There are literally hundreds of villains in the DC universe and Batman has tangled with his fair share while protecting Gotham City from the dregs of humanity. But of course, some are more dangerous than others (poor Ventriloquist…stuck committing crimes through a Tommy-gun toting dummy named Scarface). Here are just a few of the most memorable villains to go up against the Dark Knight and truly earn his ire.
The hero usually gets the girl, but this nimble minx certainly makes him fight for it. A staunch feminist at best and a man-hater at worst, this villain has a love-hate relationship with the one bat that can best her, and she fluctuates between wanting to play house with him and tear his eyes out. Eventually she always seems to lean towards the latter (thank goodness for those of us that love a good villain!). But whether she’s catapulting over his head (pun intended) or giving in to the temptation to smooch him, this black cat seems to bring the Dark Knight nothing but bad luck when she crosses his path.
Few villains in the Batman universe have more reason to hate the caped crusader than the gangster he dropped in a vat of chemicals, especially since the experience turned the Joker’s visage white, his hair green, and his mind to mush. The result is a crazy criminal mastermind hell-bent on destroying Batman and the city he protects in the most cruel and inventive ways possible – so long as they’re fun. He and his posse of and purple-clad miscreants terrorize Gotham City with both a snappy fashion sense and a sense of humor.
Ra’s al Ghul
His name translates to “the demon’s head”, and this is a fitting descriptor for Bruce Wayne’s one-time teacher. Okay, so he was actually only a mentor in the movies (in the comic world he tried to enlist Wayne as a sort of heir in his genocidal plans, which Wayne refused). But it’s no surprise that the two would be enemies; al Ghul is apparently over 500 years old (thanks to the discovery of a life-giving spring) and determined to use his many well-honed skills to eliminate the majority of the human race in order to restore balance to the world.
This unpredictable scoundrel makes Batman’s life hell, at least when the coin flip tells him to. As the former district attorney, Harvey Dent tipped the scales of justice. But as half-crazed Two-Face (so named because one half of his face is horribly scarred by acid) he lets Lady Liberty decide; his misprinted dollar coin has her face on both sides (with one side is scratched). This dichotomy makes Two-Face one of the most difficult villains for Batman to fight since he never knows what’s coming.
This psychologist-turned-super villain is nothing if not a gas, and he uses his fear-inducing chemical cloud (along with a creepy scarecrow mask) to frighten his marks into submission (whether they are helpless patients or cape-wearing heroes). You could play Zombie Games 365 days a year and never come across villains this devious or devoted to their craft, and he certainly packs a psychological punch when poking around in Batman’s fractured psyche.
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.