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Top 10 Batman Villians That Deserve to Be in the Next Film

Sobriquet used to dress like Batman as a kid. He still would today if the costume fit him.


The Batman is now in theaters for all of us tasteful comic fans to enjoy. Robert Pattinson was the perfect edgy Batman, and Zoë Kravitz did a good enough job portraying our favorite rebellious cat burglar. But really, the bad guys stole the show for me; Paul Dano’s Riddler was genius and horrifying while Colin Farrell’s Penguin was scummy and surprisingly amusing. Batman has such a high-quality selection of villains that they often steal the show in any kind of bat-media. One could even say it is the greatest rogues’ gallery of all time.

Joker. Bane. Two-Face. There are so many complex and entertaining antagonists to the Caped Crusader. But what about the unsung heroes? Or should I say, the unsung villains? Batman’s dark and gritty genre of comics is a breeding ground for intriguing bad guys, but only the few, most popular baddies make it into the movies. That leaves a large selection of characters that deserve a live-action-film appearance, but repeatedly fall short to the big names. Below are 10 villains that have what it takes to fight Batman on screen, but have been cheated out of representation.


10. Man-Bat

Dr. Kirk Langstrom was a scientist trying to cure deafness using bat DNA. The result was a formula that gave him the ability to transform into a giant bat monster. Throughout the years, Langstrom has been depicted as a good man tortured by accidental transformations, and sometimes he has even been a crime fighter. Generally, he is portrayed as a villain that uses his bat powers to commit crimes and tussle with his bat inverse.

Man-Bat has been a Batman rogue since 1970, and is one of his most recognizable enemies. For this reason, it’s surprising that he has not appeared in a single live-action Batman movie. He wouldn’t be the most interesting character for a movie to revolve around, which is why he’s at number 10. Still, he’s an important character in Batman’s history and he deserves some kind of appearance.


9. Deathstroke

Slade Wilson was a US Army soldier that was discharged after medical enhancements to his brain and body made him dangerous and volatile. He wanted to fight, so he became the world’s best assassin purely because he was bored. This decision cost him his relationship with his family, which is perhaps his most interesting side. Wilson’s wife is ex-military; one of his kids was an assassin like him, another is a superhero, and the last is a little of both. He isn’t on very good terms with any of them.

There is some controversy here, as Deathstroke made a brief appearance in Justice League, hinting at a larger role in a future project. However, he was cut out of The Batman and his stand-alone film was cancelled. This appearance really meant nothing for the character, so I don’t really count it. Deathstroke is a great, multifaceted villian that deserves a legitimate role in some kind of DC movie, not even just a Batman movie.


8. Mad Hatter

Jervis Tetch was a neuroscientist and expert in hypnosis who used his vast knowledge to create mind-control technologies. He now uses his hypnosis and mind-control abilities for criminal purposes. Since he was a kid, he has been obsessed with the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, and his crimes often are hat-themed or related to the book in some way. He’s one powerful lunatic.

The Mad Hatter is another popular, reoccurring comic villain. He’s a classic character, first appearing in 1948. Not only that, but he’s pretty captivating. A movie where Batman and company have to combat mind-control powers would be cool. The only downside is the actual Mad Hatter part. Two hours of Alice references could get pretty irksome.


7. The Ventriloquist

There have been a few different Ventriloquists, but the most significant is Arnold Wesker with his dummy Scarface. Wesker was a quiet orphan with a dark, violent side. His split personality disorder first came to light when he wound up in prison, found a dummy called Scarface, and became obsessed with it. The two go on crime sprees where the violent Scarface usually bosses around the reluctant Wesker. The dummy is the personification of Wesker’s evil tendencies.

The Ventriloquist would be a tremendous movie villain for a number of reasons. Typically, he heads up some kind of gang, so he could serve the mob boss role that does well in Batman movies, and he could do it uniquely. Psychological characters are extremely interesting to watch unfold on screen, and who is more psycho than this guy? Wesker and Scarface could even go for a more frightening approach. A doll and a madman on a murderous crime run could fit the horror aesthetic that we saw in The Batman. The only drawback is the fact that this character is bit silly from a certain perspective, although what Batman character isn’t?

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6. Hush

Tommy Elliot was Bruce Wayne’s childhood best friend, and a lot like Bruce in every way except morality. He severed the brake line of his parents’ car in order to inherit their wealth, but Thomas Wayne saved his mom. Bruce then inherited his parents’ riches after their deaths, which infuriated Elliot. He would go on to uncover Batman’s identity and battle him with a series of mind games as Hush.

Hush is an awesome antagonist to Batman as he reminds the Dark Knight so much of himself. As Bruce’s childhood BFF, Hush’s attacks are always deeply personal, and not so much about the crime itself. Hush is a genius character with a backstory firmly intertwined with Batman’s, and so he would be very appealing to see in a film. Unfortunately, any film that came out might just use the plot of Batman: Hush as it would be hard to explain Bruce and Tommy’s connection any other way. Even if the story wasn’t very original, I would enjoy watching it.


5. Hugo Strange

Hugo Strange is kind of a run-of-the-mill mad scientist, but he still has had some interesting run-ins with Batman. His plots are usually very well thought-out and terrifying, usually involving monsters. He was the first villain to figure out Batman’s identity.

Genius antagonists are always the best kind in superhero movies, and it’s always fun to watch an elaborate plot unfold. Mad scientists aren’t actually depicted much in modern films, and a 21st century take on a crazy old man with horrid creations could work out well. A central theme of a movie with Strange could be Batman trying to protect his identity from the world, sort of like in The Dark Knight. Sure, Hugo Strange isn’t the most special Batman rogue, but his character does provide a good raw template with a lot to build off of. I would definitely watch a movie with him as the main enemy as I would go in not knowing what to expect, which is exciting.


4. Clayface

There has been a variety of Clayfaces in Batman history, each having a role in today’s beloved comic character. Basil Karlo was an actor dressed as a horror-movie villain without any superpowers. Matt Hagen was an explorer that stumbled upon shape-shifting abilities under the sea. Preston Payne used Hagen’s DNA to attain his powers. Sondra Fuller was given her powers by the villainous organization known as Strike Force Kobra. In the end, they all teamed up, and Karlo stole the powers of the others. Since then, he has been the main reoccurring Clayface.

For starters, Clayface is a very significant Batman villain, arguably the most recognizable not to be in a movie yet. Beyond that, I think Clayface would provide an interesting battle for the Dark Knight because he’s overpowered. I think he’s the most underrated antagonist in terms of strength. The man can transform into anything, with little to no limits on size or amount, (he can be an entire army.) I don’t know how emotionally complex Clayface is, but he would be a pain in the bat-keister to fight, and that struggle makes for a great movie.


3. The Court of Owls

The Court of Owls is a secret, ancient cult of influential aristocrats that have manipulated Gotham City since its birth. They have Talons, trained assassins with regenerative abilities, that serve as enforcers. In their first fight with Batman, they revealed that the leading mayoral candidate was actually Batman’s insane brother, working for them. Whether this is true or not is still a mystery, but it provided for a dramatic duel between Batman and “Owlman”.

Batman versus a freaking cult. Wouldn’t that be awesome? It would be mysterious and suspenseful and frightening. They could introduce all sorts of new characters, and the audience wouldn’t know who to trust and who is an owl. Bruce Wayne versus Thomas Wayne Jr. would be just the kick DC needs to return to level of the Dark Knight series. The only reason I didn’t put the Court of Owls at number one was because they are a group, not a single villain. The Owls have what it takes to be one of Batman’s greatest film enemies ever.


2. Red Hood

Jason Todd was the second Robin, known for being more brash and aggressive than the other Boy Wonders. This arrogance wound him up in a tricky situation involving Joker, a crowbar, and a time bomb. Years later, he was brought back from the dead, mostly thanks to the infamous Lazarus Pit, as well as some other factors that vary by source. After a violent and dramatic confrontation with Batman, he decided to focus his efforts on crime fighting, his way. He now terrorizes the streets as Red Hood.

Red Hood may be my favorite DC Comics character, so it’s a shame that he’s never gotten the film spotlight. He’s gritty and dark and badass, but he shows just enough compassion that he gets you to care about him, too. The best heroes are the ones who aren’t always blabbing about morals and whatnot. Again, this was a character I wanted to put at number one, but I felt like I couldn’t. For starters, he’s more of an antihero than a villain. Secondly, his story would only work in some kind of series of Batman movies, as there would need to be other Robins, an already-introduced Joker, and corruption and redemption storylines for Red Hood, among other things. If only the DCEU would get its crap together. Alternatively, they could make a Batman Cinematic Universe, which I would donate my kidney for.


1. Professor Pyg

Lazlo Valentin was a chemist for the secret government organization Spyral. After exposure to his own neurotoxin, he developed schizophrenia among other psychological conditions. He became obsessed with the legend of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with his art, and became a serial criminal and murderer. His schemes involve transforming innocent people into revolting “Dollotrons” through painful surgeries. He views his work as perfecting humanity.

Professor Pyg isn’t one of the classics like Man-Bat or Clayface. He’s more like the Court of Owls: a more recent addition that has piqued the interest of fans. He arrived in a time where Batman’s authors understood that Gotham City is more exciting as a town filled with horrific psychopaths. The best part of The Batman was the horror-movie vibe it accepted but didn’t quite embrace; a movie with Professor Pyg would tackle this head-on. A gory, suspenseful battle between a lunatic that chops people up for fun and a lunatic that dresses like a bat would be completely unique for a superhero movie, and superhero movies are far from unique these days. Don’t think Pyg would just be a simple slasher, either. We’ve seen that vicious crazies can be elaborate and impactful, like with Dano’s Riddler, Daniel Brühl’s Helmut Zemo, and various versions of the Joker. I think Professor Pyg could easily be at that level.

In short, there are many Gotham villains that would work well on the big stage. These villains extend far beyond Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and all the others you expect to see. Today’s movie enjoyers want novelty and originality, and I’m sure they would accept any of these characters with open arms. I hope you now agree that these evil-doers have high potential. Obscure comic characters don’t get what they deserve. Truly, we live in a society.


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