Villains aka ‘the bad guys’ of Gotham city is the reason why Batman has a job. Imagine, batman without a villain to fight!! Aimlessly flapping his black wings and gliding through the city skies. Just as Batman is one of the best superhero, so should be his villains and the batman series offers its audience just that. The Batman has a world of bizarre and yet fascinating villains who not only captivate our minds but give us goose bumps and make us jump off our seats when they try to come close to our hero or hurt the innocent.
What is so spellbinding about the batman villains is the fact that each has an interesting story bringing out the bad guy in them; each one has different abilities and powers and not to forget their creative appearance (remember Poison Ivy, Two Face, the Joker …). Though there are many wonderful, iconic villains in the Batman’s enemies list, we have picked ten of the all-time legendary. Some of them have translated into the Batman movies and some of them remain immortalised in the world of DC Comics. Sit back and tighten your seat belts as we journey through the rogue’s gallery and first on our stop is;
1. The Joker
He’s got the most hideous smile. Period. We all remember him from the movie The Dark Knight or his famous one liner “why so serious?” The joker is one of the longest living Batman villains and has evolved from being a prankster to a lunatic let loose on a destruction and killing spree. His humour makes you giggle and his face makes you shudder. He is a sadistic clown, whose only business is to create chaos in Gotham. He mostly operates solo or with his side- kick Harley Quinn. He was the evil behind crippling Barbara Gordon and killing ‘Robin 2’and much more. He’s also an inmate of the Arkham Asylum where he found his sidekick Harley Quinn.
“The man who broke the Bat.” Well that’s exactly for what he is known. He ruthlessly broke Batman’s spine and compelled Batman to give up his persona (till he recuperated!).
Bane was a convict behind bars in an island prison in South America where he was subjected to some forced experiments to test the drug Venom that led to his new physical form, his superhuman strength.
If you want to watch him in action again don’t miss out The Dark Knight Rises where his character is brought to life by director Christopher Nolan. Watch out what he does to put The Dark Knight off duty.
3) The Riddler
“Riddle me this, Riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat? Not me!” Indeed, it is Edward Nigma aka ‘the Riddler’. The boastfully intellectual villain who tries to outdo Batman by making him rack his brain out. His modus operandi is to leave clues for batman to solve and thus, reach closer to the Riddler, to catch him. The Riddler first appeared in the DC Comics but has also been translated into movie character played by none other than the Hollywood actors, Jim Carrey and Johnny Depp.
Recently the Riddler has been seen putting his brains to better use and going away from the crime world to become a Private Investigator but watch out Batman, you know bad habits are addictive!
4) Two Face
It’s very typical of these batman villains; their creator has named them very appropriately. Their name and appearance go hand in hand, like Poison Ivy is covered in Poison Ivy, the plant, the Killer Croc is half human half crocodile; the joker has actually painted his face like a clown and with no exception Two Face literally translates to the two sides of a face, half scared and half normal.
Two Face was once the district attorney of Gotham, Harvey Dent, a good friend and ally of Batman. Aaron Eckhart has beautifully essayed the role of Harvey Dent in the 2008 The Dark Knight, which also depicts the origin of Two Face. (Recall the acid attack!). Since Dent was a public and law abiding figurehead before the unfortunate accident, he still carries along that part of his personality along with the dark side, post the accident. Similarly all his decisions are also based on the fate decided by his coin (one face shiny new and the other is scarred) he flips this coin every time he decides on whether to do a legal or an illegal act.
Hush goes by the real name Thomas ‘tommy’ Elliot. His story is ironic and tragic because he is batman’s friend turned foe. Yes, Master Bruce (Batman) and Master Tommy were childhood friends. Thomas Elliot had an alcoholic father and a gold digger mother, whose murders were planned by their son himself, though the father died mother was saved by batman’s father and this is where the Hush-Batman enmity begins. Like Batman, Hush is a brilliant strategist, and though a sociopath he grows up to become a neurosurgeon. He is one of those villains who know about the identity of Batman. Hush has not yet translated into a batman movie character but has all the spicy elements to be one!
6) Ra's Al Ghul
You may recall him from The Batman Begins, the character played by Liam Neeson. He is one of the scariest! And why shouldn’t he be. Ra’s is one of the oldest living batman villains and I am not kidding he is centuries old, credit goes to his recuperating powers. Given that one can imagine how intelligent he is as he has centuries of experience and countless hours to sharpen his skills. He is a dangerous combatant and a notorious planner. And before you jump to the conclusion that his only aim is to create havoc in Gotham, kill its citizens or bring out the real identity of Batman, well that is not the case here. His aim is to take the game to the next level and wipe out the very existence of humanity from the face of planet Earth. Now that is the ultimate challenge for any superhero isn’t it? Save the world.
Like many other Bad Guys Ra’s not alone, he is accredited as the creator of the League of Assassins
7) Harley Quinn
Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel simply known as Harley Quinn is Batman’s super villainess. She adorns the traditional harlequin jester. Unlike many of the fictional character in DC Comics who moved from comics to television to movies, Harley Quinn first featured in the television animated series and after that because of her popularity the character was adopted in the DC Comics. She is also known to be the Joker’s partner in crime and is a dear friend of Poison Ivy. You know what they say, “birds of a feather flock together”. And like all best friends share their things, Poison Ivy has shared her immunity to poison and her advanced physical abilities with her best pal Quinn. Apart from this she is a skilled gymnast and a master of criminal psychology.
She was formerly a criminal psychiatrist in the Arkham Asylum where she fell in love with one of the inmate, the Joker and that’s how she entered the crime world. Ah! Love can make you do strange things!
8) Poison Ivy
It wouldn’t do justice if you are talking about Batman’s Villains and you don’t mention Pamela Lillian Isley, famously known as Poison Ivy. An advance Botanical Biochemistry student and her mission in life is to save the plants from humans even if it required killing humans. Her costume a ‘no brainer’ goes with her character and sends you back to Adam and Eve Age, covered in leaves from head to toe. Her abilities include, manipulating all plant life and is immune to all types of poisons known to man. She is better known as Batman villain because obviously if you hurt the people of Gotham then you are indeed Batman’s enemy but apart from that she shares a love-hate relationship with Batman. Don’t blame the girl, the man is a sheer genius and hotcake!! She does claim at times that she loves batman but at times doesn’t hesitate in trying to kill him. (You can never understand women) Unfortunate for Batman he has a woman for a villain.
Catwoman’s real name is Selina Kyle and is Batman’s on again, off again enemy cum love interest. Infamous for luring in her victims with her feminine or should we say feline whiles. She shares a unique relationship with our superhero as opposed to all other villains. Tarrying back and forth with each other they are known for their love-hate relationship because of Batman's unwilling commitment to justice and Catwoman's affinity for sparkling jewellery. She is a peak athlete and gymnast and an expert at hand to hand combat. She’s agile and sharp and never gives up her kill.
10) The Scarecrow
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself” and that’s how it is done in Scarecrow’s books. His modus operandi was to instil fear in his adversaries. Scarecrow, whose real name is Dr. Jonathan Crane a crazy psychologist / biochemist, was sacked from his job for his unfair methods (the fool was testing fear gas on his patients!). This fear gas, a toxin that he invented himself is his chief weapon which when used on an opponent can cause him to realise his worst fear come alive. Nasty and scary as hell isn’t it. His other abilities include hand to hand combat and Kung-Fu and a self-created combat called ‘violent dancing’ and take a wild guess what are his other weapons besides the fear gas? Farm implements! No, it’s not a poor joke, he does use pitchforks, sickles, scythes to fight against an opponent.
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