The 75th Anniversary of the Caped Crusader was celebrated this week. Naturally it’s time to take a look back at all of the deranged, deadly, and, occasionally, dumb villains that Batman has thwarted to keep Gotham City safe.
10. Two Face
Two Face makes an appearance in Batman Forever, but the graphics back in the day aren’t nearly as compelling as they were when The Dark Knight was made. Harvey Dent was a prominent character throughout the film, but only appeared as Two Face for the very end. His face is terrifying, but he was a pretty crappy villain. He died before he could do anything mischievous. Guess you shouldn’t determine your fate with a flip of a coin.
9. The Riddler
I am truly digging the green suit, but Edward Nygma had so much potential before he turned to the dark side. In Batman Forever, he joins the O.G. Two Face and uses a device to bean television directly into a person’s brain. He is known as “the master of puzzles and quizzes” and with his alliance he uses his device to read and control minds. Guess he wasn’t all the good at it if Batman (and the almost useless Robin) took him down.
8. Cat Woman
I was a huge fan of The Dark Knight Rises, but Cat Woman is a pretty crappy criminal. She is an insane jewel thief, but she has her hands in way too many cookie jars. Either you’re a good guy or a bad guy. Don’t be such a tease.
7. The Penguin
Danny DeVito plays the Penguin perfectly in Batman Returns. His backstory is incredibly tragic (his parents dumped him in the sewers because he’s deformed), but he is raised by the emperor penguins that live there. He ends up dying from internal injuries from a fall, courtesy of Batman, and the penguins drag his corpse back into the sewer water.
6. Poison Ivy
Botanist Dr. Pamela Isley took things to a new level in Batman & Robin when she finds her senior colleague uses her strength serum “Venum” to create a super soldier named Bane (remember him?) When she refuses to go along with her evil colleague’s plan, he kills her with animal-plant toxins and chemicals. Lo and behold, she transforms into Poison Ivy and kills him with a venomous kiss before promising to establish botanical supremacy over the world. Long story short, she joins Mr. Freeze, but ends up meeting a terrible end. Doesn’t she know that plants die in the winter?
5. The Scarecrow
In the first series by Christopher Nolan, Dr. Jonathan Crane appears as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins. He uses Falcone and his henchman to import a drug that causes terrifying hallucinations. He exposes Falcone to it using a burlap mask that contains the toxin in order to keep him from leaving Arkham Asylum. His end goal is to lace the drug into the entire city’s water supply. So now the city has a dead penguin man and a hallucinating agent in the water. I hope Gotham uses some serious water filters. For a doctor, Crane wasn’t very bright — the hallucinogen only works when inhaled, not ingested.
4. Mr. Freeze
This cold antagonist from Batman & Robin teams up with the one and only Poison Ivy to take down our masked hero. After an incident in a cryogenic lab, scientist Victor Fries became dependent on a diamond-powered subzero suit. He was double-crossed by Poison Ivy to believe that Batman killed his wife, who he was desperately trying to cure. However, none of this matters. He comes in near the top of the list because he was played by AAAAAhnold Schwarzenegger and was chalk full of icy puns that would make you freeze with laughter. I am not as good at them as he is.
Bane is the most recent villain from the Batman franchise and was quite a threat to Batman. He had a bit of insider help, but the guy was a tank. Warner Bros. busted the bank with this film and it really paid off. It’s one of the best Batman films of all time. That being said, his voice was a little more on the goofy side than threatening and he started an incredibly annoying trend of frat boy halloween costumes that will likely stay for years to come.
2. The Joker
In Heath Ledger’s final act, he truly brought the cartoon psychopath to life. I am particularly fond of this movie because it showcases Chicago (my home turf), and his portrayal of the character was astounding, though I hated the sound he made when he would lick his lips. After setting up Harvey Dent (#10) and Rachel to die, he makes his escape. I doubt the franchise will ever bring the Joker back, both out of respect for Ledger and that no one could pass the bar so highly set by the late actor.
1. Ra’s Al Ghul
Ra’s Al Ghul tops the list for a variety of reasons, namely never dying. And just when you think he’s finally gone, his daughter secretly takes on his mission. As far as his level of badass is concerned: he survived a Bhutanese prison, was the leader of the League of Shadows, and simply refused to die. Though I guess we all should have expected that from any character played by Liam Neeson.