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Batman (1989)

    The Joker 

    Carl Grissom 

Carl Grissom
"My friend, your luck is about to change."

Played by: Jack Palance

Voiced by: Osamu Saka (Japanese), Jean-Claude Michel (European French)

Appearances: Batman

" thinking. That's the way to go. In fact...I'd like you to handle this operation personally."

An infamous Gotham mob boss and Jack Napier's employer. Grissom has Napier set up due to having an affair with his mistress Alicia; this backfires on him when Napier survives the confrontation at Axis Chemicals and kills Grissom in revenge, proceeding to take over his operation.

  • Affably Evil: While Grissom may be a reviled crime lord, he is also charming and polite. Grissom is shown to treat Alicia with respect, in contrast to Jack Napier, who seems to regard Alicia as a trophy.
  • Asshole Victim: A powerful criminal who corrupted the Gotham Police Department and coordinated many heinous crimes, including the murders of a wealthy family, isn't going to be missed when one of his own turns on him and disposes of him.
  • Backstab Backfire: Sells out Jack Napier to the police to remove a man who was cheating with Grissom's girl. It didn't work and comes back to kill him.
  • Dirty Old Man: His mistress is much younger than he is.
  • The Don: Grissom is the old-school leader of a good set of thugs in Gotham early in the film, but his Backstab Backfire of Napier/The Joker leads to him getting pumped full of lead and the Joker to take over as The Don and Big Bad for the rest of the film.
  • Expy: He takes over the role of Carmine Falcone, the crime boss of Gotham before the "freaks" take over.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: He set Jack Napier up to be captured by the police because he was having an affair with his (Grissom's) girlfriend Alicia. This backfires when Batman's intervention leads Napier to turn into the Joker and then come back to kill Grissom and take over his empire.
  • One Last Drink: He noticeably slurps down his glass of scotch upon being confronted by Joker.
  • Outside-Context Problem: At the beginning of the movie, the city officials are concerned with him and want to nab Jack Napier only because he's his "number-one guy." Even after Napier has become The Joker and killed Grissom, and he and his goons have targeted them for assassination, Vinnie Ricorso and his lackeys think that Grissom is still alive and are busying themselves with taking care of his operations while (they think) he's on vacation. It takes until almost the end of the movie for the media and the police to finally confirm that Grissom is dead and that the Joker has taken control of Gotham City's underworld:
    Joker: Joker here. Now, you fellas have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true, about that thief Carl Grissom. He's dead now, and he's left me in charge.
  • Sanity Slippage: The film hints that Carl might have a few screws loose himself. In fact, the first thing a newly Jokerized Napier tells him is that he must be insane.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His vengeful actions lead directly to the creation of The Joker, and his own demise.
  • Uriah Gambit: When he discovers that his mistress has been sleeping with his right-hand man Jack Napier, he sends Jack to go steal the books from a mob front under investigation by the authorities, then tips off the Dirty Cop on his payroll and orders him to kill Jack. This backfires magnificently when Jack is dunked in chemicals and becomes the Joker, then returns to Grissom's office to shoot him.

    Bob Hawkins 

Bob Hawkins
"Check his wallet!"

Played by: Tracey Walter

Voiced by: Norio Murata (Japanese), Gilbert Lévy (European French), Marc Bellier (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman

"And Bob- my number one...guy!!"

Jack Napier/The Joker's main henchman.

  • Canon Foreigner: He was created for the movie so that joker would have someone to privately talk to about his plans and motivations.
  • *Click* Hello: During the Axis Chemicals shootout early in the film, Bob manages to sneak up on Commissioner Gordon and puts a gun to his head, forcing Batman to give up Napier, swiftly.
    "Let him go, or I'll do Gordon!"
  • The Dragon: He's the Joker's "number one guy".
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Eckhardt meets Jack Napier in an alley, Bob is in the background diligently polishing Jack's car. Then, when Eckhardt pulls a gun on Jack, Bob is immediately at Jack's side, pulling out his own, bigger gun and pointing it at Eckhardt. The Death Glare he fixes Eckhardt with makes it clear that if Eckhardt tries to shoot, Bob will be faster on the draw.
  • Glasgow Grin: Has a scar that starts from the left corner of his mouth.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Bob saves Jack more than once. He forces Eckhardt to back down when the latter pulls a gun on Jack, and even forces Batman to release Jack by threatening to blow Gordon's head off.
  • Nice Hat: A black fedora.
  • Perma-Stubble: Bob always has a day’s worth of stubble or so.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Batman has just finished wiping out several of the Joker's mooks. Bob appears holding a knife. When Batman makes a Bring It gesture to him (beckoning with his index finger), Bob drops the knife and runs away.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Poor Bob, after Joker has just been decisively pissed off and now wants to blow off some steam. He's had his little outburst, but there's a Tranquil Fury brewing under his crackpot exterior — something his loyal lackey fails to notice.
    Joker: Bob? Gun.
    Bob: (unquestioningly hands his boss his gun, not realizing Joker's in a killing mood; Joker coldly pops a bullet in his chest)
  • Undying Loyalty: He's the kind of staunchly loyal henchman that most any villain would be grateful to have, which makes Joker's shooting of him a major Kick the Dog moment.
  • Weapon of Choice: Always shown wielding a M1911A1 handgun.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Joker responds to his own master plan's failure by requesting a handgun from Bob, only to shoot Bob point-blank for not telling him Batman "had one of those...things!"

    Lt. Eckhardt 

Lt. Max Eckhardt
"Where you been spendin' your nights?"

Played by: William Hootkins

Voiced by: Takehiro Koyama (Japanese), Jacques Frantz (European French)

Appearances: Batman

"I answer to Grissom, not to psychos!"

A dirty cop, part of the GCPD. Although a partner of Commissioner Gordon, he is also working for crime lord Carl Grissom.

  • Asshole Victim: Shot dead by Jack Napier during the raid on Axis Chemicals.
    Jack: Eckhardt! [Eckhardt turns around with a gormless look on his face] Think about the future! [shoots Eckhardt dead]
  • Beard of Evil: A faceful of stubble which fits perfectly into his slovenly looks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shows off some contemptuous sarcasm when Knox comes snooping:
    "Sorry, Knox; these two slipped on a Banana Peel."
  • Dirty Cop: One of many police officers on Carl Grissom's payroll; also on close enough terms with him to get a personal phone call ordering Napier's death.
  • Expy: Lieutenant Harvey Bullock without the positive qualities.
  • Fat Bastard: An overweight, dirty, cigar-chomping Dirty Cop straight out of a noir story.
  • Grumpy Bear: This man is never in a good mood.
  • Jerkass: For him it comes naturally to harshly insult and dismiss almost everyone. He's even one to Jack Napier.
  • Kill 'Em All: When his men arrive at Axis Chemicals, Eckhardt tells them "Shoot to kill."
  • Nice Hat: Say what you like about Eckhardt, but his hat looks cool.
  • The Stool Pigeon: It is heavily implied that it is he who tells Grissom about (or at least confirms) the affair (Alicia) Grissom's mistress is having with Jack Napier, in retaliation for his and Napier's scuffle and standoff in the alley.

    Vinnie Ricorso 

Vinnie Ricorso
"You're crazy."

Played By: John Dair

Appearances: Batman

A Gotham mob boss who seeks to usurp Joker's place as Grissom's successor.

  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's disturbed by the Joker's insanity, and his attempt to usurp him is motivated just as much by wanting to keep him away from any sort of position of power as it is by wanting said position for himself.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Joker stabs him with a large, steel-tipped quill pen.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only around for two scenes before Joker kills him.

    Antoine Rotelli 

Antoine Rotelli
"What if we say no?"

Played By: Edwin Craig

Appearances: Batman

"And what's with that stupid grin?"

A ruthless Gotham mob boss subservient to Grissom.

  • Asshole Victim: He gets electrocuted to death by the Joker. Since he was a vicious crime boss who even the Joker considered to be a "mean bastard", no one misses him all that much.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He really shouldn't have mouthed off to the Joker.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets electrocuted by the Joker's electric joybuzzer, leaving him a smoking, burnt corpse.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He's only around for one scene before the Joker kills him.

Batman Returns

    The Penguin 

Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin
"My name is not Oswald! It's Penguin! I am not a human being. I am an animal! Cold-blooded!"

Played by: Danny DeVito

Voiced by: Ben Hiura (Japanese), Philippe Peythieu (European French), Ronald France (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman Returns

"True. I was their number one son, and they treated me like number two."

The son of wealthy Gotham citizens who dumped him in the sewer due to his deformity, he was taken in by the Red Triangle Gang, eventually becoming their leader. Wanting to find out about his family, Oswald blackmails Max Shreck into helping him and he eventually becomes Gotham City's new darling, even running for Mayor. That is, until his true nature and intentions are exposed by Batman.

  • Adaptational Backstory Change: In the comics, Penguin has always lived a privileged life-style ever since he was born. Here, however, he has been forced to live in poverty down in the sewers after being abandoned by his parents.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the comics, Penguin has often been portrayed as something of a joke villain, usually being a caricature of upper-class, privileged men in tuxedos, and never posing much of a threat towards Batman. In Batman Returns, however, The Penguin is downright menacing compared to his comic book counterpart and a lot easier to take seriously.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the comics, Penguin is often portrayed as being well-spoken, with gentleman-like manners. This version of Penguin, on the other hand, is crude, thuggish, lecherous, unfriendly and lacking any manners.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: You'd better believe it. Despite a pudgy body, short stature and beak-like nose in the comics, he's still relatively normal-looking. This version of Penguin is a pale-skinned, hunched, disfigured misfit with messy long hair and flipper-like hands. This was done deliberately, since his monstrous appearance is a vital part of his character and the film as a whole.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While the comics Penguin was a crime boss, he was also an Affably Evil Wicked Cultured gentleman of crime and was genuinely deemed sane. Here, he's a deformed, psychotic, Ax-Crazy, sadistic, sexually-repressed child killer and would-be mass murderer, setting the stage for many future interpretations of the character to follow, including The Batman, the Batman: Arkham Series, and Gotham (and sometimes they go even further, as the Arkham Penguin is a flat-out bigot and the Gotham Penguin once ate his own stepsiblings and fed them to his stepmother after they killed his fathernote ).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After being knocked through a skylight window and nearly drowning, and then weakly emerging from the Arctic World pool burned, bleeding and vomiting up toxic waste, he dies completely unrepentant, still raving about how he intends to take Batman to Hell with him. But through it all, we can't ever forget that this is someone who was forced to grow up in a cold and lonely sewer ever since he was a baby, and for whom Bruce Wayne (who, as Batman, is largely responsible for his death) once expressed sympathy as a fellow orphan. The moving "funeral" that a group of emperor penguins hold for the villain helps to soften the blow, too.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-Prime.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Penguin was suspected of being this by a few particularly touchy Jewish groups, owing to his short stature, hooked nose, Moses-like upbringing and fondness for fish. And according to her tombstone, his mother's name was "Esther" (an exiled Hebrew queen from the Old Testament). Paradoxically, however, the tombstone was also topped by a huge Christian cross which gets a long, lingering closeup as part of the movie's rather unsettling biblical imagery. Though they could be messianic jews.
  • Anti-Villain: A major type II (Woobie Variant). Penguin is far from a good person, however; at the end of it all, he is a very broken, damaged individual who wants vengeance against society for rejecting him and being abandoned in the sewers by his parents, which is ultimately what made him into who he is today.
  • Ax-Crazy: Big Time... He'll murder people for even remotely disagreeing with him (the fat clown learnt that the hard way), and is vengeful and vindictive to the point of wanting to murder babies.
  • Bad Black Barf: He's occasionally seen with dark green bile dripping from his nose and mouth. Also provides the trope image.
  • Bad Boss: He's not above executing his subordinates if they question him.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Zigzagged. On one hand, he killed the family cat when he was just a baby; which is likely what might have been part of what convinced his parents to abandon him. On the other hand, however, he is very kind towards Penguins and other types of birds, since the former adopted him.
  • Bat Scare:
    • During Batman's attempted rescue of the Ice Princess, The Penguin releases a swarm of bats from his umbrella at her, causing her to fall off a building and to her death; after her body slams on the button, the Christmas tree lights up and unleashes a bigger bat swarm on the Gotham City citizens.
    Penguin: Rats with wings, do your thing!
    • Batman later uses the same trick against The Penguin in their final fight at Arctic World; The Penguin eventually falls into the toxic pool.
  • Berserk Button: Like any megalomaniac criminal mastermind, he doesn't respond well when his plans go awry. But what really seems to set Penguin off is rejection, because of his background. He tries to kill Catwoman when she rebuffs his advances, he opens fire on a crowd of Gothamites when they turn on him after his Engineered Public Confession, he tries to murder Max Shreck for ditching him after the mayoral bid failed, and it's implied (at least in the novel) that he murdered his own parents for originally abandoning him.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Catwoman and Shreck in Returns.
  • Blackmail: He convinces Shreck to help him by blackmailing him with knowledge of his corruption.
  • Break Them by Talking: During their first meeting, he taunts Batman by suggesting that his habit of wearing a mask is a sign of his cowardice. Later on, however, he comes to believe that Batman wears a mask in order to cope with the fact that he is jealous of Penguin because "I'm a genuine freak!" Grudgingly, Batman admits that his nemesis may have a point.
  • Child Hater: Plans to murder all of Gotham's first-born children to avenge his Parental Abandonment.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Especially when running for Mayor. When asked for a platform, he proposes fighting global warming by introducing "global cooling" to "make the world a giant icebox."
  • Composite Character: With the Mutant Leader from The Dark Knight Returns.
    • His role as a societal reject living in the sewers whose genes gives him a monstrous appearance is rather identical to Killer Croc's backstory.
    • Penguin also has clowns and other circus freaks as his henchmen, something that is usually associated with The Joker.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The Joker was a mass murderer who started out as a hitman, who had personal ties to Batman due to having killed his parents. While mass murder is still an element to Penguin's character, he's more of a dark analogue to Batman, and whose plan ends up hinging on becoming well-liked by the public.
  • Creepy Child: Back in his circus days as "The Aquatic Bird Boy", he was suspected of kids going missing in the circus fairground, and disappeared before he could be questioned.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Undoubtedly the most-unsettling thing about his appearance. Though it's unknown whether he was born with them, or just developed them from years of living underground.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Subverted. He passes himself off as this, but if anything, he's actually several magnitudes more monstrous than he looks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He definitely has some snarks over the course of the movie, with this line being the best example:
    Penguin: Right now, my troops are fanning out across town, for your children! Yes, for your first-born sons! The ones you left helpless, at home, so you could dress up like jerks, get juiced, and dance... badly.
  • Dies Wide Open: Is shown with his eyes open while sinking down the sewer in a cloud of his own blood.
  • Dirty Old Man: Well, he's only 33 years old but looks middle-aged at the youngest, but either way he's quite lecherous. At one point, he leers at a female image consultant and utters "I'd like to fill her void" and then mimics a woman telling him "I need you, Oswald," and later puts an election pin on a young woman's jacket to secretly fondle her breast. He's completely against running for mayor, feeling it would distract him from his own plans until Shreck uses two little words: "unlimited poontang." His alliance with Catwoman is also loaded with sexual frustration.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: While it became Depending on the Artist after Returns, before it, the Penguin in the comics and other media was never shown to have syndactyly (fused fingers).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He's prone to lashing out at anyone who so much as mildly slights him with over-the-top and brutal punishment. Examples of this include biting off his particularly annoying aide's nose for passive aggressively mocking him and shooting the Fat Clown for questioning his plan to kill all the first-born children of Gotham.
  • Enfante Terrible: Even at a very young age, he was violent and cruel. It was a big factor in his parents trying to kill him.
  • Engineered Public Confession: "You gotta admit, I played this stinking city like a harp from Hell!"
  • Enemy Mine: Penguin teams up with Shreck and later Catwoman in Returns.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As monstrous as he is, Penguin genuinely cares for his penguins. In the end, it's shown the feeling is mutual when they give him a Burial at Sea.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Hooooooo boy. He unleashes an army of rocketeer penguins upon Gotham.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. He's the evil "orphaned freak" to Bruce's righteous "orphaned freak". They even have similar arsenals, creepy lairs, and a bizarre multi-purpose car or boat!
  • Evil Is Hammy: Danny DeVito is clearly having a ball playing the iconic villain.
  • Evil Wears Black: He dresses in a black, grey and white tuxedo.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Max Shreck.
  • False Reassurance: Does this when he uses a swarm of bats to force the Ice Princess off the edge of a building, resulting in her death:
    The Penguin: She looked pretty scared to me!
  • Famous Last Words: "I'll murder you momentarily. But first, I need a cool drink of ice water..."
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The people of Gotham showing him genuine kindness and even trying to elect him mayor does nothing to even make him lose a modicum of his misanthropy and cruelty; instead, he just gets distracted from his original plan and starts engaging in criminal activities, before reverting back to his original plan after being exposed.
  • Fat Bastard: As usual with most incarnations of the character, he is overweight, and a ruthless sociopath.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he successfully wins the town's sympathy vote (and starts to win their actual votes) and presents himself as a miserable victim of fate's hand, who nonetheless is willing to forgive the parents who abandoned him and expresses despair and outrage at the devastation caused by the Red Triangle Gang. It's complete bunk and in private, he is every bit the petty, vindictive, murderous, depraved, psychotic, misanthropic, and hideous monster he looks like. He only put his Evil Plan to murder all the first-born children of Gotham on ice because Shreck offered him the chance to be a Villain with Good Publicity, and when both those schemes are foiled by Batman, he goes so berserk that he tries to destroy the city just to avenge his own crappy life.
  • Freudian Excuse: While Penguin always had a vicious streak, even as a baby, being left to die in the sewers and subsequently growing up in a sideshow is what ultimately resulted in him becoming an unhinged, vengeful monster.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from a rich couple's abandoned baby to a sideshow freak to a gang leader to a local celebrity and mayoral candidate to an out-and-out terrorist.
  • Gonk: He isn't particularly attractive, though he'd tell you otherwise.
  • The Grotesque: His plan for revenge on Gotham involves appearing to be merely this.
    • Alfred even specifically refers to him as a "ghastly grotesque" at one point.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A lot of what his actions end up being used against him by Batman. Most notably, his Evil Gloating while hacking the Batmobile is used as an Engineered Public Confession to show his true colors, and Batman eventually defeats him in their fight by using a trick similar to what he used to kill the Ice Princess.
    • He also dies after a dip in his lagoon of toxic waste, the exact same fate he intended for Gotham's young boys (and Shreck).
  • Humiliation Conga: The final act of the movie basically has one thing after another going wrong for him. After he failed to kill Batman by sabotaging the Batmobile, the Dark Knight uses an Engineered Public Confession to reveal his true face to Gotham, ruining his chances to become mayor and obliterating the Villain with Good Publicity image he had worked the entire movie to build. He then tries to take revenge by kidnapping and killing all the children of Gotham's elite, only for Batman to stop his gang, save the children before he can even get his hands on them, and taunt him with a letter just to rub salt on the wound. Infuriated, he attempts to destroy Gotham using his pet penguins as a personal army equipped with rockets, but Batman is able to steal control of the army from him and use them to destroy most of his hideout. His gang abandons him, and his final fight ends up completely one-sided, with Batman throwing him in the chemical wastes of his lair using the very same trick he used to kill the Ice Princess. Exhausted, he makes one final attempt to kill his opponent from behind, only to accidentally pick the one umbrella in his collection that was harmless, before dying from his wounds.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Clearly displays these while gobbling down a raw fish.
  • Karmic Death: Dies due to injuries sustained after Batman sends a horde of bats at him, causing him to back into a skylight while trying to swat them away. He killed the Ice Princess in a similar manner.
  • Kick the Dog: When the Fat Clown objects to his plan to kill Gotham's firstborn children (which is vile as hell in itself), Penguin just takes out a revolver and shoots him.
    Fat Clown: Killing sleeping children? Isn't that a little...err...?
    Penguin: (BANG!) No, it's a lot!
    • The Penguin also tries to run down a little old lady while going on a rampage with the remotely-hijacked Batmobile. Batman takes back control just in time to keep her from being splatted.
  • Lack of Empathy: Best shown when Max persuades Penguin to take him instead of his son, Chip.
    Max Shreck: If you have an iota of human feeling left, take me instead.
    Penguin: I don't, so no.
  • Large Ham: Bombastic doesn’t even begin to describe him. You can tell Danny Devito did not pull ANY punches.
  • Laughably Evil: His disgusting behavior, dirty comments towards all the women he sees and crazy personality can be pretty amusing to watch.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Moreso than he does a penguin, anyway; he's got the ashen pallor, sunken eyes, Sinister Schnoz, bald head, and all-black ensemble down pat, though he's considerably shorter and fatter than the trope namer.
  • Madman in the Attic: His earliest life while his parents were still attempting to raise him; they kept him locked up in a cage hidden away from the public.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: It's made more than obvious that Penguin has a severe hatred for all of humankind, going as far as to kill his own henchmen whenever they annoy him or defy him in the slightest, and attempting to murder every newborn in Gotham.
  • Misplaced Retribution: His idea of getting back at his parents for abandoning them is by murdering all of Gotham's children, despite the fact they had nothing to do with what happened to him. (see Vengeance Feels Empty)
  • Moses Archetype: A villainous example of the trope; his parents abandoned him in the sewers when he was just a baby, and he was soon adopted by a traveling circus and put to work in their freak show.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: This iteration of Penguin has some similarities with real-life American freak show performer Grady Stiles. Not just only was this version of the Penguin once involved as circus sideshow performer, they also even had the same condition of Ectrodactyly and also had short tempers of which lead both of these figures to murder. In a strange coincidence, Stiles passed away within the same year as Batman Returns' release.
  • Not Good with Rejection: He does not take rejection well, as Catwoman and the citizens of Gotham learn.
  • Not So Different: To Batman.
    "You're just jealous because I'm a genuine freak, and you have to wear a mask!"
  • Obviously Evil: He's very sinister looking, like all the other Batman villains.
  • Papa Wolf: Goes ballistic after Batman has Alfred jam the frequency over which he is sending neurological commands to his pet penguins. ("MY BABIIIIES!")
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents dumped him in a sewer because he was deformed.
  • Practically Joker: As part of his Composite Character status, he takes on several traits that come more from the Joker than the Penguin of the comics. His gang has a Circus of Fear and Monster Clown motif. He has physical deformities including pale skin. He's a Laughably Evil Faux Affably Evil Ax-Crazy Large Ham with a hefty dose of Psychopathic Manchild. He concocts a plan, mostly For the Evulz, so monstrous that even some of his henchmen are disturbed by it. He has a Mysterious Past where it's unclear what exactly happened between his parents abandoning him and where he is today, with only a few hints given about it. Finally, he sees Batman and himself as two sides of the same coin, both "freaks", with the only difference being that Batman has to wear a mask, while Penguin's freakishness is authentic.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He spends a good deal of screentime wearing only a onesie-like garment stained with his own spittle and slobber. Furthermore, he rides around in a giant toy rubber-duck vehicle and amuses himself with an umbrella (among his collection of genuinely deadly ones) hung with little plastic animals reminiscent of a mobile found in a baby's crib. ("Shit! Picked the cute one!") Actually, he is more of a Type C, a quite sane and intelligent (though, again, extremely evil) man who simply has not been able to grow up because of his Daddy Issues.
  • Raised By Penguins: With a little educational help from a gang of clowns.
  • Red Right Hand: Both his hands are noticeably deformed, having a thumb and an index finger each, but the remaining three fused together in a manner that resembles the flippers of a penguin.
  • Resigned to the Call: Isn't very keen on becoming Mayor of Gotham City, and only agrees to it so Shreck will help him with his own goals. It's later subverted when the Penguin decides that he could actually enjoy being Mayor, along with all the trappings that would come with it. As well as reclaiming his birthright his parents have denied him.
  • Rousing Speech: To his penguins.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His main motive in the film
  • Same Character, but Different: This Penguin does resemble his comics counterpart, dresses in very similar clothes and wields umbrella guns, however this version of the character is different in every other way. For starters, the comics version wasn't deformed or abandoned in the sewers by his parents, and he wasn't as vulgar or psychotic as this version, nor was he willing to murder all the children in Gotham.
  • The Sociopath: If the fact that he murders people without the slightest bit of provocation, and plans to murder small children, wasn't clear enough to make him a textbook example of this, he outright says to Max that he does not have single iota of human feeling left in him.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the children's adaptation, "The Penguin's Plot", The Penguin survived the events of the film; the book ends with him being run off the stage by the Gotham citizens after his Engineered Public Confession.
  • Tempting Fate: Issues a challenge to Batman upon their first face to face meeting, asking if he actually thinks he can win; Batman coolly retorts that things change. Sure enough, Batman is eventually the victor in the struggle between the two for Gotham.
  • That Man Is Dead: After he was exposed as a fraud by Batman, The Penguin renounces his birthname and his humanity upon arriving back at the Arcric World, as seen in the above quote.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The only food he's ever seen eating is raw fish, fitting with him being a self-proclaimed animal.
  • Tragic Villain: Played With. Being abandoned by his parents and forced to live in the sewers has twisted Penguin psychologically, turning him into the vengeful, bloodthirsty madman he is today. However, in the first act of the movie, we can see Oswald even as a little boy being violent and cruelly kill a cat for no reason, which is how his parents realize he was already born a monster, not because of his body deformities but because he's evil at heart, which in turn makes his parents decide to dispose of him. In the present, he puts on the act that he's an unfortunate guy who just wants a place in the society again after being rejected by his parents because of said body deformities, while trying to hide his own sociopathic and murderous tendencies for which his parents really rejected him.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In the Craig Shaw Gardner novelization, it's heavily implied that he was the one who put his Abusive Parents in those graves. In which case – it clearly didn't make him feel any better in the long run, given that he's still vengeful enough to be a Would Hurt a Child Omnicidal Maniac at the end.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a multi-tier one after the fallout of his campaign. First, he renounces his humanity and tries to kill all of Gotham's first-born sons. After Batman sends him a letter letting him know the children have been saved, he freaks out again and decides to nuke Gotham Square with rocket-launching penguins. When Batman and Alfred jam the signal and his goons abandon him, he freaks out again and goes out to face Batman in the Duckmobile. He then uses the penguins to bomb his own base in the slim hope he'll kill Batman along with himself.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Max Shreck and later Catwoman, both of whom ultimately turn their back on him.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: During his mayoral bid, although he is soon brought down by an Engineered Public Confession.
  • Wicked Pretentious: The Penguin's typical depiction as a Wicked Cultured Man of Wealth and Taste was deconstructed in Batman Returns, where he's revealed to be the grotesquely deformed member of a wealthy family who dumped him in the river and left him for dead when he was still a baby. Although obviously intelligent and certainly no stranger to fine clothes, this version of the Penguin is quite vulgar, with thuggish manners and distasteful sexual appetites.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Really, you can't blame him for becoming the way he is today. He was disfigured since birth, and his aristocratic parents tried to drown him in the sewers. He was then found by a traveling circus and raised in the freak show. While the public views him with sympathy, he has become a warped sociopath, plotting to kill all the first-born sons of Gotham City. When Batman foils him, he straps rockets to his hundreds (thousands?) of pet penguins, intending to use them in a suicide bombing to kill all of Gotham which, as the only setting we see, is extremely Omnicidal in context. And yet, you still can't help but pity him at his death.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Clocks the Ice Princess with a stolen batarang so hard it draws blood.
    • Later tries to murder Catwoman by strangulation/fatal fall after she rejects his advances.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no problem kidnapping children to further his agenda, and wants to throw the children of Gotham's elite into a "deep dark watery grave."
  • Younger Than They Look: If the prologue is to be believed, he is 33 years old.


Selina Kyle/Catwoman
"I am Catwoman. Hear me roar!"

Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer

Voiced by: Reiko Tajima (Japanese), Emmanuelle Bondeville (European French), Élise Bertrand (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman Returns

"I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier."

Max Shreck's secretary, Selina Kyle finds out her boss' plans to take energy from Gotham citizens and is pushed out a window in an attempt to kill her. She survives, but suffers a psychotic breakdown that results in her becoming Catwoman.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Selina/Catwoman is usually depicted as having dark hair, but is blonde in Returns.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The craziest, most neurotic version of Catwoman in any media.
  • Adaptational Job Change: She was a Classy Cat-Burglar in the comics and all other media. Here, she's a secretary.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In most versions, Selina is an amoral jewel thief who is mostly sane. Here, she's a revenge obsessed and mentally unstable vigilante with an even more sadistic streak.
  • All There in the Script: In the shooting script, Selina has been attending rape prevention, martial arts, and other self-defense classes, according to messages left on her answering machine, which could explain why she had fighting skills as Catwoman.
  • Alternate Self: Had one on Earth-203.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Even though she is shown to have (or to have had) two heterosexual romances in the film (and is suspected of a third one by Bruce), there are things about Selina Kyle that make you wonder. Like the way she spoke to the female victim after saving her from the mugger. Or when she manhandles the Ice Princess in a frankly kinky manner with her whip. And then there's her contempt for male sexuality ("You poor guys — always confusing your pistols with your privates!"), as well as some lines in the script (cut from the film) that suggest Selina's resentment at having been born female. The novelization even has Penguin wondering if she swings both ways and entertaining the idea of having a FFM threesome with her. Back when the spin-off Catwoman (2004) film was first in development (before Michelle Pfeiffer dropped out and Halle Berry replaced her), the screenplay for that film actually ran with this and removed all doubt by having Catwoman engage in some girl on girl action... in more ways than one.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She is mostly motivated by a desire for vengeance on Shreck for trying to kill her, but she shows little care for the survival of innocent bystanders and is briefly drawn into an alliance with the truly evil Penguin.
    • She was clearly disturbed by Penguin's callous murder of the Ice Princess, and seems to genuinely believe that eliminating the heinous robber baron Max Schrek from life will make Gotham, if not the world, a better place.
  • Ambiguously Human: Ambiguously Alive, anyway. It's never made clear whether she survived being pushed out that high window (she only awakens after the alley cats lick and bite her, and up to that point she appeared pretty dead), and given Catwoman's borderline superhuman and/or supernatural powers (though many have noted there are logical in-universe explanations for those) it's possible that Catwoman/Selina is no longer human, but some kind of avenging angel/zombie/feline hybrid.
  • Anti-Villain: Selina is a Type II.
  • Ax-Crazy: She starts out being the eccentric and awkward secretary who was then abused and almost murdered by her cruel boss, then turns into a psychotic and unhinged villainess that's driven by revenge.
  • Beautiful All Along: Dowdy secretary Selina Kyle goes through a near-death experience, trashes her apartment and stitches together a vinyl suit to become the evil and sexy Catwoman.
  • Best Served Cold: Kills Max Shreck at the end of the film for his crimes, making her life even worse both as a Bad Boss and attempting to kill her for learning too much.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Penguin and Shreck in Returns.
  • Big "NO!": During her breakdown.
  • Break the Cutie: She was already unhappy due to her bad work environment and lack of social life, and Shreck trying to kill her drove her completely insane.
  • Break Them by Talking: She tries appealing to Batman's sympathetic side twice in the same scene. First she plays fragile when he hits her, then she starts seductively caressing his chest while asking if he can "find the woman behind the cat". Both times she gets the drop on him.
  • Broken Bird: Selina Kyle was already this thanks to Parental Abandonment and a poor work environment. Then Max Shreck tried to off her. And then she snapped. Her speech to Bruce before she confronts Max Shreck (see Bittersweet Ending) says it all.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: She seems to genuinely believe that she has this, and actively counts off the number of potentially fatal things she survives.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: At least some of the time, like in the scene where she leaves unclear to Bruce and Max just how severely she might be suffering from amnesia, rambling her way through irrelevant childhood anecdotes of a pregnant nun and the time she went commando at school and a boy peeked up her skirt. And where, oh where, did the "dirty limerick" idea come from? The amnesia scene may have been Selina employing Obfuscating Stupidity to taunt Shreck.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She fights dirty all of the time, tends to manipulate her opponents into a false sense of security, and uses any sort of weapon she can get her hands on, from a whip to homemade claws to a taser.
  • Combat Stilettos: She does action scenes in ludicrous heels.
  • Complexity Addiction: Penguin's plan? Rig the Batmobile to self-destruct the next time that Batman gets in. Hers? Frame him so he can't become a martyr; it works... until a still-living Batman is able to strike back at them.
  • Composite Character: Her dual personality nature is similar to that of Two-Face.
  • Dark Action Girl: A textbook example - violent, ruthless, beautiful and radiating depraved sexuality.
  • Dating Catwoman: With Bruce/Batman in Returns.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even before becoming Catwoman, she had an acerbic sense of humor.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Apparently how Catwoman is "born."
  • Despair Event Horizon: Selina crosses this after Shreck pushes her out a high window when she uncovers his plans to steal energy from Gotham citizens.
  • Determinator: Will stop at nothing, not even four rounds from a .38 revolver through her, to get revenge on Shreck for everything he put her through.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: As while comics!Catwoman has had some issues with mental illness early on, she was for the most part sane. This version is a Psychopathic Womanchild.
  • Don't Create a Martyr: Discussed by her when she teams up with The Penguin to kill Batman; she suggested that they need to turn Batman into a pariah first.
  • Dressed All in Rubber: Her PVC catsuit. Meow.
  • Enemy Mine: With Penguin.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's genuinely shocked that Penguin got the Ice Princess killed.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. She's the evil mask in the night to Bruce's good mask in the night.
  • Evil Makeover: Selina Kyle's transformation into Catwoman, coupled with Evil Feels Good:
    I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier...
  • Forceful Kiss: While she has Batman pinned they realize that they are under some mistletoe, so she leans in and gives him a big lick from his chin to his nose (the cat form of kissing).
  • Freak Out: Selina's transformation into Catwoman.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She was an ordinary bullied secretary before being pushed too far.
  • Girl Of The Movie: Bruce and she are strongly mutually attracted even after they know each other's costumed identities, but the moral difference between them is too much of a barrier.
  • Glass-Shattering Scream: When she gets dropped through the roof of a greenhouse, she sits up in a daze and lets out a scream that shatters all the glass.
  • Glurge Addict: Selina Kyle's apartment at the beginning is sickeningly sweet in direct contrast to her obviously unhappy life; plush toys, dollhouses, and pink on every surface. Selina gets rid of all this stuff once she starts to become Catwoman.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: She just can't decide whether she wants to be a villain or...well, if not quite a hero, at least a sympathetic Anti-Villain. Michelle Pfeiffer herself said in an interview that she didn't know whether her character is "a good guy" or "a bad guy." It's this complete ambiguity that largely makes this movie feel as dark and adult and unsettling as The Dark Knight.
    Bruce: (after Selina tells him of her plan to kill Shreck) Who the hell do you think you are?
    Selina: (in tears) I don't know anymore, Bruce...
  • Heroic BSoD: Or Villainous BSoD, depending on how you look at it. Selina suffers one of these (complete with psychotic breakdown and terrifying music) upon returning home after Shreck threw her out the window.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Earlier in the film, after Max's attempt to kill her, Selina lashes out in anger when a telemarketer's message suggests a perfume that would seduce her boss. Later, when Bruce believe Selina has an interest in Max, she laughs at the suggestion and clarifies she's come to kill him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: After realising what is really her motivation, Bruce uses this argument to try to persuade her not to murder Shreck.
  • Insistent Terminology: Insists on people calling her an "executive assistant" rather than a secretary. Finally, during her date with Bruce at the manor, she resignedly admits "Secretary."
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Takes this to such extremes that she becomes heroic. She's pushed out a window to the street below, burned on the arm by a vial of acid and sent plummeting down into a truck full of sand, nearly strangled by one of the Penguin's umbrellas and sent crashing through the roof of a glass greenhouse (which rips her costume to shreds), and finally shot four consecutive times in the stomach. But all this just makes her angrier and crazier than before, to the point where (apparently) nothing can kill her.
  • Kiss of Death: After her identity is revealed to Shreck and she has two "lives" left, she grabs the stun gun she picked up near the beginning of the film, puts it in between her and Max and kisses him with it, shocking the inside of his mouth.
  • Large Ham: Michelle Pfeiffer, quite composed as Selina Kyle, goes over the top as Catwoman.
  • Made of Iron: She can survive anything, to the point that it's suggested that she actually has nine lives like a cat. Falling to her apparent death multiple times, being burned by acid, and shot four consecutive times in the stomach does nothing but make her angrier. She even lives through getting electrocuted at the end of Returns.
  • Mask of Sanity: It's heavily implied that she was already mentally unstable as Selina Kyle, as a result of being surrounded by utterly toxic people, given her apartment and refusal to swear, as well as her monologues to herself when she's alone at her apartment. Shreck's attempted murder was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Does she really, supernaturally have nine lives? Or is it just her delusion, and she happened to get lucky eight times?
  • My Beloved Smother: Her mother keeps calling her to question her career choice and for not seeking a man.
    "This is your mother, Selina. Why haven't you called me?"
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her ultra-tight catsuit and curvaceous body get a lot of camera attention.
  • Noble Demon: She's a coward who wins fights by cheating, and can be just as mean as the men who have persecuted her. But she takes no pleasure from Penguin's callous murder of the Ice Princess, admits that she loves Bruce Wayne as he loves her, and shows Max Shreck who the real coward is by defiantly coming toward him as he cringes backward and fires bullet after bullet into her body.
  • Nominal Hero: She's one of the main protagonists, however her motivations are pretty self-serving, and she's mainly out for revenge against Max Shreck, but not for noble reasons (though she does point out repeatedly that Gotham would be better off without him).
  • Not So Different: She and Bruce are both traumatised people looking for costumed violence to make them feel better.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: She murders Max Shreck, but damn if he wasn't an evil piece of work.
  • Plucky Office Girl: Before her transformation.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: As she sets up to electrocute Shreck with her taser and some exposed wiring, she offers a quip before setting up the Kiss of Death.
    Selina: How about a kiss, Santy Claus?
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: While vandalizing, and ultimately blowing up, a department store owned by Max Shreck, she takes some time out from her mischief to girlishly "skip rope" with her trademark bullwhip.
    • Even before her transformation, her apartment is full of things far more appropriate for a young girl instead of a grown woman.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Despite falling in love with Bruce and the idea of being with him is something she wants, she chooses revenge on Max Shreck instead, believing she can't live with herself as long as he's alive.
  • Scary Stitches: Her costume is roughly stitched together from randomly-shaped torn pieces of PVC, symbolizing the unstable and cobbled-together nature of her persona.
  • Sexy Cat Person: Inevitably.
  • She Knows Too Much: Max tries to kill her for finding out too much about his plans for his power plant. It doesn't work, and Shreck promises to Chip that if she tries to blackmail him, he'll drop her out a higher window—meantime, he has badder fish to fry.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Shreck is genuinely vile, but her quest for revenge on her sends her into some morally dark territory.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Despite her decaying mindset, she falls for Bruce Wayne, since he's the first person she's met in a long time who is nice and caring to her.
  • Spy Catsuit: Despite not being a spy.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Bruce/Batman.
  • Stepford Snarker: Honey I'm home! Oh, I forgot. I'm not married.
  • Super Loser: She was the Butt-Monkey before her transformation into Catwoman...after that, the situation didn't change and gets worse—she was attracted to a monster (The Penguin) and ended in love with another (Batman). She abandons Batman to get revenge on Shreck because she knew they will never be happy together.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: After Batman is shot by the police and injured from a fall, Catwoman pins him down and straddles his chest before flirting with him for a moment. Then after they notice they are under some mistletoe she teases him by licking him, the cat form of kissing, before mocking him for how "all the women he tries to save end up dead".
  • Taking You with Me: Does this to Shreck by kissing him after grabbing a live electric wire. Still played straight even though she survives; it still "killed" her, she just had one "life" left.
  • Tragic Villain: Selina was a good person, but a terrible home life and work environment resulted in her becoming a Broken Bird with mental health issues. Getting shoved out a window by Shreck just caused her to go over the Despair Event Horizon, and thus, Catwoman was born.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Batman/Bruce.
  • Villain Deuteragonist: Former as Catwoman, latter as Selina Kyle.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
  • Whip It Good: Regularly uses a whip.
  • Wolverine Claws: Kind of. She sports makeshift claws made from sewing implements. They are very long, quite painful, and somehow retractable.
  • You Taste Delicious: She gives Batman a big lick from his chin to his nose under some mistletoe, imitating a cat-style kiss.

    Max Shreck 

Max Shreck
"I am the light of the city, and I am its mean, twisted soul. Does it matter who's Mayor?"

Played by: Christopher Walken

Voiced by: Shinji Ogawa (Japanese), Patrick Guillemin (European French), Hubert Gagnon (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman Returns

"Bruce, shame on you."

A powerful and respected businessman, Shreck seeks to siphon power from Gotham's citizens and joins forces with the Penguin to do so.

  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: He's a Sharp-Dressed Man whose fabulous suits look vintage even by Gotham's standards.
  • Bad Boss: He pushes Selina out of a window to her death after she discovers his Evil Plan to steal energy from Gothamites. Not to mention, he dismembered his former business partner, Fred Atkins and dumped his body into the sewer.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Penguin and Catwoman in Returns.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: With Penguin as his Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He might be a humble, easy going and charitable guy in public but in private?? We have a mean spirited, egotistical, sexist, manipulative and ultra corrupt tyrant who could care less about the people of Gotham and as more than willing to endanger innocent lives and also take innocent lives just to get even wealthier and keep his tight grip on the city.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Near end of the film, he decides to shoot Catwoman in the chest repeatedly until he is out of bullets, rather than just shooting her in the head, giving Catwoman a chance to kill Max.
  • Canon Foreigner: He isn't in the comics... although interchangeable evil business moguls are pretty common in any Batman iteration, so it's not like he's out of place.
  • Cigar Chomper: He keeps a cigar in his breast pocket, befitting a typical Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Classy Cane: In some scenes, he carries a long, black cane with a fancy silver handle.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Is always wearing black leather gloves. Justified since it's winter and he needs to keep warm.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He sucks the life out of Gotham like a vampire, as he constructs unsafe buildings or dumps toxic waste into the environment. He has also killed several people in cold blood, and plans to create a power plant in Gotham so he can drain electricity from its power grid and stockpile it for profit.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can be very sardonic at times.
  • Death by Irony/Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan throughout the film is to set the wheels in motion in starting an electric company to run scams through. Catwoman kills him by charring him with a very large electricity generator. Turns out that one really can have too much power.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Once he finds out who Batman is, it's not long before he lights up like a Christmas tree.
  • The Determinator: He'll go to insane lengths just to get what he wants.
  • Dies Wide Open: When Bruce finds his corpse, his eyes are still intact and bulging out of their sockets.
  • Einstein Hair: Has an impressive white mane, which gets even more Einstein-esque when he's electrocuted.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When Penguin tries to take his son hostage, Max persuades Penguin to take him instead.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce Wayne. He's the Corrupt Corporate Executive to Bruce's Honest Corporate Executive.
  • Expy:
    • As a Corrupt Corporate Executive associated with electricity and bearing the name Max, he could be a very loose take on Maxie Zeus.
    • His gothic attire is also similar to Kirk Langstrom a.k.a. Man-Bat
    • He could be considered the Gotham equivalent of Lex Luthor, being a crooked businessman who wants to control the city.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Not only is he directly responsible for Selina becoming Catwoman, but he's also allied with the Penguin and the two help advance each other's plans — and Max's power plant scheme was what kicked off the entire plot of the film in the first place.
  • Hidden Depths: He seems at first to be nothing more than your typical Corrupt Corporate Executive, but his love for his son turns out to be genuine and not just nepotism.
  • High-Voltage Death: Selina uses a taser and an electric generator to kill Max.
  • Humiliation Conga: Complete with a Karmic Death.
  • I Am the Trope: See the quote for this section.
  • Jerkass: On a personal level, he wasn't as personable as he presented himself in public and kept a memo on venting his frustration on his subordinates. Selina knows. Shreck is also particularly rude and condescending towards Bruce Wayne.
  • Karmic Death: "I am the light of this city!" Really? You should be careful what you wish for, Maxie!
  • Large Ham: The one and only Christopher Walken hams it up like nobody's business in this role.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Made a long and successful career out of it.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He's a rich villain with extravagant tastes.
  • Meaningful Name: His surname is German for "fright," which makes sense for someone as evil as he is.
  • Miles Gloriosus: For all his tough talk, he isn't above running away and hiding in an alley when Penguin's gang crashes the downtown Christmas celebration. What makes his cowardice even worse is that he leaves his son standing there on the stage with multiple guns and bladed weapons pointing at his throat. Sure, it's what everyone else is trying to do, and it's what his son wants anyway... but one would have expected more dignified behavior from such an eminent public official.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Max Shreck, a man who plans to suck the life out of Gotham by draining the electricity and stockpiling it, is named after Max Schreck, the first man to ever play a vampire on film in Nosferatu.
  • Nice Hat: He wears a snazzy homburg in a few scenes.
  • Oh, Crap!: Makes this expression when he sees that Selina survived his earlier murder attempt.
  • Papa Wolf: He's a ruthless, cold-blooded thug of a businessman, but still loves his son. When Selina finds out the truth about his "power plant," he tries to kill her because he views it as his legacy to leave to Chip.
  • Pet the Dog: For all their faults, he and his son Chip do indeed seem to care for each other, as when the Red Triangle Gang comes for Max, Chip stands in the way and tells Max to save himself. In an echo of the aforementioned scene later on, when Penguin comes to kill Chip, Max begs him to take him instead.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Among other things, he is quite sexist toward his main female employee, Selina Kyle.
  • Rags to Riches: He had to work his way up to get where he is. And is implied having to do unethical and illegal means to do it. Thus, has resentment to the likes of Bruce who was born into a wealthy family.
  • Self-Made Man: He describes himself as "some poor shmo who got lucky".
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Nobody out-dresses him. His natty striped suit, fur-lined coat, black-and-white spats, colorful bowties, black homburg, fancy cane, and Ominous Opera Cape you will not soon forget.
  • Smug Snake: Max uses Penguin for his own agenda. Unfortunately, little does he realize that Penguin is also using Max for even more sinister plans.
  • Take Me Instead: The only moment that he doesn't come across as an unfeeling monster is when he gives himself up to save his son's life.
  • Trumplica: He bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump's public persona from the time period; Schreck is a Corrupt Corporate Executive with a flamboyant public image, prominent media presence, big hair, a garish fashion sense and if you ask Trump's critics, a questionable track record with women, and political aspirations for less-than-noble intentions.
  • Villain Has a Point: He convinces Penguin to take him instead of his son Chip, since Max used and later betrayed Penguin. So it makes sense for Penguin to have Max die horribly. Penguin cedes his point.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Invested a lot to it, knowing that he depended on this to keep his position. Penguin decided he was the best possible teacher.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He tries to murder Selina when she finds out about his plans.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Implied, since he is disturbed by Penguin's plan to drown all of Gotham's newborns.

    The Red Triangle Circus Gang 

The Red Triangle Circus Gang
"You want my old friends up there to drive the mayor into a foaming frenzy!"

Played By: Vincent Schiavelli (Organ Grinder), Anna Katarina (Poodle Lady), Rick Zumwalt (Tattooed Strongman), Erika Andersch (Knifethrower Dame), Travis McKenna (Fat Clown), Doug Jones (Thin Clown), Flame (Snake Woman), John Strong (Sword Swallower)

Appearances: Batman Returns

  • Badass Bookworm: As violent, sociopathic gang members go, they also have some good mechanics.
  • Carnival of Killers: They even employ a bewilderingly diverse array of weapons.
  • Circus of Fear: In the past the Gang had a hand in both circus and fear given the kids who disappeared thanks to a certain aquatic boy
  • The Dragon: The Organ Grinder, and later, the Poodle Lady, following the Organ Grinder's capture by Batman.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Fat Clown raises his concerns with the Penguin's plan to kidnap and murder children, and is killed in response.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Except for The Penguin, the performers' real names are unknown.
  • Expy: Of The Joker's carnival of freaks from The Killing Joke.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Played with. Depending on the scenario, they're seen either riding around on unicycles while firing guns harmlessly into the air and grabbing people and slapping them on the head...or blowing up buildings with gigantic rocket launchers and kidnapping sleeping babies and children to be executed.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Fat and Thin Clown.
  • Gatling Good: The Organ Grinder's organ is equipped with a Gatling gun.
  • Gang of Hats: They dress up every day in "old-timey," Victorian-era circus costumes. Seriously. It's as if Hamas had a "children's birthday party" faction. Their weapons vary, as normal clowns utilize blades, nunchaku and machine guns, while some performers use objects they would use in the circus, like firebreathers and jugglers using torches, The Sword Swallower using his shortsword, or the The Knifethrower Dame using her knives. Others are more outlandish, such as the Organ Grinder's Gatling gun disguised as a big music box, or a clown strapped with a cartoonish time-bomb. Lampshaded in that Bruce Wayne does research on them and learns that they once really were circus performers and apparently didn't bother to change their costumes after taking up a life of crime. note 
  • Monster Clown: Some circus members go beyond doing harmless yet threatening acts of vandalism and terrorism, and attempt to hurt people. They include the Terrifying Clown who threatens to taze Selina Kyle, the stilted jugglers with threatening masks who burn an innocent man, and the large and imposing Strongman who knocks out a mall Santa with a toy sled.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villains: Despite being clowns who once performed in a circus and kept their costumes, the Red Triangle Circus members are still menacing enough to serve as an effective terrorist army for The Penguin.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: They don't actually perform anymore. Justified in that they're fugitives from the law and generally act as criminals now. Subverted (albeit briefly) when a few of the performers use their skills as tools of terrorism during the Gotham Plaza sequence, proving that they've "still got it."
  • Psycho Poodle: One member is a poodle trainer lady. Her small poodle, which she is always seem with, functions as an attack dog.
  • Red Right Hand: Some of them appear just as ugly as Penguin himself (although, unlike him, they are obviously sporting masks and face putty).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the final act when Batman is approaching the Penguin's zoo hideout, the last remaining members of the Red Triangle Gang abandon Penguin.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Subverted. On the surface, they appear to fit this trope due to the observation that their acts of arson and vandalism and the bullying of innocent citizens don't appear to serve an ultimate purpose; they don't even garner any loot from their crimes, even though they're living in near-poverty. However, all this anarchic violence does accomplish something: it humiliates Gotham City's Mayor, making him appear to be soft on crime and providing a justification for Penguin to run against him for office.
  • Western Terrorists: A Type I example (or, given their name, perhaps a Type VI example). One of them is even a suicide bomber!

Batman Forever


Harvey Dent/Two-Face
"Yes, of course you're right, Bruce. Emotions are always the enemy of true justice... thank you... you've always been a good friend."

Played by: Billy Dee Williams (Batman, as Harvey Dent only) | Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)

Voiced by: Jun Hazumi [Batman, as Harvey Dent only], Takayuki Sugo [Forever] (Japanese), Claude Giraud [Forever] (European French), Hubert Gagnon [Batman, as Harvey Dent only], Vincent Davy [Forever] (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman | Batman Forever

"One man is born a hero, his brother a coward. Babies starve, politicians grow fat. Holy men are martyred, and junkies grow legion. Why? Why, why, why, why, why? Luck! Blind, stupid, simple, doo-dah, clueless luck!"

Gotham's former District Attorney. In the first movie, he fights to bring down the Gotham underworld headed by Carl Grissom. In Batman Forever, however, he has become Two-Face as a result of being attacked by a mobster and developing a Split Personality. He blames Batman for what happened to him and seeks to destroy him.

  • Adaptation Personality Change: A grim, serious villain in the comics, he's hammy to the point of being comical.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Despite being more comedic than other incarnations of the character, this version of Two-Face is also arguably the nastiest and least sympathetic version of him. For starters, he lacks any of the sympathetic or tragic qualities he has in the comics, and he has plenty of Kick the Dog moments, such as being responsible for the deaths of Robin's parents and brother.
  • Affably Evil: His "good" side is this. Case in point when he crashes Nygma's gala and tells everyone that he's just doing a casual robbery, no need for any violence.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization of Forever reveals that he was the one who restored Batman's public reputation after the events of Returns, back when he was still one of the good guys.
  • Alternate Self: One on Earth-9.
  • Ambiguously Brown: In Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization of the 1989 film, Harvey Dent is described as having "brown skin," with absolutely nothing else said about his appearance. You have to watch the movie itself to confirm that Dent is being played by the African-American actor Billy Dee Williams.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Robin since he killed his parents.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Riddler in Forever.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: One of Two-Face's guns (the one he menaces the Riddler with) is a chrome-plated Benelli MP95. This is an exotic pistol which doesn't appear in other films (Benelli is better known for their shotguns, which appear in everything including Chris Nolan's trilogy and a Resident Evil game). He also lugs around a silver-plated grenade launcher at one point.
  • Composite Character: While he did kill Jason Todd's father in the comics, here, he takes Tony Zucco's role as the murderer of Dick Grayson's (see Robin's Composite Character entry above) parents.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Batman couldn't save Harvey Dent from getting a glass of acid in the face and becoming Two-Face.
  • Crusading Lawyer: In the first film, as Harvey Dent.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the comics, he's never bit the bullet. Not the case here.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Dies after finding out Bruce Wayne is Batman.
  • Disney Villain Death: Falls to his death after Batman uses his coin toss against him.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To The Riddler's Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Meets his end not long after Riddler's plans are thwarted.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He is even trying to out-ham the Riddler.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Was previously Gotham's crusading, well-respected District Attorney- an incredibly difficult and thankless job, but by all accounts excelled at it, until he became disfigured, beginning his Start of Darkness and eventual change to the homicidal master criminal Two-Face.
  • Facial Horror: How Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face.
  • Fallen Hero: Used to be Gotham City's District Attorney, and a fairly good one, too.
  • Giggling Villain: Much more than his original comic and other iterations.
  • Guns Akimbo: As befits a criminal obsessed with duality, he bursts into the Nygmatech party with two pistols a'blazin'.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Very much so, and it isn't helped by the fact that Batman survives all of his numerous attempts to kill him. For instance, he pulls his gun on the Riddler the second he walks into his hideout, and shoots in the ceiling to abridge the Riddler's flattery talking to make him get to the point. Riddler himself remarks that Dent has a "serious impulse control problem".
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: With Riddler.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end of Forever, Batman exploits his habit of flipping his coin with lethal results.
  • I Am Legion: With the exception of a single line, he constantly refers to himself as "we" or "us".
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Batman, upon breaking in on Two-Face (and socking him in the jaw) during his attempted escape via helicopter, appeals to whatever good may be left in his old ally with "You need help, Harvey- give it up!"
  • Kick the Dog: He has quite a few moments, including locking a security guard in an acid-filled vault after his Two-Headed Coin said to let him live, threatening an entire circus with a bomb to get Batman, and gunning down the Graysons in cold blood.
  • Laughably Evil: This iteration of the character has a lot of Joker-esque mannerisms.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Two-Face blames Batman for his scarring and Start of Darkness and seeks revenge on him for it. At no point does he ever think of blaming or taking vengeance on the mobster who actually threw the acid in his face; Batman's only role in the accident was trying to save him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Dent's simple flipping of his coin is always a dramatic, fascinating event. It helps that the outcome of the flip usually means the difference between life and death.
  • Mundane Solution: Batman's pressing you hard as you try to make your criminal getaway? Cheap shot him, then lock the helicopter into a suicide dive toward a famous landmark, using "The Club" or some similar steering wheel security device to immobilize the controls, then jump out of the cockpit, leaving The Dark Knight to deal with it!
  • My Greatest Failure: It's hinted that Batman sees Harvey Two-Face as this, as his inability to prevent Dent's disfiguring and subsequent descent into madness led directly to not only Harvey's Face–Heel Turn, but the death of Robin's family, along with many others.
  • No Indoor Voice: More often than not.
  • Practically Joker: Let's see, a man who goes insane and becomes a supervillain after being disfigured with acid, who's quick to anger, sadistic and prone to fits of cackling? Are you sure it's Two-Face we're talking about here?
  • Race Lift: A strange case of this happening within the same continuity. In the first Batman film, Harvey Dent (a Caucasian in the comics) is played by the African-American Billy Dee Williams, but in Forever, he was played by Tommy Lee Jones.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: the red to Riddler's blue. The Riddler is usually the one to talk him out of any berserker moments.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Was definitely this in Batman, when he was still the respectable (but stylish) District Attorney.
  • Split Personality: A rather odd case. In the comics and animated series, Harvey Dent does go insane, but it's clear that "Two-Face" is a title he has given himself rather than a separate individual. Here, though, Two-Face is an entirely separate personality from Dent, and the two apparently share a single body; Dent is the "good" side that looks mostly human, while Two-Face is the purple, acid-scarred, "bad" one. This is further emphasized by Dent/Two-Face consistently referring to himself with plural pronouns ("The Bat's stubborn refusal to DRIVING US INSANE!"), having Sugar and Spice prepare two separate dinners for him (one for each half), and, during the finale, leaping out of the shadows and introducing himself twice.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It seems like Harvey's gone completely bonkers, and wants to be The Joker.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Two-Face has a double-headed coin with one side scarred. Instead of always doing what the coin says, he keeps flipping it until he gets the outcome he wants. He actually seems to toss it every time he has a clear shot at Bruce, keeping it perfectly in-character for Two-Face.
  • Villain Team-Up: With The Riddler.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a LOT of them, sprinkled throughout the film, usually after his various failed attempts to kill Batman.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As D.A., he worked hand in hand (if not side by side) with Batman to clean up crime in Gotham. But it's hinted with his last words that he and Bruce Wayne were even closer:
    "Thank you- you've always been a good friend."
  • Why Won't You Die?: "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DIE?!"

    The Riddler 

Edward Nygma/The Riddler
"Riddle me this, riddle me that... who's afraid of the big, black bat?"

Played by: Jim Carrey

Voiced by: Bin Shimada (Japanese), Vincent Violette (European French), Pierre Auger (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman Forever

"Soon my little Box will be on countless TVs around the world. Feeding me... credit card numbers, bank codes, sexual fantasies, and little white lies. Into my head they'll go. Victory is inevitable!"

A Bruce Wayne fanboy working at Wayne Enterprises, Edward Nygma was turned down by Wayne himself over the idea of mental experimentation. After being fired by his supervisor (and sending him to Destination Defenestration), Nygma was inspired by Two-Face's spree at the circus and decided to create a supervillain identity of his own. Utilizing his tech to team up with Two-Face and steal money to mass-produce his "Box," Nygma becomes the Riddler, draining the intelligence of Gotham's Box-owning citizens to add to his own already formidable intellect. All to get back at Bruce Wayne.

  • Adaptational Intelligence: Raised from a petty thief with a fixation on needlessly-risky crimes to a mad scientist and entrepreneur who only gets smarter as the film progresses.
  • Adaptational Job Change: He was a former Carnie in the comics. In the film, he's a former employee of Wayne Enterprises who starts up his own business.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-Prime and one on Earth-9.
  • Ambiguously Bi: His obsession with Bruce Wayne is chock full of Ho Yay and he has a large collection of green outfits with increasing levels of flair. He also dons a tiara and other traditionally female bits of jewelry during his and Two-Face's crime spree montage. There are a few hints that he has an interest in women, such as keeping Sugar around as arm candy (though this is implied to be for show). Edward also arranges to have Chase suggestively chained up on a lounge, with the scene cutting short just as he sidles up next to her.
  • And Then What?: He presses Two-Face to think about what happens after he succeeds in killing Batman. A quick death would be so unsatisfying, wouldn't it? Wouldn't a more involved scheme to thoroughly destroy the Bat be better?
  • Ax-Crazy: He becomes this after Bruce politely turns down his idea.
  • Badass Boast: “If knowledge is power… then a god am I!!!”
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Riddler is not the least bit intimidating, but he does manage to figure out Batman's identity and utterly destroys most of the Batcave.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Two-Face in Batman Forever.
    Riddler: (to Two-Face, after he fires off his gun to express his impatience) Has anybody ever told you, you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
  • Bond One-Liner: "Ooooh, nice form, but a little rough on the landing; he may have to settle for the bronze!"
  • CloudCuckoolander: He IS a Jim Carrey character so he would be expected to a hyper, dramatic and insane type of villain.
  • Complexity Addiction: Addressed; when he offers to help Two-Face kill Batman in exchange for money to manufacture his Box devices, he convinces him that just offing the hero quickly and simply wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as ensuring he was humiliated first by having his true identity revealed and used against him. Also referenced when Two-Face shoots Bruce Wayne, knocking him down, and as he's going to put a bullet in Bruce's brain, Riddler stops him because he wants Batman to die in a more dramatic fashion.
  • Composite Character: Of the Riddler and Hugo Strange (who invented a mind-reading machine and discovers Batman's true identity).
    • If the rumours of his box-device turning people into zombies is true, then he's also got a Mad Hatter influence.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Bruce Wayne created the Riddler by turning down Nygma's brainwave manipulation ideas, though Stickley firing Nygma and verbally putting him down (by threatening to have him arrested, thrown in jail and then committed to a mental institution) may have been the real trigger.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with. He tries to make money honestly, but after being rejected and funding it with Two-Face's crimes, he still makes billions on the Box technology. If he wasn't obsessed with Bruce Wayne and Batman, he could have lived a very comfortable and lavish life.
    • Assuming nobody ever looked too closely at the company's initial books...
  • Death by Secret Identity: Surprisingly averted despite having learned about Batman's identity, but his insanity causes him to lose memory of it and go full Napoleon Delusion.
  • Entitled Bastard: After Nygma finally got to reveal to Bruce his invention, Bruce suggests Nygma see his assistant to set something up. But Nygma says it's not good enough for him and demands a direct answer from Bruce, claiming he deserves it... only to be crushed when Bruce turns the idea down.
  • Evil Genius: His ability to not only create a simulator, but to also use it to scan minds and become even smarter, is incredibly impressive. He makes all the other villains here look like episodic thugs.
  • Evil Is Hammy: As a Jim Carrey character in a mid-90s summer flick, this should be a given.
  • Evil Is Petty: He turned to evil and became the Riddler for no other reason than because Bruce Wayne, his employer and the man he admired most in the world, rejected his idea that they become partners in marketing Nygma's invention. What makes this especially petty is that Nygma made twice as much money going into business on his own, and in fact taunts Wayne about his "bad" decision afterward when Nygmatech outperforms Wayne Enterprises. But apparently all of that isn't good enough: the Riddler never forgave Wayne for failing to "understand", and decided to devote the rest of his life to humiliating and then killing him.
  • Evil Redhead: He's red-haired and the Big Bad of Batman Forever.
  • Fan Disillusionment: He idolized Bruce Wayne and wanted Bruce's approval of his "Box," which stimulates and manipulates brainwaves to beam TV signals. Bruce rejected Nygma's project, stating that it "raises too many questions." As his idol left, Nygma vowed revenge, the first step toward him becoming the Riddler.
    Nygma: You were supposed to understand. I'll make you understand!
  • Freudian Excuse: Hinted at by the obviously-troubled Edward saying of his device, "Why be brutalized by an uncaring world?"
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a little-known Wayne Industries employee to an eccentric Super Villain who deduces Batman's true identity.
  • A God Am I: Quoted word for word, in a ridiculously deep echoing voice, after managing to feed off the brainwaves of every person in Gotham.
    Was that over the top? I can never tell!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Batman destroys his giant brain energy-sucking machine, which causes a overload of sorts in his head and destroys what little sanity Nygma had left.
  • Large Ham: It's Jim Carrey, so this is very much expected. Best shown during the climax, where he lets loose spare ribs and hot dogs by pretending to be a game show host.
    Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly coexist? We'll find out today! But first, [with voice changer] let's meet our contestants!
    • The unnecessarily hammy way he stops Two-Face from giving Bruce Wayne direct lead poisoning.
      NO!!! Dooooooon't kill 'im. If you kill him... [sets down riddle box next to Bruce] He won't learn nothin'! (cue Evil Laugh from Two-Face and Riddler)
  • Laughably Evil: Yes, Riddler is a villain, but his antics are often very funny.
  • Loony Fan: Is a big one of these for Bruce Wayne, to the point of obsession. See Mad Scientist and Yandere below.
  • Mad Scientist: Invents a brain-reading machine and tests it on his boss. Wayne Enterprises' corporate system, his unhealthy obsession with Bruce Wayne, and Wayne's negative answer to his project pushed him over the edge of sanity.
  • Madness Mantra: "Too many questions...too many questions..."
  • Meaningful Name: Openly acknowledged by the characters with Edward Nygma as in...E. Nygma or...enigma. Also Mr.E or Mystery.
    • In the comics, his birth name was "Edward Nashton" and he changed it to Nigma(/Nygma) himself, both for the pun and to distance himself from his abusive father.
  • Napoleon Delusion: After his arrest and institutionalization in Arkham Asylum, he goes insane and believes he's Batman. Lampshaded when an off-screen prisoner yells in response "Yeah, and I'm Napoleon!"
  • The Nicknamer: Enjoys referring to Harvey as "bifurcated one."
  • No Indoor Voice:
    Has anybody ever told you you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
  • Not Good with Rejection: His descent into madness begins with Bruce rejecting an idea for an invention.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He may have been a Large Ham, but all things considered, he managed to figure out who Batman was on his own and launched an assault on Wayne Manor that completely destroyed the Batcave and left Bruce for dead. If not for his need to utterly screw with Bruce serving as his downfall, he could have flat-out killed him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he realizes Batman has foiled his plan.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Excitedly munches on some popcorn while watching the chaos unfolding at a circus Bruce is attending.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His entire descent into villainy is motivated by one thing: Bruce Wayne said "no" to his invention. During the climax, he and Two-Face play a game of Battleship using real torpedoes, with the Batboat (piloted by Robin) as the target, and goes so far as to childishly call Batman "Fatman" during his Sadistic Choice.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: the blue to Two-Faces red.
  • Sadistic Choice: Poses one to Batman at the climax—either save Chase or save Robin (a choice that also represents his two personas, Bruce and Batman).
  • Sissy Villain: He loves him some spandex. He's also physically weak and relies on Two-Face's goons for protection.
    • And there's the aforementioned tiara...
  • Smug Snake: Once the box goes on the market, Edward goes from socially awkward to gloating in his former employer's face. In the final confrontation he takes extra joy in being a wiseass over his perceived advantage.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Bruce.
  • Start My Own: After Bruce rejected The Box on ethical grounds, Nygma quit Wayne Enterprises to form Nygmatech, where The Box became a huge success.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Due to various circumstances, he gets increasingly loopy throughout the film. Not that he wasn't clearly demented at the start...
  • Villainous Friendship: He actually seems to get along quite well with Two-Face, and they're clearly having a blast robbing jewelry stores to fund Nygma's factory.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rivals Bruce Wayne once the box goes on the market.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Clearly one at first, since he only wants to patent and market his virtual-reality invention (without approval from his superiors, if necessary) to spare the people of the world from "being brutalized by an uncaring world" (which is a correlative to his own loneliness and sense of worthlessness). It's not until he accidentally discovers that "The Box" can extract information from human minds that he decides to go down the criminal route.
  • Why Won't You Die?: "Why? Why can't I kill you?"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The second half of Forever wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic if Bruce had the time to talk over his designs and his supervisor wasn't such a buzzkill.
  • Yandere: Nygma can go from wanting to break Bruce Wayne into a million pieces, to unintentionally showing his fanboy side again through trying to one-up him by imitating his look, down to the mole.

    Sugar and Spice 

Sugar and Spice
Spice and Sugar

Played by: Drew Barrymore (Sugar), Debi Mazar (Spice)

Appearances: Batman Forever

Sugar and Spice are Two-Face's themed girlfriends; they represent Two-Face's good and evil sides, respectively.

  • All There in the Script: Their names are only shown in the end credits and official merchandise.
  • Betty and Veronica: Sugar and Spice, respectively.
  • Canon Foreigner: They were originally created for Batman Forever.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Spice is dressed in leather lingerie.
  • Light Is Not Good: Though Sugar represents Harvey's "good" side and dresses like a lingerie angel, she's something of a Soft-Spoken Sadist and even participates in one of Two-Face and Riddler's plans.
  • Meaningful Name: Sugar and Spice's names reflect Two-Face's split personalities. Their original names, Lace and Leather, were based on what lingerie they wear.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: According to Drew Barrymore, Sugar is her 'glitter-dipped' tribute to Marilyn Monroe.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both of them; Sugar and Spice were originally named "Lace" and "Leather", respectively.
  • Paid Harem: They both reside in Two-Face's hideout.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Both Sugar and Spice flee after Batman destroys Nygmatech Headquarters on Claw Island.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Because Sugar kept an eye on Bruce Wayne during Nygma's benefit gala, she knew to reactivate the machine that read Bruce's mind. It's because of her that Riddler and Two-Face found out Batman's secret identity and thus set off the invasion of Wayne Manor and the film's climax.
  • The Vamp: Spice.

Batman & Robin

    Mr. Freeze 

Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze
"Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last."

Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Voiced by: Ryuzaburo Otomo (Japanese), Daniel Beretta (European French), Yves Corbeil (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman & Robin

"Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well... for it is the chilling sound of your doom."

Victor Fries was a two-time Olympic decathlete and a brilliant scientist whose wife, Nora, was stricken with an incurable disease, leading him to cryogenically freeze her until he could find a cure. Sadly, a lab accident altered Victor's physiology and turned him into a cold-blooded organism that could not survive in above-freezing temperatures, forcing him to turn to a life of crime. Building both a suit that allows him to move in warm environments and a gun that fires freezing rays, Victor now calls himself Mr. Freeze and is stealing diamonds from all over Gotham to power a device that will freeze the city, planning to hold Gotham for ransom and demand enough money to complete his research and cure Nora.

  • Academic Athlete: Bruce notes that, before his accident, Fries was a decathlete who won a Nobel Prize for his work in molecular biology.
  • Adaptational Badass: Unlike previous versions, he's much more physically formidable. While some iterations say his suit also augments his strength for fighting, there's no indication of that here- instead the movie mentions he's an athlete to imply his physical power is all raw.
  • Adaptational Curves: Freeze is normally depicted as having a frail to average build underneath his suit. Here, he's played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a professional bodybuilder. Makes sense when you consider he'd need to be quite strong to haul around such heavy equipment.
  • Affably Evil: Unlike his predecessors, Freeze is a Noble Demon who just wants to save his wife. He's a faithful husband who refuses the advances of his Sexy Secretary. His reasons for stealing aren't out of greed, but necessity as both he and his wife require immense funding to sustain themselves. He had several opportunities to kill Batman and Robin, but gives them a fighting chance simply because he's not Ax-Crazy, even telling Batman that his victims can be saved within 11 minutes of freezing them. In his downtime he enjoys watching animated musicals and his old wedding videos, while all the other villains were either obsessed with their schemes or had sadistic hobbies.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization of Batman & Robin establishes that he had met a young Bruce Wayne during his decathlon days.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-Prime.
  • Anti-Villain: He has a tragic, sympathetic backstory and a noble motive, namely trying to cure his terminally ill wife. But of course, the movie also portrays him as a Card-Carrying Villain who yells "Go! Kill the heroes!".
  • Badass Boast: The above quote.
    Mr. Freeze: Surprise! I'm your new cellmate. And I'm going to make your life a living hell. Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last!
  • Badass Creed: "In this universe, there is only one absolute—everything freezes!"
  • Bald of Evil: As a result of the accident that made him what he is.
  • Blizzard Of Puns: ALL of his puns have something to do with ice or winter.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: During his Evil Gloating to Batman, he outright refers to himself as "the villain."
  • Cigar Chomper: Briefly during his off-time.
  • Composite Character: He is the 60s Mr. Freeze with the Backstory of BTAS' Mr. Freeze.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: With Poison Ivy at the end of Batman & Robin.
    • The tie-in comic reveals that he bribed the Arkham Staff into arranging this with his few remaining diamonds.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Almost rivals Batman with the amount of gadgets he has. His suit contains glider wings, a small hose that serves as a miniature version of his gun, and even a little compartment for the MacGregor Syndrome medicine.
  • Declarative Finger: "It's winter forever here in Gotham!" and later "You LIE!"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Freeze crosses this after Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife, and he decides to freeze not only Gotham but "THE WORLD!"
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To Poison Ivy.
  • Dying Curse: "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!!!" Subverted in that he survives.
  • Endless Winter: This becomes his goal after Poison Ivy tells him Batman cut his wife off life support.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Freeze loves his wife so much he turns down the advances of his female minion.
  • Evil Gloating/Sadistic Choice: When Batman and Robin catch up to him, Freeze fires his ice-gun at Robin, freezing him, and then gives Batman the choice of pursuing him (Freeze) or saving Robin.
    Mr. Freeze: Can you be cold, Batman?! You have eleven minutes to thaw the bird. What will you do—chase the villain, or save the boy? Ha-ha! Your emotions make you weak! That's why this day's mine! Ha-ha!
  • Evil Is Hammy: He's an absolute Laughing Mad lunatic and doesn't hold it back at all.
  • Evil Laugh: Just about any time he has even a spark of happiness.
  • Freak Lab Accident: This is how he became Mr. Freeze. Fries was working on a cure for MacGregor's Syndrome at Gotham University's laboratories when one of his experiments failed, causing him to fall into his own cryogenic solution. The solution, which was 50 degrees below zero, mutated Fries' body to the point where he became dependent on a diamond-powered sub-zero suit.
  • Genius Bruiser: A Nobel Prize winner who not only builds a freezing engine, but can send people flying with his bare hands.
  • Happier Home Movie: Mr. Freeze watches videos of his wedding with Nora.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Fries turned to villainy to seek a cure for his sick wife.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of Batman & Robin when he gives Batman a cure for MacGregor's Syndrome so the latter can help Alfred. In exchange, Batman promises to have Nora moved to Arkham so Victor can continue his research legitimately.
  • Herr Doktor: He's never implied to be anything other than American, but Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent definitely evokes this trope. Appropriately, Fries is a surname of Danish and German origin.
  • An Ice Gun: His main weapon, built from the cryonic technology that he specializes in.
  • An Ice Person: Freeze became this as a result of a Freak Lab Accident.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Literally. And done with contact lenses, given Arnie's eyes are green.
  • Large Ham: Arnold Schwarzenegger is clearly having an absolute blast playing a cackling supervillain.
  • Laughably Evil: He's an evil scientist with an eccentric demeanor and a strong affinity for puns.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: His motivation is to cure and later avenge his Human Popsicle wife.
  • Mad Scientist: A medical doctor specializing in cryonic application turned supervillain.
  • Mood-Swinger: Switches between hammy and melancholy (see Composite Character). Though perhaps his campiness is his way of coping with the pain of his condition and his wife's terminal illness.
  • No-Sell: In one of his better moments, when Ivy tries to seduce him with her pheromones, he smiles, identifies the chemical makeup, then informs her that her poison has no effect "on the cold-hearted".
  • Not Quite Flight: When Freeze jumps out of his personal rocket, he uses mechanical wings on the back of his suit to glide away to safety. When Batman lands on Freeze's back, the villain simply detaches the wings and uses the blast from his freeze gun to slow his descent.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he sees Batman survived his freezing of the Batmobile.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Becomes this when Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: (Before firing the freeze cannon): "Let's... kick some ice!"
  • Pungeon Master: All of his puns have something to do with ice or winter. A few notable examples:
    • "I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy!"
    • "You are not sending me to the cooler!"
    • "What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"
    • "Stay cool, bird-boy!"
    • "Cool party!"
    • "It's a cold town."
    • "If revenge is a dish best served cold, then put on your Sunday finest! it's time to feast!"
  • Single-Target Sexuality: As he tells his henchwoman who tried cozying up to him:
    My passion thaws for my bride alone!
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poison Ivy manipulates him into wanting revenge on the world so that his goals suit her more destructive ends.
  • Villains Out Shopping: His idea of off-time? Making his minions watch and sing along with a Christmas musical!
  • Villain Team-Up: With Poison Ivy halfway through Batman & Robin.
  • Voice of the Legion: His voice has an odd reverb to it at times. Might be an effect of wearing the suit.

    Poison Ivy 

Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy
"Oh, and Jason—one other thing. I probably should have mentioned this earlier: I'm... poison."
Click here to see Poison Ivy's second costume 
Click here to see Poison Ivy's final costume 

Played by: Uma Thurman

Voiced by: Keiko Toda (Japanese), Laurence Crouzet (European French), Élise Bertrand (Canadian French)

Appearances: Batman & Robin

"It took God seven days to create paradise. Let's see if I can do better."

A botanist working in a South American lab under the employ of Wayne Enterprises, Dr. Pamela Isley is seemingly murdered in a Freak Lab Accident when she stumbles upon her eccentric colleague's secret experiments, rebuffs his sexual advances, and threatens to ruin his career. However, after prolonged exposure to the Super Serum known as Venom, she becomes a full-on murderous vamp with a pheromone dust concoction and poisonous lips who seeks to pit Batman and Robin against each other and rid the earth of mankind's toxic influence.

  • Adaptation Origin Connection: She created the steroid-like Venom that gives Bane his strength.
  • Adaptational Jerkass/Adaptational Villainy: Usually Poison Ivy is depicted as a misguided Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to protect the environment from humans. Here, on the other hand, she's now a sadistic and completely self-serving sociopath.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Discussed in the principal screenplay and the official adult novelization by Michael Jan Friedman; She finds herself admiring Bane's penchant for violence and destruction on numerous occasions (even before her villainous transformation), and reveals in exposition that what attracts her to Freeze is his inhuman appearance and powers, even calling him 'fabulously elemental' and good-looking and masculine 'in a grotesque sort of way'.
  • All There in the Manual: One of the major plot holes people found in the movie was that Freeze's plan would have killed plant life in the ecosystem. Going along with said plan was in fact a conscious choice on Ivy's part, as in the script and the junior novelization, there is a part where she crushes a flower after proclaiming, "Sorry, hon', this is For Science!." This actually does make some sense to Ivy's characterization since one of her defining traits from the comics is that, for as much as Ivy professes she cares about the environment, she's also a sadist who tends to overlook her own hypocrisy so long as she gets to hurt people. This was especially prominent in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Almost Kiss: She attempts to kiss Robin twice while at Freeze's hideout, but both attempts are thwarted by Batman, the first accidentally and the second due to his warning right as they were leaning in. Averted with the third attempt, where they finally kiss in her lair once they are alone.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-Prime.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Goes from vengeful eco-terrorist to genocidal megalomaniac who plans to use Freeze's weapon to wipe out all human (and most plant) life so that she can rule over a race of mutant plants with Freeze by her side. There's definitely a Broken Aesop in there somewhere. Yikes.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Her numerous (and we mean numerous) sexual references are just about the sole reason for Batman & Robin's PG-13 rating, save a few swear words here and there.
  • Awkward Kiss: Zigzagged with Robin and only really awkward on her side. The kiss itself is passionate, but immediately after it she ruins the romantic mood by revealing she was lying about loving Robin and expects him to die. When Robin reveals he won’t die, Ivy is shocked and stunned silent for awhile, realizing she just revealed herself to Robin and kissed him for nothing.
  • Backstab Backfire: She finally gets Robin alone in her lair and shares a kiss with him, believing that she has finally poisoned him. But she has actually played right into his hands, and he survived thanks to wearing rubber lips for protection. Therefore not only did her attempt to kill him fail, she revealed the whole plan to him and revealed that she has been deceiving him the whole time.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Rises from her grave with her garments fashionably tattered in a less-than-practical manner thanks to Instant Costume Change.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: With Freeze (Brains) and Bane (Brawn). Potentially averted in that, while Freeze is clearly a bit of a Genius Bruiser by way of Informed Intelligence, Ivy does the lion's share of the scheming amongst the three.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Pamela Isley found out her boss Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own megalomaniacal ends and announced her efforts to get him fired and blacklisted. After becoming Poison Ivy, she seeks to do exactly what Dr. Woodrue planned to do (that is, Take Over the World).
  • Big Bad: Acts as the main antagonist of Batman & Robin. She is the main force driving Batman and Robin apart and she is the one who tricks Freeze into wanting the duo dead by lying about his wife.
  • Big "NO!": Gives one when Batgirl defeats her and her throne closes up on her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts like a normal beautiful woman during her seductions but is actually luring her victims to their death by convincing them to share a poisoned kiss with her. She drops the act the moment she believes she has won and taunts her victims as they die by her side. In Robin's case, she convinced him she loved him and revealed her plan to him, only to reveal her true colors after their kiss, and then try to drown him after realizing her kiss didn't work on him.
  • Bond Breaker: Her pheromones cause tension between Batman and Robin.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: She crosses into this towards the end of the film. She tells Robin what she and Freeze are planning to convince him to kiss her, believing he won't live to make use of the info. But after Robin reveals he survived the kiss with rubber lips, and removes them while sitting next to her, she angrily shoves him into the pond to drown him instead of grabbing him and forcing a second kiss on him. She also leaves Robin instead of staying to make sure he dies, and mockingly waves him goodbye while shouting "see ya!" to him, treating it more like she's breaking up with him than trying to kill him.
  • Burlesque: Stripteases in a Blonde Venus-inspired magenta gorilla suit in her Big Entrance at the Rainforest Ball. Also features Shaking the Rump, Sexy Walk, and a small Three-Point Landing onto a bed of male performers.
  • Came Back Wrong: Her death at the hands of Dr. Woodrue early in the movie resulted in her toxic rebirth as Poison Ivy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She enjoys chewing the scenery and making a big reveal of her evil side once she believes her victims are doomed. She revealed her true colors to Robin after their kiss, believing he would die, not expecting he would have a way to counter her kiss, and openly bragged to Batgirl about killing Freeze's wife. This comes back to bite her when a recording of her confession is given to Freeze, and he takes his revenge on her in prison.
    So many people to kill SO LITTLE TIME!
  • Chair Reveal: Zigzagged. She is shown many times before this in the film, but when Robin comes to her lair he makes his way to the center where there is a giant rose. The rose blooms to reveal Ivy sitting in it like a throne, greeting the sidekick seductively.
  • Clark Kenting: An extreme case; she wears leafy eye masks to conceal her identity. That's right: eye masks. At least the heroes have the decency to at least wear domino masks. She even loses this "mask" by her last costume, instead wearing heavy eyeshadows that match the color of her hair and new red dress.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: With Freeze at the end of Batman & Robin.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She is on both the giving and receiving end of this during the final scene in her lair.
    • She delivers this to both of the Dynamic Duo in quick succession. After her kiss fails to kill Robin, she angrily shoves him off her throne and into her lily-pond, where her plants immediately begin to drown him. As she smugly walks away she runs right into Batman, who ambushes her in his own trap. She immediately defeats him before he can do anything by having her vines ensnare him and begin crushing him. She begins to leave the Dynamic Duo trapped and defeated, and would have escaped if not for Batgirl's arrival. Although both Robin and Batman survive their traps and manage to escape, Ivy would have still managed to escape from them and join Freeze had Batgirl not arrived.
    • She is on the receiving end when Batgirl arrives in her lair before she can leave. Batgirl knocks her around while giving her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for using her charms to get her way. Batgirl disarms her of every weapon she uses against her and eventually knocks her back on to her own throne. The flower-bed then closes on her, trapping her until she was arrested.
  • Dating Catwoman: She invokes this with Robin. She gets him to fall in love with her after just their first meeting, and convinces him that she will even change sides to be with him. She manipulated him and drives him and Batman apart just by flirting with him. Though they officially “break up” after their kiss when Ivy realizes Robin has tricked her and she shoves him into her pond to drown him.
  • Death Glare: After Robin reveals he Out-Gambitted her, tricking her into telling her plan and surviving her kiss, she gives him a very dirty glare. She's so angry and humiliated she shoves him from her throne and into the pond to drown him instead of forcing a second kiss on him.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With Batgirl. She easily disposed of both Robin and Batman in her lair, but once Batgirl shows up she is the only one to actually put up a fight against Ivy, being immune to her charms and forcing Ivy to get her hands dirty.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After Robin survives her kiss and removes his rubber lips, she angrily shoves him into her pond to drown him, when she could have forced a second kiss on him. Then she walks off and taunts the drowning hero instead of staying to finish him, treating it like she's just mocking him by "breaking up with him". As a result Robin survives and knows her plan.
  • Double Entendre: If Mr. Freeze is the King of Puns, then Poison Ivy is the Queen of this trope.
  • Dying Curse: "Curses!" Subverted in that she survives.
  • Emotional Powers: In a way, her plants react to how she is and change with her emotions. At her lair they help set the romantic mood when Ivy seduces Robin, slowly closing the exit behind him and opening up to reveal Ivy the way a curtain closes and opens, and raining flowers from the ceiling once the two of them are together. Once Ivy is angered by Robin's trickery, fooling her into revealing her plan and kissing him, they violently turn against Robin and try to drown him when she shoves him into the pond.
  • Enemy Mine: With Mr. Freeze.
  • Engineered Public Confession: "As I told Lady Freeze when I pulled her plug... this is a one-woman show."
  • Even the Girls Want Her: With the aid of her pheromones, if some of the gazes of female partygoers at the Rainforest Ball are any indication.
  • Evil Gloating: She can't help but gloat when she believes she is in control. This has actually worked against her. After kissing Robin she immediately mocks him and his upcoming death instead of waiting for the effects to start. This proves to Robin her love to him is fake, and since he wore rubber lips to protect him from her kiss he wasn't poisoned, which Ivy would have realized if she waited longer before revealing her true colors to him. Then during her fight with Batgirl she brags about how she was the one who tried to kill Freeze's wife, which Batman recorded and presented to Freeze.
  • Evil Makeover: One of the more interesting side-effects of Venom is its ability to turn a Shrinking Violet into Ms. Fanservice. Over the course of the film, her costume, hair, and makeup choices become more bold, brazen, crazy, over-the-top, drag queen-flamboyant.
  • Exact Words: Right as Robin is about to leave her lair, she grabs him and asks him for a kiss "for luck". After the two share a quick passionate kiss, Ivy pulls away and sneers "Bad luck I'm afraid."
  • Expy: Poison Ivy is a mixture of Catwoman's rebirth origin story from Returns and The Riddler's Mad Scientist origin story from Forever. Stated by Joel Schumacher that his original intent was to have Nicole Kidman portray Ivy in Batman Forever, hence why (aside from Elliot Goldenthal's recycled score) Ivy and Chase's Sexophone motifs are so similar.
  • Fantastic Flora: Poison Ivy has a plethora of killer mutant plants that giggle, sigh, moan, hiss...and kill. They can crush a man, engulf a building in mere minutes, and swallow somebody whole. Audrey II, eat your heart out.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her arrogance; she is completely confident in her planning and abilities that she never even considers something could go wrong, and this causes her to make several mistakes. This is best shown during each of her confrontations with the heroes during the final scene in her lair.
    • She lured Robin to her lair with the "Robin-signal" she previously alluded to in her seductions, but was surprised when Batman and Batgirl showed up too, because she pretty much gave away her location.
    • While trying to seduce Robin for a kiss in her lair, she believes Robin is still completely in love with her and never suspects he might be trying to play her, even when he refuses to kiss her unless she tells him her plan. If she had waited just a few moments after their kiss she would have noticed Robin was unaffected by her poison, but instead she immediately begins mocking him and tells him it is "time to die", thus revealing her deception to him and failing his Secret Test of Character.
    • While fighting Batgirl, she boasts to her that she was the one who pulled Nora's plug for no other reason than to make a death threat to Batgirl. Not only is she easily defeated and humiliated by Batgirl after this, but Batman recorded her confession during the fight and shows it to Mr. Freeze, which earns her Freeze's wrath when they are put in Arkham as cellmates.
  • Faux Action Girl: While Catwoman could put up a fight against Batman, she just leaves Bane to do her fighting for her and later has an incredibly lame fight with Batwoman.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She acts sweet and lovingly around others, but it is all just an act to lure them in for a kiss before revealing her true colors as they slowly die. The best example is with Robin, who she seduces throughout the film and convinces him she loves him. Once she succeeds in kissing him tough, she stops the act and taunts him as she believes he will die shortly and becomes enraged when she discovers he's the one who tricked her.
  • Femme Fatale: A beautiful but evil woman, who uses her sexy looks to her full advantage. She had Robin completely in love with her since he first saw her at the Ball, and she had been plotting his and Batman's deaths since she began flirting with them.
  • Forceful Kiss: She does this to most of her victims. After seducing them she grabs them and pulls them in close to deliver a fateful kiss, though after overcoming the shock of this they are usually kissing back, only to drop dead moments later.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: She invokes this on Robin during her seductions. Robin quickly falls in love with her in the short time they meet and is completely convinced that she loves him too. They have a total of three meetings/dates together: first when they meet at the charity ball where Robin gets into a bidding war for Ivy against Batman and she blows Robin a kiss goodbye, then at Freeze's hideout Ivy ambushes and flirts heavily with Robin when he is supposed to arrest her, only for their flirting to be interrupted by Batman, and finally when Ivy calls Robin to her lair where they admit their "love" for each other and share their first kiss. This last meeting is when Robin, only a tells her he "wants them to be together", despite only being in a "relationship" with her for a few days and neither of them knowing each others real name. However, this is all somewhat justified as Ivy was using her pheromone dust on Robin, which slowly turned his crush on her into blind devoted love and interfered with his judgment, and she herself was purposely rushing things to get him to kiss her faster. Ultimatly it is subverted though, as Robin never actually asks Ivy to marry him, nor does she accept any proposals from him. The two only flirt together and say how much they love each other and want to be together. Ivy ultimately ends their "relationship" with only one kiss shared between them.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How she became Poison Ivy.
    • Her only victim that wasn't subject to this was Robin. During her seductions of Robin she never grabs him and forces herself on him. Instead she takes a slower approach and makes him fall in love with her until he willingly leans in for a kiss with her. When Robin confronts her in her lair he willingly kisses her after she tells him what he wants to know. She doesn't even force a second kiss on him after he removes his rubber lips, instead shoving him into her pond to have her plants drown him, apparently enraged that he actually managed to see through her ruse and trick her and humiliated that he stole a kiss from her.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: She invokes shades of this trope in an impassioned speech after killing Dr. Woodrue with her poison kiss as she prepares to burn the lab to the ground.
    I am Nature's arm, her spirit, her will. Hell, I am Mother Nature.
  • Glamour: Her pheromones can affect entire crowds, as noted at the Rainforest Ball.
  • A God Am I: Makes a variety of Blasphemous Boasts and seeks to destroy the world and rebuild it in her own image.
  • Gone Horribly Right: One possible reason her human-hating plants turned on her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Reacts very poorly to the fact that Freeze has a wife ("You never said anything about a wife!"), and pulls the plug on Nora's life support in an attempt to keep Freeze all for herself.
  • Green Thumb: Being that, for better or worse, she's still Poison-freaking-Ivy, this trope is practically a given.
  • He Knows Too Much: After Robin survives their kiss and now knows what her plan is, ruining her Just Between You and Me, she angrily shoves him into the pond to drown him. Though she doesn't bother to stay and make sure he drowns.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Batgirl defeats her by knocking her back onto her Rose Throne, which then closes up on her and leaves her trapped. For added irony, she used the throne as part of her seduction of Robin, being part of her Chair Reveal, leaving a space for him to lay next to her, being where they finally shared a kiss and she shoved him from it after learning of his treachery. The symbol of her false love for him was ultimately her own undoing, and she shoved him out of its range of harm in anger. Why she can't just open it again is anybody's guess.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
  • Hypocrite: She claims she wants to save plant life and undo the damage done to the environment, yet her schemes with Freeze would ultimately end up doing far more damage to Earth's ecosystem than it would save. She also burned her plant-filled laboratory to the ground.
  • I Am the Trope: "Hell, I am Mother Nature!"
  • I Lied: Played straight mostly, with the final case being more a case of Exact Words. She reveals what she and Freeze have planned to Robin to gain his trust, that much was true, but was also the only truth she told him. After asking for a kiss "for luck" from him, and finally sharing a quick romantic kiss, she mocks him that it was for "bad luck", revealing her entire love story about switching sides so they can be together was a lie.
  • Informed Attractiveness: The script actually calls her "the most beautiful woman in the world." Between that and Joel Schumacher's confession that he chose Uma Thurman because he was infatuated with her Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, one could almost be excused for thinking that this film was made by Quentin Tarantino.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: A great deal of her attraction to Freeze seems to be his predisposition for chaos.
  • Insult Backfire: A negative remark by Batman on Ivy's personality is received with a seductive smile.
    Batman: (pinned down by her) Why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs— it is me?
    Poison Ivy: Enough sweet talk...
  • Just Between You and Me: She tries this on Robin, luring him to her lair and agreeing to tell him what she and Freeze are planning in exchange for a kiss. Robin gives her her long awaited kiss after one too many flirts. Subverted in that Robin survived their kiss thanks to wearing rubber lips to protect himself.
  • Kick the Dog: She spends a majority of the film seducing Robin and making him think she's in love with him. Once they finally share a kiss at her lair, she immediately drops the act and rubs it in his face that he's going to die. Shortly afterwards when she realizes he outsmarted her, she shoves him from the throne they were sharing into her pond to drown him, and as he struggles against her vines she walks off, waves him goodbye and smugly says "see ya!" as if she were breaking up with him.
  • Kiss of Death: Her lips are filled with poison as a result of her Freak Lab Accident. Rubber lips are immune to her charms, however.
  • Knife Nut: She pulls out a knife during her fight with Batgirl, though it is subverted as it does nothing to help her and Batgirl immediately kicks it out of her hand.
  • Kubrick Stare: Uma seems to be a fan of this in photoshoots and promotional materials.
  • Lady in Red: Although she wears a green outfit similar to what she wears in the comics for most of the film, she wears a red dress during the final confrontion with her in her lair. She is also seen wearing a slightly different red dress in promos.
  • Lady Macbeth: To Mr. Freeze. She lies to him, telling him that Batman has killed his wife, and convinces him to take his vengeance out on Gotham and the rest of the world. Freeze is quick to agree to this plan.
  • Large Ham: You can tell Uma Thurman was having the time of her life.
  • Love Is in the Air: Her pheromones, or love dust, makes men around her more susceptible to her beauty and seductions to the point that Robin falls in love with her even with out her using them on him. Though Mr. Freeze is completely immune to them and those with a strong will like Batman can resist them.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Invokes a bit of this in Robin. She definitely becomes a victim of this herself with Mr. Freeze which leads to her eventual Villain Decay from Not-So-Harmless Villain to a Green-Eyed Monster who winds up rotting away in Arkham while her beloved, now her cellmate, vows to make her life a living hell as retribution for the attempted murder of his ill wife.
  • Love Potion: "Pheromone dust: designed to heat a man's blood."
  • Love Redeems: She invokes this with her seductions of Robin, promising to guide him into being his own man and "turn over a new leaf." Averted however as she was lying to Robin the whole time and never really loved him.
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: She invokes this trope. She mainly relies on her love-dust and seductions to lure others into a Kiss of Death, and keeps Bane around for any heavy lifting that needs to be done. This is zig-zagged during the final scene in her lair though, when Bane is with Freeze she easily defeats Robin and Batman by herself in seconds and fights with Batgirl for a moment before getting curb-stomped by her.
    Poison Ivy: I'm a lover, not a fighter. That's why every Poison Ivy action figure comes complete with him!
  • Mad Scientist: Before her transformation, she was appalled to learn Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own evil ends, but after becoming Poison Ivy, she aims to eliminate humanity and replace them with plant/animal hybrids.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The flower throne that Ivy reclines on in her lair doubles as one. It is also ultimately her downfall, as when Batgirl knocks her on to it during their fight it closes on her, trapping her and apparently doing a number on her beauty.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She serves as the primary Big Bad of the film to drive the conflict, raises the stakes by convincing Mr. Freeze that Batman killed his wife, and manipulating him into using his freeze gun as a doomsday device.
  • Moment Killer: She suffers this constantly during her seductions of Robin.
    • At Freeze's lair, she ambushes Robin and quickly seduces him for a kiss. But right before their lips can meet, Batman accidentally startles them when he lands right in-front of them, being thrown over the side rails by Bane.
    • Later, she manages to make Robin fall completely in love with her and convinces him she will guide him to being his own man and switch sides for him. But right as she leans in for a kiss, Batman shouts at him not to kiss. The ensuring fight between him and and an enraged Robin though, allows her to escape unnoticed.
    • At Ivy's lair though, she and Robin actually kill the moment themselves. After gaining Robin's trust and finally sharing a passionate kiss with him, Ivy mockingly reveals her true colors and condemns him to death while mock flirting with him in a fake sad voice. Robin then kills it further by revealing he wore rubber lips, revealing that he didn't actually trust Ivy completely and was immune to her poison, meaning she just exposed herself for nothing. Both of them exposing their lies and deceptions to each other kills the romantic mood between them, and Ivy, enraged that Robin managed to trick her and steal a kiss from her, ends their "relationship" by shoving him off her throne and into her lily pond to drown him, then mockingly waves him goodbye and leaves him to die, just to rub in that she's "breaking up with him."
  • Motivational Kiss: Though not in the spirit intended Ivy isn't beneath using this kind of "heartfelt gesture" to manipulate her victims. Especially Batman & Robin. When Robin learns from Ivy that Freeze is going to destroy Gotham he attempts to make a sharp exit, only for her to stop him and tells him to kiss her quickly, "for luck" against Freeze. This ends up being Double Subverted though since even though Ivy was trying to kill Robin, he was actually wearing rubber lips to protect himself from her poison, thus surviving his kiss with her and tricking her into sharing a passionate kiss with him.
    Robin: (turns to leave) I've gotta stop him-!
    Poison Ivy: (pulls hims back) One kiss. My love. ... For luck...
    (They lean in and share a kiss, with Robin unaware of Ivy's evil smirk)
    Poison Ivy: (mock sadness as she rubs noses with Robin and strokes his chin) Bad luck I'm afraid.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: She attempts this with Nora Fries. Batman later reveals to Freeze he (Batman) was able to save her.
  • The Muse: Joel Schumacher stated that he specifically chose Uma Thurman because of his infatuation with her portrayal of Venus when he was younger.
  • Near-Villain Victory: She actually comes close to achieving her plans. Despite Robin surviving their kiss, she quickly immobilizes him by shoving him into her pond to drown him, then has her plants try to crush Batman when he jumps her. She managed to defeat the Dynamic Duo in a matter of seconds and if not for Batgirl's timely arrival, she would have escaped to join Mr.Freeze in his plan to freeze over Gotham.
  • Nobody Can Die: Averted. Despite the film's aim to be more family-driven than Batman Forever, Ivy kills three men in a fairly PG-gruesome manner and the audience is informed of a fourth victim as well.
  • Not-So-Final Confession: When Robin confronts her in her lair she tells him what she and Freeze have planned to gain his trust, believing he won't live long enough to make any use of it. Then, after finally kissing him, she immediately taunts him by telling him it is time to die. However, Robin survives thanks to his rubber lips, meaning Ivy revealed her plans to him and admitted her love to him was a lie for nothing.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She gets very close and touchy with each of her victims. She pulls in Dr. Woodrue and the Arkham guards by the face to force a kiss on them. She also gets very close to the Dynamic Duo when she first meets them and does it more when she really starts flirting. At Freeze’s hideout she pins Batman down when flirting with him and later corners Robin on a rail walk, pulling him into a hug before slowly leaning in for a kiss with him. The only scene she flirts where she doesn’t seem to invade personal space is her scene with Robin at her lair, where he willingly walks over and lays next to her and she only leans in for a kiss with him after he finally submits to her, never actually forcing a kiss on him like her other victims.
  • Not Good with Rejection: After Batman resists her seduction she focuses all her attention on Robin and has Bane try to kill Batman. After Robin tricks her into revealing her plan and reveals how he survived her kiss, she shoves him into the pond to drown him instead of forcing a second kiss on him.
  • Not So Different: To her old boss, Dr. Jason Woodrue. When she discovered what Woodrue was using her research for he offered her a place by his side and when she refused he tried to kill her by shoving her into some chemicals. After she became Poison Ivy she offered the same thing to Mr. Freeze and Robin. She offered to rule the world with Freeze and tried to kill his wife so she could have him all to herself, and during her seductions of Robin she offered to guide him into becoming his own man, and after realizing he had seen through her seductions and ticked her she angrily shoved him into her pond too have her plants drown him the same way Woodrue tried to kill her.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Narrowly averted. While Freeze and Bane are presented as the greatest physical threat to Batman and Robin, she's the film's primary schemer and presents a much more serious threat to the heroes' mortality by way of her Kiss of Death. Unfortunately, her Idiot Ball levels of arrogance and Genre Blindness keep her from being able to make good on her threats.
  • Oh, Crap!: She has this reaction a few times:
    • After realizing Robin tricked her into telling him her plan and survived her kiss with rubber lips, though this quickly changes from shock to anger.
    • When she learns Freeze is her new cellmate at Arkham.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Ivy's plants are prone to making rather indelicate noises that often sound like uncontrollable sighing, giggling, hissing and moaning, even when attacking their prey. It has been stated that this is because Ivy's plants are sentient, but they are also primitive creatures with clear predatory behaviors and no social filters who are new to the sights, sounds and pleasures of the world.
  • Out-Gambitted: Her charms and seduction ultimately failed to break apart Batman and Robin. When she thought she had Robin wrapped around her finger in her lair she thought all he needed was one more push before they shared a kiss, and willingly told him her plan because she didn't think he'd live to make use of it. She finally got her kiss with Robin, but since he finally listened to Batman and protected his lips it was useless and she revealed herself by bragging too soon. Her tactic to kill Robin by seducing him failed and worked against her when she couldn't tell he was now faking his love the same way she was, and Robin beat her with her own kiss.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When in her civilian identity of Pamela Isley she wears a blond wig. As Poison Ivy, she hides her identity with beautiful dresses, different hairstyles and wearing ivy leaves on her eyebrows as a "mask." She even loses the "mask" with her last costume change in her lair, instead wearing heavy eyeshadows.
  • Plant Person: Shockingly enough.
  • Pungeon Master: As bad as Freeze. Though her line about "help(ing) you grab your rocks" was arguably quite funny.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Poison Ivy's superhuman sense of self-satisfaction and confidence means she rarely seen without some kind of smile on her face, from her birth right up to her incarceration. She smiles when she talks; she smiles when she plots; she smiles when she fights; she smiles to seduce people- even when she kisses them sometimes she can't help but flash a little smirk.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: She decides not to use her Kiss of Death on Commissioner Gordon after getting the location of the Bat-Signal out of him. Not for any moral reasons, but because he's too old for her.
  • Psychotic Smirk: She does this usually after having manipulated someone or killing them with her kiss. She can be seen with a nasty one while leaning in to kiss Robin.
  • Sadist: After she's reborn as Poison Ivy, most of the crimes she's responsible for have little to do with the Earth and stem more jealousy and bloodlust. This fits with Ivy's comic characterization, as she's more prone to using ecoterrorism as a front to kill whoever displeases her or just for the fun of it even if she does care about saving plants.
  • Same Language Dub: Although still portrayed by Uma Thurman, she re-dubbed all of her lines for the final theatrical release, as evidenced by the slightly higher-pitched, breathier intonations of her speech in trailers. According to the director, this was to give her a more sultry baritone as well as a more visibly-pronounced drawl. She has stated that she worked with a vocal coach on the voice, and that the original voice was 'less Mae West, more Marilyn'.
  • Sexophone: Poison Ivy's recurring leitmotif is built around this, usually when she appears in the room and goes into seduction mode. It starts off bold, sultry, and alluring before trailing off into eerie, dark territory and rising to a crescendo at the end.
    • The music reflects the actions on screen; the hapless victim becomes seduced by Ivy's charms (sax) and they share a kiss (foreboding drone), whereupon the poison slowly works its way through the body and kills him (crescendo).
  • Sex Sells: In the Blu-Ray commentary, Joel Schumacher admits that much of Ivy's character was written "for the dads."
  • Ship Tease: She spends most of the movie seducing Robin and making him fall completely in love with her.
  • Ship Sinking: She ends up with neither of her would-be-love-interests by the end of the film, all because of her own lies and manipulations.
    • Her efforts to have Mr. Freeze for herself fail when Batman saves his wife and shows him a confession of her attempted murder.
    • Despite her romantic flirting with Robin, she "breaks up" with him after they finally share a kiss. Robin protected himself from her poison and she shoved him into the pond to drown him, angered by his trickery and betrayal of her trust.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: She does these while seducing Robin.
    • At Freeze's hideout she ambushes Robin after Bane knocks him aside. When Robin tries to place her under arrest, telling her to surrender, she interrupts him, completely unintimidated by him, with a mocking "to you?" and blows her love dust in his face and offers him a kiss.
    • At her lair, she and Robin declare their love for each other and she gains his trust by revealing what she and Freeze planned. Before Robin leaves, she finally succeeds in seducing him and plants a passionate kiss on his lips with a smile. After the kiss, she mocks Robin that it was for "bad luck" and condemns him to death with a smirk. When Robin reveals he was wearing rubber lips that protected him from her poison, she glares at him for outsmarting her and stealing a kiss from her and quickly shoves him into her plant-infested lily pond to drown. As Robin struggles for air, Ivy watches for a moment with a smile before walking away, leaving him to his fate. Just to add insult to injury, she officially "breaks up" with him by quickly waving goodbye and mockingly shouting a final "see ya!" to him.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Decides to kick her feet up when she discovers the Turkish Baths. By the time Robin discovers them, it's a little different.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Uma Thurman is six feet tall all by herself; add heels to the mix and she's taller than both George and Chris, who had to be stood on pedestals for the rainforest ball scene. In fact, in heels she stands at almost the same height as 6'2" costar Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Stunned Silence: Part of her Oh, Crap! moment to discovering Robin outsmarted her into revealing her plan to him and managed to steal a kiss from her, is to stare in shock at his rubber lips before glaring at him.
  • Supervillain Lair: Runs out a gang of violent squatters to take over an abandoned Turkish bathhouse and make it over into her own private paradise.
  • Tainted Veins: Her victims show this after ingesting the Venom from her poison kisses. As shown with Woodrue, the tongue also becomes a discolored shade of green.
  • Take Over the World: Aims to do this with Freeze.
  • "Take That!" Kiss:
    • When she first becomes Poison Ivy the first thing she does is take revenge on Woodrue for trying to kill her. She gives him a big kiss on the lips and taunts him immediately that she's poison, pushing him backwards as he dies.
    • Once she finally kisses Robin she reveals her true colors and taunts it is time for him to die. However, it turns out she was the one who received this, not Robin. Robin was pretending to still be in love with her until he knew if she could be trusted and tricked her into revealing her plan to him first. He just stayed long enough to share a kiss with his crush like he wanted. Ivy was pissed once she discovered not only had Robin outsmarted her, he stole a kiss from her.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: She uses her beauty and charms to flirt with different men and lure them to their deaths all to get what she wants. She spends a majority of the film seducing Robin, tricking him into thinking she loves him and manipulating him romantically, all just to lure him to his death and break him and Batman apart. She however becomes angered once she discovers Robin has betrayed her trust, tricking her into revealing what she and Freeze are planning and stealing a kiss from her while his lips are protected. For once she was the one being romantically manipulated, and she didn't take too kindly to it.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She has several pet names for Robin when flirting with him, calling him "Pretty Birdie", "Polly", "My Love" and "Little Robin".
  • The Vamp: She sweet talks any man she can and lures them in for her deadly kiss.
  • Villain Decay: By the end of the film, she's literally wilting away in a prison cell as she picks away the petals of a dead flower and pines over Freeze.
  • Villainous Crush: She becomes attracted to Mr. Freeze after meeting him and breaks him out of Arkham to achieve their plans together, even trying to murder his wife so she can have him to herself.
    • She plays with this during her seductions of Batman and Robin, flirting with them to drive them apart and lure them in for a kiss. It works better on Robin, who falls completely in love with her and convinces him she feels the same way about him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
    • At Freeze's lair she escapes while Batman and Robin are distracted fighting over her (or more specifically Robin fighting Batman over her) and laughs at them as she gets away.
    • She attempts this again at her lair. After Robin survives her kiss she shoves him into the pond to have her vines drown him and she waves goodbye as she attempts to leaves. This attempt is stopped by Batman and Batgirl though.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: With Robin. Though subverted. She only pretends to be in love with Robin to drive him and Batman apart. After Robin survives her kiss, she shoves "her love" off the romantic rose throne they were sharing and into the pond, essentially breaking up with him.
  • We Can Rule Together: Her idea of a big, romantic gesture with Mr. Freeze, complete with killer plants and vengeance.
    • Part of Ivy's machinations to turn Robin against Batman was inviting him to join up with her instead. Robin buys it, at first.
    Poison Ivy: Living in the shadow of the big, bad Bat... You don't need him. You're the star! I can see it now- you're own big, bright signal in the sky...! Let me ''guide'' you...
    Poison Ivy: Let me kiss you...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She starts this way, at the very least; although it doesn't take long before this ends up as a major subversion. Bruce even notes this when she, in her guise as Dr. Isley, tries to talk to him about how humanity is destroying the planet.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated word-for-word in-script; invoked via the magic of Informed Attractiveness.


Antonio Diego/Bane

Played by: Michael Reid MacKay | Robert "Jeep" Swenson

Voiced by: Dai Matsumoto (Japanese, Diego) | Daisuke Gōri (Japanese, Bane)

Appearances: Batman & Robin


After a series of ruthless experiments conducted by Dr. Jason Woodrue, South American serial killer Antonio Diego is transformed into the monstrous, mindless, hulking brute known as Bane. Played by late wrestler Jeep Swenson, this iteration of Bane is an In Name Only version of the character, serving as a monosyllabic Giant Mook for Poison Ivy.

  • Achilles' Heel: The largest tube supplying Venom to Bane's head is this. Once Robin and Batgirl kick it out, he reverts into his much smaller form.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: And how. Whereas the comics Bane was smart enough to come up with a successful plan to beat Batman, this Bane is barely able to speak — only engaging in Hulk Speak and saying half a dozen words or so at most when he did — and relying entirely on animalistic instincts to fight.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Sort of. Bane's father in the comics is Edmund Dorrance, a D-List villain named King Snake, so Bane's surname would by default would also be Dorrance (even if he himself never uses the name). However, this incarnation ignores this completely, giving him the name of Antonio Diego (which crosses over with Named by the Adaptation, since Bane has never been given a first name in any other media and his connection to King Snake wouldn't be revealed until years after Batman & Robin was released).
  • Adaptational Origin Connection: This version of the steroid drug Venom was created by Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), and Bane was created by experimentation of Venom by Dr. Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man in the comics). In the comics, neither of these characters had anything to do with Bane.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Nowhere near as strong or as good a fighter as he is in the comics, where he was a Genius Bruiser who actually manages to defeat Batman, but here he's just a dimwitted minion of Poison Ivy.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He starts out with an ordinary skin tone, but the procedure that makes him Bane turns his skin green.
  • Bald of Evil: He has no hair under that mask.
  • The Brute: He's the muscle for Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze's scheme.
  • Composite Character: This Bane resembles a character named Ivan, later known as Ivor, more. Like this Bane, Ivan doesn't speak much except for short and simple sentences. The scene where Ivy disguises herself with a wig and Bane/Ivan drives her from the airport comes from 1981's Batman #339. Just like Bane, Ivan is turned into a powerful half man, half plant (as evidence in 1982's Batman #344) that's enhanced with a formula that is based on Ivy's (which she developed to create carnivore plants).
  • The Dragon: To Poison Ivy.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Last ten minutes longer than his boss.
  • Dumb Muscle: Bane's not exactly a bookworm. Case in point: When Poison Ivy and Bane break out Mr. Freeze, Bane breaks into the lockup, forgets what he’s supposed to be doing mid-task, goes all the way to Poison Ivy to ask what he needs to do (he can be seen through the cell door while Ivy talks with Freeze, suddenly remembers, then takes an even more difficult route back to Mr. Freeze’s cell, needing to break through a lock and run past multiple guards to do. Plus, he can’t punch correctly.
  • Hulk Speak: He can only say one or two words at a time.
  • Made of Iron: Survived a 700-foot drop.
  • Mighty Glacier: Very strong and hard to damage, but very slow in his movements.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Bane's real name (if he even has one) was never revealed in the comics. Here, he's known as Antonio Diego.
  • Serial Killer: Used to be one of these.
  • Super Serum: Venom, the source of his strength.
  • Tainted Veins: After being injected with Woodrue's Venom.

    Dr. Jason Woodrue 

Dr. Jason Woodrue
"Join me: the two of us entwined, side by side."

Played by: John Glover

Voiced by: Aruno Tahara (Japanese), Gilles Guillot (European French)

Appearances: Batman & Robin

A scientist employed by Wayne Enterprises, and Dr. Pamela Isley's boss.


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