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Characters / Batman: Rogues Gallery

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The Joker: Your city is under attack by Gotham's greatest criminal minds! Including... The Riddler! Scarecrow! Bane! Two-Face! Catwoman! And let's not forget Clay Face! Poison Ivy! Mr. Freeze! Penguin! Crazy Quilt! Eraser! Polka Dot Man! Mime! Tarantula! King Tut! Orca! Killer Moth! March Harriet! Zodiac Master! Gentleman Ghost! Clock King! Calendar Man! Kite Man! Cat Man! Zebra Man! And... The Condiment King.
Pilot: Okay, are you making some of those up?
The Joker: Nope! They're all real. Probably worth a Google!note

Batman has built up one of the biggest and most popular Rogues Galleries in the history of all media. Here are his deadliest and most recurring foes.

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In General

  • Anti-Villain: Not always, but anytime there is a major city wide disaster many of the villains work to help regain order, if only because said order benefits them more than utter chaos. Or for pure self-defense against the most chaotic villains.
  • Ax-Crazy: The majority of Batman's enemies are known to be a
  • Badass Normal: Like their nemesis, very few of them have actual powers and instead rely on their skills, gadgets, weapons, and craziness to get ahead. There are some exceptions though, such as Poison Ivy and Killer Croc.
  • Cardboard Prison: Arkham Asylum cannot hold any of them for long. The Joker and Scarecrow have stated that they feel that Arkham is not so much a prison but a place to relax in between Evil Plans, and it's implied that the rest of the rogues view Arkham in a similar manner. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Joker even manages to use the asylum as an evil lair.
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  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: When one of the rogues acts alone they always stand a fair chance of beating Batman- at least, they manage to get him into the deathtrap of the day before he brings them in. On occasions when they mob him en masse he takes them out one-by-one easily.
  • Dysfunctional Family / Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Depends on the writer and/or the age of the comics, but the Batman's Rogues often are portrayed in this way, especially the regular Arkham inmates. Joker in Death of the Family clearly maintains that Batman's Rogues are the real Bat-Family, and not their sidekicks. They're actually one of the more tight-knit rogues galleries in The DCU, after The Flash's Rogues, happily playing card games with each other or swapping stories about trying to kill Batman.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Some of them can have their moments where they put aside their criminal, anti-social behavior to do what's right. During a prisoner riot at the asylum, Joker, Harley, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Clayface, and Solomon Grundy shielded the pregnant Ingrid Arkham from the violence, with Joker even helping her to deliver her baby, Astrid. All of them were shocked when a new inmate killed Ingrid and just for that, Grundy took the man's head off.
  • Freudian Excuse: Almost all of them have some sort of reason they became villains, usually some sort of untreated mental illness, Abusive Parents, and/or traumatic incident(s) that turned them into the people they are, such as The Joker's "One Bad Day".
  • Idiosyncrazy: Many of the Rogues are (or were, at some point) defined by an absolute fixation on a particular theme or motif, particularly during the Silver Age.
    • Joker & Harley Quinn: Comedy (particularly of the dark and gruesome flavors) and comedic figures (clowns, comedians, etc).
    • Penguin: Birds or umbrellas in the Silver Age, though downplayed in the modern era, where he tends to be depicted as a Pragmatic Villain whose odd appearance is simply affectation.
    • Two-Face: Duality, with doses of chance and coins on the side. Occasionally also courts and criminal justice.
    • Scarecrow: Fear and psychoactive toxins.
    • The Riddler & Cluemaster: Riddles and tests of mental adeptness.
    • Catwoman: Cats, for a time, before she cast that off. She's still depicted as a Kindhearted Cat Lover, though, and will target cat-themed items for the joke of it, just not exclusively.
    • Poison Ivy: Plants and ecoterrorism.
    • The Mad Hatter: The works of Lewis Caroll, with particular favor to Alice in Wonderland.
    • Maxie Zeus: Greco-Roman mythology.
    • The Ventriloquist zigzags the trope. On the one hand, his crimes don't usually have a theme to them. On the other hand, he's a sufferer of split personality disorder who projects his "crime boss" persona through a puppet and insists to the point of insanity that it's the puppet that's the real criminal.
  • Shadow Archetype: Many of Batman's villains display negative forms of his own traits. Joker had a bad day but channeled it differently, Scarecrow uses fear but indiscriminately, Two-Face has a dual identity but no control over it, and so on.
  • Technician vs. Performer: One thing the rogues do is that they're trying to make the death of Batman or their crimes works of art. As Penguin once said:
    Penguin: What is the point of the perfect crime if there is no one to witness it?
  • Thematic Rogues Gallery: There's several different themes present in Batman's rogues; madness (every single member is insane in some way, from Ra's Al Ghul's megalomaniacal savior's complex to the Penguin's Napoleon complex), split identities/faces/masks, and animals.

Specific villains

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