The Cavalier is a supervillain and an enemy of Batman who uses a sword as his main weapon and whose trademark is excessive (and often false) gallantry. He is (former) millionaire Mortimer Drake, who originally turned to crime when his desire to build a private history museum outstripped his ability to pay for the exhibits, so he stole them. Since then, he has lost his millions and his motivation now is theft for profit.
Mortimer Drake was a man of exotic and idiosyncratic taste. He was a playboy and friend of Bruce Wayne's, owning a private museum, in which he places curios. When he found himself unable to purchase more exotic valuables for his collection legally, he resorted to theft. Donning a costume resembling that of a Musketeer, he called himself the Cavalier. His course of actions ultimately brought him into conflict with Batman and Robin. He also utilized an electrified sword and gadgets, which enable him to escape Batman, resurfacing later, where he manages to elude Batman again in his curio-grabbing sprees. Drake continued to match wits against Batman and Robin several times, and escaped them in each encounter, but when the Cavalier was trying to steal an old typewriter and failed, he barely managed to escape his next encounter with Batman, this time defeating himself by egotistically placing a clue to his real identity as Mortimer Drake at the club where Bruce Wayne is a member. Batman was soon able to use this to easily deduce the Cavalier's identity, leading to Drake's eventual imprisonment.
In his next appearance, Cavalier goes after something worthwhile, robbing a masquerade ball, before trying to make off with Gotham Museum's live whale. Batman succeeded in outfoxing Drake again, and captures him.
The Cavalier was absent in comic books for some time, only next appearing in the 1970s as a member of the jury in the "trial" for the "murder" of the Batman. He also appears, in a big villain gathering in Detective Comics #526, (attempting to harm a woman, which he steadfastly refuses to do - in another story, the gallant rogue stops a caper to help an old lady carry her shopping!)
In Batman Family #10, Batgirl and Batwoman teamed up to defeat the Cavalier. Cavalier couldn't find a way around his code, which prevented hitting females, but after a self-examination he concludes “the devil with gallantry” and hit Batgirl with his fist.
A few months later, Killer Moth bet Cavalier that he could find the way into the Batcave from Batgirl before the Cavalier could get it off of Robin. While Killer Moth was led to a fake cave, the Cavalier was shown a large nest, to which the villain came to the conclusion that Robin was secretly an alien bird life form. (Batman Family #15)
Drake next appeared in Who's Who #3, 1985.
The Cavalier later resurfaced as part of a group of supervillain drinking buddies who were trying to regain their lost items of power. Cavalier fared badly, losing his sword to Wally Tortellini in a poker game. He was soon defeated by Blue Beetle, who clotheslined him in an alleyway. (Justice League Of America #44)
In recent years, the Cavalier has become insane and is kept in Arkham Asylum. Drake was committed to the asylum under Arkham's newest administrator, Jeremiah Arkham, who was secretly being manipulated by Arkham inmate Victor Zsasz. During the "Last Arkham" storyline, the Cavalier was taken to a therapy room with some of the other inmates to watch Batman pitted against Amygdala, a hulking, violent, mental patient housed at Arkham in an attempt by Jeremiah to humiliate and break Batman mentally and physically. When Amygdala was defeated by Batman, Jeremiah released the Cavalier and a large group of inmates (Including The Joker, Scarecrow, Two-Face, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Poison Ivy, Black Mask, The Spook, Mad Hatter, Maxie Zeus, Crazy Quilt, and Egghead) into the room to battle Batman gladiator-style, telling him that since he had learned nothing from the battle with Amygdala, and that it was time to let some of his enemies settle a few of their old scores. The Cavalier grabbed for Batman and caught him by the sleeve, although Batman tore free and Drake took a blow intended for the Caped Crusader. After the villains were defeated, the Cavalier was presumptuously taken back to his padded cell by the Arkham staff. A year later, he was freed from the asylum during the "Knightfall" storyline after Bane broke open Arkham Asylum, but was quickly recaptured, getting slammed in the face by the Dark Knight's feet and being defeated with ease. (Detective Comics # 661) It remains to be seen how Drake became insane, or if his origin has changed because of the first crisis.
The Cavalier later appears as an informant for Black Lightning. (Justice League of America #2) The Cavalier was also shown among the villains attempting to claim the bounty on the Secret Six. Battling the Secret Six alongside Captain Stingaree, the massive battle ended with both Drake and Stingaree seemingly killed and left for dead. (Secret Six vol. 3 #7)
Drake, however, recently turned up alive during the "Battle for the Cowl" storyline acting as a bodyguard for Leslie Thompkins. (Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1) His survival has since been reconfirmed, as he is again seen with Dr. Thompkins. (Red Robin #16) The Cavalier's re-entry into active crime followed, when he was seen attempting multiple small heists around Gotham, only to be foiled each time by Batman or Catwoman. However, those small crimes were merely an attempt to hide his role as the mastermind behind the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the Wayne Enterprises pension fund. Eventually, Batman and Catwoman, working together, were able to follow the money trail to Drake, expose his role in the embezzlement, and return the funds. (Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money #1, Jan. 2011)
Powers and Abilities
The Cavalier has no super human abilities; he is however, an athlete, skilled hand-to-hand combatant, excellent marksman, and master swordsman. His carries a rapier that emits electric blasts. The feather plume on the Cavalier’s hat is actually a steel tipped dart.
- The Cavalier appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Eyes of Despero" voiced by Greg Ellis. He speaks in Elizabethan era style (to which Batman remarks "Somewhere Shakespeare is spinning in his grave."). The Dark Knight makes quick work of Cavalier and is then sent to space by Hal Jordan's ring. The Cavalier later reappeared in the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" He is among the various Gotham City villains hypnotized by the Music Meister. The Cavalier appears again in "Night of the Batmen" where he battles Green Arrow who is disguised as Batman. During the fight, the Cavalier exclaims "Have at thee, thou dankish, foul-born ratsbane!" The Cavalier's most substantial role was in "Bold Beginnings" where he is the starring villain of the cold open. In it, Batman and Green Arrow fight Cavalier who has captured Ruby Ryder. It turns out that Cavalier and Ruby Ryder were in collaboration when they trapped Batman and Green Arrow. Batman and Green Arrow manage to escape the death trap and defeat Cavalier and Ruby Ryder.
- The Cavalier battled Batman during a brief exchange in the 1994 BBC radio adaptation of Batman: Knightfall. He was one of the escaped Arkham Asylum inmates. After Batman defeats the Cavalier, the foppish rogue cries, "You broke my nose you cad!"
- The Mortimer Drake version of Cavalier also appears in the DC Super Hero Girls TV series, voiced by Griffin Puatu. In this series, he is a high school stage actor like Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and he harbors a grudge against Zatanna after she upstaged him in an elementary school play.
- Cavalier also appears in Batman Adventures #1. His portrayal is a cross between Robin Hood and Zorro, in stealing from those he perceives rich and slashing his sword in that person's clothes.