20 Best Batman Villains (RANKED)

20 Best Batman Villains (RANKED)

Although Batman is, himself, one of the most popular comic book characters ever and needs no further introduction, one of the things that certainly made him as appealing as he is are his villains. Batman’s Rogues Gallery, as the villains are collectively called, contains numerous names that have appeared in the several decades long history of the characters. In fact, Batman’s villains are so good that people usually consider them to be the best villains in the comic book industry.

They’re not all perfect, of course. The recent The Lego Batman Movie has shown us how ridiculous Batman’s villains can get, but those that appear more frequently and are actual threats are truly amazing. In today’s article, we have decided to honor the legacy of Batman’s villains as we are going to rank the 20 best Batman villains in history. Enjoy!

20 Best Batman Villains

20. Mr. Bloom

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
Debut: Batman #43 (2015)

Technically, the Mister Bloom we know was actually a supercriminal that took over the mantle from the original Mister Bloom, who was a well-intentioned scientist named Daryl Gutierrez who, after the events of Gotham’s Zero Year, began working on a generation of high-tech nanotech reactors, which he called “seeds,” which would give random superpowers to their users, in hope to make more superheroes Batman.

Daryl gave up the pseudonym Bloom after his cousin Pete Duggio used a seed to turn himself into a winged vigilante only to be gunned down by a terrified cop. Years later, after the events of Joker’s Endgame, Daryl (now a high-end engineer at Powers International) began working on the seeds again with one of his patients whom, after developing superpowers and going rogue, steals all of the doctor’s seeds and the alias of Mr. Bloom.

Taking up shop in Gotham after the original Batman Bruce Wayne who had died in the caves underneath Gotham fighting the Joker. Bloom was a power-broker who dealt his seeds to criminals which when implanted into their bodies caused the user to receive superhuman powers at the expense of the seeds killing the host not long after. Bloom was similar to a weed, he fed off of Gotham’s citizens’ contempt and disdain for their meek way of life in a broken system, selling them superpowers in order to make them realize their darker sides.

After giving superpowers to criminals like Precious Precious and Qi Tsu, Bloom came into conflict with the Penguin who attempted to kill Bloom before he could become too powerful only for Bloom to survive getting shot in the head and murder all of Penguin’s men as well as impaling Penguin on his elongated claw, not killing him, however.

We start off our list with a very controversial pick, as Mr. Bloom is a villain that is more enigmatic than any name on this list. Still, we are fans of Snyder’s run on Batman and we think that the mysterious and beautifully creepy Mr. Bloom deserves to be on this list. He is a very different version of the Joker in a way, a rival of Gordon’s Batman. He is a superpowered monstrosity obsessed with flowers and blooming, which explains his name. The stories never revealed too much information about him, but what we saw was both dangerous and scary enough for him to land a place on our list.

19. Anarky

Alias: Lonnie Machin
Created By: Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle
Debut: Detective Comics #608 (1989)

Lonnie Machin was a gifted boy who grew up with his parents Michael and Roxanne Machin in the American east coast metropolis of Gotham City. Already at the age of fourteen he became aware of the numerous grievances in his hometown: corruption, the extreme unequal distribution of prosperity and poverty, the highest murder rate in the country, gang crime, drug trafficking and much more.

In order to remedy the social misery, he decided to create a second identity and, by using drastic means, to teach a lesson to all those who acted against “the will of the people” and thus made Gotham such a bad place. He drew his suggestions from the letters to the editor of the daily newspapers.

For example, he murdered the operator of a factory that discharged sewage into the Gotham River after an old lady had been angry about it in a letter to the Gotham Gazette – the city’s largest daily newspaper. Machin – intellectually gifted and well-educated – used his ingenious intellect to put together sophisticated plans for carrying out his deeds and to tinker himself with technical aids to make his actions easier, such as a taser (electric shock stick) disguised as a walking stick or stun grenades.

To hide his identity, he wrapped himself in a ghost-like scarlet costume with a rigid golden face mask. In his opinion, the main culprit for the grievances attacked by him was the system of the rule-based social constitution, the logical symptoms of which are these grievances. Therefore he declared a private war on the state as such.

In order to give graphic expression to his final goal of bringing the system of “rule of people over people” to an end, he chose the anarchist sign (an A enclosed in a circle, the letters of which break through the edge of the circle) as his sign.

Anarky committed various spectacular acts: He murdered, among others, the businessman Warren Bates, who discharged sewage into the Gotham River, and the drug-dealing rock musician Johnny Vomit. This finally called Batman on the scene. He finally stopped Anarky – who was initially mistaken for an adult by law enforcement – in his attempt to storm the Bank of Gotham with an army of homeless people and thus distribute the city’s fortune among the poor and disenfranchised and made him surrender to police.

This sent the boy to a correctional home, from which, however, thanks to his superior intellect and resourcefulness, he could break out at will and accordingly easily go in and out. From the correctional home, he worked under his hacker pseudonym Money-Spider, using computer manipulation to transfer large sums of money from the accounts of rich people to the accounts of charitable organizations and poor farmers in the third world in order to enable them to have a better life.

After this activity was destroyed by Batman’s sidekick Robin, Anarky founded the company ANARCO, an Internet mail-order company for anarchist literature, which on the one hand popularized his philosophical views and on the other hand provided him with the financial means for his private war against the state. To shake off his pursuers, he also faked his death and moved into a secret hiding place under the Washington Monument.

In the course of time, Anarky encountered various other characters from the DC universe, such as the superheroes of the Justice League, the terrorist Ra’s al Ghul, the adventurer Green Arrow, the false prophet Malochia, the insane scientist Professor Jonathan Crane, the youthful crime fighters of the Young Justice team, the Amazon warrior Wonder Woman, the obscurant Jason Blood and his demon Etrigan, the monster Blasphemy, the alien despot Darkseid and the magician Eclipso.

Anarky is an accomplished engineer and technician. So he was inter alia. able to develop a computer that has its own personality and also to build its own teleporter. For a while, he also owned a Green Lantern Ring and offered a so-called boom tube, a transport tube that enables one to go to any location using spatio-temporal curvature lines.

The young revolutionary anarchist, Lonnie Machin, is a child of wealthy parents that decided to reject his heritage and become the terrorist Anarky. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this character and although most secrets have been revealed since his debut, he is still a very inspiring personality and a character with a lot of charisma. In a way, he fights for the same things as Batman – he wants a Gotham free of corruption and crime – but does it in the completely wrong way, which is why he landed on this list.

18. Deathstroke

Alias: Slade Wilson
Created By: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez
Debut: The New Teen Titans #2 (1980)

Slade Wilson was sixteen when he joined the US military, lying about his age. After serving a period in Korea, he was promoted to the rank of major, and, in those years, around the year 1960, he meets his future wife, the then-captain Adeline Kane, who was entrusted with the task of training young soldiers in new techniques of combat in anticipation of the missions they were to carry out in Vietnam.

Adeline was immediately amazed by the abilities already possessed by Slade and how quickly he adapted to modern guerrilla tactics. She realized that he was arguably the most skilled fighter she had ever met and fell in love with him. Slade is promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, thanks to the exceptional speed with which he mastered all forms of combat, and six months after the promotion, he and Adeline are married.

Soon after, Slade is sent to Vietnam and Adeline gives birth to Grant. Slade will then be selected for a medical experiment designed to stimulate the adrenal gland in hopes of increasing a soldier’s ability to withstand the truth serum. Slade, after the experiment, discovers that he possesses qualities that are nothing short of out of the ordinary; his athletic abilities have increased to the limit of human possibilities, but it is his psychic abilities that have had a truly amazing change, as his logical and sensory faculties have grown to a level comparable to that of a computer.

It happened, however, that Slade is forced to disobey the orders given to him, which he had never done before; a certain General Sampson who, holding a grudge against his subordinate (and longtime friend of Slade) named William Wintergreen, had sent the latter on a suicide mission. Slade disobeyed the order not to carry out a rescue mission to prevent other soldiers from falling into enemy hands, running to the aid of his friend, managing to save him, but being forced to say goodbye to his future in the army; all in fact they see in his gesture of rebellion is a symptom of mental imbalance, probably due to the experiment he was subjected to.

Slade is therefore considered as no longer suitable for military life and therefore useless. A period of depression begins for him as he can no longer return to serve his country. During this time, Adeline becomes pregnant with their second child, Joseph.

Faced with the fact that he has come to the end of his military career, Slade decides to become a safari hunter. However, he is unable to stay away from danger, so he immediately abandons his job and slowly begins to become famous as a mercenary under the name and mask of “Deathstroke the Terminator”, managing to earn great wealth over time.

Even the family is not aware of Slade’s double identity, although there is no shortage of small suspects. A few years later, a group of mercenaries raid the Wilson’s villa, kidnapping little Joseph, despite Adeline’s intervention. Once he discovers what has happened, Slade realizes that he cannot hide the truth from his wife and therefore reveals his true occupation during the previous years.

He promises Adeline to rescue their son and together they discover that the latter has been kidnapped by order of a mercenary known as the Jackal. The latter is interested in secret information in Slade’s possession and is willing to kill Joseph for it. Slade has enormous confidence in his abilities and therefore decides not to accept the conditions imposed on him and to neutralize all of the Jackal’s men before they can harm Joseph.

During the fight against the Jackal’s men, however, things do not go as hoped: one of the criminals, in fact, almost manages to cut the throat of the little hostage, which Slade manages to prevent, but unfortunately, the criminal still manages to sever Joseph’s vocal cords. After taking him to the hospital, Adeline, furious at how Slade has endangered the lives of their entire family, attempts to kill him by shooting him in the head, but she only manages to destroy his right eye.

Slade is then forced to leave his family behind and decides to fully embrace his career as a mercenary and supervillain. The separation from Adeline will be terrible for Slade, who will never stop loving her. This will not stop him from having an affair with a woman named Lilian, who will give him a daughter, Rose.

Slade Wilson’s rivalry with Batman is well-known. The two of them are quite similar, with the main difference that Deathstroke was “manufactured”, while Batman trained to become what he is. Deathstroke is certainly both dangerous and popular enough to be placed higher on this list, but due to the fact that the modern version of the character is primarily associated with the Teen Titans (and Nightwing) and not Batman himself, we opted to honor his legacy with a lower spot, but still thought it necessary for him to be on this list.

17. Professor Pyg

Alias: Lazlo Valentin
Created By: Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert
Debut: Batman #666 (2007)

Batman (Bruce Wayne) first learns about Professor Pyg when he captures his minion Mister Toad. Professor Pyg proclaims the “Year of the Pig”, and he and his Circus of Strange appear in Gotham City as part of Simon Hurt’s plan. Professor Pyg begins a campaign to make people “perfect”, and his henchmen capture Robin (Damian Wayne).

Professor Pyg attempts to release an addictive identity-destroying drug in the form of viruses, using his Dollotrons, genderless lobotomized humans with special masks fused into their faces. He previously sold the drug to gangs, who used it to control prostitutes. Professor Pyg also plans to turn Robin into another Dollotron.

He is thwarted by Batman, who obtains Professor Pyg’s location from his henchman captured by him, Phosphorus Rex. Batman arrives at Professor Pyg’s disused amusement park hideout (previously used by Joker in The Killing Joke) after Robin escapes from the latter’s clutches. Together, they manage to subdue Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange from him, and capture most of the Dollotrons. Professor Pyg is arrested and taken to Blackgate Penitentiary.

He is later freed by Simon Hurt’s enforcers, the group of 99 Demons. An important part of Simon Hurt’s and the Black Glove’s plan, Pyg wreaks havoc in Gotham with his viral infection. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are captured by the gang of 99 Demons, and a giant army of Dollotrons appears. Batman breaks free, but Professor Pyg plans to turn Gordon into a “party” to be held in Crime Alley.

The plan is thwarted by Batman and the Joker (who has captured Robin); The Joker is revealed to be the adversary of Dr. Simon Hurt. The Black Glove was finished with the Joker’s laughing gas. Professor Pyg and Simon Hurt are almost captured by Batman, but subdued using the drugged Gordon. Robin is freed by the Joker as part of a plan to stop Dr. Simon Hurt. Robin assaults Professor Pyg’s van and frees Gordon, but is captured by the gang of 99 Demons.

Professor Pyg leaves Hurt and the 99 Demons to pursue his own agenda in the city. Simon Hurt impersonates Thomas Wayne, and nearly defeats Batman and Robin until Bruce Wayne arrives as the original Batman. Wayne continues to fight Simon Hurt, and sends Robin and Grayson to find Professor Pyg. Professor Pyg finds himself in the center of the virus infection zone, surrounded by Dollotrons and numerous addicts.

He is using a device that he says will bring addicts “salvation”; the device is a mobile Dollotron converter. Grayson and Robin defeat Professor Pyg, luring him out of the crowd by tricking him with his “Mother”. He is taken to Arkham Asylum.

A new villain named Son of Pyg briefly appears as an agent of the Leviathan organization. Batgirl defeats him during a plot to turn a group of mercenary teenagers in training into agents of Leviathan. His real name is revealed as Janosz Valentin aka “Johnny Valentine”.

Otto Netz, also known as Doctor Daedulus, later revealed to Batman (the returned Bruce Wayne) that Lazlo Valentin was a former agent of his Spyral spy organization who went insane after being exposed to a chemical agent of his own design that destroyed his mind.

The Pre-Flashpoint Professor Pyg appears in the Convergence limited series where a group of pre-Flashpoint Batman villains, including the Riddler and Professor Pyg, attempt to take on Thomas Wayne, the reimagined modern Earth-Two Batman (who is usually a villain), mistaking him for the late Flashpoint Batman due to a similar costume. These villains, seeing it as a simple obstacle, attack en masse. This version of Pyg will eventually get killed when Thomas Wayne exploits himself as a delay tactic.

In the New 52 timeline, Professor Pyg is reintroduced as part of a group of Arkham Asylum inmates who try to escape the premises during a riot, but are stopped by Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Grayson. Later, during the war with the Leviathan organization, through investigation, Batman discovers that Professor Pyg’s “Mother of Nails” is actually Talia al Ghul.

During the Forever Evil storyline, when the Crime Syndicate arrives from another universe to conquer the world, Earth sinks into chaos, and Gotham City is divided by its criminals in Batman’s absence. In the midst of the disaster, Professor Pyg uses Gotham Memorial Hospital as his hideout during these events.

Pyg, with his Dollotron army, sedated unknown pedestrians and operated them unnecessarily. However, Pyg’s reign is short-lived because Scarecrow approaches Professor Pyg at the hospital to see if he will deliver his and Dollotrons supplies to the Scarecrow’s followers. Bane later approaches Professor Pyg and forces him to join his cause.

One of the more bizarre villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, Professor Pyg is a character that quickly became a notorious name on the list. He doesn’t really have any superpowers, but he is a bizarre serial murderer obsessed with perfection and that has a very well-established army and infrastructure behind him. His Dollotrons, mindless puppets he turns his victims into, are nigh-invincible and enable him to be as notorious as he is. He isn’t really as dangerous as some other names on this list and he usually works as a henchman for other villains, but he is so morbid and scary that he certainly deserved a spot here.

16. Clayface

Alias: Basil Karlo
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #40 (1940)

The original Clayface is a movie actor who goes crazy over the idea of ​​a remake of his old movie, and starts murdering crew and cast members using the identity of a villain from one of his films, but is stopped by Batman and Robin. Karlo later forms an alliance between all living Clayfaces to kill Batman, in a group called “Mud Pack”. Even if the “Mud Pack” is defeated, Karlo manages to take over the powers of the other Clayfaces, and become the ultimate Clayface.

Karlo will then be defeated and thrown into the bowels of the Earth, only to return with new powers. Karlo will also try to absorb Wonder Woman, but with little success. In the new DC Universe, he will marry Poison Ivy. This turns out to be a ploy, however, as Ivy is using it as part of a larger scheme. After realizing this, he seeks revenge.

Karlo later returns with a new plan: to use his DNA duplication skills to impersonate Bruce Wayne and take control of Wayne Enterprises. He even guesses that Wayne is Batman’s true identity. However, Batman plants false evidence to suggest that he anticipated Karlo’s attempt to take his DNA from him and tricked him into taking a fake sample. Batman eventually stops Karlo by trapping him in a security system that can only be disabled with Karlo’s original DNA, reasoning that he has changed too much for his original DNA to be present in his system.

In a later story, a new origin is given to Karlo: in this version, he is a good-looking young actor who was disfigured in a car accident. Desperate to save her career, she began abusing an industrial makeup chemical known as “Re-Nu” which, when combined with clay and putty, deformed the flesh into new forms, a secret he discovered from his father, Vincent Karlo, a former special effects artist. However, the chemical is now out of production, and Karlo is forced to steal more and more to preserve his good looks.

Batman catches him during one of these robberies, which reveals his secret to the world. Karlo’s career is ruined and his girlfriend Glory Griffin leaves him. Batman attempts to get Karlo to testify against Re-Nu creator Roland Daggett, but he refuses. Instead, he attempts to enter the warehouse where the police are holding his stolen stash of Re-Nu. When the police open fire on the vials, Karlo is doused with the chemical and transformed into Clayface.

He then attacks the set of the film he was fired from. Batman attempts to evacuate the set, but Clayface throws him off into the distance and starts slaughtering everyone on sight. As a further rematch, Clayface disfigures Glory, who is working on the film as a production assistant, before Batman stops him.

Later Hugo Strange uses a serum to transform living and dead humans into horrifying monsters. Batman initially suspects that Karlo has come out of Arkham Asylum. Realizing that Karlo needs care more than imprisonment, Batman asks him to join his team. Karlo agrees and starts working with Batman, Nightwing, Batwoman, Orphan, and Spoiler to help them defeat Strange’s monsters. The government agency A.R.G.U.S. creates a quarantine zone that encompasses the neighborhood where the creature died, dubbing it “Monstertown”.

Dr. Victoria October, an A.R.G.U.S. consultant, deals with “Monstertown”, the area of ​​Gotham City affected by the Strange serum. Clayface patrols the sewers below Monstertown, recovering Dr. October’s monsters created from the serum.

The doctor offers to work on a way to restore Clayface to human form permanently. Batman gives Karlo a high-tech forearm (later replaced with a smaller bracelet with a longer-lasting energy source) that allows him to regain human form without using his powers – reducing the psychotic effect Clayface has on Karlo.

The device is not a cure, as Clayface’s DNA consumes Karlo’s human DNA whenever he is stuck in human form. Dr. October gives him a “placebo” bracelet with messages from her dear friend Cassandra Cain (Orphan), which helps him focus on maintaining sanity. After passing twelve hours, Clayface loses his sanity and attacks the doctor. Orphan intervenes, saving her life by putting the real bracelet back on.

Although we picked the Basil Karlo iteration of the character because it is the most well-known one, Clayface is a very important character in Batman’s lore. A normal guy that turned into a monster made out of clay, Clayface usually has some deep backstory that gives him a certain amount of depth. Although he had some individual stories, Clayface was most often hired as a henchman for other, bigger villains and that is why he got was placed so low on our list; he even worked with Batman in one of the recent narratives. Still, Clayface definitely had to be on this list and that is why we included him.

15. Court of Owls

Alias: None
Created By: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
Debut: Batman #3 (2011)

The Court of Owls is a secret organization that has controlled Gotham City for centuries. They are a violent clique of some of the oldest and richest families in Gotham City who use murder and money to exert great political influence throughout history. Their bases of operations are hidden in some of the oldest structures in the city.

A lullaby describing them has been passed down through the generations of Gotham City: “Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed. Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.

To carry out their interests, they employ a race of highly trained assassins known as the Talons. The leaders of the organization appear to be human and wear owl masks on their faces, but some lower-ranking members appear to be hybrids of human owls. The oldest history of the Court of Owls dates back to the early days of Gotham City in the year 1600, and it has been involved in many criminal acts in Gotham City over the years.

Owls took notice when billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne announces plans to rebuild and remodel Gotham City for the future. The Court sentences him to death, and his assassin, Talon William Cobb, attempts to assassinate him during a meeting with Lincoln March. They fight on top of Wayne Tower and the killer survives a fall from the top.

Batman discovers that his society has secret headquarters in hidden rooms in each building established by the Alan Wayne Trust, created by his great-grandfather, Alan Wayne. Wayne relates that as a child he believed that the Court of Owls was responsible for the death of his parents, and personally investigated the conspiracy before determining that there was no evidence.

Batman is caught and tortured by the Court, but escapes. Not long after, seemingly tired of his game and angered by Batman’s escape and the discovery of his lair, the Court unleashes the full force of their army of undead Talons on the city to kill Batman and his allies and retake Gotham City for them.

In the 2012 storyline “Night of the Owls”, which was published in the Batman-related books, the Court of Owls, angered by the defeat of William Cobb at the hands of Batman, awakens all of his other Claws to take back Gotham, literally and ideologically – from Batman. They also dispose of Cobb’s body for Alfred Pennyworth to find.

The Court’s goal is to prove that they are the top legend of Gotham City, and not Batman. The Owls attack the Batcave first, but the injured Wayne still manages to defeat several of them due to his outdated fighting style. Alfred discovers the Owls’ forty targets and sends a radio message to the Batman Family for help.

Tim Drake and Jason Todd receive one and Jason decides to protect Mr. Freeze. Robin (Damian Wayne), Batwing, and the Birds of Prey also respond to Alfred’s call. Batman wears an armored battle suit so he can fight all the Talons, while one of the assassins revives William Cobb. The Birds of Prey are one of the first to fight a Talon that is ruthless and cruel in his methods, who wants to kill “street vermin.”

Nightwing gets the message and goes to save Mayor Sebastian Hady. Nightwing has no problem in killing the Talon attacking Hady due to it already being dead, but upon stopping it, he is knifed in the chest by a revived Cobb. Cobb credits Nightwing, his descendant, working for Batman as his worst betrayal. When Selina and Spark arrive to rob the Penguin, they see the Penguin’s car leaving, but are unaware that the Penguin himself is still alive and is being brutally beaten by Ephraim Newhouse, a Talon.

Bruce, meanwhile, continues to fight the Claws invading the Batcave and finally manages to stop them, and heads to save Jeremiah Arkham, who is fighting the Talons. Nightwing is brutally beaten by Cob,b who continues to taunt him. Cobb demands that his heir impress him, finally giving up and saying that Nightwing is a waste. Nightwing, however, retaliates and freezes Cobb, then offers to protect Jeremiah Arkham from Batman.

The Court of Owls isn’t really one villain, it is a secret, ages-old organization that wants to control Gotham and uses the Talons as their foot soldiers. When Scott Snyder created the organization, we didn’t really think that it would become such an important part of the mythos, but it did and we can freely state that modern Batman comics would be unimaginable without the Court of Owls. We placed them relatively low on the list because we still need time to evaluate them when compared to some “older” characters, but we’re certain that they will reach the level of notoriety necessary for a higher spot eventually.

14. Hugo Strange

Alias: None
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #36 (1940)

Hugo Strange first appears in Detective Comics #36 (1940). In this story, he had assassinated an FBI officer, who, just before dying, revealed two words to Batman: “mist” and “Strange”. Finally, the hero discovers and thwarts Strange’s plan: a machine to create a mist so dense that it would prevent the police from catching him in his crimes.

His second appearance was in Batman #1 (1940), where after escaping from prison, and through scientific experiments, he creates a growth hormone that turns five henchmen that he freed from the asylum, into gigantic “Monster Men”. This story would be updated by Matt Wagner in 2006, in his comic “Dark Moon Rising” (compilation that updated two old stories: “Batman and the Monster Men” and “Batman and the Mad Monk”).

In Detective Comics #46 (1940), the villain appears to have died and would only reappear many years later in Detective Comics #471 (1977) (compiled in Batman: Strange Apparitions). Here Strange runs a prestigious private clinic with the aim of stealing the identities and fortunes of wealthy victims, until he unexpectedly meets Bruce Wayne as a victim, stealing all his secrets, discovering that he is Batman and even becomes him as a second personality.

In the following issue, in a fight against Rupert Thorne, he would die again (later, he only appeared as a ghost scaring Rupert Thorne). Finally, in Batman #356 (1983), it was discovered that he had survived and used yoga techniques to intimidate Thorne into believing that he was turned into a ghost.

The post-Crisis on Infinite Earths stories feature strange in a larger capacity. In the “Prey” arc of the “Legends of the Dark Knight” series, written in 1990 by Doug Moench, a new origin of the villain is told; he is presented as a brilliant, but obsessive psychiatrist who, in order to help the authorities, initiates an investigation to discover who this new vigilante named Batman is.

In 2001 in the “Terror” arc of the “Legends of the Dark Knight” series, again written by Doug Moench, Strange returns from an apparent death and hatches a plan against Batman, certain that he knows his secret identity, by entering Arkham as the Scarecrow’s psychiatrist, which he wants to use to his own advantage. It is also worth noting that Hugo Strange is obsessed with Batman, which leads him to want to copy his image, his physique, his combat techniques, all so he could prove to himself that he can play a better role than Batman.

One fact to consider in all these stories where Professor Hugo Strange appeared is that Batman is always considered an outlaw vigilante and is persecuted by the police and authorities. In the 1990 Batman: Finding Answers comic book from the DC Files alternate story series, Strange kidnaps Dick Grayson and Alfred. The Bat traps Strange on a Pacific island and enters a heavily defended base.

In the end, in Batman: The Fall, Batman enters the central floor of the base and finds that Strange murdered Alfred and Dick. Batman, shocked, receives an electric shock and Strange injects him with a poison, at the same time that he activates the launch of a toxic gas that floods the room. Strange manages to flee but two months later, he is caught by the Watcher, a new hero who is none other than Bruce Wayne, who officially declares Batman dead and silently retires.

Years later, when DC picks up on this story, Wayne gives up his Watcher identity and is killed by the man to whom he gave it to, Damian Wayne, by a gunshot to the back of the head in Watcher: Resurrection and Death. In the later issue (JLA After All: Gotham City Stories) it is revealed that Damian acted under the influence of Strange, now calling himself Eminence. This story, being alternative, does not influence the main plot.

Just imagine how dangerous a perfectly normal scientist has to be to land a spot among all of the freaks on here? Well, Hugo Strange did just that. Although he has not appeared in many stories – actually, two of his major storylines were, in fact, almost the same (the newer was a remake of sorts) – Hugo Strange has had a profound influence on Batman’s legacy. He is a brilliant psychologist and a profile, and is one of the few people in the lore that managed to figure out Batman’s true identity all by himself. Sadly, he became so obsessed with Batman that he wanted to become Batman and that insanity is what ultimately cost him his victories. Still, he got a spot on our list, so it’s something.

13. Harley Quinn

Alias: Harleen Quinzel
Created By: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Debut: “Joker’s Favor” (1992)

A young graduate in psychiatry, Harleen Quinzel works at Arkham Asylum. A model student, in addition to getting good grades in college, she was also a dedicated gymnast, earning a scholarship from Gotham City University. While researching the madmen in Arkham, she becomes fascinated by a particular inmate. Willing to analyze him, she pleads for three months with the doctors of Arkham before being able to cure him.

After winning her sympathy during their sessions, he seduces her, making her fall madly in love with him. After helping him escape from the asylum more than once, Harleen is placed under suspicion by the authorities, who revoke her permit and place her in her own cell. Her passion for crazy people pushes her to take care of the Joker. Her license to practice was withdrawn and, ironically, she was interned in the psychiatric hospital where she practiced.

Much of it is destroyed by an earthquake that shakes Gotham City; Harleen Quinzel takes the opportunity to escape by donning a harlequin costume (hence the pun that her name constitutes) and she leaves to help her new mentor in fulfilling her destiny. From her real name, Harleen Quinzel derives her alias, Harley Quinn.

Her romantic relationship with the Joker is marked by excess. Psychologically and physically mistreated by the one she calls her “Puddin'”, she nevertheless always comes back to him. This relationship is marked by periods of separation because of internments in the walls of Arkham or conflicts that shake the couple regularly. The relationship becomes one of the most complex and twisted love stories in comics, the Joker being abusive and manipulative towards Harley.

She is the only person who has managed to become intimate over such a long period of time with the Joker, who in turn displays occasional moments of confusion and embarrassment that result in attempts to kill her. One day, when the Joker realizes that he has very deeply hidden feelings of love, he sends Harley on a rocket. She crashes in Robinson Park, in central Gotham, and is found by Poison Ivy.

When Harley regains consciousness, Ivy initially plans to kill her. The prospect of her own death totally fails to move Harley, and Ivy is curious as to why. She convinces Harley to tell her story and soon feels a friendly bond with her. Ivy offers Harley to take revenge on Batman and the Joker. She takes her to a toxic dump and looks after her; in particular, she injects her with a self-developed serum that allows Harley to be immune to various toxins and Ivy’s poisonous touch, while greatly improving her strength and speed. Ivy intends to give her new friend an edge over Batman and the Joker.

Quinn and Ivy team up and successfully become a criminal duo. The hot-blooded Harley, however, is angrier with the Joker than with Batman, and even initially works with the Dark Knight to help take down the Clown Prince of Crime. Harley sometimes teams up with Poison Ivy. When Catwoman joins, the duo becomes a trio dubbed the Gotham City Sirens.

The three then agree to form a team, on one condition: Harley and Ivy demand that Catwoman reveal to them the true identity of the original Batman. However, a new villain named Boneblaster, who tries to take down Selina Kyle, suddenly breaks into the apartment and the three of them must leave the premises after defeating him. Later, after a chance encounter with who she thought was Bruce Wayne (but who was actually Hush in disguise), the Joker attempts to kill Harley, apparently out of jealousy.

Quinn is saved by Ivy and Selina, and it is later learned that her attacker was not the real Joker, but one of his former henchmen posing as him. During her stay in a top-secret prison protected by the US government, she meets Deadshot, a rather clever hitman. During a mission (as a member of the Suicide Squad), these two villains get closer and the Joker takes umbrage at their relationship.

Harley Quinn hasn’t had much alone time in Batman’s stories, which is why we ranked her so low on this list. And while she was a major character in some other series – especially related to the Suicide Squad – as a Batman villain, she was most often portrayed as a sidekick to Joker. Her role is still substantial and she was a true menace in a lot of her appearances, but the sad truth is that as a Batman villain, she is highly underrated, especially when compared to Catwoman or Poison Ivy (see below). Still, Harley had to be on this list and this is the place we picked for her.

12. Hush

Alias: Thomas Elliot
Created By:
Debut:

Dr. Thomas Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. The Elliot family was very wealthy and prosperous. But unlike Bruce Wayne, Thomas hated his parents. Driven by his desire for independence and wealth, he sabotaged the brakes of his parents’ car, while convincing the driver not to drive the car.

The car had a serious accident, killing Thomas’ father but his mother survived thanks to Dr. Thomas Wayne, which Thomas Elliot never forgave the Wayne family. She later succumbed to cancer, though. Thomas Elliot then pursued medical studies. Many years later, one of Thomas Elliot’s patients turned out to be Edward Nygma (The Riddler). He was suffering from terminal cancer. Elliot then decided to use one of the Lazarus Pits to heal him. In the delusions caused by using the Pit, Nygma realized that Batman and Bruce Wayne were one and the same.

Elliot was stunned by Nygma’s miraculous recovery. The latter thought that Elliot would want a fortune to know the cure. But it wasn’t like that, and they found they hated the same man: Bruce Wayne. From that moment, Thomas Elliot and Edward Nygma prepared a plan to destroy the Bat. They called upon several of Batman’s enemies: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Clayface.

For the plan to work, Thomas Elliot had to return to Bruce Wayne’s life. So, he manipulated Harold Allnut so that he installs a subliminal device, in exchange for an operation intended to make him find his voice. Then he arranged that Batman needed a surgeon by cutting his zipline during a chase with Catwoman. After the operation, Elliot returned to Bruce Wayne’s life, visiting him and meeting him at the Metropolis airport.

Later, Thomas Elliot, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle and Leslie Thompkins attended an opera performance. But Harley Quinn and her group of criminals decided to rob everyone in the room. After Batman and Catwoman intervene, Harley manages to escape backstage, pursued by Thomas Elliot and Batman. Once outside, the latter heard a gunshot and believed that the doctor had been murdered, seeing a body at the feet of the Joker, who was there. A bloody fight ensued.

Later, with Oracle’s help, Batman discovered the subliminal device that Harold had installed. He decided to make an appointment with the Bat on a bridge. After the brief encounter, Harold was murdered by a man masked with a bandage. It was none other than Thomas Elliot, who revealed to Batman his hatred of the Wayne family.

Alas, he was quickly betrayed by Harvey Dent, who shot him two rifle bullets in the body, causing him to fall into a river. Harvey later revealed that Thomas had never died, as the body that lay on the ground in front of the Joker, near the opera house, was that of Clayface (and indeed murdered by him).

But, Hush had not succumbed to his fall and quickly returned to torment Batman’s life. He decided that no villain should be in his path, and coldly slaughtered the Riddler, chased the Joker out of town, and killed the Poison Ivy. With the help of a new Clayface and Prometheus, he succeeds in making Batman doubt the identity of his new executioner and indict Alfred Pennyworth for murder. But the accusation did not last long and Alfred was cleared.

When the Joker returned to Gotham, he captured Hush and imprisoned him for three weeks, during which he installed a pacemaker in his body to take control of his heart. Unable to remove the pacemaker himself, Hush had no choice but to ally himself with Bruce Wayne. Batman agreed to make an alliance with Husg on the sole condition that he was locked up in Arkham Asylum. Hush had to accept, and after the surgery was successful, he escaped to face the Joker.

But before Hush found him, Batman intercepted him, and the two argued about the right and wrong of killing a murderer like the Joker. Batman appeared to consent to this death, however, as he left the premises, he revealed to Hush that the pacemaker was still in his body and that it was he who had allowed Hush to escape the Asylum. The Joker chooses this moment to arrive; Hush pleaded with Batman not to abandon him. This episode ends that way and it was never revealed whether or not Batman stepped in to save Hush from the Joker.

Hush, Hush… the villainous alter ego of one Thomas “Tommy” Elliot, a brilliant surgeon and friend of Bruce Wayne. The two of them had very similar circumstances growing up, but while Wayne lost his parents in a tragedy, Elliot’s involvement in his parents’ deaths is still a mystery. At one point, he became so jealous of Wayne that he wanted to become him. Out of that hatred, the villainous Hush was born, a villain obsessed with destroying Bruce Wayne and Batman. Hush was a real threat in his own cult classic narrative and while he has not had a lot of major appearances, he is certainly one of the villains we had to list here.

11. Two-Face

Alias: Harvey Dent
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: Detective Comics #66 (1942)

The Pre-Crisis version of Two-Face is Harvey Dent, Gotham City’s handsome young district attorney. A mobster throws acid in his face during a trial, leaving scars on half his face. Crazed by his reflection, he renames himself Two-Face and embarks on a crime spree, deciding with a toss of his lucky coin whether to break the law or perform acts of charity. Batman and Robin finally capture him, and he is rehabilitated thanks to plastic surgery. Later stories, however, describe him as returning to crime after being disfigured again.

The Post-Crisis version of Harvey Dent is described as having had an unhappy childhood; growing up with his mentally ill father who beats him regularly, often deciding whether or not to brutalize his son based on a lucky coin toss from him. The abuse instills in Dent his lifelong struggle with free will and his eventual inability to make decisions for him, relying on the coin to make all of his decisions.

Dent is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia at a young age, but manages to hide his illnesses and, thanks to an unwavering work ethic, rises through the ranks of the Gotham City district attorney’s office until, at age 26, becomes the youngest district attorney in city’s history. Gordon even suspected that Dent could be Batman, but he dismissed this suspicion when he realized that he lacked Batman’s financial resources.

Dent forges an alliance with Police Captain James Gordon and Batman to rid Gotham of organized crime. Mafia boss Carmine Falcone bribes corrupt Assistant District Attorney Vernon Fields to provide sulfuric acid to his lieutenant Sal Maroni, whom Dent has on trial for murder; Maroni throws the acid in Dent’s face during an examination, leaving horrible scars on the left side of Dent’s face. Dent escapes from the hospital and reinvents himself as the gangster Two-Face.

He leaves scars on one side of his father’s coin and uses it to decide if he commits a crime. Eventually, Two-Face takes revenge on Fields and Maroni, but is captured by Batman, leading to his incarceration in Arkham Asylum. During the Batman: Dark Victory story arc, serial killer Hangman takes aim at several policemen who aided in Harvey Dent’s promotion to the prosecutor’s office. Two-Face rallies Gotham’s criminals to aid in the destruction of the city’s crime lords.

After a climactic fight in the Batcave, Two-Face is betrayed by the Joker, who shoots Dent, causing him to fall into an abyss, presumably to his death. Batman later admits that even if Two-Face has survived, Harvey is gone forever. During a much later period, it is revealed that Two-Face murdered the father of Batman’s ward, Jason Todd. In attempting to stop Two-Face, Jason briefly has the criminal at his mercy, but lets Two-Face’s punishment be decided by law.

Two-Face similarly serves as a ‘baptism of fire’ for Tim Drake. When Two-Face has Batman at his mercy, Tim dons Robin’s costume to save Batman. In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Arkham’s doctors replace Dent’s coin with a die and, finally, a tarot deck. But instead of becoming self-sufficient, Dent is now unable to make even the smallest of decisions, like going to the bathroom.

Batman returns the coin and tells Two-Face to use it to decide if he kills him. Batman leaves safely, but it is highly implied that Two-Face, for the first time in his life, made his own decision to let Batman live.

In the No Man’s Land story, in which Gotham is destroyed by an earthquake, Two-Face reclaims a part of the ruined city, settles in Gotham City Hall, and forms a temporary alliance with Gordon to share a certain territory. His empire is brought down by Bane (employed by Lex Luthor), who destroys Two-Face’s gang during their destruction of the city’s Hall of Records.

Two-Face kidnaps Gordon and puts him on trial for his activities after Gotham City is declared “No Man’s Land”, with Two-Face as judge and prosecutor for Gordon’s illegal alliance with him; but Gordon plays with Two-Face’s divided psyche to demand Harvey Dent as his defense attorney in the acquittal of Gordon, determining that Two-Face has effectively blackmailed Gordon by implying that he had committed murders to aid the Commissioner.

Harvey Dent’s role in the evolution of Batman’s character has changed over the years, but he has always been an important factor in that aspect. He was generally portrayed as being Bruce Wayne’s friend, which is why his villainous transformation into Two-Face hit Wayne hard. Two-Face had a lot of great and important storylines (The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, No Man’s Land) and he has certainly become an essential part of the Dark Knight’s Rogues Gallery. His coin, however interesting, is also his greatest weakness and that obvious element is why we put him in the lower half of this list, despite his important role.

10. Catwoman

Alias: Selina Kyle
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: Batman #1 (1940)

Selina Kyle grew up in a broken home, and besides her older sister Magdalena, her only friends were the cats her family had adopted. But the two sisters took different paths: while Magdalena became a nun, Selina ran away from home at fifteen and quickly landed on the streets of Gotham City. Selina ended up in a home, but that place was Hell on Earth; the sadistic director of the home tortured the children, and the young Selina was almost killed.

However, she was later able to flee and vowed never to allow herself to be locked up again, but instead to shape her life according to her own ideas and laws. At seventeen, she fell into the hands of a pimp named Stan who beat so much she ended up in hospital. She was discovered in the hospital by a police officer named Flannery, who made sure that Ted Grant, aka Wildcat, trained her in various self-defense techniques.

However, the work of Flannery and Grant was almost completely ruined a little later when Selina returned “home” and was drawn back by Stan to her old life of crime and prostitution, from which she was only able to free herself again with difficulty. During this time Selina also discovered her natural skill as a thief. She was so successful in this that she was able to “work her way up” into Gotham’s high society within a very short time.

As a member of the rich upper class, the seductive beauty made “friends” with the richest and most powerful men in Gotham, who later became her victims. She met Bruce Wayne at a millionaire’s party, and the two of them immediately realized that they were attracted to each other. Under other circumstances, this relationship might even have turned into something, but inspired by the appearance of the mysterious Batman, Selina decided, as Catwoman, to put her forays under the trademark “cat”.

She put on a leather suit and took revenge on Stan first. The meeting of Selina and Batman was inevitable, but although there was also an enormous attraction between the two mask wearers, the law has always stood between them. During the Hush storyline, Batman revealed his true identity to Selina. But Batman’s distrust was too high after Tommy Eliott’s betrayal and he could no longer trust Selina / Catwoman completely.

After a painful defeat against Cyber-Cat, the otherwise carefree and light-footed Selina revealed another, tougher side: She stripped off her usual costume and put on metal armor with which she could defeat her dangerous opponent in a rematch. In the meantime, however, she is wearing her old costume again.

During the “War Games” storyline, Selina defended her territory on the one hand, and on the other hand, she took care of spoilers that followed the slaughter among the gang bosses. After Selina learned that Spoiler had started the “War Games”, she left Spoiler in the care of her two friends. Selina herself informed Dr. Leslie Thompkins of Spoiler’s role in the bloody fight in Gotham City, after which she managed to defeat Philo Zeiss in a duel.

After the “War Games” story, she defends her neighborhood against the invading gangsters who are acting under Black Mask’s orders.

Although Selina is strong-willed and usually remains to herself, over the years she has taken on several young girls who reminded her of herself. One of those girls, Holly, had previously worked for Stan with Selina. Selina soon handed her over to her sister Magdalena’s care. Holly later married and moved to New Jersey, but her criminal past eventually caught up with her and resulted in her death. Thereupon Selina avenged her death.

Later she took on the young runaway Arizona and tried, as with Holly, to help her build a new life. Selina still has a special love for cats. Once when she wanted to fetch a cat from the animal shelter, she felt so sorry for the other cats that she took them with her without further ado. Later on, a couple of strays came along too, and so now she has at least nineteen cats in and out.

Catwoman is technically speaking not a supervillain in the same manner as all the other names on this list. But, she is an essential part of Batman’s lore and she isn’t exactly a heroine, although there have been instances where she did act like an antiheroine. Catwoman is a burglar who uses her acrobatic skills to get what she wants. She is also quite handsome and charming, which is why she is able to manipulate the men around her. Her relationship with Batman is also what makes the character all the more interesting and the reason why we put her exactly here, in the middle of our list.

9. Mad Hatter

Alias: Jervis Tetch
Created By: Bill Finger, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Bob Kane
Debut: Batman #49 (1948)

Jervis Tetch was a genius technician and inventor who experimented with animals that he tried to control using microchips he developed. In fact, he managed to stimulate the alpha waves in their brains and in this way influence them. Regardless of his professional success, Tetch’s personal life was less happy: his secretary Alice, with whom he was secretly in love, ignored him and Tetch became an increasingly strange and bitter person.

In order to get Alice’s attention, he came up with the idea of ​​dressing up like the character he admires, the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s children’s book Alice in Wonderland. After he couldn’t win Alice over, Tetch hit upon the idea of ​​using a microchip he had developed to make Alice fall in love with him. After Batman had thwarted Tetch’s plan, which involved all kinds of criminal activities such as the attack on the Gotham Yacht Club and a horse beauty pageant, Tetch blamed the masked crime fighter for failing to win Alice over and swore revenge.

Jervis is a criminal genius, a master of manipulation and strategy. He knows no scruples and is completely unscrupulous in all of his deeds. But he’s also absolutely insane and seems to switch between these two states all the time. So once he acts strategically and calculating to achieve his goals, at other times he only speaks in rhymes from Alice in Wonderland, addresses his henchmen by names from this book and it no longer seems clear which goals he actually aims to achieve.

In the course of time, Tetch developed more and more into a stubborn, monomaniac lunatic who is downright obsessed with controlling other people with the help of his hats. His passion for collecting hats and headgear of all kinds has meanwhile also developed into an obsession. Although he is a rather harmless contemporary in Gotham City, Tetch has proven to be an immensely stubborn, recurring opponent.

On several occasions, the hope that he had died or that he would soon succumb to injuries sustained in confrontations with the police or with Batman proved to be deceptive. He was apparently run over by a train once, only to return soon afterwards, and he was struck down by the police with several shots while attempting to escape and still survived.

Mad Hatter’s most valuable weapon are his “mind-control hats” (first used in Detective Comics #526 from 1993), hats that contain his microchips that Tetch can use to miraculously control other people and turn them into mindless slaves to his own, obeying his orders unconditionally. The people over whom Tetch has already gained control in the past through his mind control hats or through chips implanted directly in his brain include the manager and boss of Wayne Enterprises Lucius Fox, as well as the criminals Scarecrow (Detective Comics #526), ​​Film Freak (Batman #492) and, most recently, Killer Croc.

Croc, with whom Tetch was once on friendly terms, has since become Tetch’s big enemy. His plans vary and include, for example, the plan to bring Gotham schoolgirls under his control with chip-prepared walkmans and sell them to the third world dictator Generalissimo Lee (Robin: Year One) or the attempt to gain control over the thoughts of Gotham police officers by giving these coffee and donut vouchers that contained his chip mostly failed.

Jervis Tetch is just looking for his Alice. That’s fine, unless you’re a genius-level scientist who uses hypnotic substances or devices to kidnap young girls or women, which you then use to live out your twisted fantasies. Although Tetch seems small, fragile and more wacky than dangerous, he is not to be underestimated, as he is capable of causing a lot of trouble, as some stories have shown us. He has a very specific motif behind his personality, which is also his weakness in a way, but he is still quite dangerous and, due to his maniacal tendencies, has been a big problem for Batman at times. It has been suggested that he is also a pedophile, but that was never officially confirmed.

8. Poison Ivy

Alias: Pamela Lillian Isley
Created By: Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff
Debut: Batman #181 (1966)

Pamela Isley grew up in a wealthy family and studied botany and advanced biochemistry at university where she was classmates with Alec Holland (who would become Swamp Thing) and Phil Sylvian (the future creator of the Black Orchid). One of her teachers, Dr. Jason Woodrue, seduces her, and together, they begin experiments using her as the test subject.

Woodrue injected her with numerous poisons and toxins, causing Isley to undergo chemical and physical transformations, now able to enter into symbiosis with and control plants. She almost died twice from these poisons. These experiences also made her lose her mind, and so she begins to treat plants like her own children. As Woodrue runs away, Pamela finds herself in the hospital for six months, suffering because of Woodrue’s betrayal, and ends up hating him.

She becomes psychologically unstable and prone to mood swings; sometimes gentle and kind, sometimes violent and cruel. She ends up leaving school and Seattle to end up in Gotham City. In Batman’s first year of service, Poison Ivy takes the city hostage by threatening to release poison into the city air if a ransom is not paid. She is arrested by Batman and locked in Arkham Asylum.

From then on, she becomes obsessed with Batman, the only being she cannot control or influence. A few years later, she left Gotham to live on a deserted island in the Caribbean. She transforms this island into a second Eden. She is happy for the first time in her life, but her happiness is short-lived. An American company decides to test its weapons on her island, which is then wiped out. Pamela Isley then returns to Gotham to take revenge and punish those responsible.

After being arrested once again by Batman, she resolves not to leave the city until the day the plants escape the threat of men and has dedicated her life to “purifying” Gotham City. One day, Pamela is released from Arkham Asylum by two women, Holly and Eva, who bring her to their employer. She discovered with amazement that it was Floronic Man, aka Jason Woodrue, her former teacher.

Woodrue is no longer human: only his head has not changed. The two criminals make an alliance: Isley gives a sample of her DNA to Woodrue in exchange for a truck full of money. Woodrue’s goal is to create a “child” with Pamela Isley’s DNA. He also wants to create an economy based on the sale of overpowered marijuana, his goal being to make the world economy dependent on this drug, all controlled by his “children”. Batman intervenes but is captured by Holly and Eva.

Poison Ivy betrays Floronic Man and frees Batman. Together they fight the criminal who is captured and Isley runs away with the money. When Gotham City is destroyed by an earthquake, Isley takes control of Robinson Park and transforms it into a tropical paradise. She lives with sixteen orphaned children as a result of the earthquake. Poison Ivy has sympathy for these children whom she protects against the city which has become a “No Man’s Land”.

In winter, she is attacked by Clayface, who imprisons her in a room located under the park. With the help of Batman, she manages to defeat him. After the fight, she makes an agreement with Batman: she keeps the park and the children and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to the survivors of the earthquake. Pamela then collects Harley Quinn, who was brutally attacked by the Joker. Poison Ivy heals her and the two criminals become great friends.

After the city reopens, the council decides to reclaim the park and wants to send Isley back to Arkham Asylum. They do not support the idea that an environmental terrorist controls part of the city. In addition, they mistakenly think that orphans are being held against their will. The police threaten Pamela Isley to use a strong herbicide against her and her plants, risking harm to the children.

Isley refuses to leave the park and chooses to become a martyr. But an orphan, Rose, is touched by the poison. Pamela goes to the authorities to save the life of the young girl.

The highest-ranked female villain on our list, Poison Ivy doesn’t hesitate to use her charms to get what she wants. Maybe this is how she climbed up to spot number eight? Hm… never mind that now. Poison Ivy is an ecoterrorist; she usually has a very specific goal in mind and all of her actions are generally executed in accordance with that goal. She is highly dangerous and, as all terrorists, she doesn’t have many limits, which is why she is so dangerous. Plus, she easily manipulates the predominantly male roster of DC’s superheroes with relative ease, which makes her deserving of this position.

7. Scarecrow

Alias: Jonathan Crane
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: World’s Finest Comics #3 (1941)

Jonathan Crane was bullied at school for his resemblance to Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which led to him becoming bitter and antisocial and also unleashing his lifelong obsession with fear and using it as a weapon against the others. In the final year, Crane was humiliated by school bully Bo Griggs and rejected by cheerleader Sherry Squires.

He retaliated at the prom by wearing a scarecrow costume and brandishing a gun in the school parking lot; in the ensuing chaos, Griggs had a car accident, which left him paralyzed, while Squires died. Crane’s obsession with fear of him led him to become a psychologist, occupying a post at Arkham Asylum and conducting fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He was also a professor of psychology at Gotham University, specializing in the study of phobias.

As a university professor, Crane mentored a young Thomas Elliot. He loses his job after shooting a gun in a packed classroom, accidentally injuring a student; he retaliates by killing the professors responsible for his dismissal and becomes a career criminal.

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, Crane’s origin story is revealed in the graphic novel Batman/Scarecrow #1, part of the Batman: Year One continuity. The stories explain that Crane is an illegitimate child and is abused by a religious fanatic: his grandmother. The father leaves home even before his birth and his mother does not show the slightest affection for her son.

He quickly develops a taste for fear and an affinity for ravens when his grandmother locks him up in a ruined church full of birds. The story also shows Crane killing his grandmother and learning of the birth of a baby girl by his mother, making him feel very jealous and explaining the reason for her coldness. During a story in the Batman: Confidential arc, Crane is shown working without a costume as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and while planning the restoration of Arkham he comes face to face with the criminal who will become the Joker.

In the Knightfall saga, the Scarecrow is one of the criminals to escape from Arkham Asylum after Bane raids it. Crane first attacks one of the Joker’s men who tells him that his boss is looking for the commissioner. The Scarecrow then teams up with the Joker, and the two take the Mayor hostage. With this illustrious prisoner, they descend into the sewers but Batman’s arrival disrupts their plans.

The Scarecrow sprays his toxin at him, certain to scare the hell out of him, but the dark knight’s unexpected angry reaction brings him down to milder advice. Terrified, the Scarecrow floods the sewers, from which Batman escapes with the mayor, and so do Crane and Joker. Later, in the clown and Scarecrow’s lair, the Joker savagely beats his accomplice with a chair after he attempts to poison him. Eventually, he is sent back to Arkham.

Jonathan Crane is a very interesting villain. He was a brilliant scientist and lecturer, but at one point in his career, his interest in phobias turned into an obsession. He became sadistic in his experiments and lost everything, thus becoming the villain Scarecrow, spreading fear all over Gotham. Thanks to his chemicals and toxins, which have a profound and destructive influence on the victim’s mind, Scarecrow became a symbol of fear and one of the biggest threats Gotham has faced. The fact that he sometimes has the tendencies of a megalomaniac certainly doesn’t help, but it does earn him a high spot on our list.

6. Mr. Freeze

Alias: Victor Fries
Created By: Dave Wood, Sheldon Moldoff, Bob Kane, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Debut: Batman #121 (1959)

In his first appearance in 1959, Mr. Freeze was portrayed as one of many “gimmick” villains (like Killer Moth) common in the Batman stories of that time. He was originally called Mr. Zero, but the producers of the series Batman television series in the 1960s renamed him Freeze and depicted Batman addressing him as “Dr. Art Schivel,” and the name quickly carried over into the comics.

In the pre-Crisis continuity, it is explained that Mr. Freeze is a malicious scientist whose design for a “Freeze Gun” does not work when he inadvertently spills cryogenic chemicals on himself, causing him to need sub-zero temperatures to survive. Freeze was reinvented with a similar storyline and origins by Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series. Dr. Victor Fries, Ph.D. was a brilliant scientist specializing in cryogenesis.

As a child, he is fascinated with cryogenesis, so he begins to freeze animals. His parents are horrified by his “hobby” and send him to a strict boarding school, where he feels miserable and alienated from humanity. In college, he meets a woman named Nora, whom he eventually marries. Nora contracts a fatal disease 1½ years after Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, so Fries begins developing a freeze beam for GothCorp to preserve her in suspended animation until a cure can be found.

Fries’ boss Ferris Boyle decides to tell the mob about the weapon. While Fries puts Nora into suspended animation, Boyle interrupts and manipulates the experiment, resulting in an explosion that kills Nora. Fries survives, but the chemicals from the freezing beam lower his body temperature to the point that he must wear a cryogenic suit to survive. He vows revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife (whom he speaks to often), and becomes Mr. Freeze, the first super-powered villain Batman faces in this continuity.

Finally, Batman’s agents find Frío, who shoots one of them with his freeze gun, but Batman eventually stops him. Freeze’s crimes involve freezing everyone and everything he encounters so he never forges alliances with the other criminals in Gotham, preferring to work alone. On rare occasions, he has worked with another member of Batman’s gallery of villains, usually as an enforcer for Gotham mob bosses like the Penguin and Black Mask.

In one of his notable teams, Freeze builds a cryogenic machine so that Hush can take revenge on Batman; Freeze’s technology allows Hush to preserve Catwoman’s surgically removed heart to use as a means to threaten his life. During his time with the Secret Society of Super Villains, he designs a subzero machine for Nyssa al Ghul in exchange for the use of her Lazarus Pit.

He tries to restore Nora’s life without waiting for the necessary adjustment in the pool chemicals; she comes back to life as the crooked Lazara and runs away. She blames her husband for his plight, and she turns away from him.

As far as Mr. Freeze goes, he is one of the best-written Batman villains ever. His tragic backstory that perfectly fits the “ice” theme of his persona was something that amazed fans and made Mr. Freeze a fan-favorite villain. He isn’t always intrinsically evil, despite what some recent stories suggest, and he has a very deep and traumatic motivation, but he is dangerous, he is a genius and he is highly unpredictable. Mr. Freeze is a villain we love and a villain that has consistently shown us that he is deserving of such a high spot on our list.

5. Penguin

Alias: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #58 (1941)

Oswald Cobblepot was a simple little pot-bellied man with a long funny nose who, associated with his passion for ornithology, acted as a magnet for the insults and pranks of neighborhood bullies. Raised alone and with a great resentment towards the world, Oswald is fond of birds, which resulted in him being nicknamed Penguin later in his life.

His love of birds led him to study ornithology in college, only to find that he knew more about birds than most of his professors did. As if his appearance of him wasn’t enough to attract mockery, his mother forced him to always carry an umbrella with him; his father had died of severe pneumonia following a sudden storm, which explains his mother’s actions. This strangeness of his made his comrades even more hostile towards him. Not much is known about this period of his life.

Some interesting details are known about the life of Oswald as a teenager. For example, it was around this time that he began to think of the umbrella as a weapon. He sharpened the tip of his umbrella and permanently scarred the face of the leader of the bullies who persecuted him, one Randall Holmes. The episode in which he pays the prettiest girl in school to show up to the prom with him, the ugliest boy, is significant.

In this way, the girl takes the first step towards what will be a life of only money and sex, while Oswald experiences the joys of love and power. Destiny looms, however: the shop closes and his beloved birds are then kidnapped to pay the debts, his widowed mother dies and Oswald finds himself alone and without money. The latent resentment explodes with all the strength out of him. The umbrella becomes an offensive weapon, a trademark of the newborn criminal in a top hat, monocle, and tailcoat. Revenge becomes his only reason for living (as well as his ruin). The Penguin is born, a bizarre criminal who loves birds, power, and elegant clothes.

He is one of Batman’s few villains who is actually sane and in full control of his actions, albeit ruthless and capable of extreme violence. He challenges Batman numerous times, and is generally defeated. He attempts to rise to power in Gotham City’s underworld society countless times. After years and years of activity, he retires from the crime scene and quits the role of the Penguin, and opens his famous nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, with which he disguises his new, shady business: arms smuggling.

The death of Carmine Falcone opens the doors of high criminal society to him and Penguin becomes one of the most powerful bosses in Gotham City. His biggest advantage is the vast knowledge he has of the criminal underworld of Gotham. Precisely for this reason, the Penguin will become a frequent source of information for Batman, at times almost an informer, although the dialogues between the two always remain pungent and with the mutual contempt evident.

After the return of the revived Black Mask, the Penguin is forced by Batman to leave Gotham after causing a blackout, while the chaos due to the wars between rival gangs rages in the city. He then reluctantly moves to Blüdhaven, where he becomes the new boss.

In Night of the Penguin, Cobblepot returns to Gotham and, like the Riddler, pretends to be a good man, devoted only to business. Demonstrating that he has defeated both society and Batman, the Penguin becomes extremely wealthy and no one can touch him. During this story, he externalizes the desire to open branches of the Iceberg Lounge all over America and to want to create a brand of his own to be sold at high prices but with low-cost realization (through the exploitation of minors abroad).

Penguin is here mostly due to tradition. He is a regular guy with a lot of money and gadgets, but he is also one of Batman’s oldest foes. Penguin’s role varied throughout the years, but what was always consistent was his presence in Batman’s stories. Whether he was the main villain, whether he pulled the strings behind the curtains, or was just asked for assistance, Penguin has always been there and seeing how some recent stories (Pain and Prejudice, Joker’s Asylum) added a lot of depth to his tragic backstory, Penguin certainly had to get a good position on our list.

4. Ra’s al-Ghul

Alias: None
Created By: Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Julius Schwartz
Debut: Batman #232 (1971)

He was born at the time of the Crusades. He was the court physician of the Shalimb, a ruler who professed such love for his son that he was unable to see his brutality. When he fell ill, the doctor retired to meditate to try to find a cure. What his dreams revealed to her was that, by making a certain combination of poisons, at a specific point where the energy of the Earth came together, he could create a pit that would breathe life into a dying body.

But the resurrection carried a heavy price. The son of the Shalimb came back from the dead completely mad, and lashed out at the doctor’s wife, devoured by lust, until causing her death. When he regained consciousness, he betrayed the doctor by accusing him of the murder, for which he was sentenced to die of hunger, thirst, and heat, buried alive in a cage next to the corpse of his wife and covered in deranged prisoners.

He was rescued by the son of an old woman whom he had saved his last hours of suffering. They fled the city and ran into a tribe of nomads led by the doctor’s uncle. They then learned of a caravan of merchants, the same ones who had passed through the city before the illness of the Shalimb’s son, who had perished victims of the same evil. The doctor retired again to meditate, and in his dream, he understood that some “small invisible demons” (viruses) inhabited the silk that the merchants sold to the son of the Shalimb.

His revenge consisted in making the murderer of his wife sick again and having the grave dug in the wrong place, thus causing the most horrible of deaths to the son of the Shalimb. He killed his father and led the nomads to the city to raze it, to claim what he believed would be his just revenge. An entire culture was eradicated, but now the doctor felt even emptier. He decided to erase all traces of his past, removing even the language and the history of the people from him.

He adopted a name that meant the same as that of the demon Bisu, whom the Shalimb worshiped, as a symbol. It was “The Head of the Demon” – Ra’s al Ghul (often they just call him Ra’s). Since then, Ra’s al Ghul has repeatedly plunged into pits dug at points of energy confluence on Earth, called “Lazarus Pits.” He has a clear goal in mind: to eradicate ninety percent of the human race, which he considers a cancer on Earth, to create a new Eden.

For that he needs time, and he knows that the “Lazarus Pits” will not be able to heal him eternally, so he has dedicated part of his efforts to get a worthy heir. Ever since their first meeting, he always considered Batman as the only one worthy of continuing his mission. He repeatedly offers him the hand of his daughter Thalia, who is madly in love with him, and with her the command of his organization.

But Batman, who opposes killing from the very start, does not accept a plan to heal the Earth that goes through genocide. Although Ra’s al Ghul knows Batman’s identity, he has never thought of revealing it to the world. Somehow, Ra’s al Ghul respects Batman, whom he calls “The Detective.”

One of Ra’s bases of operations is in the Himalayas, in a large fortress. He is surrounded by ninjas and assassins, but the one he trusts the most is his servant Ubu of him. It must be clarified that there is more than one Ubu, a whole family linked to Ra’s al Ghul for centuries.

Whether you like him or not, Ra’s al-Ghul is inevitable. As old as history itself, this guy has managed to survive practically everything thanks to his Lazarus Pits. Exceptionally intelligent, a skilled fighter with magical powers and, what is probably the most important thing here, unbelievably patient, Ra’s al-Ghul is a villain that has caused problems for the whole DC Universe and his resilience is something that makes him a true threat, which is also why he is so high up on our list.

3. Bane

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Graham Nolan
Debut: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (1993)

Son of the revolutionary Edmund Dorrance, better known later as the Serpent King, he was sentenced from birth to serve the sentence of his father on the island of Santa Prisca in a maximum-security prison, Peña Duro, where he has been incarcerated since childhood and exposed to countless tortures that have turned him into a murdering psychopath.

In spite of his appearance, Bane not only uses tremendous physical strength for his plans, but also has a highly developed intellect and is even versed in the humanities, thanks to the teachings of a former Jesuit companion he met in prison. This element makes his story somewhat similar to that of Edmond Dantès, protagonist of The Count of Monte Cristo, who was also educated in prison by the abbot Faria. This detail shows Dixon’s initial intention to make him almost an “anti-Batman”.

The prison doctors used him as a guinea pig for a powerful steroid, the “Venom”, which tremendously increased his physical abilities; thanks to the newly obtained vigor, Bane escaped from prison and reached Gotham City. He finally arrived in Gotham City with the intent of conquering it, and this inevitably led him to clash with Batman, whose secret identity Bane was able to discover.

Having studied the biographies of the best strategists in history for years, Bane devised a cunning plan to finally defeat the Dark Knight: he organized a large escape from Gotham prison, so violent that it caused hordes of criminals to flee the streets of the city, including the most dangerous ones such as the Joker or the Scarecrow. Batman managed to stop them all, not without sustaining injuries and, when practically exhausted he returned to the Batcave, found Bane and Alfred unconscious.

Bane smashed Batman’s back and threw him out of a window, taking control of the criminal community. Together with his accomplices Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, he had absolute power in the city. Meanwhile, Batman’s role went from Bruce Wayne to Jean-Paul Valley; the new Batman, despite the recommendations of his predecessor, faced the mighty criminal, being at first beaten, but later, using an armored combat suit and more lethal equipment, he faced Bane again, managing to defeat him, as Jean-Paul managed to deprive him of the “Venom”, on which Bane seemed to be addicted.

After the events narrated in Batman: Knightfall, Bane, once he was able to rebuild his powerful physique lose his addiction to Venom, goes to Santa Prisca where he interrogates the Jesuit priest, who had raised and educated him in Peña Dura, on the true identity of his father. The priest explains that his father could be one of four men: a revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary or a Swiss banker.

Bane, after killing the Jesuit, leaves for Rome in search of the latter and here he meets Ra’s al Ghul, who, considering him a new potential companion for his daughter Talia, names him his heir, a role he had in the past chosen for Batman, before the latter betrayed him. Back in Gotham, Bane confronts Nightwing (Dick Grayson) in a hand-to-hand fight, being defeated but managing to escape; he then confronts Bruce Wayne again, who has returned, in the meantime, to the role of the Dark Knight.

Batman gets his rematch with Bane and finally manages to defeat him in a one-on-one fight. Later, Bane battles Azrael in the story Angel and the Bane. He then has a supporting role in the No Man’s Land arc in which he puts himself in the service of Lex Luthor, intent on conquering Gotham, but is convinced by Batman to leave the evil philanthropist fromMetropolis. After the defeat of Ra’s al Ghul, Bane embarks on a campaign to destroy the Lazarus Pit and, at the same time, makes the acquaintance of Black Canary.

Bane was a villain that appeared out of nowhere during the (in)famous “Knightfall” saga. And while he might seem like a mindless brute with absolutely no additional qualities aside from his muscles and the Venom he is addicted to, Bane is actually one of the most dangerous foes Batman has ever faced. The guy is exceptionally intelligent, he is a master tactician and he has managed to “break the Bat”, a feat that practically no other Batman villain has done. Bane has consistently shown to be a true threat, as he has been in complete control of Gotham City on more than one occasion, which is why he deserved to be this high on our list.

2. Riddler

Alias: Edward Nygma (or Edward Nashton)
Created By: Bill Finger, Dick Sprang
Debut: Detective Comics #140 (1948)

First a frustrated little inventor and then half a notch con man, Edward Nygma (or Eddie Nashton) assumes the identity of the Riddler, a self-centered and surreal criminal whose main purpose is to reveal the secret identity of Batman, the object of his cunning and intriguing, characterized by riddles, puzzles and often deadly mind games.

Each hit he makes has the goal of getting Batman on the wrong track, revealing his weakness and true identity. Batman, showing off his investigative acumen, manages to parry the Riddler’s complicated blows and unravel the mystery behind his twisted criminal intrigues.

During one of his imprisonments in Arkham Asylum, he enters into excellent relations with the Mad Hatter and the Clock King, telling them that they share a passion: the mind. He arranges a grand escape from Arkham, and while Batman is busy bringing the criminals back to his cell, the Hatter, the Clock King and the Riddler enter the Batcave, knocking Alfred out with some gas stolen from the Joker, and destroy it. The Riddler leaves one of his riddles on the scene.

Batman heals Alfred and solves the riddle by going to the Riddler’s hideout, where he fights some henchmen before finding the Riddler sitting on the throne with the Hatter to his right and the Clock King to his left. Batman easily defeats the henchmen and, after a battle to the death, Nygma, whom he then brings back to Arkham. In the Gotham Underground story, the Riddler is friends with the Penguin, who considers him the only criminal in Gotham besides him with class and style.

Nygma, who at first gives Batman a hard time, after years of misdeeds has become a second-class criminal and for the Dark Knight, defeating him is now a routine. This fact, coupled with an obsession with discovering the hero’s identity (as seen in Catwoman: When in Rome), worries Nygma so much that he falls ill with brain cancer. With a few months to live, Eddie, fortunately, meets Dr. Thomas Elliot, an old friend of Bruce Wayne.

The doctor “steals” a Lazarus Pit from Ra’s al Ghul and immerses the now dying Riddler who is not only healed, but is also smarter than before, smart enough, in fact, to guess Batman’s (Bruce Wayne) true identity. Elliot seizes the opportunity: years before, he had orchestrated an accident to kill his parents and steal their inheritance, but Bruce’s father, who was a doctor, saved his mother. That’s the perfect opportunity to take revenge and, together with the Riddler, he enlists an army of criminals including Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow and the strong and ferocious Killer Croc to get rid of Batman.

Unfortunately, something goes wrong: Two-Face and Catwoman turn against their allies, Hush (Thomas Elliot’s own secret identity) is apparently killed and Batman, with the help of Robin, Nightwing, and The Flash, manages to bring back all the criminals to prison.

Later he will be enlisted by Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad. The Riddler will also be seen helping Mirror Master, Captain Cold, and Doctor Alchemy in Central City in the fight against The Flash. Riddler later appears among the super-villains fleeing Arkham Asylum defeated by the combined attack of Batman and Nightwing.

Now, some of you might agree that Riddler shouldn’t be on spot number two, but this guy has such a long-lasting tradition as Batman’s villain and has proven himself to be exceptionally intelligent and a truly compelling opponent of the Dark Knight. With years, he evolved from being a gimmick villain obsessed with riddles and puzzles to a maniacal villain obsessed with riddles and puzzles, his plans and traps becoming all the more sophisticated and dangerous along the way. Today, the Riddler is a name that incites fear and Snyder’s “Zero Year” storyline has showed just why he is deserving of this spot.

Honorable Mentions

We couldn’t really fit all the interesting names here in this article, as we opted for only twenty. But Batman’s Rogues Gallery has many more interesting names and we have decided to honor some of them in this brief section.

From left to right: Killer Croc (aka Waylon Jones), Azrael (aka Jean-Paul Valley), Solomon Grundy (aka Cyrus Gold)

Among the names that did not make it on our list is Firefly, the obsessed pyromaniac who has caused a lot of problems for Batman and his allies, regardless of the incarnation. Solomon Grundy, although envisioned as a Green Lantern villain, has several interesting clashes against Batman. The serial killer Victor Zsasz also didn’t make the cut, as well as Azrael, but that guy’s affiliation changed so he’s not always been portrayed as a villain. Killer Croc just barely missed out on a spot.

From left to right: Firefly (aka Garfield Lynns), Robin King and The Batman Who Laughs, Victor Zsasz

Due to them being connected with the Justice League more than Batman himself, we did not put the Dark Knights on this list, although both The Batman Who Laughs and the Robin King deserve a spot on this list because they’re awesome villains.

From left to right: The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and Scarface, Calendar Man (aka Julian Gregory Day), Black Mask (aka Roman Sionis)

“Regular” villains, like Black Mask, The Ventriloquist, Carmine Falcone, or Sal Maroni, couldn’t really land a spot on this list, as well as Calendar Man, although the most recent incarnations of Julian Gregory Day certainly portray him as a dangerous foe. Man-Bat was excluded due to having varying affiliations throughout the series.

1. Joker

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson
Debut: Batman #1 (1940)

Similar to his origins, the Joker’s biography lacks a definitive account of his background and the character has undergone several changes since his first appearance in the 1940s. According to the character’s own dubious narrative from The Killing Joke: “I’m not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” His explanations range from being abused by his father, to being an incarnation of a jester who served a pharaoh.

In Detective Comics #168 (1951) it is revealed that in the past, he assumed the identity of the criminal Red Hood to rob a factory. However, Batman thwarts his plans when he appears on the scene and pursues him until the criminal enters a container of corrosive substances that disfigure his face and turn his hair and skin green and white, respectively.

Alternatively in The Killing Joke, he is described as a chemical plant assistant who gives up his job to pursue his dream of becoming a famed comedian. However, his failure in this occupation puts his economic stability at risk, on which his wife Jeannie also depends, who at that moment is pregnant. In a desperate act, he agrees to help a pair of criminals infiltrate the interior of the factory where he had worked, only to find out later that his spouse and child were killed in an accident.

Although he tries to back down from the robbery, he is ultimately forced by the criminals to keep his word. Thereafter, the story takes place in a similar way to the previous publication: Batman appears and the frightened man throws himself into a vat of chemicals that give him the characteristic physical features of Joker.

In fact, Batman: Gotham Knights #50-55 argue that Edward Nygma witnessed the kidnapping and murder of Joker’s wife in order to force him to cooperate with the robbery of the chemical corporation. This version is supported in other publications such as The Man Who Laughs, where Batman suspects that Red Hood survived the fall and became the Joker, and Batman #450, where Joker assumes the identity of Red Hood to recover from the events of “A Death in the Family”.

Although Batman Confidential #7-12 proposes a similar outcome to explain the physical appearance of the villain, it differs from previous interpretations by pointing out that, after abandoning his job as Red Hood, Jack is a man who lives obsessed with Batman to the point of hurting to his romantic interest, Lorna Shore, which causes the Bat to injure his face with a Batarang and cause his deformity.

Eventually, Jack becomes the Joker after being tortured by a group of gangsters in a chemical plant, where he is exposed to a set of chemicals and neuroleptic drugs. Other accounts, such as The Brave and the Bold #31, suggest that Joker burned his parents alive after being discovered killing animals, while “Zero Year” reveals that Joker is the mastermind of a group of criminals known by the collective pseudonym of Red Hood.

In turn, the publication “Case Study” describes the character as a sadistic gangster who created the personality of Red Hood to carry out crimes and robberies, as well as feign insanity to avoid the death penalty.

It would have been more than blasphemous of us had we not put the Clown Prince of Crime on top of this list. But, with the Joker, it’s really not a matter of tradition or a long-lasting reputation – the guy really managed to outdo himself almost every time he crossed paths with the Dark Knight. From a gimmick villain in his debut, to the maniacal interpretations of Scott Snyder and the most recent Joker War, Joker is deservedly the top name on this list, as he is not just Batman’s best villain, he is probably the best and most complex comic book villain ever created.

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And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us.


20 Best Batman Villains (RANKED)

20 Best Batman Villains (RANKED)

Although Batman is, himself, one of the most popular comic book characters ever and needs no further introduction, one of the things that certainly made him as appealing as he is are his villains. Batman’s Rogues Gallery, as the villains are collectively called, contains numerous names that have appeared in the several decades long history of the characters. In fact, Batman’s villains are so good that people usually consider them to be the best villains in the comic book industry.

They’re not all perfect, of course. The recent The Lego Batman Movie has shown us how ridiculous Batman’s villains can get, but those that appear more frequently and are actual threats are truly amazing. In today’s article, we have decided to honor the legacy of Batman’s villains as we are going to rank the 20 best Batman villains in history. Enjoy!

20 Best Batman Villains

20. Mr. Bloom

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
Debut: Batman #43 (2015)

Technically, the Mister Bloom we know was actually a supercriminal that took over the mantle from the original Mister Bloom, who was a well-intentioned scientist named Daryl Gutierrez who, after the events of Gotham’s Zero Year, began working on a generation of high-tech nanotech reactors, which he called “seeds,” which would give random superpowers to their users, in hope to make more superheroes Batman.

Daryl gave up the pseudonym Bloom after his cousin Pete Duggio used a seed to turn himself into a winged vigilante only to be gunned down by a terrified cop. Years later, after the events of Joker’s Endgame, Daryl (now a high-end engineer at Powers International) began working on the seeds again with one of his patients whom, after developing superpowers and going rogue, steals all of the doctor’s seeds and the alias of Mr. Bloom.

Taking up shop in Gotham after the original Batman Bruce Wayne who had died in the caves underneath Gotham fighting the Joker. Bloom was a power-broker who dealt his seeds to criminals which when implanted into their bodies caused the user to receive superhuman powers at the expense of the seeds killing the host not long after. Bloom was similar to a weed, he fed off of Gotham’s citizens’ contempt and disdain for their meek way of life in a broken system, selling them superpowers in order to make them realize their darker sides.

After giving superpowers to criminals like Precious Precious and Qi Tsu, Bloom came into conflict with the Penguin who attempted to kill Bloom before he could become too powerful only for Bloom to survive getting shot in the head and murder all of Penguin’s men as well as impaling Penguin on his elongated claw, not killing him, however.

We start off our list with a very controversial pick, as Mr. Bloom is a villain that is more enigmatic than any name on this list. Still, we are fans of Snyder’s run on Batman and we think that the mysterious and beautifully creepy Mr. Bloom deserves to be on this list. He is a very different version of the Joker in a way, a rival of Gordon’s Batman. He is a superpowered monstrosity obsessed with flowers and blooming, which explains his name. The stories never revealed too much information about him, but what we saw was both dangerous and scary enough for him to land a place on our list.

19. Anarky

Alias: Lonnie Machin
Created By: Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle
Debut: Detective Comics #608 (1989)

Lonnie Machin was a gifted boy who grew up with his parents Michael and Roxanne Machin in the American east coast metropolis of Gotham City. Already at the age of fourteen he became aware of the numerous grievances in his hometown: corruption, the extreme unequal distribution of prosperity and poverty, the highest murder rate in the country, gang crime, drug trafficking and much more.

In order to remedy the social misery, he decided to create a second identity and, by using drastic means, to teach a lesson to all those who acted against “the will of the people” and thus made Gotham such a bad place. He drew his suggestions from the letters to the editor of the daily newspapers.

For example, he murdered the operator of a factory that discharged sewage into the Gotham River after an old lady had been angry about it in a letter to the Gotham Gazette – the city’s largest daily newspaper. Machin – intellectually gifted and well-educated – used his ingenious intellect to put together sophisticated plans for carrying out his deeds and to tinker himself with technical aids to make his actions easier, such as a taser (electric shock stick) disguised as a walking stick or stun grenades.

To hide his identity, he wrapped himself in a ghost-like scarlet costume with a rigid golden face mask. In his opinion, the main culprit for the grievances attacked by him was the system of the rule-based social constitution, the logical symptoms of which are these grievances. Therefore he declared a private war on the state as such.

In order to give graphic expression to his final goal of bringing the system of “rule of people over people” to an end, he chose the anarchist sign (an A enclosed in a circle, the letters of which break through the edge of the circle) as his sign.

Anarky committed various spectacular acts: He murdered, among others, the businessman Warren Bates, who discharged sewage into the Gotham River, and the drug-dealing rock musician Johnny Vomit. This finally called Batman on the scene. He finally stopped Anarky – who was initially mistaken for an adult by law enforcement – in his attempt to storm the Bank of Gotham with an army of homeless people and thus distribute the city’s fortune among the poor and disenfranchised and made him surrender to police.

This sent the boy to a correctional home, from which, however, thanks to his superior intellect and resourcefulness, he could break out at will and accordingly easily go in and out. From the correctional home, he worked under his hacker pseudonym Money-Spider, using computer manipulation to transfer large sums of money from the accounts of rich people to the accounts of charitable organizations and poor farmers in the third world in order to enable them to have a better life.

After this activity was destroyed by Batman’s sidekick Robin, Anarky founded the company ANARCO, an Internet mail-order company for anarchist literature, which on the one hand popularized his philosophical views and on the other hand provided him with the financial means for his private war against the state. To shake off his pursuers, he also faked his death and moved into a secret hiding place under the Washington Monument.

In the course of time, Anarky encountered various other characters from the DC universe, such as the superheroes of the Justice League, the terrorist Ra’s al Ghul, the adventurer Green Arrow, the false prophet Malochia, the insane scientist Professor Jonathan Crane, the youthful crime fighters of the Young Justice team, the Amazon warrior Wonder Woman, the obscurant Jason Blood and his demon Etrigan, the monster Blasphemy, the alien despot Darkseid and the magician Eclipso.

Anarky is an accomplished engineer and technician. So he was inter alia. able to develop a computer that has its own personality and also to build its own teleporter. For a while, he also owned a Green Lantern Ring and offered a so-called boom tube, a transport tube that enables one to go to any location using spatio-temporal curvature lines.

The young revolutionary anarchist, Lonnie Machin, is a child of wealthy parents that decided to reject his heritage and become the terrorist Anarky. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this character and although most secrets have been revealed since his debut, he is still a very inspiring personality and a character with a lot of charisma. In a way, he fights for the same things as Batman – he wants a Gotham free of corruption and crime – but does it in the completely wrong way, which is why he landed on this list.

18. Deathstroke

Alias: Slade Wilson
Created By: Marv Wolfman, George Pérez
Debut: The New Teen Titans #2 (1980)

Slade Wilson was sixteen when he joined the US military, lying about his age. After serving a period in Korea, he was promoted to the rank of major, and, in those years, around the year 1960, he meets his future wife, the then-captain Adeline Kane, who was entrusted with the task of training young soldiers in new techniques of combat in anticipation of the missions they were to carry out in Vietnam.

Adeline was immediately amazed by the abilities already possessed by Slade and how quickly he adapted to modern guerrilla tactics. She realized that he was arguably the most skilled fighter she had ever met and fell in love with him. Slade is promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, thanks to the exceptional speed with which he mastered all forms of combat, and six months after the promotion, he and Adeline are married.

Soon after, Slade is sent to Vietnam and Adeline gives birth to Grant. Slade will then be selected for a medical experiment designed to stimulate the adrenal gland in hopes of increasing a soldier’s ability to withstand the truth serum. Slade, after the experiment, discovers that he possesses qualities that are nothing short of out of the ordinary; his athletic abilities have increased to the limit of human possibilities, but it is his psychic abilities that have had a truly amazing change, as his logical and sensory faculties have grown to a level comparable to that of a computer.

It happened, however, that Slade is forced to disobey the orders given to him, which he had never done before; a certain General Sampson who, holding a grudge against his subordinate (and longtime friend of Slade) named William Wintergreen, had sent the latter on a suicide mission. Slade disobeyed the order not to carry out a rescue mission to prevent other soldiers from falling into enemy hands, running to the aid of his friend, managing to save him, but being forced to say goodbye to his future in the army; all in fact they see in his gesture of rebellion is a symptom of mental imbalance, probably due to the experiment he was subjected to.

Slade is therefore considered as no longer suitable for military life and therefore useless. A period of depression begins for him as he can no longer return to serve his country. During this time, Adeline becomes pregnant with their second child, Joseph.

Faced with the fact that he has come to the end of his military career, Slade decides to become a safari hunter. However, he is unable to stay away from danger, so he immediately abandons his job and slowly begins to become famous as a mercenary under the name and mask of “Deathstroke the Terminator”, managing to earn great wealth over time.

Even the family is not aware of Slade’s double identity, although there is no shortage of small suspects. A few years later, a group of mercenaries raid the Wilson’s villa, kidnapping little Joseph, despite Adeline’s intervention. Once he discovers what has happened, Slade realizes that he cannot hide the truth from his wife and therefore reveals his true occupation during the previous years.

He promises Adeline to rescue their son and together they discover that the latter has been kidnapped by order of a mercenary known as the Jackal. The latter is interested in secret information in Slade’s possession and is willing to kill Joseph for it. Slade has enormous confidence in his abilities and therefore decides not to accept the conditions imposed on him and to neutralize all of the Jackal’s men before they can harm Joseph.

During the fight against the Jackal’s men, however, things do not go as hoped: one of the criminals, in fact, almost manages to cut the throat of the little hostage, which Slade manages to prevent, but unfortunately, the criminal still manages to sever Joseph’s vocal cords. After taking him to the hospital, Adeline, furious at how Slade has endangered the lives of their entire family, attempts to kill him by shooting him in the head, but she only manages to destroy his right eye.

Slade is then forced to leave his family behind and decides to fully embrace his career as a mercenary and supervillain. The separation from Adeline will be terrible for Slade, who will never stop loving her. This will not stop him from having an affair with a woman named Lilian, who will give him a daughter, Rose.

Slade Wilson’s rivalry with Batman is well-known. The two of them are quite similar, with the main difference that Deathstroke was “manufactured”, while Batman trained to become what he is. Deathstroke is certainly both dangerous and popular enough to be placed higher on this list, but due to the fact that the modern version of the character is primarily associated with the Teen Titans (and Nightwing) and not Batman himself, we opted to honor his legacy with a lower spot, but still thought it necessary for him to be on this list.

17. Professor Pyg

Alias: Lazlo Valentin
Created By: Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert
Debut: Batman #666 (2007)

Batman (Bruce Wayne) first learns about Professor Pyg when he captures his minion Mister Toad. Professor Pyg proclaims the “Year of the Pig”, and he and his Circus of Strange appear in Gotham City as part of Simon Hurt’s plan. Professor Pyg begins a campaign to make people “perfect”, and his henchmen capture Robin (Damian Wayne).

Professor Pyg attempts to release an addictive identity-destroying drug in the form of viruses, using his Dollotrons, genderless lobotomized humans with special masks fused into their faces. He previously sold the drug to gangs, who used it to control prostitutes. Professor Pyg also plans to turn Robin into another Dollotron.

He is thwarted by Batman, who obtains Professor Pyg’s location from his henchman captured by him, Phosphorus Rex. Batman arrives at Professor Pyg’s disused amusement park hideout (previously used by Joker in The Killing Joke) after Robin escapes from the latter’s clutches. Together, they manage to subdue Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange from him, and capture most of the Dollotrons. Professor Pyg is arrested and taken to Blackgate Penitentiary.

He is later freed by Simon Hurt’s enforcers, the group of 99 Demons. An important part of Simon Hurt’s and the Black Glove’s plan, Pyg wreaks havoc in Gotham with his viral infection. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are captured by the gang of 99 Demons, and a giant army of Dollotrons appears. Batman breaks free, but Professor Pyg plans to turn Gordon into a “party” to be held in Crime Alley.

The plan is thwarted by Batman and the Joker (who has captured Robin); The Joker is revealed to be the adversary of Dr. Simon Hurt. The Black Glove was finished with the Joker’s laughing gas. Professor Pyg and Simon Hurt are almost captured by Batman, but subdued using the drugged Gordon. Robin is freed by the Joker as part of a plan to stop Dr. Simon Hurt. Robin assaults Professor Pyg’s van and frees Gordon, but is captured by the gang of 99 Demons.

Professor Pyg leaves Hurt and the 99 Demons to pursue his own agenda in the city. Simon Hurt impersonates Thomas Wayne, and nearly defeats Batman and Robin until Bruce Wayne arrives as the original Batman. Wayne continues to fight Simon Hurt, and sends Robin and Grayson to find Professor Pyg. Professor Pyg finds himself in the center of the virus infection zone, surrounded by Dollotrons and numerous addicts.

He is using a device that he says will bring addicts “salvation”; the device is a mobile Dollotron converter. Grayson and Robin defeat Professor Pyg, luring him out of the crowd by tricking him with his “Mother”. He is taken to Arkham Asylum.

A new villain named Son of Pyg briefly appears as an agent of the Leviathan organization. Batgirl defeats him during a plot to turn a group of mercenary teenagers in training into agents of Leviathan. His real name is revealed as Janosz Valentin aka “Johnny Valentine”.

Otto Netz, also known as Doctor Daedulus, later revealed to Batman (the returned Bruce Wayne) that Lazlo Valentin was a former agent of his Spyral spy organization who went insane after being exposed to a chemical agent of his own design that destroyed his mind.

The Pre-Flashpoint Professor Pyg appears in the Convergence limited series where a group of pre-Flashpoint Batman villains, including the Riddler and Professor Pyg, attempt to take on Thomas Wayne, the reimagined modern Earth-Two Batman (who is usually a villain), mistaking him for the late Flashpoint Batman due to a similar costume. These villains, seeing it as a simple obstacle, attack en masse. This version of Pyg will eventually get killed when Thomas Wayne exploits himself as a delay tactic.

In the New 52 timeline, Professor Pyg is reintroduced as part of a group of Arkham Asylum inmates who try to escape the premises during a riot, but are stopped by Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Grayson. Later, during the war with the Leviathan organization, through investigation, Batman discovers that Professor Pyg’s “Mother of Nails” is actually Talia al Ghul.

During the Forever Evil storyline, when the Crime Syndicate arrives from another universe to conquer the world, Earth sinks into chaos, and Gotham City is divided by its criminals in Batman’s absence. In the midst of the disaster, Professor Pyg uses Gotham Memorial Hospital as his hideout during these events.

Pyg, with his Dollotron army, sedated unknown pedestrians and operated them unnecessarily. However, Pyg’s reign is short-lived because Scarecrow approaches Professor Pyg at the hospital to see if he will deliver his and Dollotrons supplies to the Scarecrow’s followers. Bane later approaches Professor Pyg and forces him to join his cause.

One of the more bizarre villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, Professor Pyg is a character that quickly became a notorious name on the list. He doesn’t really have any superpowers, but he is a bizarre serial murderer obsessed with perfection and that has a very well-established army and infrastructure behind him. His Dollotrons, mindless puppets he turns his victims into, are nigh-invincible and enable him to be as notorious as he is. He isn’t really as dangerous as some other names on this list and he usually works as a henchman for other villains, but he is so morbid and scary that he certainly deserved a spot here.

16. Clayface

Alias: Basil Karlo
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #40 (1940)

The original Clayface is a movie actor who goes crazy over the idea of ​​a remake of his old movie, and starts murdering crew and cast members using the identity of a villain from one of his films, but is stopped by Batman and Robin. Karlo later forms an alliance between all living Clayfaces to kill Batman, in a group called “Mud Pack”. Even if the “Mud Pack” is defeated, Karlo manages to take over the powers of the other Clayfaces, and become the ultimate Clayface.

Karlo will then be defeated and thrown into the bowels of the Earth, only to return with new powers. Karlo will also try to absorb Wonder Woman, but with little success. In the new DC Universe, he will marry Poison Ivy. This turns out to be a ploy, however, as Ivy is using it as part of a larger scheme. After realizing this, he seeks revenge.

Karlo later returns with a new plan: to use his DNA duplication skills to impersonate Bruce Wayne and take control of Wayne Enterprises. He even guesses that Wayne is Batman’s true identity. However, Batman plants false evidence to suggest that he anticipated Karlo’s attempt to take his DNA from him and tricked him into taking a fake sample. Batman eventually stops Karlo by trapping him in a security system that can only be disabled with Karlo’s original DNA, reasoning that he has changed too much for his original DNA to be present in his system.

In a later story, a new origin is given to Karlo: in this version, he is a good-looking young actor who was disfigured in a car accident. Desperate to save her career, she began abusing an industrial makeup chemical known as “Re-Nu” which, when combined with clay and putty, deformed the flesh into new forms, a secret he discovered from his father, Vincent Karlo, a former special effects artist. However, the chemical is now out of production, and Karlo is forced to steal more and more to preserve his good looks.

Batman catches him during one of these robberies, which reveals his secret to the world. Karlo’s career is ruined and his girlfriend Glory Griffin leaves him. Batman attempts to get Karlo to testify against Re-Nu creator Roland Daggett, but he refuses. Instead, he attempts to enter the warehouse where the police are holding his stolen stash of Re-Nu. When the police open fire on the vials, Karlo is doused with the chemical and transformed into Clayface.

He then attacks the set of the film he was fired from. Batman attempts to evacuate the set, but Clayface throws him off into the distance and starts slaughtering everyone on sight. As a further rematch, Clayface disfigures Glory, who is working on the film as a production assistant, before Batman stops him.

Later Hugo Strange uses a serum to transform living and dead humans into horrifying monsters. Batman initially suspects that Karlo has come out of Arkham Asylum. Realizing that Karlo needs care more than imprisonment, Batman asks him to join his team. Karlo agrees and starts working with Batman, Nightwing, Batwoman, Orphan, and Spoiler to help them defeat Strange’s monsters. The government agency A.R.G.U.S. creates a quarantine zone that encompasses the neighborhood where the creature died, dubbing it “Monstertown”.

Dr. Victoria October, an A.R.G.U.S. consultant, deals with “Monstertown”, the area of ​​Gotham City affected by the Strange serum. Clayface patrols the sewers below Monstertown, recovering Dr. October’s monsters created from the serum.

The doctor offers to work on a way to restore Clayface to human form permanently. Batman gives Karlo a high-tech forearm (later replaced with a smaller bracelet with a longer-lasting energy source) that allows him to regain human form without using his powers – reducing the psychotic effect Clayface has on Karlo.

The device is not a cure, as Clayface’s DNA consumes Karlo’s human DNA whenever he is stuck in human form. Dr. October gives him a “placebo” bracelet with messages from her dear friend Cassandra Cain (Orphan), which helps him focus on maintaining sanity. After passing twelve hours, Clayface loses his sanity and attacks the doctor. Orphan intervenes, saving her life by putting the real bracelet back on.

Although we picked the Basil Karlo iteration of the character because it is the most well-known one, Clayface is a very important character in Batman’s lore. A normal guy that turned into a monster made out of clay, Clayface usually has some deep backstory that gives him a certain amount of depth. Although he had some individual stories, Clayface was most often hired as a henchman for other, bigger villains and that is why he got was placed so low on our list; he even worked with Batman in one of the recent narratives. Still, Clayface definitely had to be on this list and that is why we included him.

15. Court of Owls

Alias: None
Created By: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
Debut: Batman #3 (2011)

The Court of Owls is a secret organization that has controlled Gotham City for centuries. They are a violent clique of some of the oldest and richest families in Gotham City who use murder and money to exert great political influence throughout history. Their bases of operations are hidden in some of the oldest structures in the city.

A lullaby describing them has been passed down through the generations of Gotham City: “Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed. Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.

To carry out their interests, they employ a race of highly trained assassins known as the Talons. The leaders of the organization appear to be human and wear owl masks on their faces, but some lower-ranking members appear to be hybrids of human owls. The oldest history of the Court of Owls dates back to the early days of Gotham City in the year 1600, and it has been involved in many criminal acts in Gotham City over the years.

Owls took notice when billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne announces plans to rebuild and remodel Gotham City for the future. The Court sentences him to death, and his assassin, Talon William Cobb, attempts to assassinate him during a meeting with Lincoln March. They fight on top of Wayne Tower and the killer survives a fall from the top.

Batman discovers that his society has secret headquarters in hidden rooms in each building established by the Alan Wayne Trust, created by his great-grandfather, Alan Wayne. Wayne relates that as a child he believed that the Court of Owls was responsible for the death of his parents, and personally investigated the conspiracy before determining that there was no evidence.

Batman is caught and tortured by the Court, but escapes. Not long after, seemingly tired of his game and angered by Batman’s escape and the discovery of his lair, the Court unleashes the full force of their army of undead Talons on the city to kill Batman and his allies and retake Gotham City for them.

In the 2012 storyline “Night of the Owls”, which was published in the Batman-related books, the Court of Owls, angered by the defeat of William Cobb at the hands of Batman, awakens all of his other Claws to take back Gotham, literally and ideologically – from Batman. They also dispose of Cobb’s body for Alfred Pennyworth to find.

The Court’s goal is to prove that they are the top legend of Gotham City, and not Batman. The Owls attack the Batcave first, but the injured Wayne still manages to defeat several of them due to his outdated fighting style. Alfred discovers the Owls’ forty targets and sends a radio message to the Batman Family for help.

Tim Drake and Jason Todd receive one and Jason decides to protect Mr. Freeze. Robin (Damian Wayne), Batwing, and the Birds of Prey also respond to Alfred’s call. Batman wears an armored battle suit so he can fight all the Talons, while one of the assassins revives William Cobb. The Birds of Prey are one of the first to fight a Talon that is ruthless and cruel in his methods, who wants to kill “street vermin.”

Nightwing gets the message and goes to save Mayor Sebastian Hady. Nightwing has no problem in killing the Talon attacking Hady due to it already being dead, but upon stopping it, he is knifed in the chest by a revived Cobb. Cobb credits Nightwing, his descendant, working for Batman as his worst betrayal. When Selina and Spark arrive to rob the Penguin, they see the Penguin’s car leaving, but are unaware that the Penguin himself is still alive and is being brutally beaten by Ephraim Newhouse, a Talon.

Bruce, meanwhile, continues to fight the Claws invading the Batcave and finally manages to stop them, and heads to save Jeremiah Arkham, who is fighting the Talons. Nightwing is brutally beaten by Cob,b who continues to taunt him. Cobb demands that his heir impress him, finally giving up and saying that Nightwing is a waste. Nightwing, however, retaliates and freezes Cobb, then offers to protect Jeremiah Arkham from Batman.

The Court of Owls isn’t really one villain, it is a secret, ages-old organization that wants to control Gotham and uses the Talons as their foot soldiers. When Scott Snyder created the organization, we didn’t really think that it would become such an important part of the mythos, but it did and we can freely state that modern Batman comics would be unimaginable without the Court of Owls. We placed them relatively low on the list because we still need time to evaluate them when compared to some “older” characters, but we’re certain that they will reach the level of notoriety necessary for a higher spot eventually.

14. Hugo Strange

Alias: None
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #36 (1940)

Hugo Strange first appears in Detective Comics #36 (1940). In this story, he had assassinated an FBI officer, who, just before dying, revealed two words to Batman: “mist” and “Strange”. Finally, the hero discovers and thwarts Strange’s plan: a machine to create a mist so dense that it would prevent the police from catching him in his crimes.

His second appearance was in Batman #1 (1940), where after escaping from prison, and through scientific experiments, he creates a growth hormone that turns five henchmen that he freed from the asylum, into gigantic “Monster Men”. This story would be updated by Matt Wagner in 2006, in his comic “Dark Moon Rising” (compilation that updated two old stories: “Batman and the Monster Men” and “Batman and the Mad Monk”).

In Detective Comics #46 (1940), the villain appears to have died and would only reappear many years later in Detective Comics #471 (1977) (compiled in Batman: Strange Apparitions). Here Strange runs a prestigious private clinic with the aim of stealing the identities and fortunes of wealthy victims, until he unexpectedly meets Bruce Wayne as a victim, stealing all his secrets, discovering that he is Batman and even becomes him as a second personality.

In the following issue, in a fight against Rupert Thorne, he would die again (later, he only appeared as a ghost scaring Rupert Thorne). Finally, in Batman #356 (1983), it was discovered that he had survived and used yoga techniques to intimidate Thorne into believing that he was turned into a ghost.

The post-Crisis on Infinite Earths stories feature strange in a larger capacity. In the “Prey” arc of the “Legends of the Dark Knight” series, written in 1990 by Doug Moench, a new origin of the villain is told; he is presented as a brilliant, but obsessive psychiatrist who, in order to help the authorities, initiates an investigation to discover who this new vigilante named Batman is.

In 2001 in the “Terror” arc of the “Legends of the Dark Knight” series, again written by Doug Moench, Strange returns from an apparent death and hatches a plan against Batman, certain that he knows his secret identity, by entering Arkham as the Scarecrow’s psychiatrist, which he wants to use to his own advantage. It is also worth noting that Hugo Strange is obsessed with Batman, which leads him to want to copy his image, his physique, his combat techniques, all so he could prove to himself that he can play a better role than Batman.

One fact to consider in all these stories where Professor Hugo Strange appeared is that Batman is always considered an outlaw vigilante and is persecuted by the police and authorities. In the 1990 Batman: Finding Answers comic book from the DC Files alternate story series, Strange kidnaps Dick Grayson and Alfred. The Bat traps Strange on a Pacific island and enters a heavily defended base.

In the end, in Batman: The Fall, Batman enters the central floor of the base and finds that Strange murdered Alfred and Dick. Batman, shocked, receives an electric shock and Strange injects him with a poison, at the same time that he activates the launch of a toxic gas that floods the room. Strange manages to flee but two months later, he is caught by the Watcher, a new hero who is none other than Bruce Wayne, who officially declares Batman dead and silently retires.

Years later, when DC picks up on this story, Wayne gives up his Watcher identity and is killed by the man to whom he gave it to, Damian Wayne, by a gunshot to the back of the head in Watcher: Resurrection and Death. In the later issue (JLA After All: Gotham City Stories) it is revealed that Damian acted under the influence of Strange, now calling himself Eminence. This story, being alternative, does not influence the main plot.

Just imagine how dangerous a perfectly normal scientist has to be to land a spot among all of the freaks on here? Well, Hugo Strange did just that. Although he has not appeared in many stories – actually, two of his major storylines were, in fact, almost the same (the newer was a remake of sorts) – Hugo Strange has had a profound influence on Batman’s legacy. He is a brilliant psychologist and a profile, and is one of the few people in the lore that managed to figure out Batman’s true identity all by himself. Sadly, he became so obsessed with Batman that he wanted to become Batman and that insanity is what ultimately cost him his victories. Still, he got a spot on our list, so it’s something.

13. Harley Quinn

Alias: Harleen Quinzel
Created By: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Debut: “Joker’s Favor” (1992)

A young graduate in psychiatry, Harleen Quinzel works at Arkham Asylum. A model student, in addition to getting good grades in college, she was also a dedicated gymnast, earning a scholarship from Gotham City University. While researching the madmen in Arkham, she becomes fascinated by a particular inmate. Willing to analyze him, she pleads for three months with the doctors of Arkham before being able to cure him.

After winning her sympathy during their sessions, he seduces her, making her fall madly in love with him. After helping him escape from the asylum more than once, Harleen is placed under suspicion by the authorities, who revoke her permit and place her in her own cell. Her passion for crazy people pushes her to take care of the Joker. Her license to practice was withdrawn and, ironically, she was interned in the psychiatric hospital where she practiced.

Much of it is destroyed by an earthquake that shakes Gotham City; Harleen Quinzel takes the opportunity to escape by donning a harlequin costume (hence the pun that her name constitutes) and she leaves to help her new mentor in fulfilling her destiny. From her real name, Harleen Quinzel derives her alias, Harley Quinn.

Her romantic relationship with the Joker is marked by excess. Psychologically and physically mistreated by the one she calls her “Puddin'”, she nevertheless always comes back to him. This relationship is marked by periods of separation because of internments in the walls of Arkham or conflicts that shake the couple regularly. The relationship becomes one of the most complex and twisted love stories in comics, the Joker being abusive and manipulative towards Harley.

She is the only person who has managed to become intimate over such a long period of time with the Joker, who in turn displays occasional moments of confusion and embarrassment that result in attempts to kill her. One day, when the Joker realizes that he has very deeply hidden feelings of love, he sends Harley on a rocket. She crashes in Robinson Park, in central Gotham, and is found by Poison Ivy.

When Harley regains consciousness, Ivy initially plans to kill her. The prospect of her own death totally fails to move Harley, and Ivy is curious as to why. She convinces Harley to tell her story and soon feels a friendly bond with her. Ivy offers Harley to take revenge on Batman and the Joker. She takes her to a toxic dump and looks after her; in particular, she injects her with a self-developed serum that allows Harley to be immune to various toxins and Ivy’s poisonous touch, while greatly improving her strength and speed. Ivy intends to give her new friend an edge over Batman and the Joker.

Quinn and Ivy team up and successfully become a criminal duo. The hot-blooded Harley, however, is angrier with the Joker than with Batman, and even initially works with the Dark Knight to help take down the Clown Prince of Crime. Harley sometimes teams up with Poison Ivy. When Catwoman joins, the duo becomes a trio dubbed the Gotham City Sirens.

The three then agree to form a team, on one condition: Harley and Ivy demand that Catwoman reveal to them the true identity of the original Batman. However, a new villain named Boneblaster, who tries to take down Selina Kyle, suddenly breaks into the apartment and the three of them must leave the premises after defeating him. Later, after a chance encounter with who she thought was Bruce Wayne (but who was actually Hush in disguise), the Joker attempts to kill Harley, apparently out of jealousy.

Quinn is saved by Ivy and Selina, and it is later learned that her attacker was not the real Joker, but one of his former henchmen posing as him. During her stay in a top-secret prison protected by the US government, she meets Deadshot, a rather clever hitman. During a mission (as a member of the Suicide Squad), these two villains get closer and the Joker takes umbrage at their relationship.

Harley Quinn hasn’t had much alone time in Batman’s stories, which is why we ranked her so low on this list. And while she was a major character in some other series – especially related to the Suicide Squad – as a Batman villain, she was most often portrayed as a sidekick to Joker. Her role is still substantial and she was a true menace in a lot of her appearances, but the sad truth is that as a Batman villain, she is highly underrated, especially when compared to Catwoman or Poison Ivy (see below). Still, Harley had to be on this list and this is the place we picked for her.

12. Hush

Alias: Thomas Elliot
Created By:
Debut:

Dr. Thomas Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. The Elliot family was very wealthy and prosperous. But unlike Bruce Wayne, Thomas hated his parents. Driven by his desire for independence and wealth, he sabotaged the brakes of his parents’ car, while convincing the driver not to drive the car.

The car had a serious accident, killing Thomas’ father but his mother survived thanks to Dr. Thomas Wayne, which Thomas Elliot never forgave the Wayne family. She later succumbed to cancer, though. Thomas Elliot then pursued medical studies. Many years later, one of Thomas Elliot’s patients turned out to be Edward Nygma (The Riddler). He was suffering from terminal cancer. Elliot then decided to use one of the Lazarus Pits to heal him. In the delusions caused by using the Pit, Nygma realized that Batman and Bruce Wayne were one and the same.

Elliot was stunned by Nygma’s miraculous recovery. The latter thought that Elliot would want a fortune to know the cure. But it wasn’t like that, and they found they hated the same man: Bruce Wayne. From that moment, Thomas Elliot and Edward Nygma prepared a plan to destroy the Bat. They called upon several of Batman’s enemies: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Clayface.

For the plan to work, Thomas Elliot had to return to Bruce Wayne’s life. So, he manipulated Harold Allnut so that he installs a subliminal device, in exchange for an operation intended to make him find his voice. Then he arranged that Batman needed a surgeon by cutting his zipline during a chase with Catwoman. After the operation, Elliot returned to Bruce Wayne’s life, visiting him and meeting him at the Metropolis airport.

Later, Thomas Elliot, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle and Leslie Thompkins attended an opera performance. But Harley Quinn and her group of criminals decided to rob everyone in the room. After Batman and Catwoman intervene, Harley manages to escape backstage, pursued by Thomas Elliot and Batman. Once outside, the latter heard a gunshot and believed that the doctor had been murdered, seeing a body at the feet of the Joker, who was there. A bloody fight ensued.

Later, with Oracle’s help, Batman discovered the subliminal device that Harold had installed. He decided to make an appointment with the Bat on a bridge. After the brief encounter, Harold was murdered by a man masked with a bandage. It was none other than Thomas Elliot, who revealed to Batman his hatred of the Wayne family.

Alas, he was quickly betrayed by Harvey Dent, who shot him two rifle bullets in the body, causing him to fall into a river. Harvey later revealed that Thomas had never died, as the body that lay on the ground in front of the Joker, near the opera house, was that of Clayface (and indeed murdered by him).

But, Hush had not succumbed to his fall and quickly returned to torment Batman’s life. He decided that no villain should be in his path, and coldly slaughtered the Riddler, chased the Joker out of town, and killed the Poison Ivy. With the help of a new Clayface and Prometheus, he succeeds in making Batman doubt the identity of his new executioner and indict Alfred Pennyworth for murder. But the accusation did not last long and Alfred was cleared.

When the Joker returned to Gotham, he captured Hush and imprisoned him for three weeks, during which he installed a pacemaker in his body to take control of his heart. Unable to remove the pacemaker himself, Hush had no choice but to ally himself with Bruce Wayne. Batman agreed to make an alliance with Husg on the sole condition that he was locked up in Arkham Asylum. Hush had to accept, and after the surgery was successful, he escaped to face the Joker.

But before Hush found him, Batman intercepted him, and the two argued about the right and wrong of killing a murderer like the Joker. Batman appeared to consent to this death, however, as he left the premises, he revealed to Hush that the pacemaker was still in his body and that it was he who had allowed Hush to escape the Asylum. The Joker chooses this moment to arrive; Hush pleaded with Batman not to abandon him. This episode ends that way and it was never revealed whether or not Batman stepped in to save Hush from the Joker.

Hush, Hush… the villainous alter ego of one Thomas “Tommy” Elliot, a brilliant surgeon and friend of Bruce Wayne. The two of them had very similar circumstances growing up, but while Wayne lost his parents in a tragedy, Elliot’s involvement in his parents’ deaths is still a mystery. At one point, he became so jealous of Wayne that he wanted to become him. Out of that hatred, the villainous Hush was born, a villain obsessed with destroying Bruce Wayne and Batman. Hush was a real threat in his own cult classic narrative and while he has not had a lot of major appearances, he is certainly one of the villains we had to list here.

11. Two-Face

Alias: Harvey Dent
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: Detective Comics #66 (1942)

The Pre-Crisis version of Two-Face is Harvey Dent, Gotham City’s handsome young district attorney. A mobster throws acid in his face during a trial, leaving scars on half his face. Crazed by his reflection, he renames himself Two-Face and embarks on a crime spree, deciding with a toss of his lucky coin whether to break the law or perform acts of charity. Batman and Robin finally capture him, and he is rehabilitated thanks to plastic surgery. Later stories, however, describe him as returning to crime after being disfigured again.

The Post-Crisis version of Harvey Dent is described as having had an unhappy childhood; growing up with his mentally ill father who beats him regularly, often deciding whether or not to brutalize his son based on a lucky coin toss from him. The abuse instills in Dent his lifelong struggle with free will and his eventual inability to make decisions for him, relying on the coin to make all of his decisions.

Dent is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia at a young age, but manages to hide his illnesses and, thanks to an unwavering work ethic, rises through the ranks of the Gotham City district attorney’s office until, at age 26, becomes the youngest district attorney in city’s history. Gordon even suspected that Dent could be Batman, but he dismissed this suspicion when he realized that he lacked Batman’s financial resources.

Dent forges an alliance with Police Captain James Gordon and Batman to rid Gotham of organized crime. Mafia boss Carmine Falcone bribes corrupt Assistant District Attorney Vernon Fields to provide sulfuric acid to his lieutenant Sal Maroni, whom Dent has on trial for murder; Maroni throws the acid in Dent’s face during an examination, leaving horrible scars on the left side of Dent’s face. Dent escapes from the hospital and reinvents himself as the gangster Two-Face.

He leaves scars on one side of his father’s coin and uses it to decide if he commits a crime. Eventually, Two-Face takes revenge on Fields and Maroni, but is captured by Batman, leading to his incarceration in Arkham Asylum. During the Batman: Dark Victory story arc, serial killer Hangman takes aim at several policemen who aided in Harvey Dent’s promotion to the prosecutor’s office. Two-Face rallies Gotham’s criminals to aid in the destruction of the city’s crime lords.

After a climactic fight in the Batcave, Two-Face is betrayed by the Joker, who shoots Dent, causing him to fall into an abyss, presumably to his death. Batman later admits that even if Two-Face has survived, Harvey is gone forever. During a much later period, it is revealed that Two-Face murdered the father of Batman’s ward, Jason Todd. In attempting to stop Two-Face, Jason briefly has the criminal at his mercy, but lets Two-Face’s punishment be decided by law.

Two-Face similarly serves as a ‘baptism of fire’ for Tim Drake. When Two-Face has Batman at his mercy, Tim dons Robin’s costume to save Batman. In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Arkham’s doctors replace Dent’s coin with a die and, finally, a tarot deck. But instead of becoming self-sufficient, Dent is now unable to make even the smallest of decisions, like going to the bathroom.

Batman returns the coin and tells Two-Face to use it to decide if he kills him. Batman leaves safely, but it is highly implied that Two-Face, for the first time in his life, made his own decision to let Batman live.

In the No Man’s Land story, in which Gotham is destroyed by an earthquake, Two-Face reclaims a part of the ruined city, settles in Gotham City Hall, and forms a temporary alliance with Gordon to share a certain territory. His empire is brought down by Bane (employed by Lex Luthor), who destroys Two-Face’s gang during their destruction of the city’s Hall of Records.

Two-Face kidnaps Gordon and puts him on trial for his activities after Gotham City is declared “No Man’s Land”, with Two-Face as judge and prosecutor for Gordon’s illegal alliance with him; but Gordon plays with Two-Face’s divided psyche to demand Harvey Dent as his defense attorney in the acquittal of Gordon, determining that Two-Face has effectively blackmailed Gordon by implying that he had committed murders to aid the Commissioner.

Harvey Dent’s role in the evolution of Batman’s character has changed over the years, but he has always been an important factor in that aspect. He was generally portrayed as being Bruce Wayne’s friend, which is why his villainous transformation into Two-Face hit Wayne hard. Two-Face had a lot of great and important storylines (The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, No Man’s Land) and he has certainly become an essential part of the Dark Knight’s Rogues Gallery. His coin, however interesting, is also his greatest weakness and that obvious element is why we put him in the lower half of this list, despite his important role.

10. Catwoman

Alias: Selina Kyle
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: Batman #1 (1940)

Selina Kyle grew up in a broken home, and besides her older sister Magdalena, her only friends were the cats her family had adopted. But the two sisters took different paths: while Magdalena became a nun, Selina ran away from home at fifteen and quickly landed on the streets of Gotham City. Selina ended up in a home, but that place was Hell on Earth; the sadistic director of the home tortured the children, and the young Selina was almost killed.

However, she was later able to flee and vowed never to allow herself to be locked up again, but instead to shape her life according to her own ideas and laws. At seventeen, she fell into the hands of a pimp named Stan who beat so much she ended up in hospital. She was discovered in the hospital by a police officer named Flannery, who made sure that Ted Grant, aka Wildcat, trained her in various self-defense techniques.

However, the work of Flannery and Grant was almost completely ruined a little later when Selina returned “home” and was drawn back by Stan to her old life of crime and prostitution, from which she was only able to free herself again with difficulty. During this time Selina also discovered her natural skill as a thief. She was so successful in this that she was able to “work her way up” into Gotham’s high society within a very short time.

As a member of the rich upper class, the seductive beauty made “friends” with the richest and most powerful men in Gotham, who later became her victims. She met Bruce Wayne at a millionaire’s party, and the two of them immediately realized that they were attracted to each other. Under other circumstances, this relationship might even have turned into something, but inspired by the appearance of the mysterious Batman, Selina decided, as Catwoman, to put her forays under the trademark “cat”.

She put on a leather suit and took revenge on Stan first. The meeting of Selina and Batman was inevitable, but although there was also an enormous attraction between the two mask wearers, the law has always stood between them. During the Hush storyline, Batman revealed his true identity to Selina. But Batman’s distrust was too high after Tommy Eliott’s betrayal and he could no longer trust Selina / Catwoman completely.

After a painful defeat against Cyber-Cat, the otherwise carefree and light-footed Selina revealed another, tougher side: She stripped off her usual costume and put on metal armor with which she could defeat her dangerous opponent in a rematch. In the meantime, however, she is wearing her old costume again.

During the “War Games” storyline, Selina defended her territory on the one hand, and on the other hand, she took care of spoilers that followed the slaughter among the gang bosses. After Selina learned that Spoiler had started the “War Games”, she left Spoiler in the care of her two friends. Selina herself informed Dr. Leslie Thompkins of Spoiler’s role in the bloody fight in Gotham City, after which she managed to defeat Philo Zeiss in a duel.

After the “War Games” story, she defends her neighborhood against the invading gangsters who are acting under Black Mask’s orders.

Although Selina is strong-willed and usually remains to herself, over the years she has taken on several young girls who reminded her of herself. One of those girls, Holly, had previously worked for Stan with Selina. Selina soon handed her over to her sister Magdalena’s care. Holly later married and moved to New Jersey, but her criminal past eventually caught up with her and resulted in her death. Thereupon Selina avenged her death.

Later she took on the young runaway Arizona and tried, as with Holly, to help her build a new life. Selina still has a special love for cats. Once when she wanted to fetch a cat from the animal shelter, she felt so sorry for the other cats that she took them with her without further ado. Later on, a couple of strays came along too, and so now she has at least nineteen cats in and out.

Catwoman is technically speaking not a supervillain in the same manner as all the other names on this list. But, she is an essential part of Batman’s lore and she isn’t exactly a heroine, although there have been instances where she did act like an antiheroine. Catwoman is a burglar who uses her acrobatic skills to get what she wants. She is also quite handsome and charming, which is why she is able to manipulate the men around her. Her relationship with Batman is also what makes the character all the more interesting and the reason why we put her exactly here, in the middle of our list.

9. Mad Hatter

Alias: Jervis Tetch
Created By: Bill Finger, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Bob Kane
Debut: Batman #49 (1948)

Jervis Tetch was a genius technician and inventor who experimented with animals that he tried to control using microchips he developed. In fact, he managed to stimulate the alpha waves in their brains and in this way influence them. Regardless of his professional success, Tetch’s personal life was less happy: his secretary Alice, with whom he was secretly in love, ignored him and Tetch became an increasingly strange and bitter person.

In order to get Alice’s attention, he came up with the idea of ​​dressing up like the character he admires, the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s children’s book Alice in Wonderland. After he couldn’t win Alice over, Tetch hit upon the idea of ​​using a microchip he had developed to make Alice fall in love with him. After Batman had thwarted Tetch’s plan, which involved all kinds of criminal activities such as the attack on the Gotham Yacht Club and a horse beauty pageant, Tetch blamed the masked crime fighter for failing to win Alice over and swore revenge.

Jervis is a criminal genius, a master of manipulation and strategy. He knows no scruples and is completely unscrupulous in all of his deeds. But he’s also absolutely insane and seems to switch between these two states all the time. So once he acts strategically and calculating to achieve his goals, at other times he only speaks in rhymes from Alice in Wonderland, addresses his henchmen by names from this book and it no longer seems clear which goals he actually aims to achieve.

In the course of time, Tetch developed more and more into a stubborn, monomaniac lunatic who is downright obsessed with controlling other people with the help of his hats. His passion for collecting hats and headgear of all kinds has meanwhile also developed into an obsession. Although he is a rather harmless contemporary in Gotham City, Tetch has proven to be an immensely stubborn, recurring opponent.

On several occasions, the hope that he had died or that he would soon succumb to injuries sustained in confrontations with the police or with Batman proved to be deceptive. He was apparently run over by a train once, only to return soon afterwards, and he was struck down by the police with several shots while attempting to escape and still survived.

Mad Hatter’s most valuable weapon are his “mind-control hats” (first used in Detective Comics #526 from 1993), hats that contain his microchips that Tetch can use to miraculously control other people and turn them into mindless slaves to his own, obeying his orders unconditionally. The people over whom Tetch has already gained control in the past through his mind control hats or through chips implanted directly in his brain include the manager and boss of Wayne Enterprises Lucius Fox, as well as the criminals Scarecrow (Detective Comics #526), ​​Film Freak (Batman #492) and, most recently, Killer Croc.

Croc, with whom Tetch was once on friendly terms, has since become Tetch’s big enemy. His plans vary and include, for example, the plan to bring Gotham schoolgirls under his control with chip-prepared walkmans and sell them to the third world dictator Generalissimo Lee (Robin: Year One) or the attempt to gain control over the thoughts of Gotham police officers by giving these coffee and donut vouchers that contained his chip mostly failed.

Jervis Tetch is just looking for his Alice. That’s fine, unless you’re a genius-level scientist who uses hypnotic substances or devices to kidnap young girls or women, which you then use to live out your twisted fantasies. Although Tetch seems small, fragile and more wacky than dangerous, he is not to be underestimated, as he is capable of causing a lot of trouble, as some stories have shown us. He has a very specific motif behind his personality, which is also his weakness in a way, but he is still quite dangerous and, due to his maniacal tendencies, has been a big problem for Batman at times. It has been suggested that he is also a pedophile, but that was never officially confirmed.

8. Poison Ivy

Alias: Pamela Lillian Isley
Created By: Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff
Debut: Batman #181 (1966)

Pamela Isley grew up in a wealthy family and studied botany and advanced biochemistry at university where she was classmates with Alec Holland (who would become Swamp Thing) and Phil Sylvian (the future creator of the Black Orchid). One of her teachers, Dr. Jason Woodrue, seduces her, and together, they begin experiments using her as the test subject.

Woodrue injected her with numerous poisons and toxins, causing Isley to undergo chemical and physical transformations, now able to enter into symbiosis with and control plants. She almost died twice from these poisons. These experiences also made her lose her mind, and so she begins to treat plants like her own children. As Woodrue runs away, Pamela finds herself in the hospital for six months, suffering because of Woodrue’s betrayal, and ends up hating him.

She becomes psychologically unstable and prone to mood swings; sometimes gentle and kind, sometimes violent and cruel. She ends up leaving school and Seattle to end up in Gotham City. In Batman’s first year of service, Poison Ivy takes the city hostage by threatening to release poison into the city air if a ransom is not paid. She is arrested by Batman and locked in Arkham Asylum.

From then on, she becomes obsessed with Batman, the only being she cannot control or influence. A few years later, she left Gotham to live on a deserted island in the Caribbean. She transforms this island into a second Eden. She is happy for the first time in her life, but her happiness is short-lived. An American company decides to test its weapons on her island, which is then wiped out. Pamela Isley then returns to Gotham to take revenge and punish those responsible.

After being arrested once again by Batman, she resolves not to leave the city until the day the plants escape the threat of men and has dedicated her life to “purifying” Gotham City. One day, Pamela is released from Arkham Asylum by two women, Holly and Eva, who bring her to their employer. She discovered with amazement that it was Floronic Man, aka Jason Woodrue, her former teacher.

Woodrue is no longer human: only his head has not changed. The two criminals make an alliance: Isley gives a sample of her DNA to Woodrue in exchange for a truck full of money. Woodrue’s goal is to create a “child” with Pamela Isley’s DNA. He also wants to create an economy based on the sale of overpowered marijuana, his goal being to make the world economy dependent on this drug, all controlled by his “children”. Batman intervenes but is captured by Holly and Eva.

Poison Ivy betrays Floronic Man and frees Batman. Together they fight the criminal who is captured and Isley runs away with the money. When Gotham City is destroyed by an earthquake, Isley takes control of Robinson Park and transforms it into a tropical paradise. She lives with sixteen orphaned children as a result of the earthquake. Poison Ivy has sympathy for these children whom she protects against the city which has become a “No Man’s Land”.

In winter, she is attacked by Clayface, who imprisons her in a room located under the park. With the help of Batman, she manages to defeat him. After the fight, she makes an agreement with Batman: she keeps the park and the children and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to the survivors of the earthquake. Pamela then collects Harley Quinn, who was brutally attacked by the Joker. Poison Ivy heals her and the two criminals become great friends.

After the city reopens, the council decides to reclaim the park and wants to send Isley back to Arkham Asylum. They do not support the idea that an environmental terrorist controls part of the city. In addition, they mistakenly think that orphans are being held against their will. The police threaten Pamela Isley to use a strong herbicide against her and her plants, risking harm to the children.

Isley refuses to leave the park and chooses to become a martyr. But an orphan, Rose, is touched by the poison. Pamela goes to the authorities to save the life of the young girl.

The highest-ranked female villain on our list, Poison Ivy doesn’t hesitate to use her charms to get what she wants. Maybe this is how she climbed up to spot number eight? Hm… never mind that now. Poison Ivy is an ecoterrorist; she usually has a very specific goal in mind and all of her actions are generally executed in accordance with that goal. She is highly dangerous and, as all terrorists, she doesn’t have many limits, which is why she is so dangerous. Plus, she easily manipulates the predominantly male roster of DC’s superheroes with relative ease, which makes her deserving of this position.

7. Scarecrow

Alias: Jonathan Crane
Created By: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Debut: World’s Finest Comics #3 (1941)

Jonathan Crane was bullied at school for his resemblance to Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which led to him becoming bitter and antisocial and also unleashing his lifelong obsession with fear and using it as a weapon against the others. In the final year, Crane was humiliated by school bully Bo Griggs and rejected by cheerleader Sherry Squires.

He retaliated at the prom by wearing a scarecrow costume and brandishing a gun in the school parking lot; in the ensuing chaos, Griggs had a car accident, which left him paralyzed, while Squires died. Crane’s obsession with fear of him led him to become a psychologist, occupying a post at Arkham Asylum and conducting fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He was also a professor of psychology at Gotham University, specializing in the study of phobias.

As a university professor, Crane mentored a young Thomas Elliot. He loses his job after shooting a gun in a packed classroom, accidentally injuring a student; he retaliates by killing the professors responsible for his dismissal and becomes a career criminal.

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, Crane’s origin story is revealed in the graphic novel Batman/Scarecrow #1, part of the Batman: Year One continuity. The stories explain that Crane is an illegitimate child and is abused by a religious fanatic: his grandmother. The father leaves home even before his birth and his mother does not show the slightest affection for her son.

He quickly develops a taste for fear and an affinity for ravens when his grandmother locks him up in a ruined church full of birds. The story also shows Crane killing his grandmother and learning of the birth of a baby girl by his mother, making him feel very jealous and explaining the reason for her coldness. During a story in the Batman: Confidential arc, Crane is shown working without a costume as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and while planning the restoration of Arkham he comes face to face with the criminal who will become the Joker.

In the Knightfall saga, the Scarecrow is one of the criminals to escape from Arkham Asylum after Bane raids it. Crane first attacks one of the Joker’s men who tells him that his boss is looking for the commissioner. The Scarecrow then teams up with the Joker, and the two take the Mayor hostage. With this illustrious prisoner, they descend into the sewers but Batman’s arrival disrupts their plans.

The Scarecrow sprays his toxin at him, certain to scare the hell out of him, but the dark knight’s unexpected angry reaction brings him down to milder advice. Terrified, the Scarecrow floods the sewers, from which Batman escapes with the mayor, and so do Crane and Joker. Later, in the clown and Scarecrow’s lair, the Joker savagely beats his accomplice with a chair after he attempts to poison him. Eventually, he is sent back to Arkham.

Jonathan Crane is a very interesting villain. He was a brilliant scientist and lecturer, but at one point in his career, his interest in phobias turned into an obsession. He became sadistic in his experiments and lost everything, thus becoming the villain Scarecrow, spreading fear all over Gotham. Thanks to his chemicals and toxins, which have a profound and destructive influence on the victim’s mind, Scarecrow became a symbol of fear and one of the biggest threats Gotham has faced. The fact that he sometimes has the tendencies of a megalomaniac certainly doesn’t help, but it does earn him a high spot on our list.

6. Mr. Freeze

Alias: Victor Fries
Created By: Dave Wood, Sheldon Moldoff, Bob Kane, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Debut: Batman #121 (1959)

In his first appearance in 1959, Mr. Freeze was portrayed as one of many “gimmick” villains (like Killer Moth) common in the Batman stories of that time. He was originally called Mr. Zero, but the producers of the series Batman television series in the 1960s renamed him Freeze and depicted Batman addressing him as “Dr. Art Schivel,” and the name quickly carried over into the comics.

In the pre-Crisis continuity, it is explained that Mr. Freeze is a malicious scientist whose design for a “Freeze Gun” does not work when he inadvertently spills cryogenic chemicals on himself, causing him to need sub-zero temperatures to survive. Freeze was reinvented with a similar storyline and origins by Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series. Dr. Victor Fries, Ph.D. was a brilliant scientist specializing in cryogenesis.

As a child, he is fascinated with cryogenesis, so he begins to freeze animals. His parents are horrified by his “hobby” and send him to a strict boarding school, where he feels miserable and alienated from humanity. In college, he meets a woman named Nora, whom he eventually marries. Nora contracts a fatal disease 1½ years after Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, so Fries begins developing a freeze beam for GothCorp to preserve her in suspended animation until a cure can be found.

Fries’ boss Ferris Boyle decides to tell the mob about the weapon. While Fries puts Nora into suspended animation, Boyle interrupts and manipulates the experiment, resulting in an explosion that kills Nora. Fries survives, but the chemicals from the freezing beam lower his body temperature to the point that he must wear a cryogenic suit to survive. He vows revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife (whom he speaks to often), and becomes Mr. Freeze, the first super-powered villain Batman faces in this continuity.

Finally, Batman’s agents find Frío, who shoots one of them with his freeze gun, but Batman eventually stops him. Freeze’s crimes involve freezing everyone and everything he encounters so he never forges alliances with the other criminals in Gotham, preferring to work alone. On rare occasions, he has worked with another member of Batman’s gallery of villains, usually as an enforcer for Gotham mob bosses like the Penguin and Black Mask.

In one of his notable teams, Freeze builds a cryogenic machine so that Hush can take revenge on Batman; Freeze’s technology allows Hush to preserve Catwoman’s surgically removed heart to use as a means to threaten his life. During his time with the Secret Society of Super Villains, he designs a subzero machine for Nyssa al Ghul in exchange for the use of her Lazarus Pit.

He tries to restore Nora’s life without waiting for the necessary adjustment in the pool chemicals; she comes back to life as the crooked Lazara and runs away. She blames her husband for his plight, and she turns away from him.

As far as Mr. Freeze goes, he is one of the best-written Batman villains ever. His tragic backstory that perfectly fits the “ice” theme of his persona was something that amazed fans and made Mr. Freeze a fan-favorite villain. He isn’t always intrinsically evil, despite what some recent stories suggest, and he has a very deep and traumatic motivation, but he is dangerous, he is a genius and he is highly unpredictable. Mr. Freeze is a villain we love and a villain that has consistently shown us that he is deserving of such a high spot on our list.

5. Penguin

Alias: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Debut: Detective Comics #58 (1941)

Oswald Cobblepot was a simple little pot-bellied man with a long funny nose who, associated with his passion for ornithology, acted as a magnet for the insults and pranks of neighborhood bullies. Raised alone and with a great resentment towards the world, Oswald is fond of birds, which resulted in him being nicknamed Penguin later in his life.

His love of birds led him to study ornithology in college, only to find that he knew more about birds than most of his professors did. As if his appearance of him wasn’t enough to attract mockery, his mother forced him to always carry an umbrella with him; his father had died of severe pneumonia following a sudden storm, which explains his mother’s actions. This strangeness of his made his comrades even more hostile towards him. Not much is known about this period of his life.

Some interesting details are known about the life of Oswald as a teenager. For example, it was around this time that he began to think of the umbrella as a weapon. He sharpened the tip of his umbrella and permanently scarred the face of the leader of the bullies who persecuted him, one Randall Holmes. The episode in which he pays the prettiest girl in school to show up to the prom with him, the ugliest boy, is significant.

In this way, the girl takes the first step towards what will be a life of only money and sex, while Oswald experiences the joys of love and power. Destiny looms, however: the shop closes and his beloved birds are then kidnapped to pay the debts, his widowed mother dies and Oswald finds himself alone and without money. The latent resentment explodes with all the strength out of him. The umbrella becomes an offensive weapon, a trademark of the newborn criminal in a top hat, monocle, and tailcoat. Revenge becomes his only reason for living (as well as his ruin). The Penguin is born, a bizarre criminal who loves birds, power, and elegant clothes.

He is one of Batman’s few villains who is actually sane and in full control of his actions, albeit ruthless and capable of extreme violence. He challenges Batman numerous times, and is generally defeated. He attempts to rise to power in Gotham City’s underworld society countless times. After years and years of activity, he retires from the crime scene and quits the role of the Penguin, and opens his famous nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, with which he disguises his new, shady business: arms smuggling.

The death of Carmine Falcone opens the doors of high criminal society to him and Penguin becomes one of the most powerful bosses in Gotham City. His biggest advantage is the vast knowledge he has of the criminal underworld of Gotham. Precisely for this reason, the Penguin will become a frequent source of information for Batman, at times almost an informer, although the dialogues between the two always remain pungent and with the mutual contempt evident.

After the return of the revived Black Mask, the Penguin is forced by Batman to leave Gotham after causing a blackout, while the chaos due to the wars between rival gangs rages in the city. He then reluctantly moves to Blüdhaven, where he becomes the new boss.

In Night of the Penguin, Cobblepot returns to Gotham and, like the Riddler, pretends to be a good man, devoted only to business. Demonstrating that he has defeated both society and Batman, the Penguin becomes extremely wealthy and no one can touch him. During this story, he externalizes the desire to open branches of the Iceberg Lounge all over America and to want to create a brand of his own to be sold at high prices but with low-cost realization (through the exploitation of minors abroad).

Penguin is here mostly due to tradition. He is a regular guy with a lot of money and gadgets, but he is also one of Batman’s oldest foes. Penguin’s role varied throughout the years, but what was always consistent was his presence in Batman’s stories. Whether he was the main villain, whether he pulled the strings behind the curtains, or was just asked for assistance, Penguin has always been there and seeing how some recent stories (Pain and Prejudice, Joker’s Asylum) added a lot of depth to his tragic backstory, Penguin certainly had to get a good position on our list.

4. Ra’s al-Ghul

Alias: None
Created By: Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Julius Schwartz
Debut: Batman #232 (1971)

He was born at the time of the Crusades. He was the court physician of the Shalimb, a ruler who professed such love for his son that he was unable to see his brutality. When he fell ill, the doctor retired to meditate to try to find a cure. What his dreams revealed to her was that, by making a certain combination of poisons, at a specific point where the energy of the Earth came together, he could create a pit that would breathe life into a dying body.

But the resurrection carried a heavy price. The son of the Shalimb came back from the dead completely mad, and lashed out at the doctor’s wife, devoured by lust, until causing her death. When he regained consciousness, he betrayed the doctor by accusing him of the murder, for which he was sentenced to die of hunger, thirst, and heat, buried alive in a cage next to the corpse of his wife and covered in deranged prisoners.

He was rescued by the son of an old woman whom he had saved his last hours of suffering. They fled the city and ran into a tribe of nomads led by the doctor’s uncle. They then learned of a caravan of merchants, the same ones who had passed through the city before the illness of the Shalimb’s son, who had perished victims of the same evil. The doctor retired again to meditate, and in his dream, he understood that some “small invisible demons” (viruses) inhabited the silk that the merchants sold to the son of the Shalimb.

His revenge consisted in making the murderer of his wife sick again and having the grave dug in the wrong place, thus causing the most horrible of deaths to the son of the Shalimb. He killed his father and led the nomads to the city to raze it, to claim what he believed would be his just revenge. An entire culture was eradicated, but now the doctor felt even emptier. He decided to erase all traces of his past, removing even the language and the history of the people from him.

He adopted a name that meant the same as that of the demon Bisu, whom the Shalimb worshiped, as a symbol. It was “The Head of the Demon” – Ra’s al Ghul (often they just call him Ra’s). Since then, Ra’s al Ghul has repeatedly plunged into pits dug at points of energy confluence on Earth, called “Lazarus Pits.” He has a clear goal in mind: to eradicate ninety percent of the human race, which he considers a cancer on Earth, to create a new Eden.

For that he needs time, and he knows that the “Lazarus Pits” will not be able to heal him eternally, so he has dedicated part of his efforts to get a worthy heir. Ever since their first meeting, he always considered Batman as the only one worthy of continuing his mission. He repeatedly offers him the hand of his daughter Thalia, who is madly in love with him, and with her the command of his organization.

But Batman, who opposes killing from the very start, does not accept a plan to heal the Earth that goes through genocide. Although Ra’s al Ghul knows Batman’s identity, he has never thought of revealing it to the world. Somehow, Ra’s al Ghul respects Batman, whom he calls “The Detective.”

One of Ra’s bases of operations is in the Himalayas, in a large fortress. He is surrounded by ninjas and assassins, but the one he trusts the most is his servant Ubu of him. It must be clarified that there is more than one Ubu, a whole family linked to Ra’s al Ghul for centuries.

Whether you like him or not, Ra’s al-Ghul is inevitable. As old as history itself, this guy has managed to survive practically everything thanks to his Lazarus Pits. Exceptionally intelligent, a skilled fighter with magical powers and, what is probably the most important thing here, unbelievably patient, Ra’s al-Ghul is a villain that has caused problems for the whole DC Universe and his resilience is something that makes him a true threat, which is also why he is so high up on our list.

3. Bane

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Graham Nolan
Debut: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (1993)

Son of the revolutionary Edmund Dorrance, better known later as the Serpent King, he was sentenced from birth to serve the sentence of his father on the island of Santa Prisca in a maximum-security prison, Peña Duro, where he has been incarcerated since childhood and exposed to countless tortures that have turned him into a murdering psychopath.

In spite of his appearance, Bane not only uses tremendous physical strength for his plans, but also has a highly developed intellect and is even versed in the humanities, thanks to the teachings of a former Jesuit companion he met in prison. This element makes his story somewhat similar to that of Edmond Dantès, protagonist of The Count of Monte Cristo, who was also educated in prison by the abbot Faria. This detail shows Dixon’s initial intention to make him almost an “anti-Batman”.

The prison doctors used him as a guinea pig for a powerful steroid, the “Venom”, which tremendously increased his physical abilities; thanks to the newly obtained vigor, Bane escaped from prison and reached Gotham City. He finally arrived in Gotham City with the intent of conquering it, and this inevitably led him to clash with Batman, whose secret identity Bane was able to discover.

Having studied the biographies of the best strategists in history for years, Bane devised a cunning plan to finally defeat the Dark Knight: he organized a large escape from Gotham prison, so violent that it caused hordes of criminals to flee the streets of the city, including the most dangerous ones such as the Joker or the Scarecrow. Batman managed to stop them all, not without sustaining injuries and, when practically exhausted he returned to the Batcave, found Bane and Alfred unconscious.

Bane smashed Batman’s back and threw him out of a window, taking control of the criminal community. Together with his accomplices Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, he had absolute power in the city. Meanwhile, Batman’s role went from Bruce Wayne to Jean-Paul Valley; the new Batman, despite the recommendations of his predecessor, faced the mighty criminal, being at first beaten, but later, using an armored combat suit and more lethal equipment, he faced Bane again, managing to defeat him, as Jean-Paul managed to deprive him of the “Venom”, on which Bane seemed to be addicted.

After the events narrated in Batman: Knightfall, Bane, once he was able to rebuild his powerful physique lose his addiction to Venom, goes to Santa Prisca where he interrogates the Jesuit priest, who had raised and educated him in Peña Dura, on the true identity of his father. The priest explains that his father could be one of four men: a revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary or a Swiss banker.

Bane, after killing the Jesuit, leaves for Rome in search of the latter and here he meets Ra’s al Ghul, who, considering him a new potential companion for his daughter Talia, names him his heir, a role he had in the past chosen for Batman, before the latter betrayed him. Back in Gotham, Bane confronts Nightwing (Dick Grayson) in a hand-to-hand fight, being defeated but managing to escape; he then confronts Bruce Wayne again, who has returned, in the meantime, to the role of the Dark Knight.

Batman gets his rematch with Bane and finally manages to defeat him in a one-on-one fight. Later, Bane battles Azrael in the story Angel and the Bane. He then has a supporting role in the No Man’s Land arc in which he puts himself in the service of Lex Luthor, intent on conquering Gotham, but is convinced by Batman to leave the evil philanthropist fromMetropolis. After the defeat of Ra’s al Ghul, Bane embarks on a campaign to destroy the Lazarus Pit and, at the same time, makes the acquaintance of Black Canary.

Bane was a villain that appeared out of nowhere during the (in)famous “Knightfall” saga. And while he might seem like a mindless brute with absolutely no additional qualities aside from his muscles and the Venom he is addicted to, Bane is actually one of the most dangerous foes Batman has ever faced. The guy is exceptionally intelligent, he is a master tactician and he has managed to “break the Bat”, a feat that practically no other Batman villain has done. Bane has consistently shown to be a true threat, as he has been in complete control of Gotham City on more than one occasion, which is why he deserved to be this high on our list.

2. Riddler

Alias: Edward Nygma (or Edward Nashton)
Created By: Bill Finger, Dick Sprang
Debut: Detective Comics #140 (1948)

First a frustrated little inventor and then half a notch con man, Edward Nygma (or Eddie Nashton) assumes the identity of the Riddler, a self-centered and surreal criminal whose main purpose is to reveal the secret identity of Batman, the object of his cunning and intriguing, characterized by riddles, puzzles and often deadly mind games.

Each hit he makes has the goal of getting Batman on the wrong track, revealing his weakness and true identity. Batman, showing off his investigative acumen, manages to parry the Riddler’s complicated blows and unravel the mystery behind his twisted criminal intrigues.

During one of his imprisonments in Arkham Asylum, he enters into excellent relations with the Mad Hatter and the Clock King, telling them that they share a passion: the mind. He arranges a grand escape from Arkham, and while Batman is busy bringing the criminals back to his cell, the Hatter, the Clock King and the Riddler enter the Batcave, knocking Alfred out with some gas stolen from the Joker, and destroy it. The Riddler leaves one of his riddles on the scene.

Batman heals Alfred and solves the riddle by going to the Riddler’s hideout, where he fights some henchmen before finding the Riddler sitting on the throne with the Hatter to his right and the Clock King to his left. Batman easily defeats the henchmen and, after a battle to the death, Nygma, whom he then brings back to Arkham. In the Gotham Underground story, the Riddler is friends with the Penguin, who considers him the only criminal in Gotham besides him with class and style.

Nygma, who at first gives Batman a hard time, after years of misdeeds has become a second-class criminal and for the Dark Knight, defeating him is now a routine. This fact, coupled with an obsession with discovering the hero’s identity (as seen in Catwoman: When in Rome), worries Nygma so much that he falls ill with brain cancer. With a few months to live, Eddie, fortunately, meets Dr. Thomas Elliot, an old friend of Bruce Wayne.

The doctor “steals” a Lazarus Pit from Ra’s al Ghul and immerses the now dying Riddler who is not only healed, but is also smarter than before, smart enough, in fact, to guess Batman’s (Bruce Wayne) true identity. Elliot seizes the opportunity: years before, he had orchestrated an accident to kill his parents and steal their inheritance, but Bruce’s father, who was a doctor, saved his mother. That’s the perfect opportunity to take revenge and, together with the Riddler, he enlists an army of criminals including Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow and the strong and ferocious Killer Croc to get rid of Batman.

Unfortunately, something goes wrong: Two-Face and Catwoman turn against their allies, Hush (Thomas Elliot’s own secret identity) is apparently killed and Batman, with the help of Robin, Nightwing, and The Flash, manages to bring back all the criminals to prison.

Later he will be enlisted by Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad. The Riddler will also be seen helping Mirror Master, Captain Cold, and Doctor Alchemy in Central City in the fight against The Flash. Riddler later appears among the super-villains fleeing Arkham Asylum defeated by the combined attack of Batman and Nightwing.

Now, some of you might agree that Riddler shouldn’t be on spot number two, but this guy has such a long-lasting tradition as Batman’s villain and has proven himself to be exceptionally intelligent and a truly compelling opponent of the Dark Knight. With years, he evolved from being a gimmick villain obsessed with riddles and puzzles to a maniacal villain obsessed with riddles and puzzles, his plans and traps becoming all the more sophisticated and dangerous along the way. Today, the Riddler is a name that incites fear and Snyder’s “Zero Year” storyline has showed just why he is deserving of this spot.

Honorable Mentions

We couldn’t really fit all the interesting names here in this article, as we opted for only twenty. But Batman’s Rogues Gallery has many more interesting names and we have decided to honor some of them in this brief section.

From left to right: Killer Croc (aka Waylon Jones), Azrael (aka Jean-Paul Valley), Solomon Grundy (aka Cyrus Gold)

Among the names that did not make it on our list is Firefly, the obsessed pyromaniac who has caused a lot of problems for Batman and his allies, regardless of the incarnation. Solomon Grundy, although envisioned as a Green Lantern villain, has several interesting clashes against Batman. The serial killer Victor Zsasz also didn’t make the cut, as well as Azrael, but that guy’s affiliation changed so he’s not always been portrayed as a villain. Killer Croc just barely missed out on a spot.

From left to right: Firefly (aka Garfield Lynns), Robin King and The Batman Who Laughs, Victor Zsasz

Due to them being connected with the Justice League more than Batman himself, we did not put the Dark Knights on this list, although both The Batman Who Laughs and the Robin King deserve a spot on this list because they’re awesome villains.

From left to right: The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and Scarface, Calendar Man (aka Julian Gregory Day), Black Mask (aka Roman Sionis)

“Regular” villains, like Black Mask, The Ventriloquist, Carmine Falcone, or Sal Maroni, couldn’t really land a spot on this list, as well as Calendar Man, although the most recent incarnations of Julian Gregory Day certainly portray him as a dangerous foe. Man-Bat was excluded due to having varying affiliations throughout the series.

1. Joker

Alias: Unknown
Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson
Debut: Batman #1 (1940)

Similar to his origins, the Joker’s biography lacks a definitive account of his background and the character has undergone several changes since his first appearance in the 1940s. According to the character’s own dubious narrative from The Killing Joke: “I’m not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” His explanations range from being abused by his father, to being an incarnation of a jester who served a pharaoh.

In Detective Comics #168 (1951) it is revealed that in the past, he assumed the identity of the criminal Red Hood to rob a factory. However, Batman thwarts his plans when he appears on the scene and pursues him until the criminal enters a container of corrosive substances that disfigure his face and turn his hair and skin green and white, respectively.

Alternatively in The Killing Joke, he is described as a chemical plant assistant who gives up his job to pursue his dream of becoming a famed comedian. However, his failure in this occupation puts his economic stability at risk, on which his wife Jeannie also depends, who at that moment is pregnant. In a desperate act, he agrees to help a pair of criminals infiltrate the interior of the factory where he had worked, only to find out later that his spouse and child were killed in an accident.

Although he tries to back down from the robbery, he is ultimately forced by the criminals to keep his word. Thereafter, the story takes place in a similar way to the previous publication: Batman appears and the frightened man throws himself into a vat of chemicals that give him the characteristic physical features of Joker.

In fact, Batman: Gotham Knights #50-55 argue that Edward Nygma witnessed the kidnapping and murder of Joker’s wife in order to force him to cooperate with the robbery of the chemical corporation. This version is supported in other publications such as The Man Who Laughs, where Batman suspects that Red Hood survived the fall and became the Joker, and Batman #450, where Joker assumes the identity of Red Hood to recover from the events of “A Death in the Family”.

Although Batman Confidential #7-12 proposes a similar outcome to explain the physical appearance of the villain, it differs from previous interpretations by pointing out that, after abandoning his job as Red Hood, Jack is a man who lives obsessed with Batman to the point of hurting to his romantic interest, Lorna Shore, which causes the Bat to injure his face with a Batarang and cause his deformity.

Eventually, Jack becomes the Joker after being tortured by a group of gangsters in a chemical plant, where he is exposed to a set of chemicals and neuroleptic drugs. Other accounts, such as The Brave and the Bold #31, suggest that Joker burned his parents alive after being discovered killing animals, while “Zero Year” reveals that Joker is the mastermind of a group of criminals known by the collective pseudonym of Red Hood.

In turn, the publication “Case Study” describes the character as a sadistic gangster who created the personality of Red Hood to carry out crimes and robberies, as well as feign insanity to avoid the death penalty.

It would have been more than blasphemous of us had we not put the Clown Prince of Crime on top of this list. But, with the Joker, it’s really not a matter of tradition or a long-lasting reputation – the guy really managed to outdo himself almost every time he crossed paths with the Dark Knight. From a gimmick villain in his debut, to the maniacal interpretations of Scott Snyder and the most recent Joker War, Joker is deservedly the top name on this list, as he is not just Batman’s best villain, he is probably the best and most complex comic book villain ever created.

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And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us.

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