Real Name: Professor James Moriarty
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Maths Professor, Crimelord
Affiliations: Dante, Dorian Gray, Sanderson Reed
Enemies: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Known Relatives: Colonel James Moriarty (brother)
Aliases: The Napoleon of Crime, M
Base of Operations: London and Mongolia
First Appearance: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (a.k.a. LXG, 20th Century Fox, 2003)
Powers/Abilities: Criminal genius. Expert hand-to-hand combatant and inventor, given that he created several weapons and machines of mass destruction and was capable of going up against the very experienced Allan Quartermain in single combat.
History: The arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, who ruled the London underworld in the late 19th century, before he (apparently) met his death at the Reichenbach Falls at the hands of the great detective. An extremely intelligent man of good birth, Moriarty was a Professor of Mathematics, writing a treatise on the bionmial theorem, lecturing about eclipses, and becoming the celebrated author of "The Dynamics of An Asteroid", a book so advanced that "no man in the scientific press is able to criticize it".
Rumors about some dark past forced Moriarty to leave his University Chair to become an army coach, and then went to London. At first, in a manner similar to Holmes being a consulting detective, Moriarty was a consulting criminal, in one instance aiding a crime syndicate from America to track down "Birdy Edwards". Later he set up his own criminal syndicate, with Colonel Sebastian Moran as his right hand. In 1891, when Holmes disrupted his criminal activities, he pursued the detective across Europe to the aforementioned Falls in Switzerland, where the two fought and Moriarty fell to his apparent death.
However, it turned out that he actually managed to survive this fall, although how was never explained. Despite his having survived with no apparent harm beyond a few damaged bones, Moriarty was still drastically altered. He believed that his near-death experience let him be reborn as a new man, greater than Moriarty had ever aspired to be. Calling himself 'The Fantom', he organized his own private army and attacked various countries, attempting to trigger a world war.
Determined to gain the ultimate army, he posed as an agent of the British Government (called simply 'M') in charge of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen- a group of unique individuals that was formed when the normal resources of the Government weren't enough (False past members included the Three Musketeers, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Robin Hood, and Dracula). To form this League, he contacted Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Rodney Skinner, Dr Henry Jekyll, and Mina Harker, intending to photograph Nemo's Nautilus, acquire samples from Skinner, Jekyll and Mina, and use Quartermain's natural skills to catch Hyde. He also blackmailed the immortal Dorian Gray by stealing the painting that kept him immortal, and used him as an inside man to acquire the secrets of the LXG.
However, even Moriarty couldn't predict everything. Not only was there the complication of Special Agent Tom Sawyer of the American Secret Service joining the League, but there was also the little factor of Hyde and Skinner being far more heroic than he originally believed. Not only did the League succeed in saving Venice from his attempts to destroy it, and Quatermain manage to unmask him, compromising his M identity, but when Dorian Gray and Moriarty fled in a stolen Nautiloid (one of the great submarine's escape crafts), Skinner managed to sneak onboard and accompany them. Then, when bombs planted by Dorian Gray damaged the Nautilus, Hyde managed to stop the vessel from sinking. Believing the League to be dead, Moriarty returned to his main hideout in Mongolia, where his scientists examined the genetic material harvested from League members in order to reproduce their powers. By the time the League caught up with him, he had already created his own Invisible Man and had a large batch of the Hyde Serum prepared. While Moriarty battled Quartermain in a one-on-one fist fight, Sawyer and Skinner took on his Invisible Man and an armored man with a flamethrower, Mina battled Dorian Gray, and Hyde and Nemo confronted a soldier of Moriarty's who'd taken all the Hyde serum they'd developed in one go. All four of the League's opponents were defeated, but in the process of shooting the second Invisible Man, Quartermain was stabbed by Moriarty. Using a cape to slow his descent, Moriarty then dived right out of a tower, carrying the samples of the serums made from the League members' genetic material. However, as he ran, he was shot in the back by Sawyer, when only a few feet away from the Nautiloid. The serums fell out of his hand and into a hole in the ice, where they were lost forever.
Comments: Played by Richard Roxburgh.
Thanks to "David" for much of the above profile.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Fantomah, Golden Age heroine
Fantomas, French anti-hero
le Fantôme Justicier, French ghost
M, boss of James Bond
Professor Moriarty, the original version from the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Professor Moriarty, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic version
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Back to General UK Comic Book Heroes.
Back to UK Superheroes Main Page.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.