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Mutant Leader

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They call us a gang. They think we just noisy kids. Only when they die by our hands will they know Gotham City belongs to the Mutants!
~ The Mutant Leader

The Mutant Leader is the primary antagonist of the first half of The Dark Knight returns by Frank Miller. He has appeared in a few animated adaptations of the comic.


The Mutant Leader's real name is unknown. He was a hulking man with a shaved head whose teeth were filed down to sharp points. As his name implies, he led the Mutants, a violent street gang in future Gotham City. He mostly stayed on the sidelines while his minions went out and committed various crimes, ruling from the Mutants' hideout in a junkyard. He fancied himself more than a mere gang leader, apparently seeing himself as a dictator or a warlord. He regularly made televised threats to the people of Gotham, warning them to follow his commands or suffer the consequences. He also expressed some cannibalistic tendencies - he stated he wished to eat Commissioner Gordon's bones and Batman's heart, also partially ate the mayor.


The Mutant Leader holding a rally.

When Batman made his big comeback, he forced a Mutant to tell him where the gang regularly met, and then took the armored Batmobile to the junkyard. Using explosives and rubber bullets, he subdued the regular gang members until only the Leader was left. Arrogantly, the Leader marched up to the Batmobile and taunted Batman to come out and fight him. Batman accepted his challenge. In the ensuing fight, the younger, bigger, faster, stronger Leader easily dominated the aged Dark Knight, viciously beating him with a crowbar and nearly killing him. Only a timely intervention by the new Robin distracted the Leader long enough for Batman to defeat him.

The Leader was taken into custody and locked away in solitary confinement. His gang remained free, though, and continued terrorizing the city. The mayor tried to speak to the Leader to make him call his followers off, but he responded by killing him in the interrogation room. Batman realized the only way to get the Mutants to back off was to make them stop worshiping the Leader, to dethrone him in their eyes, so he engineered the villain's escape from prison, and also arranged for his entire gang to be present. The two opponents fought each other in a mud pit.

The mud slowed the Mutant Leader down, making him slower than before. Batman was also able to render one of his arms useless by punching a nerve that made it go limp. Despite this, the Leader still presented a considerable challenge to the Dark Knight. Nevertheless, Batman eventually triumphed. After getting the gang boss down for the count, he broke several of his limbs in front of the shock and horrified Mutants. The crippled Leader was returned to jail, and the Mutants then splintered into several factions. Some stayed Mutants, others formed new gangs, but most of them became the "Sons of Batman."


Batman: The Animated Series

The Mutant Leader

The Mutant Leader as he appears in Carrie's story.

In the episode Legends of the Dark Knight, three children named Nick, Matt, and Carrie (based on Carrie Kelly) had different views based on the comic history of Batman. Nick's view of the Dark Knight is a homage to the first Batman stories of Detective Comics, in which Batman seems to be somewhat portrayed as a strange, dark, creature of the night. Matt's tale is a homage to the Batman comics of the 1960's and 1970's.

Carrie's tale is a homage to The Dark Knight Returns. A slightly toned down version of Batman's battle with the Mutant Leader is seen, and the segment combines the two fights so that the mud pit is in the junkyard.

The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1


The Mutant Leader appears as a main villain in this very faithful adaptation of Frank Miller's comic.

The LEGO Batman Movie


The Mutant Leader has a cameo in the LEGO Batman Movie, briefly appearing and attacking Batman inside his car.

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