So at the beginning of the month, I listed my 10 Favourite DC Villains. However, since I knew it would otherwise be a Batman/Batgirl bonanza of baddies, I limited them to two. And since I wanna cover 10 villains who I haven’t already covered in my previous list, and two of my favourites are characters I’ve yet to shut up about, let’s just say that they’re #1 and #2…
…and let’s look at #3 – #12 of my 12 Favourite Bat Villains!…Also, just FYI, be prepared for more than one of these choices to be as a result of Batman: The Animated Series. Just FYI.
#3 – Harleen Quinzel, AKA Harley Quinn
What’s funny about this one is that she’s worked VERY closely with both my #1 and #2 picks, being the on-again/off-again sidekick/one-way lover of The Joker, and the on-again/off-again partner/BFF of Poison Ivy. Originally, she was just The Joker’s henchman from Batman: The Animated Series. Once a psychiatrist, she was drawn in by Joker and became part of his criminal lifestyle. Since then, while she still regularly finds herself suckered back into working for The Joker, she’s also branched out on her own on occasion, teaming with Poison Ivy and Catwoman to become the Gotham City Sirens, being made to join the Suicide Squad, and even leading Joker’s army of crooks in an alternate universe in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Like The Joker, she tends to enter combat against Batman and other superheroes with an array of more comedic looking weapons, though they are generally quite lethal. Also, due to injections from Poison Ivy, she’s immune to most known forms of poisons and toxins.
There’s been a few villains who have answered to the name Clayface, though arguably the most well-known is Basil Karlo. An insane Hollywood actor, he was originally just a villain in a mask, but later injected himself with samples of the others to become Clayface, gaining their shape-shifting abilities. Not only has he battled Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, but he’s also gone up against Wonder Woman and Donna Troy, and has had less than stellar relations with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Recently, his shape-shifting powers have evolved to the point where he can assume the DNA of anyone he comes in contact with. However, this has come with a heavy price, as his own DNA has all but rotted away.
#5 – Victor Fries, AKA Mr. Freeze
Originally just a minor villain by the name of Mr. Zero, Paul Dini reinvented Mr. Freeze as quite possibly one of the most sympathetic villains in DC history. Voiced by the late great Michael Ansara, we learn that Victor Fries was a scientist whose wife, Nora, had to be cryogenically frozen to keep her alive after she’d been plagued with disease. At some point, Doctor Fries was involved in an incident with cryogenic substances that left him mutated. Now, he requires a cryo-suit that keeps his body at sub-zero temperatures to keep himself alive. Turning to a life of crime, his goal is to eventually obtain the resources required to find a cure for his wife, even if he has to kill to get it. He’s typically armed with a freeze ray of varying design and overall power, while his cryo-suit increases his physical strength to levels where he might actually be able to duke it out with the next guy on my list…
#6 – Bane
The man who broke the Bat, Bane is a criminal whose genius and physical prowess make him one of Batman’s most dangerous foes. However, I feel like something writers tend to forget, even when they know he has a genius level IQ, is that it was because of THAT that he beat Batman initially, NOT his brute strength. Bane knew that Batman could take him in a straight out fight. So, rather than attempt that, he opted to release the inmates at Arkham Asylum and let Batman go about bringing them all back in, all the while Bane deduced Batman’s alter ego and prepared to face the highly exhausted Bruce Wayne in his own home, when and where he was least expecting attack. This is what makes him so dangerous: It’s not his impressive strength that might actually be enough to inflict small amounts of damage to Superman, but rather, it’s his mind that makes him a near-unstoppable monster.
#7 – Roxanne Sutton, AKA Roxy Rocket
…I just like this one, okay? Although I find it interesting that she chose to be a villain. Given her back-story, she could’ve just as easily decided to become a crime fighter. Roxanne Sutton was a stunt double for big action movies, but was blacklisted when she began making the stunts too dangerous, clearly getting off on the thrill. Frankly, if she wants a thrill, she shoulda helped the Justice League against Darkseid. Now THERE’S a life-or-death scenario for ya. Then again, she’s also tussled with Batman, Batgirl, and even Superman on occasion, so make of that what you will. She’s never seen in action without her trademark rocket, which she has spares of hidden away for emergencies, and she generally likes to be armed with flare guns and other explosives. She’s not really cruel to the people she robs, though. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her intentionally try to outright kill anyone, save for the end of her début, when she almost crashed herself and Batman into a cliff, and we got to see just how far her obsession with thrills (and pushing the limits of the censors) went…
…Yeah, don’t pretend you weren’t thinking it. lol
Riddle me this, riddle me that…he really SHOULD be afraid of the big bad Bat. Nevertheless, Edward Nygma has proven again and again that he has no fear of Batman. While he’s by no means a match for Batman on a physical level, he lives to test him on a mental level. In fact, his obsession with proving to be Batman’s intellectual superior is usually what leads him to leave riddles for his enemy, to see if he can actually keep up. However, Batman more often than not is more than capable, which has led to more than one humiliating defeat for The Riddler. Still, he should never be underestimated, as he has at times gone to Joker levels of manipulation and cruelty.
#9 – The Court of Owls
Kinda cheating, I know, but it’s hard to pin down a specific individual within the group that makes a better antagonist for Batman than the others, other than Lincoln March/Thomas Wayne Jr., whereas the group as a whole has proven to be a MASSIVE threat to Batman more than once in the past couple of years. They’re deeply entrenched in Gotham’s past, their soldiers are undead and near-unstoppable, and they have near-infinite amounts of time and resources with which to make their plans. Eliminating them for good may yet prove to be impossible, but their plans can be stopped, even if only long enough to force them back into hiding.
#10 – Shauna Belzer, AKA The Ventriloquist
If you thought the original Ventriloquist was creepy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! This woman is a freaking horror movie monster! Like the others, she’s a psychotic killer with impeccable voice-throwing and impersonation skills. Where she differs is her general attitude, her sickly appearance, and the fact that she may or may not be a metahuman of some sort, able to control dead or otherwise inanimate objects. For example, her doll, ‘Ferdie’, and even her dead parents. This hasn’t been confirmed, however, as it could simply be some sort of trick, but there’s no way to know so far…which is just how I like it, to be honest. Of course, as her appearance might suggest, she’s not exactly very adept at defending herself otherwise, and is taken down rather easily. Still, that requires one to get past Ferdie and the rest of her unwilling accomplices.
You know how I said Mr. Freeze is one of the most sympathetic villains ever? Well, if there was ever another DC villain to dispute that title, it’s these next two, starting with Two-Face. Once Harvey Dent, a district attorney who, together with Batman and Commissioner Gordon, sought to put the worst of Gotham behind bars, he faced horrid tragedy when the left side of his face was horribly burned. With that act, a lifetime spent keeping a lid on his anger, bipolar disorder, and paranoia were undone, creating the split personality of Two-Face. His obsession over the number two has led him to enact crimes centered around it, and he’s obsessive-compulsive toward his coin, which he uses to settle most of his decisions. And if that doesn’t seem terrifying to you, just imagine a man holding a gun to your head, flipping a coin, and then trying not to piss yourself in fear over the results.
#12 – Mary Dahl, AKA Baby Doll
Yeah, it was a tough call deciding on the last pick. Granted, guys like Penguin, Hush, Professor Pyg, Ra’s al Ghul, and Scarecrow are great villains, but for me, this is a villain who, despite appearances, should NEVER be taken lightly in terms of overall threat level, and is really hard to hate, given her circumstances. Mary Dahl, an actress born with a condition that kept her from growing past the physical stature of a little girl, she became the sitcom character Baby Doll, until the show was cancelled and she eventually was set on a life of crime due to general reactions to her appearance. She came very close to murdering her castmates in an explosion, but was stopped by Batman. And I’m not gonna lie here, people: This episode of Batman: The Animated Series might possibly have the saddest ending to a DCAU production EVER. Don’t believe me? Well…you’ve been warned, people.
…I warned ya. And frankly, I’m not really sure why she was never used in the comics. Despite her obvious flaws, she’s inventive, creative, manipulative, and has a mean streak longer than…Yeah, I’m not using the short jokes. That’s a good way to get smacked. I’d kinda like to see her tussle with Babs one of these days in the comics. But, if not, I can always look back on this episode with fond, albeit sad, memories.
Anyway, those were my Top 12 Bat Villains. Got a favourite who’s not on here? Leave a comment below, and I will see you guys next time. Ja né!