by Nurse J
………..by Beeslo…………………………………..by Awesome the Hedgehog
(It’s simple… We kill the Batman.)
Welcome once again to “The List”, our little neck of the woods where all sorts of ‘Top 10′ lists occur. For our 3rd “The List” we wanted to do something very special to finish off Batman week. We’ve been focusing so much on ‘The Joker’ these past weeks that we’d like to shed some light on some of the OTHER popular rogues of the Batman villain gallery. There are also a ton of surly fellows wandering the streets of Gotham City at night, so this list wasn’t at all easy to do, let alone have THREE comic book geeks agree upon it. However, without further delay, let’s begin!
#10. Black Mask
Roman Sionis, rich and self-centered industrialist who disfigured thousands after he demanded his company’s latest product ‘waterproof make-up’ was to be shipped out right away without proper testing. After Wayne enterprises bailed out the company and Roman suffered humiliation after his fiancé broke up with him in front of several staff members, Sionis turned to the life of crime and became the Black Mask (he does kinda look like the Red Skull though.)
The Black Mask deserves a spot in this top ten for a very important reason; he is responsible for killing the fourth Robin aka Spoiler (although she recently has come back to life/print with the excuse of having ‘faked’ her death.) Surely something as evil as that has to get you somewhere on the list. However, Roman’s reign of terror did not last and was shot in the back of the head, snapping his bottom jaw clean off. Who killed him? Why don’t you take a look at the next spot on our list for the answer…
Sure, Catwoman’s not a psycho killer criminal and 9/10 times she’s on the good guy side, but there is no other villain who holds as much power over Batman. Catwoman has Batman so sexually frustrated, that he’s looked past her criminal acts more than once. She knows how to work the man to her whim, and there’s nothing more dangerous than someone who has THAT much control of you and your beliefs/morals. There is also the very on again off again sort of relationship between Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne which adds a whole new level to their relationship of hero and villain. Plus, she has that whole ‘sexy leather outfit’ thing going on for her, which is always a plus for a female villain.
#8. Mr. Freeze
While nowadays this Batman villain is a running joke thanks to the Governator and Joel Schumacher, he was at his prime during the run of Batman: The Animated Series back in the mid 90′s. Back during his early years, he was just seen as a cookie-cutter Batman villain who happened to have ice powers, but during the 90′s cartoon series, we are re-introduced to a tragically flawed individual who justifies his illegal actions because he searches for a cure for his beloved wife. Bringing such emotion and integrity to a character definitely makes him one of Batman’s most dangerous villains, because a person is much more deadly when they fight not for themselves, but for their loved ones.
#7. Poison Ivy
It takes a special kind of woman to have a name reminiscent of uncomfortable itching but to still have men falling all over you. This psychotic feminist, known as Poison Ivy, aims straight for the Batman himself with all of her love potions, seducing kisses, and all the sorts. She’s had Bruce Wayne and Batman under her control more than once, without him even realizing it. Once a ‘peace seeking’ Villain, who simply wanted to fund her research and move away from Gotham City to be alone with her plants, she is tragically forced to return to Gotham City after her personal paradise has a bomb literally dropped on it. She is now out for revenge against all of humanity, working towards the extermination of human life all for the sake of her beloved plants.
What truly makes her a dangerous enemy (besides her sex appeal), and what makes her even more potent than some villains is her ability to control all sorts of various flora. She’ll be feeding you to her carnivorous plants the moment she’s done using you for her gain. She may look innocent enough (minus the green shaded skin tone at times) but, just remember that even some of the most beautiful flowers still have jagged thorns.
#6. Harley Quinn
Ah, my personal favorite female out of the entire DC Universe, Harley Quinn. I would have easily put her higher on the list were it not for her dependence on a certain Clown Prince of Crime. She’s VERY deadly, perhaps even deadlier than the Joker himself, and TOTALLY INSANE! She’s went into complete fits of rages over the Joker, and even went so far as to team up with Poison Ivy (talk about an ultimate team-up) a few times in order to exact her revenge.
Her backstory is also extremely intriguing, considering she was once a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum (God, even all the people who work there become super villains.) She quickly became infatuated with The Joker, and The Joker even became a bit endeared to her as well. The fact that she could woo The Joker in such a way makes her stand out a lot, when The Joker can TRULY respect and admire somebody’s insanity, you know you have an absolute winner! Also, unlike the other villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, Harley is actually kind of loveable, in that crazy straight jacket wearing sort of way.
#4. Scarecrow & The Riddler
So, you might be asking yourself “What happened to number 5?” Well, we just didn’t feel right putting EITHER of these two at the number 5 spot, since they’re both EQUALLY good. They are also very similar in overall power (Scarebeast not included), brains, and build. In general, they’re both scrawny nerds who use their minds over their manpower.
Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow originally worked at Arkham Asylum (in many renditions of his backstory) experimenting with fear on patients and soon adopted the alias Scarecrow after what his victims began to have nightmares of. What made The Scarecrow a regular Batman villain was his appearances in the ’90s Batman cartoons and Batman Begins.
The Scarecrow is also one of the only people to make Batman feel fear again, thanks to his Fear Gas (patent pending) that induces nightmares. This full blown maniac made his former bully and tormentor crash his car on prom night, paralysing him and killing his lover. Even worse now, The Scarecrow can also transform into the Scarebeast, a giant spiky demon like monster created by The Penguin to kill off disloyal colleagues. In this state he is capable of doing more damage, as well as unleashing even more powerful Fear Gas.
While Scarecrow works primarily around peoples fears, The Riddler (Edward E. Nygma) works with puzzles, riddles, and other sorts of brain teasing contraptions. A lot of people might be saying “He’s not nearly as much of a threat as Scarecrow or any of these other villains, how dare he be placed so high!” Ah, but the truth of the matter, is what he lacks in brawn he makes up with in brain. He’s quite possibly one of the smartest people in Gotham City, only rivaled by Batman himself.
Sure, he may only commit robbery, kidnappings, and other ‘small’ crimes of the non-violent sort, but he has a very valuable weapon on his side, and that is knowledge. His knowledge is so vast, that he’s even gone to the great lengths of discovering Batman’s TRUE identity as Bruce Wayne, how many villains could claim that? Not that many! But, what makes this obsessive compulsive narcissist such a wonderful villain is the fact he just puts it all out on the table, and says “IT WAS ME! IT WAS ME! I DID IT! THE RIDDLER! CATCH ME IF YOU CAN BATMAN!” and leaves his little calling card and clever riddle behind. Sure, that cocky attitude lands him in Arkham more times than even he can count, but he’s just so damn stylish and good at what he does. Besides, with such witty riddles as the following, how can you not love him?
Question: When is a door, not a door?
Answer: When it’s ajar!
#3. Ra’s al Ghul
The man’s name is as hard to pronounce as it is to understand the mystery of this great Batman villain. Rarely is Batman ever equaled on the level of shear mentality as he is with Ra’s. Sure, the Riddler is cleaver…but he pales in comparison to Ra’s cunning intellect. He isn’t distracted with such silly ambitions as making money, running Gotham or even dominating the world. No, he revels in the idea of springing chaos and destruction upon the world and he doesn’t care who gets in his way. The only thing different in these ambitions in comparison to The Joker, is that he is sane. Well, sane in comparison with The Joker, considering that this man sacrificed his daughter so that he could regain his youth and vitality. Being a brilliant man who desires nothing but chaos, he indeed is a worthy and deadly villain for Batman.
Who the hell is the Holiday Killer? Well, this is the main ‘villain’ of a maxiseries I recently just reviewed called “The Long Halloween”. Nobody truly knows who Holiday is, although apparently everyone has stated that the answer IS in “Batman: The Long Halloween” and “Batman: Dark Victory”. Personally, I think it’s actually a very ‘ideal’ based killer… Sort of like in Death Note where KIRA is actually a multitude of people at different points in time, however Light Yagami is the official ‘face’ of KIRA. Holiday isn’t a specific person, but the media/police slowly took it in that direction of assuming it was a single person, and eventually it was more about the ‘idea’ of Holiday than whoever it was themselves.
What makes Holiday truly dangerous is that NOBODY knows who it truly was, to this day, sure some people were identified as potential killers, and even a few were locked up or killed, however nobody TRULY knows (with the exception of Calendar Man) who Holiday actually was from the get go. Not even the readers themselves are ever informed of this, so it’s not too surprising to consider the fact that this killer is lurking in the shadows and may spring up again in the future some time. What earns them the #2 spot is simply the thrill of the mystery, and all the possibilities of who it could be.
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
SURPRISE! Oh… wait… it probably isn’t. For anybody who saw the Dark Knight film, they got a taste of what the ‘recent’ Two-Face has been all about… tragedy. What makes this SUCH an amazing villain isn’t how many people he killed, how crazy he is, or how smart he is, but how GOOD he WAS. Once known as Harvey Dent the White Knight of Gotham City (the opposite of Batman’s Dark Knight) he fought against the evils of Gotham as the District Attorney in a court of law. With the help of Batman and James Gordon hundreds upon hundreds of criminals were behind bars now. However, this hero of light eventually fell into darkness when the boss of the Maronis tossed acid (cleverly disguised as stomach medicine) in his face right in the middle of the courtroom. Harvey snapped afterwards, he lost his face, his wife, his mind, and everything else… he soon became known as Two-Face. Somewhere inside of Two-Face was Harvey Dent, but there was also this ‘evil’ persona that glimpsed through every now and then as Harvey Dent. Due the accident this persona broke free, and Harvey has been literally torn between himself ever since the loss.
He’s lost everything but one thing… chance IS all that Harvey has left, he can’t depend on right or wrong or for others to make the decision for him, or for HIM to make the decision for himself. It’s all up to lady luck now, and it was simply chance that he his face was ruined and that his wife left him, no matter how good of a human being he was up to this point, it apparently didn’t matter at all. So Two-Face basically decided to show everyone else what ‘chance’ was all about, and from there on out, everything was decided by a coin flip. Not to mention that EVERY SINGLE TIME Batman looks at his fallen friend, he is constantly stricken with guilt and reminded of his failure to save one of his best friend. He was even going to go so far as to reveal his identity to Harvey (which would have made him the first person to know since Robin wasn’t in the picture yet!)
But, all of that aside, what really makes Two-Face such a DANGEROUS criminal and #1 on our list is the fact that not even Two-Face OR Harvey knows what he’s going to do next, only lady luck herself knows now. That and we flipped a coin to find out if Two-Face or Holiday would make #1, and lady luck was on Two-Face’s side this top 10.
Man-Bat deserves and honorable mention, simply because of the idea of him is so awesome. His obvious cookie cutter reversal of Batman was just waiting to be done sooner or later, I mean let’s put it this way: The Joker = Green Goblin, Man-Bat = Venom. Man-Bat acts as the physical opposite side to Batman, except his animal instincts control him and he acts about his rage with out consequence, unlike The Dark Knight himself.
Thomas Elliot, better known as HUSH was once a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. His utter contempt for his parents caused him to cut their brakes when they were driving one night, killing his father and hospitalizing his mother. She was saved by Thomas Wayne, which angered Elliot and when both of Bruce’s parents were killed, it only enraged him more, as this was the thing Elliot dreamed of.
When he adopted the persona HUSH, he teamed up with The Riddler to take out Batman, but was shot twice and thrown off a bridge, by none other than Harvey Dent, whose disfigured face was repaired by HUSH, wiping out his destructive split personality and returning him once again to the side of the law. However, HUSH would soon return many times after this, proving to be one of Batman’s deadliest enemies, knowing him inside out.
Okay, so everyone is going “OMG WHO? WHAT? WHAT THE FUCK?” or “Is that Mr. Monday?” Well, truth be told, this ‘gimmicky’ villain is actually very cool in some ways. In “Batman: The Long Halloween” they put a bit of a Hannibal Lecter sort of twist on him. Julian Day is completely infatuated with the dates of the month, and performs crimes at various locations based on the current day. Maybe he’ll rob a chocolate factory on Valentine’s Day or a toy store on Christmas, you never know! However, he is still ultimately a minor criminal (he never kills) and is nowhere near the top 10, in fact he’s really quite joke worthy in his older days in Detective Comics. But, hey, that doesn’t make his theme/style of committing crimes any less interesting.
Few people venture into Gotham City’s sewer systems. If they do, there’s a good chance they’ll be bumping into Solomon Grundy, or this honorable mention, Killer Croc. Waylan Jones was born with a medical condition called epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, which essentially gives him crocodile like features. The character keeps becoming more and more reptilian over time, and continues to increase in size. He is one of the few characters who can completely overpower Batman with his pure muscle and animalistic strength, and he’s been a staple of the Batman series for a very long time and a bit of a fan favorite.
So, that’s our list. I hope you can agree with most of it, since we’ve all striven to make some level headed decisions about things. If we included The Joker, would he have made the #1 spot? Possibly, but nothing is guaranteed. There are many villains out there, and even though The Joker is the poster boy for villainy in Gotham doesn’t necessarily mean the others aren’t worth worrying about.
Oh, and on a final note, we didn’t include The Penguin anywhere in our list. Why? Because we have absolutely NO clue why anybody gives a shit about that character, he’s utterly boring and uninteresting, at least for the most part. We also wanted to include Bane and a few other ‘cool’ characters like Clayface and such, but we didn’t want to bog down the Honorable mentions, so we each chose ONE for the list, and also added HUSH since he was the likely candidate for the #11 spot on our list.