It's not everyday that Batman gets a new villain. Besides DC being precious about a new character coming into this storied franchise, there's also the fact that Batman has arguably the best rogue's gallery in all of superhero fiction - why create something new when there's so much already there?
But in a new series titlrd Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham, writer/artist Rafael Grampá is creating several new Batman villains - including one who is inspired by one of the most frightening movies around: Silence of the Lambs.
Moth-er will debut in December 12's Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham #2, and when talking to Popverse's Sam Stone earlier this month Grampá revealed her inspiration - and the inspiration for the inspiration.
"One of the movies that just blew my mind when I was a teenager was The Silence of the Lambs," says Grampá. "That scene when they found a cocoon inside the mouth of the victim, for me, it was so creepy and I enjoyed it a lot. This character is kind of based on that scene."
That was a Death's Head Moth from the 1991 Jonathan Demme film, as it was in the original 1988 Thomas Harris novel on which it was based. In those stories, a serial killer named Jame Gumb - who in addition to killing people, also raised these moths - and unwittingly clued investigators in on how to eventual capture him.
"I created Moth-er to dance with that experience again. Moth-er is inspired by The Silence of the Lambs, that scene," says the author. "This serial killer used to raise moths and I brought that to this."
Being inspired by a movie to create a Batman villain isn't new - Grampá knowingly keyed in on a long legacy that goes back to the creation of the Joker (inspired by The Man Who Laughs) and Two-Face (based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).
"If I followed this tradition, what character would I create if I wanted to follow that same pattern?"
As it turns out, Moth-er is an idea the author had been toying with for years - even before the opportunity to do Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham came about.
"With Moth-er, this character is old," Grampá reveals to Popverse. "I had another story before Gargoyle of Gotham and his name was Doctor Moth-er and he was the main villain of that version of the story. I wanted to use him and he was the perfect for what I wanted in Issue #2 and the next issues."
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