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In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers is confronted by an algerian pirate known as Batroc, who manages to go toe to toe with him in a fight.

There aren't many people who can do this, and most of them are "super-men" or have some other edge. Brock Rumlow tried in the lift and and was beaten up fairly efficiently!

Is there anything special about Batroc which explains his exceptional combat ability?

  • Related: movies.stackexchange.com/q/18546/49. – TARS Nov 3 '14 at 10:11
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    He’s like a rilly good fighter? Like rilly rilly great? – Paul D. Waite Nov 3 '14 at 14:26
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    This question has already been adequately answered, but I wanted to point out that to me it felt like Cap was testing his martial arts skills more than he was trying to win the fight with Batroc. – numaroth Nov 3 '14 at 14:59
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No, there is nothing "special" about Batroc the Leaper. He is an exceptional savate fighter (savateur) and former member of the French Foreign Legion who became a mercenary. This makes him a total badarse, but he is just a man, albeit an exceptional one.

From Wikipedia:

Batroc the Leaper has no superhuman abilities, but is in peak physical condition in every respect. He is an Olympic-level weightlifter and has extraordinary agility and reflexes. His leg muscles are particularly well developed enabling him to leap great distances equal to an Olympic athlete. He is an expert hand-to-hand combatant and specializes in savate (French-style kickboxing). He is also a skilled military tactician, having formerly been in the French Foreign Legion.

Batroc is also an experienced thief and smuggler, and can speak both French and English. Although, as a mercenary, he does not hesitate to perform any number of criminal acts for his clients, Batroc has a strong sense of honor; he will turn against any client whom he feels has unfairly deceived him into committing crimes to which he might not otherwise have agreed.

I must add, however, that the Batroc in The Winter Soldier and the Batroc in the comics do have some differences. For one thing, in the film he is described as Algerian, but in the comics he really is a Frenchman, from Marseilles. There may be other differences as well. Regardless, he is one of a very small number of regular humans that can go toe-to-toe with Captain America; he's considerably better in hand-to-hand combat than Rumlow.

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    He's a Black Widow/Hawkeye then. Thanks for clarifying! – Liath Nov 3 '14 at 9:53
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    @Liath: I've never thought of it that way, but yes, that's an excellent way of describing him. Like Thaddeus, I was glad to see him portrayed as competent in the recent film, as I've always been a fan of the character (one of the first comic books I ever read as a child had him kicking the snot out of Spiderman, in contrast to the comic character he was portrayed as in most other comics at the time). He'd be a great villain for the Agents of SHIELD program, but I doubt Georges St Pierre, who is a former UFC Champion, is a good enough actor to play him regularly. – James Sheridan Nov 3 '14 at 12:22
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    My understanding of the super-soldier serum was that it also raised its subject to “peak physical condition in every respect”, so when you think about it, Cap and Batroc kinda have the same deal. – Paul D. Waite Nov 3 '14 at 14:29
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    @PaulD.Waite: Agreed. Except that, unlike Cap, who "came out of a bottle," Batroc earnt it the hard way. – James Sheridan Nov 3 '14 at 21:40
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    @JamesSheridan: yeah! Take that Steve. – Paul D. Waite Nov 3 '14 at 22:55
10

While we know little about Batroc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Earth-199999, he is reportedly a fierce and capable mercenary and an expert in the French martial art, Savate.

From the Marvel Cinematic Wiki:

  • Georges Batroc is an Algerian mercenary, kickboxer and martial artist. He is a master of Savate.

From Wikipedia:

  • Batroc the Leaper appears in the 2014 feature film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, portrayed by French Canadian former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre.

  • He appears as an Algerian pirate who is holding a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship hostage. Captain America, Black Widow and a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents rescue the hostages. Batroc then has a fight with Captain America but is eventually defeated, and later escapes.

  • He is captured by Alexander Pierce and brought in for questioning, but is seen to remain silent during interrogation. Nick Fury later reveals he hired Batroc to hijack the ship to give him an excuse to send Black Widow on board so she could steal files while there.

In the Canon Marvel Universe, Earth-616

Batroc is more colorfully known as Batroc the Leaper.

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales of Suspense #75, 1966. He is a mercenary and a master of the French form of kick boxing known as savate. Writer Mark Waid described the character as ahead of his time, elaborating "He was a Jean-Claude Van Damme, but he was in the 1960s."

  • Batroc is all over the page depending on who is writing him. In his early adventures he was garishly dressed and his French accent was played up, making him mostly a comic relief type of villain. He was an excellent fighter and his superior leg strength gained him the sobriquet of "The Leaper" for his long distance martial kicks.

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  • Batroc has no superhuman abilities, but he is an Olympic level athlete which includes his mastery of kickboxing and savate. Depending on his writers, his mercenary training makes him anything from competent to outright deadly in his tactical ability, technique and overall fighting skill. He did lead a group of mercs known as Batroc's Brigade and he is primarily a Captain America villain.

enter image description here

  • It is interesting to see him played so straight and competent in the recent Captain America movies, it bodes well to see him again. And while he has been played as comic relief, he isn't afraid to mix it up and has taken on some of Marvel's heavy hitters such as Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

enter image description here

1

You mentioned the between Rumlow and Cap on the elevator. I think a major difference between this fight and the fight against Batroc is the confinement of space worked in Cap's favor. The Hydra agents were limited in what they could do and how they could move, and even how many of them could actually reach and hurt Cap; whereas every time Cap moved he connected with something. Giving Cap's strength and skill, even at partial mobility he was doing serious damage with every hit.

In his fight against Batroc, Batroc was able to fight to the full extent of his abilities. In Civil War Rumlow was able to put up more of a fight, though it still paled in comparison to the Batroc fight, but Batroc is a former soldier and a master of his fighting style so that stands to reason.

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From Superheroreviews.com:

Batroc the Leaper -- Batroc in the Marvel Comics Universe is a French criminal with amazing physical abilities in gymnastics and martial arts. He is a master of Savate (French kickboxing), but possesses no super-powers. Batroc has a unique sense of honor, and longs for the day when he can defeat Captain America (whom he admires in a weird sort of way), in a fair fight. In the Marvel Comics Universe, Batroc has joined with other villains in loose alliances usually referred to as Batroc's Brigade. In the Marvel Universe, Batroc is a former soldier in the French Foreign Legion and a martial artist who hires himself out to the highest bidder, including, (in his first comics appearance), HYDRA. Despite being a master criminal, Batroc has turned on his employers and other allies if he perceives them to be dishonorable. This occurred in his first encounter against Captain America, where Batroc disapproved of the tactics used by HYDRA, and actually aided Captain America in his battle against the terrorist organization. Batroc is a character conceived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the Marvel Silver Age. In the 2014 Marvel Studios film, Batroc is played by Georges St. Pierre, a Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter who battles Captain America in the opening scenes.

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    This answer only quotes a secondary source, and adds nothing of value to existing answers. – Gallifreyan Jul 13 '17 at 17:15
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    Yeah, this is just quoting another source, that's generally not how writing answers here works. – Bellatrix Jul 13 '17 at 17:22

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