Abattoir (Arnold Etchison)
Arnold Etchison, better known as Abattoir, was a serial killer who was convinced that his family was evil and that he could absorb something of their life force by killing them and desecrating their corpses.
- Asshole Victim: He's a sadistic serial killer who nearly gets melted by Clayface for kidnapping his son, and later gets melted in molten slag after being left to die by Azrael. The only reason anyone is upset by this is that he died before he could tell where he was holding his brother, who dies horribly in a Death Trap.
- The Bad Guy Wins: A post-mortem win, as with the death of Graham Etchison he successfully killed off every last member of his family.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: He once killed 400 cows and 200 birds as part of a deranged ritual to gain immortality.
- Bad with the Bone: Abattoir was obsessed with death and symbols of mortality and frequently used human bones as weapons: either as clubs or sharpened into blades.
- Badass Normal: Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he's good enough to hold his own against Azrael, and sometimes Batman can drop him with a single punch.
- Bullying a Dragon: He tried to blackmail Clayface into doing his dirty work by threatening his son. He would've paid with his life had Azrael not stepped in.
- Darker and Edgier: He debuted in 1991 and with his focus on bloody murder over goofy capers, he's emblematic of pointlessly edgy 90's villains.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Magic exists in the DCU and he's obsessed with occultic rituals to steal life and become immortal, but he doesn't have any magical power at all, he's just a madman.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Falling into a vat of molten metal is a nasty way to go (and the look on his face in his last moments makes it very clear just how nasty), but Abattoir more than had it coming.
- Killed Off for Real: Azrael allowed Abattoir to fall to his death in a vat of molten metal. Abattoir subsequently returned as a ghost (during a brief period of increased supernatural activity, worldwide), to torment the original Batman, and the supervillain Black Hand subsequently resurrected Etchison to serve in his Black Lantern Corps.
- Knife Nut: Abattoir prefered to do his killing with bladed weapons, and generally carried a large number of knives.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Maybe it was wrong of Azrael to let him die, but one can't deny that there's a certain poetic symmetry in the killer who left his last victim to die in a death trap falling into one himself.
- Murder by Inaction: The final battle between Az-Bats and Abattoir caused Abattoir to hang for his life above a vat of molten metal. Abattoir pleaded for help, but Valley allowed him to fall to his death. Since Abattoir was holding his cousin in his hideout, Valley indirectly condemned Graham Etchison to death. It was this act that made Bruce Wayne determined to reclaim the mantle of Batman from Jean-Paul Valley.
- Murder in the Family: His shtick is killing off members of his own family out of the insane belief that he can achieve immortality by killing enough of them.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: When one takes the codename of another word for a slaughterhouse, it's a good sign to give them a wide berth.
- Pet the Dog: While holding little Cassius Payne hostage, Abattoir comforted the boy by reading him a story from his family's journal about his birth. When Cassius' father brought him his brother, Abattoir kept his end of the bargain and gave Preston back his son.
- Pragmatic Villainy: That said, he was just trying to get Cassius to stop crying, and then had no reason to give Preston back his son.
- Serial Killer: Abattoir was a serial killer who was convinced that his family was evil and that he could absorb something of their life force by killing them and desecrating their corpses.
- Stalker Without a Crush: He hounded Graham Etchinson, the last living member of his family, for some time, even going so far as to ensnare the Clayfaces in a plot to kill him. Sadly Abattoir eventually managed to kill Graham off.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Although that's not such a bad thing in his case. Introduced in 1991, he stuck around for less than 4 years before being killed off.
Absence (Una Nemo)
A former girlfriend of Bruce Wayne, Una Nemo took a bullet to the head and survived. Now, she is stalking and killing Bruce Wayne's former mistresses.
- Arc Symbol: Holes in items and missing items that get noticed.
- Attention Whore: Of a sort. She wants to be noticed, because her absence wasn't noticed before.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: She thought people would miss her and think well of her in her absence, but they didnt even say anything of her at her funeral. This causes a major breakdown and leads to her deciding to make sure shes noticed.
- Kansas City Shuffle: She leads Batman and Robin on a chase after her, thinking shes a degenerate lunatic typical of Gotham. Turns out, shes actually saner and more reasonable than expected: she only kept them distracted enough to take out the criminals who blew a hole in her head.
- Meaningful Name: "Nemo" means nobody.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: A former girlfriend of Bruce Wayne, she is now stalking and killing Bruce's other exes.
- 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Because of a very exaggerated case of Dandy Walker Syndrome, the bullet shot through her forehead but missed her brain completely, leaving a softball-sized hole drilled through her skull.
- Yandere: Before her life-changing injury, she had a mild obsession with Bruce Wayne. After the injury she develops an obsession with getting Waynes attention however it happens.
Alberto Falcone / Holiday
The youngest of Carmine Falcone's three children, who desperately wants to join the "family business".
- Dude Where Is My Respect: He's looked down by the rest of the Falcone family, leading to lay claim to all the Holiday Killer murders in order to asume an status greater than that of his father.
- Expy: He's based on Alfredo "Fredo" Corleone, particularly his appearance and his low status within the family despite being a son of The Don.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He's jealous of his elder siblings, Mario and Sofia.
- The Un-Favourite: He gets no respect from the other members of the mob, despite being a son of the Roman.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Alberto is desperate for his father's approval.
The very first Batman villain. Alfred Stryker was a chemical executive in a partnership with three other men. Wanting full ownership of the company, he agreed to secret contracts with his partners to slowly buy the shares from them over the years. He proceeded to send some Hired Guns to take out his partners.
- Adaptational Name Change: He's been called Fred and "Alby" in later retellings. Whenever a writer wants to do a remake of his storyline, expect Stryker to get a name change. Apparently Batman abides by a One Alfred Limit.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: A businessman willing to murder his partners to take full control of the company.
- Disney Villain Death: Knocked into a vat of acid during his scuffle with Batman. The similarities to Joker's origin (falling in a vat of chemicals) have been noticed before, and "Alfred Stryker is the Joker" is something of a fringe theory.
- Fat Bastard: An overweight man willing to kill to take control of a company.
- Mad Scientist: Experiments on guinea pigs in his spare time.
- Starter Villain: First foe Batman ever faced, and Killed Off for Real by issue's end.
Arkham Knight (Astrid Arkham)
Astrid Arkham is the daughter of Jeremiah Arkham, and was born in Arkham Asylum, delivered by Batman's rogues gallery in an act of kindness towards Astrid's mother, who treated them kindly. Her mother was killed after giving birth to her by an unnamed inmate using a discarded batarang. Fearing for her safety, Jeremiah kept her a secret from the world, and she was raised in Arkham Asylum, by both her father and Batman's rogues gallery.
Growing up with a simultaneous fascination and resentment of Batman, when Astrid found an image of her mother's body with a batarang embedded in her throat, and with Jeremiah having lied to her regarding her mother's whereabouts, Astrid devoted herself to destroying Batman for killing her mother. Seeing herself as a knight from her bedtime stories and arming herself with the Asylum's technology, the Arkham family's medieval heirlooms and raising a fanatical group of follows known as the Knights of the Sun, she sets out to destroy Batman physically and symbolically.
- Badass Normal: No powers of any kind, but is able to go toe-to-toe with Batman and Robin.
- Canon Immigrant: The Arkham Knight identity originally came from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Essentially this to Batman's rogues gallery, as she was raised by them. It's also why they are willing to follow her orders.
- Decomposite Character: In the identity's debut, it was a transitional identity for Jason Todd between Robin and the Red Hood. Here, the Knight has nothing to do with Jason.
- Gender Flip: The Knight was male in the original Arkham Knight videogame. And also the former Robin, Jason Todd.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She is close with the likes of the Joker but sees Batman as terrible.
- In the Blood: Seems to carry her family's penchant for insanity.
- Knight Templar: The Knights of the Sun have a heavy medieval knight motif and are all extremely fanatical.
- Light Is Not Good: The Arkham Knight and her Knights of the Sun have a heavy light motif. Their Battle Cry is "Burn back the dark!" and they made their entrance by creating a miniature artificial Sun above Gotham.
- Madwoman in the Attic: Although maybe not Madwoman if Jeremiah didn't decide to keep her existence a secret and raise her in an asylum for the criminally insane.
- Missing Mom: Was told by Jeremiah that her mother disappeared, when in actuality she had died.
- Raised by the Community: The Arkham inmates did more to raise her than her father did, partially thanks to her mother being something of a Morality Pet to them.
- Samus Is a Girl: This version of the Knight is actually Jeremiah's daughter, but everyone assumed the Knight was male at first.
- Tyke-Bomb: Many of the Arkham inmates essentially took advantage of the fact that Dr. Arkham kept his daughter in the asylum to basically raise her into the anti-Batman cause, a scheme almost twenty years in the making.
You'll note that most of the entries on this page are rather old characters. One of the more recent Bat-Villains to make "the leap" to a top-tier threat was Bane, created in the 1990s for a specific purpose: to enable the writers to get Bruce Wayne out of the Bat-costume and replace him with a character intended to turn the readers against '90s Anti-Hero Azrael, and Nineties Anti Heroes in general. The gambit worked spectacularly well.
To say Bane had a bad life is putting it mildly; he was essentially raised in a Central American prison, sentenced there for life while still in the womb for a crime committed by his father. However, once he managed to be old enough to defend himself, he thrived, and was selected for an experimentation program where he was made more durable (via the implantation of subcutaneous armor) and, more importantly, had a delivery system for a super steroid implanted in his body. While not quite superhuman in strength, when on the drugs he was very close, and combined with his genius-level intellect represented a foe unlike any Batman had faced to that point: one arguably as cunning as he was, but with far more physical prowess. After wearing Batman down, Bane eventually caught up to him and shattered his spine. Although eventually defeated by AzBats, that one storyline gave the character enough credibility that he instantly shot up to be one of the top Bat-Villains, and merited appearances on Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and in the disastrous Batman & Robin movie as a result. The final installment of The Dark Knight Trilogy features him as the primary antagonist.
Batman (Thomas Wayne)
When Barry Allen went back in time to save his mother from being murdered by Eobard Thawne, he succeeded but created unintended changes to the timeline, which created the new Flashpoint timeline. One of these changes was that it was a young Bruce Wayne, and not his parents, who died when they were mugged in Crime Alley. Driven by immense grief, Thomas became a more brutal and violent Batman, while Martha became their universe's Joker.
Thomas assisted Barry in restoring the timeline to its proper state, with the knowledge that it would lead to Bruce surviving and becoming Batman and his own death. Barry (mostly) succeeded, with Thomas apparently dying along with his timeline... until it was mysteriously recreated, keeping him alive to deal with the consequences of his actions.
After meeting his adult son and giving him parting words, encouraging him to be a father to his son and give up his life as Batman, Thomas resigned himself to dying as he had lived... only to be brought to the main DCU by a spiteful Eobard Thawne for foiling him to begin with. There, he learned that Bruce did not give up being Batman, and he does not take this well, deciding to join with other Batman villains to force Bruce into retirement.
- The Ace: In-universe, anyway, he's considered the greatest of the Flashpoint timeline's heroes... which says a lot about how crappy that world is. The heroes are only willing to work together to stop Atlantis and Themyscira from fighting if he leads them, and from what we see, he's not particularly good at that.
- The Alcoholic: He's implied to drink a lot and we see him drunk before his "final mission" with Barry.
- Arch-Nemesis: Martha's Joker is his. He wasn't supportive as she was grieving their son and a comment he made essentially began her transition into the monster she would become. He considers her one of his greatest mistakes and regrets all the suffering she caused, from crippling his Selina Kyle to causing the deaths of two children. He still loves Martha deep down but is seemingly able to separate that from his hate for the Joker. The two reconcile somewhat when he tells her helping Barry will bring Bruce back... only for Martha to kill herself when she finds out this will turn Bruce into Batman.
- Arch Nemesis Dad: He becomes this during Tom King's Batman run, working with Bane to so utterly and completely break Bruce to the point that they'd force him to stop being Batman.
- Cosmic Plaything: Thomas' world is brought back by Dr. Manhattan — essentially a god figure at the time — purely to fuck with Barry and Bruce and encourage Bruce to stop being Batman.
- Darker and Edgier: His entire shtick as Batman is that he is one of the edgiest Batmen you will find. He casually uses guns and murders and is driven entirely by loss with none of Bruce's redeeming qualities like compassion and friendship. The only reason he helps Barry is because it will save Bruce, and his entire motivation is giving Bruce the life Thomas thinks he should have.
- Depending on the Writer: How capable he is. Geoff Johns had him as a Batman who wasn't particularly experienced with superpowers but was more of a tactician. Brian Azzarello had him as a slower, more down-to-earth and gritty Batman who was pulpier and less agile. Tom King has him as an uber Batman that is basically Bruce at his peak times 10.
- Deus Angst Machina: The more we learn about his character, the more we learn how much his life absolutely sucks. His son died in a robbery attempt which broke his wife, and he himself did her no favours by losing his patience with her when she was grieving, causing her to turn into the Joker. His world is an absolute shit show, with the Amazons and Atlanteans engaged in a war that has consumed all of Europe and much of the world. He managed to help Barry fix the world and was accepting of his death... only for his world to be brought back by a higher power. He got to talk to his son and once more accepted his death after getting some closure... only for Eobard Thawne to bring him to the main DCU to spite him. Finally, we learn he had a sidekick in the form of his universe's Catwoman, who he saw as a daughter figure... who was crippled by the Joker and made a quadriplegic. Oh, and then he gets his spine broken by Bane. Yeah, this goes a long way towards explaining why he doesn't seem to care if he dies.
- The Dragon: He serves as Bane's when Bane kicks his revenge scheme into high gear — because Bane needs to pretend to be feeble in Arkham, and because having to fight Thomas would emotionally hurt Bruce, he does most of the fighting and heavy lifting while Bane takes on the role of The Chessmaster.
- Dragon Ascendant: He eventually usurps Bane as the villain of Tom King's Batman run, since his beef with Bruce is more emotionally driven while thematically tying into King's run and character analysis of Batman. Plus, Bane wants to completely destroy Bruce before killing him, whereas Thomas just used Bane to help him accomplish the first part — the second part is where their plans diverge, since Thomas wants Bruce to be alive and healthy afterwards.
- Evil Counterpart: Eventually becomes one to the original Thomas Wayne. Whereas that Thomas was stern and somewhat hard to approach at times, he was ultimately a good father. This Thomas is an outright asshole whose misguided attempts at helping his son almost destroyed his life.
- FaceHeel Turn: Goes from an anti-heroic Batman motivated by the promise of his son's life to a villainous asshole motivated by forcing his son into what he thinks is a happy life.
- Foil: He's a Batman driven entirely by loss and the memory of his loved ones and doesn't care if he dies, even having a death wish at times. These are things that Tom King tackled with Bruce, in that Bruce was initially Batman purely because of his dead parents and it was an alternative attempt at suicide for him... but life as Batman changed him for the better, giving him new people to live for and a new reason to keep living.
- For Want of a Nail: His character is meant to be identical to the original Thomas Wayne until the murder at Crime Alley. It's implied the mainstream Thomas could have become like him if Bruce had died.
- Insane Troll Logic: He is motivated by his Papa Wolf tendencies to prevent his son from experiencing the immeasurable pain that comes with being Batman. This leads him to have Alfred murdered, thereby causing Bruce immeasurable pain.
- Love Makes You Evil: His love for Bruce makes him want Bruce to be happy, which Thomas believes he can't be while he's Batman, which is why he wants to so completely destroy Bruce so that he'll stop. It never once clicks to Thomas that Bruce could be happy and be Batman or even that Bruce is happy because he's Batman.
- Old Superhero: He is very old, probably about 60. He is likely the oldest person to ever wear the Batman cowl, and he's able to take down the entire Bat-Family minus Bruce, who he curb stomps almost offhandedly. He stops being a superhero eventually.
- Outliving One's Offspring: In his timeline, Bruce Wayne was killed and he lived another 30+ years, becoming an embittered and violent vigilante.
- Parental Abuse: To absurd degrees. Once he finds out that Bruce didn't stop being Batman like he wanted, Thomas goes to extreme lengths to force Bruce to retire. This ranges from ruining Bruce's wedding with Selina Kyle to digging up Martha's corpse to be resurrected to force a family onto Bruce to just beating the ever loving shit out of him.
- Tragic Keepsake: The gun he uses is the gun Joe Chill used to kill his son.
- Uncertain Doom: At the end of Tom King's run, it's not quite clear what happens to him after Bane breaks his spine — does it kill him or just cripple him?
- Unexplained Recovery: Between the ending of Flashpoint and the start of The Button, somehow Thomas, clearly either dead or about a second away from dying, was able to survive and make it back to Gotham with both the Atlantean army and the Amazon army after him.
- You're Not My Father: How Bruce responds when Thomas keeps lecturing him about how he knows what's best. Bruce refuses to accept Thomas as his father and instead acknowledges Alfred as his father.
Black Mask I (Roman Sionis)
Roman Sionis was about the same age as Bruce Wayne, and likewise had wealthy parents. However, Roman's parents were extremely neglectful and uncaring towards their son; he grew to resent them and the "Masks" they wore (of good, friendly people), when in private they were miserable. Sionis eventually killed his parents, but ran their business into the ground, at which point it was bought out by Bruce Wayne. Sionis snapped, breaking into his parents' crypt and carving a mask out of his mother's coffin. An attempt to get revenge on Wayne by lashing out at his employees failed due to the intervention of Batman, and ended up causing Sionis's Black Mask to be burned onto his face, making it unremovable.
Sionis was a capable gangster (often leading a mask-themed gang called the False-Facers), managing to regain his hold over organized crime after long stays in jail. Sionis grew even more insane and obsessed with torture as time went on. In a notable Catwoman arc, Sionis discovered Selina Kyle's secret identity, and in vengeance for Catwoman attacking his drug rings, tortured Kyle's brother-in-law to death, and forced her sister to eat pieces of his corpse, driving her insane. Sionis was thought dead when after an extended fight, he fell out of his penthouse.
Later, in the Batman: War Games story arc, Black Mask managed to successfully play the opposing forces of a Gotham Gang war against each other. He managed to kill Orpheus, one of Batman's inside men, and assume his identity, and tortured Stephanie Brown, alias the Spoiler, leading to her apparent demise. Sionis became the de facto leader of all of Gotham's organized crime following this. He was later killed when he once again sought to ruin Catwoman's life mistakenly believing she would abide by the No-Kill rule; she responded by shooting him. After Batman's "death", a new Black Mask has surfaced, who turns out to be an Ax-Crazy Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, but he was revealed to be Brainwashed and Crazy after his defeat, and following the reboot is probably no longer in action (especially considering that the reboot also retconned Sionis' death and he has recently reclaimed his old identity).
- Arch-Enemy: In some extent for Catwoman prior to the New 52.
- Ascended Extra: He was active since the 1980's, but though always a competent and dangerous threat Black Mask remained a fairly obscure villain until he was re-imagined as an Ax-Crazy dude with a Skull for a Head who successfully and violently took over the Gotham criminal underworld and generally Took a Level in Badass (this also coincided with his becoming Catwoman's Arch-Enemy in her solo title). Since then he was appeared in several adaptations and has had a major impact on Gotham in general and the Bat-family in particular.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Roman's start of villainy began with him making poor business decisions, now his face has been disfigured to the point where it's just a skull. He's a literal bonehead.
- Ax-Crazy: He can be more brutal and dangerous than even other Batman villains.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Sionis is almost always seen in a fancy business suit, and has been able to take on various allies of Batman.
- Back from the Dead: Sionis, by way of a Black Lantern ring in the Blackest Night crossover, and by way of a Retcon in the DCnU.
- Bad Boss: Watching him in Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Batman, or Batman: Arkham Origins where he regularly beats or kills his own henchmen for little to no reason, can make one wonder who would still want to work for him. In the story mode of Arkham Origins, this is eventually downplayed, as it turns out that the Joker (possibly the epitome of this trope) was impersonating Black Mask since before the game's story began, and Sionis apparently treated some of his henchmen well enough that many of them ended up being killed when they refused to follow Joker, while others were loyal to Roman due to paranoia. This trope is otherwise played straight in the challenge maps.
- Big Bad: For the last pre-New 52 Catwoman series.
- The Chessmaster: In War Games, especially.
- Childhood Brain Damage: Dropped on his head while being delivered, no less.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In one arc he cut up a woman's fiance and fed bits of him to her. It was given all the weight it deserved.
- Color Character: Black Mask.
- Cool Mask: Prior to Batman: No Man's Land, he wore a black wooden mask which hid his whole face.Black Mask: Knows that the mask destroy one identity while creating another. Know that the mask recreates its wearer. Know that through the sublimation of personality, inhibitions die and the nature of the wearer is altered — so that deeper drives and more primitive instincts rise to the surface.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: In War Crimes, following his takeover of the Gotham City underworld, he attempts to get rid of Batman by disguising himself as the Caped Crusader and going out killing people in order to frame him for murder. It's foiled by The Joker, who is annoyed that Sionis (seemingly) killed Stephanie Brown, because she used to be a Robin and Joker thought that meant he should have been the one to kill her.
- Cult: The "True-Facers" in No Man's Land, of which he was the leader, was this.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Inverted. With his incredible skills at planning and organization, he probably could have been a great businessman, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Black Mask subverted this trope when he started out as a legitimate businessman, failed spectacularly, and turned to crime instead. He showed considerably more elan as a crime lord than he ever did as a business executive.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially during his tenure as crime lord after War Games, where most of his commentary crossed the line twice. And were hilarious.Mask: I'm not pleased, you know. Not pleased at all. And despite appearances, this isn't a damned smile on my face.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Uses the identity of Orpheus, an ally of Batman, during War Games.
- Depending on the Writer: Just how crazy he really is. Some storylines have him as a gibbering lunatic, others as just an eccentric (and particularly sadistic) mastermind. The latter is much more common, though.
- Diabolical Mastermind: One of the few crime lords who nearly dominated the Gotham underworld, at least for a brief time. So successful was he that he became a Legacy Character when a new Black Mask used his reputation to nearly do the same.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The stuff he did to Catwoman's sister just to get to Catwoman doesn't bare repeating.
- Evil Former Friend: Like Hush, he was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne.
- Facial Horror: While adaptation portray his current Skull for a Head look as a mask, in the comics, it's his actual face, the result of burns caused during one of his earliest battles with Batman. Even before he ditched the mask in No Man's Land, it was fused to his face as a result of the fire that caused the disfigurement.
- Freudian Excuse: Three of them: he was dropped on his head by the doctor seconds after being born (which may or may not have caused brain damage that permanently altered his personality), and was later bitten by a rabid raccoon. To top it off, he had extremely neglectful parents, who pretended to be happy to the outside world but were actually privately unloving and miserable.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a giant of a man who is both smart enough to near-completely dominate Gotham's underworld and a skilled enough combatant to fight Batman and Catwoman evenly.
- Guns Akimbo: Dual handguns are a trademark of his.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Really, really loves torturing women. That's not to say that he doesn't also do it to men (because he does), but when he does it to women, he does it with a special zeal and plenty of comments evocative of this sentiment.
- Hero Killer: Murdered Orpheus, a member and ally of the Batman family and fellow Gotham vigilante, by slitting his throat and has the distinction of being the second Batman villain besides the Joker to torture and seemingly kill off a Robin in the form of Stephanie Brown.
- It's Personal: Going after Catwoman's sister was not his smartest move, though by this point It's Personal for the two of them.
- Knight of Cerebus: When he's not being Laughably Evil, he's among the darkest of Batman's foes.
- Large and in Charge: At 6'0, he's not the largest of Batman's foes, but he's still a big man with a fairly bulky build.
- Large Ham: Sometimes, like in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- Laughably Evil: During his reign as Kingpin of Gotham, Mask got some great lines.Black Mask: Li, will you please shut the hell up!? I swear to God it's like running a criminal organization with my mother.
- Legacy Character: A new Black Mask has been introduced, although since the New 52 Continuity Reboot, Sionis has reclaimed the title.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He's most well known for being a master manipulator, but he was a skilled enough combatant to hold his own against an enraged Catwoman, which is no mean feat.
- Made of Iron: Part of what makes him an effective hand-to-hand combatant. He's definitely not as skilled as Batman or Catwoman, but he's a big man who can hit hard and take a lot of punishment.
- Manipulative Bastard: In War Games especially, when - posing as Orpheus - he was supposed to give a speech to the assembled gangs of Gotham calling for restraint to avert a gang war; instead, he gave one that started the war, and a riot to boot.
- Multilayer Façade: During War Games, he assumed Orpheus's identity by applying make up over his face. On top of that, he also had to wear Orpheus's helmet. He did the same thing while impersonating Batman in War Crimes.
- No Indoor Voice: Sionis often throws unnecessary tantrums with little provocation, particularly when written by Judd Winick.
- Non-Indicative Name: Eventually. While he did start off wearing a black mask, his charred Skull for a Head look, first seen in Batman: No Man's Land is, in fact, his actual face, having ditched the mask in that story. Not helping this misconception is The Batman, the Batman: Arkham Series, Batman: Bad Blood and Birds of Prey (2020) going for the skull look, but depicting it as an actual mask.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: A horrific sadist and brutal misogynist. But damn if he isn't funny.
- Religion of Evil: In No Man's Land, he turned the False Facers into a cult where everybody (himself included) horribly scarred their faces and shaved their heads so that they all looked alike, and turned them loose to go on a murderous rampage throughout the already devastated city. The second Black Mask referred to his organization as a "Ministry of Science", combining this with his Mad Scientist routine.
- Revenge by Proxy: Many times, but most notoriously in the "Relentless" arc of the 2000s Catwoman series, where after working out Selena Kyle's identity he kidnapped her sister and brother-in-law, and tortured the brother-in-law to death in front of the sister while force-feeding her parts of his body, driving her permanently insane.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: Switching from fighting Batman to tormenting Catwoman to level up, and then using the boost in notoriety that gave him to become, for a time, top villain in Gotham and start fighting Batman again.
- Self-Made Orphan: He killed his parents in a fire to inherit their business and fortune. Unfortunately, he was a lousy businessman and when he tried to burn down the factory to cover his tracks, he wound up with the facial injury that gave him his villain name. He was a lot better at being Ax-Crazy than a businessman anyways.
- Shadow Archetype: Similar to Hush (and preceding him), Black Mask is a Bruce Wayne who suffered from poor parenting and ran his own company into the ground. He's a millionaire who became an extremely violent masked crime lord rather than a moderately violent masked vigilante, and he relies more on his natural hidden talents as a criminal than on years of hard work and study.
- Skull for a Head: Since he Took a Level in Badass, he ditched the mask, revealing that the burns made his face look like a charred skull, whereas before he merely wore a mask.
- Took a Level in Badass: Mask has been around since the 80's, but it's only been in the aftermath of his appearances as Catwoman's arch-enemy, where he's become a dangerous psycho to rival the Joker, that he's been elevated to a top-tier Bat villain, shown up in the cartoons, and is a fan favorite to appear in movie adaptations.
- Torture Technician: Loves to torture his victims. Maggie Kyle is a standout example.Mask: Before we begin, I'd like to address the topic of screaming ... by saying this: go right ahead.
- Tribal Face Paint: The members of Black Mask's False Face Society wear masks as a sign of belonging and loyalty to Black Mask. However, one of Black Mask's lieutenants—the aptly named Tattoo—chooses to go in for elaborate facial tattoos rather than wearing a mask (with the effect being the same, i.e. giving him a 'false face').
- Would Hurt a Child: Thinks nothing of sadistically torturing a teenage girl.
Black Spider I (Eric Needham)
He may fight crime, but he's not a good guy. Black Spider is the identity of Eric Needham, a former drug-addicted youth who robbed a liquor store and killed the owner. Said owner turned out to be his father. Out of remorse, he kicked the habit and begins a war on the drug trade. Donning a costume, he became a self-styled vigilante who kills drug dealers, and this puts him in conflict with Batman for having a strict no-kill rule. Despite Black Spider's insistence that they should be allies, they continued to fight due to his murderous methods going against the Dark Knight's.
Black Spider was ultimately killed in an Evil vs. Evil battle with a drug lord responsible for the death of his wife and son, where he blew himself up with his own bomb, taking them with him. He got better later on, though.
- Animal Motifs: Spiders, obviously enough.
- Anti-Villain: Originally, he's certainly more heroic than other villains Batman has faced, and has a sympathetic backstory, but his Knight Templar outlook puts him at odds with Batman. Post-resurrection, he was shown willing to hang out with assassins.
- Color Animal Codename: A black spider, of course. Crosses over with Captain Ethnic.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a wife and son that he loved dearly, and lost. This prompts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Foil: To Batman. Though they're dark crimefighters with motifs based on feared animals, Eric directly contrasts Bruce. He's black, grew up poor, killed his own father, and is a Knight Templar out to kill any criminal he finds. Bruce is white, grew up rich, had his family taken from him by a mugger, and adheres to the code of Thou Shalt Not Kill.
- Knight Templar: Considers himself a hero, but his willingness to kill anyone he views as an enemy pegs him as this. Though as noted below, this took a hit after his return.
- Legacy Character: Johnny LaMonica and Derrick Coe have also donned the Black Spider identity, though they aren't nearly as well-known as Needham.
- Scary Black Man: A mass-murdering Knight Templar who is also African-American.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his own father in a drug-induced homicide, which prompts him to kick the habit.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Black Spider hunts and kills criminals.
- Shadow Archetype: To Batman. Both fight crime after losing their loved ones, but Batman adheres to not killing whereas Black Spider is a murderer.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Suicide Squad, being that he's a Serial-Killer Killer among murderers and supervillains. Subverted in that he's actually a double agent for Basilisk, a terrorist organization.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: His Unexplained Recovery also saw this. Case in point: Identity Crisis saw him as among the villains Dr. Light turns to for help — which includes Merlyn, Deathstroke, and Cheshire.
- Unexplained Recovery: He dies by blowing himself up in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Then he shows up later with absolutely no explanation.
Le Bossu (Guy Dax)
A famous French neurosurgeon who dresses up in a Hunchback costume to lead a double life of killing and maiming. He first came to Gotham after being recruited into Simon Hurt's Club of Villains. After being scarred by the Joker during his crimes and thus unable to return to his old life without being exposed, he stays in Gotham to devote his whole life to evil.
- Ax-Crazy: Definitely. He even once killed a man just to see how well the Black Glove could cover it up.
- Becoming the Mask: A literal example. He used to wear a deformed mask when he went into his Le Bossu role. After attempting to get the Joker to join the Club of Villains, the Joker attacks him and cuts his face up to resemble the mask.
- Broken Pedestal: A villainous version. When Doctor Hurt and the Club of Villains take over Arkham Asylum, Le Bossu recruits the Joker, while telling him how much Bossu and the other members of the Club admire him. The Joker's response is to carve up Bossu's face, and joins the Club only to later turn on them, the the Black Glove, and Doctor Hurt.
- Evil Cripple: Subverted. He at first appears to have a deformed back, but it's later revealed that it's just a costume he wears as part of his criminal recreation.
- Living a Double Life: Before he moved to Gotham, he lived two lives, one as a respected neurosurgeon and family man, and the other as a sadistic supervillain.
- Lobotomy: This is his specialty.
- Mad Doctor: Uses his medical skills for evil.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: His henchmen dress up in gargoyle costumes.
- Psycho Psychologist: Poses as this when he infiltrates Arkham Asylum.
- Sadist: He leads a whole double life devoted to hurting people for his own pleasure.
- Shout-Out: His whole aesthetic, from his costume to his gargoyle henchmen, is a reference to The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Tempting Fate: "Even Batman and Robin are dead..." Cue Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin appearing to take him down.
Brother freakin' EYE, Bruce Wayne's and Mister Terrific/Michael Holt's robotic creation/program to act as a metahuman database and deterrent. Has gone full SkyNet/Ultron not long after achieving sentience. Proved to be quite a Hero Killer and a very big problem for Batman personally.
The EYE took over the O.M.A.C. Project and began to transform ordinary people (and, later, metahumans) with nanotech. Most famously, Kevin Kho, whom the EYE repeatedly transformed into a hulking monster to serve as its agent on Earth. But, Kev was lucky, as later versions were not able to turn back to humans. Oh, and most importantly, the EYE tried to take over the world. Once he even succeeded.
- Affably Evil: Has this kind of personality.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Very much this, brings one of the most disgusting machine apocalypses ever.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To Marvel's Ultron and the Sentinels, Terminator's SkyNet and, in a less noticeable way, The Matrix.
- Bruce Wayne and Michael Holt in relation to Brother EYE is something akin to Tony Stark and Hank Pym in relation to Ultron.
- EYE's method of corrupting civilians and heroes is reminiscent of Marvel's Prime Sentinels; both are human beings involuntarily transformed into Cape Busters through nanotechnology.
- Bad Future: Brings it.
- Body Motifs: Very. Creepy. Red. Eyes. Brother Eye is shaped like an eye, and all the O.M.A.C.s have an eye symbol somewhere in their bodies.
- Brains and Brawn: Brother Eye and O.M.A.C.s.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cannot fathom why Batman trusts other superheroes, particularly ones who have a history of falling into villainy. Which makes sense, because it was designed and built by Batman at a moment when he felt he couldn't completely trust any other superhero, in preparation for a time when he couldn't at all.
- Fun with Acronyms: O.M.A.C.: One-Man Army Corps, Observational Metahuman Activity Construct, Omni-Mind And Community and so on.
- Gone Horribly Right: Being a Hero Killer? Being The Virus? Both part of the original design specification. Sure, Batman didn't intend it to activate when it did, or be so indiscriminate, but when you get right down to it, Brother Eye was doing exactly what it was designed to. The heroes call Batman out on this when they learn, of course.
- Hero Killer: Yup.
- Invincible Villain: Almost. It took years and multiple failed attempts to take him down. And then the universe reset, and he came back along with it.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: When people become O.M.A.C.s, with Brother Eye controlling the transformations.
- Kill Sat: His default form.
- Meaningful Name: Brother Eye was originally Brother I — that is, the first iteration of the Brother series. By implication, this makes him Big Brother.
- Nano Technology: Why he is so dangerous.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Brother Eye could boost O.M.A.C.'s abilities whenever needed.
- One Man Army Corps: Every single O.M.A.C. In fact, it's what the acronym stands for (Depending on the Writer).
- Super Soldier / Superpowered Alter Ego: O.M.A.C.s.
- Teleportation: Brother Eye can do this with O.M.A.C.s, transporting them to places (and sometimes - time) of Eye's choosing.
- Time Travel: Central elements of a quite few series.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Against Bruce Wayne and Michael Holt.
- The Virus: Modern O.M.A.C.s are unsuspecting humans infected with nanites.
Cain/Orphan I (David Cain)
One of the greatest assassins on the planet, Cain helped to train Bruce Wayne in the years before he became Batman. In addition, it is later revealed that in his youth Cain was a high-ranking member of the League of Assassins. It was during this time that he developed theories on the possibility of raising a child to become the ultimate fighter, the One Who Is All. After his first few attempts failed, he approached Sandra Woosan, the woman who would become Lady Shiva, and convinced her to carry his child. The resulting child, Cassandra Cain, was raised by Cain and the League to become the perfect killing machine. Despite his physical abuse towards his daughter, Cain did seem to love her deeply.
In the New 52, David, now known as the Orphan, is a significantly different character. An agent of the human trafficker known as Mother, he objected to her use of drugs and modification to train her Child Soldiers, as opposed to the "old ways". Cassandra was his attempt to show her the potential of a more "traditionally trained" killer. This version of Cain has much less affection for his daughter.
- Abusive Parents: Just how abusive depends on the writer, but even at his tamest his treatment of Cassandra easily crosses the Moral Event Horizon.Stephanie Brown: When my dad was mad at me he'd lock me in the closet - what did yours do?Cassandra Cain: Shot me.
- The Alcoholic: When he doesn't have a gun in his hand, bottle of whiskey usually takes its place.
- Death Seeker: By the end of the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive arc, he's perfectly willing to let Deadshot kill him, at least at first.
- Depending on the Artist: Is his natural hair color silver, brown, or black? It all depends on the issue. Batman and Robin Eternal seems to have settled on black.
- The Dragon: To Mother, as Orphan, and to Lex Luthor during Bruce Wayne: Fugitive. He used to be this to Ra's Al-Ghul, but by the time of the comics he's long since left the League of Assassins.
- Evil Mentor: To Bruce. He also trained Deadshot.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Not exactly, since he wanted Cassandra to be his personal killing machine, but he does seem a bit proud of her regardless, and framed Bruce for murder because he felt he would be just as bad for Cassandra as he had been.
- In the Hood: As Orphan.
- Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Waltzes out of prison to deliver his daughter a birthday gift, and then back in at around the same time as his escape is discovered.
- Villain Decay: In-universe. He used to be one of the most feared assassins in the world, but these days he spends more of his time drinking his sorrows away. Deadshot lampshades this.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Pre-Flashpoint, he has silver hair, and he is even shown as having it in his youth Depending on the Artist.
- Would Hurt a Child: His training methods for Cassandra (and her predecessors, who were not so lucky as her) involved shooting her.
Calendar Man (Julian Gregory Day)
Calendar Man was another gimmick Batman villain from The Silver Age of Comic Books who committed thematic crimes based on days, like holidays or days of the week, using elaborate contraptions and spectacle.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Day didn't reappear until The Long Halloween. Like almost every other villain Calendar Man got a Darker and Edgier revamp. Throughout The Long Halloween Batman consults Day on the identity of the Holiday Killer, who hints that he knows who it is but never says. Since then his appearances have been sporadic.
- Action Fashionista: Calendar Man has a default supervillain costume, but also dons specific outfits to fit the theme of each crime he commits, along with specialized weaponry for each crime.
- Bald of Evil: Calendar Man apparently shaves his head, adding to his weird sanitized look.
- Born-Again Immortality: In Tom King's Rebirth run, he is appropriately reimagined as a villain who literally dies, molts and rejuvenates with the passing of seasons.
- Expy: A pretty blatant expy of Hannibal Lecter during The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
- Shoulders of Doom: His old Calendar Man costume had giant epaulets that looked like calendar pages.
- Sissy Villain: After his revamp, especially when drawn by Tim Sale, Day keeps doing this with his hands, and constantly purses his lips like he's putting on lipstick, and has very stylized eyebrows.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: A guy who commits crimes based on days of the year just happens to be named Julian Gregory Day.
- Tattooed Crook: Has abbreviations of the months of the year tattooed around his head.
- Took a Level in Badass: He was once the textbook image of the pathetic, silly gimmick Bat Rogue, but in modern comics he is generally treated as a more legitimate threat thanks to his popular Hannibal Lecter-esque redesign.
Cap'n Fear (Unknown)
A mysterious criminal, who along with his crew of river pirates, robbed Gotham's elite on cruise ships near the city's harbor. Batman thought Cap'n Fear was just a regular crook who had a piracy theme. This nearly killed him when Fear subdued and tied him to a buoy in shark-infested waters and knocked Robin unconscious and threw him back into a doomed Batboat.
- Dressed to Plunder: Fear's costume is a stylised version of what people generally consider a pirate's outfit to be.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Cap'n Fear embraces every pirate trope there is with both hands.
- Pirate Girl: the 2-I-C of Fear's crew is almost always a buxom female first mate.
- Pirate Parrot: Fear travels with a robotic parrot that randomly records and repeats phrases.
- Talk Like a Pirate: To the point that one of his crew wants to quit because he is sick of all the "Popeye crap!"
Captain Stingaree (Karl Courtney)
Born one of a set of quadruplets, Karl Courtney was always the black sheep of the family. Donning a cutlass and pirate outfit, Karl became Captain Stingaree. In his first outing, Captain Stingaree attempted to uncover Batman's secret identity. Somehow Stingaree had become convinced that his three brothers were actually Batman.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Captain Stingaree dresses in an outfit from the golden age of piracy.
- Bald of Evil: Stingaree shaves his head (his brothers do not share his baldness).
- Black Sheep: Karl is the black sheep of the Courtney. His three brothers established a successful detective agency, while he became a supervillain.
- Dressed to Plunder: Stingaree's outfit hits most of the options for this trope; losing points only for still possessing all of his limbs.
- Eyepatch of Power: Courtney wears one. It depends on the artist whether this is an affectation, or if he is actually missing an eye.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Stingaree dresses like a pirate.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Although not to the same extent as fellow rogue Cap'n Fear.
Carla Falcone / Carla Viti
The sister of Carmine Falcone and the head of her own crime family in Chicago.
Carmine Falcone (The Roman)
Another "normal" Batman foe. First appearing in Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween, Carmine tends to appear in stories or adaptations set earlier in Batmans career, where hes made out to be the top crime lord in Gotham back before the advent of super villains, though he sometimes appears in present-day stories post-reboot. Members of his crime family have also popped up as standalone villains. Some works imply that he's Catwoman's father.
- Composite Character: Most adaptations want to cut down on the number of vanilla gangster characters, so Falcone typically winds up blended with Lew Moxon (the guy who hired Joe Chill) or Sal Maroni (the guy who scarred Two-Face).
- The Don: Of Gotham City.
- End of an Age: Most stories featuring him show his empire giving way to the more classic Bat-rogues.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loves his son Alberto and wants him to lead a legitimate life outside of crime.
- Expy: A rather obvious one for Don Corleone, with his son Alberto taking the role of Michael, Mario the role of Fredo and Sofia Gigante the one of Sonny. His appearance is closer to that of Robert De Niro - who portrayed the younger Vito Corleone. In turn, the animated series seems to replace Falcone with Arnold Stromwell.
- Feuding Families: His outfit vs. Sal Maroni's.
- Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: He's Italian. His enforcers are Irish.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has three scars on the side of his face courtesy of Catwoman's claws.
- Irony: Despises the new breed of insane criminal popping up in Gotham, yet one of his children might be the Holiday Killer, another one of his kids is the Hangman, and Catwoman might be another one of his kids.
- Red Baron: Called the Roman, both because he's from Rome and because he controls a massive criminal empire, which is also referred to as "The Roman Empire".
The Carpenter (Jenna Duffy)
A small time thief and con artist, Duffy was originally from Keystone before moving to Gotham on the run from the cops. In Gotham she becomes a member of the Wonderland Gang. While not much of a criminal she has made a name for herself as a renovator for the hideouts of Gotham's extensive criminal element.
- Big Bad Wannabe: She wants to be seen as a legitimate criminal, but outside of the Wonderland Gang most just see her as the repair man when their hideouts get wrecked.
- Deathtrap: Who do you think builds them?
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Funnily enough she is actually annoyed when people take her title literally, that said she is indeed a rather skilled carpenter.
- Hero of Another Story / Lower-Deck Episode: Batman never faced "The Director" because he made the mistake of trying to Shoot the Builder.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Provides the trope image.
- Most Common Super Power: She has big breasts.
- Nail 'Em: Carries a nailgun as one of her weapons.
- Only Sane Man: One of the more stable and well-adjusted of Gotham's villains. Though her insistence on working with Gotham's underworld (whether as a henchman or contractor) rather than just getting a job as a normal carpenter indicates she's not completely right in the head, either. To be fair, however, she admits that part of the appeal of working with Gotham's villains is that they pay ridiculously well, and she truly is in it for the cash.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Unlike most of Gotham's named villains, she's just in it for the money. Or so she claims.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A defining trait. In her first appearance, she realizes she's outclassed by Batman, and just lets him pass without a fight. She even decided to skip town entirely at one point (plenty of work in less crazy towns), though it didn't last.
Catwoman I (Selina Kyle)
Cavalier (Mortimer Drake)
Mortimer Drake was a man of exotic and idiosyncratic taste. When he found himself unable to purchase more exotic valuables for his collection legally, he resorted to theft. Donning a costume resembling that of a Musketeer, he called himself the Cavalier. His course of actions ultimately brought him into conflict with Batman and Robin. Drake matched wits against Batman and Robin several times, and escaped them in each encounter, but Batman was able to deduce the Cavalier's identity, leading to Drake's eventual imprisonment.
- Affably Evil: The Cavalier has been known to pause during a crime spree to help an old lady with her groceries.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The Cavalier dresses in a Musketeer outfit.
- Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Wields an electrified rapier.
- Master Swordsman: The Cavalier is an expert swordsman, who sometimes wields an electrified rapier. In "Where Were You on the Night Batman was Killed?", he claims he killed Batman in a sword duel, and he is good enough that people are willing to give serious consideration to this claim.
- Weaponized Headgear: The plume in Cavalier's hat is actually a steel-tipped dart.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The Cavalier's code of chivalry forbids him from striking a female. (Although, Depending on the Writer, he has been shown as willing to abandon this rule in extremis.)
Clayface I (Basil Karlo)
Basil Karlo was an actor who, when he heard his classic horror film "Dread Castle" was being remade, went mad. He donned the mask of "Clayface," the villain he played in another film, and went on a killing spree, murdering the members of the cast and crew. However, he was stopped by Batman, reappearing a few times before remaining unused. However, during his absence, several other criminals with the name Clayface appeared. They were all made of clay, could change shape, and one even had a poisonous touch.
One of these new Clayfaces visited Karlo in prison out of curiosity, and they formed a plan where all living Clayfaces would team up against Batman. The group, called "The Mud Pack," was beaten, but Karlo obtained the powers of all the other Clayfaces, becoming a much bigger threat.
- Adaptational Heroism: From the New 52 onward, Karlo has been depicted as much less of a villain and more of a desperate, tragic man, looking for a purpose and without full control of what his powers do to him psychologically. Following Rebirth, the Bat-family finally gives him aid and a place to belong, and he joins the team.
- All Your Powers Combined: In the "Mud Pack" storyline, Basil joined forces with the other Clayfaces (except for the deceased Matt Hagen) to form the titular terracotta team, only to double-cross them at the end and steal all of their powers for himself, transforming him into the "Ultimate Clayface".
- Asshole Victim: Shortly after becoming the Ultimate Clayface, he gets sent burrowing to the center of the earth by the combined efforts of Looker and Batman. While he eventually digs himself out, Poison Ivy soon uses him as soil for her gardens. In both cases he's such a vile, inhumanly cruel scumbag that it's impossible to feel bad for him.
- Body Horror: In DC Rebirth, as a child, he saw his father, a Ray Harryhausen expy, mold his face with a substance called Renu. After suffering from a grave car accident just as he was getting his big break, he began using the remainder of his father's stock of Renu to restore his mangled face. When his supply started running low, he tried to buy more, only to learn the product (which was made to mold plastic, and explicitly warned against application to skin) had been discontinued twenty years before... because it had the tendency to melt off people's hands. The fact that it also destabilized his neuron pathways didnt help. And then he got a full-body bath of the stuff.
- The Brute: Most of Karlo's pre-Rebirth incarnations could be described this way, with the version of him from the New 52 having the dubious distinction of being Karlo at his most dense and brutish.
- Composite Character: Nearly every adaptation of Clayface combines Karlo's name and background with the appearance and powers of Matt Hagen. Averted once Karlo became a shape changing monster in the comics. The latest iteration of Karlo, as seen in Detective Comics Annual #1 shows a young Basil Karlo become Clayface through a series of events somewhat mirroring the events that transformed the Batman: the Animated Series version of Matt Hagen.
- Continuity Snarl: Depending on how you count it, there have been no fewer than eight different Clayfaces throughout the years, many of which cannibalized bits of former version's names, powers, and backstory while ignoring other bits and adding their own twists, making pinning down Clayface even more challenging than usual for a comic book character. Even individually speaking, Basil's history is very inconsistent and full of gaps, mainly because he practically skipped the entirety of the Silver and Bronze Ages, with his sole appearance in the latter era ending in his apparent death (Detective Comics #496). That story was completely ignored when the character was revamped in the late '80s.
- The Corruption: Karlo's abilities have more recently become this, with him slipping more and more into a dangerous, reactive state if he doesn't apply intense concentration while maintaining form.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He decides to murder people because they're remaking his film without him in the starring role, even though he was brought on as a consultant.
- Dramatic Irony: An old horror movie actor who went insane after they announced a rebooted form of one of his old movies would decades later be rebooted himself into a younger, more tragic personality.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Karlo's earliest appearances in the Golden Age of Comics can count as this for modern readers since he completely lacked any clay-related superpowers, simply being an extremely bitter and psychotic has-been actor who wore a gruesome facial disguise to commit crimes.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Clayface is a walking mountain of mud, and can use his powers for shapeshifting or brute strength.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Even before gaining clay powers, Karlo was a ruthless and cunning foe who could hold his own against Batman and Robin. That he strung along and duped his mutant teammates into taking their powers shows just how dangerous he can be with just his cruel mind.
- Evil Is Petty: Oh Lord, where do we begin? The man became a Serial Killer over a remake of his greatest film, swears revenge on Batman for stopping him from killing more people, and gruesomely devours those he suspects are making fun of his old movies. He could give the Joker himself a run for his money.
- Flanderization: Karlo was previously characterized as an ego-maniacal actor, but then writers and artists began depicting him more like the Clayface from the animated series, who was more-or-less an amalgamation of the first four Clayfaces, but more predominately Matt Hagen, the second. The difficulty in this is that, the comic version of Hagen was Killed Off for Real during Crisis on Infinite Earths. Unless it's outright stated in the story featuring him, readers have a hard time telling if Clayface is Karlo or Hagen.
- Hate Sink: Unlike his fellow clay-beings and most other rogues, there is utterly nothing sympathetic or redeemable about Karlo whatsoever. He was a serial killer even before becoming a true Clayface, and is usually motivated by a desire to stoke his own bloated ego, no matter how many people he has to bury alive to do it. Averted by his New 52/Rebirth counterpart, who shares more in common with Preston Payne and Animated!Matt Hagen.
- Humanoid Abomination: Since becoming the "Ultimate Clayface".
- I Was Quite a Looker: In the New 52 / DC Rebirth continuity at least."See that handsome guy right there? The one with those blue eyes that look right into your soul? That's Basil Karlo. That's me."
- Irony: The original super-criminal to bear the name Clayface was, in his original incarnation at least, the only one to not possess some form of clay-related superpower or shapeshifting ability (besides mundane talents for disguise). The realisation of his complete inferiority compared to his successors lead him to form a plot to steal all their powers and thereby live up to his moniker as the "Ultimate Clayface".
- Large Ham: Comes with the acting background. After receiving the abilities of Preston Payne and Shondra Fuller, Karlo regarded himself as "THE ULTIMATE CLAYFACE!"
- Legacy Character: There have so far been eight Clayfaces.
- Long Bus Trip: After a few appearances in the Golden Age, the Basil Karlo Clayface was pretty much entirely absent from comics for around five decades until he eventually returned in his most famous form in the late '80s.
- Make Them Rot/Touch of Death/Poisonous Person: Gained this ability from Preston Payne.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In Rebirth he stabilizes for the first time in years and actually has the chance to think on what he's done, leading him to feel a massive surge of guilt (particularly in his treatment of Glory, a former fan of his who he mercilessly mutilated, leading her to become the villainess Mudface).
- Mythology Gag: In the Rebirth continuity, the last film Karlo worked on before turning into Clayface was "Second Skin," a period piece about a silent film actor who goes on a killing spree when one of his movies gets a remake. That was exactly the reason the original Basil Karlo became Clayface. Rebirth Karlo also worked on "Dread Castle," the very movie that was the focus of Karlo's debut in the Golden Age.
- Name-Face Name: Perhaps the only thing that is consistent with all versions.
- Nested Mouths: His design in the New 52 gives him another set of teeth behind his normal mouth (it disappears when he shapeshifts his face), but it's inconsistent.
- Nightmare Face: Karlo's original disguise included stage make-up to simulate a disfigured appearance.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Obvious stand-in for Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney.
- Odd Friendship: Post HeelFace Turn, he developed a friendship with, of all people, Cassandra Cain. (The Second Batgirl/ the current Orphan.) They hang out practicing Shakespeare with each other on occasion, and relate based on both of them being outcasts; Basil for his freakish appearance, and Cassandra for her trouble with speaking.
- Poisonous Person: Inherits this power from Preston Payne, a poisonous touch that would melt people's skin. In some versions, it seems to turn people into mud much like his own body (though nonliving).
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Can morph his hands into maces, hammers, or other weapons.
- The Sociopath: Pre-Rebirth Karlo views life itself as his own grand movie, has zero regard for human life, uses and disposes of people at his leisure, and throws homicidal fits if things don't go his way.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Can form clothing out of his own substance after gaining the powers of the other Clayfaces.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Rebirth Karlo received combat training from the Bat-family and became much more effective as a result. In addition to learning how to actually handle himself in combat and not just flail around, they also encouraged more imaginative uses of his powers, such as becoming a living armor around Batman to protect him during a fight with a powerful villain.
- Tragic Villain: Some adaptations and the other versions of Clayface are shown to be this. This is ironically averted with Pre-Rebirth Karlo. His villainy isn't the result of mental illness or his monstrous condition. He is simply a malicious, entitled psychopath who kills and tortures to satisfy his sick ego.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Poison Ivy in the later post-Crisis stories.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: After becoming a true Clayface.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: A male version. Basil Karlo was once a well-respected actor and make-up artist whose career tanked after several public scandals turned the viewing audience against him. In his later years, Karlo proclaimed he was the greatest actor of all time and was driven to murder after learning they were remaking one of his best horror films without him in the starring role.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: None of Karlo's incarnations have been particularly sane, but it wasn't until Rebirth that his Sanity Slippage started being explicitly tied to his powers. Bruce and Tim invented a bracelet that could stabilize his powers temporarily, leading to him being able to think much more clearly.
Clayface II (Matt Hagen)
Matt Hagen found a submarine mist that could turn him into a mud-like man who could change shape. He decided to use this power to steal works of art and got in conflict with Batman. Hagen eventually died during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- Composite Character: Nearly every adaptation of Clayface combines Hagen's appearance and powers with the name and background of Basil Karlo. Averted once Karlo became a shape changing monster in the comics.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Clayface is a walking mountain of mud, and can use his powers for shapeshifting or brute strength.
- Flat Character: Before his reinvention in the animated series there really wasn't a lot to say about Hagen's personality beyond being a greedy, amoral thug who uses his powers for crime. Some stories interpret him as either a ruthless opportunist or an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, but either way he's definitely not one of the more complex or memorable rogues.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by shadow demons alongside Ten-Eyed Man.
- The End... Or Is It?: A Secret Files issue teased his possible survival, but subverted it for laughs.
- Legacy Character: The second of eight Clayfaces.
- Name-Face Name: Just like his predecessor and successors.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Can morph his hands into maces, hammers, or other weapons.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Can form clothing out of his own substance as part of his disguises.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The first Clayface to have this power.
Clayface III (Preston Payne)
Suffering from hyperpituitarism, Preston Payne sought to cure his condition. Creating an enzyme made from the DNA of the then-living Matt Hagen, Payne hoped to cure his condition. Instead, his appearance became permanently clay-like without the ability to reshape himself, and he was afflicted with unyielding pain. The only way Preston is briefly able to remove his sickness is by passing it on to other people through a "Midas Melt" touch that turns human flesh to protoplasm.
- And I Must Scream: He basically exists in a permanent state of this, completely unable to physically interact with the world outside of his exoskeleton prison without dissolving it on contact. As his mental state deteriorates thanks to his condition, he's not even safe in his own mind. This is why Helena the mannequin means so much to him: she's the only woman he can touch without fear of killing (at least until he meets Shondra Fuller/Lady Clay). Suffice to say, it truly does suck to be Preston Payne.
- Anti-Villain: Preston's a reluctant killer who has no desire for a life of crime, only killing people out of necessity to temporarily rid himself of the blinding pain he suffers from.
- Badass Cape: He wears a blue cape, an affection unique to him among Clayfaces.
- Badass Family: Preston and Sondra are a married couple, and both are super-strong clay powerhouses. Their son Cassius inherited both their powers and is even more dangerous than his parents. Additionally, all the Clayfaces are genetically connected, and they are some of the most powerful foes Batman has ever faced.
- Battle Couple: With his melting touch and her shape-shifting, Preston and Sondra are a force to be reckoned with.
- Body Horror: Beneath his exoskeleton, his clay-like body is in a near-permanent state of decay.
- Companion Cube: After his initial killing spree, Preston takes a shine to an inanimate store window mannequin that he names Helena. Not only is he delusional enough that he sees and treats her like a real woman, but in one story he works himself up into a fit of psychotic jealousy when he begins to suspect Helena of having an affair with another mannequin.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After taking a Long Bus Trip through the late 90s and most of the 2000s, he comes Back for the Dead in Justice League: Cry for Justice, being mutated by Prometheus and forced to be a living Booby Trap for the League.
- Happily Married: With Shondra Fuller, the fourth Clayface.
- Legacy Character: The third Clayface.
- Long Bus Trip: Preston was completely MIA from 1994 to 2009.
- Make Them Rot/Touch of Death/Poisonous Person: His chief power is that he can melt people into.
- Papa Wolf: When Abattoir has his son, he's willing to kidnap and kill just to keep Cassius safe. When the killer returns his son, Preston isn't about to let him off the hook:''"You dirty rat! No one takes my kid and walks! You caused me and my wife a lot of heartache, you worm! I'm going to see that you suffer-I'm going to see you burn!
- Powered Armor: He wears an exoskeleton suit to keep himself from touching people, though he can takes off his gloves so he can. It gives him superhuman strength, enough to give Batman a serious challenge.
The Cluemaster (Arthur Brown)
A failed game show host who turned to a life of crime, leaving behind clues to his activities to demonstrate his superiority to the police, who were stumped trying to figure them out. Batman had no such difficulty and would regularly stop and imprison The Cluemaster, aided by Arthur's daughter Stephanie, who became the Spoiler to stop his criminal activities. He would later join the Suicide Squad to atone for his crimes and was briefly thought dead before reemerging once more as a criminal.
Post-Flashpoint, the Cluemaster's origin remains much the same, although he avoided going to prison by convincing Batman that he would give up crime for the sake of his family. This was a lie, and during the events of Batman Eternal he plots with several other villains to contribute to the chaos of Gotham City while attempting to hunt down and kill his daughter Stephanie after she discovered him meeting with several of his criminal associates.
- Abusive Parents: His introduction Post-Flashpoint is attempting to kill Stephanie after she walked in on him meeting with several of his supervillain friends and commenting that he would have to do better with his next child.
- Adaptational Badass: Zigzagged Post-Flashpoint; while he was caught and outsmarted by his daughter multiple times, he managed to mastermind the entire plan simply by removing Jim Gordon from his position, and having the rest of Batman's top villains go wild on the city by sending them invitations to do so. He even managed to "follow the clues" to discover the Court of Owls, something which Batman had failed to do before.
- Beneath Suspicion: Batman and Vicki Vale both dismiss him as a "second rate Riddler knock-off". In fact, he counted on this for his plan in Batman Eternal, taking in other C-list villains such as Lock-Up, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Signalman to cause the most chaos, with nobody, not even Batman, believing he could possibly be the mastermind or the main problem.
- Big Bad: Of Batman Eternal, although he ends up being Hijacked by Ganon by Lincoln March at the end.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: He has a few chances to kill Stephanie but keeps screwing it up by monologuing or going about it in a complicated manner. Shows up again when he could have just shot and killed Batman while he was chained to the Bat-signal, but he again monologues before he tries to shoot him, giving Batman a chance to break free. After they fight, Cluemaster pulls his gun and prepares to finish the job, but Lincoln March steps in and slashes his throat. Though to be fair, Bruce hadn't gotten any sleep for more than a day and had been running himself ragged for even longer, had gotten his chest cut open, and was barely capable of standing.
- Death by Secret Identity: Gets his throat slit by Lincoln March minutes after learning Bruce's identity as Batman.
- Depending on the Writer: Whether he's an Insufferable Genius or Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: He exploits this trope in Batman Eternal, bringing in bigger and bigger villains by setting events in motion then simply inviting them so that Batman would reach higher for villains to be in charge without thinking down to the C and D listers who are the real masterminds.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: In-Universe. His choice of colors for his outfit are given an annoyed Lampshade Hanging by his daughter Stephanie, who notes that no one takes her warnings about him seriously partly because of how bad his outfit is. With his reveal as the Big Bad, one wonders if this was intentional to make people underestimate him.Stephanie: (about bloggers commenting on her information regarding Cluemaster) ...making fun of his costume... I mean, orange and blue, dad? Really?
- Faking the Dead: In Young Justice (2019), its revealed he survived his near-death attack and ran from Gotham, letting everyone think he died. Stephanie didnt buy it and went looking for him.
- Hand Cannon: Wields a large revolver Post-Flashpoint.
- He's Back: Makes his return Post-Flashpoint in Batman Eternal as the villain for his daughter Stephanie's plotline, as well as the main villain of the storyline.
- Insistent Terminology: He keeps trying to say that he is not to be called Arthur, but rather Cluemaster. Nobody listens, including his fellow C-list villain friends. This is probably the point, as seeing him as a joke was likely agreed upon between the villains to keep up the plot.
- Jerkass: Unlike Batman's other villains it's not covered by his charismatic personality.
- Karmic Death: He uses his anonymity to cripple Batman in Eternal, only for someone else to kill him with the same tactic.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: While he and his friends Signal Man, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Lock-Up might not be regarded as the best villains, when they start working together in Batman Eternal they're screwing up everything from the water systems to the traffic lights, as they are under orders to make things more unstable and people more and more angry. Then it is revealed that he is the Big Bad who started all the chaos in Gotham with a couple of mind control pills and a few invitations.
- Offing the Offspring: Tries to repeatedly kill Stephanie throughout Batman Eternal, but she keeps spoiling his attempts.
- Slashed Throat: Lincoln March does this to Cluemaster in the penultimate issue of Batman Eternal, noting that Cluemaster was getting ready to screw up his own plan by taking credit for killing Batman and causing all the chaos in Gotham, since that would take away the C-List status that had allowed him to do so.
- Small Name, Big Ego: This more than anything else drove him to become a villain. He seems to have gotten over it as now he's exploiting his C-List villain status for all its worth.
- Stop Having Fun Guy: An In-Universe example. The clip of his old show seen in Batman Eternal had him yelling at his contestant for daring to make jokes instead of answering the question. Yet he was surprised when he got fired.
- Villainous Friendship: He is friends with fellow C-List villains like Lock-Up, Ratcatcher, Prankster, and Signalman. They routinely get together to play cards and bemoan their low status on the supervillain totem pole.
- We Can Rule Together: He tries this when he attempts to get Stephanie to stand down after being impressed by some of her actions as Spoiler, saying they could have been "Cluemaster and The Pointer". Steph's response? To groan and point out that a Pointer is a dog.
- You Got Murder: During his hunt for Stephanie in Batman Eternal, Cluemaster delivered a letter bomb to Stephanie's friend's home which killed her, and likely everyone else there, in an attempt to draw his daughter out.
Colonel Blimp (Unknown)
Colonel Blimp was the traumatized son of a former Navy officer, who was retired before he could finish the zeppelin project which was cancelled prior to his forced retirement. When the man killed himself after this series of events, his son was scarred for life and grew up holding a grudge with the system. Eventually he adopted the moniker of Colonel Blimp and commanded a small army, with whom he built several dirigibles capable of lifting battleships from the sea and captured several of these, holding the Navy officers inside for ransom.
- Cool Airship: Commands a fleet of dirigibles capable of stealing battleships.
- Freudian Excuse: Became a villain because his father was a navy officer forced into retirement when the US Navy abandoned its airship program.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Colonel Blimp smokes cigarettes in a long holder.
- Nice Hat: So nice that Gotham Girl decides to keep it for herself after she captures him.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Colonel Blimp's uniform is purple.
- Sky Heist: Colonel Blimp commanded a small army, with whom he built several dirigibles capable of lifting battleships from the sea and captured several of these, holding the Navy officers inside for ransom.
Colonel Sulphur (Unknown)
Colonel Sulphur is a self-styled warrior with a vast knowledge of psychological terror who fights Batman four times in the comics of the 1970s and 1980s. Sulphur also encounters Superman and Supergirl and puts together an Army of Crime.
- Artificial Limbs: Sulphur is missing his right hand, and has a prosthetic replacement.
- Beard of Evil: Wears a neatly trimmed goatee.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: There is a knife blade concealed in his fake right hand.
- Colonel Badass: A villainous version.
- Private Military Contractors: Sulphur is essentially a mercenary with delusions of grandeur.
Stirk is a supervillain who, like The Scarecrow, uses fear to get to his victims. Stirk has the ability to make other people see him as someone else, allowing him to get close to his victims. He operates under the delusion that he requires the nutrients and hormones from peoples' hearts in order to stay alive, and these are best prepared with norepinephrine by inducing fear in the victim prior to death.
- Ax-Crazy: The man is certainly... troubled, even by Bat Rogue standards. It goes to show the ineptitude of Arkham's doctors that they certified him as sane and allowed him to walk free in his first appearance.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: In his "base" form, Stirk's most distinguishing feature is his pair of massive ginger eyebrows.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Stirk believes he needs nutrients and hormones from people's hearts to survive, and kills people to harvest their hearts and feast upon them.
- Knife Nut: Stirk prefers to stab his victims to death with a large kitchen knife, which he then uses to cut out their heart.
- Looks Like Orlok: His unaltered appearance has the bald head, razor-sharp incisors and lanky build associated with the original cinematic vampire. Fittingly, his M. O. is somewhat vampiric as he eats his victims' hearts.
- Master of Illusion: Stirk is able to cast a hypnotic aura which allows him to take on any face he chooses, generally a face that people will trust, such as Abraham Lincoln.
- No Medication for Me: In his first appearance, Stirk is released from Arkham Asylum after being certified as sane. He had been confined since the age of 16 for trying to kill a classmate. After his release, Stirk subsequently stops taking his medication and begins his escalation into a serial killer.
- Serial Killer: Like Victor Zsasz, another Alan Grant creation, Stirk is just a butcher with no grander plots or aspirations beyond killing (and eating) as many people as possible.
- Verbal Tic: Stirk calls almost everybody "sir".
Corrosive Man (Derek Mitchell)
A convicted murderer, Derek Mitchell escapes from jail looking for vengeance on Mortimer Kadaver, but is involved in an accident on the way which turns him into a corrosive man, his entire skin burned with chemical fire which can eat through walls and floors or maim human flesh. His encounter with Kadaver leaves the latter with a handprint burned onto his forehead and leaves Mitchell inert, although he surfaces at least two times after this, possibly with reduced powers.
- Acid Attack: His skin oozes a chemical fire that can eat through walls and floors or maim human flesh.
- Implacable Man: After gaining his powers, the Corrosive Man starts walking in a straight line towards Kadaver: burning through any obstacle that gets in his way.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Mitchell was forced to hide from the Gotham City Police Department in a hazardous waste disposal chamber during a thunderstorm. When lightning struck the place, the chemicals exploded, engulfing and transforming Mitchell into the Corrosive Man.
- Poisonous Person: The Corrosive Man's touch can be lethal.
- Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Mitchell was forced to hide from the Gotham City Police Department in a hazardous waste disposal chamber during a thunderstorm. When lightning struck the place, the chemicals exploded, engulfing and transforming Mitchell into the Corrosive Man.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The Corrosive Man's powers can be neutralised by contact with a powerful alkali, such as quicklime.
The Court of Owls/The Parliament of Owls
that watches all the time.
Ruling Gotham from shadowed perch,
behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth.
they watch you in your bed,
speak not a whispered word of them,
or they'll send The Talon for your head."
The Court of Owls is a secret organization centuries old with immense power and influence embedded into the very architecture and history of Gotham City. When Batman, and subsequently Bruce Wayne, began to make an impression on the city (through crime fighting and Bruce's many charitable foundations/renovation of the Narrows), they felt threatened and declared war on Batman and his allies.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Dating back to Pre-Revolution America.
- Composite Character: Lincoln March/Thomas Wayne, Jr. combines both the Owlman (owl motif, evil mirror of Bruce) and Boomerang Killer (brain-damaged Wayne brother) versions of Thomas Jr.
- Determinator: Every. Single. Talon.
- The Dragon: Lincoln March a.k.a. Thomas Wayne Jr. in their organization. He's also The Starscream, as he kills off most of the Court's top members to take advantage of the organization.
- The Dreaded: The most powerful force in Gotham, and those who know of them are very aware of how dangerous they are.
- Elite Mooks: Their assassins, the Talons.
- Healing Factor: The Talons all sport this, although they can be killed. Temporarily.
- The Illuminati: They've been manipulating Gotham since olden times.
- Kids Are Cruel: Batman is beaten within inches of his life at the behest of a child Court member.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Talons.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In their first appearance, they're alternately shown to be both normal people with owl masks and actual mutant owl humanoids. During this time, Batman had been starved and tortured for quite a while so it's not clear if some of them really were mutant owl people or Batman was simply hallucinating at that point and seeing them as such.
- Mythology Gag: Their role as owls that antagonize bats with agents known as Talons, Thomas Wayne, Jr. in particular, is a reference to Owlman and Talon, the evil Mirror Universe counterparts to Batman and Robin pre-Flashpoint.
- Ominous Owl: Their whole motif. The fact that owls are the natural predators of bats lends itself quite well to the imagery.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: As an evil Ancient Conspiracy.
- Tyke-Bomb: Members are indoctrinated from very young ages.
- White Mask of Doom: Members of the Court wear creepy barn owl masks.
Dagger (David Rennington)
David Rennington was the owner of Rennington Steel when it faced a financial crisis. He embarked on a life of crime to save his company, but he was promptly stopped by Batman and was subsequently arrested. Later, he was recruited for the League of Assassins by Ra's Al-Ghul.
- Bland-Name Product: Dagger's family company is called Rennington Steel.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Dagger's costume has a large 'D" on the chest.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Rennington is uncannily skilled with thrown knives, and once disabled the Batmobile with a single well-aimed dagger.
- Knife Nut: Rennington is skilled with blades of all kind, and especially adept with throwing knives.
- Protection Racket: Dagger's original scheme was a protection racket: demanding tribute from businesses like trucking companies and using his knives to wreck their assets if they didn't pay up.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Dagger's costume is predominantly purple and orange.
Deacon Joseph Blackfire
The leader of an underground religious cult made up of Gotham's homeless, who manages to take over Gotham City and even brainwash Batman.
- Blood Bath: Does this to keep himself young.
- Dark Messiah: A dark religious figure that leads an army to take over Gotham.
- Death Seeker: Wants Batman to kill him to make him into a martyr and inspire his cult to continue the work.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Deacon Blackfire looks clean and trustworthy on the outside, with a Heroic Build and Lantern Jaw of Justice combined with his natty priest's uniform, but he's nothing but pure evil.
- Faux Affably Evil: As sadistic and cruel as Blackfire is, he's superficially charismatic enough to make his cult members think he's the Messiah.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Is torn apart by his own followers after his human flaws are revealed to them.
- Killed Off for Real: In a rare fashion, he doesn't really show up after his first comic, and stays dead except in flashbacks.
- Knight Templar: Wants to purge Gotham of crime by taking it over and committing mass murder.
- Long-Lived: He has criminal records going back to the 1920s, and is revealed to keep himself alive using blood.
- Misanthrope Supreme: His mission is to purge humanity of those he deems undesirable — and in his warped mind, that's just about everyone.
- More Than Mind Control: Brainwashes Batman into working for him with a combination of captivity, undernourishment, drugs, and relentless propaganda.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He speaks to Batman of how he desires to get rid of murderous criminals that actively ruin the world to protect the innocent, but it's clear that his definitions are incredibly broad, and that he's in it because he enjoys being leading his cult.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He begins rambling about the milquetoast liberals towards Batman when trying to convince him.
- Serial Killer: Murdered a lot of people to bathe in their blood and remain alive, and murdered a lot of other people so he could make Gotham into his own utopia.
- Sinister Minister: A fire-and-brimstone Christian preacher-style cult leader.
Deadshot (Floyd Lawton)
He made his debut as a one-off Batman villain in 1950, where he first appeared as a criminal pretending to be a hero that specialized in disarming mooks with his guns. In reality, he was eliminating the competition and trying to discredit Batman in the process. After a lengthy stay, he returned redesigned by Marshall Rogers as a costumed assassin with wrist-mounted guns and a grudge against Batman. In The '80s, he was one of the first recruits for the Super-Villain Suicide Squad.
After this, he has since broke out as a general DCU Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain. More commonly associated with the Suicide Squad than as a Batman villain, he's also gotten his own miniseries (twice) and often either acts as either a villain or someone who just fits into the anti-heroic mold. He's also been a member of the Secret Six, a group of criminals banded together to make money.
That being said, Deadshot still tangles with Batman from time to time.
The Dealer (Etienne Guiborg)
- Auction of Evil: Mirror House.
- Evil Feels Good: He strongly believes that humanity shines best when it's full of evil and doesn't mind telling it as it is.
- Evil Old Folks: One of the most recent (and oldest) entries to Batman's rouges gallery.
- Large Ham: He knows how to put on quite a show in his auctions.
- Only Known By His Alias: Etienne Guiborg isn't his real name.
The Designer (Unknown)
A mysterious individual with a talent for intricately detailed plans, the Designer was once the nemesis of another detective, who remains unknown. After years of being outsmarted at every turn, the Designer realized the key to victory: rather than simply developing a plan in direct reaction to the detective, he would develop a plan several dozen steps ahead of the detective, thus ensuring he could never catch up. He succeeded, the detective retired and later died a broken man, and the Designer moved to Gotham to offer to do the same to Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and Joker. After that meeting ended with the Designer getting shot in the head by the Joker and his operation in ashes, the Designer was presumed dead, but has returned years later with a new plan: the destruction of Bruce Wayne's life.
- Action Fashionista: Dressed up like he's going to a Victorian ball, and can fight like he's escaping an execution.
- Affably Evil: During his meeting with the four villains, the Designer is nothing but courteous and respectful of them, going out of his way to say he was impressed by their work so far.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In his backstory, he actually triumphed over his nemesis.
- Bad Samaritan: Batman and Joker quickly surmise that he was only going to help the rogues of Gotham to gut the city's power base, leaving him no opposition to take over the city himself.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Joker "killed" him after their disastrous meeting.
- Chekhov's Gun: The unknown chemical he uses to turn corpses into slaves is used by the Joker to make everyone think that he was still alive.
- The Chessmaster: Damn straight. Not only are his plans borderline foolproof, they're still effective years after he first came up with them.
- Cool Sword: He carries a claymore with him wherever he goes.
- Disc-One Final Boss: To his very own introductory story arc.
- The Dreaded: Riddler and Penguin are terrified by the idea that he might be back.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Assassination, theft, and political conspiracy, he's got no problem with. But as soon as he realizes what Joker's true potential would be, then he voices his displeasure. Quite loudly.
- Evil Mentor: He came to Gotham with the express purpose of designing plans for villains that would launch them to their true potential.
- Expy: His rivalry with a detective, gentlemanly nature, and brilliant planning all bring to mind the image of Moriarty.
- Foil/Evil Counterpart: To Batman. While both are brilliant strategists with a particular talent for plans that focus entirely on a single person and are The Dreaded to the Gotham underworld, Batman is a well-known hero who is mostly feared by low-level thugs, creates plans that are tailored around how a person will react to a given scenario, and wears a costume optimized for stealth, whereas the Designer is a criminal mastermind who flew under the radar for years, scares what few big name Gotham villains know he exists, creates plans that will map out and shortcut directly to what a person will become several years down the line, and wears a costume that is quite distinctly impossible to ignore.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Fittingly for a man who did battle with a detective, much of his motivations and goals are shrouded in mystery.
- Kill 'Em All: Attempted to do this after realizing what an evolved Joker would entail. His attempts were...unsuccessful, to say the least.
- That Man Is Dead: See above quote.
- Unexplained Recovery: We still don't know how he survived the headshot. Turns out he did not.
- Vague Age: In his flashback, we see him dueling his nemesis with...foils? On a steam engine? How old is this guy?
- White Mask of Doom: With an intricate letter 'D' on the front.
Dr. Death/Dr. Karl Hellfern
A mad scientist of the old school, and arguably the first supervillain Batman ever faced, as well as his first recurring enemy. Unfortunately, everyone including writers seems to have forgotten him to an even greater degree than Hugo Strange, although every once in a while someone will remember he exists.
- Battle Butler: In the Golden Age he always had a burly foreign manservant as his henchman.
- Beard of Evil: Before his disfigurement.
- Biological Weapons Solve Everything: Bioweapons are Dr. Death's stock in trade, from the Deadly Gas to the Synthetic Plague.
- Body Horror: Rather gruesomely disfigured. Pre-Crisis this was the result of a laboratory explosion Batman caused in their first encounter. In the New 52, it's the side effect of a special serum that's causing his bones to rapidly grow and his skin to ossify.
- Evil Old Folks: He's old enough to have in his early criminal career infected a young boy who grew up to become The Joker, so he's up there in years.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat: His costume style of choice in Batman: Streets of Gotham.
- High-Class Glass: Pre-disfigurement, he sported a monocle.
- Kill All Humans: Implied to be his motive in ''Streets of Gotham', where Hellfern muses in his internal monologue that he doesn't really care about Hush and Pierce's schemes, or really any of the jobs he gets hired for, and just goes along with them because they give him ways to "strike out at humanity".
- Loners Are Freaks: Most of Gotham's underworld sees Hellfern this way. And not without reason — when Judson Pierce and Hush approached him with a job offer, his initial reaction was to gas them. Fortunately for the bad guys, Hush knew Hellfern's shtick and came prepared with rebreathers.
- Mad Scientist: A fairly standard example, though the "Zero Year" expanded his backstory.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Noted by Hush, who wryly remarks that "when a man purposefully dubs himself 'Dr. Death', I make a point to keep an eye on him" while knocking him out before he can gas the building.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Unlike similar villain Hugo Strange, Dr. Death isn't much of a fighter. True, Strange usually loses to Batman but at least he tries — as long as a hero can withstand whatever bio-nasty Hellfern's cooked up, taking him down is usually as easy as throwing one punch.
- Psycho for Hire: Operated as one for the mob early in his career, until he got the scratch to strike out on his own as a supervillain.
- Tragic Villain: At least, in the New 52, where the death of his son (a soldier who was on a mission to find the missing Bruce Wayne) contributed to his descent into madness.
- Villainous Aromantic Asexual: Hellfern has no interest in either men or women. When invited to a party with strippers, he drank silently and stone-faced waiting to get paid so he could leave.
- Would Hurt a Child: Had no problems infecting a child from the Thompkins clinic with a deadly mutant plague that would have killed him in under 12 hours.
Dr. Phsphorous (Dr. Alex Sartorious)
Doctor Phosphorus is a transparent angry wall of fire. Dr. Alex Sartorius got his powers when a nuclear core went unstable and his body was bathed in hot radioactive phosphorous. Now his body combusts when he is in contact with air. He now seeks revenge on the men that caused his fatal accident.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Since gaining greater control of his powers, Dr. Phosphorous likes to dress in high-end suits, similar to what he used to wear when he was fully human.
- Deal with the Devil: During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, he is one of many villains to sell his soul to the demon Neron. In exchange for his soul, he is granted greater power and temperature control.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Sartorius was transformed by sand irradiated during a nuclear plant's meltdown, driven up one element on the chemical table, from silicon to phosphorus. His body was changed as his skin would burn at any contact and his skeleton showed through his skin.
- Playing with Fire: Dr. Phosphorus' body bursts into flame on contact with air.
- Psycho for Hire: Since gaining greater control of his powers, he sometimes acts as a superpowered hitman for other villains.
- Poisonous Person: As his body is composed of phosphorous, coming into skin-to-skin contact with Dr. Phosphorous will not only burn you, but poison you as well.
- Water Source Tampering: In his first appearance, Dr. Phosphorous attempts to take revenge on Gotham City by submerging his poisonous body in the city reservoir.
Doctor Simon Hurt (Thomas Wayne Jr.)
A psychiatrist that observed Batman during an isolation experiment, Simon Hurt is the leader of a mysterious organization called The Black Glove. He wants to completely and utterly break Batman, physically and mentally.
- Adaptation Distillation: His backstory had him being found by Thomas and Martha Wayne and then taken to a mental hospital to get help. In a Pre-Crisis story, Bruce discovered he had an older brother, Thomas Jr., who suffered head injuries and was sent to live in Willowood Asylum. Thomas Jr. escaped at some point and became an assassin named the Boomerang Killer who fought Batman and Deadman together before pulling an impulsive Heroic Sacrifice to save Bruce.
- And I Must Scream: Last seen being Buried Alive by the Joker somewhere on the grounds of Wayne Manor, because there's only one person who the Joker wants messing with Batman's head.
- Ascended Extra: Grant Morrison ascended him out of an unnamed psychiatrist in the Silver Age story "Robin Dies at Dawn"
- Asshole Victim: It's incredibly hard not to fist pump as the Joker buries him.
- Back for the Dead: He returns in the Convergence series, only to get blown up.
- Better the Devil You Know: When Hurt is taken out of the picture, a global conspiracy known as Leviathan takes over, upping the ante.
- Big Bad: Of The Black Glove Story Arc in Grant Morrison's Batman run.
- Big Bad Wannabe: By Batman and Robin, he starts to fall into this, simply because he keeps believing that he will be the one to break Batman. As it turns out, Batman simply doesn't break, no matter what Hurt does to him, and manages to turn the tables at every turn - most pivotally, the deep-rooted mental commands that Hurt places in Batman to destroy his personality fail because Batman was putting in a mental command to counter such an attack at the same time. In pretty much every interaction he has with the Joker, the latter tells him to stop underestimating Batman, and Hurt's response is to dismiss both Batman and the Joker. He turns out to be wrong on both counts.
- In some ways, consulting his story from beginning to end, he was always this. He talks a great game, and has enough skill, intelligence, and resources to put together some decent evil plans in scope and methods, but he believes that he's akin to a universal force of corruption and darkness (ala Darkseid) whose cast shadow breaks noble souls and whose will turns the best and brightest into the foulest parodies of what they once were, when in reality he's basically a jumped up rich-kid sociopath who thinks going out of his way to 'destroy good' makes him the pinnacle of malevolence, instead of a glorified child holding a magnifying glass over an ant hill.note
- Blackmail: Threatens to sully the entire Wayne Family's reputation if Batman does not join him.
- Bloodbath Villain Origin: His Batman-impersonators were subjected to this.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He speaks very proudly about how he wants to break the hero that is Batman.
- The Corruptor: One of his most frequent goals. He attempts it with Batman and Damian, it's implied that he's responsible for making Professor Pyg and Eduardo Flamingo into what they now are, and he launched a nearly-successful campaign to drive the whole of Gotham City mad with a viral addiction.
- Crazy-Prepared: He planted the trigger Zurr-En-Arrh in order to Mind Rape Batman.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Part of his grand revenge scheme against not only Batman but Thomas and Martha Wayne is because they actually tried to help him by bringing him to the Willowood mental hospital under the guise of their other son.
- Eccentric Millionaire: Evil version.
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: Averted. Hurt has had plenty of successes in his lifetime, but he has to keep on scheming to stay on top.
- Evil Power Vacuum: Puts his plan in motion after Batman manages to finally lock up all of Gotham's criminals.
- Evil Wears Black: Noticeable compared to Batman's other enemies.
- For the Evulz: Loves to make people's lives (and Batman's life, in particular) miserable and broken and hosts it as a gambling game just because he can.
- Glamour: Implied to have this to some degree. He's able to convince the masses he's Thomas Wayne and that he faked his death, despite altering his face so that not only does he look nothing like a Wayne, but he looks too young to be Bruce's father.
- A Glass of Chianti: Known to pour one out for crime.
- Humanoid Abomination: Styles himself as this, referring to himself as "the hole in things" and "the piece that can never fit".
- Human Sacrifice: Tries to make Batman this on numerous occasions.
- Identical Grandson: Bears a notable resemblance to Bruce Wayne's father Dr. Thomas Wayne. See below for why.
- I Have Many Names: Doctor Simon Hurt, Thomas Wayne, Mangrove Pierce, El Penitente, the Black Glove, the Hole in Things, the Devil...
- Immortals Fear Death: The Return of Bruce Wayne reveals the real reason he sought immortality; his ancestor got on the bad side of a witch and she cursed his entire bloodline. Family curses tend to manifest as unpleasant deaths, which would explain the deaths of Thomas, Martha and Damian, so Hurt naturally wanted to avoid this at all costs.
- Kneel Before Zod: Either tempts or coerces his foes into coming to his side. In an alternate future, Damian and the POTUS both take him up on it.
- Louis Cypher: Some characters (including the Joker) think he's this, and even Batman himself wonders by the end. As far as Morrison is concerned, sure, the mundane explanation is that he's a 17th Century Wayne, but why should the mundane explanation be the only true one?
- Luke, I Am Your Father: At one point attempted to convince Bruce that he was actually his father Dr. Thomas Wayne, who had faked his own death and murdered his wife. He's actually a distant paternal ancestor of Bruce, also named Thomas Wayne, corrupted and turned immortal by Darkseid's Hyper Adapter.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: In both senses of the word.
- Meaningful Name: "Doctor Hurt". Doctors are tasked with helping people, not hurting them. This perversion of a well-respected profession fits with Hurt's modus operandi of destroying reputations.
- Mind Rape: What he does to the replacement Batmen and Bruce himself.
- Professional Gambler: His organization, Black Glove, has a gambling theme.
- Psycho Psychologist: What he is a doctor of.
- The Psycho Rangers: While Batman has the Club of Heroes, consisting of vigilantes from various countries, Hurt has the Club of Villains, consisting of their respective arch enemies.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's about 400.
- Rich Bitch: Male version.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Part of the reason none of his crimes have been reported is because he has the mayor and several other officials in his back pocket.
- Slasher Smile: Indulges in them whenever he thinks he's won. Batman at one point describes it as being as unpleasant as Joker venom and fear gas.
- Smug Snake: Fully believed the law could never stop him due to all the Black Glove's money. He didn't count on The Joker putting a stop to him.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Tries to be this at first, but gradually loses his dignity, becoming more and more of a Faux Affably Evil Smug Snake.
- Villain Decay: Goes from executing plans that took years to put together to eventually just hiring a gang of mooks to do his dirty work. Hurt briefly appears in the Convergence series, but is just one of many random Batman villains who gets blown up by the Joker.
- You Have No Chance to Survive: Gets proven wrong repeatedly, but never gives up.
Dollmaker (Barton Mathis)
As a child, Barton Mathis went on several 'hunting trips' with his father. During these hunts, he watched as his father killed people and then cannibalized them. He would also witness his father being shot down by a young cop named James Gordon. After spending only a year in foster care, Barton disappeared for years before he resurfaced as the criminal Dollmaker. His mask is partially made of skin from his deceased father. He later cut off then reattached the Joker's face.
Growing up poor and destitute somewhere outside of Gotham City, Elmer Fudd is a career criminal, a hired gun paid to eliminate other peoples problems. He has no love for violence, but views it as the only way for a guy like him to make it in a world as seedy as Gothams. Armed only with his trusty shotgun and his own street smarts, he's a dangerous man to anger, although he has a bad habit of believing everything that's told to him. Has (so far) only had a single appearance, in the DC Comics / Looney Tunes crossover Batman vs Elmer Fudd.
- Acrofatic: While not exactly fat, he is pudgy or at least stocky. Hes still able to keep up with Batman in a fistfight.
- Adaptational Badass: Oh, yeah. He gets into a fight with Batman and manages to hold his own. You get the feeling that this version of Bugs relies on trickery because Fudd is downright scary in an open confrontation.
- Anti-Villain: Hes a mob hitman, perfectly at home with murder. That said, hes also a hopeless romantic at heart, knows his career is a dead-end job (literally), and would like nothing better than to give it all up and go straight, if he could just find something worth living for.
- Badass Normal: No powers, no gadgets, not particularly insane, not even years of explicit training or an obvious gimmick. At a glance, Fudd could be mistaken for a common thug off the street. A random thug off the street who can sense Batman sneaking up on him and last over a minute in open confrontation with him.
- Bottomless Magazines: Somehow manages to fire a double-barreled shotgun three times without visibly reloading.
- Catchphrase: Im hunting [target]. Shhh Of course.
- Country Mouse: Grew up outside the city, without the benefits of most modern society, explaining his skills in stalking and shooting. When he moved to the city, he found his skillset was most hirable as a professional man-hunter.
- Darker and Edgier: Hes a Looney Tunes character, redone to be believable as a Batman antagonist. Somehow it works.
- Dirty Business: Considers his career to be this, and has no delusions about having a happy ending at the end of it.
- Elmer Fudd Syndrome: But of course.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Knock knock I forwgot. You want me to shoot you wight here or in pwivate?
- Fool for Love: He really wanted his stint with Silver Saint Cloud to work out. It didnt.
- Let's You and Him Fight: While definitely no hero, Fudds face-off with Batman was not business, but personal, and based on faulty information at that.
- Offhand Backhand: In a reversal of the usual roles, Fudd does this to Batman. With a shotgun. Needless to say it doesn't work, but not for lack of effort.
- Private Eye Monologue: Fudd seems to keep one up in his head at all times.
- Tranquil Fury: Hes The Stoic, even when hes about to murder somebody.
- Weapon of Choice: A double-barreled shotgun.
Film Freak (Burt Weston a.k.a. Edison)
A failing actor that portrayed quirky villains, Burt Weston decided he'd make a better one in real life. He committed every crime known in films so therefore the Gotham Newspapers named him Film Freak, to which the name stuck. When a female reporter found out his identity, Weston stalks her in a similar way to the main character in Psycho. Film Freak starts to murder his fellow associates, until he's caught by Harvey Bullock and Batman. In the Knightfall story line, Film Freak is controlled by the Mad Hatter and is killed by Bane.
Although no explanation for survival has yet been offered, Film Freak appeared later, in Catwoman, as part of the One Year Later story line, going by the alias "Edison". He appears as a television show host, similar to Elvira. He manages to deduce Catwoman's identity and later kidnaps her daughter with the help of Angle Man. They are defeated quite easily, and have their mind's wiped of Catwoman's identity by Zatanna. Zatanna then orders them to confess their crimes. Angle Man turns himself in, but Edison interprets the order differently. He says "I have crimes to confess ... crimes against cinema", goes on a killing spree, murdering people in ways that relate to classic movies, like King Kong and The Public Enemy. He eventually stole a nuclear weapon and killed all the people in a tv studio, so he could broadcast his nuclear threat. He sets the bomb up in a movie palace. However, his plan fails when Catwoman defeats him, and defuses the bomb.
- Alliterative Name: Film Freak
- Appropriated Appelation: The name Film Freak was bestowed on him by a newspaper.
- Bald of Evil: As Weston, the Film Freak used to shave his head. As Edison, he has a full head of hair.
- Camera Fiend: Edison carries a video camera with him everywhere and is constantly filming.
- Character Name Alias: The alias Edison comes from Thomas Edison, inventor of the motion picturenote .
- Empty Quiver: As the culmination of a crime spree, Film Freak stole a nuclear warhead and attempted to detonate it in the middle of Gotham City.
- Faking the Dead: Weston attempted to reinvigorate his failing acting career by faking his death a la Paul Newman in The Sting, and then taking advantage of the publicity when he miraculously returned to life. His plan failed because no one noticed, or cared, that he had 'died'.
- Insanity Immunity: He has a limited form of telepathic immunity, as the only memories he has are from movies.note
- Mythology Gag/Shout-Out: The name Burt Weston is a nod to Adam West and Burt Ward who played Batman and Robin (respectively) in Batman (1966).
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Is contantly quoting dialogue from famous films.
- Theme Serial Killer: All of Film Freak's murders are recreations of famous deaths in movies.
- Unexplained Recovery: Returned after being killed by Bane with no explanation.
Firebug (I) Joe Rigger; (II) Harlan Combs; (III) Unknown)
The Firebug identity has been used by three different criminals.
The original Firebug was Joe Rigger: a soldier and demolitions expert who returned to Gotham City when his family had been killed in three separate building-related accidents. His sanity slipping, Rigger vowed that those buildings would not kill again. Using his military training and a costume containing tanks of napalm, he became the Firebug and set out to burn all three buildings to the ground. He was defeated by Batman atop the towering Gotham State Building, and believed dead after his tank exploded. Rigger survived the explosion, and later returned as an arsonist for hire.
After being badly burned in a fire, Rigger sold the Firebug identity to supervillain groupie Harlan Combs who began his own career as an arsonist. Combs murdered his teenaged babysitter after she discovered his secret identity and it was this crime that brought him to the attention of GCPD's Major Case Unit, who arrested him with the assistance of Rigger.
An unnamed character using the Firebug persona won the costume and the name from an Internet auction. After taking on the Firebug name, he enters the costume business, and acts as part of a Carnival of Killers stalking Deadshot.
In the New 52 universe, it appears Rigger has resumed the Firebug identity.
- Angry Black Man: Joe Rigger, who blamed Gotham City for failing to save his family.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Rigger originally became Firebug in order to avenge his beloved family.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Firebug suit is an insulated costume with hidden antigrav tanks of a concentrated napalm derivative. The gloves of the suit were designed as flamethrowers.
- Fire/Ice Duo: The third Firebug once teamed up with Mr. Freeze, but was defeated by the team of Batman and Harvey Dent prior to Batman leaving Gotham City for a year.
- Flamethrower Backfire: The third Firebug was killed when Deadshot shot the wings of his costume, which are used to store the fuel for his flamethrowers, causing him to go up like a Roman candle.
- From Camouflage to Criminal: Rigger was a demolitions expert in the army. He later used those skills to create the Firebug suit.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The third Firebug was killed when Deadshot ignited the concentrated napalm stored in the wings of his costume.
- Motive Decay: Rigger originally became Firebug to destroy the three buildings he blamed for the death of his family. However, following his first appearance, he just became an arsonist for hire.
- The Rival: To Firefly.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: A recurring riff in the Gotham Central arc was how normal Combs seemed, and how their was nothing to mark him as supervillain wannabe.
Firefly (Garfield Lynns)
Garfield Lynns was originally a Hollywood pyrotechnician, a job he took because of his pyromania. However, he became a victim of Gotham City's severe poverty and turned to crime. He took up arson as a hobby, but it soon turned to an obsession, going so far that he even believes to see vision in the flames. Inspired by actual fireflies, he built a suit and became a professional arsonist.
- Ax-Crazy: Enough so to scare away Killer Moth, who was genuinely terrified of him.
- Cool Helmet: It's made to resemble an insect's head.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Firefly's Weapon of Choice is a flamethrower.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Made his suit and his whole equipment by himself.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has burn scars over approximately 90% of his body.
- Jetpack: He sometimes uses one to fly.
- Mad Bomber: Also packs explosives for good measure.
- Powered Armor: He often uses his armor to fly and shoot flames.
- Psycho for Hire: He takes some arson jobs to finance his devices and weaponry, but he would gladly burn things for free if he could afford to.
- Pyromaniac: To the point that other villains are freaked out by him.
The Flamingo (Eduardo Flamingo)
Eduardo Flamingo was a man who crusaded against the mob, until they captured him and performed brain surgery on him, making him into their enforcer and one of the most feared assassins in the world.
- Animal Themed Super Being: His pink color scheme matches his name.
- Ax-Crazy: He's happy to kill and mutilate anytime, not just when his bosses tell him.
- Cool Bike: He drives a bright pink motorcycle that resembles Prince's from Purple Rain.
- Domino Mask: He wears a pink one.
- The Dreaded: One of the most feared assassins around.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Like Professor Pyg, his first appearance was in Batman #666, in Damian's possible future as the new Batman. In that issue he was just a Mook that Damian easily dispatches. He later showed up in the main timeline in the Batman and Robin run.
- Evil Old Folks: His age in the current time-frame is ambiguous, but his appearance in the Bad Future of Batman #666 is definitely this.
- FaceHeel Turn: Prior to his first appearance. He started out as an enemy to crime, but was captured and turned into their personal attack dog.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He likes to eat the faces of his victims.
- Lobotomy: How the mob bosses turned him into their killer.
- Professional Killer: Works as a hit man for crime lords, and is very good at it.
- Serial Killer: A very prolific assassin.
- Sissy Villain: He wears lots of pink and tends to strike flamboyant poses.
- Slasher Smile: His default expression, much like the Joker.
- The Sociopath: He feels nothing but delight as he tortures and kills.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Flamingo is actually his surname.
- The Voiceless: He makes noises, but doesn't actually talk.
The Gates of Gotham were one of the earliest families of Gotham, hired by the citys earliest elites to construct buildings for the town. However, things took a tragic turn and the family sought vengeance on these elites, by bringing down the buildings they built for them.
Gearhead (Nathan Finch)
An engineer who kidnapped his boss' daughter for ransom. Batman found him and they fought on a frozen lake which cracked and he fell to the wáter. An underworld doctor replaced his frozen limbs with interchangeable body parts, and the newly dubbed Gearhead sought vengeance against Batman.
- An Arm and a Leg: Due to ravages of frostbite, the Back-Alley Doctor removed Finch's arms and legs and replaced them with cybernetic arms and legs.
- Cyborg: Gearhead possesses an arsenal of cybernetic weapons in his arms and legs, as well as spare limbs that he can swap out on the fly. He has physically attached himself to his car on at least one occasion.
- Harmless Freezing: Averted; he lost his limbs due to frostbite.
- Malicious Misnaming: He likes to call Batman "vermin".
- Swiss Army Appendage: He can change his bionic limbs to others with different weapons and attributes.
- Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Gearhead has been shown crawling after Batman (or away from him) with most of his robot body destroyed.
The Great White Shark (Warren White)
Sentenced to prison for creative accounting practices, financier Warren White tried to slip through the cracks by pleading insanity, in the hopes of being committed to a modern psychiatric care facility. Instead, he wound up in Arkham Asylum, where the inmates ritually tortured and abused him for being the "new fish"; Killer Croc went so far as to carve gills in the sides of his neck.
After being locked in a freezer for several hours during a riot, Warren emerged a changed man: his hair had fallen out, his lips and nose had shrivelled away in the cold, and his skin was now chalky white. His mind now decidedly twisted, White has since traded off his appearance and business acumen to become one of the premier mob bosses in Gotham City.
- Animal Motifs: He was a corporate shark and even his passwords were shark oriented before his accident.
- Asshole Victim: Don't think he didn't work hard to earn that Humiliation Conga.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Ironic that a man with the nick name "Shark" would end up resembling one after an unrelated accident. That only applies to his lack of nose and ears, he filed his teeth down himself.
- Bald of Evil: Lost his hair and sanity in Mr. Freeze's cell.
- The Chessmaster: After Black Mask's death, he briefly managed to oust the Penguin from Gotham and control the city's rackets from inside his cell at Arkham.
- Color Animal Codename: An interesting example of this trope as the animal he is named after is already called... well, the great white shark.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Gained his nickname for his ruthless and cold-blooded business practices.
- Even Evil Has Standards: White's crimes were so foul that even the Joker thinks of him as a monster, the clown noting that he might kill people, but he doesn't "steal their kids' college funds".
- Facial Horror: He lost his nose, lips and ears to frostbite.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from The Chew Toy for all the other Arkham inmates to one of the most influent mob bosses in Gotham City after his transformation.
- Gone Horribly Right: White tried to weasel out of fraud and embezzlement charges by pleading insanity. He succeeded. Which earned him being committed to Arkham Asylum...
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a lot of scars since his days in Arkham, the more noticeable being those on his neck who looks like gills, courtesy of Killer Croc.
- Hate Sink: Everyone hates him before his Sanity Slippage, the closest thing he had as a friend was Humpty Dumpty who wished to dismantle him and put him back in a way he won't be such an asshole.
- Hawaiian Shirted Jerkass: In Streets of Gotham.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Not only did his insanity defense send him to Arkham but his fraud hit the asylum's budget so he has to share a cell with a Serial Killer. Oh, and he's on Jeremiah Arkham's shit list since he stole his retirement pension.
- Karma Houdini: He's worked out a deal with the Torture Lords of Hell that will enable him to escape any punishment for his life's misdeeds. Even torturing the inmates that bullied him as a bonus. Etrigan is actually impressed.
- Lack of Empathy: When asked why he thinks he is at Arkham he says that it's because he was negligent while doing his fraud (that is considered the biggest in the history of the DC U.S.A. and later tell his cellmate it's not his fault no one read the fine prints.)
- Lip Losses: Lost his lips to frostbite after being left for dead in a freezing cell.
- Loan Shark: Quite. He asks for fifteen percent of Riddler's crime revenue in exchange for a helicopter with a question mark.
- Locked Out of the Loop: He didn't know what Arkham was, he didn't even knew who Riddler was before being sent to the asylum. All he knew is that Gotham was the only city stupid or corrupt enough to buy his insanity plea.
- Phrase Catcher: In Arkham Asylum: Living Hell especially, Warren White is the worst person you have ever met.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Warren gets a job flipping Two-Face's coin when Two-Face injures his hands and can't do it himself, for no other reason than that he's desperate to be under anybody's protection at first. One Arkham staff member is actually impressed how a white collar criminal can climb up the hierarchy.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to his accountant vengeful spirit, saying that happened because the person was weak and could not support the pressure, so he killed himself then Warren strangles him saying that's how he destroys someone's life.
- Shark Man: Not actually a Fish Person, but close enough.
- Too Dumb to Live: Really, when you plead insanity in Gotham City, you gotta be. He only held his trial there because he knew people would be enough dumb or corrupt to believe his plead, he was so out of the loop that he mocked Riddler for being a guy in spandex.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believed that he could fake an insanity defence and ride out his 'sentence' with ease, only to find that he had horribly underestimated what the other patients were capable of.
Gunhawk (Liam Hawkleigh)
Master sniper who turned to a life of crime following tours in Panama and Lebanon in the United States Marine Corps. Gunhawk is devoted to three things: money, guns, and his partner Bunny.
- The Alcoholic: Following his defeat by Az-Bats, Gunhawk crawled into a bottle and stayed there. His descent drove Bunny away. Although he has since sobered up, defeats will still push him Off the Wagon.
- Cold Sniper: Gunhawk doesn't care who his target is. The only person he shows any affection to is his partner Bunny.
- From Camouflage to Criminal: Gunhawk was a sniper in the USMC before becoming a mercenary and assassin.
- Gatling Good: Azrael's final Batsuit upgrade (mostly ditching the cape for wings) is the result of Gunhawk firing a minigun at him.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Gunhawk's goggles grant him low-light vision and act as a targeting scope for his rifle.
- Gun Nut: Gunhawk is extremely obsessive when it comes to firearms.
- Hired Gun: Literally. Gunhawk does not formulate his own villainous schemes. He just takes on contracts from other people.
- Outlaw Couple: He and Bunny form one, with Bunny acting as his spotter and back-up.
- Perky Female Minion: Gunhawk is almost always accompanied by a female spotter nicknamed Gunbunny.
- Poor Man's Substitute: In-Universe, he is regarded as one to Deadshot. It has been mentioned that he will often be hired by clients who cannot afford Deadshot's fees.
- Replacement Goldfish: After Bunny is killed by Deadshot, Gunhawk acquires a new female accomplice. They share the same romantic relationship, and Gunhawk even calls her Bunny.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Hawkleigh's military records indicate that he was one before dishonourable discharge.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Gunerry Sergeant Liam Hawkleigh.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Gunhawk's costume includes a US flag bandana.
Harley Quinn (Harleen Quinzel)
Which genius decided to let a fresh-out-of-college intern be The Joker's therapist, we'll never know (it's heavily implied that no one actually wants to work at Arkham), but Harley Quinn was the result. As Joker's doctor, Dr. Harleen Quinzel tried — like so many others before her — to restore the psychotic killer to sanity. She not only failed, but fell in love with him. The countless Freudian Excuse stories that Joker fed her were likely a part of it, since Harley has proclaimed that ever since she laid eyes on the clown, it was love at first sight.
Though it was Batman: The Animated Series that introduced her (originally as just the Joker's henchgirl), Harley became popular enough to be included in the comics as well, and it was a comic (later adopted into a TV episode) that first told her origin. Perhaps even crazier than the Joker himself, you can count on Harley to be right alongside her "puddin'", mindlessly loyal to him, but cleverly lethal.
Not even Harley can stand the Joker's endless tirades of abuse and madcap lifestyle, however, and when she's in her downtime, she often finds consolation in Poison Ivy, whom she has a deep friendship with.
Has had three solo series, the tropes for which can be found here.
Thanks to the character's popularity, she has appeared in various adaptations. In addition to Batman: The Animated Series, she has also been featured in The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and was the Big Bad of the short-lived Birds of Prey (2002). She was also one of the main characters in the Batman: Assault on Arkham film. She's a major character in the Batman: Arkham Series, and is playable in Batman: Arkham Knight. She appears in the DC Extended Universe films Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squadnote , played by Australian actress Margot Robbie. She's also one of the students in DC Super Hero Girls; in that continuity, she's undergone Adaptational Heroism and is portrayed as a lovably mischievous prankster. Perhaps the ultimate example of her breakout success, she's the star of her very own animated series on DC Universe. Stjepan ejić created a well-regarded "character study" for her as fanart, highlighting parts of her origin story. He insisted they would never lead to anything more - until they did, with his 3 to 6 volume origin story Harleen published under DC's Black Label starting in 2019.
Visit her self-demonstrating page here.
- Abnormal Ammo: Those oversized "popguns" she carries can fire anything.
- Adaptational Skimpiness: She has been hit with this a lot in The New '10s. After Batman: Arkham Asylum, showing off skin seemed to be the norm for Harley's costumes whenever she appeared in other mediums or continuities. Her New 52/DC Rebirth version exclusively wears costumes that show off either cleavage, her legs, midriff, arms/shoulders, or some combination of those.
- Adaptational Intelligence: In the original Mad Love comic, written by her creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, it's implied that Harley had slept her way through college to earn her psychology degree, otherwise she'd fail. Many other incarnations legitimately earned their degrees.
- Adaptational Villainy: Harley's malevolence in comparison to the Joker is usually pretty low-key, but she takes it up a notch or three in some continuities.
- In the Arkham video game series, Harley is a lot more murderous, though that's partially because the Joker ends up dying due to his Titan exposure. It gets to the point that she just wants to kill everyone in the city out of sheer spite.
- In the elseworld depicted in the animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Harley is a full-fledged psychopathic Serial Killer who keeps fridges full of mangled human body parts, makes "toys" out of mangled corpses, and even has a makeshift "family" made of people she's murdered, crudely preserved and stapled their faces into perpetual smiles — including a little brother. Worse, unlike the mainstream Harley, she seems to have no connection to her world's version of the Joker (assuming he exists); she's just a murdering maniac. She's so creepy, it actually comes as a relief when this world's version of Batman, a scientifically created vampire, murders her for a meal at the end of her episode "Twisted".
- Her Establishing Character Moment in the New 52 is blowing up a bunch of children with knock-off GameBoys she rigged into bombs. Definitely a step up from trying to feed Batman to piranhas in makeup.
- Affably Evil: Harley is insane, no doubt about it, but she's also one of the more social members of Batman's Rogue Gallery, having genuine friendships with several of the other rogues.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Justified. Despite her sympathetic portrayal, she's very far from being innocent and virtuous herself.
- Ambiguous Disorder: While not mentally sound, it's never been outright stated what her mental illness is. A special feature in Batman and Harley Quinn makes a point to mention Harley shows symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder.
- Anti-Villain / Anti-Hero: She fluctuates between a good-hearted villain and devious but heroic very rapidly. With the New 52 she became a full Anti-Hero in her solo series; she doesn't try to cause trouble, it just happens, and she enforces justice in her own way, like freeing a neglected dog and punishing the owner, and rescuing an old woman who was robbed and giving her some money despite her own day going wrong in every way possible.
- Artifact Title: Her villain name. It's suppose to be a play on word of her real name which is based on the harlequin jester character. But after the New 52, she no longer wears her jester outfit.
- Ascended Extra: Originally designed so Joker could have a female henchman. Her design proved popular enough with the fans that eventually she made more appearances and more of her personality was fleshed out (she was more of a Deadpan Snarker in the early days chiding at one point to the Joker "You're sick, you know that, boss?") and got bigger roles till a back story was eventually made for her.
- Breakout Villain: As a Canon Immigrant, she proceeded to become one of the main characters (if not the main character) of several comic series, such as the Harley & Ivy mini-series, her own ongoing and Gotham City Sirens. She became the main villain in the Birds Of Prey TV adaptation even though she's not prominent in the original comic, and got major roles in the Batman: Arkham Series. She also became a member of the Suicide Squad and got a second ongoing which became DC's highest-selling title with a female lead!
- Ascended Fangirl: In the New 52, she's a big Wonder Woman fan, and is overjoyed whenever she gets the chance to team up with her.
- Ax-Crazy: Not as concentrated on single, gruesome killings as her puddin', but much more enthusiastic towards large-scale property damage.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: One of her origin stories has her going for a job at Arkham Asylum because she doesn't feel challenged enough with regular therapy sessions. She got the job... and then met The Joker.
- Berserk Button: As of the New 52 she is the Joker's Ex-Girlfriend. Bringing him up at all is a good way to set her off.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She is, by far, the nicest, sweetest member of Batman's rogues gallery. However, do not think her lovelorn origin and bubbly demeanor means she isn't a homicidal psychopath.
- Big Bad: She's the main villain in the live action TV series, Birds of Prey (2002). This version of Harley is much more cunning and intelligent, rather than bubbly and childish like in the comics.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde to Ivy's Redhead and Catwoman's Brunette in some cases.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Depending on how her Broken Ace and Sextra Credit tropes are interpreted, she may be this as well.
- Broken Ace: In her most recent interpretations, she was so gifted both physically and mentally (and extraordinarily attractive) that she labored under immense pressure to be perfect. She jumped so eagerly into her role as the Joker's dumb blonde sidekick because it freed her from people's expectations. If she's a dumb, clumsy blonde, or the Joker's mentally broken victim, no one expects anything out of her.
- Brooklyn Rage: She has a very nasal New York accent and it is later revealed that she is from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Her New 52 and Rebirth solo series are explicitly set in Brooklyn.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Naturally. While the writers flip flop on whether she skirted her way through school or not, every once in a while she does show she's still a pretty skilled psychoanalyst despite the crazy.
- Catchphrase: Inter-media examples, in that these often show up in most mediums that she appears in.(as an introduction): "Call me Harley! Everyone does."(because expected of her): "Puddin'."
- Canon Immigrant: Her first appearance was in Batman: The Animated Series, and she proved so popular that she was eventually canonized into the comics proper.
- Cheap Costume: Her pre-Flashpoint outfit was an off-the-rack jester costume she stole from a costume shop, while her New 52 costume consists of items she pilfered from various women around Gotham.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Even when she does get declared sane, she's still weird.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Granted, Joker does this a lot, but none of his other doctors wound up in love with him. She once wrote up a report on the Joker claiming that he was perfectly sane, but simply faking it to avoid the death penalty, and because he was enjoying his own maniacal behavior. This arguably subverts this trope, since Depending on the Writer this is exactly what The Joker is doing, meaning she is the first one to crack him (she probably thinks this makes him a genius).
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite her ditzy personality, Harley is a competent fighter and is unstable enough to be unpredictable. She's even gotten the drop on Batman once or twice. From time to time, the comics will remind the reader that Harley is trained in the art of getting into people's heads and will use this to her advantage.
- Cute and Psycho: Cute as a button and more than willing to murder.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: When voiced by Arleen Sorkin her voice definitely has a Fran Drescher quality to it. The BTAS origins episode shows that she's capable of speaking in a more normal voice and only switched to the "Harley Screech" after donning the costume.
- Dark Action Girl: She is a very spectacular gymnast. Her skills rival those of Catwoman and Nightwing.
- Dark Mistress: Harley is in an abusive relationship with the Joker. It's a connection she can never quite shake off even when Poison Ivy shows her she can be a supervillain without him, and Batman shows her she doesn't have to be a supervillain at all. In fact, it seems that every time Harley isn't Joker's Dark Mistress, she's Ivy's. In the DC Animated Universe it's only after Joker dies that she's finally able to get out of it.
- Decomposite Character: Harley was subjected to this in Batman: White Knight. Harleen Quinzel was Harley Quinn I, who walked very close to her pre-New 52 incarnation, and was the legitimate but misguided clinical psychologist who fell in love with this continuity's Joker (who himself is closer to his 60's incarnation than the murderous version of the past few decades), but his insanity eventually drove her away. Harley Quinn II was eventually recruited by Joker, and she's basically the New 52 Harley, insanity, fanservicey outfit, and unhealthy relationship with the Joker and all. It's eventually shown that she was a bank teller named Marian Drews, who one day decided to slit her wrists at work when the monotony became too much. The Joker robbed her bank that day, and he actually saved her life and nursed her back to health. When Joker went sane and turned into Jack Napier, Jack tried to make amends and propose to Harley Quinn II, who rejected him and demanded he go back to his old persona; Harley Quinn I immediately stepped in and took Jack and the ring.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Is Harley a psychologist or a psychiatrist? In Batman: The Animated Series she was a psychologist; however, the comics have zigzagged between the two. It's possible the writers don't recognize they're two very different careers and mix them up (the latter adds an Improbable Age layer, given psychiatry requires the 5+ years graduating med school and Harley always looks as if she's in her mid-20s).
- It's almost always agreed upon that Harley is smarter than she lets on but just how much and how sensible she can vary greatly from story to story. She can be a Dumb Blonde, a Genius Ditz, in reality, her entire personality can be a facade that she changes depending on the situation, or she could be anything in-between. Similarly, is she clinically insane or does she understand her actions?
- The details of her life before meeting the Joker - what her family's like, how she got through college, whether she was already psychologically broken, etc.
- In the New 52 she is a fun Anti-Hero in her solo series while totally Ax-Crazy in Suicide Squad.
- Depraved Bisexual: Subverted. While she is both depraved and bisexual, one is not implied to have anything to do with the other; indeed, her relationships with the Joker and Ivy are more humanizing and sympathetic than anything else.
- The Dog Bites Back: When working with the Joker, she takes a lot of abuse. But there's only so much she'll take before she turns on him and hits back hard.
- Domestic Abuse: Perhaps the poster child for this trope in the Superhero universe. If you were going to give the Joker a girlfriend, it really couldn't go any other way.
- Domino Mask: She wears one as part of her classic outfit. She also wears a hat and full face paint, which gives the impression of a full mask. However this might have something to do with her costume being based on that of Harlequin, a stock character of the Italian Commedia dell'arte. However, once she loses the harlequin theme in the New 52, the mask is replaced with streaked eye makeup.
- The Dragon: For the Joker.
- Drop the Hammer: Mallets have been identified as her Weapon of Choice, though the Joker does use them on occasion as well.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When visiting Black Canary in hospital after she's given birth, one of the gifts she brings is a muzzle. Canary is mildly exasperated by the gift until this exchange:BC: Why would he need a muzzle?
Harley: Please. I can't tell you how useful muzzles were when I first got my hyenas.
BC: He's a baby. Not a pack hunter.
Harley: Yeah. But babies scream. And when you scream, crazy, deafening, smashy power comes out. If he gets that power early...
BC: ...Give me the muzzle.
- Dumb Blonde: She's really psychopathic, but still a ditzy, kinda sweet girl. Though this personality can be either genuine, Obfuscating Stupidity, or both, depending on the writer. Paul Dini, her creator, arguably saw her as this, but later writers have upped her intelligence and capability, particularly after leaving the Joker behind.Harley: Hah! And here you thought I was just another bubble-headed, blonde bimbo! Well, the joke's on you; I'm not even a real blonde!note
- Empowered Badass Normal: Although this is rarely brought up, in the main DC continuity Harley is mildly superhuman, with enhanced strength, healing, and an immunity to most poisons, because of being dosed with a herbal Super Serum by Poison Ivy in her first appearance.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- She has a soft spot for animals and does NOT take kindly to people who abuse them. In one story, she and Ivy also rescued a young girl who was being chased by a sexual predator. Harley may be a homicidal supervillain, but even she thinks child abusers are the scum of the Earth. She also refused to keep fighting Black Canary when she worked out Canary was pregnant. In the New 52 Harley still loves animals to the point of saving a whole bunch from being killed with the help of Ivy.
- She didn't like the new female Ventriloquist Peyton Riley, especially when she trash-talked her predecessor Arnold Wesker, since Wesker was kind to her when she first became an inmate at Arkham. She went so far as to tip the Gotham police off when Riley recruited her for one of her crimes (Riley had kidnapped her from Arkham at the time, and Harley was legitimately trying to go straight).
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: In the Injustice 2 continuity, Harley has a daughter with the Joker, named Lucy, whom she passed off to her sister so that she could have a normal life.
- Expy: When the character was first conceived for the animated series, Harley seemed to stand-in for Jerry Hall's Dark Mistress character Alicia Hunt from Batman (1989) due to being a lover of the Joker, being blonde and always stand by his side most of the time. Harley's make up even resembles Alicia's when she removes her porcelain mask. In the New 52, Harley getting her skin bleached could likely be a nod to Alicia in the film having acid thrown on her face that disfigures her and requires her to wear a mask. Harley's abuse at the hands of the Joker in general also references how Alicia was treated badly if getting acid thrown on her face before throwing herself out the window is any indication. Speaking of thrown out the window, in the one-shot "Mad Love," Joker pushing Harley out the window from a second story building could likely reference Joker's account of Alicia having thrown herself out the window with possibilities that the Joker may have thrown her out himself if it wasn't suicide.
- Females Are More Innocent: It varies Depending on the Writer, but most of her appearances fall into one of the two main types of this trope; when she's the Joker's henchman, she's his less villainous counterpart turned evil by his influence, while when she's on her own she's an Anti-Hero or marginal villain with her backstory with him as a Freudian Excuse.
- Fluffy Tamer: To everyone else, the Joker's snarling pet hyenas are a menace; to her, they are her "babies."
- Genki Girl: Hyper cheerful all the time.
- Girlish Pigtails: Harley wears her hair in a pair of side pigtails to mirror the shape of her jester hat. This came in full effect after the New 52, where she's done away with the jester cap and uses her hair to replace it.
- Glass Cannon: In all continuities. Even though she definitely can fight, she isn't very resistant and is often easily knocked-out when things get physical.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: She and the Joker invert this. Joker's usually armed with a gun, and Harley has a mallet.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Really, if someone asks you if Harley is a good guy or bad, your best answer is "yes".
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: When her relationship with Poison Ivy isn't depicted as romantic, it's this.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Though she's officially listed as bisexual, it's possible she's this way with Poison Ivy. She has a long list of random men she gets with, but Ivy is the only female she has shown to be sexual with. The New 52 has started to rectify this and in her solos, if she teams up with a female character, like Power Girl or Wonder Woman, expect her to start flirting with them.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Often depicted as such but she still has some bouts of true efficiency and is in fact the villain who got the closest to actually killing Batman. But well, Mad Love you know...
- Informed Judaism: So informed indeed that she never talks about it.
- Insanity Immunity: In Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, she looks into Johnny Sorrow's face, which usually kills anyone who sees it. She's unaffected, describing it as "cute", and subsequently explains to Wonder Woman "Once you've looked into one abyss you've seen 'em all".
- Legacy Character: Only implied so far; Joker hints that he had "other Harleys" before her in "Death of the Family", but that could be his way of psyching her out. The non-canon "Batman: White Knight" takes the idea and runs with it, revealing that the "classic" Harley left after Mr. J got a little too crazy, to be replaced with the ditzier, more hyperactive, more scantily-clad New 52 version.
- Love Makes You Crazy: She fell in love with The Joker. Crazy doesn't even begin to describe it.
- Love Makes You Evil: She was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum until she was assigned to The Joker. Falling in love with him, she broke him out and joined him as his girl sidekick. To what degree the Joker returns her feelings is questionable, ranging from 1% to zero. However, almost all her evil acts are an attempt to secure his affection.
- Love Martyr: Oh, God, Harley Quinn, going back and forth between a girlfriend who treats her like dirt and a boyfriend who frequently tries to kill her. She bounces back and forth between this trope and Mad Love, depending on how sympathetically her romantic woes are treated in the current story.
- Mad Love: The Trope Namer by way of a story arc from the comics that was later adapted into an episode, though the degree that she and Joker actually apply (whether Joker actually cares about Harley in any way) varies Depending on the Writer.
- Master of Disguise: One of her more understated talents, but she's very good with disguises and impersonations. In the animated series, she was able to fool the police by dressing as a lady cop, an attorney, and a security guard in various episodes. In her first solo series, she actually spent a significant period practicing Psychiatry under a fake identity, and has a similar set-up in her New 52 and Rebirth series.
- Meaningful Name: Harley Quinn's name is a pun on Harlequin, to match her jester theme.
- Meganekko: Before her transformation.
- Morality Pet: Oddly, not just for the Joker or Poison Ivy (not that it works for the Joker); almost all the other inmates at Arkham seem to have a bit of a soft spot for Harley. (For example, in the cartoon episode "Harley's Holiday", the Scarecrow pauses mid-villainous rant to greet her warmly.) It's implied that most of them don't look down on the Joker because he kills people, but because they disapprove of his abuse of Harley.
- Most Common Super Power: Harley has huge busty buxom breasts.
- Ms. Fanservice: She often wears a tight jester suit and switches it out for what can best be described as a bikini designed to resemble her former appearance. In "Mad Love" she wears a see-through red negligee also. And in the New 52 her outfits are more incredibly revealing.
- Mugged for Disguise: She's been known to mug people in order to replace them, such as an opera singer in the Hush storyline, a rock groupie in "Love on the Lam", and an Arkham guard in the Arkham City prequel.
- Multicolored Hair: In the 2011 relaunch of Suicide Squad, Harley sports half red, half blue/black hair, replacing the iconic jester hat of the same colors. For DC Rebirth, she has a makeover which changes her hair to blonde with pink and blue dip-dye pigtails, in line with her Suicide Squad (2016) look.
- Naughty Nurse Outfit: In Batman: Arkham Asylum. This costume became iconic more or less instantly. In subsequent appearances across all media, Harley is as likely to show up wearing her Asylum outfit as her original harlequin tights. New designs (like the Suicide Squad cover above) tend to draw from the elements of the Asylum costume (red/blue/purple palette, medical gear, corset) as much as the old one.
- The Nicknamer: She lovingly calls the Joker "Mr. J" and "pud'n". She also refers to Poison Ivy as "Red", Catwoman as "Kitty" or "Whiskas", and (occasionally) Batman as "B-Man".
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Often implied.
- Odd Friendship: Harley is one of the most social members of Batman's Rogues Gallery. She's actually quite fond of the original Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, thanks to his trying to cheer her up the first time she was thrown into of Arkham. She also views the Riddler as a friend, and has occasionally helped him in his detective work. In the animated series, she also appears to be on friendly terms with Professor Jonathan "Scarecrow" Crane — he even stops ranting and screaming at the guards just long enough to smile and say hello to her. The Animated Series also implies that she even views Killer Croc as a friend.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Her first outfit in the New 52 featured a tiny, barely closed corset, and some later variations on her costume include one as well.
- Only Sane Woman: Briefly, in the 2016 Suicide Squad run; the Black Vault energies which are driving everyone else in Belle Reve insane have the opposite effect on her, bringing her rational side to the fore. It lasts until the Vault's properly sealed again.
- Perky Female Minion: She's an unrepentant murderer, but so cheerful and so absolutely devoted to "Mistah J" that one can't help but pity her when he slaps her around and/or threatens to kill her.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Occasionally pops up in the main comics, and practically outlined in her original solo series - which all but established that she's detached from reality and now sees the world like one big cartoon, and that her actions are like a game. As a result she often acts, and sometimes thinks, like a sugar-high kid.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: She wears a black and red playing card motif.
- Sex for Services: Some versions of her origin story indicate that she got through college by sexual favors rather than academic performance. The extent to which this is the case depends on the writer, however, and she occasionally shows glimpses of great intellect even in stories involving this.
- Sexy Jester: In her initial costume, while showing minimal skin, too!
- She-Fu: She studied to be a doctor, but can do Olympic-level gymnastics as she went to college on a gymnastics scholarship, and received superhuman abilities from Poison Ivy during the first of their adventures.
- Shrinking Violet: She's usually portrayed as being very shy and reserved before meeting The Joker. Needless to say, that's changed quite a bit.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: At least one iteration of her origin story shows that the Quinzel family was not kind to Harleen; her siblings whine incessantly, her mother is very demanding of her, her father belittles her quite hard, and none of them care about her future. Part of her motivation to get her college degree and a job was just to get away from them, which would eventually lead her to the Joker...
- The Sociopath: Narrowly averted. While she does have some of the symptoms (need for excitement, poor impulse control), she is capable of showing love and compassion, and sometimes feels remorse after doing something really awful, things true sociopaths don't do.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The DVD captions for Mad Love in Volume Four of Batman: The Animated Series spell her real name as "Harlene Quinzelle".
- Stating the Simple Solution: Suggests just shooting Batman to Joker, who proceeds to blow up on her (then later use this idea).
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: C'mon, Harleen Quinzel? Batman: The Animated Series lampshades it by having Joker point it out in the episode showing her origin, and her dryly responding that she's heard it before. This conversation was replicated in Batman: Arkham Asylum in one of her interview tapes.
- Stripperiffic: While she had a traditionally conservative costume where only her face is uncovered, the New 52 makes her outfit incredibly revealing. This is lampshaded by Harley herself, at one point referring to her look as a "stripper clown outfit".
- Unholy Matrimony: She and Mr J. are one textbook example. Averted with Poison Ivy. While both women are far from sane, they tend to bring out the best in each other.
- Villainous Friendship:
- She may find Ivy too serious at times but their friendship is genuine on both sides.
- She developed a liking for Arnold Wesker, the first Ventriloquist, for reaching out to her when she was put in Arkham for the first time. Because of this, she would later scorn the second Ventriloquist for "stealing another crook's gimmick".
- Villainous Harlequin: Her name and costume is based on a Harlequin.
- Wolverine Publicity: In the Suicide Squad. Even when she is not the main character in the story, she features as central on the cover.
- Would Hurt a Child: In Detective Comics #23.2, the New 52-Harley massacred hundreds of children by using bombs disguised as handheld gaming consoles. All stories after it came out treat the story apart from the origin (which has also been changed in some ways in Harley's solo book) part as non-canon due to having Harley wildly out of character and having Harley do things that no main incarnation of her would ever do. Harley's crazy but she doesn't kill kids.
- Yandere: It's rare, but even the Joker is scared of her when she goes into this mode. Or turned on. It could go either way.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Every possibility for her to return sane is always shut down.
Humpty Dumpty (Humphrey Dumpler)
A compulsive man driven by his need to reassemble malfunctioning machinery, Humpty Dumpty was incarcerated at Arkham Asylum for being a danger to himself and others.
- Anti-Villain: Type IV. He's genuinely good and well-meaning person, as shown by him relocating Batgirl's arms when she dislocated them trying to save him. The only reason why he's even an antagonist at all is because his compulsion to take apart and put back together things he considers "broken" renders him a danger to both himself and to others.
- Appropriated Appellation: Humpty Dumpty was originally a cruel nickname his schoolmates used to taunt him.
- Big Fun: He is one of the few inmates in Arkham to not be genuinely malevolent, as he is shown to be a kind, polite, and gentle person. This has resulted in him becoming one of the model inmates in the asylum.
- Born Unlucky: Humpty suffers from near supernaturally bad luck.
- Disaster Dominoes: The devices he "fixes" cause numerous accidents, such as a subway train derailing. Humpty Dumpty's final crime before his first arrest is to adjust the gears in a clock tower, causing one of its hands to fly off, provoking a chain reaction in which dozens of enormous signs crashed to the streets, killing dozens of people.
- Gruesome Grandparent: Dumpler was raised by his grandmother who who was verbally and physically abusive toward him. He eventually murdered and dissected her, before stitching her back together in an effort to 'fix' her.
- Manchild: Humpty still has a childlike mentality and does not really understand why his actions are wrong.
- The Mentally Disturbed: He is plagued by an obsessive compulsion to both take things apart and put them back together, and is shown to get genuinely distressed when he is unable to do so.
- Obliviously Evil: Obsessed with fixing objects he perceived as broken, he "took apart" his abusive grandmother to see what made her so mean, not realizing that she couldn't be put back together again. Not for lack of trying, of course he stitched her back together with bootlaces.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Dumpler compulsively speaks in rhyme.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Humpty Dumpty's real name in Humphrey Dumpler.
- Stout Strength: Although seemingly overweight, Humphrey backs it up with some serious strength.
Hush (Thomas Elliot)
Thomas Elliot was born into a highly respected family in Gotham City, and as a child was a great friend of a young Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, Tommy's dad was an abusive alcoholic and his mother a controlling Rich Bitch who made him study philosophy and stratagems to help him dodge his father's abuse and succeed in life. Eventually, his father's abuse got so bad that he decided to apply his studies to improve his own life, by cutting the brakes on his parents' car before they had a drive, intending to inherit their money and live by his own way. Unfortunately, thanks to Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, Tommy's now crippled and needy mother survived, which was the worst thing that could happen to him. Bruce and Tommy remained best friends, however, and Tommy nearly confessed his murders to Bruce while the two kayaked around at summer camp, only to be interrupted by the surprise arrival of his mother. Tommy's resulting outburst of anger led him to being committed to Arkham for the rest of the summer, where, with the help of Dr. Crane, he was consumed by the paranoid belief that Bruce had somehow conspired with Mrs. Elliot to ruin his fun. By the end of the summer, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne had died and Tommy and Bruce drifted apart for good.
As Tommy grew older, Mrs. Elliot then manipulated her son into staying with her so he could take care of her. Eventually Tommy had enough and suffocated her. After his mother's death, Tommy left Gotham, entered medical school and became one of the country's best surgeons. However, when Eddie Nygma AKA The Riddler offered him a way of curing his mother's cancer, Tommy learnt that his former friend Bruce was the Batman (Riddler having figured out his identity in a moment of Lazarus Pit-induced insanity). Tommy decided that enough was enough and that Bruce had to be cut down to size and pay for "his crimes against me". Creating the identity of Hush, Elliot became arguably the most prominent Bat-Villain created in the 2000s.
In an effort to further bedevil Batman, Hush has recently altered his face to become a perfect duplicate of Bruce Wayne.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Hush goes after those close to Batman (which makes Bruce realize that for a self-described loner, he sure has A LOT of friends) including, of all people, Superman. Hush thinks big. He also kills Harold, who was a severely injured cripple who used to help in the Batcave. He was a C-List Fodder who had barely appeared in any comic since the 1980s, but it was still sad.
- Ascended Meme: Hush was never a serial killer in the regular comics, but Wikipedia had been calling him one for unknown reasons. Then they actually made his Legacy Character one in Batman Beyond.
- In Batman: Arkham City he becomes one by killing victims who have a slight facial resemblance to Bruce Wayne and cutting those features off and turning all of them into a Bruce Wayne mask.
- Ax-Crazy: His fondness for overly sadistic ways to punish Batman and his allies shows thats got a real demented streak under all the sophistication.
- Bandaged Face: Covers his face in bandages
- Batman Gambit: His mantra is "think like your opponent", which is this.
- Big Bad or Big Bad Wannabe: Usually has one of these roles in his stories; which one, depends on interpretation. Notice how he often has his name in the story's title.
- Big Bad Friend: His role in Batman: Hush.
- The Chessmaster: Hush likes his convoluted plans.
- Complexity Addiction: Sometimes his plans just seem needlessly convoluted. Many times simpler solutions would have sufficed.
- Costume Copycat: In his debut arc, there were two people who used his costume beside him; the first was Clayface/"Jason Todd" which he had planned, the second was Two-Face, who may, or may not have been intended to do so.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: Got facial reconstruction surgery to more easily get away with impersonating Bruce Wayne.
- The Dreaded: Even Batman himself is afraid of Hush.
- Enfant Terrible: His parents would surely wish they hadn't abused him.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
- He doesn't understand why some might prefer having living parents to having lots of money, and he thinks Bruce is Batman for the fun of it.
- The usual reason for his failures is not to count on Batman getting help from friends. Friendship is a concept he just doesn't get. His past relationship with Bruce was an act and though he talks about friendship a lot, it has a mocking tone to it.
- Evil Former Friend: He and Bruce were friends (kind of, see above) as kids.
- Evil Wears Black: Wears black underneath his trenchcoat, a sign that he's not good.
- Faux Affably Evil: He might tell a victim he likes him or her, then stab them. And he keeps calling Bruce a friend even when he's explaining his latest method of making his life a hell.
- Gambit Roulette: Possibly the whole of Batman: Hush, but there is no indication that the events needed to happen exactly as they did. Batman Eternal also seems to be this way.
- Genre Blindness:
- When he tries to steal Bruce Wayne's identity, doesn't he think that the superhero community might find it a bit suspicious if Batman suddenly retired from crime fighting for no reason? Also in the same story, trusting that brainwashed civilians can kill Batman was probably a bad idea.
- Messing with The Joker resulted in a pacemaker being installed in him by the clown, severely weakening him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His dominant personality trait.
- In Heart of Hush, Hush mocks Batman's crime-fighting career as a sign of his inability to move on from his past. This is pretty rich considering that his own vendetta against Bruce stems from a grudge he's held since childhood for something that wasn't even Bruce's fault.
- He openly despises the "costumed freaks" of Gotham, but chose to become one himself in order to get his revenge.
- I Just Want to Be You: Pre-52 version of Hush wanted to be Bruce Wayne because Tommy's mother never liked him as much as she liked Bruce. The New 52 version takes this Up to Eleven: Tommy is now pathologically obsessed with becoming Bruce. This also changes the reason he killed his parents: he wanted to be an orphan just to be similar to Bruce.
- Informed Ability: Master of Disguise. There was that one case of Surgical Impersonation, but let's just say he has been a victim of disguise users more than using them himself.
- It's All About Me: Why does he hate Bruce Wayne? Bruce's parents were killed when he was young while Elliot had to do the deed himself. And when he did so, he loathed Thomas Wayne for actually performing surgery that saved his mother's life. That's about as irrationally selfish as you can get.The Riddler: (On Elliot's super-villain name) Scarecrow started singing that song... "Hush Little Baby." It's about a child who can never be satisfied.
- It's Personal: Batman and Hush are this to one another.
- Kick the Dog: Using Jason Todd in an attempt to mess with Bruce's mind, shooting Harold, cutting out Catwoman's heart, lying to Killer Croc about having a cure for his condition and then accelerating it instead, injecting a neurotic child with venom, killing a minor villain just to have Batman for himself... yeah, this is kind of his specialty.
- Mad Doctor: A skilled surgeon, Hush commonly uses his surgical skills for nefarious purposes, whether torturing others or using surgery to impersonate other people. He also commonly uses medical scalpels as weapons.
- Malevolent Masked Men: A variant; he always keeps his face wrapped in bandages when in costume.
- Manipulative Bastard: Already as a kid. After he has a violent outburst on a summer camp, he coincidentally has Jonathan Crane as his therapist. Tommy admits he is guilty of much more than a mere attack, but gets Crane to declare him mentally stable with just a few words:Maybe I'll do it again.
- Meaningful Name: "Thomas" means "twin." He uses plastic surgery to become physically indistinguishable from Bruce Wayne.
- Misplaced Retribution: Thomas Wayne saved Elliot's mother, denying him the family fortune and lengthening the psychological abuse he had to endure. Meanwhile, Bruce lost his parents, which Elliot thought was undeserved. Therefore Bruce has to suffer. That is his (possibly psychotic) motivation.
- Motive Rant: He has one right after he kills Harold.
- My Beloved Smother: Tommy's mom was like this even before the accident. Afterwards, she became so controlling she kept her son at home for nearly twenty years, using the family fortune as leverage. When Tommy says he has enough, she tries to cut him out of her will and he smothers her with a pillow out of anger.
- Never My Fault: When he attacks another kid in summer camp for calling him names, he believes that his mother and Bruce had deliberately manipulated him to lose his temper. This only gets worse when he's an adult.
- Nouveau Riche: A very, very dark version — Marla was so desperate to have wealth and prestige that she married Roger Elliot, a drunken, abusive Old Money idiot, and tried to retain that prestige by befriending the Waynes, despite secretly hating them. She also foisted her relentless social climbing and scheming on young Thomas, who instinctively kept the desire to "restore" the Elliot family's name, even as he resented her for doing so.
- Psychopathic Manchild: While he may be an exceptional chessmaster, his motive behind everything he does is filled to the brim with childish grudges, showing that behind everything, hes still an entitled little boy at heart.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Racist, misogynist and especially classist. Also apparently hates "freaks", as in costumed heroes and villains.
- Remember the New Guy?: He was apparently a childhood friend of Bruce's and Bruce holds him in incredibly high regard, he's one of the world's best surgeons, and it's heavily implied that Tommy partly inspired Bruce's methods as Batman... Which is why we never heard of him before the "Hush" arc.
- The Resenter: He is frustrated that Bruce got everything he had ever wanted, but chooses to "squander" it in his crusade.
- Revenge Before Reason: He threw away a successful career as a world class surgeon just to get even. It later cost him his fortune and his facial skin, after he foolishly tried to manipulate an identity stealing serial killer Jane Doe as a part of his scheme.
- Self-Made Orphan: He tried to kill his parents at a young age in order to inherit their riches and because his father was an abusive monster and his mother a simpering money hungry lunatic. He only succeeded in killing his father, and, to avoid suspicion, didn't try again, only truly being orphaned when he smothered his raving senile mother in a fit of anger. This left him with a bitter hatred of Bruce, who tragically lost his parents soon after Tommy tried to kill his. Later on in his life, he joins the Riddler (who discovered that Bruce was Batman) on a vendetta against him, feeling that not only did Bruce get the riches Tommy wanted, but that he was wasting those riches as well. Predictably, his vendetta eventually causes him to lose everything and become the full time Super Villain Hush. In the New 52, he succeeds in his first attempt, killing both his parents; he did it because he was obsessed with Bruce Wayne in the first place, and wanted to relate to him (Bruce's parents died first in this continuity).
- Shadow Archetype: Another one of Batman, Hush being what would happen if Thomas and Martha Wayne's parenting of Bruce went horribly wrong and Batman became a villain.
- Smug Snake: One that is less of an arrogant Insufferable Genius and more of a dog kicking jerk.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Has a tendency to... well, gently tell his victims to "hush". Especially in Batman Eternal.
- The Sociopath: Definitely manipulative, incapable of admitting his own mistakes and flaws, always blaming others, extremely narcissistic, entitled and arrogant and lacking empathy on a fundamental level.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: To Aristotle. Not all the time, but certainly often enough that he's well known for it. More frequently in his early appearances. Considering it was his mother that forced him to read the philosopher and that his lifestyle doesn't exactly adhere to Aristotle's teachings, one gets the impression that he finds the quotations by googling "Aristotle [insert barely situation-relevant word here]".
- Stalker Without a Crush: In many appearances he tends to be watching Batman from the shadows. He intends to make his life miserable.
- The Starscream: He's often a second in command who ends up betraying his boss.
- Stealth Expert: Has been able to sneak up on both Batman and Catwoman on separate occasions, and they're supposed to be masters of this.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: See above.
- Surgical Impersonation: His main gimmick: Hush uses surgery to look like other people when committing his crimes. He doesn't get surgery done, he performs it himself.
- Villain Protagonist: When written by Paul Dini.
- Villain Team-Up: Hush likes recruiting other villains in his plans. Batman: Hush has most of Batman's rogues gallery involved in his Gambit Roulette, In Hush Returns he recruits Prometheus. In fact, he did this years before becoming Hush; as a young man, his girlfriend was Peyton Reilly, the second Ventriloquist, and she helped him in the murder of his mother for her money.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Wears no shirt in his second story arc, unlike his first where he wore a black top under his trenchcoat. It's part of the reason the miniseries was badly received among fans.
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Bruce were buddies in their childhood. Makes his current nature all the more horrifying to Bruce, and highlights his character as what Bruce could have become had he gone wrong at a young age.
- Yandere: The New 52 version. In his new origin story he kills his parents, then gives Bruce a creepy hug, saying "We're the same now" while having a somewhat "overly attached girlfriend"-like facial expression. In high school, he imitates Bruce, wearing the same clothes and flirting with the same girls, and claims to be Bruce, while looking and acting like Jim Carrey's character in The Cable Guy.
James Gordon, Jr.
The long absent son of Commissioner James Gordon and his first wife, Barbara Gordon, James, Jr. finally made a reappearance in the 2011 arc, "Skeleton Cases". Having shown symptoms of psychopathy in his youth, James seemed to be ready to be a functioning member of society. However, it was instead revealed that he was a serial killer, having murdered several people who bullied him in his youth, and viewed empathy as a weakness. His brutality and sadism are only matched by his cunning, and proves himself to be a dangerous foe to the reluctant new Batman, Dick Grayson.
- Adaptational Heroism: His New 52 incarnation is still a sociopath, but he's considerably less despicable than his Post-Crisis version and proves helpful in defeating The Batman Who Laughs before killing himself to prevent harming his family due to his sociopathic tendencies.
- Antagonistic Offspring: To his father, James Gordon Sr.
- Arch-Enemy: To Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. He couldn't care less about Bruce Wayne.
- Ax-Crazy: Not exactly a cackling maniac, but considering that hes a violent sadist with no empathy whatsoever, a knack for deliberately starting grudges with random people so that he can find an excuse to violently murder them later, and his desire to turn the newborns of Gotham into a new generation of violent, sociopathic killers like himself only show that hes still completely insane and a danger to everyone who either associates with him or is around him period.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: As a child, he enjoyed mutilating animals as a hobby.
- Big Bad: For some of Batgirl's solo adventures and Dick Grayson's time as Batman.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to his sister, Barbara's, Abel.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He proudly claims to be a psychopath.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Back and forth, and then explained, James first appeared in Batman: Year One but was not mentioned for many years after that comic, both in and out of universe. The story arc Skeleton Cases gives very good reasons as to why he was not talked about in-universe. The Gordon family and others try not to talk about James due to his sociopathic behavior being both disturbing and hurtful as well as being a shame on the Gordons.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Really likes doing this.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Unlike the rest of the Rogues Gallery, J. J. is just a regular guy with a genius-level intellect doing awful things for the sake of it.
- The Corrupter: His master plan is to destroy the morality of Gotham's children by injecting their food supply with a drug to destroy empathy which he views as a weakness. In short, he wants to create a mass production of sociopaths.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: He has blue eyes and is one of the vilest characters of the franchise.
- Creepy Souvenir: He had a large collection of house keys. Each one was taken off of a victim during his years as a serial killer.
- Enfant Terrible: Showed signs of psychopathy at a young age and managed to deeply unnerve a serial child murderer to the point where he scared him away.
- Evil Counterpart:
- J. J. in demeanor, personality and intellect is basically Batman's Evil Counterpart.
- To Barbara. Both are the children of Commissioner Gordon, except while Barbara became Batgirl and later Oracle, James Jr. became a monster. Barbara was able to overcome something as harsh as getting shot, humiliated and paralysed; James became unhinged despite having a fairly stable upbringing.
- Evil Genius: He has a genius-level intellect. He's also a psychopathic killer.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor:James, Jr.: (Indicating a stain on his shirt.) This? It's blood, dad. I killed a waitress while you were talking to Barbara. Her head is stuffed in the toilet of the men's room. (Pause.) It's just ketchup, see? I'm sorry.
- Evil Is Petty: He in fact looks to be picked on so that he can satiate and justify his bloodlust.
- Evil Redhead: As a member of the Gordon family.
- Eye Scream: He had a knife shoved into the outer edge of his eye one time, though it seemed to have missed the eyeball and go into the socket, or he just didn't care.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can put up a pretty good front, since he is composed and polite. Sadly, that's all it is.
- Foil: To the Joker. While the Joker is flamboyant in personality, appearance, and execution, James is completely mundane, being stoic, looking unremarkable and committing his acts of villainy in secret.
- For the Evulz: The usual motive of J. J.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: So much, it hurts.
- HeelFace Turn: By his own account, he tried "to be good" by joining the Suicide Squad and by giving his imprisoned father the means to escape from jail, but he eventually just gave up and returned to being a Diabolical Mastermind. At some point, he agreed to start taking an experimental medication that was designed to make pure psychopaths like him neurotypical, and while he only agreed to participate in the medical trial because he saw it as a means to escape from custody and resume killing people, the pills proved to be surprisingly effective, and caused him to experience a Villainous BSoD. He stops taking the medication at the behest of his father and Batman, who need his perspective and insight to help them against the Batman Who Laughs, and as the pills wear off there are several points where Jr. is tempted to go back to villainy, being shown contemplating throwing the medicine away or helping the Grim Knight murder or corrupt his father, but, in the end, he resists the urge and helps to save Gotham. Gordon, who had planned on pulling the plug on the medical trial, decides to let it continue helping Jr.Gordon: ... James?
Jr.: I'm coming, dad. I just need to change into my oranges. They brought me too big a size, but I can—
Gordon: Just listen. They're... they're not taking you back. I called in and the truth is... I want this to continue. I want you to keep going, where you are already, it's... a good thing.
Jr.: Dad... so you know, I'm not where I wanted you to think I was, not yet. It was partly a mask. I mean, I'm... I'm not there yet.
Gordon (hugging Jr.): Heh. So you know, son, neither am I. But you're trying. And so am I. And so is everyone.
- Unfortunately, something went wrong; when he next appears, Jr. is revealed to have become completely psychotic, developing a split personality (which is not even aware that Barbara is Batgirl) that starts taking Jr.'s suppressed jealousy over his sister out on women who look like Barbara in a twisted attempt at "helping" Jr. This causes Jr. to be Driven to Suicide.Jr.: Babs, I've been getting better, but there's a shadow that lives inside of me. And he's getting bigger. I can't control him anymore. Babs... there's only one way to give our family the peace I so desperately want to give it. I know what I need to do. And I'm not afraid anymore. I know you don't believe me... but I love you--
- Unfortunately, something went wrong; when he next appears, Jr. is revealed to have become completely psychotic, developing a split personality (which is not even aware that Barbara is Batgirl) that starts taking Jr.'s suppressed jealousy over his sister out on women who look like Barbara in a twisted attempt at "helping" Jr. This causes Jr. to be Driven to Suicide.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He tries to rationalize his acts as this, but in reality, everything that was done to him was a petty slight AT BEST and his acts of vengeance are so grossly disproportionate that words cannot even sum up how far overboard he went. He knows this, too; when Barbara tells him that he was just looking for ways to justify committing acts of extreme cruelty, he doesn't even deny it or attempt to argue with her about it.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He◊ looks very much like Jeffrey Dahmer during his teen years.
- Nominal Hero: Bridges towards this at times in his New 52 incarnation.
- Psychotic Smirk: His default expression.
- Sadist: Easily one of the most horrific examples in the Batman mythos. He really enjoys killing and torturing.
- Serial Killer: During his many years away from Gotham, he seems to have taken up this as a hobby.
- Softspoken Sadist: Unlike many other of the Batman villains, he never hams it up. He always speaks in an even tone.
- The Sociopath: Averted, if only because he's a full blown psychopath.
- The Stoic: Combined with Psychotic Smirk, this is how he usually acts.
- Not So Stoic: Despite hating emotions and empathy, he has his few moments of them.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When you think about how many other Batman villains have either disfigurements, eye-catching costumes, or some manner of Obviously Evil design, Junior looking like a regular person is pretty startlingly creepy all on its own.
- Virtue Is Weakness: States that he views empathy as a weakness.
- Worthy Opponent: Views his sister as this because she's the only person who has managed to dissect his motives and rationale and understand who he truly is.
Jane Doe is a serial killer who steals the identities of her victims. Usually for personal gain. Initially introduced for the mini-series Arkham Asylum: Living Hell where she played a part in the origin of the Great White Shark.
- A Day in the Limelight: She's typically used as a side character but was given an entire annual issue with her as the main antagonist in the New 52.
- Depraved Bisexual: Jane has expressed interest in both men and women depending on who she's pretending to be at the time.
- Early Installment Weirdness: When she first appeared Jane looked like a normal woman but subsequent appearances depict her as having no skin at all. Additionally, she originally made lifelike suits that resembled her victims but it was later changed to her wearing their actual skin.
- Flaying Alive: Jane has the appearance of someone without skin and also removes the skin from her victims.
- Genuine Human Hide: As mentioned above, she wears people's skins after killing them.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Implied in her first New 52 appearances where the majority of her victims are mentioned to be accomplished athletes. Her introduction as her states the motivation for taking other people's life is that she find hers hollow and bored, then when she gets bored witht he other personality she looks for another target.
- Kick the Dog: Makes fun of Aaron Cash for killing his crush, even saying that after months of impersonating her she knows his crush was repulsed by Cash.
- Latex Perfection: When not wearing people's skins, this is how she disguises her appearance.
- Master of Disguise: A rather disturbing version of this trope. Able to nearly perfectly copy the mannerisms of her victims.
- Mukokuseki: Before her redesign (See Early Installment Weirdness above), Jane Doe was a rare Western and deliberate use of this trope which sort of makes sense for her. She had a slightly dark-ish skin tone that indicates non-caucasian heritage... or maybe she's just a bit tanned?... and her eyes were vaguely Asian-ish... but not really. She even lacked large breasts (which is surprising for this universe), which allowed her to pass herself off as a dude with relative ease.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: For a time, Jane fought Manhunter (Kate Spencer) instead of Batman.
- Serial Killer: Kills people and takes over their lives.
- The Spook: Nothing about Jane Doe's past is known to the reader or the characters in-story.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jane isn't shown to be much of a fighter when she first appears and is taken down by Batman fairly easily. By the time the New 52 rolls around, she's shown to be exceptionally athletic and able to hold her own in a fight.
Joe Chill (Joseph Chilton)
Joe Chill is the man who shot and killed Thomas and Martha Wayne in front of their son Bruce, traumatizing him and leading to the creation of Batman. Since his debut in Detective Comics #33 Chill's backstory, motivations and appearance have been subject to multiple retcons, which are further changed in adaptations. About the only thing that remains consistent with Chill is that he shot Thomas first as he tried to protect his family, then shot Martha, then ran away.
- Anti-Villain: When Chill's just a guy who pushed to villainy that the Waynes had the misfortune to run afoul of. This is often used to illustrate to Batman that anyone can be a criminal.
- The Butler Did It: Almost. Pre-Crisis, Bruce was raised by his Uncle Philip, and Chill was revealed to be the son of Philip's housekeeper.
- Create Your Own Hero: Accidentally created Gotham City's greatest hero.
- The Dragon: in most interpretations he's working for someone else (usually mobster Lew Moxon, who was put behind bars by Thomas Wayne's testimony). In a twist, Bruce usually cares more about catching Chill than Chill's boss, because it was the man holding the gun, not his employer, who scarred Bruce for life.
- He Knows Too Much: Those times Joe does figure out Batman's identity he is killed shortly afterward, usually by other criminals who are not happy to find out he created Batman.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Was Joe Chill a lone wolf mugger or did he work for the mob? Did he have a personal vendetta against the Waynes or was it just business? Was he a greedy opportunist or a down-on-his-luck guy pushed to desperation? His story changes almost every time it is told.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In those instances where he figures out he murdered the prominent Wayne family, or even worse, when he figures out he created Batman.
- Nervous Wreck: In one story, it turns out that Chill has become this worrying for over twenty years that someday Bruce (note: not Batman) will track him down and punish him for his crime. To the point that when he accidentally tears off Batman's mask and sees Bruce Wayne's face underneath, he thinks he's finally snapped entirely and accidentally leaps off a roof to his death trying to get away.
- Nice Hat: Joe's flat cap has stuck with him since the beginning, since it was the only visually distinctive thing in his original appearance.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Most versions of him have no real enmity against the Wayne family and are just doing a job (which, pending telling, may be why he didn't have the stomach to kill young Bruce). Still others take it one step farther and don't even have him working for anybody, leaving him just a random two-bit thug and mugger with too-quick a trigger finger.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His only noteworthy role is also his most significant contribution to the mythos. Without his murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, there never would have been a Batman.
- That One Case: Sometimes Batman never figures out who Joe Chill was, making his never ending quest to clean up Gotham an extension of his quest to find out who murdered his parents.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Sometimes. Either he doesn't bother with Bruce, or plans to kill Bruce but runs when he hears the cops approaching, or he leaves Bruce alone out of sadism, or he wants to maintain Plausible Deniability that the whole event was just a robbery that escalated and needed a surviving witness to testify along those lines, or it really was just a robbery that escalated.
Red Hood I/The Joker
The Joker is one of the most (in)famous supervillains in the history of comic books and a character who is equally as famous as his archnemesis. In sharp contrast to Batman, The Joker's skin tone is chalk white, his hair a bright green, and his costume consists of a bright purple tuxedo. Oh, and he is an Ax-Crazy psychopathic maniac.
It's not so much a question of what Joker's done — it's rather a question what hasn't he done. His first appearance had him effortlessly killing two millionaires, a judge, and a rival mob boss; since then, he's sneaked into a fur warehouse using a model Trojan horse, made his own utility belt, tried to dump one of his henchmen in a Shark Pool, infected every fish off of the East Coast with his Joker venom (and then tried to patent the fish for royalties), tied his enemies to a giant exploding cake to celebrate his birthday, shot Barbara Gordon in the spine (and tortured her father to boot), killed Jason Todd (the second Robin), killed Jim Gordon's second wife, became stupidly powerful after stealing Mr. Mxyzptlk's powers, and nearly destroyed the world singlehandedly when he thought he was dying.
And he's far from done.
Like the rest of the senior Bat-cast, the Joker started out as a pretty dangerous guy in his earliest appearances, although he was far more rational and less insane, being essentially a murderous, arrogant jewel thief with a risus sardonicus. He was then turned into a guffawing, buffoonish trickster thanks to the combined influence of The Comics Code and the 1960s television series. When he was revived in the 1970s, he was turned back into the dangerous madman of his earliest appearances, but made more scary by also retaining his Silver Age mischievousness and random craziness - such as trying to patent Joker-fish and murdering patent office staff when they wouldn't let him. When the Dark Age came along, Joker soon had the single highest body count in The DCU. While he's outdone by the aliens and supervillains who can (and do) wipe out cities/planets, for a man who has nothing other than a criminally sharp mind and a twisted sense of humor, he's still got an "impressive" body count. And keep in mind, those aliens wipe the cities and planets from orbit, while the Joker will do it to your face, and he'll scare you half to death before he kills you the rest of the way.
His relationship with Batman is... unique, to say the least. In nearly every published Batman crossover/AU comic, The Joker is there as well. Joker has claimed again and again that Batman is the sole reason for his existence — and that they're more alike than Bats will ever admit.
The Joker, as portrayed in various media — Tim Burton's 1989 film, Batman: The Animated Series, The Dark Knight, and many an Alternate Continuity — is a little bit different from the comic book version: The former is treated (if in unspoken terms) as a gadfly who has managed to con (or will con) the mob, crimefighters, and even the legal system into thinking he's insane in the clinical sense of the term, when really he just enjoys carnage and mayhem, and was likely a murderous bastard even before donning the clown mask. The modern, mainstream comic book Joker is treated as though he really is crazy and (in abstract terms) someone Batman sees as a psychological torment rather than just a guileful crook; a sort of demon sent by the city itself to foil his mission. In truth, most versions fall somewhere in the middle, largely Depending on the Writer. His Harmless Villain phase from the 60's, for what it's worth, was actually pretty short lived.
As for his origin... well, no matter who tells it, it almost always involves him falling into a giant vat of acid (or something green). Most accept Alan Moore's portrayal of Joker in The Killing Joke as an unsuccessful comedian with a pregnant wife prior to the transformation as the character's canon origin, but as Joker said himself in that very story: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes the other! If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"
The Joker's true identity is perpetually unknown, but he has gone by Joseph "Joe" Kerr, Jack Napier, Jack White, Oberon Sexton, Eric Border, and Clem Rusty among others. (Because the name Jack Napier was given as the Joker's pre-transformation real name in the 1989 film, some fans accept it as his real name overall. note )
Kadaver (Mortimer Kadaver)
Mortimer Kadaver is a murderous criminal possessing a morbid and sadistic obsession with inflicting pain and death. His hideout is filled with a wide variety of means of murder and torture, including an iron maiden, a guillotine, a hangmans noose, and even a pool of quicklime. Kadaver enjoys feigning his own death by methods such as dressing as a vampire and emerging from a coffin, but he takes even more pleasure in meting out suffering and death to others who cross his path.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Kadaver enjoys feigning his own death by methods such as dressing as a vampire and emerging from a coffin to terrify his underlings.
- Faking the Dead: Kadaver once made a deal with The Penguin to put him in a hypnotic trance-like coma, causing prison doctors to confirm Penguin had died from a heart attack while working out in Blackgate Penitentiary's gym.
- Faux Death: Kadaver can use hypnosis to place himself or others into a deathlike trance where no life signs can be detected.
- Meaningful Name/Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Not only is his surname a homophone for 'cadaver' (a synonym for 'corpse'), but his first name Mortimer is ofter shortened to Mort: Latin for 'death'.
- Scars Are Forever: After surviving an attempt to kill him from the Corrosive Man, Kadaver is left with a permanent hand shaped burn across his face.
- Sinister Scythe: Kadaver is not a skilled fighter, although sometimes he uses death-associated weapons such as scythes.
- Torture Technician: Kadaver possesses extensive knowledges of torture and death; he understands many different moves on how to kill slowly or extremely quickly.
KGBeast (Anatoli Knyazev)
A cybernetically enhanced assassin trained by a secret cell of the KGB who has mastered numerous Martial Arts and weapons, he is now a freelance operative mercenary.
- An Arm and a Leg: After Batman traps his arm in a loop of rope, he escapes by cutting his arm off with an axe.
- Arm Cannon: Replacing his missing hand, often includes a bayonet.
- Artifact Title: He is obviously named after the KGB, who have been defunct since the beginning of the 1990s.
- BFG: A staple of his.
- Boxed Crook: Lock-Up and the Suicide Squad have both put him to work.
- Came Back Wrong: He was resurrected as a Black Lantern zombie during the Blackest Night event.
- Captain Ersatz: He was arguably the first in what would be a wave of "psychotic Soviet ex-KGB cyborg killer" villains that hit comics in the aftermath of The Great Politics Mess-Up. If you like the NKVDemon or Omega Red, thank this guy.
- Former Regime Personnel: Worked for the Soviets before they fell, then struck out on his own as a Terrorist Without A Cause.
- Godzilla Threshold: A rogue originally created with this specific gimmick in mind. In his first appearance, KGBeast was said to be a villain so dangerous that Batman, reluctantly, knew he would be forced to break his "no killing" rule as there would be simply no other way to defeat him. Since then, however, KGBeast is usually reduced to being just another background C-lister.
- Handicapped Badass: He's still a very dangerous man after losing his hand, even without his arm cannon.
- Husky Russkie: Is always drawn as large muscular and bulky and is Russian.
- Kill Tally: He's stated to have killed at least 200 people.
- Left for Dead: He was left stuck in the sewers at the end of his first story, with no chance of escaping without outside assistance.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: KGBeast embodies this trope as a Russian villain who's heritage and upbringing has turned into a deadly threat who is said to have killed over 200 people.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Of the 200 people he's killed, 100 of them were killed during a single assassination attempt, not even because they were targets but just because killing them was the best way to take out his one target.
- Renegade Russian: Since the Soviet Union was still active at the time of his creation, it was made clear that he was working for a renegade sect that was working against the main Soviet government. After The Great Politics Mess-Up, this distinction was no longer needed and he embraced this trope fully.
- Retcon: It was retconned so that he was saved from death offscreen, right after the end of his debut story.
- Stupidity-Inducing Attack: In his later appearances it was postulated that the time he spent locked in a room with no air by Batman gave him mild brain damage, explaining how a guy deadly enough to make Batman break his no-kill rule was now getting owned by the likes of Robin and Huntress.
- Those Two Guys: He worked for Lock-Up a lot.
- Undignified Death: He was thrown off a building in a You Have Failed Me-style punishment. Originally the killer was thought to be Two-Face, which would have accorded the Beast a little dignity, but as it turned out Harvey was innocent. The Beast's real killer? Tally Man, a villain so obscure even he himself doesn't know who he is!
- Villain Decay: As mentioned above, in his origin story he was a threat to rival Batman's most dangerous villains, and indeed a lot of the beats for his story would be recycled for the introduction of Bane. He was never so dangerous again, and by the end of his life he had decayed into a D-lister who hung around with the likes of Orca and the Ventriloquist.
Killer Croc (Waylon Jones)
Born with a rare skin disease that left him with scaly, crocodile-like skin, Waylon Jones was unaccepted by the outside world. His parents couldn't stand him, and they abandoned him in the wilderness, forcing him to become a career criminal to survive. At one point, he used his razor sharp teeth to become a cannibal and eat people. He has clashed with Batman several times over the years, each time becoming more bestial and reptilian due to a mutation of his already strange disease. He possesses superhuman strength and is much larger than the average man.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Often finds himself in one of these.
- Abusive Parents: Waylon was raised by his aunt, but her persistent drinking prevented him from growing up in an ideal household.
- Anti-Villain: Had shades of this in old continuity, fully embraced in the New 52, where he gets a large amount of Morality Pets and Pet the Dog moments.
- Ax-Crazy: When he is portrayed as downright feral.
- Beast and Beauty: During his stint with the Suicide Squad, he developed a romantic relationship with June Moone, the Enchantress. This was even encouraged by Amanda Waller, figuring that the pairing would make the two of them more manipulable.
- Beast Man: Effectively, although how much so is a case of Depending on the Artist; he varies from "human covered in crocodile-like hide and with filed teeth" to "bipedal crocodile".
- Because You Were Nice to Me: One pre-New 52 story involves him murdering a bunch of corrupt SWAT officers in order to avenge their murder of one of the only people who had been nice to him when he was a kid.
- The Berserker: His fighting style more or less revolves around completely overwhelming the opponent with his sheer speed, strength, and resistance to harm.
- Bizarre Human Biology: Croc is allegedly a human who was born with a very rare skin disease, but many artists have started to make him less and less humanlike and more reptilian in appearance, sometimes having a crocodile snout and tail. One writer has Hand Waved this as being a mutation in his disease that grants him traits of more primitive animals.
- Blessed with Suck: Croc's condition gives him the power of a crocodile, but also the monstrous appearance and animalistic impulses of one, which prevents him from ever living a normal life.
- The Brute: In most appearances following the story in which he was introduced. In his first appearance, though, Croc was actually a Genius Bruiser who manipulated Batman's entire Rogues Gallery—sort of Bane 0.5.
- Death by Childbirth: In at least one comic, it's stated that his mother died giving birth to him.
- Depending on the Artist: Nobody can decide whether Killer Croc is a big strong guy with a skin condition or a crocodile man anymore. It's 50/50 that he'll be depicted either way.
- Depending on the Writer: On top of the above, he seems to be one of those villains writers can never really pin down. It's hard to believe that he was an accomplished marksman and the precursor of Bane, because most commonly, he's portrayed as the Bat-Rogues' Dumb Muscle. Writers can however justify this by tying his intelligence, skill and personality to how advanced his mutation is - generally the more mutated he is the stronger and tougher he is but he also becomes more stupid and feral.
- The Dreaded: In the streets he may just be a brute but in Arkham he is the scariest inmate.
- Driven by Envy: Of the normal people.
- Dumb Muscle: After Flanderization set in. Justified in that his condition is fully atavistic - everything, including his mind, just keeps regressing further and further as time goes on, which explains how he went from a Genius Bruiser who was Bane-lite to a feral, animalistic savage.
- Empowered Badass Normal: In his earliest appearances there's nothing really superhuman about him besides his tough hide. Otherwise he's just a really strong wrestler with sharp fangs and claws. As his condition evolved, Croc became a reptilian powerhouse with superhuman strength, powerful jaws, and regenerative tissue.
- Fangs Are Evil: Bit Cash's hand off with his chomper.
- Flanderization: He was originally a somewhat intelligent gangster with a medical condition (a very severe medical condition), whose misanthropy was the result of being tormented by everyone (family included) for his freakish appearance. This was eventually downplayed, with Croc becoming more bestial and less intelligent as time went on (this was typically explained that his condition was worsening, further separating him from humanity). By the time of Hush, Croc could probably pass for a bulkier Alternate Company Equivalent of the Lizard (explained away by Hush infecting him with a virus that further increased his mutation).
- Freak Out: In Batman #471 he supposedly died when the sewer he was in flooded and collapsed. In #489 it was revealed that he was nearly drowned, was forced to live on rats, constantly suffered from fevers and was haunted by nightmares. He emerged from the sewers after six months with a radically different personality, diminished mental capacity and permanent hallucinations.
- Freudian Excuse: Between abusive classmates and his godawful aunt, his stint in reform school, and his treatment in the freakshow he was part of, Croc's got a lot of reasons to hate the world.
- Friend to All Children: Believe it or not, he has a soft spot for precocious young kids. Dave (from "Requiem for A Killer"), Erin Mckillen, and Olive Silverlock can all attest to that. In a few cases they're even more comfortable with Croc around than Batman himself!
- Genius Bruiser: When he isn't being written like Dumb Muscle, Croc can be a cunning and brutal opponent. In his earlier appearances he could be called a prototype Bane with how he matched wits with the Dark Knight.
- Hand Wave: Originally he was a man with a very, very bad skin condition. His appearance has gotten more monstrous over time, which has been explained as his condition worsening.
- Handwraps of Awesome: He sometimes wears these (e.g., in Batman Hush and the concept art for Batman: Arkham Asylum).
- Healing Factor: Can restore missing teeth and limbs.
- HeelFace Turn: In The Batman of Arkham, owing to psychiatrist Bruce Wayne's gentle treatment and care. (With a dose of Epiphany Therapy and Single-Issue Psychology.)
- I'm a Humanitarian: Depending on the Writer, and in some continuities, like Joker, he can devour his victims.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Croc's search for a cure has been a fairly consistent part of his characterisation.
- Immune to Bullets: Croc's skin is thick enough to ward off even high caliber bullets.
- Implacable Man: It's not that he can't be stopped, just that it's extremely difficult to do so.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His occasional homicidal tendencies aside, Croc is otherwise a gentle soul who usually wants to do the right thing. He protects the downtrodden and marginalized of Gotham, is fiercely loyal to his friends, and might even make a good hero if not for his sense of justice clashing with the dark knight's.
- King of the Homeless: In some comics, Croc has been shown associating with communities of homeless people. In one of his earliest stories, he became protector of a homeless community and tried to set up a comfortable place for them in Gotham's underground, only for it to be destroyed when Gotham changed over the sewer system and flooded it. In a New 52 story, he's shown having established an almost cult-like army of homeless people, who act as his eyes, ears and hands above-ground whilst he remains in the underground.
- Lightning Bruiser: Superhumanly fast to the point of surprising Batman more than once.
- Lizard Folk: Killer Croc used to be just a big strong guy with a skin condition, but he's become more lizard-like over time. He was specifically mutated with a virus by Hush and the Riddler to make him more violent and feral, and less human. By the end of the book it's mentioned he's received the antidote but it didn't work. After War Games, he's more feral than ever and a scientist reveals (shortly before Croc eats her) that there's no way to undo it.
- Man Bites Man: Croc frequently uses his teeth to bite his opponents during fights.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Croc is atavistic, and when intelligent, has the mindset one would expect of an alligator or similar reptile. As a result his moral agency is seriously questionable, and he's one of the few Batman rogues who legitimately belongs in Arkham.
- Morality Pet:
- In a rather bizarre decision made regarding the post-Flashpoint Croc, he's revealed to be Roy Harper's sponsor in Red Hood and the Outlaws.
- In the New 52, teenager Olive Silverlock, a student at Gotham Academy, is this to him. He's kind and friendly to her (and it extends to her friends) and is also very protective towards her. Her mother Sybil seemed to be this to him too, as he appreciated her not treating him like a monster and he in turn promised her he'd keep an eye on and care for Olive.
- Mutant: Possesses an atavistic mindset, coupled with a skin condition not unlike epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, and a metagene. The end result is the crocodilian monster we all know and love.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: This guy's definitely not someone you'd want to meet in a dark alley, though how croc-like he actually is varies by writer and continuity.
- Omnicidal Maniac: On his worse days.
- Parental Abandonment: Mom and dad left him with an alcoholic aunt, who could not have cared less about him.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He will make a point of gruesomely devouring those especially deserving of it, which almost happens to the Mad Hatter and actually does to three corrupt SWAT officers. This is a huge reason Batman never got along with him.
- Ragin' Cajun: Starting the 2004 animated series there a some versions of Croc with a Cajun accent.
- Red Right Hand: Croc's bestial outer appearance is indicative of his animalistic inner nature.
- The Resenter: Resents and hates "normal people" and lashes out at them constantly.
- Scary Black Man: Is technically black, and yeah, he's not someone you want to run into. Ever.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his abusive aunt.
- Super Senses: Possesses a highly advanced sense of smell.
- Super Strength: His strength crosses the line into superhuman, making him very difficult to stop.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the New 52 he's the only member of Batwoman's rogues to not be an original, and magic is used to upgrade him into a more ferocious and powerful multi-eyed form. Later, he's upgraded into a massive multi-headed hydra and rampages through Gotham.
- Tragic Villain: He does seem to want to be normal very, very badly. Well, Depending on the Writer, but this is a pretty frequently recurring quirk of his.
- The Worf Effect: He is Bane's punching bag in multiple stories.
Killer Moth (Drury Walker/"Cameron Van Cleer")
When sophisticated and urbane playboy Cameron van Cleer introduced himself to the elite of Gotham's social scene, nobody realized he was secretly a former prison inmate using his stolen earnings to finance a career as "Killer Moth", a Batman-like costumed figure who aided criminals instead of the police. For a price, would-be ne'er-do-wells could hire Cleer's services, and he in turn would help them evade capture and cover their tracks. After several encounters with Batman, the Dark Knight managed to permanently dismantle Moth's organization, and his secret identity and fortune were lost forever.
Killer Moth (now revealed to be small-time criminal Drury Walker) continued to endure, however, committing smaller-scale robberies and picking up jobs as hired muscle. Sick of being perceived as a joke by his fellow rogues, he made a deal with Neron for greater power and became a towering moth/human hybrid. The deal has since been written out of history, though, and Walker has reverted to his previous form.
- Animal Motifs: A decidedly less sinister take on the Macabre Moth Motif; in most appearances, he just wears a moth-like outifit and employs an adhesive "cocoon gun" during heists.
- Butt-Monkey: The biggest of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
- Came Back Wrong: During the Blackest Night, Walker in his Charaxes incarnation was reanimated by a Black Lantern power ring. Superboy-Prime duly killed him again for his trouble.
- Complexity Addiction: Despite having a lucrative regular criminal career, he got a taste for the mad pageantry of supervillainy. He once went so far as to lure Batman to a fake hideout in Gotham's woods where he unleashed a horde of vicious bears he had personally trained upon the Caped Crusader.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He was working with Firefly for a short while as a mercenary duo before realizing just how dangerously unstable his partner actually was (he believed that he could see visions in the flames, for starters), causing him to cut things off ASAP because he genuinely feared for his life. Interestingly, he would later visit the other side of this trope when allying with two other small-time supervillains to kidnap Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon and Armand Krol. The other two genuinely thought they were going to release the hostages. Walker just dumped all three in a deathtrap and walked away.
- Harmless Villain: He's considered the weakest supervillain in Gotham and is usually captured pretty easily by Batman and company. Eventually he got tired of being picked on all the time and not taken seriously, so he made a deal with Neron and became Charaxes, a deadly cannibalistic moth creature that spits acid. This version of the character stuck around for ten years before being given a mercy killing, and an unnamed character took up the Killer Moth name until the timeline collapse of Flashpoint and the New 52. It wasn't until DC Rebirth that Killer Moth was fully restored to his lovable loser incarnation.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Trounced by Batgirl on her first night of duty, before she even received any combat training.
- Killed Off for Real: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it panel by Superboy-Prime during the Infinite Crisis.
- Legacy Character: A second, unnamed Killer Moth began using the name and costume after Walker's death. This version ironically worked with Lock-Up in Gotham Underground and was used as a pawn by Prometheus during Justice League: Cry for Justice. He was last seen being pursued by Robin after the events of that story.
- Macabre Moth Motif: He wasn't initially dark, wearing a garish costume with striped purple and green spandex, orange cape and a moth-like mask. Later on though, he was redesigned to look more menacing in his demonic Drury Walker / Charaxes incarnation.
- One-Winged Angel: After making a deal with Neron, he was transformed into a half-human half moth monstrosity. However it fell victim to a Retcon and he fell back to a nobody.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wears a lot of orange, green and purple in his original costume.
- Shadow Archetype: The first Batman villain explicitly designed as such, to the point of working out of a "Moth-Cave" and selling criminals infrared "Moth-Signal" beacons in his first appearance.
- Super Zeroes: Secret Six featured a horde of villains in Killer Moth costumes, implying the identity eventually fell into public domain for Mooks ala the Rainbow Raiders.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As Charaxes. Robin was overwhelmed by him, but the more methodical Lock-Up captured him without too much trouble.
- Villain Decay: You'd never believe it now, but this guy used to actually be a credible threat.
Kite Man (Charles "Chuck" Brown)
The man who can fly anything. A harmless Silver Age villain who does really petty crime using a hang glider, stylised to look like a kite. Debuting, as you probably guessed, in the Silver Age, he would go unused for years. He returned in the modern age, basically unchanged from his Silver Age incarnation.
- Butt-Monkey: He is never taken seriously in modern times, and the amount of effort he goes to is more played for laughs than anything.
- Catchphrase: "Kite Man. Hell yeah." in modern times.
- Death by Origin Story: Batman's failure to protect his son is ultimately what drove him to become Kite Man.
- Death Seeker: His primary reason for becoming Kite Man is implied to be because he hopes that it will kill him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Subverted in that he was a nobody and when he donned the costume, he became... another nobody.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: His modern depictions, especially under Tom King.
- Killed Off for Real: Post-Crisis, he was killed by Bruno Mannheim for refusing to join him.
- Meaningful Name: There's another Charlie Brown who constantly runs into grief with his kites and is probably the only character in American comics who's an even bigger Butt-Monkey than Kite-Man himself.
- Only in It for the Money: He's a far cry from Batman's other villains — he's only after money and jewels, and hasn't ever hurt anyone on-panel. He actually refused to join the Secret Society of Super Villains, which got him dropped off Wayne Tower. He later also refused to aid Bruno Mannheim.
Lady Clay a.k.a. Clayface IV (Sondra Fuller)
Sondra Fuller was an agent of Kobra. She agreed to undergo an experiment involving shapeshifting because she hated her own face. She gained the shapechanging abilities of Matt Hagen, but at a much higher level. She can mimic the powers of anything she transforms into. However, unlike Hagen who returns to normal after some time and requires a particular protoplasm before he can become Clayface again, Sondra cannot return to normal, which she finds both a curse and a blessing.
- Anti-Villain: She may have started out a willing agent of Kobra, but after meeting Preston Sondra realizes all she wants is to find peace and happiness with someone who'd accept her for who she is. She now only wants to leave her past behind and only fights the Batfamily when something disturbs her family.
- Battle Couple: Along with her lover Preston, Sondra is a force to be reckoned with for any unlucky hero or villain crosses their path.
- The Bus Came Back: It certainly took a while, but Lady Clay eventually returns for a cameo in Doomsday Clock and later as a member of a specialized team of "Gotham Monsters" alongside Killer Croc, Orca, Frankenstein, and Andrew Bennett. Her husband remains absent, however.
- Dark Action Girl: Sondra was already a trained secret agent before acquiring powers. Before Basil upgraded himself into a true Clayface she was easily the most formidable and deadly of the bunch.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Lady Clay is a walking mountain of mud, and can use her powers for shapeshifting or brute strength.
- The Lad-ette: Being a female Clayface, Sondra loves roughing up heroes and is much more inclined to a fight than her husband Preston.
- Legacy Character: The fourth of eight Clayfaces.
- Mama Bear: After fleeing Gotham with Preston, Sondra comes out of retirement when the vile Abattoir kidnaps her son to blackmail them.
- More Deadly Than the Male: One of the few female Clayfaces and easily one of the most dangerous, giving Batman, the Outsiders, and Azrael trouble. She's only eclipsed when Karlo takes her and Payne's combined powers.
- Outlaw Couple: Wanted by the authorities, she and her husband Clayface III go on the run.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Can morph her hands into maces, hammers, or other weapons.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Can form clothing out of her own substance as part of her disguises.
- Unholy Matrimony: Is married to Preston Payne a.k.a. Clayface III.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
Lady Shiva (Sandra Wu-San/Sandra Woosan)
One of the premier martial artists in the DCU, Shiva is a mercenary with her own sense of honor and duty, but who really lives for the thrill of life and death combat. She has trained Batman as well as several of his allies, but that doesn't stop her from fighting them if she feels the urge to. She sometimes acts in a quasi-heroic capacity, occasionally working with the Birds of Prey, but it's a nervous time for those allies.
Lock-Up (Lyle Bolton)
Once a security guard in Arkham Asylum, he became obsessed with keeping the criminals in the prison at all times. However, due to his abusive behavior towards the inmates he was fired from Arkham, as well as other private prisons and security jobs. He's a Canon Immigrant like Harley but less well known. Uses skills as a security guard to his advantage.
- Anti-Villain: His main motivation is to capture other members of Batman's rogues gallery. During No Man's Land, he was even recruited by Batman himself to keep some criminals in check.
- Arch-Enemy: This incarnation of Bolton has actually fought Nightwing and Robin more than he's fought Batman.
- Canon Immigrant: He was originally created for Batman: The Animated Series and later brought into the comics. Fun fact: he actually transitioned before Harley Quinn.
- Create Your Own Villain: Subverted, as unlike his BTAS counterpart, Bolton is not brought on as security chief of Arkham Asylum through the Wayne Foundation. Indeed, Bolton in this continuity is just a failed would-be cop who decided to become a Vigilante Man.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: With Cluemaster and a few other C-List villains, he helped orchestrate a plan that would exhaust Batman in the Batman Eternal special.
- Escape Artist: Not a skill he uses very often, but as seen in his debut storyline, he's an expert in locks and restraints who also knows how to defeat them if need be.
- High Hopes, Zero Talent: Played with, as Bolton got his Start of Darkness when he tried joining the GCPD, and at least physically was the ideal candidate, even boasting about how badly he beat a pair of detectives during their time together training when he was once arrested. But mentally was another matter, and he was rejected on the grounds of being too much of a Blood Knight.
- The Jailer: Obsessed with keeping all criminals imprisoned for all time.
- Knight Templar: Is a fairly dangerous person in his own right, and takes more extreme measures than Batman would ever do to fight crime.
- The Leader: A minor one, but in story arcs where he's used his take-charge personality usually leads to the other villains following him. This happened when he was hiring to work security for an underground fighting ring (leading to a Crossover between Batman and Wildcat) and again when ran Blackgate Prison during No Man's Land.
- Lightning Bruiser: In his first few appearances, he was specifically written as being faster than his large size would indicate (though not as fast as Nightwing). He lost this aspect as his decay set in.
- Meaningful Name: The guy obsessed with locks is named Bolton.
- Motive Decay: Along with his Villain Decay detailed below, he also experienced this, to the point where he eventually stopped trying to imprison super-villains altogether and just started working with them as a generic C-list bad guy in the background.
- Order Is Not Good: He's definitely on Order's side in the battle of Order Versus Chaos (even telling Batman once that Gotham's chaos will only bend to "terminal order"), but he's also definitely not a protagonist.
- Passion Is Evil: Ironically in light of his stated dedication to order, his actual personality is much more impulsive and chaotic. It was his passion for locking up criminals that led him to get disqualified from being a cop to begin with, and after becoming a vigilante he goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope with it.
- Pet the Dog: Interestingly had one moment when, after capturing Robin in his disguise as young hood Alvin Draper, he brought back Chinese for his prisoners. It's a small thing, but not something the hyper-sadist BTAS Lock-Up would ever have been caught doing.
- Recruiting the Criminal: He put KGBeast to work after the latter's Villain Decay set in, and also recruited the Trigger Twins and a weedy stool pigeon to help him run Blackgate during No Man's Land. Ironically, Batman recruited him for the post.
- Sadist: His big first appearance in the comics? Tried to drown many people at once.
- Shoulders of Doom: A mainstay of his costume.
- Villain Decay: In his debut appearance he was skilled enough to save Robin from Charaxes and later beat the former in a fight and kidnapped him. Later appearances just had him be a big lummox who would charge like a bull at Robin or Nightwing and get effortlessly beaten.
- Villain Has a Point: At least initially, when his goal was the same as his BTAS counterpart (which was discussed in a talk between Batman and Nightwing). Later he lost this element as he decayed into generic D-list villainy.
- Wardens Are Evil: During his time as Blackgate's warden during No Man's Land, he plotted to drown all the inmates rather than let Nightwing set them free. Again.
- Would Hurt a Child: Or lock them up in his prison at least, given that's exactly what he does to Robin in his Alvin Draper disguise.