her in front of him. He intended to frame the nine year old Thomas. This triggered a breakdown, and Thomas stabbed his father so he’d die slowly.
Becoming a world-famous trapper of jungle cats, Thomas turned to crime to alleviate his boredom. He donned a suit made of an ancient African cloth which he believed gave him a cat’s nine lives. Blake dubbed himself Catman, and become a burglar.
He took the cat gimmick to heart, wielding a cat-o-nine-tails. He also stole cat themed objects, such as cat statues, or “cat’s eyes” emeralds.
Catwoman was displeased with his choice of name, sometimes aiding Batman against Blake. She did work with him at one point, against Batman, but the alliance didn’t last. She soon became tired of his abusive attitude towards women, and turned on him.
Blake joined a group called the Misfits, led by Killer Moth. He and his team mates tried to establish themselves as something other than losers, but by this time Blake’s life and confidence were spiralling down. The group didn’t stay together long.
When Catwoman was hired by a South Sea cat cult, who claimed ownership of the cloth Catman’s costume had been made from, she gave them a fake instead.
Hitting bottom, Blake snitched on Monsieur Mallah, then entered a witness protection program. Becoming a pathetic, overweight loser, looked down on by other villains, he was taken down by Green Arrow with little fight. Mallah later captured him, only to decide he wasn’t worth killing.
With nowhere left to fall to, Blake returned to the wilds of Africa. He found a lion pride, battling their leader and becoming accepted into the pride, reinventing himself.
When invited to join the newly-formed Society, he declined. He thus earned the organization’s wrath, and a particular enmity from Doctor Psycho. Their revenge appeared to have been achieved when he found his pride apparently gunned down by Deathstroke. Approached by Scandal, and offered membership in the Secret Six, he accepted as a way to gain revenge.
On a raid against a Society base to try and find information about Mockingbird, Blake came face to face against Mallah. He paid him back for earlier treatment.
Blake soon worked out that it hadn’t been Deathstroke who had slain his pride, but Deadshot. This had been part of a plot to get him to join. They fought, but the battle was cut short by Cheshire.
Cheshire admitted that she’d been getting close to Blake so that he would give her a child to replace the one Mockingbird had threatened to kill if she didn’t work with the Six. She then revealed she’d betrayed their location to the Society, who were closing in on them.
Despite the overwhelming force the Society sent against them, most of the Six survived. Blake met up with Green Arrow, warning him of some of the Society’s plans. Catman also blamed the League for creating the Society. He made his peace with Deadshot, and the two eventually developed a cautious friendship.
Six Degrees of Devastation
Thomas later learned why he had not been ambushed by the Society. It was due to Cheshire, who had been the go-between for the arranging the attacks. When they hunted her down, Blake met his son, Thomas Jr.. Due to the child’s presence, Thomas convinced the others to leave Cheshire unharmed.
Dead of Winter
Clashing with the Birds of Prey, Thomas and Huntress developed an instant attraction, and flirted for most of the fight.
Following an encounter with some poachers in Africa, Thomas was slightly shaken at the harsh measures he’d taken against them. He began questioning what kind of man he was, to Deadshot’s amusement.
This self-doubt added to his uncertainty when faced with the “Get Out of Hell Free” Card, which added to the divisions the Card caused to the group.
Cats in the Cradle
Learning his son was being used as a hostage to force his cooperation, Thomas called the hostage-takers bluff. He let them know that he was going to hunt them down. He did, butchering them one at a time. His rage led to disregard for the bystanders caught in his path.
He finally confronted the “hero” MacQuarrie, who had been behind the kidnapping. MacQuarrie admitted he’d actually taken Thomas Jr. because Cheshire had been responsible for the death of his wife and daughter.
Thomas Jr. still lived, and had been adopted by a loving family. Catman decided not to learn his location, and told Cheshire their son was dead. Then he pushed the dying MacQuarrie to a more immediate end.
The Reptile Brain
Not handling what he’d done, Thomas became suicidal. He goaded lions in a zoo enclosure to attack him. The rest of the Six, or at least those who’d been looking for him, managed to talk him down. Yet he remained aggressive and withdrawn, brooding over his actions.
It took some time to calm down. The long-term implications his actions will have on him is uncertain.
The Darkest House
During the team’s visit to Hell, Catman wandered off, with Etrigan as a guide, to find his father. He found him cowering, waiting to be eaten daily by some monster. The monster turned out to be Thomas’ mother.
Their brief reunion left Thomas upset that his mother had also been consigned to Hell. This lasted until Etrigan revealed that was actually her Heaven. Content his father was suffering justly, Catman returned to help the team rescue Ragdoll.
Possessed of an icy calmness, Catman is a confident, almost fearless, warrior. He seems to have a certain code of honour, and appears comfortable to straddle the line between hero and villain.
While content to work as a mercenary, there are certain lines he won’t cross, only killing in battle after his opponent has initiated killing combat. He seems to have developed firm bonds with the regular members of the Six, and will go out of his way to help them.
His time in the wild has left him with certain wild traits, and he seems to have a feral bearing at times. When overcome by Huntress’ scent (while they were in civilian guises) he licked her ; when eating he sometimes starts growling ; and when in combat he can be a savage opponent.
This savagery has continued to emerge when he gets emotional, and gained free reign when hunting his son’s kidnappers. He’s still dealing with what he did, and seems withdrawn and more prone to allowing his savage side to take control.
Prior to his rebirth, Blake was an egotistical bully and loser, with a track record for hitting women. Even at his lowest point, though, the Shade considered Blake honourable enough to entrust with a confidential mission he could not perform himself.
“When a Frenchman and an ape think you’re not even worth killing, that’s a bit of a dark day. I didn’t begin as a joke. I had — many advantages. And somehow, I’d allowed myself to become the lowest rung on an already short ladder. I’d let terror and stupidity dominate every part of my life. I once fought Batman to a standstill, and yet, years later, I was reduced to a weeping mass in my own home by Green Arrow. I abused women. Anything weaker than myself, I despised. So I chose to murder my old life. To break its neck in Africa, where money is only good to start fires at night. I traded up.”
Huntress: “Just give up. There’s no shame in it. You’re outmatched. You can’t win.”
Catman: “Huntress. We’re the Secret Six. We’re always outmatched. And we never win.”
Dr. Psycho: “I can make you eat your own entrails, Blake. I can make you stick your thumbs in your eyes while dancing the lambada.”
Catman: “Maybe. And maybe I can resist long enough to shove my knife into your brain from the soft tissue under your chin. But even if you can control me, my friends might object. Man has been in the business of making them extinct for decades. I’m sure they’d be happy to return the favour. Tabby’s pregnant, by the way. It may comfort you to know that I’ll remember the protein you provided when she slings her litter.”
“Predators and scavengers, Doctor. That’s what the wild is made of. I look in your eyes—I don’t see a hunter. You pick the bones the fighters leave behind, Doc ? That your speed ? Of course, there is one last category. Prey, Doctor. You’re only prey.”
“Sorry I’m late. Had to beat a lunatic half to death.”
Cheshire: “Let’s do it. Right here, with the battle raging around us. Make love to me Thomas.”
Catman: “Cheshire, your womb is the most godawful dangerous weapon I’ve ever faced. Worse than that, I can’t believe I’m considering it.”
“All right. Let’s see if we can piss these people off by living through this.”
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 09||Str: 05||Bod: 06||Motivation: Anti-Heroic Mercenary|
|Int: 06||Wil: 06||Min: 06||Occupation: Mercenary|
|Inf: 08||Aur: 08||Spi: 09||Resources: 005|
|Init: 027||HP: 060|
Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent: 02
Bonuses and Limitations:
Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent is a Skilled Power (+1).
Acrobatics*: 09, Animal Handling: 04, Animal Friendship: 06, Detective (Clue Analysis, Legwork): 04, Martial Artist: 08, Military Science (Camouflage, Danger Recognition): 05, Military Science (Tracking): 09, Thief (Stealth): 09, Vehicles (Air, Land): 07, Weaponry (Melee, Missiles): 08
Bonuses and Limitations:
Animal Friendship only works on cats (-1).
Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Baccarat, Big Cats).
Secret Six (High), Green Arrow (Low), Shade (Low).
Enemy [Doctor Psycho].
- Claws [BODY 06, EV 03 (06 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist)].
- Catarangs (x12) [BODY 05, Claws: 03 (05 w/STR), Gliding: 01, Limitation: Gliding only to increase the thrown range or fly back].
- Knives (x2) [BODY 04, EV 03 (06 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist)].
There are at least two earlier write-ups of Catman (in the Batman RPG and the Who’s Who series), but since this is labelled the Current version, and is intended to cover his more recent appearances, the earlier ones should be considered separate.
One thing the earlier versions include is the Gadgetry Skill, since he allegedly builds his own gadgets. This hasn’t been used in his recent appearances, and I have no direct knowledge that he did actually build his own stuff, so I’ve left it out. If you’d rather include it, then the write-ups gave him Gadgetry: 08.
Source of Character: DC Comics.
Helper(s): Wikipedia, Darci, Sébastien Andrivet, Azrael, capita_senyera, Alan Wilkinson, Chris Cottingham, Mark. One banner by El Andyjack.
Writeup completed on the 9th of June, 2012.