BATMAN fans are hunting a villain who took £40,000 for costumes that never arrived.
Enthusiasts paid prop-maker Kris Poppleton, 43, up to £4,000 each for the movie-quality Batsuits.
But after years of missed deadlines and broken promises, he suddenly shut his online stores.
He stopped answering calls and the 20-strong group now fear they will never see their suits or their cash.
One customer, Sebastian Schlump, 33, said: “He’s a villain. He’s worse than the Joker.”
Poppleton, 43, of Churwell, near Leeds, was respected among Caped Crusader fans for the quality of his work.
Many thought him a friend after having long chats about the designs of their replicas of Dark Knight actor Christian Bale’s costume.
But last month he shut his eBay and Etsy stores, posting a brief message saying he could not discuss the reasons why.
Jay Gough, 36, of Telford, Shrops, has one Batsuit but ordered another for £1,500.
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He said: “I paid up front but it never arrived. He kept promising it would be here soon but then another deadline passed and another.”
Fans from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, the Netherlands and Japan also complain they have lost money.
They plan to contact police. Poppleton refused to comment.
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