There are some well-known Supervillians among the eccentric rogue gallery, including: Batman will be the driving force behind the appearance of characters like the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Riddler, Penguin, and many more! Each villain possesses a distinct personality, motive, level of evil, and—most importantly—a captivating origin tale.
Comic book heroes frequently have tragic backstories, but the bad guys always appear to have it worse. A series of tragic occurrences, including childhood maltreatment, bullying, poverty, and insanity, appear to afflict their lives until they ultimately reach their breaking point and turn to crime. Sometimes we can not help but feel sympathy for them.
We will discuss the backstories of numerous recognisable Batman villains in this list.
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One of the most well-known super villains in popular culture, The Joker is Batman’s archrival. This cunning mastermind’s lack of a clear backstory just increases his uncertainty and cunningness. The most well-known version of his history is found in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, though.
The Joker was first employed as a chemical plant engineer. He left his job to pursue his passion of becoming a stand-up comedian. But he utterly failed. He decided to assist two thieves in breaking into the chemical plant where he worked because his wife Jeannie was expecting a child and he lacked the money to feed a family.
He was regarded as the leader of this break-in throughout the planning stage, but the police got in touch with him and informed him that his wife and unborn kid had perished in a house accident. He tries to back out because he is overcome with grief, but the crooks push him to carry out the plan. However, because security had been notified when they broke in, there was a fatal shoot-out that followed, and the crooks were slain. Batman confronts the horrified Joker, who jumps over a rail in fear.
He is thrown into a chemical vat, where the chemicals bleach his skin to a chalky white color, turn his hair emerald green, and give him ruby-red lips. The realization that he is his own mirror causes him more suffering than the grief of losing his family, leading to a dramatic change in personality that drives him insane and gives rise to the Joker.
Scarecrow, or Dr. Jonathan Crane is an obsessive professor, who previously taught psychology. He does not seek wealth or power as a criminal but to him, only research matter to study humans better.
His life as a criminal in the Golden Age of Comics is triggered after he is fired from his job. He was an expert in the psychology of fear and to illustrate his teachings better, he fired a gun in the classroom, which resulted in him losing his job. He is then ostracized by his peers who went on to mock his behavior and appearance, causing him to turn to crime for a better social life. He took on the persona of the Scarecrow with which he used to threaten his victims into doing his bidding.
During the Crisis reboot, his origin story was expanded. A nerdy boy with a lanky frame, Crane was bullied in his childhood and adolescence as everyone called him a scarecrow. This instigated desires such as revenge and fear in him, causing him to commit his first murder during his prom while donning a ghoulish scarecrow outfit. He later becomes a psychology professor at Gotham University where he is fired for accidentally injuring a student.
He turns to a life of crime and is later transferred to Arkham Asylum as a psychiatrist. He began to perform fear-induced tests on his patients under the moniker ‘Scarecrow’.
Harvey Dent was a district attorney in Gotham City who was a strong ally of Batman but everything changed after a certain traumatizing incident.
Dent was born and bred in Gotham. His father was an alcoholic who used to physically abuse regularly. He would often used a double-headed coin flip trick to give Dent a chance to escape but of course, that never worked due to the nature of the coin.
The traumatic childhood caused Dent to develop severe mental issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, after becoming a lawyer, he ran for the position of District Attorney to dedicate himself to a life of justice. For a while, he held up to that until a mobster named Sal Maroni threw acid at Dent. This scarred half of his face, causing him to go insane. He then adopted a criminal life where he struggled with his duality as Harvey Dent and the criminal, Two-Face.
He is noted for using a coin flip for every decision he makes, without which he cannot even make his basic decisions.
The Riddler is an enemy of Batman, known for his obsession with puzzles and riddles. He acquires great joy from making the police force of Gotham run on their toes as they try to decode the complex clues left by him.
Originally known as Edward Nashton, he was raised in Waterbury. His habit of seeking answers to anything that popped into his mind, caused the adults to often get annoyed with him. One day, he heard about a puzzle contest from his teacher, where he had to assemble a puzzle in the shortest time period.
Edward volunteered to participate, as he wanted to not only win the contest but also gain popularity. He would practise solving the puzzle until he could do it at a record time of fifteen seconds, which made him victorious and he won a book of riddles and puzzles which was the beginning of his fascination but he also received a lot of negative attention from bullies. Time went by and Edward became a part of the working-class. He loathed this lifestyle and called it ‘Being in Hell’ so he turned to crime for entertainment. Soon, he realized that he was not satisfied with simply committing a crime and needed to create hype for himself. He then came to be known as the Riddler.
Before turning into Mr. Freeze, Victor Fries was an accomplished cryogenicist. But it all went south for him after his beloved wife Nora became victim to a fatal degenerative disease.
Fries grew up with no friends and had a violent father. He was super talented as a scientist and also married Nora, the love of his life so her contracting a rare disease made him spiral downwards. To save her life, he started working under the evil corporate Ferris Boyle. When Fries realized that Nora is beyond help, he decided to place her in cryo-stasis. To do this, he steals the equipment from the company.
Ferris learns about the theft and sends his goons to kill Fries in the cryo lab. However, this results in an accident which causes Fries’ body to change. He can now only survive in sub-zero temperatures. Fries builds himself a cryo suit powered by diamonds and arms himself with an ice-gun. This is how his journey as Mr. Freeze begins.
Bane is a super villain and an assassin who is also an escaped convict from a South American prison. He is known for the abnormal physical strength he gained after being subjected to experiments that involved a derivative of the Venom drug.
Bane was born to serve a life sentence due to his father’s crimes and as a result, was born and bred within the prison. He murdered for the first time during his adolescence and went on to become feared and respected in the prison he grew up in. He honed his body mentally, intellectually, and physically to reach his peak as a human.
While Bane was a king in his prison, he learnt about another king from Bird, an inmate from Gotham City. This king was Batman. At the same time, the warden of the prison nominated Bane to be a subject in an experiment that would create a super soldier by using the drug Venom.
Bane volunteered for it and was presumed dead. His body was tossed into the sea, where he freed himself. He returned to the prison, held the Warden hostage and escaped using a chopper and then travelled to Gotham with Bird and two other allies, hoping to dethrone the other king, Batman.
A gentleman of crime, Penguin is one of Batman’s oldest foes. He is known for his elaborate scheming that takes place behind the curtains while he maintains the image of a club owner in public.
Penguin or Oswald Cobblepot is from an aristocratic family but he had a terrible childhood. He was born as a very ugly child as a result of which, no one except his mother loved him. His father hated him and his brothers left no stones unturned to treat him with disgust. The other kids compared him to birds, due to his nose and they would tie him to monkey bars and he panicked mid-air, making him look like a penguin. They would also raid his aviary and crack the bird eggs while Oswald watched helplessly.
All these experiences created feelings of revenge within Oswald as he grew more and more resentful towards a society that treated him as an outcast, for the way they looked at him. Later, when his father and brothers passed away and he inherited the wealth of the Cobblepots.
After his graduation, he started Iceberg Lounge, a socialite club where he would conduct his illegal activities as a boxing promoter and criminal on the downlow.
Ra’s Al Ghul
Ra’s Al Ghul founded the League of Assassins, a league which desired to create a new world order by purging corruption. To do so, they were ready to kill anyone.
He was born seven hundred years ago in one of the Arabian deserts. He grew up with a tribe of nomads. During his early stages of life, he was fascination with science. However, he could not pursue the study due to his tribe so he left the tribe and relocated to a city. He became a physician and got married to Sora.
Later, he discovered the Lazarus Pit, which happened to be a secret lair. He once tried to save a prince while being oblivious to his sadism. He put the prince in the Lazarus Pit but when he re-emerged, the prince was driven completely insane by the Pit. He then strangled and killed the love of his life, Sora.
The Sultan declared Ra’s to be guilty as he could not admit his son’s fault and sentenced him to a slow death by being locked in a cage with Sora’s corpse. However, an elderly woman frees Ra’s, who then seeks out the tribe that brought him up. He convinces the head of the tribe to follow him in his quest for revenge against the Sultan. He manages to kill both the prince and the Sultan and then gets his tribe to raze the entire city down and kill its people. Finally, he wears the title of Ra’s Al Ghul.
Deathstroke, originally known as Slade Wilson, is the most dangerous assassin in the world.
When he was only sixteen, Wilson wanted to enlist in the United States Army. He ran away from his house and lied about his age to enlist. He proved himself to be talented with special skills in guerilla warfare, causing him to climb up the ranks quite fast.
Slade mastered several styles of combat and became the Lieutenant Colonel. He also began a romantic relationship with Captain Adeline and had a son named Grant Wilson. After his birth, the Army asked Slade to volunteer for a secret medical experiment to defend against the Truth Serum. However, this experiment was actually an attempt to create metahuman soldiers.
The experiment was unkind to Slade’s body, causing him to become aggravated and aggressive. He had to remain sedated often. Later, he realized how the experiment has enhanced his physical abilities beyond the ordinary. He then dedicated himself to hunting to satisfy his urges as a combatant.
After his lifelong friend who was sent on a suicide mission was captured, Slade went unauthorised on a solo mission to save his friend. By doing so he had disobeyed the orders of his superiors, which caused him to get discharged after he saved his friend. By this time, he was fed up with the army’s code of conduct and blind loyalty and had created his persona of Deathstroke, the Terminator. He soon became the world’s greatest mercenary.
Killer Croc is an alligator wrestler who was originally known as Waylon Jones. He became a monster in Gotham City and he dwelled in the sewers. In the DCEU’s Suicide Squad film, Amanda Waller described him with the phrase, ‘evolution took a backseat with this one’.
Jones was born with a condition where he had a thick scale hide instead of skin. He also had super sharp teeth. This caused him to get bullied relentlessly as he resembled a monster, causing him to snap and almost kill a bully when he was only eight. He then spent the next eight years of his life at reform school and he began to resent humanity more and more. At the same time, his appearance also became more and more reptilian. He celebrated his eighteenth birthday, by becoming a cold-blooded murderer.
He was captured and served for twenty years. After his release, he joined a travelling carnival and became a popular attraction as an alligator wrestler known as Killer Croc. The circus became his family as he had finally found a home and acceptance for who he truly was. But after the circus dipped for poor financial reasons, Jones moved to Gotham to create a criminal empire. He eliminated other mob members and rose to the top of the citys’ underworld.
Roman Sionis was a former business executive and a mafia boss. Unlike the other villains in this list, he hates Bruce Wayne and not Batman.
Sionis hails from a wealthy family. His parents only cared for one thing – their social status and did not pay much heed to the well-being of their son who was dropped by the doctor, following his birth. He was always forced to attend and befriend the children of other wealthy families such as a young Bruce Wayne. However, his parents hated the Waynes behind their public social masks. Sionis hated the fake persona his parents emulated in public.
In the future, his parents died in a suspicious fire accident, causing Sionis to inherit Janus Cosmetics Corporation. However, his lack of experience caused him to drive the company to the ground, causing Wayne industries to buy it. He was enraged by the loss of his family’s legacy and directed his hatred towards Bruce Wayne.
Sionis carved a mask from his father’s coffin and donned it while he murdered the Wayne employees. During a battle with Batman, his mask burnt into his face, making it a permanent death mask. He went on to become a ruthless and sadistic crime lord as he commanded a masked army called the False Faces. With time, he kept losing to Batman while his sadism grew and empire shrank.
Eight DC villains from the comics have had the alias of Clayface.
In the comics, he was Basil Karlo, a B-list actor. He had previously starred in a horror movie called, The Terror. When he learnt about not being a part of the remake of the movie, he was driven insane. He went on a subsequent killing spree as he killed the crew members and the cast while he sported the mask that was worn by the villain of the movie – Clayface.
He appeared in the animated universe as Matt Hagen, an actor past his prime who gets his face disfigured following a terrible car accident. While he was recovering in the burn clinic, the corrupt businessman Roland Daggett approached him and made him a test subject for a chemical compound called RenuYou (pronunciation: Renew You). He promised it would restore Hagen’s youthful appearance but in exchange, he would have to impersonate people for Dagget’s illegal work. Hagen conflictingly agreed and gradually got addicted to RenuYou. He impersonated Bruce Wayne to get the documents from Lucius Fox but was stopped by Batman.
Later, Hagen tried to steal ReneYou from Daggett but his henchmen busted him and tried to kill him. They poured an entire canister of the chemical on Hagen’s face. The overdose saturated all of his cells and turned him into a disfigured lump of clay who could shapeshift for short periods of time. He then tried to get revenge on Hagen as Clayface.
Deadshot or Floyd Lawton is a mercenary like Deathstroke and is highly reputed for being a lethal assassin and one of the greatest marksmen ever.
Born to a rich couple, Lawton was the younger son. He lived in the shadow of his elder brother Edward and he idolized him. However, his father was abusive. During his teens, his mother convinced him to kill his father and he climbed a tree to get the perfect shot. But he missed and ended up killing his beloved brother. He promised himself two things that night – he will kill his father the next chance he gets and he will never miss a shot ever again.
Lawton trained as a sharpshooter and joined the Marines as an adult. He spent some time with Ra’s League of Assassins before becoming an independent hitman.
He also had a daughter who was kidnapped by agents of Kobra to get to work for them. Deadshot seeked Batman who decided to help him with the clause that they could not kill anyone during the rescue mission. However, Deadshot killed a man who threatened his daughter’s life and Batman arrested him. He was then sent to Belle Reve after which he was invited to be a part of the Suicide Squad.
Barton Mathis is a devious serial killer who works alongside his so-called family and operates outside Gotham City. He calls himself the Dollmaker.
He is the third incarnation of this villain alias. The first alias was Marcel Mannequin, the Plastic Man villain who would use his sentient robot dolls for criminal activities.
Barton Mathis went on many hunting trips with his father during his childhood. These hunting trips were far from your regular hunting trips and Mathis would observe his father kill people and then cannibalize them. He also witnessed a young cop named James Gordon shooting his father down which caused him to land up in foster care.
He spent one year there and then disappeared for the years to come. When he resurfaced again, he had become a criminal called the Dollmaker. He wore a mask which was partially made from the skin of his deceased father.
Harley Quinn, originally known as Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel is another massively popular supervillain, often appearing alongside the notorious Joker, serving as his female sidekick with an equally twisted sense of humor.
Her origin story in the comics revolved around growing up with a harsh mother who would constantly call Harley evil. Her father was a criminal con man who would swindle women out of their money. Her brother was a deadbeat. Who had children with different women, lived in his mother’s house, and squandered all the money,Harley had sent him to get his life on track. To understand why her family was the way it was, Harley studied psychology. However, she found it to be dull and tricked her way into college.
She theorized that being in love was similar to being a criminal because a person in love could do anything for their beloved. She used her boyfriend Guy as a test subject as she pretended to commit crimes for him such as murdering a professor. When he saw the professor again, Guy shot him thinking that Harley had failed in killing him.
Unable to live with the guilt, he asks Harley to kill him as he could not bring himself to commit suicide. Harley disguises the murder as a suicide and is subsequently traumatized. She grows a cynical outlook towards life and represses her feelings of sorrow. So when she meets the Joker, they connect as he had the same philosophies as Guy.
Harley finds a job in Arkham Asylum to speak with the Joker. She shows him her insanity which he finds appealing. She gradually grows obsessed with him and helps him escape several times. She eventually becomes his sidekick.
However, she remained oblivious to his lack of affection for her and allowed herself to be used by him.
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Arnold Wesker; the original Ventriloquist. Having had a timid demeanour since childhood, the untimely deaths of Arnold’s parents would push the emotionally-fragile boy into the depths of existential turmoil. Overcome with grief, Arnold began suppressing his emotions to cope with his loss until one night he couldn’t anymore and bludgeoned a man to death during a bar fight.
Now stuck in Blackgate Prison with his grip on sanity rapidly unravelling, Arnold began believing that his cellmate Donnegan’s carved ventriloquism doll “Woody” was alive and together, they manage to escape the prison after hanging Donnegan from the same noose that was meant for Arnold. After escaping to Gotham City, the meek Arnold Wesker and the now-disfigured Scarface came together to become the supervillain The Ventriloquist, debuting in Detective Comics #583 written by Alan Grant.
Wesker quickly rises through the criminal world, becoming a powerful enough mob boss to pull strings from The Ventriloquist Club and landing on the radar of the World’s Greatest Detective. The man-and-voodoo-puppet connection has no superpowers; besides their eerie resistance to telepathy thanks to their “shared consciousness”. Regardless, they’ve become one of the most persistent thorns in Batman’s side and have been featured in several prominent storylines like the “War of Jokes and Riddles”, “City of Crime” and Jim Aparo and Doug Moenche’s critically-acclaimed “Knightfall”.
Nuclear power seems to be the easiest method for obtaining superpowers. From totemic spider bites to accidental molecular restructuring, we’ve seen a whole host of superheroes (and villains) rise up due to radioactivity, but perhaps none of them have experienced the Chornobyl-like trauma of the atomic experience quite like Doctor Phosphorous.
Created by arguably one of the most important contributors to Batman lore- Steve Englehart- Doctor Phosphorous debuted in Detective Comics #469. Dr. Alex Sartorius was a member of the Tobacconists’ Club, a clandestine group of affluent figures who wanted to build a nuclear power plant in Gotham City with help from the Club’s chairman, Rupert Thorne. After being rejected by the citizens of Gotham, the Club decided to build the facility at sea.
However, as you might have guessed already, building a radioactive facility in a water body is a fundamentally flawed idea and when it eventually tore itself apart, Sartorius found himself stuck near a reactor core about to blow up. He hoped the sand bags he ducked behind would shield him, but alas, every burning kernel infused itself into his body and transformed the overzealous scientist into the vengeful Dr. Phosphorus.
Being pure phosphorus-energy, he could manipulate radiation and fire to his will, and was nearly-indestructible in battle. He first attacked Gotham City by poisoning its water supply with radiation, then proceeding to exposing concert-goers to nuclear emissions by trapping them in the location. Batman was put firmly on the back foot during this encounter and had to bust out a radiation-resistant suit to get the job done.
He’s been a nuisance for Batman ever since, making his way in-and-out of Arkham while managing to give radiation burns to other DC heroes, like Starman. In the Batman Beyond animated TV series, Dr. Phosphorous is re-imagined as Derek Powers aka Blight, who possesses much of the same abilities as Dr. Phosphorous except he glows green instead of a more traditional flaming hue.
How magically enchanting is pop art? Apparently, strong enough to fool Batman twice; and that itself is no mean feat. Conceived as the personification of the alluring effects that pop art has on spectators, the Spellbinder debuted in Detective Comics #358 and was created by John Broome and Sheldon Moldoff. Delbert Billings was a con-artist skilled enough to create counterfeit pop art exhibits and swindle wealthy art patrons out of their money.
He decided to put his “talents” to better use, creating a vast array of aural and visual technology to hypnotize his opponents by inducing illusions. Donning his garish orange-and-yellow costume which would have likely given Andy Warhol a serious heart attack, the Spellbinder set out to rob Gotham City dry with his hypnotic techniques and his army of henchmen. The first time he crossed the Caped Crusader, he was able to get away by tricking Batman into thinking he was somewhere else entirely, allowing Spellbinder and his minions to escape unscathed.
He then used a series of projections and body gestures to send Gotham’s Protector into a trance-like state on their second encounter. It was only after Bruce subjected his highly-organized mind to rigorous anti-hallucination training that he was able to defeat Spellbinder.
Billings fled to Metropolis after this for a while, where he was able to go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel thanks to a customized turntable whose sonic blasts were powerful enough to fatally assault the Kryptonian’s senses. Subsequent iterations of the character have developed psionic and mystical powers that greatly augment their ability to mentally torment their victims, with the best one by far being Batman Beyond’s Gaara-esque version that was Ira Billings’ Spellbinder.
Imagine if Batman himself used all his genius and wealth to commit crime instead of fighting it; he’d turn into the very predator that hunts down the creature that inspired the Bat Signal. That’s exactly the idea that Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky had when they created the Owlman for the Earth-3 continuity, DC’s role-reversal universe where the villains are heroes and the Justice League is the Crime Syndicate of America instead.
In a later retcon, he was established as Thomas Wayne Jr. from the anti-matter universe; the elder brother of Bruce Wayne. In this version, Bruce and Martha are killed by the mugger, Thomas Sr. becomes the Police Commissioner, and Thomas Jr. becomes Joe Chill’s criminal apprentice. Taking on the moniker of the Owlman, he commits crimes for the sheer rush of it, and even abuses a drug that gives him enhanced intellect and a rudimentary form of telepathy, strong enough to give him control over comparatively feebler minds.
Owlman still serves as the brains of the organization, but in this version, his feud with Ultraman is more overt and he is having an affair with Superwoman- this universe’s version of Lois Lane, who is also Ultraman’s wife. Barring the re-boot retcons, of which there are a LOT more, Owlman has crossed paths with Batman on a number of occasions; most notably during the original CSA vs JLA storyline, and more recently during the events of Forever Evil. With the latest reboot, yet another Owlman has emerged in the main DC continuity; but this version has something more to do with a certain clandestine Court.
Within the span of 12 issues, Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee were able to create one of the most-iconic Batman villains who wasn’t wearing a ridiculous Golden Age costume; for the most part, anyway. Born a child of wealth and privilege, young Tommy Elliot became close friends with Bruce Wayne. Bruce’s father, Thomas, was happy to see the children bond, and felt that Bruce had finally found a friend that he could relate to. Tommy and Bruce enjoyed playing games of strategy, with Tommy always seeming to out manoeuvre his otherwise brilliant friend.
However, while Bruce enjoyed his parents’ company, Tommy hated his father, who was drunk and always abusive. His mother, who had originally come from a background of poverty, did next to nothing to help her son as she was willing to endure every abuse dealt to her and her son to keep her lavish lifestyle.
It didn’t help that Tommy was constantly reminded of the happiness that the Wayne family had as juxtaposed with his own abused existence. Blaming the society, his parents, and most importantly Bruce for all his “misfortunes”, Thomas decided to claim his inheritance with blood and killed his parents for it. He then dedicated his entire life to destroying Batman, whose secret identity was known to him, as the bandaged-sociopath Hush.
He teamed up with Riddler and put in motion a series of events that would have seen Batman finally kill the Joker and disgrace himself. When that didn’t work out, he beat Riddler within an inch of his life. Hush would go on to perform plastic surgery on himself and pose as Bruce Wayne, seeking to take away the finances that facilitated Bruce’s nocturnal activities.
He was able to raid many of Bruce’s overseas accounts, steal Selina Kyle’s heart, infiltrate the Batcave, and gravely injure Alfred before the Bat Family’s interjections turned the tide in their favour. Despite having no superpowers beyond his surgical skills and his intellect, the psychological impact of Hush’s actions isn’t something Bruce is going to forget anytime soon.
Selina Kyle was Batman’s first official female villain, but given her on-again-off-again relationship with the Caped Crusader, it’s really Poison Ivy who’s the first woman to sweep Batman off his feet; and not in a good way. Her origins have changed over the years, but two things remain constant: botany & betrayal. In her Silver Age origins, Pamela Lillian Isley was an attractive and talented botanist who lived in Seattle.
She was seduced by Marc LeGrande, a criminal who needed her to assist him in stealing an Egyptian artifact with an ancient herb inside it. LeGrande poisoned Isley with the herb to tie up all loose ends; fortunately, she survived and became immune to all manner of toxins and diseases.
She realized that she was completely unaffected by certain plant-based hypnotic toxins that she could use to control others, and adopted the guise of the villainous seductress Poison Ivy. Using her hypnotic powers, Poison Ivy almost made Batman fall for her during their first encounter. She managed to make Bruce become so infatuated with her that he had to be bailed out by his willpower in the middle of a fight when he’d randomly start daydreaming about her. Eventually, he was able to break out of this trance-like state and turn her over to the authorities.
After Crises on Infinite Earths, her backstory was altered. In this version, she was given her powers by the Floronic Man’s experiments. This version of Poison Ivy retained all her original powers and gained a plant-like appearance, the ability to grow plant life, mutate people into plant hybrids and kill people with a poisonous kiss; a power that would come to define her very character.
In recent years she has become somewhat of a vigilante herself, protecting the Green alongside Swamp Thing and going on adventures with her best friend/girlfriend Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad. Still, she’ll always be remembered as the woman who almost stole Batman’s heart; and again, not in a good way.
You know, say what you will about the guy, at least we’re happy Two-Face found a friend! Cyrus Gold was born sometime around the early 19th century. In the year 1895, he had carried on an affair with a local prostitute from Gotham City named Rachel Rykel. According to Rykel, she was pregnant with Gold’s child, and sought to extort money from him for her silence. Cyrus met with her for a secret negotiation at Slaughter Swamp, several miles outside of Gotham.
When Gold refused to yield to blackmail, Rachel’s pimp, Jem, dashed Cyrus across the back of the head with a shovel. They buried Gold in the swamp, content that no one would ever come looking for him. Over the span of fifty years, Gold’s body interacted with the detritus and sour vegetation of the swamp that caused his corpse to transform into a rotting, vegetative undead monstrosity that didn’t remember anything about its past life except that it was “born on a Monday”.
Using this association, he began terrorizing DC’s cities as the zombified entity that the world would soon come to know as Solomon Grundy. Over the years, he has appeared as an adversary for a plethora of DC’s superheroes with vastly varied capabilities. He’s lost his powers, come back to life as a human being and been re-imagined as an avatar of the Grey in accordance with the Swamp Thing’s pantheon.
In the Earth-One continuity, Grundy was powerful enough to rattle Superman. During the events of The Long Halloween, where he befriends his bipolar BFF, Grundy was defeated by Batman with comparative ease. He’d reappear on the Caped Crusader’s radar when he hunted down one of the descendants of Cyrus Gold’s killers, being beaten by the Dark Knight yet again, whilst cementing his place amongst the Caped Crusader’s rogues’ gallery.
First appeared in Detective Comics #36 and created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Professor Hugo Strange is Batman’s oldest adversary and one of his most dangerous foes. According to Commissioner James Gordon in the post-Crises continuity, Strange was “abandoned as a child, grew up in state homes. A bright kid, but he apparently had a temper. Nobody knows how he put himself through college and medical school.” Golden Age Bruce Wayne acknowledged the enigmatic menace, saying, “Professor Hugo Strange.
The most dangerous man in the world! Scientist, philosopher and a criminal genius … little is known of him, yet this man is undoubtedly the greatest organizer of crime in the world.” He holds the distinction of being one of the only villains to survive Batman’s early, trigger-happy shenanigans, being sent to jail for committing large-scale robberies in Gotham City. In the Golden Age, he was positioned as the Jim Moriarty to Batman’s Sherlock Holmes, with the pair even recreating the iconic Reichenbach Falls climax on the pages of Detective Comics.
Strange also created flesh-eating “Monster Men” during this time, who are about as cute and cuddly as you’re imagining them to be right now. He makes his comeback 33 years after taking that Reichenbach Fall as a medical specialist in Gotham City who only operates on its elites.
It’s here that he discovers Batman’s identity and proceeds to ruin his life by posing as the Caped Crusader and committing a string of crimes while Bruce was knocked out of commission. He keeps re-surfacing every now and then, most notably having been Dr. Death and Fright.
The Mad Hatter
We’re pretty sure that when Lewis Carroll wrote his children’s story Alice in Wonderland, he didn’t imagine the Mad Hatter as a villainous character. Clearly, Bill Finger and Bob Kane thought differently because they introduced the readers of Detective Comics to his debut in Batman #49, the Mad Hatter’s first appearance wasn’t particularly interesting.
He decided to rob the rich socialites who were members of Gotham Yacht Club but was foiled by Batman and was promptly shipped off to Arkham Asylum. It wasn’t until 1983’s Detective Comics #526 came out that he was portrayed with his patented hypnotism-inducing, one-of-a-kind hats. He also has two separate origin stories, both of which are downright tragic.
His first backstory explained his mind-control gimmick. He was an expert in hypnotic suggestions and hypnotherapy and his skills would be put to lethal use when his neighbour’s daughter became pregnant and Jervis helped her mother teach the boys a “lesson”. The New 52 reboot expanded upon this and explained his obsession with hats; it was because his father was a hatter himself.
In this version, he suffered from hypogonadism and had been spurned by a girl called Alice because of his short stature. Determined to win her back, he has practically OD’s on steroids which drives him insane, completing his transformation into the Mad Hatter. Tetch used his field of expertise and combined it with his obsession to create mind-control technology powerful enough to subdue even the great Batman.
At one point, he almost succeeded in luring Barbara Gordon for a “tea party” and only God knows what would have happened to her had Batman not arrived in time. As the years have progressed, so has his lunacy, and he’s managed to become a mainstay in Batman’s rogues’ gallery.
Victor Zsasz, isn’t crazy; he has no dysfunctional family background, no childhood abuse or trauma, he just kills because he chooses to! Mr. Zsasz lived a privileged existence. He had a loving, wealthy family and graduated top of his class, later going on to amass his own fortune of his own through various companies. At the age of 25, his parents tragically died in a boating accident, and while he accepted what had happened, Zsasz could not help but feel depressed at their loss. In an attempt to distract himself from his growing depression, Zsasz became swept up in high stakes gambling and ended up losing everything to the Penguin.
Dejected, he realized how hollow life is and how “robotic” human beings have become in their pursuit of it. Before he could commit suicide, he was attacked by a homeless person with a knife and he saw the same hollowness in his eyes. Deciding to take out these “zombies” from the world in order to make it a better place, he kills that man and carves a tally mark on his own flesh, transforming into the vicious serial killer Mr. Zsasz.
He debuts during The Last Arkham storyline as its focal character and has sneaked up on Batman on several occasions; a feat even Catwoman fails at performing sometimes. Aside from the Joker, Zsasz is probably the only person to really get to Bruce, when he says they’re in fact very similar and the Dark Knight nearly pummels him to death in a blind rage. Judging by his actions, we’d say that when it comes to this murderous maniac, it’s best not to trust what he says; even about himself.
When will comic book scientists realize that rushing to human trials is almost always a bad idea? Kirk Langstrom was a brilliant geneticist who specialized in extracting and isolating traits from one species and transferring them to another; however, his borderline obsession with the field made him the butt of the joke for the entire scientific community and his wife Francine. Kirk was hoping to use the enhanced hearing of bats to overcome his encroaching deafness.
He made a breakthrough with his experiments, but was denied further funding due to the glaring risks of the procedure. Overwhelmed with grief and ridicule, he decided to prove his genius by using the formula on himself. At first, it looks like the serum succeeded as his hearing returns and he quickly makes amends with Francine. But Kirk’s entire life changes when the volatile formula starts mutating into him into a man/bat hybrid.
His mind is overcome by murderous instincts and he is plagued by frequent blackouts, which culminates in a suicide attempt that seals his fate as the Man-Bat. Debuting in Detective Comics #400, Man-Bat’s first encounter with Batman takes place while Langstrom is out looking for a cure to his condition. The World’s Greatest Detective is able to deduce the identity of the chiropteran menace and apprehends him, administering the antidote forcibly.
Langstrom would go on to perfect his formula to maintain consciousness while operating as the Man-Bat, which would cause him all sorts of troubles, especially when his formula is turned into a weapon by the League of Assassins. He has since reformed himself, working as an ally of Batman after the Caped Crusader helped Langstrom rehabilitate his condition.
Talia al Ghul
Many women can claim to have been loved by the great Bruce Wayne, but only one can prove his reciprocation; and would you believe it, it’s the woman who wants to desperately kill the man. Ra’s al Ghul was, shall we say, a prolific lover who had sired many a child in his centuries of existence. Ra’s met Talia’s mother at Woodstock Festival of all places, and soon after, Talia was born. When her mother died a few weeks after her birth, Talia was raised by Ra’s himself, groomed to become the heir to the League of Assassins.
She grew up to become one of the League’s strongest assets; a lethal martial artist, assassin and political maneuverer who could make lesser men dance to the tune of her fingertips. Her loyalty to her father’s cause used to be unshakeable; until she met and fell in love with Batman. When Ra’s decided that Batman was suitable to become his heir, he staged a test for Bruce by telling him that his daughter and Bruce’s ward had both been kidnapped.
While Bruce didn’t fall for Ra’s’ tricks, he did for Talia, even though they always found themselves on the opposite sides of the battle ground. Talia has even assisted Bruce on multiple occasions, most notably during the crime spree instigated by Hush by giving him valuable information and also helping take Lex Luthor down after he becomes the President of the United States by exposing his criminal activities and transferring his assets to Wayne Foundation.
She even helped Jason Todd recuperate after his resurrection and funded his vigilantism on the condition he leaves Batman alone. Alas, Batman’s caution proved to be with good reason as Talia turned on her beloved and her own son to take control of the League after Ra’s’ death.
She goes on to create the international terrorist network Leviathan and has even put a $500 million bounty on Damian’s head. Her relationship with her son and her paramour are tenuous at best these days and despite being Bruce’s baby mama, Talia al Ghul isn’t above using that fact to play psychological games with the World’s Greatest Detective.
Though he originated as a Green Arrow villain in World’s Finest Comics #111, the Clock King has earned his position on the Batman rogues gallery. Under the impression that he has only 6 months to live thanks to a terminal disease, William Tockman decides to provide for his invalid sister by becoming a criminal; and because “time is running out” for both of them, he adopts the clock as his personal coat-of-arms.
Now calling himself the Clock King, Tockman used his extensive knowledge of the concept of time itself and its inner workings to his advantage and was able to pull off a string of successful heists that earned him the ire of Star City’s protector, Green Arrow. In the end, all his efforts were for nothing as his terminal illness was revealed to be a misdiagnosis and his sister passes away while he spends an obscenely lengthy prison sentence.
His perception as a joke villain has drastically altered thanks to his appearance in Batman: The Animated Series. This version of Clock King was called Temple Fugate, an efficiency expert whose life was changed forever when Mayor Hamilton Hill caused him to go off-routine for a single day, which left him ruined financially.
Vowing revenge, he stole prototype time manipulation technology and became the Clock King, a supervillain so in-tune with timeliness and efficiency that he could calculate the amount of time it takes for Batman to throw punches and thus evade them with ease. With his time-tech, he was able to roam around Gotham City committing any crime his heart desired and was only stopped by the Dynamic Duo’s timely intervention.
Mob enforcers are dangerous as it is, but a mob enforcer with reflexes and eyesight so enhanced that he could go toe-to-toe with Gotham’s Protector? Now that’s something we don’t see every day. Following the death of his parents in Sicily, a young Philo Zeiss went to live with his uncle Victor who worked as a gardener for a Sicilian Mafia boss. When his uncle, too, passed away, Zeiss was taken in by the mafia and given purpose in life, being groomed to become a top-tier mafia enforcer.
Feeling a sense of indebtedness to the mob for giving him a life after he thought he’d lost everything, Philo agreed to undergo an experimental surgery on his optic nerves that would increase his perception and reflexes to superhuman levels. A pair of high-tech goggles, which are wired directly to his frontal lobe, allow him to record and analyse the movements and tactics of his enemies in great detail.
Using these enhancements, Zeiss can anticipate or emulate those tactics and this, combined with his extensive martial-arts training, makes him one of the deadliest hand-to-hand combatants on Earth. He came to Gotham City as the personal bodyguard of Lew Moxon and quickly developed a crushing vendetta against Batman, battling the Caped Crusader to a stalemate. He has since relocated to Gotham’s East Side and finds himself continually bumping up against Catwoman.
The original Firefly was Garfield Lynns, who was a Hollywood stuntman that turned into the light-beam-wielding villain. Thanks to the power of lore-building, he’s since been characterized as a pyromaniac-turned-pyrotechnics expert who went insane and turned into the blazing threat that is the modern Firefly. This version of Firefly was the protégé of Killer Moth, with the duo attempting to replicate the success of the Dynamic Duo but was eventually abandoned by him when he discovered the full extent of Lynns’ insanity.
The second Firefly only made a one-off appearance during the Silver Age of Comics before being properly canonized by the New 52. Ted Carson was a wealthy kleptomaniac who used his position in Gotham’s elite circles to stage several robberies as the Firefly. This version is notable for managing to successfully woo Kathy Kane- the first Batgirl. With the New 52 reboot, Carson was formally recognized as the second pyromaniac to don the mantle of Firefly, having killed Garfield Lynns and taken over his role.
Now, thanks to DC’s Infinite Frontier event, he’s been resurrected and both Fireflies operate together as a flame-throwing duo that has 2 major purposes: threatening Gotham City and proving, once and for all, that the Firefly is the superior pyrotechnic villain out of the two that have been encountered by Batman over the years.
Jason Peter Todd is the second Robin, who stepped into the shoes of being Batman’s sidekick after Dick Grayson adopted the moniker of Nightwing.
He was raised in the slums of Gotham City. His father, Willis Todd, was a petty criminal. Willis was eventually arrested but he never returned home even after his release. Jason was left alone with his mother Catherine, who was a drug addict. He was oblivious to her not being his biological mother.
He grew up in a neglectful environment and turned to crime for his survival. Catherine died from a drug overdose and Jason was left stealing car parts for money. Batman spotted him while he tried to steal the tyres from the Batmobile. He put him in a facility to correct troubled youths but it turned out to be a front for training youngsters to become criminals. Later, Batman then took him under his wing to train him to be the new Robin.
During an altercation with the Joker, Jason’s Robin ends up dying. When Superboy-Prime alters reality, he is resurrected. However, he had sustained his injuries from the past and Talia Al Ghul immerses him in the Lazarus Pit to restore him, where Ra’s was also immersed. The Pit’s energies combined with Ra’s affected Jason’s personality, turning him antagonistic. He seeked out Batman when he realized that his death was not avenged. On learning that Batman was not remorseful for sparing Joker’s life even though he had killed Jason, he becomes the Red Hood.
As the Red-Hood, he was an anti-hero who resembled Batman but was more than willing to cause fatalities in fights.
Originally known as Lazlo Valentin, Professor Pyg is a twisted surgeon who is one of Batman’s most disturbing antagonists.
In the New Earth continuity, he worked for a secret government agency called Spyral as a chemist. Exposure to a certain neurotoxin that could imitate Alzheimer’s disease left him schizophrenic. He became obsessed with the Pygmalion Effect and wanted to make people ‘perfect’. With a lust for human perfection, he began to kidnap people from Gotham and made them undergo a horrific transformation to create Dollotrons. He later became a part of the Circus of Strange alongside meta-humans.
In the Prime Earth continuity, the organization he worked for i.e. Spyral was revealed to be a rogue agency that was led by a neo-nazi called Doctor Dedalus.
He later became allies with Talia Al Ghul through the Leviathan Organization.
Carmine Falcone, nicknamed ‘The Roman’, is a powerful Mafia boss in Gotham City who dominated the city’s organized crime.
In the New Earth continuity, his father, Vincent Falcone, was also a mobster. He was shot at a young age and taken to the Wayne Manor where Alfred and Dr. Thomas Wayne saved his life.
He later got married to a woman named Louisa and they went on to have two daughters. During this time, his father, Vincent, forced his men to murder Carmine’s second-born as he believed the child to be his weakness. Louisa convinced the enforcer to spare her life and sent her up for adoption in Gotham, where she grew up to become Selina Kyle.
The Falcone family overtook the Maronis to take control of Gotham City. Vincent passed and Carmine became the new head of the family. Due to his shrewdness, cunning, and Italian heritage, Carmine was dubbed as ‘ The Roman’ as he enjoyed the position of being Gotham’s most powerful don.
In the New 52 continuity, Carmine became a mob boss in Gotham after driving out the former don Rex ‘The Lion’ Calabrese out of Gotham before he became known as The Roman for his cunning.
Inque is a Batman villain, originally created for Batman Beyond: The Animated Series. She can shapeshift into a featureless black liquid form that resembles ink.
There’s a lot of ambiguity revolving around her early life and origin story for example we never find out the reason why she was turned into a metahuman or how she gave birth to her daughter. What we do know is that she was born to extreme poverty. As a result, she was aware of how necessary money was and went on to become obsessed with acquiring it. Eventually, she had to turn to a life of crime to make money.
She had a daughter known as Deanna Clay. Her father’s identity was not disclosed but due to her criminal background, Inque was on the police’s radar and as a result, she had to be on the run. So, she left Deanna with unnamed guardians who would care for her.
She then subjected herself to an experiment to become a biogenic mutant as that experiment would pay her a hefty amount of money. With the new meta-human form, she went on to become a high-ranking assassin and a corporate saboteur who charged a heavy fee. She became Interpol’s most wanted criminal soon enough.
Prometheus is a dark reflection of Batman. The yin to his yang. Batman lost his parents to criminals and learned to fight as he wished to protect Gotham City by eradicating crime. Meanwhile, the story of Prometheus is quite the opposite. Due to his poor experience with the law, he seeked to destroy it. And so, he trained himself in the ways of murder.
He was born to two very loving, hippie criminals. They would travel all over the United States and commit indiscriminate murders and sometimes thefts. The murders often became brutal which would catch the attention of the law. They were eventually cornered by the police. However, they forced the police to kill them in front of their son. The trauma from this incident caused Prometheus’ hair to go white in shock and he swore to destroy the law and justice.
He got his hands on large amounts of money, thanks to the hidden stashes of his parents. He also extorted local mob bosses with whatever knowledge he had. With this money, he travelled all over the world to learn the ways of murder and sharped his skills to make him an efficient criminal against the system he seeked revenge from.
The title or name of Azrael is given to the champions of an amoral and extremist faction of the Catholics under the Order of St. Duman. Azrael is both an ally and an enemy to Batman.
Jean-Paul Valley was the first Azrael to appear in the comics. He was a bottle baby. His father, who was the Azrael before him, genetically engineered him with the DNA of an animal. From a tender age, he was psychologically conditioned to become his father’s successor. After his father’s death, he was sent to Europe to train under the Order of St. Duman.
The second Azrael was Michael Washington Lane, an ex-cop who was experimented on by an evil scientist called Doctor Hurt. He subsequently gained enhanced strength and reflexes but the treatment drove him insane. Initially, he was supposed to be a part of the police force but his psychologically altered state caused him to side with the Order of Purity, which is a splinter group that referred to their champion as Azrael.
The third Azrael in the story was Abraham Arlington, who preceded Michael Lane as the Azrael in the Order of Purity. He was trained by the Order of St. Dumas in Europe, just like Jean-Paul and made to don the Suit of Sorrows. However, he turned insane six weeks after wearing the suit and was placed in a mental hospital.
Dr. Karl Hellfern or Doctor Death is the first ever super-villain who Batman went against, making him a crucial addition to Batman’s gallery of rogues.
During the Golden Age or the Post-Crisis continuity, we don’t learn much about Doctor Death’s origin story. What we do know is that he creates lethal poisons to use it in his plans to get money from the rich people of Gotham. He also manufactures bio-weapons and sells them in the black marker to terrorists.
However, in the New 52 continuity, we see Hellfern as a scientist for Wayne Enterprises. He is shown to have a knack for military-advancements as he was from a family, who worked as soldiers. He had a son who was deployed in the Middle East.
Lucius Fox hired Hellfern as a scientist who would lead the bio-initiative that studied regenerative healing. He focused on the study of bone growth while his peers studied cell regeneration and neurology.
During this time, Helfern learns about his son dying overseas. He is fired soon after due to the frequent failures of his experiments. He had initially drowned himself in work after losing his son but after losing his job as well, he had begun to believe that there was no justice in the world.
As a result, he strikes a deal with Edward Nygma, who allows him to continue his experiments as a criminal scientist. He eventually finds a chemical that can accelerate bone growth and mutate people horrifically. He was the first traditional supervillian and a recurring adversary of Batman.
Killer Moth is a supervillain who seems to be overly inspired by Batman, which also makes him an antagonist to both Batman and Batgirl. Instead of helping the people, he helps the lawbreakers, as their Dark Knight. Not only does he copy his building and paraphernalia but he also takes on the alter ego of a rich philanthropist named Cameron Van Cleer.
Killer Moth was initially a petty criminal and an ex-convict. He had a dream – he wanted to become a patron saint for the criminals of the city and protect them from the police and the law by giving them their own costumed supervillain. However, he was motivated by greed and not justice and as a result, he did everything for a price.
He would help criminals escape the law in exchange for their illegally acquired wealth.
Astrid Arkham donned the moniker of the Arkham Knight. She founded a cult called the Order of the Sun which was dedicated towards the destruction of Batman.
Her parents, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham and Dr. Ingrid Karlsson were psychiatrists who worked at the Arkham Asylum. Ingrid was a kind woman who was respected by the inmates of the asylum, even among the likes of Harley Quinn and the Joker. When Ingrid was pregnant, there was a riot by inmates. During this time, she went into labor.
Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Clayface, Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, and the Joker protected Ingrid and helped her deliver Astrid. However, a stray batarang hit her and it slashed her neck.
Astrid was isolated from society while growing up. So, she spent her time and formative years with the inmates of Arkham Asylum. Instead of befriending kids, he befriended criminals who often served as a parental figure to her. Because of this relationship, she began to hate Batman as he was the one responsible for their incarceration. She began to see a demon in him, a demon who hurt the people.
She would often read out fairy tales with knights to the Joker and went on really a thing for the knight-archetype. As she became obsessed with destroying Batman, she started to undergo harsh training to be a skilled fighter. She also learnt how to masterfully wield a sword and adopted the Arkham Knight as her alliance.
Originally known as Julian Gregory Day, Calendar Man is a criminal who commits crimes that correspond with significant dates such as holidays. However, he is a petty criminal and his ridiculous crimes have made him a joke in front of both the law and crime.
When he was a child, his father would always promise him to be home during the holidays. Julian waited for his father at the bus stop from Christmas Eve to New Year’s until he was taken in by the police. He then began to assign literal meanings to the dates and would suffer from mood swings depending on what day it was.
Mother’s Day turned out to be another nail to the coffin as his mother was far from being the ideal maternal figure. She turned down the love Julian showed for him, causing him to succumb to uncontrollable rage. He attacked her mercilessly and when he regained his senses, he found himself holding his mother’s bloodied heart.
He found his father living in the East End Docks on father’s day. They go fishing together where he dismembers his father’s body and uses it as fish bait. Anytime Julian would taste a great serving of fish, it made him feel a tad closer to his otherwise absent father.
His mind grew more and more twisted with age and crashed a family’s Thanksgiving dinner. He then killed everyone, enjoyed some of the meal and assigned a feeling of loneliness to the date as he had no family to spend it with. He was also captured by Batman on this day.
Killer Frost is a meta-human with cryogenic powers. She is also a recurring member in the Suicide Squad.
Crystal Frost was the first Killer Frost. She had studied cryogenetics in the arctic during which she was locked in a cryogenic chamber. This turned her into a meta-human with cryogenic powers. She hated men and seeked vengeance against Martin Stein, her former professor and crush, for rejecting her. She became his nemesis after learning that he was one half of Firestorm, a nuclear superhero.
Crystal died from an over-exposure to the nuclear superhero, which caused her best friend Dr. Louise Lincoln to adopt the same method used by Crystal to gain the superpowers. She wanted to avenge her late best friend and as a result, became the new Killer Frost who was dedicated to killing Firestorm.
In the New 52 continuity, we meet Caitlin Snow, the most popular Killer Frost. Snow was originally a genius who worked at S.T.A.R. Labs. She was posted to the Arctic for research purposes and learned about the work of Dr. Louise Lincoln aka her frosty predecessor. She was extremely inspired by her work that revolved around subverting the second law of thermodynamics.
She referenced her work to create a Self-Sustaining Thermodynamics Engine when her colleagues were revealed to be the workers of a villainous group called H.I.V.E. They placed Caitlin in the engine as an attempt to silence her as they were responsible for Lincoln’s death and wanted to keep the engine a secret. Caitlin panicked and ripped out the wires for the coolant system in the engine, which altered her biological makeup and infused it with ice. She then turned into Killer Frost and killed the HIVE agents.
Lady Shiva is easily one of DC’s most lethal assassins. She was also a trainee under Tim Drake, the third Robin. Her daughter, Cassandra Cain became Batgirl in the future. As an assassin, she specialized in bare-handed skills.
Originally known as Sandra Woosan, she was the granddaughter of O-Sensei, an expert at martial arts. Her sister was killed and she was told by a mysterious man that it was the doing of Richard Dragon. Sandra began to undergo rigorous training to avenge her sister and realized that she had a natural aptitude for martial arts. After years of training, she was ready to go against her opponent and take revenge for her sister.
She adopted Shiva as her code name and hunted down Richard Dragon. She lured him to a trap to kill him but learnt that he never killed his sister and that the mysterious man was someone who worked for Richard Dragon and wanted him dead. He also told her that the real killer was already dead as Dragon had killed him during a battle.
Shiva began to think that her life’s purpose was lost and her training was a waste. So, she decided to ally with Dragon and fight during his missions, putting her skills to good use.
Salvatore ‘Sal’ Maroni was a mob boss based in Gotham City. He headed the notorious Maroni crime family which was a rising criminal organization. It rivaled the older and more established criminal family of the Falcones, the one headed by Carmine Falcone.
As a don, Sal Maroni was feared considerably. However, his influence and power was second to that of the Falcones in the beginning of the series, which he resented. He also resented Carmine Falcone and considered him to be weak, fragile, and even useless. He wished to outdo them and gain a stranglehold over Gotham’s crime.
He is also the guy responsible for burning Harvey Dent’s face with sulfuric acid after losing a case.
Lonnie Machin, or Anarky is a child prodigy who has a laser-focus dedicated towards overthrowing the government and improving the social conditions for living. The character revolved around the philosophies of anarchism and it attacks crony capitalism, corruption, and economic inequality.
His mother, Greta Mitchell, was a showgirl who had given him up when he was a baby. He was adopted by Roxanne and Mike Machin who recognized his special inquisitive and curious mind at an early stage. He would visit bookstores with Mike when he found an immense interest in every subject, and in particular, philosophy.
The knowledge caused him to be angered towards the corruption prevalent in politics and corporations. He also hated the elites and would take to the streets in a costume, calling himself Anarky, when he was only twelve. He assaulted CEO’s and celebrities and left his mark with spray paint as he drew the symbol of anarchy. He was captured by Batman and incarcerated at the Gotham Juvenile Corrections Hall.
Here, he hacked computers as the Moneyspider and transferred millions from wealthy capitalist corporations to third world countries. He later amassed a small fortune and created a special device that enhanced his intelligence to high levels. He also adopted a smooth style of fighting by integrating the study of martial arts to his mind.
Similar to Azrael, Blockbuster is an alias that can be used by many. Here, it is used as a super-villain alias held by brothers Mark and Roland Desmond.
Mark Desmond or Blockbuster I was a chemist who used himself as a subject for his experiments. Using a super-steroid, he got bigger and stronger but he also turned mindless. His criminal-minded brother Roland cared for him and shielded him from their mother, who was oblivious to Mark’s monstrous appearance. Roland went on to use Mark to commit crimes.
In the New 52 continuity, Mark was a patient of Dr. Phayne. He underwent intelligence-enhancing procedures during which he was exposed to a green compound via IV. An accident caused Desmond to experience an overdose of the compound. It gave him super strength and turned him into Blockbuster. He later joined the Secret Society.
Following Mark’s death, Roland became the Blockbuster after being treated with experimental steroids. He also became an overpowered, mindless behemoth but Neron elevated Roland’s intellect to genius levels. Roland then created a criminal empire as he planned to dominate the underworld of Gotham.
In the New 52 continuity, Lex Luthor controls a Blockbuster that resembles Mark Desmond. Later, this mantle was adopted by a female meta-human criminal.
Jeremiah Arkham initially appeared in Batman: Shadow of the Bat’s first story arc, “The Last Arkham,” where he had his longest and most significant appearance. Jeremiah is presented in this series as the ruthless superintendent of Arkham Asylum, who has fantasies that the criminals he holds will one day be able to live in society.
Jeremiah appears as a supporting character in several Batman films, always believing that the Arkham inmates could be rehabilitated. This would change in Batman: Life After Death, when it was revealed that Jeremiah was the Black Mask, and that he had been utilising the inmates to construct his criminal empire. His alter ego, Black Mask, was a violent Gotham mafia lord and the commander of the False Face Society, who was notorious for his hatred of Bruce Wayne and his aptitude for torturing his victims.
Batman apprehended him and imprisoned him in his own institution. When Jeremiah took over Arkham Asylum from his uncle, he demolished it before rebuilding it with cutting-edge technology to keep Arkham’s criminals like The Joker, The Scarecrow, and Cornelius Stirk imprisoned. He was a gifted administrator who had an uncanny ability to read people’s minds.
Thomas Blake was a world-famous jungle cat trapper who turned to crime after becoming bored with hunting and losing much of his riches. He assumed the identity of Catman, a burglar who committed his crimes while dressed in a catsuit made from an antique African material that he believed gave him a cat’s nine lives.
Catman originally appeared in Detective Comics #311. Catman’s experience as a game hunter and in the outdoors have combined to make him an extraordinary tracker. He can follow and detect odours even without metahuman senses. Catman is a skilled fighter, capable of taking on Batman and Bronze Tiger, two of the DC Universe’s best combatants. He prefers to use bladed weapons, such as knives or these unique blades that he wields like claws.
Catman became a laughingstock in the super-villain community after years of loss at the hands of Batman and Catwoman, so he retired and travelled to Africa to live among a pride of lions. Blake became a criminal mercenary and a member of the Secret Six after the lions were slain, first to pursue down the lions’ perpetrators. Blake continued with the Secret Six when the lion-killers were identified.
Copperhead made his debut appearance in Gotham City dressed as a snake. Before being arrested by Batman and the first Batgirl, he committed countless thefts. Copperhead subsequently resorted to more lethal pursuits as a super-assassin, smothering victims with the tail of his outfit. He would become obsessed with his target during this period and think about nothing else until the target was dead. Copperhead was largely impotent without his snakeskin suit, despite being a superb contortionist.
Copperhead’s contortionist abilities enable him to fit into extremely tight areas. He was originally dressed like a snake. The suit was made up of a weave of metallic and elastic fibres, with Kevlar protecting the vulnerable places, making it bulletproof and impervious to practically any cutting edged weapon. Copperhead was later converted into a human-snake hybrid after selling his soul to the demon Neron. He was given venomous fangs, a forked tongue, claws, and a prehensile tail, as well as improved reflexes and agility. Manhunter later killed him, and he was buried in the Hall of Justice morgue.
Anatoli Knyazev was a brilliant assassin who worked for the Soviet Union’s secret police and intelligence agency, the KGB. Anatoli Knyazev, code-named “The Beast” and dubbed the “KGBeast” by the CIA, was trained as an assassin by “The Hammer,” the KGB’s top-secret cell. His strength was cybernetically augmented, and he was claimed to have mastered the use of every lethal weapon known to man, in addition to being a master of multiple martial arts. He was said to have slain at least 200 people when he initially appeared, including maybe Anwar El Sadat.
In the “Ten Nights of the Beast” tale, the Beast makes his first appearance. The Hammer’s general, enraged that the Soviet government is working to improve relations with the US, dispatches Knyazev on an unauthorised mission to assassinate ten high-ranking US officials, ten key figures involved in the US Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed “Star Wars,” in the hopes of putting an end to it. He managed to kill seven of them before fleeing. He’s battled Batman on several occasions, losing multiple limbs and organs in the process, including one of his eyes and one of his arms, as he’s always been vanquished.
Bob Rozakis and Mike Grell were the original creators of the Calculator. Brad Meltzer later transformed him from a masked thief to a villainous information broker. The Calculator began his criminal career by travelling around the country and fighting a variety of superheroes.
He’d then push a button on his special suit, which would evaluate and record their fighting techniques, assuring he wouldn’t be defeated by the same hero again. His suit was equipped with a powerful computer capable of analysing and predicting an opponent’s fighting tactics. The helmet’s projector may materialise solid objects from an unknown energy source.
The Atom, Black Canary, Green Arrow, The Elongated Man, Batman, and Air Wave all battled him and vanquished him. He was sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences in jail.
Calculator broke free from prison and chose to start over. He then became an Oracle for supervillains after hearing about how a buddy overheard Black Canary talking to herself after a battle and hearing stories about Oracle. He began to obtain jobs for people as a result of his friendships with various villains, and he rapidly built up a wide network of knowledge and contacts.
Tweedledee is one half of the villainous duo Tweedledee and Tweedledum, played by Deever Tweed. They’re violent gangsters and supervillains who look to be Batman’s adversaries.
Deever Tweed and his cousin Dumfree are so similar that they may be mistaken for identical twins. They are otherwise known as Tweedledum and Tweedledee because they resemble Sir John Tenniel’s portrayals of those characters in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.
The Tweeds are usually in cahoots with one another when it comes to illicit activity. They prefer to plan criminal plots and delegate any necessary physical activity to their henchmen, who are fat and lethargic. The Tweeds frequently use their striking resemblance to one another to fool their opponents into believing there is only one of them. They teamed up and modelled themselves after the book’s Tweedledee and Tweedledum, often devising crazy, absurdist plots to catch Batman.
When Tweedledee and Tweedledum were committing a string of crimes in Gotham City, they came across Batman and Robin. The Tweeds were caught by Batman and Robin, who went on to vanquish them on several occasions.
Doctor Hurt, also known as Simon Hurt, was first introduced in 1963’s “Robin Dies at Dawn” story by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff as a minor one-off character. Grant Morrison was in charge of the character’s modern reimagining, and he had a penchant of bringing obscure individuals from Batman’s prior chronology into his multi-year Batman epic, which began with 2006’s Batman and Son.
Doctor Hurt is a Batman villain and Thomas Wayne’s immortal ancestor of the same name. Thomas Wayne was born into the wealthy Wayne family in the early or mid-eighteenth century. Thomas was a devil-worshipper who sought to summon the bat-god Barbatos, but was instead challenged by the Hyper-Adapter. After the New God was mortally shot by Batman, Darkseid unleashed the Hyper-Adapter, a cosmic creature.
When Thomas Wayne called the Hyper-Adapter, the being’s omega-energies linked with Thomas and made him eternal. In addition, he became inextricably linked to his descendent Bruce Wayne, with the goal of erasing the Hyper-legacy.He can’t die of old age and hasn’t aged in hundreds of years. Doctor Hurt is also a hypnotherapy and psychiatry expert. His intellect and intelligence are far beyond those of a normal human, having lived for so many years.
Lester Buchinsky, sometimes known as the Electrocutioner, is a minor Batman villain. He began as a hero but eventually became a crook and mercenary. Two other persons have used his identity, as have many other heroes and villains. The original Electrocutioner was Lester Buchinsky’s brother, who was killed in war. Lester stepped in to fill the void left by the absence of the mantle. The Electrocuioner, who is overly reliant on his power to create electricity, has confronted and been beaten by Batman, Robin, and Nightwing.
Chuck Dixon created Lester Buchinsky in Detective Comics #644. In Batman #331 – Closed Circuit!, his nameless brother made his debut appearance. He eventually honed his villain skills and went to work for Blockbuster. He was also engaged in Bludhaven. Lester has Electricity Manipulation and Production, just like the other Electrocutioners. His hands shoot forth varying degrees of blasts. His suit has circuitry that allows him to use a bolt of electricity to stun or kill his victims at will.
The Cluemaster is a Gotham criminal who figured out Batman’s secret identity in order to get an advantage in combat. However, his strategy backfired, and he was defeated by Batman. He was defeated and put back into Blackgate Penitentiary, where he appeared to be rehabilitated but was really only getting rid of his gimmicks.
He used to go by the name of Arthur Brown, a failed game show host who turned to a life of crime, leaving behind a trail of clues. Stephanie, his daughter, adopted the surname Spoiler. Following Stephanie’s death, vengeance becomes his sole motivation. He became recognised for leaving intricate clues behind in several of his early crimes. This, of course, is never a good idea. Other villains he befriends include Clock King, Big Sir, Multi-Man, and Major Disaster. They join together to form the Injustice League. They don’t survive long in this league before deciding to give up a life of crime. With the help of the Justice League, the five of them attempt to reform themselves. They are granted a base of operations in Antarctica that is far away from civilization.
Great White Shark
Warren White was a vicious banker known as the “Great White Shark” because of his ferocity. He stole his company’s pension fund and practically all of the company’s clients’ life savings, both working-class and upper-class. He pled insanity to avoid incarceration, but the judge sentenced him to Arkham Asylum after learning that he had paid off the jury.
White went to Arkham believing that, like everything else in his life, he could buy his way out. However, following his discovery, he became the asylum’s new ‘fish,’ despised by both inmates and staff. Even the Joker called him the worst person he’d ever met, while Killer Croc cut slits in White’s neck because “the new ‘fish’ needed a set of ‘gills,'” he reasoned.
Warren White is a cunning and shrewd criminal mastermind. He has excellent financial talents, which he uses to fund criminal activities, purchase weapons, hire associates, and arrange a variety of other activities. He’s proven himself capable of overseeing a criminal empire both inside and outside of Arkham Asylum. He also has a set of razor sharp teeth that can be used as a lethal weapon if necessary. White was distorted as a result of his injuries and frostbite. His skin turned a pale white, and frostbite took his nose, lips, hair, and several fingers, making him look like a great white shark and driving him somewhat insane. Many of his fellow convicts later relied on him to act as a connector and a fence because of his business contacts.
The Court of Owls
The Court of Owls is a centuries-old secret society with great power and influence rooted in Gotham City’s architecture and history. The Court of Owls first appeared in Batman #3 (2nd Volume) in 2011, when Batman uncovers their hideaway and various images of them over the years while on the lookout for William Cobb. The court would choose a few trained and strong athletes who had been instructed by Haly’s Circus to become their Talons, or assassins. In fact, as we’ll learn later in the Night of Owls story line, Dick Grayson was slated to be one of their Talons, but Bruce adopted him before the calamity could occur.
Their existence has been passed down down the generations as a nursery rhyme in Gotham City: “Beware The Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they’ll send The Talon for your head.”
The Talons have managed to stab Bruce numerous times, and despite putting his arm around Talon’s neck and applying more than enough power, Bruce was unable to strangle the assassin out.
Otis Flannegan was once worked as a real ratcatcher in Gotham City, but he quickly began exploiting his peculiar ability—an affection for and influence over rats—to orchestrate a variety of crimes. His influence over the rodents eventually developed to the point that he threatened Gotham with a veritable army of rodents. Flannegan had an epiphany while incarcerated. Otis realised he had spent so much time eradicating the city’s rodent problem that he had forgotten to notice what was truly afflicting it. Gotham’s residents were the real infection, and despite his services to the city, Gotham turned against him. This was the origin of the villain. The Ratcatcher,
The Ratcatcher, who has been incarcerated numerous times at Blackgate Prison, can inflict as much damage from behind bars as he can from outside, using his devoted, well-trained pets to convey messages and transfer goods inside the massive prison’s network of ventilation ducts. Ratcatcher has the ability to converse with and control rats. He also knows a lot about Gotham’s sewer system and the layout of Blackgate jail. In comparison to human life, the Ratcatcher significantly prized mouse life.
The Key is a superhero who originally debuted in Justice League of America #41. Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky collaborated on his creation. He is a brilliant scientist who has created a wide range of future weapons, the most of which are shaped like keys, keyholes, and locks.
The Key worked for Intergang as a chemist. The Key was able to come up with incredibly sophisticated crimes that were not usually understood by most people after utilising his mind-expanding drug to access into sections of the brain that are normally underused. He found himself up against the likes of the JLA with his squad of followers, the Key-Men.
He began with heightened 10 senses, compared to regular people’s five, as well as access to 90% of his brain power. He also has a blaster in the shape of a key and multiple Key-Men robots. He created a dream flu virus that causes hallucinations and transfers energy from victims to the Key. A cybernetic implant also allows him to develop telepathy.
In the DC Universe, there have been two men who have dubbed themselves the Key. The first was a villain who battled Batman, while the second is a well-known Justice League of America foe. The Key was the boss of a major crime syndicate with international field agents. He is thought to have died after jumping from a cable vehicle into a gorge.
Andrea Beaumont, the daughter of a wealthy Gotham businessman and Bruce Wayne’s lover, becomes the meticulous Phantasm, a grim reaper for anyone connected in organised crime in Gotham City. After her father was killed in a hit ordered by the mob, she would assume his identity and use it to hunt down and kill the ones who were responsible for his death. Phantasm, like other DCAU characters such as Harley Quinn and Lock-Up, was eventually incorporated into DC comics. She initially debuted in Tom King’s Batman/Catwoman comic series in “Prime-Earth.”
Andrea had practised martial arts since she was a teenager, but her outfit gave her the majority of her powers. She donned a protective bodysuit that provided some impact protection, as well as a blade on one hand and a smoke-emitting gauntlet on the other. She also worked as a hired spy and assassin, but because of her ties with Bruce, she was unable to accept tasks that she knew would harm him or violate his values. As a result of this, she once declined a hit on Batman himself, putting her own life in jeopardy.
Amygdala is a constant Arkham Asylum inmate who lacks an amygdala, resulting in monstrous wrath and superhuman power. Aaron Helzinger was having his homicidal rages removed, but the doctor doing the procedure didn’t recognise the difference between the amygdala and the hypothalamus. His rages were even more intense after his amygdala was removed. Amygdala has a childlike disposition and is frequently used by villains, but he is on medication for his condition, which allows him to remain quiet and tranquil.
When Batman and Amygdala first met, he was being manipulated by Jeremiah Arkham, but despite his size, Batman was able to defeat him. He was another one of Bane’s convicts who was possessed by the Ventriloquist, but Batman was able to defeat Amygdala once more. Amygdala has near-superhuman strength, endurance, and injury resistance. He has a few flaws, such as mental issues, and he can’t manage his fury, thus he’s prone to becoming enraged and destroying everything. Amygdala also has an issue with his cognition, since he has the mental capacity of a small child and has a short fuse.
Flamingo is a DC Comics villain who is a member of the Circus of Strange. Grant Morrison is said to have envisioned him as a version of “Evil Zorro,” a famous figure with strong ties to the Batman mythos. Eduardo Flamingo was a regular guy with a family who used to be involved in a criminal gang known as the Mob. It lasted until he was apprehended and indoctrinated into a serial killer, who eats his victims’ faces. He murdered his entire family before becoming a contract killer with an “impeccable kill record.” In Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin, he is most notably known for nearly killing Red Hood otherwise known as Jason Todd.
He is a very talented assassin, as seen by his ability to single-handedly defeat Red Hood and Scarlet in combat before Batman and Robin arrived. He uses a wide range of weapons, including chain whips and submachine guns. He also owns a number of cars, the most popular of which being a bright pink motorcycle, thus being one of the most flamboyant serial killers in the DC Universe.
Wayne Bruce is a warped clone of Batman, perhaps manufactured in the same way as Bizarro, Superman’s unsuccessful clone, was. Batzarro appears to be attempting to assist Batman at times, but his jumbled words and odd behaviours make it difficult to be certain. “The world’s worst detective,” according to Batzarro. In fact, Batzarro introduced himself to Bizarro as “Batzarro, the world’s worst detective” in his debut appearance in Superman/Batman. In the polar opposite of Batman’s origin narrative, he is depicted with dual handguns, shooting down couples walking down Crime Alley.
From Bizarro World, he is Batman’s polar opposite. When the Joker gained Mr. Mxyzptlk powers, he may have created Batzarro. In many ways, he is the polar antithesis of Batman. Batzarro, in stark contrast to the original, kills his own parents and speaks out publicly instead of quietly contemplating his actions. He also has an inverted Bat emblem, no eyes, yellow fangs, a “futility belt” instead of a utility belt that he wears upside down with the pockets open, and speaks in a Bizarro-like manner.
In Superman/Batman #24, Batzarro appears to have died when he jumped in front of a bullet fired by the Joker to save his idol’s life. The Joker confesses that he invented Batzarro so that he might have the pleasure of killing ‘a Batman.’ Before then, Batman had no idea that Batzarro existed. Bizarro was last seen putting him in the Phantom Zone in an attempt to heal him.
Lock-Up is a villain from DC Comics and a foe of Batman. In Robin #24, he was integrated into the mainstream comics timeline before the more well-known Harley Quinn. In Robin #24, Lock-Up makes his debut appearance, capturing Charaxes.
He then appeared in Detective Comics #694, where he was shown capturing the minor villain Weedwhacker. He only appeared briefly in both of these adventures at the conclusion, removing the villain before Batman and Robin could return to the scene. His first full appearance was in Detective Comics #697-699, in which he captured Two-Face and transported him to his own prison, where he was joined by Charaxes, Weedwhacker, and a gang of thugs.
He is a ruthless vigilante who captures and imprisons offenders for life without trial or mercy, even if he has to break them out of jail first. He also knows a lot about incarceration methods and procedures and can be considered an expert for all practical purposes. He was also voiced by Bruce Weitz in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series where he featured in one episode.
Humphry Dumpler, as fate would have it, has had a series of almost supernaturally poor luck for the most of his life. Dumpler is a huge man with an egg-shaped head who is obsessed with speaking in rhyme and disassembling and reassembling malfunctioning machinery in the hopes of restoring it. His illegal acts were thus not evil in nature, but rather mistaken attempts to comprehend and “repair” the world that had treated him so badly. Despite this, his activities result in a number of disasters, including the derailment of a train due to his sloppy reassembly. In an attempt to “heal” his violent grandmother, he also murdered and dissected her, then stitched her back together with boot laces.
He was imprisoned in Arkham Asylum not because he was a cruel or evil guy, but because his constant messing with machinery, puts those around him in risk. He doesn’t have any of the typical cruel or nasty features associated with Batman enemies. He was a model prisoner in Arkham, frequently assisting with minor repairs around the Asylum.
Thomas Trigger was one half of the Trigger Twins duo alongside his brother Tad.
Even though they were twins, Tom and Tad were separated at birth. They lived life while being unaware of the existence of the other twin. As luck would have it, both turned to a life of crime. During a particular bank robbery in New Jersey, Tom and Tad were robbing the same bank. During that time, they saw each other’s faces and were surprised by the similarity. They then teamed and finished the robbery as a duo
Eventually, they paired up for their endeavors as criminals and worked for a local number’s runner where they would kill the enemies of the man.
Sensei Han-son is an expert martial artist. Sensei translates to teacher in Japanese, so he also teaches martial arts such as karate. He has trained only one student to his optimum potential and that is Ben Turner, a.k.a. The Bronze Tiger, who he used for evil.
He was affiliated with Ra’s Al Ghul, the founder of the League of Assassins. Following the death of Doctor Darrk, Ra’s gave Sensei control over the League of Assassins. Sensei rebelled against Ra’s and supposedly lost his sanity during this time.
He is also responsible for creating Deadman since he had ordered the murder of Boston Brand.
Anthony or Tony Zucco is a mobster who had murdered the parents of Dick Grayson, causing Bruce Wayne to adopt Grayson and nurturing him into becoming Robin.
Anthony Zucco was referred to as ‘Boss’ since he was a mafia boss. He ran an extortion racket where he would send his men to extort money. Things went south when he tried to extort some money from Haley’s circus as the owner refused. Tony Zucco sent his men to sabotage the circus where Dick Grayson and his parents Jonathon and Mary Grayson worked as acrobats and trapeze artists.
Zucco’s men poured acid on the rope. The rope broke and Jonathon and Mary Grayson fell to their deaths while a horrified and young Dick Grayson could do nothing beyond witnessing the atrocity. This way, Zucco created his own worst enemy who would later bring him down in the future.
Originally known as Joe Rigger, Firebug started off as a soldier who was also a demolitions expert. He is not only the Firebug to exist but he did kick start it with his story.
He had family in Gotham City, who were killed in three different accidents revolving around the buildings. With news of this traumatic incident, Rigger returned to Gotham but his sanity had begun to slip. He vowed that those buildings would not kill again. With his military training, he assumed a new persona called the Firebug and equipped himself with a costume with napalm tanks. He then burnt those buildings to the ground.
He was imprisoned at Blackgate Prison. Following his release, he tried to get into Black Mask’s gang but his rival arsonist Firefly defeated him. Following his close encounter with death from a separate incident where he almost died from his own inferno, he sold his Firebug costume to Harlan Combs who became Firebug 2.
Later, an unnamed person took on this alias after winning the costume and the name from an internet auction. He also teamed up with Mr. Freeze, which is ironical considering how Mr. Freeze really hates the heat.
Jane Doe is a serial killer who is so cold that she kills her targets before assuming their identity. She makes her first appearance as a disguised woman named Dr. Anne Carver who is a psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum.
Waren White bribes her to transfer him to a prison with minimum security while being oblivious to her original identity. Jane had studied the mannerisms of Dr. Anne Carver before killing her and also destroyed all the paperwork, so she accepted White’s request without much evidence to hold her back.
Later, with orders from Dr. Jeremiah Arkham (who was aware of Jane’s actions by the way), tries to kill White. The plan failed as he survived and she made herself a new enemy.
Several murderous Batman villains have used the alias of the Reaper or the Grim Reaper.
The first Reaper in the Earth One continuity was Doctor Gruener. He was a German Jew who had experienced being put in a concentration camp by Colonel Kurt Schloss. During a Halloween parade, he killed Schloss but ended up dead as he fell off a dam while battling Batman.
In the New Earth continuity, Dr. Benjamin Gruener assumes this moniker. He is a Jewish-German doctor had the misfortune of watching his family die during the holocaust. As a result, he turned into a nazi-hunter scythe-weaving vigilante called the Reaper. He later affiliated himself with the Black Mask
The New Earth continuity sees Judson Caspian as the Reaper. He lost his beloved wife to a robber which triggered him into becoming the Reaper. During the day, he wore the facade of being a regular socialite.
In the Prime Earth continuity, his backstory is similar to the one in New Earth. But here, another layer of the character is explored as we learn that he was hated by Dr. Thomas Wayne. He is also the father of Rachel Caspian, a woman who had gotten engaged to Bruce Wayne.
Warren Lawford was a member of The Terrible Trio. During this time, he took up Fox or Fisk as his alias as he wore the fox head as a mask.
Lawford was an inventor and an ambitious criminal. He banded up with two of his colleagues – Gunther Hardwicke and Armand Lydecker to form the Terrible Trio which was a team of thieves. They dressed in business suits and the animals affiliated with their personalities or talents. As Lawford became the Fox, Lydecker and Hardwicke became the Vulture and Shark respectively. Together, they committed crimes all over Gotham City.
As you’d expect, Batman would be of great hindrance to them, causing Fox to relocate to Portsmouth City with Vulture and Shark. There, they established the investment firm of Fisk, Shackley, and Volper.
Nora Fields is popularly recognized as the wife of Victor Fries or Mr. Freeze. Her terminal illness and inevitable death is the situation that triggered Fries into becoming Mr. Freeze.
Nora Fields was diagnosed with a fatal illness not long after her marriage to Victor Fries. As a person who worked in cryogenics, Fries chose to preserve his wife to prevent her from dying, hoping that a cure will be found in the future.
In the New 52 continuity, Nora Fields is a woman born in 1943. When she was only 23, a rare heart condition had plagued her. It was said to be terminal with her death, by the time she turns 25. However, her family decided to preserve her cryogenically instead, hoping that someday, a cure would be found for her condition. She was then stored in a facility owned by Wayne Enterprises.
Victor Fries fell in love with her while he was doing a PhD on her stasis. He began to believe that she was his wife and would spend most of his time with her.
We really get to see her come to life once again in Rebirth. Having dedicated his life to cure his wife, Victor Fries finally manages to bring back Nora and cure her of her terminal condition. Nora learns about her husband’s life as a criminal and a villain. She chooses to embrace this lifestyle and takes up the name of Mrs. Freeze. But he did not wish for her to be in crime. Nora considered it to be of trouble to her and left him to become a criminal.
Joe Chill might not be a sinister, smart, or strong villain, unlike most of the other villains in this list. However, his importance is insurmountable as he is responsible for creating the Dark Knight. He was the one who murdered Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne, which kick started Bruce Wayne’s story.
In the Golden Age continuity, Joe Chill was first seen in Crime Alley. He desperately needed money but he was not a cold blooded murdered. When he held the Waynes at gunpoint, he was visibly flustered. After robbing them, he ended up killing them.
During the Silver Age, Joe Chill works as a small-time crime boss. Batman learnt of him being the perpetrator of his parents’ murder while he was investigating Joe. Here, Batman also revealed his identity of Joe Chill
Originally known as Arthur Brown, the Cluemaster is a criminal mastermind. He is also the estranged father of Stephanie Brown a.k.a the Spoiler.
This criminal tried to gain an advantage in fights by finding out who left elaborate clues behind, which became the marks for his popularity. He later banded with several other villains such as Big Sir, Major Disaster, Multi-Man, and Clock King to form the Injustice League.
In the New Earth Continuity, he was originally a gameshow host. However, this career turned out to be a failure for him and he turned to a life of crime. Bringing both worlds and crime and a gameshow together, Cluemaster would leave puzzles and clues after his crimes. He wanted to figure out Batman’s secret identity but failed to do so.
Black Spider is a vigilante who is generally affiliated with the drug trade. Several people have worn the moniker of the Black Spider, who is a ruthless killer who has no problem with allowing innocents to die. And yet, he does not see himself as a villain.
Eric Needham was the first Black Spider. He was a drug addict when he was young. He turned to crime to keep this expensive addiction afloat and would partake in several petty muggings and thefts until he attempted armed robbery. He broke into a liquor store and ended up killing a man accidentally. This man was his own father.
The remorse took over him in waves making him go insane, almost. He kicked his drug addiction to the curb and decided to exact revenge upon drug dealers as he considered them to be the reason why Needham fell into this cycle in the first place. Meanwhile, a mysterious force learnt of Needham’s obsession with revenge and helped him acquire extensive training in high-end weapons. As Needham considered the drug dealing criminals to be as lowly as flies, he began to call himself the Black Spider. What he did not know was that the mysterious force behind him was the city’s top dog when it came to the drug business – Hanniball Hardwicke. He intended to use Needham to eliminate his competition in the business.
John LaMonica succeeded Needham. He was a professional hit man who took up this name when he was sent to kill Black Mask. However, he was sent to prison by Batman. Following his release, he took part in several criminal activities. In the end, he was shot several times by Detective Allen.
Derrick Coe became the third Black Spider, who was hired by the Calculator. His mission was to torture a Birds of Prey member called Savant.
Calling yourself Eddhead as a villain might not make you sinister but it is definitely unique. He also believed himself to be the smartest criminal in the world. He is also renowned for his catchphrases that made egg puns. So he would often use words like Egg-cellent and Egg-zactly.
This criminal mastermind was in fact, one of the smartest in the world. His excessive or rather, egg-cessive intelligence made him super egoistic. To be fair, not much is known about his backstory.
He was formerly associated with several villains, including the Riddler, who happens to be quite fond of him.
Lenny Fiasco embraced the alias of The Eraser as a criminal. He had a terrible college life where he was plagued by the continuous taunts of his classmates. As a criminal, he excelled in covering the tracks of crime left by other criminals. He would take a 20 per cent cut of the money and erase all the evidence.
During his time in college, he was classmates with Bruce Wayne. He would make several mistakes which would require him to constantly use an eraser. It made him an object of mockery. He also liked this girl called Celia Smith and he planned to go to the school’s ice carnival with her. But, she chose to go with Bruce Wayne. This was the final nail to his coffin and he assumed the identity of the Eraser as he turned to a life of crime.
He was extremely competent at erasing the track of crime, leaving the police forces baffled over the lack of evidence in crime scenes.
Duela Dent, or the Joker’s daughter, is an enemy turned former-member of Titan East and the Teen Titans. She has adopted several aliases throughout her life such as Catgirl, Penguin’s Daughter, Joker’s Daughter, Scarecrone, Card Queen, and Harlequin.
In the Pre-Crisis continuity, she claimed to be the daughter of Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Scarecrow. Not only did this garner Robin’s attention but she also found out his identity. Later, she revealed herself to be the daughter of Two-Face or Harvey Dent, Duela Dent.
She joined the Teen Titans to atone for Harvey Dent’s crimes as Two-Face and went by the name Harlequin.
In the Post-Crisis continuity, Duela Dent was a delusional and schizophrenic person who has visited the mental institutions several times. She is also an acrobat who uses clown-motif gadgets. However, it was revealed that she was the daughter of Earth-3’s The Jokester and Three-Face or Evelyn Dent. This entire thing can get a bit confusing.
In the New 52 Continuity, her character was revamped completely and she was made to be a lot more villainous, which is why, she attains a spot in this list. She was born to a happy couple who lived in the suburbs of Gotham City. However, her father had always been uneasy around her.
As she grew up, she became more and more strange. She would commit unkind acts such as trapping a spider in a lightbulb and creating a corset with barbed wire. She would also use a box cutter to cut her face as she believed that hideous things were beautiful. Her parents took her to a hospital for a surgery which left half of her face deformed. Duela revelled in her new form calling it flawless while her parents found it ghastly. That night, she found out that her parents did not want her in the house as they argued over it and she ran away.
Duela joined a tribe of people who dwelled in the sewers of Gotham City. When she found the Joker’s face, she thought it was her own reflection. She donned the face and was mistaken to be the Joker. She later sought out the Dollmaker to get the Joker’s face grafted onto hers.
David Cain is one of the best assassins in the world and he is the man responsible for training Bruce Wayne. His assassination victims have often been some of DC’s most powerful or famous people. He is dangerous and lethal.
David Cain is a member of the League of Assassins. During his time in the League, he intended to train an apprentice to succeed him. He would train children to be deadly assassins. It mostly did not work out so he decided he needed a child of his own so that they could inherit David’s natural talent and ruthlessness.
He sought out Sandra wu-San, a woman with exceptional fighting skills. However, he believed Sandra’s sister to be her weakness and killed her to help unleash Sandra’s true abilities. Mortified by her sister’s untimely death, Sandra trained and seeked Cain out to exact her revenge upon him. She lost to him but realized that she can be better as a fighter. Cain agreed to train her under a condition: she would bear him a child and then allow Cain to train her. This gave rise to Cassandra Cain.
“Peste, disarmed!” The most accurate description of this character comes from the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold where the Caped Crusader quips that “Somewhere, Shakespeare is spinning in his grave”. The Cavalier is one of the oldest Batman antagonists, debuting in 1943’s Detective Comics #81. It wasn’t until issue 89 came out that we’d discover his identity.
Mortimer Drake was an obscenely wealthy man with exotic and idiosyncratic tastes. He would often be found associating with elite social circles, mingling with Gotham’s richest and most powerful people including Bruce Wayne. However, his exuberance left him penniless beyond his expensive suits and he decided to turn to a life of crime to fulfill his wishes. Channelling his inner Musketeer, he took on the costumed identity of The Cavalier; a swashbuckling swordsman turned supervillain with a code of chivalry.
He first encountered the Dynamic Duo after stealing a baseball from a young child, and managed to get away from them every time until Bruce finally deduced his identity. Though he possessed no superpowers, the Cavalier was a great athlete and a top-tier swordsman and hand-to-hand combatant. He carried an electrical rapier that shocked his targets on-contact and had a plume attached to his hat that was actually a steel-tipped dart.
The Cavalier has crossed swords with the Caped Crusader multiple times, even getting the best of him on certain occasions, though like every other Batman villain he eventually ends up in Arkham, where he’s broken in by Bane during the Knightfall event and later infected with the Venom and Fear toxins during the Knight Terrors storyline.
Doctor Double X
Sheldon Moldoff and Dave Wood once tried to give us the closest-possible thing to a “scientific explanation” of the “human soul”; and ironically enough, it’s the soul that takes on the role of Mr. Hyde in their version. Debuting in Detective Comics #261, Dr. Simon Ecks was an extraordinary scientist who discovered that if a person was exposed to a powerful-enough energy sources, then their “auras” could be charged up and given a form that exists outside of their physical bodies.
He decided to test his hypothesis on himself, and was successful in creating an energy-duplicate that looked like a mirror-image of him. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities ended. Being an introvert with a fragile self-concept, Simon Ecks had always teetered on the edge of sanity.
His experiment caused all his emotional and mental turmoil to manifest itself in the form of his energy duplicate, which he dubbed “Double X” in an effort to distinguish between the two. Sadly, all his efforts would be in vain as the malevolent Double X would overpower the good doctor’s will on several occasions and commit various crimes as the ethereal menace Doctor Double X.
Dr. Double X shares Simon Ecks’ consciousness, but can also act alone, which made him particularly tricky for the Caped Crusader to nab. Additionally, his powers of flight, electrical energy blasts, and super strength have pushed Batman to his breaking point, forcing him to call in backup. Bruce even had to go so far as to build his own duplicator machine and create Double Batman to take him down in Detective Comics #316.
The man who fired the opening shot in Batman’s tangle with the Terrible Trio eventually tries to murder the very people he was once partners with. Like Warren Lawford, Gunther Hardwicke, was an exceptional scientist and inventor as well who specialized in aquatic and underwater devices, especially submarines. And just like Lawford, Hardwicke had tasted every earthly pleasure he could find; so it didn’t take a lot of convincing for him to join The Terrible Trio as its marine expert.
Hardwicke was actually the first component of the Trio’s modus operandi, in that he was the first one to commit a crime out of the three by stealing a fortune from a millionaire’s cargo ship. Unfortunately, Batman uncovered this pattern and was able to put an end to the Trio’s schemes and send them packing to Portsmouth. Here, Hardwicke adopted the alias Sherman Shackley and continued working with the Trio; until one day his mind finally snapped under the pressure of all the drugs he was abusing and he decided to kill his former partners.
In Detective Comics #832, Shackley is presumed dead by Fox and Vulture, who find his teeth next to a heavily disfigured corpse. In reality, it’s revealed that Shackley has experienced a severe psychotic breakdown, driving him to kill his former partners in an attempt to “re-invent” himself.
To that end, he ripped out his own teeth to fake his death and fitted his jawline with the teeth of an actual Shark, chasing Fox and Vulture all the way to Arkham. After witnessing their old friend trying to rip their limbs apart with nothing but his teeth, Fox and Vulture wasted no time in aligning themselves with Warren White, who showed Shackley that Gotham’s Underworld can only handle one Great White at a time
The final member of the Terrible Trio has a much closer relationship to the Caped Crusader, in that technically is the current one. The original Vulture was a man called Armand Lydecker, an aeronautics expert who was so ridiculously wealthy that he made Ferris Air look like an incubation project.
Having exhausted every possible method of stimulating excitement in his life, he becomes a part of the Terrible Trio and serves as its aerial extension. His genius-level intellect allows him to create weapons, gadgets and all kinds of aerodynamic devices, which he uses to rob a cargo plane mid-air in his first appearance. Unfortunately, the sheer visibility of his area of expertise comes back to bite him in the ass and also leads to the downfall of the Terrible Trio, as it was his crime that allowed Batman to crack the code to their criminal formula and apprehend them.
After shifting their operations to Portsmouth, Lydecker would take on the alias Volper and would be heavily involved in the production of the A39 steroid. After Shackley tries to kill both of them, Fisk and Volper effectively disband the Terrible Trio which is later revived by Talia al Ghul.
Under her, the group’s line-up consists of two good-for-nothing miscreants filling in as Fox and Shark and the latest person to take on the mantle of Gotham’s Protector in DC’s Infinite Frontier reboot: Timothy “Jace” Fox, the son of long-time Batman ally Lucius Fox. Operating as this incarnation’s Vulture, Jace’s crew decides to rob Bruce Wayne’s mansion but defeated by Batman with relative ease. This experience has a profound impact on the rambunctious Jace, which translates into his journey as a superhero.
The 4th iteration of the character, and the only female so far, Sondra Fuller debuted in The Outsiders #21 as an agent of the nefarious international terrorist Kobra. Having been thwarted time and again by the Dynamic Duo, Kobra decided to put together a team of elite operatives who would possess the powers of every villain that Batman had faced in his years as a crime-fighting vigilante.
Fuller was a member of this team, called Strike Force Kobra and was injected with the DNA of Matt Hagen (aka Clayface II) to re-create the effects that the protoplasm had on his body. The procedure was a success, as Sondra’s powers far exceeded those of her predecessor.
Unlike Matt Hagen or Preston Payne before her, she had full control over her shape-shifting abilities and didn’t need to replenish her powers. Additionally, she could also “copy” the powers and abilities of any superhero she mimicked, making her that much harder to beat. The only problem was, she couldn’t “turn it off” which made her powers both a blessing and a curse. It was Lady Clayface who created the Mud Pack- a group of 4 Clayfaces who targeted Batman as the receptacle of their individual vendettas.
She inadvertently gave Basil Karlo Clayface powers when he injected her and Preston’s DNAs into his own blood-stream, becoming the Ultimate Clayface. During this encounter, she fights alongside the Bat Family and takes Karlo down, eventually falling in love with Preston, marrying him and giving birth to the only “pure” Clayface in DC; their son Cassius, aka Claything.
Imagine the powers of the entire Legion of Super Heroes condensed into one person. Now, imagine that person developed a searing hatred for Superman, Batman and Robin and used his newfound powers to try to embarrass them both. The person you’re thinking of is Joe Meach, aka the Composite Superman, who debuted in World’s Finest Comics #142. Joe Meach used to be a world famous diver who had fallen on some bad times.
He had an idea to regain his lost fame and decided that his piece-de-resistance as a diver would be to jump from a tall building into a tiny bucket. Unfortunately, the tank he was aiming for had already sprung a leak and had maybe an inch of water left in it, so he would be jumping to his death.
As he was falling, Superman came and saved Joe, which angered the man as he thought that the Man of Steel had stolen his moment of redemption and made a fool out of him. To make things worse, Superman got Meach a job at the Superman museum where he was tormented by the statues of the very person he now directed all of his hatred towards.
One day when he was in the hall of the LSH, he got struck by lightning and ended up gaining all of their superpowers as a result. Imbued with all the abilities of the 30th century’s finest super teens, he morphed his body into a half-Superman half-Batman construct and began calling himself the Composite Superman. He teamed up with the two in an attempt to embarrass them and usurp their positions as the World’s Finest Superhero. He’d have gotten away with it too, if Batman hadn’t figured out his deception in time.
As the Composite Superman, Meach had godlike powers, and completely embarrassed Kal-El in their first encounter. While this persona would become dormant after, it’d resurface when the alien Xan attacks a reformed Meach with lightning and causes the Composite Superman to resurface. This time, though, Meach turns over a new leaf and sacrifices himself trying to save the very heroes he once wanted to kill.
Out of the cavalcade of bizarre oddities that exist in the rogues’ galleries of DC superheroes, perhaps none is as brave- or stupid- as Kite Man, a fact that was ridiculed to the point of becoming stale during the “War of Jokes and Riddles” storyline. After all, who can take a character that flies around on a jumbo hang-glider, uses kite-themed paraphernalia and shouts out “Hell Yeah” for no apparent reason, without any ounce of seriousness? Debuting in Batman #133 and created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, nothing was explained about Charles “Chuck” Brown’s infatuation with kites for several decades aside from the fact that he was really into them as a child.
In fact, even his name wasn’t revealed until 1986’s Hawkman Vol. 2 #4 was published, a full 26 years after Kite Man’s first appearance. All that was known about him was the fact that he was a joke in both the superhero and the supervillain communities. 2016’s Rebirth event rebooted the entire DCU and finally gave us an answer as to why Kite Man does what he does, and it was more tragic than we could have expected.
In Batman Vol. 3 #27, it was revealed that Chuck was a former aerodynamic engineer who was responsible for creating the Jokermobile. Chuck had a son who thought his dad’s obsession with kites was cool, and one time he even exclaimed “Hell Yeah” at the sight of his father with a kite. When the Riddler killed his son by poisoning his kite string, Chuck decided to create a customized glider and, adopting his son’s words as his villainous catchphrase, became the Kite Man. He joined the Joker’s side during the War and was essentially comic relief throughout the arc, eventually he sided with the Caped Crusader.
Linda Friitawa was born with an affliction; suffering from an advanced form of albinism, she was forced to spend her days hibernating as even slight exposure to sunlight could prove fatal for her. Forced to spend most of her time isolated from regular society, she became obsessed with fixing her condition and enrolled herself in medical school. She managed to become extremely skilled in the fields of genetics and chemistry, but was pushed too far in her pursuit of a cure and was expelled for conducting illegal experiments on human beings.
Broke and living in destitution, she was given a chance to complete her work by Oswald Cobblepot; aka the Penguin. That’s how she debuts in Batman #627, working as the enamoured assistant of Jonathon Crane who has been commissioned to produce more Fear toxin by the Penguin. But if you’re thinking that working with Scarecrow wasn’t going to be safe for Linda, think again; because somehow, she’s even more demented than the King of Dementia.
During their time researching together, she manages to transform Crane into a Fear toxin-exhaling monster called the Scarebeast without his knowledge or consent, and proceeds to use the beast to pick off the internal threats in Penguin’s organization. By the time Batman figures out what’s happened and confronts Penguin, Linda has used Crane’s research to develop a “cure” for herself that removes the negative effects of her albinism while amplifying her natural strength, senses and agility and giving her the same ability to exhale Fear toxin like the Scarebeast. Now calling herself “Fright”, she escapes the Dynamic Duo and goes to work for the new Black Mask, becoming a key player in his criminal empire.
Batman’s journey to becoming the World’s Greatest Detective demanded that he trained under some of the best martial artists and detectives of the world, one of whom was Henri Ducard, a French assassin. Bruce learnt a lot from working with Ducard and had a mostly amicable relationship with him, but they disagreed on one major point: Batman was strictly against taking lives and Ducard had little regard for life itself.
Though they went their separate ways, this ideological difference would come back to haunt Bruce in the very first issue of New 52’s Batman and Robin series. See, when Bruce was training with Ducard, Henri’s son Morgan became his fighting partner. Having been trained by Ducard himself for 12 years, Morgan was an exceptional killer in his own right but he somehow kept losing to the “novice” Bruce Wayne who kept pushing him to his breaking point.
He finally snapped when Bruce beat him within an inch of his life after his own father had ordered him to kill his former partner. Broken in body and mind, Morgan developed a burning hatred for Batman and his preposterous “no-killing” rule, viewing him as more of a causal force in the fight against crime. He adopted the mantle of NoBody and embarked on a mission to end the legend of the Batman.
While Morgan wasn’t as skilled as Bruce, he was much more lethal in combat thanks to his suit which is equipped with sonic and cloaking abilities. He also knows a deadly nerve-strike that can paralyze a person with one hit which he used to kill off Batman Inc.’s Russian operative Ravil in his debut appearance.
He would go on to toy with Damian Wayne’s ingrained killing impulse and manipulate him into joining his own crusade against crime during the Born to Kill storyline. Morgan almost succeeded in turning the boy to his cause but was stopped by Bruce just in time.
It’s a shame we don’t see more of this character anymore because Professor Milo’s debut appearance was perfect. Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, Achilles Milo first appeared in Detective Comics #247. He was a brilliant scientist who was an expert in chemistry and alchemy, but like most scientists in a comic book, he decided to use his gifts to pursue a criminal life.
He used his extensive knowledge of the human anatomy and its biochemical nature to create several drugs and gases designed to incapacitate or downright antagonize certain aspects of a person’s personality or character traits. In his first encounter with Batman, Professor Milo drugged him with a compound that gave Bruce chiroptophobia and forced him to swap out his Bat-suit for the ridiculously flashy Starman outfit.
It was only after several hours of forced desensitization that he was able to get over his newly-acquired fear, and even that wouldn’t have been possible without Robin. On one occasion, Professor Milo gassed Batman with a compound that made him lose his will to live, which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish if you know anything about The Dark Knight.
In fact, to ensure that he’s never pushed to the brink of mental collapse again, Bruce created the violent, back-up personality of the Batman of Zurr-Enn-Arrh in case he ever falls victim to psychological tricks as effective as Professor Milo’s. He was also responsible for Anthony Lupus’ “wolfish tendencies” and has even consulted the Batman in a couple of cases from his cell in Arkham Asylum; after trying (and failing) to turn him into a lunatic with his trademark gases, of course.
Nothing is known about the origins of Onomatopoeia. He could be a regular member of society, married with two children, none of whom are aware of his secret identity. It is possible that he is from Delaware and had a brother who was killed by a masked criminal. He had a nickname once, which he revealed to Virago, but we’re not sure if even that is true because he did so shortly after killing her.
Onomatopoeia debuted in Green Arrow Vol 3 #12 as a serial killer who specifically targets superheroes without superpowers and speaks only in onomatopoeias. Kinda anti-climactic that bad guy supposed to mess up your entire life can only do so whilst uttering noises like thwip…or snikt. Wait, that’s used by the other company. Either way, don’t let his borderline-comical supervillain identity fool you into thinking he’s just a goofball; the ambiguity is what makes him so dangerous because how are you supposed to fight something you can’t even begin to understand? He’s an expert marksman and hand-to-hand combatant, skilled with sniper rifles and fists alike.
He is also insanely durable for a non-super, as he has been able to rush through 6 arrows shot at him with pinpoint accuracy as well as survived multiple explosions and fires that would have otherwise killed a normal person. Onomatopoeia has instigated gang wars in Gotham City and was even able to gain access to the Batcave thanks to his complete mastery of disguises.
Posing as the vigilante Baphomet, Onomatopoeia briefly worked with Robin to gain Batman’s trust and only revealed himself once he was in the Cave and had already slit Silver St. Cloud’s throat in cold-blood. Bruce didn’t even know anything was wrong until he heard that familiar “ka-klak” sound; and it wasn’t coming from his utility belt.
The Mad Monk
Despite his relative irrelevancy in recent years (correction; decades), the Mad Monk holds the distinction of being the second supervillain that Batman faced since his inception, and the first to headline a multi-part storyline. Created by Gardner Fox and Bob Kane, he debuted in Detective Comics #31 all the way back in 1939. Operating out of a castle in Hungary, the Monk was a vampire who was putting together an army of werewolf women to take over the world alongside his trusted assistant, Dala.
Using his hypnotic powers, the Monk managed to trap Bruce Wayne’s fiancée Julie Madison in a trance-like state and brought her to Hungary to make her a part of his army. He was eventually defeated by the Caped Crusader and struck by lightning, presumed dead. His character was revived by Gerry Conway during the Silver Age of Comics, where he was re-imagined as an ex-plantation owner called Louis DuBois who lived in New Orleans with his sister Dala after the American Civil War.
Set upon by the vengeful spirits of their former slaves, the siblings gained vampire-like powers after being subjected to a voodoo ritual and had to be exorcized by Father Green in order to be contained. However, our favourite version has to be the Post-Crises one introduced in the 6-issue miniseries created by Matt Wagner.
Called Niccolai Tepes (a not-so-subtle reference to Vlad the Impaler), the Mad Monk was the leader of a vampire cult called The Brotherhood which operated on the outskirts of Gotham City. The miniseries was a reimagining of the first storyline featuring the Monk’s character, and managed to make him come off as more unhinged than ever before by throwing in a dash of fanaticism, as befits his character.
Growing up, Margaret Pye had always loved shiny things and wanted them all for herself. She was ridiculed for her fixation and nicknamed Magpie, after the bird that collects shiny things as a stimulant for potential mates. This obsession of hers just got stronger as she grew up, and she took a job as curator of the Gotham City Museum of Antiquities to be surrounded by the valuables she loved.
But there’s a fine line between loving something and obsessing over it, and she was eventually overcome with compulsive jealously when she realized she would never possess the antiques that surrounded her. This juxtaposition of her desires and her duties made her mind snap, and she decided to fully embrace the identity bestowed upon her by her bullies.
Debuting in Batman #401, the villainess Magpie decided to take matters into her own hands and started stealing precious valuables and exhibits from museums, replacing them with booby-trapped versions that would be lethal to the untrained eye. She had extensive knowledge of poisons, explosives and most such devices of fatality. She is also notable for being the first villain that Batman and Superman take down as a team in the Post-Crises continuity, as established in Man of Steel #3.
Created by the legendary Jack Kirby during his brief stint at DC, Crazy-Quilt was an exceptionally talented painter who led a double life as a criminal mastermind, using paintings to leave clues. He was living a comfortable life as a wealthy art thief, until he was double-crossed by one of his own henchmen, tearing down his modest empire.
To make matters worse, in the ensuing struggle between the authorities and his gang, a gunshot wound severely damaged his eyesight, effectively blinding him. He volunteered for an experimental procedure to restore his lost vision by fusing a unique helmet directly to his optics nerves. While the operation itself was a success, Quilt was left with a unique form of color blindness; though his sight was restored, he could only see the world in bright, vivid colours.
This constant sensory overload drove him insane and he assumed the costumed identity of the supervillain we know as Crazy Quilt. Though he doesn’t have any innate superpowers, his helmet/visor more than compensates for that fact. Crazy-Quilt’s helmet allows him to hypnotize his victims using flashing lights of various colors and can also project lethal laser beams as well as blinding, getaway lights to facilitate an easy escape.
The visor functions as Quilt’s artificial eyes since his own eyes no longer function; the lenses feed their input signal straight into his brain, and he can see things even if the visor is placed on the back of his head. After being defeated repeatedly by the Boy Commandos, he relocates to Gotham City and develops an impassioned hatred for the Boy Wonder, nearly killing Jason Todd a day into his tenure as the new Robin thinking that it was Dick Grayson under the mask. He continues to harangue the Bat Family till this day with his avant-garde costume and his crazy powerful helmet.
We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if George R. R. Martin based Lord Qyburn off of this maniacal medical practitioner. Created by arguably the best creative duo in DC history- Bob Kane and Bill Finger- Matthew Thorne (Bradford in the Earth-One continuity) debuted in Detective Comics #77. The brother of Gotham City mob boss extraordinaire Rupert Thorne, he used to lead a straight life but couldn’t resist the allure of the family business.
Matthew was a brilliant surgeon and loved his profession deeply but crime was like an addictive drug that he couldn’t shake off. It didn’t take him long to follow his in his brother’s footsteps, and soon enough, Matthew Thorne began treating the criminals of Gotham City from his private practice as the Crime Doctor. Besides treating his patients, he would also hand out “prescriptions” that taught them how to execute their crimes with greater efficiency for 25% of the action.
If he was required to conduct a “house call” and bail someone out of a bad situation, he’d take 50%, no questions asked. Thanks to his active facilitation of crime in Gotham, it wasn’t long before the Dynamic Duo came looking for him. Though he has no superpowers, Matthew Thorne’s greatest strength is his demented mind. He’s an expert surgeon and criminal mastermind, who is so good at extracting information from his targets that he is the resident torturer of the Secret Society.
Thorne was an average hand-to-hand combatant, but his injector gun gave him the clear edge in a fight as it could either kill or incapacitate his enemies by emitting a lethal, vapour-like gas. Like his brother, he prefers controlling things from the shadows and is single-handedly responsible for Gotham’s criminals feeling healthier, stronger and more invigorated than ever; and while that’s what a good doctor should do, something tells us it isn’t because Thorne worships the Hippocratic Oath!
And speaking of thorns, let’s look at Matthew’s brother, shall we? Before the Penguin or the Black Mask ever rose to power like they have in recent years, Gotham City’s underworld was controlled by one man; and his named was Rupert Thorne. Created by Steve Englehart and Walter Simonson, Rupert debuted in Detective Comics #469 and was introduced as THE guy in Gotham’s crime scene.
A corrupt politician operating in the most corrupt city in America, Rupert accumulated an obscene amount of wealth and political connections during his lifetime, using them to finance his criminal enterprise and run it from the shadows. He eventually became a city councilman and invested in diverse businesses to extend his influence on the legitimate side of the board. Rupert was also the leader of Gotham’s exclusive Tobacconists’ Club, which is how he came onto Batman’s radar.
After undergoing a harrowing physical transformation, fellow Club member Dr. Phosphorous warned Thorne about the Caped Crusader and the dangers he posed to his massive empire. Seeing the truth in his words, Thorne used his political connections to decry Batman as a vigilante and did everything in his power to take him down. He replaced James Gordon with his own lackey and got Hamilton Hill elected Mayor, who immediately put out a city-wide arrest call for the Caped Crusader.
He even went as far as hiring Deadshot to take out Bruce Wayne, after learning Batman’s identity from a tortured Hugo Strange. It’s just a shame that he went after Strange, as that decision would cost him his life. Still, for a while, Rupert Thorne was the worst thing going for Gotham’s Dark Knight; and that includes the Joker.
DC’s frenzied approach to capitalizing on the “gorilla craze” of the 50’s resulted in the creation of one of the most brutal (and bizarre) Batman villains of the Golden Age; the Gorilla Boss of Gotham City. George Dyke was once a top mobster who controlled much of the crime that took place in Gotham City. Unfortunately, he did so under the Batman’s watchful eye and was promptly put behind bars by the Caped Crusader for his various felonies. Sentenced to death by cyanide-laced gassing, the Boss came up with a plan to take his revenge on Batman.
With the help of a crooked scientist, Dyke was able to safely transfer his mind to the body of a gorilla and cheat his sentence. Now inhabiting the body of one of the most powerful primates in history, he takes on the moniker of the Gorilla Boss and plans to transfer his mind to Batman’s body while trapping his consciousness within the ape’s, thus gaining the ultimate revenge.
Though he can only communicate with his henchman by using pen and paper, Dyke’s primate body is far stronger than that of any human and grants him enhanced strength, endurance and range of motion. He chases Gotham’s Protector all throughout the city; pummelling him every chance he gets but ultimately, his newfound body proves to be his undoing.
He pursues him up a building, but falls unconscious and is promptly arrested by the authorities for his crimes after Batman deduces his real identity. Though his appearances have been sporadic since, he’s one of the better gorilla-based villains that DC has created; and they’ve made a head-spinning 50 of them.
The original Ragdoll was a Golden Age Flash villain who was blessed with the queer power of being triple-jointed. He could contort his limbs to inhuman degrees, quite like a rag doll, and decided to use his powers to commit crime and take on The Flash. But while Ragdoll 1’s membership into every secret group of supervillains would be contingent on his unique physiology, his son would have to put himself through literal hell to get to that level; and even then, he’s mostly treated like comic relief.
Debuting in Villains United #1, Ragdoll II’s real name is Peter Merkel Jr. Being born to the contortionist extraordinaire that was his father, young Peter was expected to follow in his footsteps; but genetics failed the boy, as he was born without the triple-jointedness that made his father such a great thief. He faced great abuse as a child because of this, being shunned and mistreated by both his father and brother.
Determined to live up to the family legacy, Peter Merkel Jr. subjected his own body to hundreds of surgeries over the course of 12 years in an effort to replicate his father’s “powers”. While it gave him the flexibility he so desired, it also completely shattered any vestiges of sanity left within him. His surgeries replaced his joints with self-lubricating and fully-rotating implants which gave him contorting capabilities that far exceeded his father’s.
Additionally, his body also became nearly-indestructible thanks to the modifications it went through. Donning a costume that closely resembled his father’s he joined Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham’s re-imagined Secret Six and later went on to side with Joker in his DC-wide supervillain war. Unlike his predecessor, whose cruelty is measured as opposed to impulsive, Ragdoll II is insanity in a unitard and will shove you off a bridge if you dare question him; just ask the Mad Hatter.
“Healing is the body’s natural process, and is therefore dull and commonplace. I am an experimenter – a pioneer, a misunderstood visionary.” Quote unquote, it pretty much sums up the life motto of this insane former medical practitioner. Appearing first in Batman #240, Dr. Moon was introduced as the go-to healer, medical experimenter and torturer of the League of Assassins. Nothing is known about his past life, save the fact that he was once nominated for a Nobel Prize and that there is no real way to verify his doctorate’s authenticity as there are no records of his accreditation.
What is known however is that he is a brilliant surgeon who, if his moral compass was correctly aligned, could have saved thousands of lives with his talent. Sadly, because of his aforementioned views on the process of healing, he ended up dedicating his life to crime and became the sadistic Dr. Moon.
In his debut appearance, he trapped Dr. Mason Sterling’s brain in a jar and hooked it up to a computer in Ra’s al Ghul’s latest attempt at achieving immortality. He was also responsible for Catwoman’s return to villainy after she had become a reformed vigilante, brainwashing her as part of his and Joker’s latest scheme to inflict as much pain as possible onto the Batman. Though he hasn’t popped up since being stabbed in the neck by Manhunter, Dr. Moon’s actions will always remind Bruce of one of his greatest failures in life.
“Everybody’s gotta pay the Tally Man”. We don’t know anything about this mob enforcer’s personal details but we do know that that phrase has defined his entire outlook on life. Starving and living in rags, the boy who would become the Tally Man lived in constant fear of the criminals who threatened the family for the money his father had borrowed from them years before. After his father died, those same criminals extorted his weekly fee from his mother and when she couldn’t repay them, she was left a broken mess.
Her terrified son asked her why she didn’t just refuse to pay, when she uttered the words, “Everybody has to pay the tallyman,’’ that would become his life’s motto. The next time that the enforcer came around, the boy couldn’t contain his rage and brutally murdered the older man. He was 12 years old. Getting heavily abused in prison and returning home to a dead mother and sister shattered his mind and he turned into the Tally Man; a hit-man for the mob whose “debt collection fees” was paid in human lives.
He was hired by Gotham’s underworld to take care of any “debtors” who interfered with their business interests which inadvertently led him to Batman. His expert marksmanship and clinical insanity weren’t enough to get the job done, though and he fled the scene vowing revenge.
He re-surfaced during No Man’s Land, serving as Two-Face’s personal executioner. Tally Man 2 would emerge post-Infinite Crises as the personal hit man of Warren White and was responsible for throwing Batman readers into disarray by murdering most of his rogues’ gallery with weapons belonging to other villains, most notably killing The Ventriloquist with Two-Face’s gun. No matter which incarnation it is, the Tally Man always gets the job done; except when he’s confronted by Gotham’s protector, of course.
The Tweed Brothers
The Mad Hatter wasn’t the only Batman villain to emulate Lewis Carroll’s works but where his actions were motivated by his delusion, the Tweed brothers were inherently nefarious. Debuting in Detective Comics #74, Dumfree Tweed and Deever Tweed are cousins who resemble each other so closely that they are often mistaken for identical twins. Both boys also bear a striking similarity to Sir John Tenniel’s depictions of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, hence the nicknames.
Being overweight and extremely lethargic, the Tweed Brothers preferred to mastermind criminal activities from behind the scenes as opposed to being out in the field, getting their hands dirty. Additionally, they also used their borderline-identical appearances to their advantage, tricking people into thinking that they are both effectively the same person. In fact, they look so much alike that even Batman was fooled by them on his first encounters with the duo.
It took the World’s Greatest Detective a good while to crack the code to their “twin magic”, after which they became regular denizens of Arkham Asylum. The Tweed Brothers have since developed a close relationship with the Mad Hatter, with the New 52 introducing them as his henchmen. They were even in charge of the Wonderland Gang which terrorized the streets of Gotham City in Detective Comics #841