The Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch)
The Mad Hatter is possibly one of the strangest Bat-Rogues ever (which is saying something). Throughout his tenure, Tetch has been subject to several redesigns in both appearance and personality; he has gone from average height to quite short to an actual dwarf and has been a goofy thief, a scheming mastermind and a creepy pedophile-esque kidnapper. He's gotten a lot more serious in the comics and has proven to be a formidable and unpredictable opponent.
This character was indeed used in the sixties show, but the version was based on an imposter who posed as Tetch during a period in the comics. He appeared in only four episodes, all of them making use of his hypnotic machinery and showcasing his desire to add Batman's cowl to his collection of hats. The animated series turned Tetch into a criminal through his obsession for a co-worker (fittingly named Alice), swearing vengeance on Batman when he foiled his plans to be with her (read as "hypnotize her boyfriend and stalk her"). This motivation went away though as the Hatter soon became another common thief. Still, he had a good run and several good episodes.
Incidentally, few people remember that his debut comic, Batman #49, also featured the debut of Vicki Vale.
- Alice Allusion: The Mad Hatter is obsessed with finding "his" Alice, who likely isn't much more than a figment of his insane imaginings.
- Berserk Button: Do not touch his hat.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He singlehandidly crushed Doom Patrol in Secret Six stories.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Not dead so much as missing, but his redheaded Silver Age counterpart apparently stole his identity and M.O. for a time. The real Tetch later turns up alive; the latter does not.
- Depraved Dwarf: Which is to say, both his height and level of insanity vary wildly. Gail Simone writes an especially creepy one.
- Evil Brit: He is obsessed with the writings of British author Lewis Carroll, and has based his identity off of the Hatter character appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the story's sequel Through the Looking-Glass. His depiction in TAS have the Hatter speaking in a posh accent that's not quite British nor American.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Builds fully-functional mind control devices that fit inside hats.
- Gonk: Most current artists depict him as, like the Tenniel illustrations, having a very large and crooked overbite, with a nose to match.
- Hypno Trinket: All manner of devices really, though the most common would be some form of hat.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: You'd think that he's completely ineffective in combat. Hoo-boy, would you be wrong.
- The Leader: Occasionally leads a group called the Wonderland Gang, featuring members like the Tweetles or the Carpenter.
- Living Doll Collector: He sometimes kidnaps blonde girls and uses his mind control technology to force them to play at being Alice.
- The Mad Hatter: Oddly enough, subverted. He's often depicted as struggling with his mental illness, and dislikes having it mentioned.
- Master of Illusion: His skill is using his mind control technology to create vivid hallucinations - a likely reference to rumors that Lewis Carroll wrote the Alice books under the influence of hallucinogenic substances.
- Mad Scientist: He personally invented all of his mind control technology.
- Manchild: He is not a very mature person.
- Meaningful Name: "Tetch" is a variation of "touch", as in "touched in the head".
- More Than Mind Control: Some of Tetch's schemes have become very elaborate through this trope.
- Nice Hat: The Hatter lives by this trope.
- Odd Friendship: Depending on the Writer he has this type of relationship with The Penguin. More frequently, with The Scarecrow.
- Off with His Head!: He actually utters this line in his very first appearance, appropriately holding an axe twice as tall as he is.
- Reluctant Psycho: As mentioned above, he doesn't enjoy his insanity, he suffers through every second of it.
- Rhymes on a Dime: In Gotham Central, he starts speaking in rhyme as a coping mechanism when he feels threatened.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Lewis Carroll quotations, when written by Jeph Loeb.
- Spot of Tea: Expect the Hatter's tea to always be laced with something.
- Would Hurt a Child: Darker and Edgier depictions of the Hatter, such as Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, show the Hatter to be a pedophile (likely a reference to rumors that cropped up about Lewis Carroll being one as well).
Magpie (Margaret Pye)
Magpie is a jewel thief who specifically targets jewels named after birds and then replaces them with booby-trapped replicas. Her codename comes from the magpie, which, in folklore, is attracted to bright, shiny objects. Taking a job as a museum curator, she is slowly driven mad surrounded by the beautiful things she so loves but can never own.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Of the Animal Alias' variety; she has no animal powers.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Played with in her first appearance. Batman and Superman both feel bad for her after they stop her, but they feel worse for all the people she killed.
- Bad Boss: She rivals the Joker in terms of being willing to randomly kill henchmen.
- Booby Trap: Magpie leaves behind booby-trapped replicas of the items she steals.
- Defeat by Modesty: Inverted in the second appearance. Robin accidentally pulled down her top during a fight which gave Magpie a chance to escape and activate her Death Trap while he was looking away.
- '80s Hair: Has an oh so 80's trihawk/mullet hairdo pre-Flashpoint (Which was actually a wig). Post-Flashpoint her appearance is altered to resemble her much more modern design in Beware the Batman.
- Stocking Filler: Magpie's costume includes fishnets.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Calls herself Magpie and happens to be named Margaret Pye.
- Villainous Breakdown: Magpie has one of these after being captured in both her major appearances in the '80s.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Man-Bat is basically DC's version of the Lizard. Same backstory except with deafness instead of a missing limb, same results.
- Doom Magnet: Not only has Dr. Langstrom been turned into a bat-monster, his wife and son been turned into bat monsters at different times.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Back in the day he was given his own series where he would fight the Ten-Eyed Man. You can see why it ended after only two issues. He would get another three issue mini-series written by Chuck Dixon in 1996.
- Flight: One of the few advantages he has over his heroic counterpart.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Dr. Langstrom has gotten control of his mutated several times, becoming an ally of Batman, but always ends up losing control.
- Legacy Character: Not exactly, as no one has ever permanently supplanted Langstorm, but a surprising number of people (from his wife to Ubu to about a third of Gotham's population) have at various times been turned into half-bat monsters using his formula.
- Mad Scientist: Mostly Averted early on, but flanderization has made him into this on occasion.
- Magic Pants: Whenever Dr. Langstrom transforms it rips his shirt to give room for his wings, but his pants are always fine.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Dr. Langstrom is an ordinary human, Man-Bat can give Batman a decent fight.
- Tragic Monster: He was just trying to improve his hearing, but ended becoming a monster instead.
- Zombie Apocalypse: In one storyline, Kirk's condition became infectious.
The son of a boardmember for Wayne Enterprises, Matthew idolized Bruce Wayne, a habit encouraged by both his father and his butler Mr. Taylor who went so far as to call Matthew "Master Bruce". Matthew realized that the death of Bruce Waynes parents is what turned him from a Rich Idiot with No Day Job to a philanthropist and decided he needed that kind of drive in his life too. Unfortunately, his adoration for Bruce Wayne made him take that line of thought to its logical conclusion making him an enemy of Batman.
- Master Bruce: You don't know anything! When my mommy and daddy died, I never felt pain like it! My parents died for this city! I watched them die! Oh God, Oh God! I will never forget it! Never! I'm Master Bruce, and I will never stop fighting for the light! For Gotham! For mommy and daddy!
- Battle Butler: "Battle" may be an overstatement but considering how he can copy the MO of Victor Zsasz Taylor must have "some" fighting skills and a willingness to use them.
- The Butler Did It: Taylor was the one who carried out the murders on his behalf and was willing to take the blame for them, if someone hadn't compared his loyalty to Alfred's Batman would have believed him.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: He killed his parents and several other people in order to become like Bruce Wayne.
- Enfant Terrible: his intentions were good, in a matter of speaking, but the way they turned out, well... read the rest of this entry.
- Evil Counterpart: He and Taylor are this to Bruce Wayne and Alfred.
- Facial Horror: Matthew carved Thomas and Marthas names on his cheeks.
- Ironic Echo: When Batman confronts him he responds with things Bruce Wayne told him in an earlier conversation.
- Last Disrespects: He also carved Thomas and Marthas names on his parents graves.
- Loony Fan: And you thought Hush had an unhealthy fixation with Bruce Wayne.
- Self-Made Orphan: He just wanted to be like his hero, Bruce Wayne.
- Serial Killings, Specific Target: Taylor tries to cover the murders by using the MO's of Two-Face and Victor Zsasz, for extra irony the latters parents were among the victims.
- Shadow Archetype: He's what would happen if Bruce Wayne himself was a Batman villain. The story he first appears in is called The Origin of Bruce Wayne.
- Undying Loyalty: Taylor is as loyal to his master as Alfred is to Batman, ironically this is what clues Batman in to the fact that Taylor is taking the fall for Matthew.
- Wangst: Just read the above quote.
Maximilian "Maxie" Zeus
- A God Am I: In this case, he believes himself to be a specific god, the Greek god Zeus. In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, he also develops messianic delusions.
- Ancient Grome: Depending on the Writer. Maxie believes himself to be Zeus, not Jupiter, but either has a tendency to conflate the two cultures' pantheons and traditions, or angrily correct those around him who do so by mistake.
- Big Bad: Was one for Batman and the Outsiders.
- Boring, but Practical: In one story, Maxie Zeus hires construction workers to build a copy of Ancient Rome. When one of the workers suggests building traps for the lion pit or using a lion that turns into a velociraptor to make things more interesting, Zeus refuses because he doesn't want his Ancient Rome to have anything the original one didn't. The worker comments that just a normal pit with a lion isn't scary and Zeus reacts by throwing the worker at the pit and daring him not to feel scared once the lion arrives.
- The Chessmaster: With his intelligence, he was able to build his gang among the chaos caused by Gotham's super-villains.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He started to become forgotten by DC's writers after Infinite Crisis and One Year Later, only coming back in Kevin Smith's Cacophony, where he got Put on a Bus at the end of that story.
- Driven to Madness: He lost his sanity in an undisclosed incident where his wife died.
- In Cacophony, he gains sanity after taking medication, but when The Joker kills his nephew, Aesop, he is shocked back into insanity.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His nephew Aesop, whose death by The Joker shocks him back into insanity.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: In the Cacophony storyline, where he has taken meds for his insanity, he refers to "Maxie" as his deranged, insane self and "Maximilian" as his saner self.
- Napoleon Delusion: Believes himself to be the god Zeus.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Arkham Asylum's guards initially didn't put him in the maximum-security wing where the other Bat-rogues are because they didn't think he was as dangerous, despite Batman repeatedly telling them to do so. They were proven wrong when his team of metahumans called the "New Olympians" easily broke him out.
- Psycho Electro: In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, he becomes addicted to the asylum's electroshock treatment, which makes him even more insane.
- The Psycho Rangers: He "New Olympians" team was one for Batman and the Outsiders.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To King Tut from the Adam West series. Both are former history teachers believing themselves to be godlike figures from history (King Tut and Zeus respectively).
- Took a Level in Badass: When some rogue Gods from Wonder Woman's rogues gallery decided to use him as a conduit for prayers, they rewarded him with a decent amount of divine whoopass in return.
- Unexplained Recovery: He was thought to be dead after he got involved in Ares' plot to turn Gotham into his capital over the world, but was eventually revealed to be alive and well for no revealed reason.
- Villain with Good Publicity: For almost all of one storyline, where he tried to pass himself off as a legitimate shipping magnate after gaining sanity from medications. It didn't last because it was revealed to the public that he was selling a diluted version of Joker Venom as a party drug.
Mister Zero/Mister Freeze (Victor Fries)
Victor Fries was once a great scientist, who was accidentally exposed to some chemicals and was forever changed. While this sort of thing had been beneficial to The Flash, it ruined Fries' body physiology and he cannot survive for very long in high temperatures (even being in room temperature would eventually kill him). Being forced to create a suit to keep him cool, Fries eventually turned to crime, becoming the sinister Mr. Freeze.
That was all there was to the original Mr. Freeze (who actually debuted as Mr. Zero). He was just the gimmicky cold themed villain to fight and was eventually sent to Comic Book Limbo (where Animal Man actually met him!). Then Batman: The Animated Series gave him a tragic backstory and personality, turning him into an Anti-Villain.
Nora Fries, wife of Victor, contracted a rare disease, of which there was no cure. Victor, wanting to save his wife, put her in cryo-stasis. Unfortunately, Fries' boss, Ferris Boyle tried to pull the plug on Nora and knocks Victor into some chemicals and... yeah. Later, when Mr. Freeze tried to get revenge on Boyle, he was foiled by Batman and Nora's capsule was destroyed, killing her. Swearing revenge on Batman, he escapes. Although, like the Penguin, he is not truly insane, whenever Freeze is captured and taken into custody, he is always taken to Arkham Asylum, as it is the only place where he won't die due to the temperature while in custody (his room being essentially a remodeled meat locker).
In recent history, Freeze managed to revive his wife with one of Ra's Al-Ghul's Lazarus Pits in exchange for building a machine to capture Cassandra Cain. However, due to Nora being dead for so long, she gains superpowers from the pit. She is pissed off at her husband and left him becoming the villain Lazara. Poor, poor Victor.
The New 52 reboot made a major alteration to Freeze's backstory. After the changes to the timeline, Victor is no longer married. Although he still seeks to awaken and cure Nora, he's actually totally deluded; Nora was cryogenically preserved long before Fries was even born. As Batman rather pointedly deconstructs, Freeze doesn't really care about Nora as a person, she just makes a perfect figurehead for his obsession with ice and cold.
DC Rebirth, specifically All-Star Batman, undid the changes the New 52 made to Fries backstory, with Nora once more being his wife.
- Adaptational Heroism: In Batman The Animated Series, Arkham Knight and a few more portrayals, he is a jaded man trying to save his wife, but has no morals for it, instead of being a stereotypical Mad Scientist like in Batman and Robin (though he still wished to save his wife in it), and the Adam West series.
- Abusive Parents: The Mr. Freeze graphic novel by Paul Dini shows an origin in which Victor's father was a violent control freak.
- A Day in the Limelight: An issue of Legends Of The Dark Knight has him narrating a retelling of his own origin.
- Affably Evil: The George Sanders version in the 60s series is very affable. He admits that he doesn't actually hate Batman that much—killing him is just a matter of principle seeing as how he's responsible for the accident that made him Mr. Freeze. He even makes Batman and Robin dinner.
- An Ice Person: Unlike most examples, his powers don't come naturally. Instead, he has to use his gun (which may or may not be linked to his sub-zero body temperature) to achieve this. And although his condition would kill him in a room-temperature environment, he can walk around openly and quite comfortably in the frigid polar regions, as depicted in the DCAU.
- Anti-Villain: Depending on the Writer sometimes, but he's one of the greatest examples of a Type II of all times.
- Bald of Evil: The transformation process apparently caused all his hair to fall out.
- Create Your Own Villain: In the New 52, the executive who shut down Victor's research and unwittingly exposed him to the chemicals that made him dependent on sub-zero temperatures... was Bruce Wayne.
- In 60's series as well—he was an ordinary criminal who got frozen by Batman in a bank robbery gone wrong. Batman even expresses guilt over the incident although the others are quick to point out he was just doing his job.
- Cursed with Awesome: Freeze's condition means that room temperatures will kill him. However, he can survive without his suit in bitterly cold regions that would kill ordinary humans. Arguably more Blessed with Suck, since super-cold environments are comparatively rare/temporarily limited and usually very barren, whereas the world where all the people live is out to kill him.
- One of the Batman vs. Predator minis had a very interesting spin on this: because of his complete lack of body heat, he can hide from the Predators' thermal vision with absolutely no effort.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His desire to save his wife is a major part of his motivation.
- Freak Lab Accident: Something that every version of him has in common.
- Freeze Ray: The exact size and shape of Freeze's Freeze Gun has varied wildly over the years; when it first debuted, it looked more like a teakettle than anything. Since then, it's been portrayed as everything from the standard futuristic-pistol design to a massive two-handed cannon connected to a backpack to a tiny, unassuming-looking device mounted on the wrist of his armor.
- Harmless Freezing: Sometimes, in more kid friendly versions. Most of the time, he does kill whoever he freezes.
- Human Popsicle: Did this to his wife, pre New 52 — afterwards, he fell in love with Nora specifically because she is on. He's kind of a walking, talking, killing one himself.
- Icy Blue Eyes: A literal example. Batman & Robin even brings it further with ice-like lenses.
- It's All About Me: On his worst days he falls headlong into this, either robbing people blind to fund his research/planning to use them as test subjects because the recovery of his wife justifies anything he does to achieve it, or destroying people's lives and making them miserable because if he can't be happy, no one can be happy.
- Literally Shattered Lives: He invokes this trope with objects just as much as with people.
- Lost in Imitation: With the exception of the one in the Adam West show and The Batman version (which uses his original characterization, though references his later look), every version of Freeze draws from the DCAU one. This is partially because the comics themselves adopted the DCAU version as his official backstory.
- Tragic Villain: A depressed scientist desperate to save his wife's life before it's too late, and is forced to live in coldness, never getting attached to warmth due to the incident by one specific person. He also holds the page image.
- The Lost Lenore: Nora is perhaps one of the best examples in comic books.
- Love Makes You Evil: Especially when the one you loved is dead.
- Mad Scientist: He's a master of cryogenics and cybernetics, creating his mechanized life-support suit and his trademark Freeze Ray himself, but he uses his genius to help in his crimes.
- Necromantic: Not at first, since his wife was technically still alive, but after her death, he still did everything he does out of his love for her.
- Only Sane Man: Usually shares this role with Penguin. He goes to Arkham not because he's insane, but because they're the only place that can accommodate him.
- A notable exception is his appearance in City of Crime, in which he is a delusional psychotic. Penguin even remarks that he hates working with crazy "freaks" like Mr. Freeze.
- Another exception is the New 52 incarnation, who is delusional and obsessive.
- Playing with Fire: In one storyline he attempts to use the Lazarus Pit to restore his wife. She came back with powers. Guess what they are. Did we mention his life sucks?
- Psycho for Hire: Often shows up in stories not centered around him as a mercenary, hired by a crime lord to do some damage and/or attack Batman. Freeze, who often agrees on the condition that he gets to kill a lot of people, is known to be difficult to work with.
- Ret-Canon: After the animated episode won an Emmy, DC Comics hastily adapted Freeze's new origin into the comics as well.
- And then the New 52 made another retcanon to invalidate his DCAU origin.
- The New 52 retcon itself was undone in Rebirth, much to the relief of fans of the tragic origin.
- And then the New 52 made another retcanon to invalidate his DCAU origin.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: On Boyle at first. His later career is supposedly one targeted towards Batman, and to a lesser extent, the rest of Gotham.
- Self-Made Orphan: In the New 52 version. He became obsessed with the ice after his mother fell through thin ice and nearly died from the cold. The following winter, he led her back to the same spot and pushed her through deliberately. This time, she didn't survive.
- Sinister Shades: He's usually seen with red goggles.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The version of him created from the DCAU and which became his main comics persona prior to the New 52. Freeze was made into a person biologically incompatible with human warmth, and all he wants is to restore his wife to full health, which is what he was trying to do before he was transformed. Even if he succeeds, he'll never be able to hold her again, as the temperature difference would kill them both.
Nobody (Morgan Ducard)
Morgan Ducard is the son of Henri Ducard, one of Bruce Wayne's trainers from when he was learning the skills to be Batman. Morgan is an assassin, like his father, and took great pride in his skills. He would form a bitter rivalry with Bruce during Bruce's training. Years later, he tracked down Bruce and was determined to "steal" his son, Damian, away from him and convert him into a killer. Using a cloaking device to compliment his already impressive skill set, he is an unrelenting foe with an undying personal grudge against Bruce.
He's also later revealed to have had a daughter, Maya Ducard, who he trained in his family's ways. She accompanied him on his missions and had equipment similar to his.
- Abusive Parents: He was one to Maya, regularly beating her.
- Ambiguously Brown: Henri Ducard was already this, as was Morgan's mother.
- Badass Normal: He can beat Bruce, so yeah.
- Evil Mentor: He tries to be this to Damian, encouraging his natural killer tendencies.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: Damian defeats him by employing a nerve technique that Morgan taught him.
- Information Broker: Beyond his regular assassination jobs, he's also an information broker for DC's assassins, with clients including Deathstroke.
- Invisibility: His only real gadget, which he uses well.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by Damian using the technique Morgan taught him.
- The Rival: How he sees his relationship with Bruce.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Resented his father for thinking of Bruce as the better of his students.
- Would Hurt a Child: Oh yeah, he has no qualms beating the crap out of Damian.
The Orca (Grace Balin)
As the Orca, she started her career in villainy as an intended hero to the people, a vigilante against corrupt business woman Camille Baden-Smythe and the abuse of the dockworkers under her employ, as well as to stop Camille from her hostile take-over her of aquarium. She didn't quite think things through, leading to Grace being fatally shot by Camille and having to be saved by Batman injecting her with more of her own serum, fully transforming the new vigilante into monstrous hybrid and costing her humanity.
- Cosmic Retcon: Her half-eaten corpse was found in the sewers halfway through Face the Face... and then come Nightwing (Rebirth), she's alive and well, possibly because of Flashpoint resetting and retconning much of the continuity.
- Didn't Think This Through: Her first major appearance in a nutshell. She wanted to help the people being abused by Camille, and ended up nearly getting killed because she underestimated the millionaire's ruthlessness.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Her plans to help people and her serum's mutations on her body.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Due to self-experimentation with killer whale spinal tissue and a serum she made. It actually progressed since her first appearance, going from a metahuman in a orca-themed costume to this, with a killer whale's head, hide, and teeth.
- Happily Married: She seemed to be be in a good marriage before her Pre-Flashpoint demise.
- I Am a Monster: A major difference between her physically more-monstrous self in Nightwing (Rebirth) and her still somewhat-human self in the original continuity. The whale-headed Grace is more self-conscious and mentally human. She left the Runaways, a group of former Batman villains that moved to Bludhaven, because she felt ashamed of her current state.
- Namesthe Same: There's a guy calling himself Orca in the Aquaman book now. He shares nothing with Grace besides the code name.
- Out of Focus: The set-up was there for her to be a reoccurring villain, but she's only held minor roles since her debut.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: She has yet to face Batman in the Post-Rebirth continuity, and is instead took a place in Bludhaven against Nightwing.
- Unscaled Merfolk: She's a humanoid killer whale.
Owlman (Thomas Wayne Jr.)
Batman's evil counterpart from an alternate universe. He is almost as dangerous as the Joker and as skilled as Batman. He is a member of the Crime Syndicate, a team of super-villains paralleling the Justice League. See their page.
Owlman ("Lincoln March"/Thomas Wayne Jr.)
Owlman has a crazy fixation on Bruce, wants to be the one to take Batman down and just might be a great deal of trouble for Bruce, the Bat Family and Gotham City. Unlike previous version of Owlman he is from the same universe as Batman (in this case, Prime Earth).
- And I Must Scream: At the end of Batman Eternal, the Court find him, and lock him up in a tomb, suggesting they might let him back out eventually. In about fifty years or so. They ultimately let him out a lot earlier, in time for Robin War.
- Anti-Villain: In the odd let-Gotham-burn way.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a raving lunatic, especially when fighting.
- Badass Abnormal: He's badass on his own, but he's got an amazing Healing Factor as well.
- The Determinator: "Lincoln" has taken some truly amazing punishment, but his hatred for Bruce will always push him forward.
- The Dragon / The Starscream: He acts as the Dragon to the Court of Owls, worming his way into Gotham's political system. However, he's got plans of his own, and soon leads them.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's killed by Raptor in Nightwing (Rebirth) in its debut issue.
- Evil Counterpart: While the owl motif is pure coincidence, according to him he's a Wayne who never got over his parents' deaths. But instead of using this drive to help people, he uses it to kill and conspire.
- Freudian Excuse: Born with a birth defect, shunned by society and only visited by his mother, his parents dying and nobody knowing he's a Wayne, his inheritance given to a brother he never knew and being used as a weapon by the Court of Owls. Well, maybe.
- Healing Factor: He can basically recover from most mortal wounds, so long as cold isn't involved anyway.
- The Man Behind the Man: In Batman: Eternal. The overall plan may be Cluemaster's, but it's Lincoln giving him the means to carry it all out. When Cluemaster decides to try and kill Batman, Lincoln intervenes.
- The Resenter: Very obviously resents Bruce for being the Wayne who inherited everything while he was stuck in a children's home.
- Tyke-Bomb: "March" was trained by the Court of Owls since early childhood.
- White Mask of Doom: He sports the mask of the Court of Owls, but in his Owlsuit, he also has glowing yellow eyes, adding to the effect.
The Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot)
Being born into a rich family can suck sometimes. While we already know about Bruce Wayne's woes, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot was not without troubles of his own. Having been bullied for most of his life due to his short stature, obesity, and beak-like nose (hmm... wonder where this is going...), he was an outcast in his own family besides his beloved mother. Eventually his frustration built up to a point where he finally decided to release it by becoming a criminal. Due to his upbringing, he always tries to look his best in a tail-coat, top hat, and monocle (so yeah, that's where we were going).
All of that, in addition to his notable love for birds, inspired him to take the moniker "The Penguin". Whereas most of the Bat-Villains are insane to a degree, Penguin is usually portrayed as sane, and operates the "Iceberg Lounge" nightclub as equal parts legitimate business and front for his OTHER business. The Penguin is mainly an idea person, relying on others to carry out his crimes (although he does get personally involved from time to time), and in more recent years, he has been shown to attempt to be an organizer for a larger group and more of a mob kingpin.
Has his own page here.
Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley)
Introduced (not surprisingly) in the sci-fi obsessed sixties, Poison Ivy is one of the few Bat-Rogues with actual powers. In her case, powers over all manner of flora. In addition, she's also got a special immunity towards all illnesses and toxins (sometimes naturally born with; sometimes not), and that's just as well, because she's often portrayed with the ability to naturally produce both lethal and non-lethal toxins from her body. This stems from her being seduced by her senior professor, Dr. Jason Woodrue, and used as a guinea pig for his experiments, although her origin comic by Neil Gaiman and his Black Orchid miniseries establish that the science was just a channel and she's actually, like Black Orchid, a mystical being called a May Queen with a connection to The Green (of Swamp Thing fame).
She was originally just another gimmicky villain, but quickly grew into one of the senior members of Batman's rogues gallery. Instead of being after money, "Pam" was instead an eco-terrorist who genuinely cared about the well-being of plants (and animals, to a certain degree). Violent person that she was, she often attacked businessmen and others who damaged the environment for monetary gain... and her love for "innocent" living things, including human children, has made her waver on the path of villainy from time to time.
Despite having a generally dismissive attitude towards men, Ivy can be incredibly seductive when she needs to be, and many times, she's shown to be able to take control of men with special lipstick and pheromones. When it comes to a melee fight, her chemically-enhanced body provides an incredibly athletic frame, but she usually prefers to let her mutant plants do her fighting for her.
From the year 2000 and on, her role in the comics changed a bit, as elements from the DCAU version became integrated. Namely, it's now rather rare to see her without her pal Harley Quinn, with Ivy tending to be cast as the straight man to Harley's wackiness.
As of the New 52 Poison Ivy has recently been experimenting with siding with the good guys, and has been making a shaky bond with the Birds of Prey. She received her own six-issue miniseries in 2016.
Has her own page here.
Professor Hugo Strange
One of the very first recurring villains Batman ever fought (the others being Doctor Death and The Mad Monk)note , Hugo Strange was introduced as The Moriarty to Batman's Holmes, a Mad Scientist who used ingenious inventions and brainwashed, mutated goons to carry out crimes. Post-Crisis he was reinvented as a criminal psychiatrist who had ties to the mob who became obsessed with Batman, and again experimented with mutated brutes (this time round known as the "Monster Men"), but both versions have him eventually figuring out the Dark Knight is really Bruce Wayne, making him one of his most dangerous and personal enemies.
But being one of the oldest and more important of Batman's regular foes, Strange rarely appears in the modern comics and is more associated with stories around Batman's early career. He had a single appearance in Batman: The Animated Series and a cameo in Justice League Unlimited note , which would have led to something more were it not for the infamous Bat Embargo in place at the time. However, he made up for it in The Batman where he became a major villain (he even became the final villain in the last episode... almost). He did receive a MASSIVE role in the Batman: Arkham City game, where he's the big bad driving the plot.
One of the more cerebral Bat rogues, Strange is nonetheless preoccupied with physical as well as mental perfection. He regards Batman as the embodiment of both, and at times his obsession reaches the point where he wants to be Batman, however he is just as often trying to create his own giant bruisers, and he is interested in pushing his own limits.
- Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed in that all of his appearances in non-comic media have him as a credible threat due to his status as an Evil Genius, but none of them include his bodybuilder's physique (he's of average build in Gotham and Batman: Arkham City, and he's a grotesque Fat Bastard in the DCAU and The Batman), meaning he's purely a mental challenge for Batman and not a physical one as well.
- Actually a Doombot: Used robotic decoys in a couple of stories. These schemes also contained a fake Robin, Alfred and Thomas and Martha Wayne.
- Arch-Enemy: In the early years, he had arguably a better claim to being this than The Joker, who was Put on a Bus shortly after his debut since the writers didn't want Batman to look impotent by letting the clown rack up a ridiculously high body count. Strange was a more frequent villain, and predated him.
- In The Batman, he actually arguably does fit this trope better than that show's version of the Joker (who is still an A-list villian, but doesn't seem as menacing as the show's Strange.) Which is either plain ironic or a Fridge Brilliance Actor Allusion, seeing as Strange was voiced by Frank Gorshin, the Riddler from the 60's Live Action series, and in that show the Riddler had the best claim to being Batman's Arch-Enemy.note
- Awesome by Analysis: His usual MO, and how he figures out at least one Secret Identity.
- Badass Bookworm: Inverted. He's a short guy but his obsession with bodybuilding and physical perfection means he is all muscle. The inversion is that he almost never actually uses them; it's largely for show.
- Bad Boss: Has a nasty habit of brainwashing his own men and turning them into drugged up mutated brutes who will do his will. He once had a devoted Indian manservant named Sanjay who worked for him for years in return for Strange trying to save his brothers life- Strange fails, so he secretly experimented on the brother too.
- Bald of Evil: He is always depicted with a clean-shaven head, to highlight his villainous nature.
- Beard of Evil: Originally modeled a classic "villainous" goatee; he boasts a shaggy chinstrap in most recent appearances.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Averted in one Pre-Crisis story. You want to know how he originally found out Batman's secret identity? He took his mask off while he was bound and unconscious. It was later changed to be a little more complicated than that, but you still have to admire his prudence.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Monster Men; Quincy Sharp.
- Classic Villain: He's one of Batman's oldest villains and is made in the iconic villainous archetype of his day.
- The Chessmaster: Naturally, Strange's intelligence and ego means he loves to weave plans and manipulate others for the sheer joy of displaying his intellectual superiority.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Strange is a genius, but only interested in using his smarts for evil ends.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He successfully deduced Batman's identity but he is convinced that Bat's is driven by a power fantasy, not by actual heroism. This says more about Strange himself since that's why he wants to be Batman.
- Evil Is Petty: In Batman and the Monster Men, he had a couple of rich socialites at a charity gala kidnapped and fed to his experimental monsters simply for making fun of his appearance and genetic theories.
- Evilutionary Biologist: His "Monster Men", and his obsession with Batman.
- Faking the Dead: Done it so many times he even mocks Catwoman once when she pulls it off.
- Foil: To The Scarecrow. Both are or were associated with Arkham as staff, both have a fascination with human frailty, and both have even used fear gas (though Strange never depended on it). The only real difference between the two is that Dr. Crane slipped into insanity, while Prof. Strange's sanity is a little more controlled.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: His glasses usually obscure his eyes completely, effectively masking his emotions in most depictions.
- Freudian Couch: He once had Bruce as a client and tried to get him to admit that he was Batman; since he was Batman, Bruce thwarted the effort with a Memory Gambit, forcing himself to forget his secret identity for the duration.
- Genius Bruiser: Depending on the Writer, his genius may be coupled with some truly massive muscles, enough for him to actually pass as Batman in a dim light. The Monster Men mini zig-zags this; its Strange is a scrawny little shrimp implicitly doing his experiments to beef himself up, but is also the only one that explicitly trains what little muscle he was born with.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: In Prey, Gordon gives Batman his bio and mentions that he used to have this.
- I Just Want To Be Batman: In Prey, he even has his own Batman costume and spends his free time sitting around his home wearing both it and a Slasher Smile.
- Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: In a sense; Strange is smart enough to deduce who Batman is under the mask, but he generally fails to be a greater threat because he can't recognise the flaws in his analysis of Batman and thus makes crucial mistakes based on him acting according to what he believes about Batman rather than what the Dark Knight is really like.
- Mad Doctor: He is a legitimate doctor, of both medicine and psychiatry. He uses his training to drive people into insanity and mutate them into horrific monsters.
- Made of Iron: Once survived dropping through a floor to impale himself on a weather vane. Which is impressive enough but over the next few days he held perfectly still, allowing rats to come nibble on him so he could eat them, and playing dead while Batman and Crane were fighting right next to him, only revealing himself when the basement started to flood.
- Mad Scientist: Even more so than he is a Mad Doctor.
- Manipulative Bastard: One of the masters in the Bat-verse.
- The Man Behind the Man: To the 2nd Black Mask, Jeremiah Arkham.
- Mind Control / More Than Mind Control: Several. The Monster Men again; Sgt. Max Cort from Prey.
- Mind Rape: He uses his fear gas◊ to make his victims experience their worst fears.
- Strange is often tied to Arkham Asylum; if he is, expect Mind Rape on the other villains, too.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Historically, his ability to return from death is ascribed to his mastery of yoga.
- Mundane Solution: Pre-Crisis, Hugo discovers Batman's Secret Identity not through any fancy psycho analysis or some sort of Zany Scheme. How does he do it? Simple: He drugs Batman and takes off his cowl. Easy-peasy.
- Nightmare Fuel: Literally. One of his creations is a fear gas that makes its victims experience their worst fears in horrifying ways.
- Not Quite Dead: God knows how many times.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. While Strange is brilliant, and is known for both mutating people and being a skilled psychiatrist, all his schemes align closely with either mastery of biology or of psychology.
- Paranoia Gambit: Rupert Thorne, a crooked politician and a crime boss, once has Strange abducted and beaten to death because Thorne wanted to know Batman's identity. Except, Strange was Faking the Dead, and in revenge he made Thorne think he was haunted by his own vengeful ghost, driving him mad and leading to him publicly confessing to his crimes.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: In Batman and the Monster Men, he is even shorter than normal, practically a dwarf, but he is still pretty buff.
- Psycho Psychologist: He is a legitimate psychiatrist, and a damn skilled one too. It's just he's more interested in driving people insane or brainwashing them than healing them.
- Put on a Bus: He hardly ever shows up in the comics Post-Crisis despite being one of Batman's most notable enemies.
- Renaissance Man: He's an expert in psychiatry, philosophy, literature and biology, as well as bodybuilding.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Naturally, as a villain who wears glasses, he has a tendency to catch the light with them in a way that makes him scarier to look at.
- Shadow Archetype: Like Batman, he's a Crazy-Prepared Badass Bookworm who is determined to push the limits of physical and mental perfection, the difference being he's a self-centered sociopath and a criminal mastermind, and Batman's limits are much higher than his.
- One comic plays this to the hilt, showing a muscular man engaging in exercise while giving an inner monologue; the reader initially assumes it's Bruce Wayne, until The Reveal that it's really Strange.
- The Social Darwinist: Hugo Strange is a big believer in humanity's submission to the principle of "survival of the fittest".
- Stalker Without a Crush: Obsessed with Batman.
- Straw Nihilist: As far as Strange is concerned, there is no greater point or meaning in life, and that's why doing the things he does is justified.
- The Syndicate: They funded some of his Monster Men research and it's implied that they put him through college. However he eventually decided that it wasn't working for him.
- Third-Person Person: Pre-Crisis at least.
- Übermensch: Sees Batman as one, and wants to be one himself.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Didn't last long, though.
- Worthy Opponent: Pre-Crisis, he ultimately came to see Batman as this, enough that he refuses to surrender Batman's secret identity even when getting beaten to death by Rupert Thorne's goons.
Professor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin)
A psychotic surgeon/artist who dresses in a pig mask, a former low-level crime boss driven completely insane by overuse of hard narcotics. In pursuit of "art", he physically and mentally mutilates victims with power tools and chemicals to create zombie-slaves he calls his "Dollotrons".
- Early-Bird Cameo: His first appearance in Batman #666 was in Damian's future as the new Batman. Pyg had already been killed when he first appeared, and his first appearance was without the surgical outfit or pig mask, but in a checkered suit like a college professor.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was originally a low level crime boss before he got into hard narcotics and went nuts.
- Large Ham: Pyg is very much a showman, as befits his circus background, and is given to espousing his dialogue in a most grandiloquent fashion.
- Mad Doctor: He is an accomplished scientist and chemist who uses his skills to disfigure his victims. He also has the habit of using power tools to aid in his ghastly surgeries.
- Mad Artist: What he also views himself as.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He wears a horrifying pig mask.
- Mind Rape: His specialty.
- Mommy Issues: If his drug-based rants are anything to go by.
- Nightmare Face: In Damian: Son of Batman, Pyg's face has been surgically altered to actually look like a pig's complete with Black Eyes of Evil. He actually looked like that way back in Batman #666, but it wasn't as frightening or apparent as in the aforementioned miniseries, which is set in the years leading to up to the Bad Future shown in #666.
- Number of the Beast: The issue wherein he first appeared was Batman #666.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Dollotrons, Professor Pyg's mutilated victims, are zombie-like mind-controlled creatures that are obedient to the Professor. They wear doll-like dresses and have doll-like masks that cannot be removed surgically (or rather, can only be removed surgically, and there's not enough face left underneath them to make the effort worthwhile). Their creation is implied to involve brain surgery, genital mutilation, and mind-altering drugs.
- Pig Man: It's just a mask, but he fits the bill. Although in Damian: Son of Batman he looks like a pig without the mask.
- Pygmalion Plot: The basis of Professor Pyg's crimes and theme is based on a perversion of the Pygmalion play. He mutilates his victims both physically and mentally into Dollotrons based on his warped sense of belief of what a perfect human being should look like.
- Word-Salad Horror: He's a somewhat more realistic depiction of insanity than most of Batman's foes in that most of what he says is complete gibberish.Professor Pyg: On Mondays it's Tiamat this and Tiamat that. Tohu va Bohu and boo-hoo-hoo. On Tuesdays the Gorgon Queen comes to visit, a thousand writhing snakes for hair. That's what it's like to grow upside down in a world where a hug is a crucifixion...
Ra's Al Ghul
Probably the biggest threat to the world in Batman's Rogues Gallery, Ra's Al Ghul (Arabic for "The Demon's Head", and pronounced "Raysh Al-Ghool" or "Rahz Al-Ghool" depending on the adaptation) is a centuries-old man who leads an enormous international terrorist organization known as DEMON (as well as the League of Assassins). Unlike most of the other Bat-rogues, he is actually quite cultured and polite, if ruthless, and genuinely believes his goals to be noble. Of course, since his goal is to "purify" the world by killing off ninety percent of its population, Batman disagrees.
With the assistance of the mysterious Lazaurus Pits, Ra's has achieved limited immortality, as they rejuvenate him every time he takes a dip. Such a practice has allowed him to live centuries, if not millennia, and he's taken advantage of such a long lifespan to master swordsmanship, war strategies, various fighting styles, and many other skills.
Interestingly, after being created in the 70s revival period, Ra's took much of the 1980s "off", rarely appearing as a Batman antagonist, before being revived in a big way for the 1990s. He's one of the few top-tier modern Batman villains who was created after the sixties show aired, and as such didn't have a counterpart there.
Ra's has come to blows with both Batman and the rest of the Justice League of America many times, one time unleashing a genetically engineered virus on Gotham, and on another occasion, taking down most of the JLA with Batman's contingency files. He himself, however, was killed by one of his daughters, also a user of the Lazarus Pits, who was furious at him for leaving her to die at a Nazi Concentration Camp. Though he eventually returned to life, Batman was able to imprison him in Arkham Asylum under the guise of an inmate named Terry Gene Kase, and assigns him "medication" that keeps him highly sedated.
See his own page here.
A Romani thief and friend of Mary Grayson's, Raptor was exiled from his home once it was found he had leprosy. He befriended Mary Grayson and worked in Haley's Circus for a time as its clown, and has been watching Dick Grayson since he was a boy. Once Dick returns to his Nightwing role, Raptor takes a more hands-on approach in mentoring. He believes that Bruce Wayne corrupted Dick, and that he and he alone can make Dick into the hero his mother would've been proud of, and make him embrace his heritage.
Raptor utilizes Suyolak, a gauntlet which gives him whatever he needs to solve a situation. He targets the rich, and fancies himself a modern Robin Hood.
- The Casanova: Is shown to be quite the charmer.
- Clothes Make the Superman:
- His gauntlet Suyolak is his best tool. It will literally give him whatever he needs to win.
- He also very briefly wore Deathstroke's Ikon Suit, which creates a type of force field powerful enough to shrug off a punch from Superman and is powered by kinetic energy. However, because he lacks Deathstroke's enhancements, he can't power the suit as well, and he's forced to abandon it once it becomes irradiated.
- Cool Plane: Buteo, a sort of hover-copter.
- The Dragon: Acted as this to the Parliament of Owls, after offing Lincoln March.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He was actually working to destroy the Owls.
- Evil Counterpart: To Dick and Bruce. Like Dick, he's a playful acrobat, charming and likes improvising his plans. Like Bruce, he mentors Dick, works in the shadows and uses fear as his weapon, and utilizes very long-term plans. He even compares himself to Batman. Oh, he also hates rich people and is willing to kill.
- Evil Mentor: Played this role to Dick at first. He tried to make Dick come into his own, outside of Batman, but did so by having Dick make more and more morally questionable decisions.
- Feel No Pain: Because of his leprosy, he has dead nerve endings and can't feel pain.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has leprosy, and has scarred hands to prove it.
- Just Like Robin Hood: He and Mary were this in their younger days, and he still partakes in these types of activities sometimes.
- Older Than They Look: He's drawn like a man in his thirties, but he has to be at least in his mid-forties.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: He's known that Bruce Wayne is Batman and Dick is Robin/Nightwing/Batman for a long time (and later discovered that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl), but he hasn't told anyone. He's not averse to threatening to, however, once they find out he does know. Eventually, Spyral removes the knowledge from his mind.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: They're gold, but yeah.
An extremist former exterminator, Otis Flannegan is atoning for his past sins against the rats by attempting to lead them into a bright future as Earth's new dominant species, with him as their king.
- The Atoner: He feels bad for every rat he killed as an exterminator, and plans to avenge them by using rats to take over the world, with him standing as the Rat King.
- Cosmic Retcon: How he's still alive in the New 52.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the casualties in Infinite Crisis, and would not return until the New 52 reboot.
- Nightmare Fuel: His gimmick is to send hordes of feral rats to maul you relentlessly, overwhelming you with sheer numbers. Imagine thousands of feral plague-bearers racing towards you, mauling you, tearing you apart...
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: He fought Nightwing in the New 52 instead of Batman, and one of his more well-known appearances was in a three-part storyline in a Catwoman comic.
The Riddler (Edward Nigma/Eddie Nashton)
Thanks to the unforgettable sixties show (where he essentially replaced the Joker as Batman's lead villain), the Riddler is one of the "big four" classic Bat-Rogues (alongside the Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin). Like most of the Bat-Rogues, the Riddler is victim to a mental disorder - in his case, an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that subconsciously forces him to leave clues in the form of riddles at the scenes of his crimes. Flashes into his past have shown an abusive father that would beat him every time he lied and an obsession with riddles, puzzles, and word games, all of which probably didn't help his descent into a criminal life.
The Riddler is best known for his many (often silly) riddles that confound all but the Dynamic Duo, as well as his over-the-top deathtraps. He is, however, incredibly intelligent, yet considers his battles of wits with Batman to be a game - one in which he heavily respects his opponent.
See his own page here.
- Can't Catch Up: Poor bastard wants to run a criminal organization against the likes of The Penguin or the Joker.
- Composite Character: Often takes the role of mob boss Sal Maroni in wounding Harvey Dent in adaptations of Two-Face's origin story, such as Batman: The Animated Series, often combined with Don Falcone as the city's resident untouchable mob boss, as opposed to the city councilor with mob connections.
- Corrupt Politician: His first appearance is as a corrupt city councilor being blackmailed into turning the city against Batman, then runs for mayor when his blackmailer is defeated. He later has the similarly corrupt Hamilton Hill installed as mayor.
- The Don: Most depictions have him as the reigning boss of Gotham, contrasting his old school methods with Batman's other, more colourful supervillains.
- Last of His Kind: Assuming his history is in line with Batman: Year One, then Thorne is one of the few mob bosses to hold out through Batman's purge of Gotham's criminal underworld and survive the rise of Gotham's far crazier underworld.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His appearance is based on Carroll O'Connor.
The Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane)
Much like Mr. Freeze, and to some extent, the Riddler, the Scarecrow was a one-shot character in the comics, revived decades later to become a major part of the Bat-Rogues. Thin and bookish, he was (predictably) bullied by kids at school. As a result, he became even more withdrawn and angry at the world, culminating in him bringing a gun to the high school senior prom and attacking Jerk Jock Bo Griggs and his Alpha Bitch girlfriend Sherry Squires (who had rejected Crane's affections), killing the latter.
As an adult, Crane's psychopathic tendencies grew and grew. His interests in the human mind (especially fears and phobias) got him a job as a psychology professor at Gotham University, but firing a gun during one of his classes soon led to him being kicked out. Crane, obviously not taking this well, used his chemistry and psychology smarts to concoct a "fear toxin"note and get his vengeance on the ones who fired him. Naturally, Batman stopped him. Naturally, he went to Arkham. Naturally, he would come back time after time to battle the Bat. As a character (inexplicably, given his use of gas) ignored by the sixties show, Scarecrow didn't require much of a revival when the Batman comics returned to their roots in the 70s, and as such didn't change much when he took on animated form (although his look certainly did).
Later Crane has had a bit of a Freak Out over the fact that he is nothing without his toxin. As a result, he abandons use of it (almost) entirely and instead relies on his expertise with the human mind in his criminal activities, beginning by driving two prison inmates to suicide with words alone.
- Abusive Parents: His great-grandmother was very abusive. In the New 52, he was subject to similar experiments he uses on others when he was a child by his own father, and kept in a basement filled with crows when not.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises he is played by Cillian Murphy.
- In Year One: Batman/Scarecrow, Crane looks nothing like his previous portrayals. While tall and thin, he doesn't have the same gangly awkwardness as he is usually given, and comes across looking more like David Tennant than Icabhod Crane. Likewise, in Blackest Night when drawn by Ivan Reis, without the mask Crane doesn't look anything like how artists portray him.
- Adaptational Badass: While he's almost always a threat to some degree, he's rarely more than a minor threat. In the Batman: Arkham Series, his threat level is raised to enormous new heights, especially in Batman: Arkham Knight, where he is the game's Big Bad and unleashes destruction on Gotham that not even The Joker was able to reach, nearly becoming national threat. He is, to date, the only villain in any piece of media to succeed in unmasking Batman to the world.
- A God Am I: Alan Grant's "God of Fear" mini-arc (which took place shortly after Azrael had taken over as Batman) portrays him with this personality.
- Appropriated Appelation: 'Scarecrow' was a mocking nickname given to Crane by his colleagues at the university. When he turned to crime, he adopted it as his alias, swearing he would make it a name people would fear.
- Badass Bookworm: A former Psychiatrist and college professor, who regularly faces the Batman and threatens the entire city.
- Birds of a Feather: During the Blackest Night, Scarecrow was temporarily deputised into the Sinestro Corps, a Green Lantern villain organisation who also weaponize the use of fear.
- Break Them by Talking: Specializes in this after realizing how dependent he was on his fear gas.
- Cerebus Retcon: Crane's initial backstory was that he was mocked and bullied by his peers because he looked like a scarecrow, culminating in his first act of violence being a case of Who's Laughing Now? when he scared two of his tormentors so bad one died in a car crash and the other was crippled for life. Year One added that Crane was raised by a sadistic great-grandmother, snatched from his teenage mother's arms the moment he was born. Great-Grandmother Keeny made him work on their dying plantation's crops while regularly punishing him via locking him in an abandoned aviary as prey for the birds. It later turned out she was the inspiration he received for his work in chemistry, as the reason the birds always attacked him was because she would soak his clothes in rat's blood mixed with a blend of chemicals meant to drive the birds crazy. Crane's first act of violence was now doing to her what she was doing to him as a matter of survival. Batman and Robin found her bones buried in the aviary years later. This backstory seemed to have stuck before the Flashpoint reboot, since Crane's birth mother was featured in a standalone story, feeling guilty for how her son turned out and attempting to kill herself before she was saved by Deadman.
- Crack Is Cheaper: In-Universe this the origin of Crane's Appropriated Appelation. Crane spent all of his money on buying books, so he was always very shabbily dressed. As a result, his university colleagues nicknamed him 'Scarecrow'. When he turned to crime, he adopted this as his alias.
- Depending on the Artist: Unlike Joker, Two-Face, or Penguin, there's no consistent Scarecrow costume. Crane's gone through a number of different looks with various clothes, masks, color-schemes, hats (or lack there-of), and degrees of resemblance to an actual scarecrow. Some designs, like the Nolanverse, just use the sack mask on top of regular clothing. Though in universe it's just a case of Crane trying new looks and reinventing himself.
- Evil Mentor: Eventually revealed to be one to an Evil Student, Thomas Elliot aka Hush.
- He also tortured his student Abigail O'Shay causing her to become Madame Crow and join The Victim Syndicate.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The mask sometimes enhances his voice, and those exposed to his fear toxin generally hear the Voice of the Legion.
- For Science!: When writers decide to go for the Mad Scientist interpretation. Other times, he seems to just spray people with fear gas For the Evulz.
- Freudian Excuse: Bullies + Abusive Parents + Unstable Nerd = EVIL.
- Harmful to Minors: Though they sometimes accidentally invoke his sympathy, he is not above using young children in the testing or construction of his fear toxins.
- I Know What You Fear: His gimmick.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: When written by Jeph Loeb, he has a tendency to sing bird-related nursery rhymes.
- Lean and Mean: Scarecrow is extremely slender and lanky, and of course he's a psychotic killer.
- Nerd: His original Golden Age counterpart was actually treated this way as an adult. The Post-crisis version is the stereotypical teenage Nerd / Geek fusion seen so often in fiction.
- Mad Scientist: Well, not quite a scientist, but definitely the gist of this trope.
- Master of Illusion: Particularly the scary kind.
- Meaningful Name: He's possibly named after Ichabod Crane.
- Mind Rape: His shtick. He uses his fear gas to make his victims experience their worst fears.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: In most continuities, he is a legitimate psychological therapist. You'd have to be out of your mind to seek him for treatment now, of course.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Almost literally, as his fascination of fear reaches disturbing proportions, and he may seek out conflict with Batman just to feel afraid.
- Nightmare Fuel: Literally. The man's signature and deadliest weapon is a fear gas that makes its victims experience their worst fears in horrifying ways.
- Noose Necktie: Some of his costumes implement this.
- Odd Friendship: He's been known to hang around the Mad Hatter/Jervis Tetch from time to time.
- One-Winged Angel: The notorious incident where he became "Scarebeast".
- Later on, Darkseid turns him into an even stronger creature, Schrocken, that can take on Superman.
- The Paranoiac: He was violently bullied in his youth and was left with a crippling inferiority complex that developed into an obsession with fear and a career in supervillainy, his "gimmick" being scaring people to death with hallucinogens and drugs. Like most Batman villains he is prone to Bad Boss behavior and violent overreactions. He also believes that the entire world runs on fear; hard to get a bleaker worldview than that.
- Papa Wolf: He has had these moments especially with students that he either finds very smart like Molly Randall who was raped by her boyfriend or has problems with bullies.
- Pet the Dog: See Papa Wolf above. Also, in the animated series, he's actually quite nice to Harley, stopping his ranting long enough to smile at her and greet her in one episode, and willingly standing in between her and danger in another.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He tries really hard to stick to this, as his motivations are largely economical (there's no way that he'd ever get grant money for his research, so he has to commit crimes to get the money he needs to fund it), but he depends on Batman to validate his existence way more than he'd like to admit.
- Psycho Psychologist: His oldest and most established backstory is that he's a psychologist, specialising in phobias, who eventually became so obsessed with fear that he went insane and began conducting extreme experiments in inducing fear in others.
- Relative Button: Inadvertently pushes Batman's during the Knightfall saga. The results were not pretty.
- Revenge of the Nerd: Took this to a murderous extreme (see Griggs and Squires incident detailed above).
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Sadist Teacher: Okay, so most of the time, the "sadist" and "teacher" parts don't really appear together much, but there was that time when he fired a gun in the middle of one of his classes to inspire fear in his students.
- Scary Scarecrows: His entire reason for dressing up like a scarecrow is because of the symbolism; after all, a scarecrow's purpose is to scare.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: When not wearing his mask, he tends to have these.
- Scary Stitches: Most of his outfits feature these, to go with the scarecrow theme.
- Self-Made Orphan: According to The Long Halloween, he killed his mom. On Mother's Day.
- Shadow Archetype: Like Batman, he uses fear as a gimmick in his actions, except Crane uses fear for malicious purposes.
- Sinister Scythe: Depending on the issue, he may wield a scythe as his preferred weapon of choice, although pitchforks are somewhat more common.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Nursery rhymes, when written by Jeph Loeb.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Pretends to be such a thing.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He himself is often depicted with either a fear of birds or a fear of bats. His fear gas reveals his victims' greatest phobias.
- In Blackest Night, it's revealed his constant exposure to his own fear gas has left him incapable of fearing anything. Except for Batman.
- Weak, but Skilled: Crane's a scrawny man, and while somewhat stronger than he looks (he's often depicted as being able to support his entire body with his arms spread out for a reasonable period of time, allowing him to hang himself like an actual Scarecrow) he is constantly depicted as having low durability and not being hard to overpower. However years of practice in his own personal created style of combat to fit with his body (which he dubs "Violent dancing"- a cross between Crane style Kung Fu and Drunken Boxing) has left him able to trade blows with the likes of batman, sometimes
- Wolverine Claws: Has taken to using a mix of this and Playing with Syringes in the New 52, as per his incarnation in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Victim of a Prank Date, bullying throughout his school years, absentee parents, and an abusive great-grandmother with trained crows to attack him for the slightest mistake, no wonder the poor kid became obsessed with fear.
- From Bad to Worse in Blackest Night. Due to being exposed to too much of his own fear gas, he can't even feel fear. Or nearly any other emotion anymore, except when facing Batman. Yeah, it means the Black Lanterns don't consider him a priority target and he brought it upon himself, but it's still a raw deal. By the New 52, however, he seems to have overcome or have never had this problem, as his toxins have become so powerful they even affect him again.
- You Don't Look Like You: In the New Batman/Superman Adventures cartoon, he went from his iconic scarecrow costume to a new outfit consisting of a burlap face mask, ragged black clothes like some old-timey Western Preacher Man, and a noose around his neck. In an interview on the character's design change between seasons, the artists and directors confessed that he now looked absolutely nothing like a scarecrow and instead looked more like a hanged man who'd come down off of his lynching tree for revenge, but stood by their statement that the redesign made him scary-looking, which had proven problematic for his traditional costume.
Solomon Grundy (Cyrus Gold)
One thing unique about Grundy is that his appearance and personality constantly change. This is because whenever Grundy is killed, his body resurrects in Slaughter Swamp the next Monday. Each time he resurrects, he becomes almost a different character entirely. He has been the range of a stereotypical Hulk Speaking zombie, an animalistic berserker, and even an intelligent Magnificent Bastard. On at least one occasion, he has even resurrected as a good guy. Suffice to say, it is tough to stop him without killing him, so he gets killed rather frequently.
He debuted as a prominent recurring enemy of the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who also operated in Gotham. Grundy would go on to tangle with countless heroes of The DCU, but, due to Slaughter Swamp's proximity to Gotham, eventually settled on becoming a part of Batman's Rogues Gallery, even becoming a boss in Batman: Arkham City.
For more information, see this page.
A recurring pest for Batman throughout the 1970s, Val Kaliban disappeared into Limbo for twenty years before his return and demise, curtsy of Damian Wayne.
- Back for the Dead: Returns from limbo only to die against the Damian Wayne version of Robin.
- Killed Off for Real: He was beheaded by Damian Wayne, and hasn't shown up since.
- Off with His Head!: His ultimate fate.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He was a reccuring threat throughout the 1970s, but suddenly vanished after 1979 without an explanation, and Val would not return until 2003 for one story, and then come back one more time only to die in 2006.
Leviathan (Talia Al Ghul)
The daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, Talia was once Catwoman's primary competitor for Batman's Love Interest. Despite her father being opposed to the Dark Knight, Talia finds herself in love with him, and is often torn between loyalty towards her father and her love for Batman. Much like with Catwoman, Batman has genuine feelings for her, and has even fathered a child by Talia (albeit one which he was told had been miscarried). She's normally not above co-operating with Batman if it would serve her own ends, yet has firmer ties to the rest of The DCU villain community than her father, even taking over for Lex Luthor as CEO of LexCorp upon his election as president.
Eventually, she was kidnapped and brainwashed by another one of her father's daughters, thought to have died in a Nazi concentration camp. Said daughter planned to kill Ra's for abandoning her at the camp, and succeeds in doing so. This, however, turns out to be The Plan on Ra's' part to make his daughters accept their destinies as his heirs. Since then, Talia has severed ties with Batman, but is still infatuated with him, and has recently returned to Batman's life to let him know that he owes roughly eleven years' worth of child support payments.
- Abusive Parents: She was trained from birth to be an assassin by her father, so yeah. She also implies that he was distant. She herself was this to Damian, having him trained to lead the League of Assassins one day, even fighting him on his birthdays to see if he'd matured enough to learna bout his father. However, she was much warmer towards him, and it's clear she does love him. At least until she went completely crazy and had him murdered.
- Adaptational Consent: Exactly how willing Bruce was during the encounter that produced Damian has flip-flopped between writers, with it originally being shown as her drugging and raping him, but after the New 52 relaunch it was retconned into a consensual relationship — albeit with Bruce being immediately creeped out about a child being the specific goal after he's told — which now seems to be the official version.
- Anti-Villain: Most of the time in the old days. Nowadays not so much.
- Arab Babymama: She's an exotic "oriental" woman (usually a vague mixture of Arab and Chinese, sometimes with some Eastern European ancestry thrown in) who ultimately bears The Hero's lovechild. However, Talia is given a lot more characterization than most examples of this trope.
- Betty and Veronica: The (relative) Veronica to Catwoman's (relative) Betty for Batman's Archie. Gotham City Sirens states that they are the only two women that hold a place in Batman's heart, although Unreliable Narrator is likely present, as he's shown feelings for Zatanna as well. And Silver Saint Cloud.
- Big Bad: Revealed to be this for the Batman Incorporated stage of Grant Morrison's Batman epic in Leviathan Strikes.
- Bodyguard Babes: Her own personal guard.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Getting killed and resurrected countless times will do that to anyone.
- Cain and Abel: Talia and her sister, Nyssa Raatko have had many problems; including Nyssa killing and reviving Talia numerous times with a Lazarus Pit. Nyssa also once killed Ra's (even though for Ra's, Death Is Cheap, due to the Lazarus Pits). Nyssa Raatko is later killed by the League of Shadows with a car bomb.
- Convenient Miscarriage: In the graphic novel Son of the Demon. Said novel's canon level has ping-ponged back and forth. Ultimately averted with Damian though.
- Daddy's Little Villain: She often flip-flops between loyalty to her father and to her "beloved". She foils his 'destroy the written word' scheme, a lackey shoots her in the leg and the lackey is fed to lions.
- Dark Action Girl: Talia has been written to be an athlete at the peak of physical conditioning and has been trained in many forms of martial arts. She is also quite proficient with most hand weapons. Often underestimated, Talia is also an excellent hand-to-hand fighter.
- Dark Chick: For being her daddy's right hand, and her romantic tension with The Hero.
- Dating Catwoman: Arguably the most famous example after the Trope Namer herself.
- Dissonant Serenity: No matter how upset, enraged, or surprised she gets, she almost always looks completely calm and seductive. Even when her son is critically injured after an explosion at sea, her orders for help are as calm as though she were ordering lunch at a restaurant.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In some continuities, Damian is the product of Talia drugging Batman and having her way with him. Batman himself never calls it a sexual assault, but he is clearly not happy with her. This was originally a retcon of a story in which Damian's conception was consensual, but the newer version has stuck.
- Fatal Attraction: To Batman, and vice-versa.
- Femme Fatale: Beautiful? Check. Seductive? Check. Deadly? Double check.
- Glass Cannon: Much like Harley and Ivy, she isn't very resilient when it comes to physical fights and relies on her Amazon Brigade to protect herself. But she can definitely dish out a lot more than she can take.
- Hypocrite: She hates Ra's for trying to control her destiny, apparently not realizing she does the exact same thing to Damian.
- It's All About Me: The centre of Talia's world is someday ruling the earthly paradise Ra's promises with her destined partner and their son at her sides. That she wants to achieve this through absolutely no compromises on her part does not endear her to neither Batman nor Damian.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In "Hush", she was perfectly content to let Batman have his romance with Catwoman. Though that was mostly because she was not threatened, as she considers it simply a matter of fact that Batman is destined to marry her someday.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Much like her father, too much time in the Lazarus Pit eventually takes its toll on her mental state and moral fiber.
- Loving a Shadow:
- The more villainous and unhinged incarnations of Talia portray her affections directed solely at "the Bat," Bruce as a pillar of righteousness among ordinary men, rather than "the Man," Bruce's goodhearted yet imperfect humanity hidden under his mask.
- In a platonic way, with Damian; She loves him, but that falls short compared to her love for who she wants her son to be.
- Mama Bear: Mess with her son and you won't live long enough to regret it. Eventually subverted in Batman Incorporated v2 when she becomes an outright Abusive Parent Evil Matriarch.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: A classic example.
- Mind Rape: At the hands of her own half-sister, no less.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Played With. While perhaps not to the extent of her father, she notably never objects to his plans to kill the majority of the world population. Often, she outright agrees that it has to be done.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In the video games and the animated series, her "accent" is anything but Persian.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her iconic hairstyle has her eyes frequently disappear behind her bangs, which helps reinforce her "shady" nature.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: When she finally dons a super-villain costume, it's a plain, all-red jumpsuit with a black Dr. Hurt-esque mask.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She is the Girly Girl to both her sister Nyssa and Catwoman's Tomboy.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Talia Al Ghul takes the cake, on one instance trying to utterly destroy Batman, kill his "family" and ruin everything he'd ever worked for... because he wasn't paying attention to her.
- Woman Scorned: Her entire Leviathan scheme's motivation was "Batman rejected me". After she gives him an ultimatum about finally joining her and Damian to rule the world and he refuses, she says she'll destroy his world. She follows through.
- Yandere: Constantly in her goal, but only occasionally in her methods.
Tweedledum & Tweedledee (Deever, Dumfree and Dumson Tweed)
- Acrofatic: Depicted in the Golden Age as capable of rolling and bouncing at high speeds.
- Creepy Twins: Played with. They actually aren't, but they enjoy giving this impression, and Dumfree and Dumson certainly qualify.
- Lightning Gun: The Tweeds have been known to tote Tasers concealed in their canes.
- Obfuscating Stupidity / Beware the Silly Ones: Occasionally shown to be using this.
- Squishy Wizard: Despite their impressive size and strength, they're not very adept at actual combat, so they tend to take a more hands-off approach to their robberies.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute
- Wicked Cultured: Despite their unorthodox demeanor, they're seen in one issue drinking wine and smoking cigars in plush armchairs. Wearing smoking jackets and fezzes, no less.
Two-Face (Harvey Dent)
Much like Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent was one of the few honest law enforcers in Gotham. Young and handsome, he was nicknamed "Apollo" by the press, but beneath his good looks lay an unstable second personality rooted in his abusive childhood. The details vary from origin to origin, but Dent eventually got doused with acid, burning away the left half of his face until it resembled the monster within.
Dent's mind snapped after that, and he declared himself a mere puppet of fate. Shedding his old belief in justice, and fixated on proving the arbitrariness of free will, he is one of Gotham's most volatile crime bosses. He has the unusual habit of making all of his decisions with a two-headed coin - scratched on one side and clean on the other. All of his important decisions are decided by a flip of this coin - the scarred side representing evil, the clean side representing good. Thus his crimes and choice of victims are all determined by random chance. That being said, Two-Face has a particular animus for lawgivers, and will frequently target police stations or courts. (Yet even this is dependent on what mood he's in; the "Harvey" personality once carried a torch for a comely police officer, Renee Montoya. As Renee was a closeted lesbian, this proved a disappointment.)
Alongside the Joker and Ra's al-Ghul, Two-Face is one of Batman's greatest enemies, but not because of the threat he poses to the rest of the world. Instead, he reminds Batman of how far the greatest can fall, and how he cannot save all of his allies - Batman's feelings of guilt that he failed to save his old friends and constant attempts to 'reform' Dent remain one of the biggest themes of the character.
In spite of his stature, Two-Face never made an appearance on the sixties show. (FALSE Face did, but that's a different character altogether.) Rumor has it that they considered his scarring origin too horrific for the series' tone. Another legend claims that they did briefly consider Clint Eastwood for the role, though.
The Ventriloquist I (Arnold Wesker)
Scarface is his main venting outlet for his disorder, a wooden puppet named and slightly modeled after Al Capone. He communicates his plans through this puppet, and even uses it during his various heists to the point of obsession.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Scarface hates being laughed at, but is so ridiculous that someone's likely to...
- Cigar Chomper: Scarface
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Scarface plays up all of the traditional gangster, and is shown living the high-life, like a 1930s movie gangster.
- Demonic Dummy: Possibly. Some stories imply that Scarface is possessed by the souls of every criminal who died on the gallows that he is carved from. Others indicate that this belief is just part of Wesker's psychosis.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Due to his obvious physical limitations (and his rather eccentric nature), Scarface tends to prefer operating in the shadows.
- Evil Puppeteer: He always carries with him a murderous dummy named Scarface. Part of the fear factor in the Ventriloquist's character is that nobody knows for sure who's really controlling who - some speculate that the Ventriloquist's meek behavior is just a facade for his bloodlust, while some think that Scarface is actually alive, and forcing the Ventriloquist to commit crimes.
- Extreme Doormat: Wesker to Scarface.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Some interpretations of him portray him as a perfectly innocent man being bossed around by a loud mouthed blockhead.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Scarface.
- Insanity Immunity: Of sorts: In Batman (Rebirth) the Psycho-Pirate tries to control of his emotions it turns out he can't...because Scarface already controls him.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Depending on the Writer, Scarface is either simply a symptom of Wesker's disorder, or something more sinister and potentially supernatural—and on some occasions it's implied to be neither and Wesker is just a Manipulative Bastard who wants everyone to think he's crazy or that the doll is possessed, akin to some versions of The Joker.note Given that this would mean he is willing to machine gun his own hands as part of his "act", this would probably make him even crazier.
- Mister Big: The tiny dummy is a criminal mastermind.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Some stories use the mafia family origin above; other stories have Wesker losing control of his anger in a bar and being sent to Blackgate prison, where he acquires the "Scarface" dummy after it had been carved from a piece of gallows wood by his cell-mate.
- Name-Face Name: Scarface
- Opaque Lenses: It is impossible to see Wesker's eyes through his glasses.
- Real After All: After Arnold's death, the dummy moves by itself for a few panels before burning up.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Wesker and Scarface are almost always accompanied by the same two thugs, Rhino and Mugsy.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the New 52, Arnold never died and becomes a mutated monster who shoves his hands into his victim's backs and makes them "talk" like a doll. That said, other writers have disregarded his return in favor of Shauna Belzer.
- Verbal Tic: Due to Wesker being unable to pronounce the letter "b" when doing his ventriloquist act, words with "b's" in them always come out with a "g" sound when Scarface says them; for instance, "Gatman" instead of "Batman."
The Ventriloquist II (Peyton Riley)
After Wesker's death at the hands of Tally Man, Scarface is taken up by Peyton Riley, the daughter of an Irish gangster, who had worked with Scarface before and grown to like both him and Wesker. Like Wesker, she believes Scarface to be talking to her, although unlike Wesker, she acknowledges this could be a hallucination. She also isn't as meek as Wesker; she has plans of her own, and is working "with" Scarface, rather than for him.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Prior to becoming the Ventriloquist, she was in a relationship with a pre-Hush Tommy Elliot. While she genuinely loved him and even killed for him, he left her the moment he secured his fortune.
- Arranged Marriage: Her father married her to an Italian gangster in order to unite the two families. This didn't work out.
- Demonic Dummy: But not so much Gollum Made Me Do It.
- Woman Scorned: Her driving force is to get revenge on her ex-husband, who wiped out the Riley family.
The Ventriloquist III (Shauna Belzer)
- First Appearance: Batgirl #20
A new ventriloquist who is seemingly able to control her dummy, Ferdie, without being in physical contact with him. She is introduced auditioning in a talent show, but was harshly rejected and responded violently. After her first defeat by Batgirl, she (or rather Ferdie) became obsessed with her.
- Berserk Button: A judge commented that he could see her lips moving during her act. Her reaction was to crack a huge Slasher Smile and attempt to drill the judge's eyes out.
- Cain and Abel: As a child, she was jealous that she was always in her twin brother's shadow. When her telekinesis manifested, she mentally pushed him on a swing until he flung off and died by falling on his neck.
- Casanova Wannabe: Ferdie hits on Batgirl during their fight and makes a move toward a female hostage. While they're obviously not interested in him, Shauna gets annoyed that he thinks they're more attractive than her.
- Dead Guy Junior: Her puppet is named after her late brother, Ferdie.
- Demonic Dummy: Shauna's wooden puppet, Ferdie. It was "given" to her by a performer named Rainbow Rodney when she was a child. He seems to move on his own and has a very one-sided crush on Batgirl. Don't tell Shauna that.
- Enfant Terrible: Shauna was picked on as child and once her telekinesis manifested, she started to get payback. Violently.
- Creepy Child: She was very calm when she killed. Not so much now.
- Freudian Excuse: From the day she was born, she was overshadowed by her twin brother. Living in his shadow and constant ridicule from her classmates made her snap.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: After she killed her brother, she sang:Blue, green, red, Ferdie's dead. White, pink, brown, he's rotting in the ground.
- Lean and Mean: She's absolutely anorexic and insane.
- Glass Cannon: Despite her bizarrely strong puppet and telekinesis, Shauna goes down with a swift punch to the face when Batgirl finally gets the chance.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While she explicitly has telekinesis, it's ambiguous as to whether Ferdie has a mind of his own or is just Shauna acting. The fact that she seems able to control actual corpses, however, indicates that it's not just acting.
- Mind over Matter: The Ventiloquist can seemingly control objects with her mind; such as her puppet or a batarang. Her powers manifested as a child.
- Monster Fangirl: Not to any particular person, but to the general idea of murder.
- People Puppets: She can use anything like a puppet, regardless of whether it is an actual puppet, a corpse, or a living person. That, plus her look paints her as an expy of Mary Shaw.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: She has the look down certainly. Her creator, Gail Simone, states she wasn't even aware of the similarities between Shauna and Ju On.
- Stronger Than They Look: While fighting Ferdie, Batgirl comments how strong he is, despite being a small, wooden puppet. She struggles to keep him from drilling out her eyes.
- This Is a Drill: Ferdie has pair of drills hidden in his hands. His favorite attack is to go for the eyes.
- Vapor Wear: Per Secret Six, Riley does not like underwear.
- Villainous Crush: Ferdie has a crush on Batgirl and has written letters for her. While he sweet talks Shauna, he really isn't attracted to her. In his own words, "Once you go Bat, you know where it's at".
- Voice Changeling: She can mimic anyone's voice.
- Vulgar Humor: Shauna (or maybe Ferdie himself) really likes making crass jokes when performing.
The First Victim, Mudface (Glory Griffin), Mr Noxious (Guy Mandrake), Madame Crow (Abigail O'Shay), and The Mute (Virgil Myers)
An organization made up of five individuals who, through various means, have ended up as collateral damage in the battles between Batman and his foes. Rather than blame the villains who disfigured them, the Syndicate instead believe that Batman is the cause of their troubles. The Syndicate faced Batman, Batwoman, and their team of trainees shortly after the attack of the Monster Men on Gotham City.
- Accuser of the Brethren: Mudface's main motivation is making sure that Basil either stays a monster or is forever seen as a monster with no chance of redemption for what he did to her.
- Anti-Villain: Mudface, who Basil points out isn't as mean as the rest of the Syndicate, and the Mute, who of the Syndicate does the least harm, and who is defeated solely by the memory of his deceased wife.
- Ax-Crazy: The First Victim, who is scarily obsessed with Batman, and Mr. Noxious, who just seems to like killing people.
- The Faceless: The First Victim. According to Batwoman, whatever's under that mask is pretty scary, but we never see it.
- Freudian Excuse: All of them were injured in fights between Batman and his foes:
- Mr Noxious was poisoned by Poison Ivy.
- The Mute's wife was killed by the Joker, and he only survived due to a tracheotomy.
- Mudface was Clayface's first victim when he apparently drowned her in the same substance that created him.
- Madame Crow was used as a test subject for the Scarecrow for months.
- Gender Flip: Madame Crow, Mr. Noxious, and Mudface are esentially genderflipped versions of their tormentors, especially Madame Crow who wouldn't look too out of place at a Fan Convention.
- Foil: To the villains who created them.
- Mudface is trapped in her half-melted form, while Clayface is a shapeshifter. In their civilian lives, he was an actor and she was his biggest fan.
- Madame Crow's anti-fear toxin has the opposite result to Dr. Crane's serum, causing people to lose all inhibitions and anxiety.
- The Mute is silent, as opposed to the Joker's cackling mania.
- Mr. Noxious downplays this compared to the others, but he still possesses similar powers to Poison Ivy.
- Fittingly, given his opinion of Batman, the First Victim is one to the Caped Crusader himself, being an intimidating genius who created his own twisted caricature of a Bat-Family to defeat the dark knight, and while Bats is knows for using Stealth Hi/Bye, the First Victim simply vanishes in plain sight.
- Glass Cannon: Mr. Noxious's poison can incapacitate most foes almost instantly. However, he's just as vulnerable as a normal human, and limited by his own reaction time, which allows Cassandra to make short work of him.
- Lean and Mean: The First Victim is very tall and thin.
- The Lost Lenore: The Mute's wife, who was killed by the Joker.
- Not So Different: The similarities between the First Victim and Batman are subtle. They both suffered trauma and devoted their lives obsessively to fight against it being repeated, while recruiting similar victims of circumstance to aid in their crusade. The similarities end however when...
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: At the climax of their second arc the First Victim's plan involves martyring thousands of their own supporters to permanently turn all of public opinion against him with a threat they engineered. It becomes clear then that in spite of their preaching that Batman does more harm than good they'll justify any means to achieve the end that is his destruction for vengeance.
- Poisonous Person: Mr. Noxious, who can apparently control the type of poison he inflicts others with.
- Room Full of Crazy: The First Victim's cell at Arkham is covered pieces of his bed scrawled with the bat-symbol and the words "no more".
- Scary Black Man: While he's The Faceless, the First Victim's skin is shown to be dark.
- The Spook: The First Victim's DNA and fingerprints have no matches, and he refuses to tell anyone who he is.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Mudface gets her revenge on Basil and gets her appearance restored for her trouble but she willfully endangered innocent bystanders to do it and it's made clear to her she damned a repentant man for selfish reasons. She's left with a guilty expression in her last appearance.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The First Victim genuinely believes Batman is a greater threat to Gotham City. To prove it they're willing to manipulate crowds of people to die by a Clayface they set loose to make their point.
Has no relation to Charles Victor "Vic Sage" Szasz
- Ascended Extra: Despite being a lesser-used villain overall, he was used in a substantial way in two Arkham games, which has raised mainstream awareness of the character substantially.
- Ax-Crazy: Or rather, knife crazy.
- Bald of Evil: Most incarnations has him shaved and even marking his scalp.
- Berserk Button: He made a tally mark for Batman, only to learn that the Dark Knight wasn't dead; this caused him to wig out for a while.
- Depending on the Artist: Sometimes he's lean and muscular and has a buzz cut hair style, and other times he's scrawny and looks like a balding, emaciated, meth addict. Artist Cliff Chiang also gives him a standard skinhead appearance for some reason, with a white tank top, suspenders, Doc Martens boots and a shaved head (though the latter is hardly unusual for Zsasz).
- Depending on the Writer: Zsasz is variably depicted as either a truly dangerous and cunning foe, or just one step up from your average rank-and-file goon. It's also sometimes unclear as to whether he is a true Nietzsche Wannabe, or if he simply kills For the Evulz.
- Despair Event Horizon: He was Driven to Suicide only to be interrupted by a man trying to mug him for the money he squandered.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In his first appearance, Zsasz's eyes were often kept in shadow. They later ran with this, giving his odd, black eyes that point out with little white dots for pupils, like the image above. These aren't acknowledged in stories, so it seems to just be a stylistic choice. Whether his eyes look like this depends on the artist, and many just draw him with normal eyes.
- Feel No Pain: Zsasz has cut himself so many times that his pain reactions are in fact dulled. Subverted when Bane gets his hands on him, his pain threshold isn't above crushed hands,
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Soooooo many evil scars - one for every victim.
- Human Notepad: Zsasz keeps a tally of his kills by carving tally marks into his skin.
- Knife Nut: His signature weapon is a carving knife.
- Kill Tally: Rather literal, as he has tally marking etched by himself on his body for those he's killed.
- Mad Artist: Sometimes Zsasz poses his victim's bodies into "life-like" stills. A group of guards are posed as if playing poker, or one victim is propped against a payphone to make a call, some such examples.
- In some depictions, he views the scars on his body as this, and saves "special places" for "special victims", such as underneath his eyelid.
- Mundane Solution: Following the events of Knightfall, Arkham is rebuilt to be a sturdier, more secure facility. Zsasz is the reason villains keep breaking out anyway — he quietly bribed the construction crew to add several secret passages.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Named after the author of The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct Thomas S. Szasz.
- Secret Public Identity: Despite the gimmick, Zsasz choose to go by his real names.
- Serial Killer: One of the premier non-powered examples in Gotham.
- The Sociopath: He has no regard for human life, seeing those around him as mindless robots.
- Straw Nihilist: His whole raison d'etre for his murderous rampage? He believes that, by killing people, he is liberating them from the worthlessness of life.
- Streets of Gotham implied that he sees everyone around him as already dead and he's just "freeing them" from that state. When Damian starts fighting on Zsasz's level, suddenly Zsasz doesn't see his opponent as just a corpse any more and freaks out because he hallucinates seeing his own dead body reflected in Damian's eyes.
- Would Hurt a Child: Not only has he killed numerous children, he even constructed an arena for the purposes of doing so when told to "fulfill his dreams", and invited crime bosses to bet on the outcome.
Mr. Whisper is an unkillable sociopath that appears in "Batman Gothic". He is a fallen monk that made a deal with Lucifer for 300 years of immortality.
- Deal with the Devil: His origin story. He tries to weasel out of the deal by arranging a ritual to purge himself of sin, but fails. When he tries for one last victim to offer to Lucifer to extend the deal, it turns out she's the fallen angel himself.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A group of mobsters bands together to stop his murders of children. Lucifer also finds him disgusting.
- Evil Teacher: He was the headmaster of a school that Bruce attended as a child. He used this position as an opportunity to murder children.
- Faux Affably Evil: While he acts like a polite scholar, he is really a sociopath who has murdered countless people.
- HeelFaith Turn: He was once a pious monk who was tempted into depravity.
- Hypocrite: The instant Lucifer swings by to collect his due, this guy falls to his knees and begs God for help. Lucifer mocks him for this.
- Mugging the Monster: The pretty Damsel in Distress he tries to kill at the end turns out to be Lucifer, out for his blood.
- Pride: Explicitly referred to as his fatal flaw.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He kills the mobsters that tried to kill him twenty years ago.
- Wicked Cultured: He has a tendency to quote the works of romantic poets before killing someone.
- Would Hurt a Child: He murders children to preserve his life.
White Rabbit (Jaina Hudson)
Jaina Hudson is the mastermind behind a toxin known to obliterate all fear from one's mind. Due to her involvement with Bane and the Scarecrow, she once managed to defeat Batman.
- Me's a Crowd: Jaina can duplicate herself into two beings: a second version of herself and White Rabbit.
- Most Common Superpower
- Of Corsets Sexy: White Rabbit wears this, and very little else.
- Stripperiffic: Quite an exaggerated example with the main part of her "Costume" being basically just a corset and a thong.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: White Rabbit was very important to the opening arc of "Batman: The Dark Knight" but her story ended on a cliffhanger and after that she mostly just appeared in crowd shots with other villains.
The Wrath is a Gotham City super-villain who acts like an evil version of Batman. His parents were criminals killed by police officers, so he became an assassin and dedicated his life to the destruction of law and order. He also sometimes has a sidekick similar to Robin called Scorn.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The Wrath has a large 'W' insignia on his chest, and a smaller one on his cowl.
- Cop Killer: Specialized in murdering law enforcement officials.
- Evil Counterpart: He is even more of a Batman counterpart, down to duplicating much of his origin. His parents were robbers who got into a firefight with a young Jim Gordon and were killed by Gordon in self-defense in front of him the same day as Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. Thus, the Wrath dedicated his life to fighting law and order.
- Evil Mentor: "Wrath Child" shows he wasn't a nice mentor, abusing and berating Elliot Caldwell, the man who'd replace him, and ultimately killed the four kids he tried to train before Caldwell.
- Killed Off for Real: He is killed when he caught on fire by his own hand and fell off the rooftop of a building down to the street in Crime Alley.
- Palette Swap: His costume is also very similar to Batman's (though coloured in crimson and purple with a W-insignia on the chest and cowl; the W on his cowl, when seen in the right light and at the right angle, looks like the ears of the Batman's own cowl).
- Retcon: In Batman Confidential, several details of his origin underwent a retcon, including the original story taking place shortly after Dick Grayson became Robin (the original story was published the same year that Grayson became Nightwing). Wrath's father is now depicted as a corrupt cop who was robbing a warehouse with his wife and son acting as a lookout. Gordon confronted them and, in a gunfight, killed the parents in self-defense.
The Wrath II (Elliot Caldwell)
The second Wrath, Elliot Caldwell, was orphaned under similar circumstances to the original and was taken in by the original to be his answer to Robin. In the New 52, he's reimagined as E.D. Caldwell, a sole Wrath and even more of an evil counterpart to Bruce as a Corrupt Corporate Executive with his own army called Scorns.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Like his predecessor, this Wrath also has a large 'W' insignia on his chest, and a smaller one on his cowl.
- Cop Killer: Like his mentor, he specialized in killing cops.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the New 52, he's an evil buisnessman and a sociopathic killer.
- Evil Counterpart: Of both Batman and the original Robin/Nightwing. In the New 52, he's even more of one for Bruce, being a Corrupt Corporate Executive with his own army of Robin counterparts called "Scorns".
- Legacy Character: Originally introduced as the second Wrath.
- Palette Swap: Like his mentor, his costume is also very similar to Batman's, only all-purple.
- Self-Serving Memory: A version as Caldwell recounts a twisted version of what happened between Commissioner Gordon and the original Wrath's parents, depicting Gordon as a cold-blooded killer and the Wrath's mother as unarmed, while the reader is shown the truth: that Gordon told them to freeze, the original Wrath's father started to fire, Gordon was wounded and startled, causing him to fire at the father; the mother took the father's gun and fired; and Gordon shot her in self-defense. While it's unknown if it was told this way to Caldwell by the original, Caldwell did intend for it to drive a wedge between Bruce and Gordon—which didn't work as Batman reassured Gordon that he knew it was self-defense.
- You Are Number 6: He didn't take it too well that he was the fifth of five kids trained by the original Wrath.
- You Have Failed Me: In the New 52, he treats his Robin-esque sidekick as little more than an employee who he can fire, unlike Batman's attention to his wards.
Zeiss (Philo Zeiss)
Philo Zeiss possesses surgically enhanced speed, reflexes, vision-enhancing goggles, and extensive martial arts training. Brought up by the Sicilian mafia, Zeiss eventually becomes a contract killer and bodyguard.