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The very first Batman villain. Alfred Stryker was a chemical executive in a partnership with three other men. Wanting full ownership of the company, he agreed to secret contracts with his partners to slowly buy the shares from them over the years. He proceeded to send some Hired Guns to take out his partners.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: A businessman willing to murder his partners to take full control of the company.
- Disney Villain Death: Knocked into a vat of acid during his scuffle with Batman.
- Fat Bastard: An overweight man willing to kill to take control of a company.
- Mad Scientist: Experiments on guinea pigs in his spare time.
- Starter Villain: First foe Batman ever faced, and Killed Off for Real by issue's end.
You'll note that most of the entries on this page are rather old characters. One of the more recent Bat-Villains to make "the leap" to a top-tier threat was Bane, created in the 1990s for a specific purpose: to enable the writers to get Bruce Wayne out of the Bat-costume and replace him with a character intended to turn the readers against '90s Anti-Hero Azrael, and Nineties Anti Heroes in general. The gambit worked spectacularly well.To say Bane had a bad life is putting it mildly; he was essentially raised in a Central American prison, sentenced there for life while still in the womb for a crime committed by his father. However, once he managed to be old enough to defend himself, he thrived, and was selected for an experimentation program where he was made more durable (via the implantation of subcutaneous armor) and, more importantly, had a delivery system for a super steroid implanted in his body. While not quite superhuman in strength, when on the drugs he was very close, and combined with his genius-level intellect represented a foe unlike any Batman had faced to that point: one arguably as cunning as he was, but with far more physical prowess. After wearing Batman down, Bane eventually caught up to him and shattered his spine. Although eventually defeated by AzBats, that one storyline gave the character enough credibility that he instantly shot up to be one of the top Bat-Villains, and merited appearances on Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and in the disastrous Batman & Robin movie as a result. The final installment of The Dark Knight Saga features him as the primary antagonist.In recent years, he has weaned himself off the drugs and become something of an Anti-Hero himself, and was a member of the Secret Six until their dissolution shortly before the New 52 initiative.For his page, see here
Black Mask I
Black Mask I (Roman Sionis)
Roman Sionis was about the same age as Bruce Wayne, and likewise had wealthy parents. However, Roman's parents were extremely neglectful and uncaring towards their son; he grew to resent them and the "Masks" they wore (of good, friendly people), when in private they were miserable. Sionis eventually killed his parents, but ran their business into the ground; at which point it was bought out by Bruce Wayne. Sionis snapped, breaking into his parents' crypt and carving a mask out of his mother's coffin. An attempt to get revenge on Wayne by lashing out at his employees failed due to the intervention of Batman, and ended up causing Sionis's Black Mask to be burned onto his face, making it unremovable.Sionis was a capable gangster (often leading a mask-themed gang called the False-Facers), managing to regain his hold over organized crime after long stays in jail. Sionis grew even more insane and obsessed with torture as time went on. In a notable Catwoman arc, Sionis discovered Selina Kyle's secret identity, and in vengeance for Catwoman attacking his drug rings, tortured Kyle's brother-in-law to death, and forced her sister to eat pieces of his corpse, driving her insane. Sionis was thought dead when after an extended fight, he fell out of his penthouse.Later, in the War Games story arc, Black Mask managed to successfully play the opposing forces of a Gotham Gang war against each other. He managed to kill Orpheus, one of Batman's inside men, and assume his identity, and tortured Stephanie Brown, alias the Spoiler, leading to her apparent demise. Sionis became the de facto leader of all of Gotham's organized crime following this. He was later killed when he once again sought to ruin Catwoman's life mistakenly believing she would abide by the No-Kill rule, she responded by shooting him. After Batman's "death", a new Black Mask has surfaced, who turns out to be an Ax-Crazy Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, but he was revealed to be Brainwashed and Crazy after his defeat, and following the reboot is probably no longer in action (especially considering that the reboot also retconned Sionis' death and he has recently reclaimed his old identity).
- Arch-Enemy: In some extent for Catwoman prior to the New 52.
- Ascended Extra: He was active since the 1980's, but though always a competent and dangerous threat Black Mask remained a fairly obscure villain until he was re-imagined as an Ax-Crazy dude with a Skull for a Head who succesfully and violently took over the Gotham criminal underworld and generally Took a Level in Badass (this also coincided with his becoming Catwoman's Arch-Enemy in her solo title). Since then he was appeared in several adaptations and has had a major impact on Gotham in general and the Bat-family in particular.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Sionis is almost always seen in a fancy business suit, and has been able to take on various allies of Batman.
- Back from the Dead: Sionis, by way of a Black Lantern ring in the Blackest Night crossover, and by way of a Retcon in the DCnU.
- Bad Boss: Watching him in Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Batman, or Batman: Arkham Origins where he regularly beats or kills his own henchmen for little to no reason, can make one wonder who would still want to work for him.
- In the story mode of Arkham Origins, this is eventually downplayed, as it turns out that the Joker (possibly the epitome of this trope) was impersonating Black Mask since before the game's story began, and Sionis apparently treated some of his henchmen well enough that many of them ended up being killed when they refused to follow Joker, while others were loyal to Roman due to paranoia. This trope is otherwise played straight in the challenge maps.
- Big Bad: For the last Catwoman series.
- The Chessmaster: In War Games, especially.
- Childhood Brain Damage: Dropped on his head while being delivered, no less.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In one arc he cut up a woman's fiance and fed bits of him to her. It was given all the weight it deserved.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: In War Crimes, following his takeover of the Gotham City underworld, he attempts to get rid of Batman by disguising himself as the Caped Crusader and going out killing people in order to frame him for murder. It's foiled by The Joker, who is annoyed that Sionis (seemingly) killed Stephanie Brown, because she used to be a Robin and Joker thought that meant he should have been the one to kill her.
- Cult: The "True-Facers" in Batman: No Man's Land, of which he was the leader, was this.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: With his incredible skills at planning and organization, he probably could have been a great businessman, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Black Mask subverted this trope when he started out as a legitimate businessman, failed spectacularly, and turned to crime instead. He showed considerably more elan as a crime lord than he ever did as a business executive.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially during his tenure as crime lord after War Games, where most of his commentary crossed the line twice. And were hilarious.Mask: I'm not pleased, you know. Not pleased at all. And despite appearances, this isn't a damned smile on my face.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Uses the identity of Orpheus, an ally of Batman, during War Games.
- Depending on the Writer: Just how crazy he really is. Some storylines have him as a gibbering lunatic, others as just an eccentric (and particularly sadistic) mastermind. The latter is much more common, though.
- Diabolical Mastermind: One of the few crime lords who nearly dominated the Gotham underworld, at least for a brief time. So successful was he that he became a Legacy Character when a new Black Mask used his reputation to nearly do the same.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The stuff he did to Catwoman's sister just to get to Catwoman doesn't bare repeating.
- Does Not Like Women: He's noticeably and considerably nastier to his female victims than his male ones, not that he treats them particularly well. It might not be that he dislikes women per say, just he enjoys hurting female victims more.
- Evil Former Friend: Like Hush, he was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne.
- Expressive Mask: Some artists seem to forget that Black Mask is, in fact, wearing a black mask.
- Freudian Excuse: Three of them: he was dropped on his head by the doctor seconds after being born (which may or may not have caused brain damage that permanently altered his personality), and was later bitten by a rabid raccoon. To top it off, he had extremely neglectful parents, who pretended to be happy to the outside world but were actually privately unloving and miserable.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a giant of a man who is both smart enough to near-completely dominate Gotham's underworld and a skilled enough combatant to fight Batman and Catwoman evenly.
- Guns Akimbo: Dual handguns are a trademark of his.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Really, really loves torturing women. That's not to say that he doesn't also do it to men (because he does), but when he does it to women, he does it with a special zeal and plenty of comments evocative of this sentiment.
- It's Personal: Going after Catwoman's sister was not his smartest move, though by this point It's Personal for the two of them.
- Knight of Cerebus: When he's not being Laughably Evil, he's among the darkest of Batman's foes.
- Large and in Charge: At 6'0, he's not the largest of Batman's foes, but he's still a big man with a fairly bulky build.
- Large Ham: Sometimes, like in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- Laughably Evil: During his reign as Kingpin of Gotham, Mask got some great lines.Black Mask: Li, will you please shut the hell up!? I swear to God it's like running a criminal organization with my mother.
- Legacy Character: A new Black Mask has been introduced, although since the recent Continuity Reboot, Sionis has reclaimed the title.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He's most well known for being a master manipulator, but he was a skilled enough combatant to hold his own against an enraged Catwoman, which is no mean feat.
- Made of Iron: Part of what makes him an effective hand-to-hand combatant. He's definitely not as skilled as Batman or Catwoman, but he's a big man who can hit hard and take a lot of punishment.
- Manipulative Bastard: In War Games especially, wen- posing as Orpheus-, he was supposed to give a speech to the assembled gangs of Gotham calling for restraint to avert a gang war; instead, he gave one that started the war, and a riot to boot.
- Man in White: Starting with The Batman, and popularized with Batman: Arkham Origins, Black Mask has worn a white suit in the New 52 Catwoman comics and in the film Batman: Bad Blood.
- Mask Power: Sionis believed in this, even if it didn't help him.Black Mask: Knows that the mask destroy one identity while creating another. Know that the mask recreates its wearer. Know that through the sublimation of personality, inhibitions die and the nature of the wearer is altered — so that deeper drives and more primitive instincts rise to the surface.
- Multilayer Façade: During War Games, he assumed Orpheus's identity by applying make up over his own black mask. On top of that, he also had to wear Orpheus's helmet. He did the same thing while impersonating Batman in War Crimes.
- No Indoor Voice: Sionis often throws unnecessary tantrums with little provocation, particularly when written by Judd Winick.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: A horrific sadist and brutal misogynist. But damn if he isn't funny.
- Religion of Evil: In No Man's Land, he turned the False Facers into a cult where everybody (himself included) horribly scarred their faces and shaved their heads so that they all looked alike, and turned them loose to go on a murderous rampage throughout the already devasted city. The second Black Mask referred to his organization as a "Ministry of Science", combining this with his Mad Scientist routine.
- Revenge by Proxy: Many times, but most notoriously in the "Relentless" arc of the 2000s Catwoman series, where after working out Selena Kyle's identity he kidnapped her sister and brother-in-law, and tortured the brother-in-law to death in front of the sister while force-feeding her parts of his body, driving her permanently insane.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Switching from fighting Batman to tormenting Catwoman to level up, and then using the boost in notoriety that gave him to become, for a time, top villain in Gotham and start fighting Batman again.
- Self-Made Orphan: He killed his parents in a fire to inherit their business and fortune. Unfortunately, he was a lousy businessman and when he tried to burn down the factory to cover his tracks, he wound up with the facial injury that gave him his villain name. He was a lot better at being Ax-Crazy than a businessman anyways.
- Shadow Archetype: Similar to Hush (and preceding him), Black Mask is a Bruce Wayne who suffered from poor parenting and ran his own company into the ground. He's a millionaire who became an extremely violent masked crime lord rather than a moderately violent masked vigilante, and he relies more on his natural hidden talents as a criminal than on years of hard work and study.
- Skull for a Head: Since he Took a Level in Badass, his mask has become skull-like, whereas before it looked slightly more human if all-black.
- Straw Nihilist: His ramblings in Batman: No Man's Land had some shades of this.
- Took a Level in Badass: Mask has been around since the 80's, but it's only been in the aftermath of his recent appearances, where he's become a psycho to rival the Joker, that he's been elevated to a top-tier Bat villain, shown up in the cartoons, and is a fan favorite to appear in movie adaptations.
- Mask: Before we begin, I'd like to address the topic of screaming...by saying this: go right ahead.
- Would Hurt a Child: Thinks nothing of sadistically torturing a teenage girl.
"EYE AM YOUR FUTURE!"Brother freakin' EYE, Bruce Wayne's and Mister Terrific/Michael Holt's robotic creation/program to act as metahuman database and deterrent. Has gone full SkyNet/Ultron not long after achieving sentience. Proved to be quite a Hero Killer and a very big problem for Batman personally.The EYE took over the O.M.A.C. Project and began to transform ordinary people (and, later, metahumans) with nanotech. Most famously, Kevin Kho, whom the EYE repeatedly transformed into a hulking monster to serve as its agent on Earth. But, Kev was lucky, later versions were not able to turn back to humans. Oh, and most importantly, the EYE tried to take over the world. Once he even succeeded.
- Affably Evil: Has this kind of personality.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Very much this, brings one of the most disgusting machine apocalypses ever.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: to Marvel's Ultron and the Sentinels, the Terminator's Sky Net and, in less but noticeable way, the Matrix.
- Bruce Wayne and Michael Holt in relation to Brother EYE is something akin to Tony Stark and Hank Pym in relation to Ultron.
- Corrupted civilians and heroes remind of Marvel's Prime Sentinels; both are human beings involuntarily transformed into Cape Busters through nanotechnology.
- Bad Future: Brings it.
- Body Motifs: Very. Creepy. Red. Eyes. Brother Eye is shaped like an eye, and all the O.M.A.C.s have an eye symbol somewhere in their bodies.
- Brains and Brawn: Brother Eye and O.M.A.C.s.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cannot fathom why Batman trusts other superheroes, particularly ones who have a history of falling into villainy.
- Fun with Acronyms: O.M.A.C.: One-Man Army Corps, Observational Metahuman Activity Construct, Omni-Mind And Community and so on.
- Hero Killer: Yup.
- Invincible Villain: Almost. It took years and multiple failed attempts to take him down.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: hen people become O.M.A.C.s, with Brother Eye controlling the transformations.
- Kill Sat: His default form.
- Meaningful Name: Brother Eye was originally Brother I — that is, the first iteration of the Brother series. By implication, this makes him Big Brother.
- Nano Technology: Why he is so dangerous.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Brother Eye could boost O.M.A.C.'s abilities whenever needed.
- One-Man Army: Every single O.M.A.C.
- Super Soldier / Superpowered Alter Ego: O.M.A.C.s.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Brother Eye can do this with O.M.A.C.s, transporting them to places (and sometimes - time) of Eye's choosing.
- Time Travel: Central elements of a quite few series.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Against Bruce Wayne and Michael Holt.
- The Virus: Modern O.M.A.C.s are unsuspecting humans infected with nanites.
Cain/Orphan I (David Cain)
One of the greatest assassins on the planet, Cain helped to train Bruce Wayne in the years before he became Batman. In addition, it is later revealed that in his youth Cain was a high-ranking member of the League of Assassins. It was during this time that he developed theories on the possibility of raising a child to become the ultimate fighter, the One Who Is All. After his first few attempts failed, he approached Sandra Woosan, the woman who would become Lady Shiva, and convinced her to carry his child. The resulting child, Cassandra Cain, was raised by Cain and the League to become the perfect killing machine. Despite his physical abuse towards his daughter, Cain did seem to love her deeply.In the New 52, David, now known as the Orphan, is a significantly different character. An agent of the human trafficker known as Mother, he objected to her use of drugs and modification to train her Child Soldiers, as opposed to the "old ways". Cassandra was his attempt to show her the potential of a more "traditionally trained" killer. This version of Cain has much less affection for his daughter.
- Abusive Parents: Just how abusive depends on the writer, but even at his tamest his treatment of Cassandra easily crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
- The Alcoholic: When he doesn't have a gun in his hand, bottle of whiskey usually takes its place.
- Death Seeker: By the end of the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive arc, he's perfectly willing to let Deadshot kill him, at least at first.
- Depending on the Artist: Is his natural hair color sliver, brown, or black? It all depends on the issue. Batman and Robin Eternal seems to have settled on black.
- The Dragon: To Mother, as Orphan, and to Lex Luthor during Bruce Wayne: Fugitive. He used to be this to Ra's al Ghul, but by the time of the comics he's long since left the League of Assassins.
- Evil Mentor: To Bruce. He also trained Deadshot.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Not exactly, since he wanted Cassandra to be his personal killing machine, but he does seem a bit proud of her regardless, and framed Bruce for murder because he felt he would be just as bad for Cassandra as he had been.
- In the Hood: As Orphan.
- Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Waltzes out of prison to deliver his daughter a birthday gift, and then back in at around the same time as his escape is discovered.
- Villain Decay: In-universe. He used to be one of the most feared assassins in the world, but these days he spends more of his time drinking his sorrows away. Deadshot lampshades this.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Pre-Flashpoint, he has silver hair, and he is even shown as having it in his youth Depending on the Artist.
- Would Hurt a Child: His training methods for Cassandra (and her predecessors, who were not so lucky as her) involved shooting her.
Another “normal” Batman foe. First appearing in Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween, Carmine tends to appear in stories or adaptations set earlier in Batman’s career, where he’s made out to be the top crime lord in Gotham back before the advent of super villains, though he sometimes appears in present-day stories post-reboot. Members of his crime family have also popped up as standalone villains. Some works imply that he's Catwoman's father.
- Composite Character: Most adaptations want to cut down on the number of vanilla gangster characters, so Falcone typically winds up blended with Lew Moxon (the guy who hired Joe Chill) or Sal Maroni (the guy who scarred Two-Face).
- The Don: Of Gotham City.
- End of an Age: Most stories featuring him show his empire giving way to the more classic Bat-rogues.
- Expy: A rather obvious one for Don Corleone, with his son Alberto taking the role of Michael.
- In turn, the animated series seems to replace Falcone with Arnold Stromwell.
- Feuding Families: His outfit vs. Sal Maroni's.
- Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: He's Italian. His enforcers are Irish.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has three scars on the side of his face courtesy of Catwoman's claws.
- Irony: Despises the new breed of insane criminal popping up in Gotham, yet one of his children might be the Holiday Killer, another one of his kids is the Hangman, and Catwoman might be another one of his kids.
- The Red Baron: Called the Roman, both because he's from Rome and because he controls a massive criminal empire.
The Carpenter (Jenna Duffy)
A small time thief and con artist, Duffy originally hales from Keystone before moving to Gotham on the run from the cops. In Gotham she becomes a member of the Wonderland Gang. While not much of a criminal she has made a name for herself as a renovator for the hideouts of Gotham's extensive criminal element.
- Big Bad Wannabe: She wants to be seen as a legitimate criminal, but outside of the Wonderland Gang most just see her as the repair man when their hideouts get wrecked.
- Deathtrap: Who do you think builds them?
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Funnily enough she is actually annoyed when people take her title literally, that said she is indeed a rather skilled carpenter.
- Hero of Another Story / Lower-Deck Episode: Batman never faced "The Director" because he made the mistake of trying to Shoot the Builder.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Provides the trope image.
- Only Sane Man: One of the more stable and well-adjusted of Gotham's villains. Though her insistence on working with Gotham's underworld (whether as a henchman or contractor) rather than just getting a job as a normal carpenter indicates she's not completely right in the head, either.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Unlike most of Gotham's named villains, she's just in it for the money. Or so she claims.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A defining trait. In her first appearance, she realizes she's outclassed by Batman, and just let's him past without a fight. She even decided to skip town entirely at one point (plenty of work in less crazy towns), though it didn't last.
Catwoman I (Selina Kyle)
Clayface I (Basil Karlo)
Basil Karlo was an actor who, when he heard his classic horror film "The Terror" was being remade, went mad. He donned the mask of the film's villain, "Clayface," and went on a killing spree, murdering the members of the cast and crew. However, he was stopped by Batman, reappearing a few times before remaining unused. However, during his absence, several other criminals with the name Clayface appeared. They were all made of clay, could change shape, and one even had a poisonous touch.One of these new Clayfaces visited Karlo in prison out of curiosity, and they formed a plan where all living Clayfaces would team up against Batman. The group, called "The Mud Pack," was beaten, but Karlo obtained the powers of all the other Clayfaces, becoming a much bigger threat.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Clayface is a walking mountain of mud, and can use his powers for shapeshifting or brute strength.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He decides to murder people because they're remaking his film without him in the starring role, even though he was brought on as a consultant.
- Flanderization: Karlo was previously characterized as an ego-maniacal actor, but then writers and artists began depicting him more like the Clayface from the animated series, who was more-or-less an amalgamation of the first four Clayfaces, but more predominately Matt Hagen, the second. The difficulty in this is that, the comic version of Hagen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and has remained dead. Unless it's outright stated in the story featuring him, readers have a hard time telling if Clayface is Karlo or Hagen.
- I Was Quite a Looker: In the New 52 / DC Rebirth continuity at least."See that handsome guy right there? The one with those blue eyes that look right into your soul? That's Basil Karlo. That's me."
- Large Ham: Comes with the acting background. After receiving the abilities of Preston Payne and Shondra Fuller, Karlo regarded himself as "THE ULTIMATE CLAYFACE!"
- Legacy Character: There have so far been eight Clayfaces.
- Make Them Rot/Touch of Death/Poisonous Organism: Gained this ability from Preston Payne.
- Name-Face Name: Perhaps the only thing that is consistent with all versions.
- Nested Mouths: His design in the New 52 gives him another set of teeth behind his normal mouth (it disappears when he shapeshifts his face), but it's inconsistent.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Obvious stand-in for Boris Karloff.
- Poisonous Person: Inherits this power from Preston Payne, a poisonous touch that would melt people's skin.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Can morph his hands into maces, hammers, or other weapons.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Can form clothing out of his own substance after gaining the powers of the other Clayfaces.
- Tragic Villain: Some adaptations and the other versions of Clayface are shown to be this.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Poison Ivy, recently.
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: After becoming a true Clayface.
Clayface II (Matt Hagen)Matt Hagen found a submarine mist that could turn him into a mud-like man who could change shape. He decided to use this power to steal works of art and got in conflict with Batman. Hagen eventually died during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Clayface is a walking mountain of mud, and can use his powers for shapeshifting or brute strength.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by shadow demons alongside Ten-Eyed Man.
- The End... Or Is It?: A Secret Files issue teased his possible survival, but subverted it for laughs.
- Legacy Character: The second of eight Clayfaces.
- Name-Face Name: Just like his predecessor and successors.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Can morph his hands into maces, hammers, or other weapons.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Can form clothing out of his own substance as part of his disguises.
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: The first Clayface to have this power.
Clayface III (Preston Payne)Suffering from hyperpituitarism, Preston Payne sought to cure his condition. Creating an enzyme made from the DNA of the then-living Matt Hagen, Payne hoped to cure his condition. Instead, his appearance became permanently clay-like without the ability to reshape himself, and he was afflicted with unyielding pain. The only way Preston is briefly able to remove his sickness is by passing it on to other people through a "Midas Melt" touch that turns human flesh to protoplasm.
- Anti-Villain: Preston's a reluctant killer who has no desire for a life of crime, only killing people because it's the only way to temporarily get rid of the blinding pain he suffers from.
- Happily Married: With Shondra Fuller, the fourth Clayface.
- Legacy Character: The third Clayface.
- Monster Sob Story: He was trying to rid himself of his hyperpituitarism, he failed and accidentally killed his girlfriend.
- Make Them Rot/Touch of Death/Poisonous Organism: His chief power is that he can melt people into.
- Powered Armor: He wears an exoskeleton suit to keep himself from touching people, though he can takes off his gloves so he can. It gives him superhuman strength.
The Cluemaster (Arthur Brown)
A failed game show host who turned to a life a crime, leaving behind clues to his activities to demonstrate his superiority to the police, who were stumped trying to figure them out. Batman had no such difficulty and would regularly stop and imprison The Cluemaster, aided by Arthur's daughter Stephanie, who became the Spoiler to stop his criminal activities. He would later join the Suicide Squad to atone for his crimes and was briefly thought dead before reemerging once more as a criminal.Post-Flashpoint, the Cluemaster's origin remains much the same, although he avoided going to prison by convincing Batman that he would give up crime for the sake of his family. This was a lie, and during the events of Batman Eternal he plots with several other villains to contribute to the chaos of Gotham City while attempting to hunt down and kill his daughter Stephanie after she discovered him meeting with several of his criminal associates.
- Adaptational Badass: Zigzagged Post-Flashpoint; while he was caught and outsmarted by his daughter multiple times, he managed to mastermind the entire plan simply by removing Jim Gordon from his position, and having the rest of Batman's top villains go wild on the city by sending them invitations to do so. He even managed to "follow the clues" to discover the Court of Owls, something which Batman had failed to do before.
- Abusive Parents: His introduction Post-Flashpoint is attempting to kill Stephanie after she walked in on him meeting with several of his supervillain friends and commenting that he would have to do better with his next child.
- Beneath Suspicion: Batman and Vicki Vale both dismiss him as a "second rate Riddler knock-off". In fact, he counted on this for his plan in Batman Eternal, taking in other C-list villains such as Lock-Up, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Signalman to cause the most chaos, with nobody, not even Batman, believing he could possibly be the mastermind or the main problem.
- Big Bad: Of Batman Eternal, although he ends up being Hijacked by Ganon by Lincoln March at the end.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: He has a few chances to kill Stephanie but keeps screwing it up by monologuing or going about it in a complicated manner. Shows up again when he could have just shot and killed Batman while he was chained to the Bat-signal, but he again monologues before he tries to shoot him, giving Batman a chance to break free. After they fight, Cluemaster pulls his gun and prepares to finish the job, but Lincoln March steps in and slashes his throat. Though to be fair, Bruce hadn't gotten any sleep for more than a day and had been running himself ragged for even longer, had gotten his chest cut open, and was barely capable of standing.
- Death by Secret Identity: Gets his throat slit by Lincoln March minutes after learning Bruce's identity as Batman.
- Depending on the Writer: Weather he's an Insufferable Genius or Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: He exploits this trope in Batman Eternal, bringing in bigger and bigger villains by setting events in motion then simply inviting them so that Batman would reach higher for villains to be in charge of the without thinking down to the C and D listers who are the real masterminds.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: In-Universe. His choice of colors for his outfit are given an annoyed Lampshade Hanging by his daughter Stephanie, who notes that no one takes her warnings about him seriously partly because of how bad his outfit is. With his reveal as the Big Bad, one wonders if this was intentional to make people underestimate him.Stephanie: (about bloggers commenting on her information regarding Cluemaster) ...making fun of his costume... I mean, orange and blue, dad? Really?
- Hand Cannon: Wields a large revolver Post-Flashpoint.
- He's Back: Makes his return Post-Flashpoint in Batman Eternal as the villain for his daughter Stephanie's plotline, as well as the main villain of the storyline.
- Insistent Terminology: He keeps trying to say that he is not to be called Arthur, but rather Cluemaster. Nobody listens, including his fellow C-list villain friends. This is probably the point, as seeing him as a joke was likely agreed upon between the villains to keep up the plot.
- Jerk Ass: Unlike Batman's other villains it's not covered by his charismatic personality.
- Karmic Death: He uses his anonymity to cripple Batman in Eternal, only for someone else to kill him with the same tactic.
- Letter Bomb: During his hunt for Stephanie in Batman Eternal, Cluemaster delivered one to Stephanie's friend's home which killed her, and likely everyone else there, in an attempt to draw his daughter out.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: While he and his friends Signal Man, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Lock-Up might not be regarded as the best villains, when they start working together in Batman Eternal they're screwing up everything from the water systems to the traffic lights, as they are under orders to make things more unstable and people more and more angry. Then it is revealed that he is the Big Bad who started all the chaos in Gotham with a couple of mind control pills a few invitations.
- Offing the Offspring: Tries to repeatedly kill Stephanie throughout Batman Eternal, but she keeps spoiling his attempts.
- Slashed Throat: Lincoln March does this to Cluemaster in the penultimate issue of Batman Eternal, noting that Cluemaster was getting ready to screw up his own plan by taking credit for killing Batman and causing all the chaos in Gotham, since that would take away the C-List status that had allowed him to do so.
- Small Name, Big Ego: This more than anything else drove him to become a villain he seems to have gotten over it as now he's exploiting his C-List villain status for all its worth.
- “Stop Having Fun” Guy: An In-Universe example. The clip of his old show seen in Batman Eternal had him yelling at his contestant for daring to make jokes instead of answering the question. Yet he was surprised when he got fired.
- Villainous Friendship: He is friends with fellow C-List villains like Lock-Up, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Signalman. They routinely get together to play cards and bemoan their low status on the supervillain totem pole.
- We Can Rule Together: He tries this when he attempts to get Stephanie to stand down after being impressed by some of her actions as Spoiler, saying they could have been "Cluemaster and The Pointer". Steph's response? To groan and point out that a Pointer is a dog.
The Court of Owls
The Court of Owls/The Parliament of Owls
"Beware the Court of Owls,The Court of Owls is secret organization centuries old with immense power and influence embedded into the very architecture and history of Gotham City. When Batman, and subsequently Bruce Wayne, began to make an impression on the city (through crime fighting and Bruces many charitable foundations/renovation of the Narrows), they felt threatened and declared war on Batman and his allies.
that watches all the time.
Ruling Gotham from shadowed perch,
behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth.
they watch you in your bed,
speak not a whispered word of them,
or they'll send The Talon for your head."
that watches all the time.
Ruling Gotham from shadowed perch,
behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth.
they watch you in your bed,
speak not a whispered word of them,
or they'll send The Talon for your head."
- Ancient Conspiracy: Dating back to Pre-Revolution America.
- Composite Character: Lincoln March/Thomas Wayne, Jr. combines both the Owlman (owl motif, evil mirror of Bruce) and Boomerang Killer (brain-damaged younger Wayne brother) versions of Thomas Jr..
- The Dragon: Lincoln March a.k.a. Thomas Wayne Jr. in their organization. He's also The Starscream, as he kills off most of the Court's top members to take advantage of the organization.
- Determinator: Every. Single. Talon.
- Elite Mooks: Their assassins, the Talons.
- Healing Factor: The Talons all sport this, although they can be killed. Temporarily.
- Kids Are Cruel: Batman is beaten within inches of his life at the behest of a child Court member.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Talons.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In their first appearance, they're alternately shown to be both normal people with owl masks and actual mutant owl humanoids. During this time, Batman had been starved and tortured for quite a while so it's not clear if some of them really were mutant owl people or Batman was simply hallucinating at that point and seeing them as such.
- Mythology Gag: Their role as owls that antagonize bats with agents known as Talons, Thomas Wayne, Jr. in particular, are references to Owlman and Talon, the evil Mirror Universe counterparts to Batman and Robin pre-Flashpoint.
- Ominous Owl: Their whole motif. The fact that owls are the natural predators of bats lends itself quite well to the imagery.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness
- Tykebomb: Members are indoctrinated from very young ages.
- White Mask of Doom: Members of the Court wear creepy barn owl masks.
Deadshot (Floyd Lawton)
The man who never misses. Floyd Lawton was born to a millionaire family that included a father who abused his mother. She in turn talked his older brother Ed into shooting him for her, and Floyd decided to do it instead to prevent Ed from being a murderer. However, he ended up killing Ed by accident when the tree branch he sat on broke.He made his debut as a one-off Batman villain in 1950, where he first appeared as a criminal pretending to be a hero that specialized in disarming mooks with his guns. In reality, he was eliminating the competition and trying to discredit Batman in the process. After a lengthy stay, he returned redesigned by Marshall Rogers as a costumed assassin with wrist-mounted guns and a grudge against Batman. In The '80s, he was one of the first recruits for the Super-Villain Suicide Squad.After this, he has since broke out as a general DCU Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain. More commonly associated with the Suicide Squad than as a Batman villain, he's also gotten his own miniseries (twice) and often either acts as either a villain or someone who just fits into the anti-heroic mold. He's also been a member of the Secret Six, a group of criminals banded together to make money.That being said, Deadshot still tangles with Batman from time to time.Has his own page here.
The Dealer (Etienne Guiborg)
"The philosophy of Mirror House is quite simple. We believe, wholeheartedly, that evil is humanity's divine spark. See, some people think that what makes us as a species divine, what separates us from soulless animals is our propensity for good. And yet, if I may, I'd like to propose another theory. A retort, if you will... because goodness... compassion, generosity. These are things that do, in fact, occur in the wild, between lower forms of life. But evil... true malevolence, though... no. No, that you don't see among the birds and the bees and the monkeys in the trees. And so it is in evil, our capacity for utter wickedness, that will see our true, divine selves reflected most clearly."An elderly man who runs an underground auction house called Mirror House which sells off many items, gadgets and whatnot obtained from Gotham's worst criminals. By himself, he isn't much of a threat given his age, but he is a rather sinister dealer.
Detective Comics #872, 2011
- Auction of Evil: Mirror House.
- Evil Feels Good: He strongly believes that humanity shines best when it's full of evil and doesn't mind telling it as it is.
- Evil Old Folks: One of the most recent (and oldest) entries to Batman's rouges gallery.
- Large Ham: He knows how to put on quite a show in his auctions.
- Only Known By His Alias: Etienne Guiborg isn't his real name.
Doctor Simon Hurt
Doctor Simon Hurt (Thomas Wayne Jr.)
"Batman's a hardy specimen, with an above-average mind--but even a Batman can succumb to stress and shock!"A psychiatrist that observed Batman during an isolation experiment, Simon Hurt is the leader of a mysterious organization called The Black Glove. He wants to completely and utterly break Batman, physically and mentally.
— Batman #156, 1963
- Adaptation Distillation: His backstory had him being found by Thomas and Martha Wayne and then taken to a mental hospital to get help. In a Pre-Crisis story, Bruce discovered he had a younger brother, Thomas Jr., who suffered head injuries and was sent to live in Willowood Asylum. Thomas Jr. escaped at some point and became an assassin named the Boomerang Killer who fought Batman and Deadman together before pulling an impulsive Heroic Sacrifice to save Bruce.
- And I Must Scream: Last seen being Buried Alive by the Joker somewhere on the grounds of Wayne Manor, because there's only one person who the Joker wants messing with Batman's head.
- Ascended Extra: Grant Morrison ascended him out of an unnamed psychiatrist in the Silver Age story "Robin Dies at Dawn"
- Asshole Victim: It's incredibly hard not to fist pump as the Joker buries him.
- Better the Devil You Know: When Hurt is taken out of the picture, a global conspiracy known as Leviathan takes over, upping the ante.
- Big Bad: Of The Black Glove Story Arc in Grant Morrison's Batman run.
- Big Bad Wannabe: By Batman and Robin, he starts to fall into this, simply because he keeps believing that he will be the one to break Batman. As it turns out, Batman simply doesn't break, no matter what Hurt does to him, and manages to turn the tables at every turn - most pivotally, the deep-rooted mental commands that Hurt places in Batman to destroy his personality fail because Batman was putting in a mental command to counter such an attack at the same time. In pretty much every interaction he has with the Joker, the latter tells him to stop underestimating Batman, and Hurt's response is to dismiss both Batman and the Joker. He turns out to be wrong on both counts.
- Blackmail: Threatens to sully the entire Wayne Family's reputation if Batman does not join him.
- Bloodbath Villain Origin: His Batman-impersonators were subjected to this.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He speaks very proudly about how he wants to break the hero that is Batman.
- Crazy-Prepared: He planted the trigger Zurr-En-Arrh in order to Mind Rape Batman.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Part of his grand revenge scheme against not only Batman but Thomas and Martha Wayne is because they actually tried to help him by bringing him to the Willowood mental hospital under the guise of their other son.
- Eccentric Millionaire: Evil version.
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: Averted. Hurt has had plenty of successes in his lifetime, but he has to keep on scheming to stay on top.
- Evil Power Vacuum: Puts his plan in motion after Batman manages to finally lock up all of Gotham's criminals.
- Evil Wears Black: Noticeable compared to Batman's other enemies.
- For the Evulz: Loves to make people's lives (And Batman's life, in particular) miserable and broken and hosts it as a gambling game just because he can.
- A Glass of Chianti: Known to pour one out for crime.
- Human Sacrifice: Tries to make Batman this on numerous occasions.
- Identical Grandson: Bears a notable resemblance to Bruce Wayne's father Dr. Thomas Wayne. See below for why.
- Kneel Before Zod: Either tempts or coerces his foes into coming to his side. In an alternate future, Damian and the POTUS both take him up on it.
- Louis Cypher: Some characters (including the Joker) think he's this, and even Batman himself wonders by the end. As far as Morrison is concerned, sure, the mundane explanation is that he's a 17th Century Wayne, but why should the mundane explanation be the only true one?
- Luke, I Am Your Father: At one point attempted to convince Bruce that he was actually his father Dr. Thomas Wayne, who had faked his own death and murdered his wife. He's actually a distant paternal ancestor of Bruce, also named Thomas Wayne, corrupted and turned immortal by Darkseid's Hyper Adapter.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: In both senses of the word.
- Mind Rape: What he does to the replacement Batmen and Bruce himself.
- Professional Gambler: His organization, Black Glove, has a gambling theme.
- Psycho Psychologist: What he is a doctor of.
- The Psycho Rangers: While Batman has the Club of Heroes, consisting of vigilantes from various countries, Hurt has the Club of Villains, consisting of their respective arch enemies.
- Rich Bitch: Male version.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Part of the reason none of his crimes have been reported is because he has the mayor and several other officials in his back pocket.
- Smug Snake: Fully believed the law could never stop him due to all the Black Glove's money. He didn't count on The Joker putting a stop to him.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Tries to be this at first, but gradually loses his dignity, becoming more and more of a Faux Affably Evil Smug Snake.
- Villain Decay: Goes from executing plans that took years to put together to eventually just hiring a gang of mooks to do his dirty work.
- Hurt briefly appears in the Convergence series, but is just one of many random Batman villains who gets blown up by the Joker.
- You Have No Chance to Survive: Gets proven wrong repeatedly, but never gives up.
Firefly (Garfield Lynns)
Garfield Lynns was originally a Hollywood pyrotechnician, a job he took because of his pyromania. However, he became a victim of Gotham City's severe poverty and turned to crime. He took up arson as a hobby, but it soon turned to an obsession, going so far that he even believes to see vision in the flames. Inspired by actual fireflies, he built a suit and became a professional arsonist.
- Ax-Crazy: Enough so to scare away Killer Moth, who was genuinely terrified of him.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Made his suit and his whole equipment by himself.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has burn scars over approximately 90% of his body.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Firefly's Weapon of Choice is a flamethrower.
- Kill It with Fire: His modus operandi.
- Mad Bomber: Also packs explosives for good measure.
- Psycho for Hire: He takes some arson jobs to finance his devices and weaponry, but he would gladly burn things for free if he could afford to.
The Great White Shark
The Great White Shark (Warren White)
Sentenced to prison for creative accounting practices, financier Warren White tried to slip through the cracks by pleading insanity, in the hopes of being committed to a modern psychiatric care facility. Instead, he wound up in Arkham Asylum, where the inmates ritually tortured and abused him for being the "new fish"; Killer Croc went so far as to carve gills in the sides of his neck.After being locked in a freezer for several hours during a riot, Warren emerged a changed man: his hair had fallen out, his lips and nose had shrivelled away in the cold, and his skin was now chalky white. His mind now decidedly twisted, White has since traded off his appearance and business acumen to become one of the premier mob bosses in Gotham City.
- Asshole Victim: Don't think he didn't work hard to earn that Humiliation Conga.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Ironic that a man with the nick name "Shark" would end up resembling one after an unrelated accident. That only applies to his lack of nose and ears, he filed his teeth down himself.
- Bald of Evil: Lost his hair and sanity in Mr. Freeze's cell.
- The Chessmaster: After Black Mask's death, he briefly managed to oust the Penguin from Gotham and control the city's rackets from inside his cell at Arkham.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Gained his nickname for his ruthless and cold-blooded business practices.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from The Chew Toy for all the other Arkham inmates to one of the most influent mob bosses in Gotham City after his transformation.
- Hawaiian Shirted Jerkass: In Streets of Gotham.
- Karma Houdini: He's worked out a deal with the Torture Lords of Hell that will enable him to escape any punishment for his life's misdeeds. Even torturing the inmates that bullied him as a bonus. Etrigan is actually impressed.
- Lack of Empathy: When asked why he thinks he is at Arkham he says that it's because he was negligent while doing his fraud (that is considered the biggest in the history of the DC U.S.A and later tell his cellmate it's not his fault no one read the fine prints.)
- Loan Shark: Quite. He asks fifteen percent of Riddler's crime revenue in exchange of a helicopter with a question mark.
- Locked Out of the Loop: He didn't know what Arkham was, he didn't even knew who Riddler was before being sent to the asylum. All he knew is that Gotham was the only city stupid or corrupt enough to buy his insanity plea.
- Phrase Catcher: Warren White is the worst person you have ever met.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Warren gets a job flipping Two-Face's coin when Two-Face injures his hands and can't do it himself, for no other reason than that he's desperate to be under anybody's protection at first. One of Arkham's staff member is actually impressed how Warren can climb back the hierarchy for a white collar criminal.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to his accountant vengeful spirit, saying that what happens was because the person was weak and could not support the pressure so he killed himself then Warren strangles him saying that's how he destroys someone's life.
- Shark Man: Not actually a Fish Person, but close enough.
- Too Dumb to Live: Really, when you plead insanity in Gotham City, you gotta be. He only held his trial there because he knew people would be enough dumb or corrupt to believe his plead, he was so out of the loop that he mocked Riddler for being a guy in spandex.
Harley Quinn (Harleen Quinzel)
Which genius decided to let a fresh-out-of-college intern be The Joker's therapist, we'll never know (it's heavily implied that no one actually wants to work at Arkham), but Harley Quinn was the result. As Joker's doctor, Dr. Harleen Quinzel tried — like so many others before her — to restore the psychotic killer to sanity. She not only failed, but fell in love with him. The countless Freudian Excuse stories that Joker fed her were likely a part of it, since Harley has proclaimed that ever since she laid eyes on the clown, it was love at first sight.Though it was Batman: The Animated Series that introduced her (originally as just the Joker's henchgirl), Harley became popular enough to be included in the comics as well, and it was a comic (later adopted into a TV episode) that first told her origin. Perhaps even crazier than the Joker himself, you can count on Harley to be right alongside her "puddin'", mindlessly loyal to him, but cleverly lethal.Not even Harley can stand the Joker's endless tirades of abuse and madcap lifestyle, however, and when she's in her downtime, she often finds consolation in Poison Ivy, whom she has a deep friendship with.Has had three solo series, the tropes for which can be found here.Thanks to the character's popularity, she has appeared in various adaptations. In addition to Batman: The Animated Series, she has also been featured in The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and was the Big Bad of the short-lived Birds of Prey TV show. She was also one of the main characters in the Batman: Assault on Arkham film. She's a major character in the Batman: Arkham Series, and is playable in Batman: Arkham Knight. She appears as one of the main characters in the Suicide Squad (2016) movie, played by Australian actress Margot Robbie. She's also one of the students in DC Super Hero Girls; in that continuity, she's undergone Adaptational Heroism and is portrayed as a lovably mischievous prankster.
- Abnormal Ammo: Those oversized "popguns" she carries can fire anything.
- Adaptational Villainy: Harley's malevolence in comparison to the Joker is usually pretty low-key, but she takes it up a notch or three in some continuities.
- In the Arkham video game series, Harley is a lot more murderous, though that's partially because the Joker ends up dying due to his Titan exposure. It gets to the point she just wants to kill everyone in the city out of sheer spite.
- In the elseworld depicted in the animated film Justice League: Gods And Monsters, Harley is a full-fledged psychopathic Serial Killer who keeps fridges full of mangled human body parts, makes "toys" out of mangled corpses, and even has a makeshift "family" made of people she's murdered, crudely preserved and stapled their faces into perpetual smiles — including a little brother. Worse, unlike the mainstream Harley, she seems to have no connection to her world's version of the Joker (assuming he exists); she's just a murdering maniac. She's so creepy, it actually comes as a relief when this world's version of Batman, a scientifically created vampire, murders her for a meal at the end of her episode "Twisted".
- Her Establishing Character Moment in the New 52 is blowing up a bunch of children with knock-off Game Boys she rigged into bombs. Definitely a step up from trying to feed Batman to piranha in makeup.
- Affably Evil: Harley is insane, no doubt about it, but she's also one of the more social members of Batman's Rogue Gallery, having genuine friendships with several of the other rogues.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Justified. Despite her sympathetic portrayal, she's very far from being innocent and virtuous herself.
- Ambiguous Disorder: While not mentally sound, it's never been outright stated what her mental illness is. A special feature in Batman and Harley Quinn makes a point to mention Harley shows symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder.
- Anti-Villain / Anti-Hero: She fluctuates between a good-hearted villain and devious but heroic very rapidly. With the New 52 she became a full Anti-Hero in her solo series; she doesn't try to cause trouble, it just happens, and she enforces justice in her own way, like freeing a neglected dog and punishing the owner, and rescuing an old woman who was robbed and giving her some money despite her own day going wrong in every way possible.
- Ascended Extra: Originally designed so Joker could have a female henchman. Her design proved popular enough with the fans that eventually she made more appearances and more of her personality was fleshed out (she was more of a Deadpan Snarker in the early days chiding at one point to the Joker "You're sick, you know that, boss?") and got bigger roles till a back story was eventually made for her.
- Breakout Villain: As a Canon Immigrant, she proceeded to become one of the main characters (if not the main character) of several comic series, such as the Harley & Ivy mini-series, her own ongoing and Gotham City Sirens. She became the main villain in the Birds of Prey TV adaptation even though she's not prominent in the original comic, and got major roles in the Batman: Arkham Series video games. She also became a member of the Suicide Squad and got a second ongoing which became DC's highest-selling title with a female lead!
- Ascended Fangirl: In the New 52, she's a big Wonder Woman fan, and is overjoyed whenever she gets the chance to team up with her.
- Ax-Crazy: Not as concentrated on single, gruesome killings as her puddin', but much more enthusiastic towards large-scale property damage.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: One of her origin stories has her going for a job at Arkham Asylum because she doesn't feel challenged enough with regular therapy sessions. She got the job... and then met The Joker.
- Berserk Button: As of the New 52 she is the Joker's Ex-Girlfriend. Bringing him up at all is a good way to set her off.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She is, by far, the nicest, sweetest member of Batman's rogues gallery. However, do not think her lovelorn origin and bubbly demeanor means she isn't a homicidal psychopath.
- Big Bad: She's the main villain in the live action TV series, Birds of Prey. This version of Harley is much more cunning and intelligent, rather than bubbly and childish like in the comics.
- Bi the Way: Her relationships with Joker, Deadshot and Poison Ivy (as confirmed by Word of God) and overall flirtatious nature confirms this.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde to Ivy's Redhead and Catwoman's Brunette in some cases.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Depending on how her Broken Ace and Sex for Services (grades) tropes are interpreted, she may be this as well.
- Broken Ace: In her most recent interpretations, she was so gifted both physically and mentally (and extraordinarily attractive) that she labored under immense pressure to be perfect. She jumped so eagerly into her role as the Joker's dumb blonde sidekick because it freed her from people's expectations. If she's a dumb, clumsy blonde, or the Joker's mentally broken victim, no one expects anything out of her.
- Brooklyn Rage: She has a very nasal New York accent and it is later revealed that she is from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Naturally. While the writers flip flop on whether she skirted her way through school or not, every once in a while she does show she's still a pretty skilled psychoanalyst despite the crazy.
- Catch-Phrase: An inter-media one, in that it shows up at least once in most mediums that she appears in.(as an introduction): "Call me Harley! Everyone does."
- Canon Immigrant: Her first appearance was in Batman: The Animated Series, and she proved so popular that she was eventually canonized into the comics proper.
- Cheap Costume: Her pre-Flashpoint outfit was an off-the-rack jester costume she stole from a costume shop, while her New 52 costume consists of items she pilfered from various women around Gotham.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Even when she does get declared sane, she's still weird.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Granted, Joker does this a lot, but none of his other doctors wound up in love with him.
- She once wrote up a report on the Joker claiming that he was perfectly sane, but simply faking it to avoid the death penalty, and because he was enjoying his own maniacal behavior. This arguably subverts this trope, since Depending on the Writer this is exactly what The Joker is doing, meaning she is the first one to crack him (she probably thinks this makes him a genius).
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite her ditzy personality, Harley is a competent fighter and is unstable enough to be unpredictable. She's even gotten the drop on Batman once or twice. From time to time, the comics will remind the reader that Harley is trained in the art of getting into people's heads and will use this to her advantage.
- Cute and Psycho: Cute as a button and more than willing to murder.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: When voiced by Arleen Sorkin her voice definitely has a Fran Drescher quality to it. The BTAS origins episode shows that she's capable of speaking in a more normal voice and only switched to the "Harley Screech" after donning the costume.
- Dark Action Girl: She is a very spectacular gymnast. Her skills rival those of Catwoman and Nightwing.
- Dark Mistress: Harley is in an abusive relationship with the Joker. It's a connection she can never quite shake off even when Poison Ivy shows her she can be a supervillain without him, and Batman shows her she doesn't have to be a supervillain at all. In fact, it seems that every time Harley isn't Joker's Dark Mistress, she's Ivy's. In the DCAU it's only after Joker dies that she's finally able to get out of it.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Is Harley a psychologist or a psychiatrist? In Batman: The Animated Series she was a psychologist; however, the comics have zigzagged between the two. It's possible the writers don't recognize they're two very different careers and mix them up.
- It's almost always agreed upon that Harley is smarter than she lets on but just how much and how sensible she can vary greatly from story to story. She can be a Dumb Blonde, a Genius Ditz, in reality, her entire personality can be a facade that she changes depending on the situation, or she could be anything in-between. Similarly, is she clinically insane or does she understand her actions?
- The details of her life before meeting the Joker - what her family's like, how she got through college, whether she was already psychologically broken, etc.
- In the New 52 she is a fun Anti-Hero in her solo series while totally Ax-Crazy in Suicide Squad.
- Depraved Bisexual: Subverted. While she is both depraved and bisexual, one is not implied to have anything to do with the other; indeed, her relationships with the Joker and Ivy are more humanizing and sympathetic than anything else.
- Domestic Abuse: Perhaps the poster child for this trope in the Superhero universe. If you were going to give the Joker a girlfriend, it really couldn't go any other way.
- Domino Mask: She wears one as part of her classic outfit. She also wears a hat and full face paint, which gives the impression of a full mask. However this might have something to do with her costume being based on that of Harlequin, a stock character of the Italian Commedia dell'arte. However, once she loses the harlequin theme in the New 52, the mask is replaced with streaked eye makeup.
- The Dragon: For the Joker.
- Drop the Hammer: Mallets have been identified as her Weapon of Choice, though the Joker does use them on occasion as well.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When visiting Black Canary in hospital after she's given birth, one of the gifts she brings is a muzzle. Canary is mildly exasperated by the gift until this exchange:Black Canary: "Why would he need a muzzle?"
Harley Quinn: "Please. I can't tell you how useful muzzles were when I first got my hyenas."
BC: "He's a baby. Not a pack hunter."
HQ: "Yeah. But babies scream. And when you scream, crazy, deafening, smashy power comes out. If he gets that power early..."
BC: "...Give me the muzzle."
- Dumb Blonde: She's really psychopathic, but still a ditzy, kinda sweet girl. Though this personality can be either genuine, Obfuscating Stupidity, or both, depending on the writer. Paul Dini, her creator, arguably saw her as this, but later writers have upped her intelligence and capability, particularly after leaving the Joker behind.Harley: Hah! And here you thought I was just another bubble-headed, blonde bimbo! Well, the joke's on you; I'm not even a real blonde!note
- Empowered Badass Normal: Although this is rarely brought up, in the main DC continuity Harley is mildly superhuman, with enhanced strength, healing, and an immunity to most poisons, because of being dosed with a herbal Super Serum by Poison Ivy in her first appearance.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She has a soft spot for animals and does NOT take kindly to people who abuse them. In one story, she and Ivy also rescued a young girl who was being chased by a sexual predator. Harley may be a homicidal supervillain, but even she thinks child abusers are the scum of the Earth. She also refused to keep fighting Black Canary when she worked out Canary was pregnant. In the New 52 Harley still loves animals to the point of saving a whole bunch from being killed with the help of Ivy.
- She didn't like the new female Ventriloquist Peyton Riley, especially when she trash-talked her predecessor Arnold Wesker, since Wesker was kind to her when she first became an inmate at Arkham. She went so far as to tip the Gotham police off when Riley recruited her for one of her crimes (Riley had kidnapped her from Arkham at the time, and Harley was legitimately trying to go straight).
- Females Are More Innocent: Despite being just as insane as her puddin' and just as indifferent to other people's deaths, she's still portrayed as being a sympathetic abuse victim of The Joker.
- Fluffy Tamer: To everyone else, the Joker's snarling pet hyenas are a menace; to her, they are her "babies."
- Genki Girl: Hyper cheerful all the time.
- Girlish Pigtails: Harley wears her hair in a pair of side pigtails to mirror the shape of her jester hat. This came in full effect after the New 52, where she's done away with the jester cap and uses her hair to replace it.
- Glass Cannon: In all continuities. Even though she definitely can fight, she isn't very resistant and is often easily knocked-out when things get physical.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: She and the Joker invert this. Joker's usually armed with a gun, and Harley has a mallet.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Poison Ivy, though the Heterosexual part is questionable.
- DC officially lists her as "bisexual."
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Often depicted as such but she still has some bouts of true efficiency and is in fact the villain who got the closest to actually killing Batman. But well, Mad Love you know...
- Informed Judaism: So informed indeed that she never talks about it.
- Insanity Immunity: In Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad, she looks into Johnny Sorrow's face, which usually kills anyone who sees it. She's unaffected, describing it as "cute", and subsequently explains to Wonder Woman "Once you've looked into one abyss you've seen 'em all".
- Love Makes You Crazy: She fell in love with The Joker. Crazy doesn't even begin to describe it.
- Love Makes You Evil: She was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum until she was assigned to The Joker. Falling in love with him, she broke him out and joined him as his girl sidekick. To what degree the Joker returns her feelings is questionable, ranging from 1% to zero. However, almost all her evil acts are an attempt to secure his affection.
- Love Martyr: Oh, God, Harley Quinn, going back and forth between a girlfriend who treats her like dirt and a boyfriend who frequently tries to kill her. She bounces back and forth between this trope and Mad Love, depending on how sympathetically her romantic woes are treated in the current story.
- Mad Love: The Trope Namer by way of a story arc from the comics that was later adapted into an episode, though the degree that she and Joker actually apply (whether Joker actually cares about Harley in any way) varies Depending on the Writer.
- Master of Disguise: One of her more understated talents, but she's very good with disguises and impersonations. In the animated series, she was able to fool the police by dressing as a lady cop, an attorney, and a security guard in various episodes. In her first solo series, she actually spent a significant period practicing Psychiatry under a fake identity, and has a similar set-up in her New 52 and Rebirth series.
- Meganekko: Before her transformation.
- Morality Pet: Oddly, not just for the Joker or Poison Ivy; almost all the other inmates at Arkham seem to have a bit of a soft spot for Harley. (For example, in the cartoon episode "Harley's Holiday", the Scarecrow pauses mid-villainous rant to greet her warmly.) It's implied that most of them don't look down on the Joker because he kills people, but because they disapprove of his abuse of Harley.
- Ms. Fanservice: She often wears a tight jester suit and switches it out for what can best be described as a bikini designed to resemble her former appearance. In "Mad Love" she wears a see-through red negligee also. And in the New 52 her outfits are more incredibly revealing.
- Mugged for Disguise: She's been known to mug people in order to replace them, such as an opera singer in the Hush storyline, a rock groupie in "Love on the Lam", and an Arkham guard in the Arkham City prequel.
- Multicolored Hair: In the 2011 relaunch of Suicide Squad, Harley sports half red, half blue/black hair, replacing the iconic jester hat of the same colors. For DC Rebirth, she has a makeover which changes her hair to blonde with red and blue pigtails, in line with her Suicide Squad (2016) look.
- Naughty Nurse Outfit: In Batman: Arkham Asylum. This costume became iconic more or less instantly. In subsequent appearances across all media, Harley is as likely to show up wearing her Asylum outfit as her original harlequin tights. New designs (like the Suicide Squad cover above) tend to draw from the elements of the Asylum costume (red/blue/purple palette, medical gear, corset) as much as the old one.
- The Nicknamer: She lovingly calls the Joker "Mr. J" and "pud'n". She also refers to Poison Ivy as "Red", Catwoman as "Kitty" or "Whiskas", and (occasionally) Batman as "B-Man".
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Often implied.
- Odd Friendship: Harley is one of the most social members of Batman's Rogues Gallery. She's actually quite fond of the original Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, thanks to his trying to cheer her up the first time she was thrown into of Arkham. She also views the Riddler as a friend, and has occasionally helped him in his detective work. In the animated series, she also appears to be on friendly terms with Professor Jonathan "Scarecrow" Crane — he even stops ranting and screaming at the guards just long enough to smile and say hello to her. The Animated Series also implies that she even views Killer Croc as a friend.
- Of Corsets Sexy: All versions of her outfit in the New 52 feature a tiny, barely closed corset.
- Only Sane Woman: Briefly, in the 2016 Suicide Squad run; the Black Vault energies which are driving everyone else in Belle Reve insane have the opposite effect on her, bringing her rational side to the fore. It lasts until the Vault's properly sealed again.
- Perky Female Minion: She's an unrepentant murderer, but so cheerful and so absolutely devoted to "Mistah J" that one can't help but pity her when he slaps her around and/or threatens to kill her.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Occasionally pops up in the main comics, and practically outlined in her original solo series - which all but established that she's detached from reality and now sees the world like one big cartoon, and that her actions are like a game. As a result she often acts, and sometimes thinks, like a sugar-high kid.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: She wears a black and red playing card motif.
- Sex for Services: Some versions of her origin story indicate that she got through college by sexual favors rather than academic performance. The extent to which this is the case depends on the writer, however, and she occasionally shows glimpses of great intellect even in stories involving this.
- Sexy Jester: While showing minimal skin, too!
- She-Fu: She studied to be a doctor, but can do Olympic-level gymnastics as she went to college on a gymnastics scholarship, and received superhuman abilities from Poison Ivy during the first of their adventures.
- Shrinking Violet: She's usually portrayed as being very shy and reserved before meeting The Joker. Needless to say, that's changed quite a bit.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Though she's officially listed as bisexual, it's possible she's this way with Poison Ivy. She has a long list of random men she gets with, but Ivy is the only female she has shown to be sexual with. The New 52 has started to rectify this and in her solos, if she teams up with a female, like Power Girl or Wonder Woman, expect her to make come-ons.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: At least one iteration of her origin story shows that the Quinzel family was not kind to Harleen; her siblings whine incessantly, her mother is very demanding of her, her father belittles her quite hard, and none of them care about her future. Part of her motivation to get her college degree was to get a job was so she could get away from her family first and foremost.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The DVD captions for Mad Love in Volume Four of Batman: The Animated Series spell her real name as "Harlene Quinzelle".
- Stating the Simple Solution: Suggests just shooting Batman to Joker, who proceeds to blow up on her (then later use this idea).
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: C'mon, Harleen Quinzel? Batman: The Animated Series Lampshades it by having Joker point it out in the episode showing her origin, and her dryly responding that she's heard it before. This conversation was replicated in Batman: Arkham Asylum in one of her interview tapes.
- Stripperiffic: While she had a traditionally conservative costume where only her face is uncovered, the New 52 makes her outfit incredibly revealing. This is lampshaded by Harley herself, at one point referring to her look as a "stripper clown outfit".
- Unholy Matrimony: She and Mr J. are one textbook example.
- Villainous Friendship: She may find Ivy too serious at times but their friendship is genuine on both sides.
- Villainous Harlequin: Her name and costume is based on a Harlequin.
- Wolverine Publicity: In the Suicide Squad. Even when she is not the main character in the story, she features as central on the cover.
- Would Hurt a Child: In Detective Comics #23.2, the New 52-Harley massacred hundreds of children by using bombs disguised as handheld gaming consoles. All stories after it came out treat the story apart from the origin (which has also been changed in some ways in Harley's solo book) part as non-canon due to having Harley wildly out of character and having Harley do things that no main incarnation of her would ever do. Harley's crazy but she doesn't kill kids.
- Yandere: It's rare, but even the Joker is scared of her when she goes into this mode. Or turned on. It could go either way.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Every possibility for her to return sane is always shut down.
Hush (Thomas Elliot)
Thomas Elliot was born into a highly respected family in Gotham City, and as a child was a great friend of a young Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, Tommy's dad was an abusive alcoholic and his mother a controlling Rich Bitch who made him study philosophy and stratagems to help him dodge his father's abuse and succeed in life. Eventually, his father's abuse got so bad that he decided to apply his studies to improve his own life, by cutting the brakes on his parents' car before they had a drive, intending to inherit their money and live by his own way. Unfortunately, thanks to Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, Tommy's now crippled and needy mother survived, which was the worst thing that could happen to him. Bruce and Tommy remained best friends, however, and Tommy nearly confessed his murders to Bruce while the two kayaked around at summer camp, only to be interrupted by the surprise arrival of his mother. Tommy's resulting outburst of anger led him to being committed to Arkham for the rest of the summer, where, with the help of Dr. Crane, he was consumed by the paranoid belief that Bruce had somehow conspired with Mrs. Elliot to ruin his fun. By the end of the summer, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne had died and Tommy and Bruce drifted apart for good.As Tommy grew older, Mrs. Elliot then manipulated her son into staying with her so he could take care of her. Eventually Tommy had enough and suffocated her. After his mother's death, Tommy left Gotham, entered medical school and became one of the country's best surgeons. However, when when Eddie Nygma AKA The Riddler offered him a way of curing his mother's cancer, Tommy learnt that his former friend Bruce was the Batman (Riddler having figured out his identity in a moment of Lazarus Pit-induced insanity). Tommy decided that enough was enough and that Bruce had to be cut down to size and pay for "his crimes against me". Creating the identity of Hush, Elliot became arguably the most prominent Bat-Villain created in the 2000s.In an effort to further bedevil Batman, Hush has recently altered his face to become a perfect duplicate of Bruce Wayne.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Hush goes after those close to Batman (which makes Bruce realize that for a self-described loner, he sure has A LOT of friends) including, of all people, Superman. Hush thinks big. He also kills Harold, who was a severely injured cripple who used helped in the Batcave. He was a C-List Fodder who had barely appeared in any comic since the 1980s, but it was still sad.
- Ascended Meme: Hush was never a serial killer in the regular comics, but Wikipedia had been calling him one for unknown reasons. Then they actually made his Legacy Character one in Batman Beyond.
- In Batman: Arkham City he becomes one by killing victims who have a slight facial resemblance to Bruce Wayne and cutting those features off and turning all of them into a Bruce Wayne mask.
- Bandaged Face: Covers his face in bandages
- Batman Gambit: His mantra is "think like your opponent", which is this.
- Big Bad or Big Bad Wannabe: Usually has one of these roles in his stories; Which one, depends on interpretation. Notice how he often has his name in the story's title.
- The Chessmaster: Hush likes his convoluted plans.
- Complexity Addiction: Sometimes his plans just seem needlessly convoluted. Many times simpler solutions would have sufficed.
- Costume Copycat: In his debut arc, there were two people who used his costume beside him, the first was Clayface/"Jason Todd" which he had planned, the second was Two-Face, who may, or may not have been intended to do so.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: Got facial reconstruction surgery to more easily get away with impersonating Bruce Wayne.
- The Dreaded: Even Batman himself is afraid of Hush.
- Enfant Terrible: His parents would surely wish they hadn't abused him.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He doesn't understand why some might prefer having living parents to having lots of money, and he thinks Bruce is Batman for the fun of it.
- The usual reason for his failures is not to count on Batman getting help from friends. Friendship is a concept he just doesn't get. His past relationship with Bruce was an act and though he talks about friendship a lot, it has a mocking tone to it.
- Evil Wears Black: Wears black underneath his trenchcoat, a sign that he's not good.
- Expy: Hush's features and modus operandi are similar to Sam Raimi's Darkman, Unknown Soldier and a number other bandage faced trenchcoat wearing characters. The key difference being that Hush is evil.
- Faux Affably Evil: He might tell a victim he likes him or her, then stab them. And he keeps calling Bruce a friend even when he's explaining his latest method of making his life a hell.
- Gambit Roulette: Possibly the whole of Batman: Hush, but there is no indication that the events needed to happen exactly as they did.
- Batman Eternal also seems to be this way.
- Genre Blindness: When he tries to steal Bruce Wayne's identity, doesn't he think that the superhero community might find it a bit suspicious if Batman suddenly retired from crime fighting for no reason? Also in the same story, trusting that brainwashed civilians can kill Batman, was probably a bad idea.
- Messing with The Joker resulted in a pacemaker being installed in him by the clown, severely weakening him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His dominant personality trait.
- I Just Want to Be You: Pre-52 version of Hush wanted to be Bruce Wayne because Tommy's mother never liked him as much as she liked Bruce.
- The New 52 version takes this Up to Eleven: Tommy is now pathologically obsessed with becoming Bruce. This also changes the reason he killed his parents: he wanted to be an orphan just to be similar to Bruce.
- Informed Ability: Master of Disguise. There was that one case of Surgical Impersonation, but let's just say he has been a victim of disguise users more than using them himself.
- It's All About Me: Why does he hate Bruce Wayne? Bruce's parents were killed when he was young while Elliot had to do the deed himself. And when he did so, he loathed Thomas Wayne for actually performing surgery that saved his mother's life. That's about as irrationally selfish as you can get.The Riddler: (On Elliot's super-villain name) Scarecrow started singing that song... "Hush Little Baby." It's about a child who can never be satisfied.
- It's Personal: Batman and Hush are this to one another.
- Kick the Dog: Using Jason Todd in an attempt to mess with Bruce's mind, shooting Harold, cutting out Catwoman's heart, lying to Killer Croc about having a cure for his condition and then accelerating it instead, injecting a neurotic child with venom, killing a minor villain just to have Batman for himself... yeah, this is kind of his specialty.
- Mad Doctor: A skilled surgeon, Hush commonly uses his surgical skills for nefarious purposes, whether torturing others or using surgery to impersonate other people. He also commonly uses medical scalpels as weapons.
- Malevolent Masked Men: A variant; he always keeps his face wrapped in bandages when in costume.
- Manipulative Bastard: Already as a kid. After he has a violent outburst on a summer camp, he coincidentally has Jonathan Crane as his therapist. Tommy admits he is guilty of much more than a mere attack, but gets Crane to declare him mentally stable with just a few words:Maybe I'll do it again.
- Misplaced Retribution: Thomas Wayne saved Elliot's mother, denying him the family fortune and lengthening the psychological abuse he had to endure. Meanwhile, Bruce lost his parents, which Elliot thought was undeserved. Therefore Bruce has to suffer. That is his (possibly psychotic) motivation.
- Motive Rant: He has one right after he kills Harold.
- My Beloved Smother: Tommy's mom was like this even before the accident. Afterwards, she became so controlling she kept her son at home for nearly twenty years, using the family fortune as leverage. When Tommy says he has enough, she tries to cut him out of her will and he smothers her with a pillow out of anger.
- Never My Fault: When he attacks another kid on summer camp for calling him names, he believes that his mother and Bruce had deliberately manipulated him to lose his temper. This only gets worse when he's an adult.
- Nouveau Riche: A very, very dark version — Marla was so desperate to have wealth and prestige that she married Roger Elliot, a drunken, abusive Old Money idiot, and tried to retain that prestige by befriending the Waynes, despite secretly hating them. She also foisted her relentless social climbing and scheming on young Thomas, who instinctively kept the desire to "restore" the Elliot family's name, even as he resented her for doing so.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Racist, misogynist and especially classist. Also apparently hates "freaks", as in costumed heroes and villains.
- Remember the New Guy: He was apparently a childhood friend of Bruce's, and Bruce holds him in incredibly high regard, he's one of the world's best surgeons, and it's heavily implied that Tommy partly inspired Bruce's methods as Batman... Which is why we never heard of him before the "Hush" arc.
- The Resenter: He is frustrated that Bruce got everything he had ever wanted, but chooses to "squander" it in his crusade.
- Revenge Before Reason: He threw away a successful career as a world class surgeon just to get even. It later cost him his fortune and his facial skin, after he foolishly tried to manipulate an identity stealing serial killer Jane Doe as a part of his scheme.
- Self-Made Orphan: He tried to kill his parents at a young age in order to inherit their riches and because his father was an abusive monster and his mother a simpering money hungry lunatic. He only succeeded in killing his father, and, to avoid suspicion, didn't try again, only truly being orphaned when he smothered his raving senile mother in a fit of anger. This left him with a bitter hatred of Bruce, who tragically lost his parents soon after Tommy tried to kill his. Later on in his life, he joins the Riddler (who discovered that Bruce was Batman on a vendetta against him, feeling that, not only did Bruce get the riches Tommy wanted, but that he was wasting those riches as well. Predictably, his vendetta eventually causes him to lose everything and become the full time Super Villain Hush.
- In the New 52, he succeeds in his first attempt, killing both his parents; he did it because he was obsessed with Bruce Wayne in the first place, and wanted to relate to him (Bruce's parents died first in this continuity).
- Shadow Archetype: Another one of Batman; Hush being what would happen if Thomas and Martha Wayne's parenting of Bruce went horribly wrong and Batman became a villain.
- Smug Snake: One that is less of an arrogant Insufferable Genius and more of a dog kicking jerk.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Has a tendency to... well, gently tell his victims to "hush". Especially in Batman Eternal.
- The Sociopath: Definitely manipulative, incapable of admitting his own mistakes and flaws, always blaming others, extremely narcissistic, entitled and arrogant and lacks empathy on a fundamental level.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: To Aristotle. Not all the time, but certainly often enough that he's well known for it. More frequently in his early appearances.
- Considering it was his mother that forced him to read the philosopher and that his lifestyle doesn't exactly adhere to Aristotle's teachings, one gets the impression that he finds the quotations by googling "Aristotle [insert barely situation relevant word here]".
- Stalker Without a Crush: In many appearances he tends to be watching Batman from the shadows. He intends to make his life miserable.
- The Starscream: He's often a second in command who ends up betraying his boss.
- Stealth Expert: Has been able to sneak up on both Batman and Catwoman on separate occasions, and they're supposed to be masters of this.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: See above.
- Surgical Impersonation: His main gimmick: Hush uses surgery to look like other people when committing his crimes. He doesn't get surgery done, he performs it himself.
- Villain Protagonist: When written by Paul Dini.
- Villain Team-Up: Hush likes recruiting other villains in his plans. Batman: Hush has most of Batman's rogue's gallery involved in his Gambit Roulette, In Hush Returns he recruits Prometheus.
- In fact, he did this years before becoming Hush; as a young man, his girlfriend was Peyton Reilly, the second Ventriloquist (see below), and she helped him in the murder of his mother for her money.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Wears no shirt in his second story arc, unlike his first where he wore a black top under his trenchcoat. It's part of the reason the miniseries was badly received among fans.
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Bruce were buddies in their childhood. Makes his current nature all the more horrifying to Bruce, and highlights his character as what Bruce could have become had he gone wrong at a young age.
- Yandere: The New 52 version. In his new origin story he kills his parents, then gives Bruce a creepy hug, saying "We're the same now" while having a somewhat "overly attached girlfriend" like facial expression. In high school, he imitates Bruce, wearing the same clothes, flirting with the same girls, and claims to be Bruce, while looking and acting like Jim Carrey's character in The Cable Guy.
James Gordon, Jr.
James Gordon, Jr.
The long absent son of Commissioner James Gordon and his first wife, Barbara Gordon, James, Jr. finally made a reappearance in the 2011 arc, "Skeleton Cases". Having shown symptoms of psychopathy in his youth, James seemed to be ready to be a functioning member of society. However, it was instead revealed that he was a serial killer, having murdered several people who bullied him in his youth, and viewed empathy as a weakness. His brutality and sadism are only matched by his cunning, and proves himself to be a dangerous foe to the reluctant new Batman, Dick Grayson.
- Antagonistic Offspring: To his father, James Gordon Sr..
- Arch-Enemy: To Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. He couldn't care less about Bruce Wayne.
- Big Bad: For some of Batgirl's solo adventures and Dick Grayson's time as Batman.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to his sister, Barbara's, Abel.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Back and forth, and then explained, James first appeared in Batman: Year One but was not mentioned for many years after that comic, both in and out of universe. The story arc Skeleton Cases gives very good reasons as to why he was not talked about in-universe. The Gordon family and others try not to talk about James due to his sociopathic behavior being both disturbing and hurtful as well as being a shame on the Gordons.
- Creepy Souvenir: He had a large collection of house keys. Each one was taken off of a victim during his years as a serial killer.
- Enfant Terrible: Showed signs of psychopathy at a young age and managed to deeply unnerve a serial child murderer to the point where he scared him away.
- Evil Counterpart: To Barbara. Both are the children of Commissioner Gordon, except while Barbara became Batgirl and later Oracle, James Jr. became a monster. Barbara was able to overcome something as harsh as getting shot, humiliated and paralysed, James became unhinged despite having a fairly stable upbringing.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor:James, Jr.: (Indicating a stain on his shirt.) This? It's blood, dad. I killed a waitress while you were talking to Barbara. Her head is stuffed in the toilet of the men's room. (Pause.) It's just ketchup, see? I'm sorry
- Evil Is Petty: He in fact looks to be picked on so that he can satiate and justify his bloodlust.
- Evil Redhead: As a member of the Gordon family.
- Eye Scream: He had a knife shoved into the outer edge his eye one time, though it seemed to have missed the eyeball and go into the socket, or he just didn't care.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can put up a pretty good front. Sadly, that's all it is.
- Foil: To the Joker. While the Joker is flamboyant in personality, appearance, and execution, James is completely mundane, being stoic, looking unremarkable and committing his acts of villainy in secret.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: So much, it hurts.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He tries to rationalize his acts as this, but in reality, everything that was done to him was a petty slight AT BEST and his acts of vengeance are so grossly disproportionate that words cannot even sum up how far overboard he went. He knows this, too; when Barbara tells him that he was just looking for ways to justify committing acts of extreme cruelty, he doesn't even deny it or attempt to argue with her about it.
- Lack of Empathy: States that he views empathy as a weakness.
- Psychotic Smirk: His default expression.
- Serial Killer: During his many years away from Gotham, he seems to have taken up this as a hobby.
- Softspoken Sadist: Unlike many other of the batman villains, he never hams it up. He always speaks in an even tone.
- The Sociopath: Averted, if only because he's a full blown psychopath.
- The Stoic: Combined with Psychotic Smirk, this is how he usually acts.
- Not So Stoic: Despite hating emotions and empathy, he has his few moments of them.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When you think about how many other Batman villains have either disfigurements, eye-catching costumes, or some manner of Obviously Evil design, Junior looking like a regular person is pretty startlingly creepy all on its own.
- Worthy Opponent: Views his sister as this because she's the only person who has managed to dissect his motives and rationale and understand who he truly is.
Joe Chill (Joseph Chilton)
Joe Chill is the man who shot and killed Thomas and Martha Wayne in front of their son Bruce, traumatizing him and leading to the creation of Batman. Since his debut in Detective Comics #33 Chill's backstory, motivations and appearance have been subject to multiple retcons, which are further changed in adaptations. About the only thing that remains consistent with Chill is that he shot Thomas first as he tried to protect his family, then shot Martha, then ran away.
- Anti-Villain: When Chill's just a guy who pushed to villainy that the Waynes had the misfortune to run afoul of. This is often used to illustrate to Batman that anyone can be a criminal.
- The Butler Did It: Almost. Pre-Crisis, Bruce was raised by his Uncle Philip, and Chill was revealed to be the son of Philip's housekeeper.
- Create Your Own Hero: Accidentally created Gotham City's greatest hero.
- The Dragon: in most interpretations he's working for someone else (usually mobster Lew Moxon). In a twist, Bruce usually cares more about catching Chill than Chill's boss, because it was the man holding the gun, not his employer, who scarred Bruce for life.
- He Knows Too Much: Those times Joe does figure out Batman's identity he is killed shortly afterward, usually by other criminals who are not happy to find out he created Batman.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Was Joe Chill a lone wolf mugger or did he work for the mob? Did he have a personal vendetta against the Waynes or was it just business? Was he a greedy opportunist or a down-on-his-luck guy pushed to desperation? His story changes almost every time it is told.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In those instances where he figures out he murdered the prominent Wayne family, or even worse, when he figures out he created Batman.
- Nice Hat: Joe's flat cap has stuck with him since the beginning, since it was the only visually distinctive thing in his original appearance.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Most versions of him have no real enmity against the Wayne family and are just doing a job (which, pending telling, may be why he didn't have the stomach to kill young Bruce).
- That One Case: Sometimes Batman never figures out who Joe Chill was, making his never ending quest to clean up Gotham an extension of his quest to find out who murdered his parents.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Sometimes. Either he doesn't bother with Bruce, or plans to kill Bruce but runs when he hears the cops approaching, or he leaves Bruce alone out of sadism, or he wants to maintain Plausible Deniability that the whole event was just a robbery that escalated, and needed a surviving witness to testify along those lines.
Red Hood I/The Joker
The Joker is one of the most (in)famous supervillains in the history of comic books and a character who is equally as famous as his archnemesis. In sharp contrast to Batman, The Joker's skin tone is chalk white, his hair a bright green, and his costume consists of a bright purple tuxedo. Oh, and he is an Ax-Crazy psychopathic maniac.It's not so much a question of what Joker's done — it's rather a question what hasn't he done. His first appearance had him effortlessly killing two millionaires, a judge, and a rival mob boss; since then, he's sneaked into a fur warehouse using a model Trojan horse, made his own utility belt, tried to dump one of his henchmen in a Shark Pool, infected every fish off of the East Coast with his Joker venom (and then tried to patent the fish for royalties), tied his enemies to a giant exploding cake to celebrate his birthday, shot Barbara Gordon in the spine (and tortured her father to boot), killed Jason Todd (the second Robin), killed Jim Gordon's second wife, became stupidly powerful after stealing Mr. Mxyzptlk's powers, and nearly destroyed the world singlehandedly when he thought he was dying.And he's far from done.Like the rest of the senior Bat-cast, the Joker started out as a pretty dangerous guy in his earliest appearances, although he was far more rational and less insane, being essentially a murderous, arrogant jewel thief with a risus sardonicus. He was then turned into a guffawing, buffoonish trickster thanks to the combined influence of The Comics Code and the 1960s television series. When he was revived in the 1970s, he was turned back into the dangerous madman of his earliest appearances, but made more scary by also retaining his Silver Age mischievousness and random craziness - such as trying to patent Joker-fish and murdering patent office staff when they wouldn't let him. When the Dark Age came along, Joker soon had the single highest body count in The DCU. While he's outdone by the aliens and supervillains who can (and do) wipe out cities/planets, for a man who has nothing other than a criminally sharp mind and a twisted sense of humor, he's still got an "impressive" body count. And keep in mind, those aliens wipe the cities and planets from orbit, while the Joker will do it to your face, and he'll scare you half to death before he kills you the rest of the way.Why doesn't he get the chair? That's what many of us are asking. In-universe, however, it seems to be due to the courts pronouncing him insane and whisking him off to Arkham Asylum.His relationship with Batman is... unique, to say the least. In nearly every published Batman crossover/AU comic, The Joker is there as well. Joker has claimed again and again that Batman is the sole reason for his existence — and that they're more alike than Bats will ever admit.The Joker, as portrayed in various media — Tim Burton's 1989 film, Batman: The Animated Series, The Dark Knight, and many an Alternate Continuity — is a little bit different from the comic book version: The former is treated (if in unspoken terms) as a gadfly who has managed to con (or will con) the mob, crimefighters, and even the legal system into thinking he's insane in the clinical sense of the term, when really he just enjoys carnage and mayhem, and was likely a murderous bastard even before donning the clown mask. The modern, mainstream comic book Joker is treated as though he really is crazy and (in abstract terms) someone Batman sees as a psychological torment rather than just a guileful crook; a sort of demon sent by the city itself to foil his mission. In truth, most versions fall somewhere in the middle, largely Depending on the Writer. His Harmless Villain phase from the 60's, for what it's worth, was actually pretty short lived.As for his origin... well, no matter who tells it, it almost always involves him falling into a giant vat of acid (or something green). Most accept Alan Moore's portrayal of Joker in The Killing Joke as an unsuccessful comedian with a pregnant wife prior to the transformation as the character's canon origin, but as Joker said himself in that very story: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes the other! If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"The Joker's true identity is perpetually unknown, but he has gone by Joseph "Joe" Kerr, Jack Napier, Jack White, Oberon Sexton, Eric Border, and Clem Rusty among others. (Because the name Jack Napier was given as the Joker's pre-transformation real name in the 1989 film, some fans accept it as his real name overall. note )For a full listing of the tropes surrounding this most iconic of supervillains, see his dedicated tropes page. If you want to see them read in his own voice, see here.
KG Beast (Anatoli Knyazev)
- Artifact Title: He is obviously named after the KGB, who have been defunct since the beginning of the 1990s.
- BFG: A staple of his.
- Left for Dead: He was left stuck in the sewers at the end of his first story, with no chance of escaping without outside assistance.
- Retcon: It was retconned so that he was saved from death offscreen, right after the end of his debut story.
Killer Croc (Waylon Jones)
Born with a rare skin disease that left him with scaly, crocodile-like skin, Waylon Jones was unaccepted by the outside world. His parents couldn't stand him, and they abandoned him in the wilderness, forcing him to become a career criminal to survive. At one point, he used his razor sharp teeth to become a cannibal and eat people. He has clashed with Batman several times over the years, each time becoming more bestial and reptilian due to a mutation of his already strange disease. He possesses superhuman strength and is much larger than the average man.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Often finds himself in one of these.
- Abusive Parents: Waylon was raised by his aunt, but her persistent drinking prevented him from growing up in an ideal household.
- Anti-Villain: Had shades of this in old contiunity, fully embraced in the New 52, where he gets a large amount of Morality Pets and Pet the Dog moments.
- Beast Man: Effectively.
- The Berserker: His fighting style more or less revolves around completely overwhelming the opponent with his sheer speed, strength, and resistance to harm.
- Bizarre Human Biology: Crocis allegedly a human who was born with a very rare skin disease, but many artists have started to make him less and less humanlike and more reptilian in appearance, sometimes having a crocodile snout and tail. One writer has Hand Waved this as being a mutation in his disease that grants him traits of more primitive animals.
- The Brute: In most appearances following the story in which he was introduced. In his first appearance, though, Croc was actually a Genius Bruiser who manipulated Batman's entire Rogues Gallery—sort of Bane 0.5.
- Depending on the Artist: Nobody can decide whether Killer Croc is a big strong guy with a skin condition or a crocodile man anymore. It's 50/50 that he'll be depicted either way.
- Depending on the Writer: On top of the above, he seems to be one of those villains writers can never really pin down. It's hard to believe that he was an accomplished marksman and the precursor of Bane.
- Driven by Envy: Of the normal people.
- Dumb Muscle: After Flanderization set in. Justified in that his condition is fully atavistic - everything, including his mind, just keeps regressing further and further as time goes on, which explains how he went from a Genius Bruiser who was Bane-lite to a feral, animalistic savage.
- Flanderization: He was originally a somewhat intelligent gangster with a medical condition (a very severe medical condition), whose misanthropy was the result of being tormented by everyone (family included) for his freakish appearance. This was eventually downplayed, with Croc becoming more bestial and less intelligent as time went on (this was typically explained that his condition was worsening, further separating him from humanity). By the time of Hush, Croc could probably pass for a bulkier Alternate Company Equivalent of the Lizard (explained away by Hush infecting him with a virus that further increased his mutation).
- Freak-Out: In Batman #471 he supposedly died when the sewer he was in flooded and collapsed. In #489 it was revealed that he was nearly drowned, was forced to live on rats, constantly suffered from fevers and was haunted by nightmares. He emerged from the sewers after six months with a radically different personality, diminished mental capacity and permanent hallucinations.
- Freudian Excuse: Between abusive classmates and his godawful aunt, his stint in reform school, and his treatment in the freakshow he was part of, Croc's got a lot of reasons to hate the world.
- Hand Wave: Originally he was a man with a very, very bad skin condition. His appearance has gotten more monstrous over time, which has been explained as his condition worsening.
- Handwraps of Awesome: He sometimes wears these (e.g., in Batman Hush and the concept art for Batman: Arkham Asylum).
- Healing Factor: Can restore missing teeth and limbs.
- Heel–Face Turn: In The Batman of Arkham, owing to psychiatrist Bruce Wayne's gentle treatment and care. (With a dose of Epiphany Therapy and Single-Issue Psychology.)
- Immune to Bullets: Croc's skin is thick enough to ward off even high calibre bullets.
- Implacable Man: It's not that he can't be stopped, just that it's extremely difficult to do so.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Croc's search for a cure has been a fairly consistent part of his characterisation.
- Lightning Bruiser: Superhumanly fast to the point of surprising Batman more than once.
- Lizard Folk: Killer Croc used to be just a big strong guy with a skin condition, but he's become more lizard-like over time. He was specifically mutated with a virus by Hush and the Riddler to make him more violent and feral, and less human. By the end of the book it's mentioned he's received the antidote but it didn't work. After War Games, he's more feral than ever and a scientist reveals (shortly before Croc eats her) that there's no way to undo it.
- The Mentally Ill: Croc is atavistic, and when intelligent, has the mindset one would expect of an alligator or similar reptile. As a result his moral agency is seriously questionable, and he's one of the few Batman rogues who legitimately belongs in Arkham.
- Morality Pet: In a rather bizarre decision made regarding the post-Flashpoint Croc, he's revealed to be Roy Harper's sponsor in Red Hood and the Outlaws.
- In the New 52, teenager Olive Silverlock, a student at Gotham Academy, is this to him. He's kind and friendly to her (and it extends to her friends) and is also very protective towards her. Her mother Sybil seemed to be this to him too, as he appreciated her not treating him like a monster and he in turn promised her he'd keep an eye on and care for Olive.
- Mutant: Possesses an atavistic mindset, coupled with a skin condition not unlike epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, and a metagene. The end result is the crocodillian monster we all know and love.
- Parental Abandonment: Mom and dad left him with an alcoholic aunt, who could not have cared less about him.
- Red Right Hand: Croc's bestial outer appearance is indicative of his animalistic inner nature.
- The Resenter: Resents and hates "normal people" and lashes out at them constantly.
- Scary Black Man: Is technically black, and yeah, he's not someone you want to run into. Ever.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his abusive aunt.
- Super Senses: Possesses a highly advanced sense of smell.
- Super Strength: His strength crosses the line into superhuman, making him very difficult to stop.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the New 52 he's the only member of Batwoman's rogues to not be an original, and magic is used to upgrade him into a more ferocious and powerful multi-eyed form. Later, he's upgraded into a massive multi-headed hydra and rampages through Gotham.
- Tragic Villain: He does seem to want to be normal very, very badly. Well, Depending on the Writer, but this is a pretty frequently recurring quirk of his.
Killer Moth (Drury Walker/"Cameron Van Cleer")
When sophisticated and urbane playboy Cameron van Cleer introduced himself to the elite of Gotham's social scene, nobody realized he was secretly a former prison inmate using his stolen earnings to finance a career as "Killer Moth", a Batman-like costumed figure who aided criminals instead of the police. For a price, would-be ne'er-do-wells could hire Cleer's services, and he in turn would help them evade capture and cover their tracks. After several encounters with Batman, the Dark Knight managed to permanently dismantle Moth's organization, and his secret identity and fortune were lost forever.Killer Moth (now revealed to be small-time criminal Drury Walker) continued to endure, however, committing smaller-scale robberies and picking up jobs as hired muscle. Sick of being perceived as a joke by his fellow rogues, he made a deal with Neron for greater power and became a towering moth/human hybrid. The deal has since been written out of history, though, and Walker has reverted to his previous form.
- Animal Motifs: A decidely less sinister take on the Macabre Moth Motif; in most appearances, he just wears a moth-like outifit and employs an adhesive "cocoon gun" during heists.
- Butt-Monkey: The biggest of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He was working with Firefly for a short while as a mercenary duo before realizing just how dangerously unstable his partner actually was (he believed that he could see visions in the flames, for starters), causing him to cut things off ASAP because he genuinely feared for his life.
- Harmless Villain: He's considered the weakest supervillain in Gotham and is usually captured pretty easily by Batman and company. Eventually he got tired of being picked on all the time and not taken seriously, so he made a Deal With Neron and became Charaxes, a deadly cannibalistic moth creature that spits acid. However, nobody really liked this change and so Moth pretty quickly got retconned back to being the loser we all know and love.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Trounced by Batgirl on her first night of duty, before she even received any combat training.
- Macabre Moth Motif: He wasn't initially dark, wearing a garish costume with striped purple and green spandex, orange cape and a moth-like mask. Later on though, he was redesigned to look more menacing in his demonic Drury Walker / Charaxes incarnation.
- One-Winged Angel: After making a Deal with the Devil Neron, he was transformed into a half-human half moth monstrosity. However it fell victim to a Retcon and he fell back to a nobody.
- Shadow Archetype: The first Batman villain explicitly designed as such, to the point of working out of a "Moth-Cave" and selling criminals infrared "Moth-Signal" beacons in his first appearance.
- Villain Decay: You'd never believe it now, but this guy used to actually be a credible threat.
Kite Man (Charles "Chuck" Brown)The man who can fly anything. A harmless Silver Age villain who does really petty crime using a hang glider, stylised to look like a kite. Debuting, as you probably guessed, in the Silver Age, he would go unused for years. He returned in the modern age, basically unchanged from his Silver Age incarnation.
- Butt-Monkey: He is never taken seriously in modern times, and the amount of effort he goes to is more played for laughs than anything.
- Catchphrase: "Kite Man. Hell yeah." in modern times.
- Death by Origin Story: Batman's failure to protect his son is ultimately what drove him to become Kite Man.
- Death Seeker: His primary reason for becoming Kite Man is implied to be because he hopes that it will kill him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Subverted in that he was a nobody and when he donned the costume, he became... another nobody.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: His modern depictions, especially under Tom King.
- Killed Off for Real: Post-Crisis, he was killed by Bruno Mannheim for refusing to join him.
- Meaningful Name: There's another Charlie Brown who constantly runs into grief with his kites and is probably the only character in American comics who's an even bigger Butt-Monkey than Kite-Man himself.
- Only in It for the Money: He's a far cry from Batman's other villains — he's only after money and jewels, and hasn't ever hurt anyone on-panel. He actually refused to join the Secret Society of Super Villains, which got him dropped off Wayne Tower. He later also refused to aid Bruno Mannheim.
Lady Shiva (Sandra Wu-San/Sandra Woosan)
One of the premier martial artists in the DCU, Shiva is a mercenary with her own sense of honor and duty, but who really lives for the thrill of life and death combat. She has trained Batman as well as several of his allies, but that doesn't stop her from fighting them if she feels the urge to. She sometimes acts in a quasi-heroic capacity, occasionally working with the Birds of Prey, but it's a nervous time for those allies.She has her own page, here.
Lock up (Lyle Bolton)Once a security guard in Arkham Asylum, he became obsessed with keeping the criminals in the prison at all times. However, due to his abusive behavior towards the inmates, as well as other private prisons and security jobs. He's a Canon Immigrant like Harley but less well known. Uses skills as a security guard to his advantage.
- Anti-Villain: His main motivation is to capture other members of Batman's rogues gallery. During No Man's Land, he was even hired by Batman himself to keep some criminals in check.
- Canon Immigrant: Created to be part of the Batman animated series, later brought into the comics.
- Knight Templar: Is a fairly dangerous person in his own right, and takes more extreme measures than Batman would ever do to fight crime.
- Sadist: His big first appearance in the comics? Tried to drown many people at once.
- The Dog Was The Master Mind: With Cluemaster and a few other C-List villains, he helped orchistrate a plan that would exhaust Batman in the Batman Eternal special.