CRIMSON CAVALIER

Real Name: Jean-Luc Batroc (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (World War I era);
    French citizen

Occupation: Professional criminal;
    former adventurer, hero

Group Membership: Formerly Freedom's Five (Phantom Eagle (Karl Kaufmann), Silver Squire (Clarence Armatage), Sir Steel (Ned Chapel), Union Jack (Montgomery, Lord Falsworth));
    formerly (and possibly again after his known activities) the gangs of Marseille, les Apache thugs of Paris

AffiliationsIron Fist (Orson Randall), Eben Stafford and his men

Enemies: Baron Blood (John Falsworth), Martian Masters;
    possibly Ursula Frankenstein and her "monstrous corpse soldiers"

Known Relatives: Presumably Georges Batroc (aka Batroc the Leaper, descendent), and via that connection Marie Batroc (possible distant relative);
    Jacques Duquesne, Armand Duquesne (alleged relatives, deceased, see comments)

AliasesRene Duquesne (see comments)

Base of Operations: Europe, World War I era

First Appearance: Invaders I#7 (July, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: The Crimson Cavalier carried a rapier which could effortlessly slice through metal. He also wielded a dagger. 

    According to Union Jack, he was unparalleled with the sword, as well as with a French form of "acrobatic foot-fighting" (presumably savate).

    He was a patriot, fighting for his country against enemy nations, but when his nation was not at risk, he was a common criminal.

History

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) <Prior to the unpleasantries <of the Great War>> - The Crimson Cavalier ran with the gangs of Marseille and les Apache thugs of Paris.

(Invaders I#7 (fb)) - In the latter days of World War I, the Crimson Cavalier joined a team of fellow costumed heroes called "Freedom's Five." His teammates included Union Jack, the Phantom Eagle, Sir Steel and the Silver Squire.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Freedom's Five had an adventure, where Sir Steel came at their opponents straight on, getting their attention and drawing their fire, while the others took their opponents by surprise from the flank.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#14: Phantom Eagle) - The Freedom's Five were instrumental in bringing about a number of significant victories for the Allies during World War I.

ANI12(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) <October, 1917> - Crimson Cavalier was present during a Freedom's Five -- joined by Iron Fist (Orson Randall), but lacking Phantom Eagle and the Silver Squire -- meeting regarding the threat of Ursula Frankenstein (who was apparently creating "monstrous corpse soldiers using some kind of mad science")  which was interrupted by notification of the threat of the Martian Masters.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb)) - As Freedom's Five confronted the Masters, Crimson Cavalier and Union Jack engaged the armored Masters. The Cavalier wondered if they were German or Turkish monsters, but Union Jack, recalling a similar attack from "about a decade ago," noted that they were from Mars. 

    When the creatures (or perhaps their tripod warriors) fired an energy blast, Union Jack tackled the Cavalier, saving him, but leaving both vulnerable to the armored Masters; they were saved by the timely arrival of the Phantom Eagle who cut down a number of the Masters. 

    The Cavalier then helped take down one of the tripods, putting the final blow that broke one its legs; the tripod shattered upon striking the ground. 
    After a group of high-tech weaponry-wielding men under Eben Stafford arrived and attacked the remaining Martian Masters, the Masters vanished back to Mars, taking one of these high-tech warriors with him (I'm not sure whether this was supposed to be John Carter, or what....)

(Invaders I#7 / Vampires: Marvel Undead: Baron Blood entry) - Freedom's Five was often on Baron Blood’s trail, but always a few steps behind; actual encounters proved rare, fleeting, and never when Union Jack was present, until 1918, when Blood was sent to London to slay senior British government and military leaders.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) <As of 1922, per Union Jack> - Jean-Luc Batroc returned to his criminal ways, perhaps even supplying the opium in which Orson Randall had been partaking.

(Avengers Spotlight#22/2 (fb) - BTS) - Armand Duquesne believed family legends which identified him as a relative. Armand received one of the Crimson Cavalier's swords from his father, and Armand's son Jacques later wielded it as the Swordsman.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Frank Robbins and Vince Colletta.

Obviously the civilian identity given for Crimson Cavalier in All-New Invaders differs from the one revealed in Vampires: The Marvel Undead#1 (December, 2011). Four options suggest themselves:

(1) The name in ANI retcons the one in OHOTMU completely out of existence. He is Jean-Luc Batroc, not Rene DuQuesne. Possible, but a shame given the latter was chosen after consultation with his creator, Roy Thomas, and in support of Avengers Spotlight's revelation that he was related to the Swordsman, Jacques DuQuesne.

(2) The OHOTMU name holds; the one in ANI came from Union Jack's journal, and was false, perhaps UJ protecting his ally's true identity in the event the journal fell into the wrong hands. He is Rene DuQuesne, not Jean-Luc Batroc. Feasible, but clearly not what ANI writer James Robinson intended.

(3) Both names hold - there were two Crimson Cavaliers, DuQuesne being the first (and wearing the musketeer outfit), then incapacitated or killed (it was war, after all) and replaced by Batroc (wearing the more modern French uniform). Certainly possible, especially given the differing costumes.

(4) Both names hold, but there is only one Crimson Cavalier. Given that the Batroc belonged to a known criminal, perhaps either he was really DuQuesne, but did his criminal activities under an alias of Batroc, or else he was originally Batroc, but when hiding out from the authorities he took the alias DuQuesne.

    Whatever the truth proves to be will come down to the choices of future writers. Regardless of his name, the possible relationship to Swordsman holds true, and if he is also Jean-Luc Batroc then it raises the possibility that he's also related to Batroc the Leaper. Hey, maybe Batroc and Swordsman were cousins, descended from Crimson Cavalier's sons?

    Actually, given how different this version appeared as compared to previous accounts, it seems quite possible that it is a different version...
--Snood

    John Holstein further contended: 

    If an alias Jean-Luc Batroc & Rene Duquesne could both be The Crimson Cavalier’s real name, if Batroc or Duquesne is his mother's maiden name and Jean-Luc or Rene is his middle name. Plus with all the heroes with the last name Jones, Batroc & Duquesne does not mean he is related to Batroc the Leaper or the original Swordsman. 
    And then added: If I was writing the Official Handbooks I would ask Marvel if I could identify one of the unidentified Paris swordsmen in the Challenger's origin (page 6, panel 8 of Daring Mystery Comics#7 (4/41)) as the Crimson Cavalier. 
             

    And Loki clarified:

    Yes, he could simply share the same surname as the Swordsman or Batroc the Leaper. However, he was specifically said to be thought a relative of the Swordsman, and the DuQuesne name was picked to go along with that, rather than the other way round - so if he is DuQuesne, it's not just a coincidence. As for Batroc being a coincidence, possible, but clearly not intended to be, given the mention of his style of martial arts kick fighting and his criminal career in Marseilles, the same city Batroc the Leaper was later born in.

Profile by Prime Eternal; updated by Snood

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Crimson Cavalier should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Invaders I#7, page 17 (numbered), panel 2
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#13 - Freedom's Five entry


Invaders I#7 (July, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Frank Robbins (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
Avengers Spotlight#22 (September, 1989) - Lou Mougin (writer), Don Heck (penciler/inker), Jose Marzan (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
All-New Invaders#12 (January, 2015) - James Robinson (writer), Barry Kitson & Marc Laming (flashback pencilers), P. Craig Russell (flashback inker), Emily Shaw (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 09/09/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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