Paul Dekker is an ex-painter who lead a double life as a master thief. He was blinded by a gunshot wound during a botched robbery. While in prison, he volunteered for an experimental procedure that would restore his vision. There was a side-effect, however: Even though he can see, he can only see in blinding, disorienting colors. This drove him insane, and he adopted the identity of Crazy-Quilt.
Crazy-Quilt is a noted painter who leads a double-life as a crime lord. He gives the plans for his crimes to various henchmen through clues left in his paintings. His criminal empire crashes to a halt when one of his henchmen double-crosses him and sets him up to be arrested. An attempt during the melee on Quilt's life went awry and damaged his eyesight. With his underlings holding a surgeon at gunpoint, he volunteers for an experimental procedure that restores his vision. Quilt underwent surgery but awoke to find himself afflicted with a unique form of color blindness, one that permitted him to see only bright colors. He can see, but his vision is blindingly vivid and disorienting. It drives him insane, and he takes on the guise of Crazy-Quilt. The doctor was gunned down and the painter adopted a multi-hued costume and a helmet equipped with multi-colored spotlights. As Crazy-Quilt, he faced the Boy Commandos four times.
He is stopped continually by the Boy Commandos, and sent back to prison.
Eventually escaping, Crazy-Quilt prepared to move his operations to Gotham City.
With a neon sign on Gotham's Broadway as his backdrop, Crazy-Quilt announced to the crowds below that he had returned. Panic did not ensue. The confusion that Quilt had intended to allow his gang access to the area night spots did not come to pass. In fact, standing amidst the bright lights, no one noticed him at all. That would change.
The madman's gang was well aware of their boss' eccentricities, exemplified by his lair, a "Color Dome" that was equipped with a Color Organ ("From my fingers, I release fabulous symphonies of color!"). Still, his latest plot seemed to have no profit element at all: Crazy-Quilt announced his intention to steal color from Gotham City. At a seaside party, he and his men bleached the color from the bright flags at the event. The local TV network's demonstration of color television also found itself the victim of sabotage. The vandalism continued when three priceless paintings at the Gotham Museum were left blank. And, when Robin interfered, he found his red, green, and yellow costume rendered virtually white.
Observing that his uniform had shrunk, the Boy Wonder tumbled onto his scheme and, after escaping a sun-lamp death-trap, captured Crazy-Quilt. The villain's early misdemeanors had been a ruse to convince people that the paintings had been destroyed. Robin realized that, if his costume had shrunk, it had to have been affected by a dye, not bleach. Investigation proved that the paintings had actually been coated with a water-soluble dye that was easily removed.
In late 1962, an underworld fence named Paul Dekker stole Crazy-Quilt's identity for his own but, in the absence of a helmet, he wore a simple hood. Dekker used his relatively harmless crimes to establish his reputation as a lunatic while secretly recovering innocuous items in which he'd hidden stolen valuables. The Blackhawks exposed his plot in short order.
Meanwhile, the original Crazy-Quilt was released from prison a few years later. He returned in Batman # 316, but the paroled Quilt was now losing his eyesight altogether. Determined to prevent such a fate, Crazy-Quilt raided the Gotham branch of S.T.A.R. Labs to capture an experimental laser gun and held off Batman and Robin by disorienting them with his color helmet. Once again, Quilt's gang seized an optical specialist, this time providing him with the stolen laser intensifier to perform the delicate surgery.
Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo ran a gauntlet of hypnotic and downright lethal light weapons to reach the room where Quilt was recovering. Leaping into the fray to defend himself, the villain found his own helmet spotlights reflected back at him by an instrument tray in Robin's hands. In self-defense, Robin had reflected the madman's light beams back into his newly restored eyes. Crazy-Quilt maniacally fired his guns until the bullets were exhausted and he was taken into custody. With his eyes still sensitive from the surgery, Crazy-Quilt had achieved exactly what he hoped to avoid. The reflected light had left him blind. Unintentionally, Quilt had been permanently blinded by Robin.
Obsessing over his young adversary, he becomes one of the few bat-villains to hate Robin more than his mentor. This extends to Graysons' successors in the role. By Batman #368 in 1983, Quilt had found yet another surgeon that would take his case. Small holes were drilled into his skull and electrodes were linked and fused between his brain's optic nerves and his color helmet. The helmet now enabled Quilt to see through the headgear's lenses!
"Put the helmet on backward," the doctor explained, "and you will literally have eyes in the back of your head. But the lenses are also projectors, capable of emitting the same blindingly intense light they ever did. And, as promised, I have equipped them with the additional feature of high-resolution laser beams able to burn right through a bank vault door." For his efforts, Doctor Kinski was the first person to be killed by Crazy-Quilt's laser beam. Before embarking on a crime spree, the madman was first determined to have revenge on the person who blinded him—Robin. Unknown to Quilt, there was a new Boy Wonder, and Jason Todd had only had the role officially for twenty-four hours. Quilt ambushed the teenager, handing him a severe beating and placing a post-hypnotic suggestion to come to the villain's lair—where he would be killed. Thinking to enact his revenge upon Grayson, Crazy-Quilt had mistakenly taken out his aggression on Todd, who was new to the role at the time. Unaware of the hypnosis, Batman forbid Jason from going out again. The Boy Wonder had no choice but to defy Batman—but he did leave a note about his destination. Trailing Robin, Batman watched as Jason blinded Quilt's lenses by reflecting his color beams off of a makeshift rotating fan and separated the helmet from his optic nerves, smashing the device to pieces. Again, it is Robin who is pivotal to stopping Crazy Quilt's plans.
Crazy-Quilt was one of dozens of criminals freed from Blackgate prison by Ra's al Ghul in 1986. Despite being provided with a replica of his helmet and costume, Quilt displayed the same gratitude that he'd shown to his doctors. Along with Mirage and Mr. Freeze, He walked off into the night rather than fight someone else's battles.
After Quilt was recaptured, he ended up confined to Arkham Asylum for a time in Batman: Shadow of the Bat # 3-4).He was imprisoned at Louisiana's Belle Reve prison in 1995 when Neron offered him the opportunity to grant his fondest wish—in exchange for his soul in UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED # 1. Quilt eventually turned down the chance to regain his vision and he wound up back in Arkham, escaping on the eve of "No Man's Land".
Crazy-Quilt appears in the Belle Reve riot in Justice League #34, lugging around the eviscerated body of the prison warden. The prisoners, along with much of humanity, were being affected by outside forces.
He also has a role in one of the many reincarnations of the Secret Society of Super Villains. In the JLA-80 Page Giant #1 (1998), dozens of villains form in response to the JLA's new moonbase and extended team efforts. During the meeting, Crazy-Quilt has his outfit insulted by the Monocle. The meeting turns out to be a JLA trap and all the villains are captured.
Crazy-Quilt was one of the spectators watching Mary Marvel and Captain Atom fight in Formerly Known As The Justice League #4.
Most recently, in Justice League Adventures #6, after Chronos captures Batman along with the other Justice Leaguers and attempts to auction off custody of the heroes to the highest bidder, Crazy-Quilt attends the auction, apparently interested in bidding on Batman. When fighting broke out among the villains, Major Disaster Grabbed Quilt from behind and Bane punched him in the stomach. After Black Manta was thrown onto the stage, Chronos called a "time out", and told the villains to resume bidding in an hour. In the meantime, Chronos ordered the unconscious Crazy-Quilt dragged off the premises.
In the New 52 Crazy Quilt was reimagined as being Dr. Paul Dekker, a former Wayne Enterprises scientist who was born into a family of artists in the Narrows of Gotham, all of whom died during a gas-leak prompting Paul to dedicate himself to regenerative science. Paul was part of a bio-initiative lead by Dr. Karl Helfern dedicated to the study of body regeneration with the initiative also including one Professor Hugo Strange. In this research Paul began studying stories of figures throughout Gotham's history who through exposure to a chemical known as Dionesium, managed to achieve quasi-immortality, figures including Ra's al Ghūl, Vandal Savage, possibly the Joker, and to his perspective, Batman. Paul managed to invent something known as "the healing stitch" which unravels a cell's structure, regenerates it, and stitches it back together completely de-aged. In an unknown event, Paul took up the alias of Crazy Quilt and began using his healing stitch to do supposedly terrible things in hopes of meeting the supposedly immortal Batman only to discover that Batman was mortal then be sent away to Arkham.
Years later, the Joker approached Crazy Quilt with a seemingly limitless supply of Dionysius which was also growing in the clown prince's spine. Joker, convincing Dekker that he was immortal, had the mad scientist create a Joker Virus with the chemical so that it couldn't be cured through normal medical means. Joker also gave Crazy Quilt a poisoned sample of Dionesium for himself which Dekker attempted to inject himself with after he was confronted by Batman in hopes of becoming immortal only to immediately decompose alive and die.
Powers and Abilities
All of Crazy Quilt's abilities are derived from his helmet/visor.
Crazy-Quilt's helmet that allows him to hypnotize his victims using flashing lights of various colors. It can also project lethal laser beams, blinding lights, and functions as artificial eyes since his own eyes no longer function; the lenses feed their input signal straight into his brain.
Crazy Quilt possesses the strength level of a man his age, size and weight who engages in moderate regular exercise.
In Other Media
- Crazy Quilt appears in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeffrey Tambor. He first has a non-speaking cameo in the episode "Trials of the Demon!" He is shown robbing the Gotham Art Museum until he is defeated by Batman, and is taken away to prison. Crazy Quilt is later shown as an inmate at Blackgate Prison in "Night of the Huntress!", among several other supervillains (including Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Sportsmaster, The Cavalier, The Bookworm, and Egghead) attempting to escape after being freed by the gangster Baby Face to cover his own escape. In the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister" he makes a cameo as one of the singing imates in Arkham Asylum. Crazy Quilt later plays a major role in the episode "The Color of Revenge!", where he tries to get revenge on Robin for blinding him. He escapes prison, robs S.T.A.R. Labs, and builds a giant laser cannon to kill Robin and destroy the city. He is defeated, and is taken back to Blackgate. In "Mayhem of the Music Meister!", the villain is transferred to Arkham Asylum, and subject to electroshock therapy. He comes under the hypnotic spell of the Music Meister while asylum orderlies strap him into a stretcher and are administering the shock treatment.
- In the game Batman: Arkham City, he is briefly mentioned by some of the inmates along with Ratcatcher.
- Crazy Quilt makes a cameo appearance in The Lego Batman Movie alongside several other Batman rogues. He is seen next to Eraser when he is driving the truck.
- Crazy Quilt is the teacher of costume design in DC Super Hero Girls.
Behind the scenes
Apparently the new Secret Society of Super-Villains, led by Alexander Luthor, has in its roster a second version of Crazy Quilt, a female one with a similar costume and vision-helmet to the original villain's. She made a brief cameo in a background image in Villains United #2. In Outsiders #50, she is captured by the Suicide Squad. In the Secret Six series, she is one of the villains who accepts the offer of a bounty on the heads of the Secret Six from mysterious crime boss, Junior. She is shot by the Six, and stabbed in the stomach by Scandal.
The second Crazy-Quilt later reappears in James Robinson's Justice League: Cry For Justice mini series as one of the many villains who attacks the team.
In Batman Endgame while talking about immortal beings he refers to Batman as being "a Barbatos" implying that he might have known about the cosmic being of the same name who is deeply connected to Batman with Endgame having been released long before Barbatos's first appearance.
Comic Book Appearances
- Boy Commandos #15
- Boy Commandos #18
- Boy Commandos #22
- Boy Commandos #33
- Batman #255
- Batman #316
- Batman #368
- Batman #400
- Detective Comics # 535
- Batman: Shadow Of The Bat # 3
- Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #4
- Batman: Shadow Of The Bat # 82
- Underworld Unleashed # 1
- Star Spangled Comics # 123
- Who's Who in the DC Universe #5
- Justice League Adventures #6
- The Creeper # 7
- Justice League #34
- JLA-80 Page Giant #1
- Nightwing Annual #2