- "Kite Man! Hell yeah."
- ―Kite Man's catchphrase in DC Rebirth[src]
Kite Man' (Charles "Chuck" Brown Sr.) is a super villain in Gotham City that commits crimes by arming himself with kite-based weapons and gadgets.
Charles "Chuck" Brown is a man who armed himself with kite weapons to be used to commit crimes. He flies with a big kite strapped to him. He also uses a barrage of kites to overwhelm his enemies. He ran afoul of Batman and Robin on different occasions.
Kite-Man first appeared in Dick Sprang-illustrated story in Batman #133 (Aug 1960). He possessed a variety of gimmicked kites, including a jet-powered hang glider that allowed for quick escapes, a mammoth kite that the Kite-Man used to shuttle criminals out of Gotham's prison, a "flash bulb" kite, and a trap net kite. Using kites of his own, Batman tracked down and captured the criminal after he rescued some crooks from prison. He next appeared in Batman #315 (Sept 1979); this time with a visor over his eyes, which he didn't have in the original story. After betraying some of his hired goons, Batman defeated him again, flying his own bat-shaped kite.
He might have remained in obscurity but for the reprinting of that episode in 1975's Batman Family #3. Len Wein brought the villain back in Batman #315 (1979), this time setting Kite-Man's sights on a high-rise payroll heist. The more gimmicky kites were restricted to a fireworks display used as a distraction while Kite-Man primarily operated with a hang-glider.
Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna encountered him next, in Hawkman (second series) #4 (1986). In this story his real name was revealed: Charles Brown. It was also revealed that when he was a small boy, Charles Brown was fascinated with kites, thus causing him to adopt and use kites as part of his guise as a costumed villain. In his encounter with Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna, The Kite-Man's target was a treasure known as the Golden Eagle, but he was thwarted by the three heroes. Crash-landing into a tree, Kite-Man cried, "Rats!"
Kite-Man later made several cameos at a gangland bar, but otherwise was not featured again until later issues of the "Young Justice" storyline, living in the country of Zandia, a country populated entirely by super villains.
Kite-Man, however, survived his fall and reached some low rank in post-crisis Gotham City's underworld in the pages of 52. He is one of a few criminals, including Sewer King, Mirage, and Rawson, beaten to death by Intergang boss Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim when the villains refused to immediately submit to Intergang. Intergang proceeded to wipe Kite Man's name from the public records, as if he had never existed. This is during Intergang's continuing rise to power in Gotham City outlined in that series.
Kite Man features several times during DC Rebirth and given a much more tragic backstory.
Charles "Chuck" Brown Sr. was an engineer who specialized in aerodynamics and who had previously worked for Joker by designed the Jokermobile. Due to this he was confronted by Batman during a gang-war between the super-criminals in Gotham between Joker and Riddler, with Joker's team being the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Deadshot, Man-Bat, Mad Hatter, Ventriloquist, Solomon Grundy, Cluemaster, Tweedledee and Tweedledum while Riddler's team included Poison Ivy, Two Face, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Deathstroke, Clayface, Firefly and Mr. Zsasz. Batman wanted Chuck to reach out to Joker and work as a double agent for Batman and threatened him into doing it, however Joker wanted Chuck to work as a mole for Riddler who had already figured out that he was working for Batman resulting in Chuck being forced to double cross three of the most dangerous criminals in Gotham. After this Chuck's son, Charles Brown Jr. was murdered by the Riddler who had poisoned the string on the kite which the boy was playing with.
Distraught and wanting vengeance on Riddler for the murder of his son, Charles created a hanglider suit for himself and then dubbed himself Kite Man, officially joining Joker's team in the Gang-War. Within the war, Kite Man became considered something of a joke despite his technological skills and it was revealed that Riddler purposefully drove Chuck to insanity as he knew he was weak willed enough to give away the Joker's location if pressured. Ultimately, Charles allied himself with Batman to defeat Riddler by tricking his forces into wearing specially designed gliders for their crimes but which Charles rigged to have Riddler's men fly into the Bat-Blimp.
After the war ended Chuck found himself unable to regain his sanity and he found himself stuck as a petty Super-criminal and Arkham Inmate.
In Other Media
- Kite Man appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Terror on Dinosaur Island", voiced by Jeffrey Combs. In a flashback, he equipped his gang with high-tech glider kites that allows them to commit crimes. Kite Man is stopped by Batman, and his former henchman Eel O'Brian (who Batman rescued after he fell into a vat of chemicals) testified against him in court, and was later arrested. Kite Man later appears in "Day of the Dark Knight" as an inmate trying to escape Iron Heights prison, but was foiled by Batman and Green Arrow. Kite Man also has a heroic counterpart in Earth-3, and joins a group of heroes in battling the Injustice Syndicate, but is defeated in "Deep Cover for Batman", and later imprisons Black Lightning while helping Owlman. Kite-Man reappears in the episode "Legends of the Dark Mite." He, along with The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, Killer Moth, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Catman, and several other villains are shown briefly in Bat-Mite's imagination.
- A LEGO version of Kite-Man appears in The Lego Batman Movie alongside other Batman villains.
- Kite Man also appears in LEGO DC Super-Villains, voiced again by Jeffrey Combs.
- In the animated series Harley Quinn, Kite Man is a recurring character who appears in season one as a love-interest for Poison Ivy. His characterization is consistent with that of his Rebirth counterpart. He and Poison Ivy begin dating and later get engaged only for Ivy to realize that she has feelings for Harley with the two struggling with an affair behind his back.
Notes and Trivia
- The name Charles Brown is a reference to comic-strip character Charlie Brown, a melancholy child known for frequently losing kites in trees and using the exclamation, "Rats!'.
- Kite-Man made a cameo in Batman: The Adventures Continue at a Christmas party for villains hosted by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, introducing him to the DCAU.