Arthur Reeves was a Gotham City councilman with an anti-Batman agenda. He often opposed Batman, and repeatedly tried to turn the public against the Dark Knight. Reeves believed that Batman was as insane as the villains that he apprehended, and stopped at nothing to present Batman as he believed that Batman was: A lawless vigilante.
When Denny O'Neil signed on to the Batman Series in 1969, he tried to reinstate the mood of the early days, but couldn't actually make the Dark Knight an outlaw. Instead, he introduced a spokesman for the anti-Batman front in the form of Public Works Commissioner Arthur Reeves in Detective Comics #399. After he condemned Batman's decision to hide behind a mask, Reeves replied to the Dark Knight's questioning that he was "absolutely" in favor of full disclosure. Without another word, Batman peeled off Reeves' toupee and dropped it in the councilman's palm. O'Neil continued in that vein for five subsequent appearances through 1972, most hilariously in the Neal Adams-illustrated "Half An Evil", as Reeves regaled Commissioner James Gordon with an account of how he'd take the Dark Knight "down a peg or two": "I may decide to see how tough he is! An Arthur Reeves left....followed by by an Arthur Reeves right!" Batman then slipped up behind Reeves, said "Boo!" and let a smile crack through his stoic facade as the councilman charged out the door.
Reeves resurfaced in 1976 for Detective Comics #463 and 464s account of Black Spider, a much more sinister vigilante. Reeves also appeared briefly in Batman #315 as part of a meeting on a possible move by a major Gotham business, which showed that the councilman's life did not revolve entirely around tirades against Batman.
Reeves made another appearance in later years that found the councilman running for Mayor on an anti-Batman platform while his opponent, Hamilton Hill, wanted a shake-up of the Gotham City Police Department. Within days of the election, Reeves was provided with photographic evidence of the Dark Knight's real identity, which he gleefully provided to the press. The pictures, which revealed Batman as a crime boss, were easily proven as fakes and the ensuing scandal cost Reeves the election. That was exactly what Hamilton Hill's backer, disgraced political boss, Rupert Thorne, had wanted when he gave the photos to Reeves. Weeks later, Reeves confessed about Thorne's role in the election debacle and finally retired from both Batman and politics.
In Other Media
- Main article: Arthur Reeves (DC Animated Universe)
- Reeves appears in the DCAU film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm as a secondary antagonist. He is voiced by Hart Bochner. The character also appears in The Batman Adventures comic book series.
Arthur Reeves in the comics was arrogant and against Batman.