When a comic character is as old as Batman, it’s no surprise that he has such a wide and expansive roster of villains wanting to take him down. He’s also a fairly unique character in the fact that those same villains range from the deadly and sinister, to quirky and weird.
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Even non-comic fans know the classics that have solidified their place in pop culture such as the Joker, the Riddler, and Catwoman, but true comic fans know that Batman has an entire roster of underutilized villains that deserve more attention.
At first glance, Man-Bat might seem like a cheap villain that just reversed Batman’s name to capitalize on a monster trope, but his story is quite tragic. He’s a scientist stuck between being a good person, and controlling his violent animalistic tendencies.
While not an A-list villain, Man-Bat is quite popular, and did just recently finish his own mini-series, but the character still has a lot of potential as a Batman adversary that fans deserve to see more of.
Anarky is often viewed as a secondary villain. He’s someone usually thrown into the mix to challenge Batman, but not really to pose as the main threat. Symbolically, he is a great reflection of Batman, and has the potential to be a lot more dangerous.
Like most Batman villains, Anarky is not so much a physical threat as he is an ideological one. There’s a strong possibility he could create a movement within Gotham that Batman would struggle to combat.
8) Professor Pyg
Professor Pyg represents a body horror side of Gotham that writers often touch upon but, never fully embrace. Like so many Batman villains, his appearance might appear goofy, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t terrifying.
In a straight up fight, Professor Pyg probably wouldn’t last very long. That’s not the point of his character, however. There are plenty of ways for him to be a threat and do serious damage, most notably his creative use of sadism as a weapon.
On the surface, Victor Zsasz probably represents the most grounded and realistic Batman villain. He’s a serial killer, the kind of which unfortunately exist in real life. The only thing that places him in the comic book world is his tendency to count his kills through tally marks on his body.
Again, Zsasz is more of a secondary threat that other villains might use to do their bidding, but that doesn’t mean a story featuring Zsasz as the main threat can’t be profound. If Batman’s ultimate goal is to stop crime, then a Zsasz killing spree definitely falls under that banner.
Bat-Mite is more of a nuisance rather than an actual villain. He even considers himself Batman’s greatest fan, but there’s something oddly scary about any being that has that much magical power.
So many of Batman’s foes are grounded in real abilities or violence that he doesn’t often get to tangle with a threat like Bat-Mite. There’s a lot of potential to mine between this magical imp and the Dark Knight. The correct writer just has to come along and tap it.
5) Killer Moth
The Killer Moth seems to be a villain that was created for the sole purpose of simply being a villain. He had a costume with gadgets, and committed crimes so that Batman could stop him – nothing more. This character could be so much more, though.
Recently, writers have sought to turn the Killer Moth from a persona into an actual monster. It was a valiant attempt to make him more interesting, but perhaps a more dangerous and nuanced version of the character should return.
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4) Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter is definitely one of Batman’s more quirky villains. He has been depicted many different ways, from goofy to intellectually proficient, but both can be equally dangerous.
The Mad Hatter is a double threat with his mind control abilities, as well as his fanaticism with Alice in Wonderland. Rarely is he featured as the main threat in a story, but the opportunity is there for him to be portrayed quite darkly.
3) The Architect
The Architect was mainly a one-off villain specifically created for a very specific kind of story. Bruce Wayne wasn’t even in it, as Dick Grayson held the title of Batman during that time.
He is a descendant of a family that was screwed over during Gotham’s early days, and so wanted to take revenge on the prominent families responsible. The story was wrapped up nicely, so there hasn’t been much opportunity for the Architect to return. That doesn’t mean he can’t, though, as fans deserve to see how Bruce would react to the villain.
2) Calendar Man
Batman’s villains are probably most notorious for being crazy. That’s why Arkham is such a good place for them. Calendar Man embodies this psychopathic obsession well, and should definitely be explored more.
He’s often seen as more of a sophisticated killer rather than a physical threat, so he’s typically in a Hannibal Lecter-like role behind bars. Perhaps it’s time to unleash Calendar Man on the streets of Gotham as a true cerebral challenge for the Dark Knight.
The interesting thing about the Ventriloquist and Scarface is that their ultimate dynamic has never quite been explained, but that is what is so appealing about the character. There’s always the question about who is really calling the shots.
The Ventriloquist was recently featured nicely in a Tom King story, but ultimately, the character is best when wrapped in Gotham’s organized crime atmosphere. While other crime bosses often rise to the top, perhaps it’s time for this strange pair to take control.