Once a regular, insignificant, and appropriately squashable fly, Gnatmare came to be by sheer chance. Malnourished and in poor shape, the fly entered a F.O.W.L. facility just as the organization was testing a superpower-inducing device, the maybeam. The fly crossed the beam by accident and mutated into a miniature master of might: The Gnatmare. Since that day, revenge is easy peasy and the whole of St. Canard is to inhale its fumes. Gnatmare's powers include superstrength and superspeed and in both areas he has yet to be introduced to a rival. All the same, Gnatmare is still the fly from before his mutation and he is effortlessly rocked when dealt a jab at his former strategies of survival. His straight-lined anger makes him vulnerable to trickery.
Gnatmare's name, provided he had one, from before his mutation is unmentioned. It appears that even for a fly, Gnatmare's old self was notably forceless. Between fleeing from the rolled-up newspapers, feet, and fly swatters of large society and being of use to small society as shoe polisher to avoid being eaten, there was limited time left for him to tend to the matters of his health. Hunger was one of his few true companions and it was that companion that led him into a life-changing event. In trying to get a piece of a deluxe sandwich, the fly paid no mind that it belonged to F.O.W.L. and that it was leverage to get their troops to agree to experimentation with the maybeam. Steelbeak's rolled-up newspapers would be the last Gnatmare ever had to dodge as in his escape he got hit by the beam.
The fly, who dubbed himself the Gnatmare, was enhanced with physical improvements that at minimum entail superstrength and superspeed. Gnatmare's strength makes him impervious to most forms of physical violence and few obstacles remain an impediment. Combined with his superspeed, this gives his small form the advantage of bullet or bouncy ball properties. He is still vulnerable to anything that aims for his internal system, like gas and electricity, but he can protect himself against such and in case of electricity a voltage is required that isn't commonly available.
His pre-superpower life has done a number on Gnatmare's psyche. He likes to act all mighty and malevolent, but this flows from a sudden change of fate away from being at the bottom of the pecking order. The frustration of being powerless is still present and fuels his temperament. Any move to treat him as an ordinary fly is met with rage and immediate retaliation. The chance of murder happening goes up even further in case of a deliberate provocation, which may take the form of mockery of his origins. Gnatmare's choice to be a villain is his revenge on the world, or at least St. Canard, for putting him through what he went through. He's primarily a thief and steals that which adds more comfort to his life, be that jewels or garbage. Gnatmare is still growing to realize what he can lay claim to and has relatively low standards to satisfy.
Gnatmare is a light blue fly with a large pink nose. His cheeks droop a little and there's bags under his eyes. Before gaining superpowers, he wore a black vest that sometimes was accessorized with a black cap. He was scrawny and regularly sported signs of injury, notably in his wings. After acquiring superpowers, he became more muscular and exchanged his vest for a green jumpsuit with blue boots, gloves, a belt, and a helmet. His pupils have become permanently encircled in two red rings.
Joe Books comics
Shortly before dawn, Gnatmare targets the Jewelry Exchange store. Three police officers are sent his way and despite that this isn't even his first heist they think nothing of the fly carrying the safe and try to stomp it. Gnatmare whacks them through the window and would've done them more bodily harm would Darkwing Duck not have made his entrance. Gnatmare gladly changes bullseyes and flattens the caped crusader with his loot bag. Darkwing recovers with a "Suck gas, evildoer," but a mere handclap by the insect blows the gas right back to its source. Thus defenseless, Gnatmare finishes his round by throwing the emptied safe on top of his enemy. Darkwing tries once more with a net, but Gnatmare is too small to be caught and locks him up in the safe, ending the battle. Darkwing's continuous losses against the bug motivate Gosalyn and Honker to try something of their own. They obtain the helmet of the Bugmaster and take it to the roof of Quackwerks building to find the Gnatmare's lair. Gosalyn gets more than either party bargained for when she falls into Gnatmare's mind and is treated to his backstory. She witnesses his struggling for survival up until the moment he gained his superpowers in a F.O.W.L. facility he'd stumbled into by coincidence. Steelbeak chased him off a sandwich straight into the maybeam and the rest is history. During the mind-link, Gnatmare finds out the children's location and pays them a visit. Darkwing shows up timely once more and Gnatmare defeats him once more. He makes the St. Canard Landfill his next stop, but Darkwing ruins it by swatting him, thereby provoking him to follow into a trap. The crimefighter has arranged for the assistance of Megavolt to create a bug zapper even the Gnatmare can't withstand. After being fried, he's easily arrested.
- Upon the issue's release, Aaron Sparrow made a tweet that the name "Gnatmare" was not the writers' first choice and invited fans to guess what the name preferably was going to be. The correct answer was not guessed, but "Buzzkill" was revealed to have been another secondary option. Sparrow later revealed on The Old Haunt forum that his name was to be the Juggergnat, evidently in reference to the Juggernaut from Uncanny X-Men.