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Owlman is a character created by DC Comics as an evil counterpart for Batman considering there are breeds of owls that feed on bats. An Earth-2 version was promiently one of the antagonists of the storyline JLA: Earth 2.

In the New 52, Lincoln March is the main antagonist of the storylines City of Owls, Batman Eternal and Robin War as a prime universe version of Owlman as a member of the Court of Owls. An alternate version of Owlman from Earth-3, as a member of the Crime Syndicate, is one of the main antagonists of the event storyline Forever Evil and one of the secondary antagonists in The Darkseid War.

He also appears as the main villain in the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and the animated TV series Batman: Brave and The Bold in two episodes, voiced by James Woods and Diedrich Bader respectively.

History

Owlman first appeared in Justice League of America #29 (August 1964) and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. In his first appearance, Owlman is an unnamed super-intelligent supervillain who was created as an evil counterpart to Batman and is a member of the criminal organization known as the Crime Syndicate of America who originated and operated on the reverse Earth-Three.

In some of the pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate appearances, the Earth-Three Owlman also somehow has the ability to briefly control other people's minds.When he was knocked out, his subconscious mind was able to activate enough for him to say a word enabling him to travel to Earth-Three. He was also able to see in the dark. In the first travel between Earths, they met the JLA and JSA, but were defeated and imprisoned between Earth-1 and Earth-2 by Green Lantern. Later the time travelling villain Per Degaton released them as part of his plan to take over Earth-2 by stealing nuclear missiles from the Cuban Missile Crisis of Earth-Prime.

When the Syndicate betray him, they are sent to 1982 as he had made sure this would happen when they touched him. When he was defeated, these events were erased from existence. The pre-Crisis Earth-Three Owlman and all members of his Crime Syndicate are killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series at the hands of the Anti-Monitor from a wave of antimatter destroying pre-Crisis Earth-Three.

Justice League of America: Earth 2

This Owlman was developed to be reflective of the modern readers with a darker attitude and background than either of the two previous teams. On antimatter Earth, Owlman was now Thomas Wayne Jr. the older brother of that reality's Bruce Wayne. In most mainstream DC universe, Batman's genesis occurred when young Bruce Wayne was witness to the murder of his parents, Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne, and was inspired to devote his life to fighting crime.

In the antimatter universe however, young Bruce was killed along with his mother by a policeman when Thomas Sr. refused to accompany him for questioning. Thomas Jr. escaped the crime scene with the hoodlum Joe Chill , whom he considered his hero and grew up to become Owlman. Equipping himself with a utility belt containing technology and weapons similar to those used by Batman along with a drug-enhanced high intellect (devoted to crime rather than serving the law), Owlman became a master criminal and an ally to local crimelord "Boss" Gordon (the antimatter Earth's version of James Gordon).

Later he learned that his father Thomas Wayne Sr. was still alive and had become the chief of police in their world's version of Gotham City , gathering a cadre of police officers who did not give into the rampant corruption which infested their version of Earth. Thomas Jr. blames his father for the deaths of his mother and brother and it is strongly hinted that the main purpose to his criminal career is to punish his father, who is well aware of who he is and is equally determined to destroy his own son; during his visit to the "main" DC Universe, upon discovering the Waynes' grave he states that nothing matters because "He's dead", presumably referring to Thomas Wayne Sr., and actually shows a rare moment of humanity as he kneels in front of the grave.

While Clark Kent as Ultraman is the leader of the Syndicate, Thomas Jr. as Owlman is the real brains behind the group. The working relationship between the two is extremely tense, due to Ultraman's desire to rule the planet through fear and violence clashing with Owlman's more pragmatic desire to allow dissent and rebellion to run rampant (going so far as to funding opposition towards the Syndicate) in order to provide himself and his allies in the Syndicates enemies to fight.

Further complicating things is the fact that Thomas Jr. has carried on a longtime affair with Ultraman's wife, Superwoman. Ultraman has become aware of the affair, but due to Thomas Jr. having undisclosed photographic blackmail material against the villain, he is unable to seek retribution against Owlman for the betrayal.

In JLA: Earth 2, the antimatter Alexander Luthor, a heroic version of Lex Luthor, makes a reference to Owlman's "drug-enhanced" cerebral cortex, although this version of Owlman does not demonstrate any superhuman powers. Presumably, Thomas Jr. merely uses some sort of drug to enhance his mental capacity though it is not specifically stated how powerful his mental powers are or how they are enhanced through such artificial means.

Recently, Thomas Jr. and his antimatter Crime Syndicate allies have appeared in the weekly "Trinity " series, starting with issue #9. The 'Weaponers of Qward' had attacked their Earth, killing millions and tearing apart the landscaped. The Syndicate had kidnapped hundreds of innocent people from all 52 realities, including what appeared to be Jimmy Olsen, but was later revealed to be his anti-mater duplicate. It is unclear if Thomas Jr. allows the JLA to win in order to get the heroes off his source Earth and counterattack after they depart or if he was actually defeated.

In other media

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Owlman (Brave and the Bold)

Owlman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Owlman appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes "Deep Cover for Batman" and "Game Over for Owlman". He is voiced by Diedrich Bader, who also voices Batman in the same show. His backstory is relatively the same as within the Justice League comics.

After the Crime Syndicate took over their Earth, they decided to use a device known as a Phase Oscillator they stole from Owlman's archenemy, the Red Hood, that could open gateways to other worlds. Once on our world, Owlman was promptly defeated by Batman, who infiltrated the Injustice Syndicate as Owlman.

Somehow escaping, Owlman masqueraded as Batman in his doppelgänger's old costumes and framed the Dark Knight for crimes around Gotham City. This sent many of the Caped Crusader's allies after him, forcing the Batman to work with his top foe, the Joker. On Batman's earth, he gathered Black Manta, the Brain, Gorilla Grodd, Clock King, Gentleman Ghost and Dr. Polaris and captured the heroes. He even turned Joker on Batman. Fortunately in a battle royale, Batman gathered together Batmen from parallel earths and battled Owlman's syndicate, freeing the other heroes. Owlman, alongside the Joker, are defeated and sent to Iron Heights prison and Owlman is sent back to Earth-23 under the intensive care of Justice Underground.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Main article: Owlman (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths)

Gallery

Trivia

  • Although unconfirmed, it is believed by many that 514A from the FOX series Gotham is possibly an adaptation of Owlman.

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Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Phantasm | Joker | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Dru-Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins) | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler
Joker: Clowns (Joker & Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul, Woof & Bonk) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
Batman: Year One: Batman | Commissioner Loeb | Carmine Falcone | Arnold John Flass | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange | Ivy
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Black Manta, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Knockout | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze

Television
Batman: The Animated Series
Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge

The Batman
Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro | Joker 2.0 | Prank | Killgore Steed | Team Penguin | Julie

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Joker | Scarecrow | Queen of Fables | Darkseid | Parademons | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Lex Luthor | Bane | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Riddler | Kite Man | Doctor Psycho | Clayface | King Shark | Sy Borgman | Doctor Trap | Frank the Plant | Two-Face | Catwoman | Nick Quinzel | Sharon Quinzel

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