The Ninjabot

Categorized | Editorial

Top 10 Batman Villains II: Electric Boogaloo

Posted on July 20, 2012 at 10:09 am by Justin Cavender

So after reading yesterday’s great article on Bat-Villains (http://www.geeklegacy.com/top-10-batman-villains/) I got into a twittersation over the contents, and the fine gentlemen here at Geek Legacy offered me a chance to take another stab at the subject.

Now of course the lists are 100% subjective and complete nerd-rage bait, but here is my alternate view of the topic:

10) Deacon Blackfire

While only a member of the Batman canon for a four issue series titled “The Cult” (beautifully illustrated by Bernie Wrightson and written by Jim Starlin), Deacon Blackfire holds the distinction of being one of the few people to mentally break the Dark Knight.  He was so thoroughly brainwashed that he fell into the Deacon’s servitude for a time.  Even though he dies at the end of the story, that feat alone earns him a spot at the table when speaking of Batman’s greatest villains.

9) The Riddler

 A mastermind criminal, Edward Nigma suffers from mega-narcissism and a compulsion to play games and create elaborate puzzles as part of his capers.  If only he could suppress this urge he would probably be the most successful thief in the Bat-verse, but alas he can’t (a fact that was first brought to light all the way back in 1966).  Luckily for Batman, while the Riddler’s intellect may be on par, his physical prowess is more than lacking.

 

8) Two-Face

One of the earliest additions to the Batman’s Rogues Gallery, introduced in 1942 by Batman creator Bob Kane, Two Face began life as a gimmick criminal.  Harvey Dent, the Gotham City District Attorney famously scarred by acid, evolved over time to be a formidable foe, despite his dependency on determining all of his decisions on the flip of a coin, for the Bat.  Mostly due to the fact that it was Batman himself who trained Dent extensively in hand-to-hand combat and detective work, in what can only be viewed now as a rare lapse of judgment.

 

7) Poison Ivy

One of the few villains on this list to actually have what can be thought of as ‘super powers’ Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy, is a walking combination of the world’s deadliest plant and animal based toxins.   That coupled with her skills as a talented botanist (intellect seems to be a re-occurring them amongst the greatest of the Bat-Villains) and her pheromone fueled seductiveness places Poison Ivy firmly in the ranks of Batman’s most dangerous foes.

 

6) Mr. Freeze

Mister Freeze was originally an unforgettable villain, gimmicky at best, who appeared in the Bat-Lexicon in the 1960s.  One of reoccurring villains in the Batman syndicated TV show, who was later famously and tragically portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dr Victor Fries (a doctor; are we noticing a theme here?) was cemented into the Batverse as a cardinal villain when his origin was redone by Paul Dini.  That one episode of the animated series turned Mister Freeze into a tragic and sympathetic villain whose overwhelming pain over his cryogenicaly frozen wife in some ways mirrors Batman’s nagging guilt over his parent’s death.

 

5) Ra’s al Ghul

Ra’s Al Ghul was a relative late comer to the DC Universe, introduced during the acclaimed O’Neil/Adams run in 1971.  A criminal mastermind of the highest order, whose reach and goals extend far beyond the borders of Gotham City, the “Demon’s Head” (translated from Arabic) is one of the few people to ever deduce the Caped Crusader’s secret identity as Bruce Wayne.  A fact in and of itself that places him on this list.

 

4) Cat Woman

 

Selina Kyle.  Another of the core villains featured on the Batman TV show, and probably one of the most easily recognized around the globe.  Famously portrayed by a long string of femme fatales, Catwoman is the sultry, villainous flip side to the Bat-Coin;  Stalking the same streets and hiding in the same shadows as the Batman.  Although portrayed of late as more of an anti-hero, Catwoman’s long running role as an adversary and part-time lover of the Bat makes her a must have on this list.

 

3) Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn has the distinction of being the only character on this list who appeared first as a bit villain on the animated series, and due to fan response was introduced into the comics.  Now a major villain, Harleen Quinzel’s origins lie in her job as a psychiatrist (another scientist/doctor D.C.?  Really?) at Arkham Asylum.  After slipping into madness she was gifted with super strength, agility, and toxin immunity by the #7 villain on this list and lives life now as the off again/on again therapist/girlfriend of the next entry on this list.

 

2) The Joker

The Clown Prince of Crime, introduced in Batman #1, is probably the Dark Knight’s most consistent adversary.  Psychotic to the very core, the Joker’s motivations (and abilities) are ever changing and never consistent from one writer to the next.  It’s this chaotic vortex of insanity that makes him such a fun villain to watch match wits against the Bat. That and the fact that he thankfully did the readers a favor by ending Jason Todd’s run as Robin in the pages of “A Death in the Family” make him a definite fan favorite for a reason.

 

So who does this leave…

 

1) The Scarecrow

Calm down Bat-Nerds!  Hear me out here… Dr Jonathan Crane (yep, another doctor) is another early addition to Batman’s Rogues Gallery, first appearing in 1941.  The Scarecrow, armed with a deranged psychologist’s understanding of the human mind and a recipe for fear gas, is linked to the Batman in a way that makes them almost inseparable.  The Scarecrow, incapable of fearing anything but the Batman yet addicted to being afraid, is compelled to seek out the Caped Crusader to engage in strife and struggle.  That when put in the mirror in front of Batman’s lifelong pursuit of conquering his own fears and insecurities makes the Scarecrow probably his greatest and most dangerous opponent.

Thanks for reading my take on the Batman mythos!

 

We hope you enjoyed The Mighty Jerd’s Batman villain list. It’s always fun to argue who makes the cut, and in which order they’re listed. Please visit thejerd.com and follow @TheMightyJerd on twitter.

-Geek Legacy

    • Snakbar

      You're a brave soul putting Mr J second. That's why I love these lists. To see the different opinions. Great job and we hope to see more from you.

      • I know… the Joker is always everyone's #1 and I get it. I just felt that Scarecrow's influence over the Arkham Asylum, and its history, puts him in a place to be a contributing factor to at least half the Batman rogue's gallery. That nudges him into the #1 spot for me.

        Thanks for reading!

    • bcmpartners

      My favorite villain has always been Ra's al Ghul and his hot daughter Talia. He knew Batman's true identity and never reveals it out of respect. Good stuff. Keep writing.

      • Thanks for the response… Ra's Al Ghul is definitely a fan favorite for a reason (and Talia sure doesn't hurt)!

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