The Bat-Family (Batgirl | Batwoman | Jason Todd | Robin) | Extended Bat-Family & Other Supporting Cast (Azrael | Huntress)
A-H (Catwoman (Selina Kyle) | Deadshot | Harley Quinn) | J-R (The Joker | Lady Shiva | The Penguin | Poison Ivy | Ra's Al Ghul) | S-Z (Two Face)
Batgirl (2000) | Dark Nights: Metal | I Am Batman | Red Hood and the Outlaws | Nightwing (Dick Grayson) | Robin (2021) | Robin Series (Tim Drake)
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 As a result, he became even more withdrawn and angry at the world, culminating in him bringing a gun to the high school senior prom and attacking Jerk Jock Bo Griggs and his Alpha Bitch girlfriend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. Dr. Jonathan Crane has been an iconic Batman villain for being the embodiment of Nightmare Fuel in quite literal ways.
A psychologist who seemed more interested in studying the fears of patients than in curing them, Crane eventually developed a chemical toxin that when converted into a gas or injected into a victim, creates powerful hallucinations that has its subjects experience their greatest fears. Prolonged exposure to Scarecrow's gas often does drive his victims into madness and in some cases death.
Often seen as one of Batman's darkest villains, Scarecrow made just two appearances in the Golden Age before being shelved and forgotten during the Lighter and Softer Dick Sprang era of The '50s. He wouldn't be revived until 1967 where a number of writers and editors slowly and gradually sought to return Batman to his darker roots in the late Silver and early Bronze Age of comics. His prominence in Batman's rogues gallery increased substantially since then. On account of his dark aesthetic and general under-representation, he didn't appear in the Batman (1966) TV show. He finally achieved a level of cultural fame and renown during The '90s thanks to several notable appearances in Batman: The Animated Series (including one episode where in response to his hallucinations, Batman utters his famous "I am the night" speech), following which he appeared in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy where he was portrayed by Cillian Murphy. Likewise, Scarecrow played a prominent role in the Batman: Arkham Series, becoming the Big Bad of the final game of the series.
Not to be confused with the Marvel Comics villain The Scarecrow, real name Ebenezer Laughton.
Appearances in MediaComic Books
- The Dark Knight Trilogy, played by Cillian Murphy
- Gotham, played by Charlie Tahan (s1-4) and David W. Thompson (s5)
- Titans (2018) played by Vincent Kartheiser
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, voiced by Jeffrey Combs
- Lego Batman, voiced by Dave Wittenberg (first game), Nolan North (second game), and Jeffrey Combs (Lego DC Super Villains)
- Batman: Arkham Asylum, voiced by Dino Andrade
- DC Universe Online
- Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Super Friends, voiced by Don Messick (Challenge of the Super Friends) and Andre Stojka (The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians)
- Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Henry Polic II (first three seasons) and Jeffrey Combs (TNBA)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeff Bennett
- Batman: Gotham Knight, voiced by Corey Burton
- The LEGO Batman Movie, voiced by Jason Mantzoukas
- Batman vs. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, voiced by Jim Meskimen
- Harley Quinn (2019), voiced by Rahul Kohli
- Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!, voiced by Dwight Schultz
Scarecrow Provides Examples Of:
- 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 a national threat. He is, to date, the only villain in any piece of media to succeed in unmasking Batman to the world.
- Adaptational Job Change: Usually, he's a university professor before he turned to crime. In The Dark Knight Trilogy, we first see him as the head psychologist of Arkham Asylum.
- 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. A student of all the world's mythologies, Dr. Jonathan Crane becomes annoyed that there is no historical record of a god of fear, even though that should be the most obvious god because fear is what sustains the gods. Determined to halt the modern world's "flight from religion," he kidnaps several students from the psychology department at the university where he once taught, drugs them until they are totally stripped of their will, dresses them in scarecrow costumes, gives them plastic skulls containing fear toxin and has them use them to spread chaos throughout various parts of Gotham City, creates an enormous hologram of himself that he projects against the sky to make himself literally look like a god, and orders the Gothamites to officially recognize him as a god or he will destroy the entire city with an entire tanker truck full of his toxin (when in fact he plans to empty the tanker into the city water supply, thus poisoning everyone who uses tap water). While negotiating with him on the phone, Commissioner Gordon tries to get the Scarecrow to see how insane he is acting, pointing out that he is a human being and that, even if Gotham City did declare him a god, he still wouldn't be one. This only enrages the Scarecrow, who, working from completely backwards logic, says that as a god he is incorruptible, and therefore can't possibly be insane. (That's right: The Scarecrow is so insane, he doesn't even know he's insane.)
- Animal Motifs: Despite often having a fear of them, he is often associated with crows. Or in the case of the Arkham games, beetles.
- 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.
- Artistic License Religion: In the "God of Fear" story (see above) Scarecrow claims there is no such thing as god of fear to be found in any mythology. This is simply false. To take just Greek mythology as an example, they had two gods of fear: Phobos (from which the word "phobia" is derived) was the god of panicked fear, and his twin brother Deimos was the god of the kind of fear that is the dread of things to come.
- Badass Bookworm: A former Psychiatrist and college professor, who regularly faces the Batman and threatens the entire city. His original appearance saw him be able to physically overpower Batman repeatedly when he was just a scrawny college professor with no combat training or his fear gas.
- Bastard Bastard: At least in the pre-New 52 continuity where he was born in a brief high school fling. This ended up being a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy on his great-grandmother's part though due to her fanatical Christian beliefs constantly reminding him in how he was born in sin.
- 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.
- Bully Magnet: He's often presented as one in many versions of his backstory, at least until he finally snaps. Frankly, it'd be weirder if he didn't become a supervillain from all the constant abuse from his peers.
- 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.
- Characterisation Marches On: In his Golden Age appearances he didn't use fear gas, but was simply an extortionist who frightened people with mundane things like guns.
- Composite Character: Though Crane is a psychologist in the comics, his position in Begins as a corrupt psychologist who partakes in secret, unethical, and illegal activity is often a role reserved for fellow Batman rogue Hugo Strange. Which is funny on itself, as Crane didn't use fear gas before his reintroduction on the post-crsis, as that was one of the weapons of Strange, meaning that by all intents the Scarecrow is a Composite Character.
- Costume Evolution: A very interesting one at that. From his first appearance in the 40's to the 90's, he pretty much just dressed like a walking scarecrow, which isn't all that scary in certain contexts. After The New Batman Adventures completely reinvented his look, anything goes, really, be it the burlap sack look in The Dark Knight trilogy, the mask sewn onto his face in the Arkham games, or whatever the hell one would call his Injustice 2 design.
- Crack Is Cheaper: In-Universe this the origin of Crane's Appropriated Appellation. 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.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Being a former psychologist with a knack of toying with people's minds, he's been shown doing this from time to time when stuck in Arkham; most notably in his patient interviews in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- Death Seeker: A variation: in addition to being obsessed with making other people feel terror, Crane himself is addicted to fear. Over time, though, exposure to his own fear gas, plus constantly analyzing the phobias of others, have gradually deadened his ability to actually be afraid. He eventually reaches a point where even the Emotion Eater Black Lanterns ignore him because he's become so frigid. Crane eventually realizes that the only person who actually makes him afraid anymore is Batman, and thus actively seeks out confrontations with the Caped Crusader—which are almost inevitably hopelessly one-sided—just so he can get a "fix" of terror.
- 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.
- The Dreaded: He's probably the most feared criminal in all of Gotham save for The Joker, and with good reason.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Horrifically subverted in The Long Halloween, where it's revealed that he killed his own mother—on Mother's Day, no less. Later stories would instead make his great-grandmother the target of his murderous revenge.
- In Year One, he tries to kill his mother, Karen, due to blaming her for his abusive upbringing (even though she had no choice in giving him up and didn't know he was even alive until years later).
- Early Installment Weirdness: The Scarecrow started out as basically any other themed Batman villain, not even being a particularly popular one. His main gimmick, the Fear Toxin didn't even make an appearance until Post-Crisis, over forty years after his first appearances.
- 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.
- Fired Teacher: Basically the main thread all of the versions of his origin share.
- 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.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He is sometimes depicted with glasses albeit it's largely Depending on the Artist.
- Freudian Excuse: Bullies + Abusive Family + Unstable Nerd = EVIL.
- Geek Physiques: One of Batman's more cerebral enemies, with his only consistent (and most notable) physical trait being how incredibly skinny he is.
- Green-Eyed Monster: In his Year One iteration, he tries to kill his toddler half sister out of spite that she was able to be raised properly by their mother.
- Gruesome Grandparent: His great-grandmother was a terribly abusive fundamentalist who would beat him for even minor disobedience, and when in a real bad mood sicked crows on him.
- 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.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He gets gassed with his own toxin by Batman in Batman Begins and Batman: Arkham Knight.
- 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.
- Matricide: In one iteration, he killed his own mother on Mother's Day.
- 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.
- Patricide: His Year One iteration killed his father, Gerald Crane.
- 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.
- Pheromones: He uses these for his Supernatural Fear Inducer. Sometimes he calls it his 'Fearomone gas'.
- 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, specializing 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.
- In Year One, he was shown to have kiled his grandmother and great-grandmother. He would have killed his mother as well if Batman and Robin didn't stop him.
- Shadow Archetype: Like Batman, he uses fear as a gimmick in his actions, except Crane uses fear for malicious purposes.
- Sibling Murder: In Year One, he was going to shoot his maternal half sister, who was only a toddler.
- 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.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: Scarecrow uses fear gas to cause hallucinations, paranoia, and even full on panic-induced heart attacks in his victims. Sometimes this overlaps with I Know What You Fear, while other times it's just straight up irrational terror. In fact, during the events of Blackest Night, he was deputized into the Sinestro Corps, which proves him to be one of the scariest entities in his entire space sector!
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Pretends to be such a thing.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: His younger self is often depicted as a shy young lad that kept to himself reading books which unfortunately that combined with his stature made him a target for bullies, particularly in the "Year One" origins and the New 52. Although there have occasionally been depictions like in Batman: The Animated Series and Injustice 2 that paints him more as an Enfante Terrible/Creepy Child light.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In The Dark Knight Rises, he isn't seen again after the trial scene, and no mention of him is made afterwards. Though after the bomb blows up there's a shot of the police who have clearly retaken the courthouse. If Crane was still there, he would have been recaptured.
- 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.
- Would Hurt a Child: While generally tries to avoid hurting children, in some depictions he is willing to cruelly epxeriment on them and in Year One, he is willing to kill his toddler half sister.
- 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.
Scorpiana (Tristessa Delicias)
Scorpiana is an Argentinean villain who specializes in poisons. She leaves a deadly blue scorpion behind at the scene of her crimes as her Calling Card. She has clashed repeatedly with the Argentinean masked hero known as El Gaucho. When the international organization known as the Club of Heroes reunited, Dr. Hurt decided to found a Club of Villains and recruited Scorpiana as one of the members. The Club of Villains clashed with both the Club of Heroes and the Batman family, and Scorpiana almost succeeded in killing Nightwing. The Club of Villains ultimately collapsed, but she was able to escape back to her homeland and continue her efforts to taunt El Gaucho. Later she was recruited into the global criminal cartel known as Leviathan.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: An 'Animal Abilities' type. Her cybernetic enhancements give her scorpion-like abilities, and all of her attacks utilize scorpion venom.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Her cybernetic enhancements include a scorpion tail which can inject venom.
- Calling Card: Leaves behind a deadly blue scorpion at the scene of her crimes.
- Cyborg: Scorpiana has bionic enhancements which boost her just beyond peak human strength, reflexes and agility.
- Dating Catwoman: She is the Catwoman to El Gaucho's Batman.
- Leotard of Power: Wears a silver leotard as part of her costume.
- Master Poisoner: Prefers to kill using poison, and all of her equipment makes use of scorpion venom.
- Professional Killer: Is primarily an assassin.
Signalman (Phil Cobb)
Phillip "Phil" Cobb was a gangster with big ideas. He came to Gotham City intent on hiring a gang of his own and making it big, only to be laughed at when he tried to recruit the gang because he had no reputation. Steaming with anger, he vowed to prove himself to Gotham's mobsters, and when he noticed how modern society was regulated by signs, signals and symbols, he found the inspiration for his criminal career. Becoming the Signalman, he went on a spectacular crime spree using those signs and symbols as his motif before being stopped by batman. Returning multiple times, Cobb briefly changed his MO and became a villainous archer under the alias the Blue Bowman after sharing a cell with Green Arrow foe Bulls-Eye However, he eventually returned to his Signalman identity.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Every so often a writer will demonstrate that Cobb's motif actually makes his very dangerous if handled correctly. This has included acts like hijacking Gotham's air traffic control system, or using glow spots to disrupt the human nervous system.
- Butt-Monkey: In modern comics, Signalman is generally regarded as a joke, and if something bad is required to happen to one of Batman's rogues gallery, it will generally happen to Signalman.
- Calling Card: Signalman used to announce his crimes by sending clues in the forms of signs and symbols to the police.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: Wears a costume covered in symbols from a huge variety of disciplines.
- Trick Arrow: Cobb used these in his alternate identity of the Blue Bowman.
Solomon Grundy (Cyrus Gold)
Solomon Grundy is a zombie who was once a businessman, Cyrus Gold, who was murdered in Slaughter Swamp, a swamp just outside Gotham City. Supernatural forces then gathered into his dead body, causing him to resurrect as a zombie one Monday. He took the name Solomon Grundy when he heard people reciting the nursery rhyme "Solomon Grundy".
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 Solomon Grundy.
El Sombrero is a lunatic in a luchadore mask who designs near inescapable death traps for anyone who's willing to pay. He is an enemy of the Gaucho and a member of the Club of Villains. As such, he has come into conflict with Batman.
- Calling Card: Marks his work with an image of a skull in a sombrero.
- Cool Mask: Wears a luchadore mask at all times.
- Death Trap: Specialises in designing death traps.
- Evil Cripple: Is confined to a wheelchair and uses a computer to speak.
- Genius Cripple: Being confined to a wheelchair has not slowed the workings of his mind.
- Outlaw Couple: He and Scorpiana were once lovers.
- Trap Master: Designs inescapable death traps for anyone willing to pay.
The Spook (Val Kaliban)
Val Kaliban is one of the world's greatest escape-artists, and uses his extraordinary abilities together with special effects to commit spectacular crimes and make people believe he was a real ghost. 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.
- Escape Artist: Probably the third greatest escape artist in The DCU: behind Mister Miracle and Batman himself.
- Faking the Dead: Kaliban hypnotized an innocent look-alike to pose as him during the execution, and this allowed him to roam free for years.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His costume creates the impression of glowing eyes inside a shadowy hood.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Kaliban trained in the art of hypnosis, and could easily manipulate the Weak-Willed. His aptitude in this arena was so strong that he once convinced a nameless look-alike to take his place in the electric chair.
- In the Hood: His costume has a full head cowl, like a monk's.
- Killed Off for Real: He was beheaded by Damian Wayne, and hasn't shown up since. (Although he has faked his death before, so any writer who wants to has a readymade justification for bringing him Back from the Dead.)
- Master of Unlocking: Is a master locksmith and escape artist who can supposedly open any lock.
- Meaningful Name: Shares his name with Shakespeare's half-human, half-monster from The Tempest.
- Off with His Head!: His ultimate fate.
- Prison Escape Artist: Boasted that no prison could hold him, and offered 'escape insurance' to other criminals: promising to bust them out of prison if they were incarcerated.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The Spook utilized a wide array of gadgets and devices in order to create the impression he really was a ghost and had supernatural powers.
- Wall Crawl: Wears finger-tip and boot suction cups for scaling buildings.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He was a recurring 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.
Steeljacket was a bio-engineer who altered his genes by mixing it with bird DNA to gain flight. However, this greatly deteriorated his bone structure which forced him to wear a special armor to support and protect himself. Although primarily a foe of Robin, he has fought multiple different members of the Bat-family.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Gained his powers by mixing his genes with bird DNA.
- Power Armor: Wers armor to protect his fragile bones which also allows him to fly.
- Professor Guinea Pig: A bio-engineer who altered his own DNA.
- Psycho for Hire: A Professional Killer who commits extremely violent and bloody murders.
- Winged Humanoid: Was this after his inital transformation. After his wings were amputated during a clash with Robin, the flight power was incorporated into his Power Armor.
- Wolverine Claws: Has razor sharp talons.
Sterling T. Silversmith
Sterling Silversmith has been obsessed with silver since childhood and, now, as a silver-haired older man, has amassed a fortune in stolen goods that he smuggled through his antiques business.
- Alliterative Name: Sterling Silversmith
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Silversmith dresses like an Edwardian dandy.
- The Bus Came Back: After being absent from comics since 1980, Silversmith reappeared in Salvation Run (2008) and later Gotham Academy (2016).
- Bulletproof Vest: Silversmith wears a business suit spun out of silver fibres that can deflect bullets.
- Loves Only Silver: His obsession is such that all of his schemes are designed to increase his stock of it.
- Shout-Out: In case it isn't blatantly obvious, Silversmith's basically Suave Goldfinger if he was obsessed with Silver.
- Sibling Murder: Sterling murdered his brother when the brother threatened to go to the police unless Sterling increased his cut of the profit from their smuggling scheme.
- Stylish Protection Gear: Silversmith wears a suit made of woven silver that can deflect bullets.
- Sword Cane: Silversmith carries a variety of silver sticks which conceal either blades or guns.
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. See Talia al Ghul for more information.
Tally Man (unknown)
The Tally Man was the son of a petty criminal who deeply in debt to Loan Sharks. Every week, the loan sahrks would send enforcers round to extort payment from his father. When his father dies, the loan sharks continued demanding payment from his mother. Although the boy begged his mother not to pay, she would always tell him "Everybody has to pay the tally man". One night when she could not pay, the collector beat her brutally. The boy snapped, grabbed a fireplace poker, and beat the collector to death. He was arrested for murder and sent to a juvenile detention facility where he was brutally abused by the other inmates. Upon his release, he returned home but discovered that his mother had committed suicide and his sister had died of starvation after her death. The child grew up to become the Tally Man: hired by the underworld to "collect" on debts owed, his fee was not money, but human lives.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Dresses in in the strange dark robes of an old-fashioned tax collector.
- Catchphrase: "Everybody has to pay the Tally Man"
- Even Evil Has Standards: Prefers to avoid shooting women and children, but will do so if necessary.
- Freudian Excuse: His whole origin story.
- The Gunslinger: A "Woo", the Tally Man is a formidable gunman, capable of laying down an accurate volume of fire with a machine pistol in each hand.
- Hellhole Prison: The juvenile detention facility where he spent his formative years.
- Lean and Mean: Is very tall and gangly. Depending on the Artist, this can be taken to grotesque extremes, with him contorting his body into completely unnatural positions.
- Loan Shark: As a child, his family was trapped by debts owed to loan sharks, and he went to prison for killing a loan shark's enforcer. As an adult, he would work as a 'debt collector' for loan sharks.
- Mark of Shame: Jean-Paul Valley carved a large, bat-logo-shaped scar into his chest.
- Nice Hat: Wears a very large top hat as part of his costume.
- Open Shirt Taunt: The Tally Man comes seeking revenge for the injuries he suffered at the hands of Jean-Paul Valley (a.k.a. Azrael) when Azrael was wearing the Bat-suit. He confronts Dick (Nightwing) Grayson, who had taken over the mantle of Batman from Valley, who has no idea who Tally Man is or why he is gunning for him. During his Motive Rant, he rips open his shirt to show the large bat-shaped scar Valley had carved into his chest.
- Professional Killer: Is a hit man for hire.
- Supervillain Packing Heat: Aside from his acrobatic skill, his only real combat ability is his phenomenal skill with the guns he carries.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Beat a man to death with a poker when he was 12.
Tally Man (unknown)
The second assassin to use the alias 'the Tally Man', has no known connection to the first. Little is known of his background, aside from the fact he apparently spent some time in Arkham Asylum. He first appeared working for the Great White Shark when he performed a series of hits knocking off supervillains in the Penguin's employ, such as KGBeast, Magpie, Ventriloquist and Orca, and framing Two-Face for the murders, in an effort to spark a gang between Penguin and Two-Face.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The second Tally Man is African-American.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Performs most of his murders clad in an immaculate white suit and black pullover.
- Badass Normal: A Professional Killer with no powers who is willing to take contract on supervillains.
- C-List Fodder: In his first outing he kills KGBeast, Magpie, Ventriloquist and Orca.
- Consummate Professional: An extremely efficient and professional hitman.
- The Dragon: Performed this role for the Great White Shark for a time.
- Flat Character: Unlike the original Tally Man, who is a mass of obsessions and quirks, Tally Man II has displayed little in the way of personality beyond being a Consummate Professional.
- Frame-Up: Tried to spark a gang war by framing Two-Face for offing the Penguin's goons.
- Laser Sight: Has one mounted on his handgun, as much for intimidation as for sighting.
- Professional Killer: A hitman willing to take out supervillains.
- Supervillain Packing Heat: His power is guns.
Ten-Eyed Man (Philip Reardon)
Philip Reardon was a Special Forces soldier in Vietnam who was honorably discharged after he was hit in the skull by a grenade fragment. Becoming a night watchman in a warehouse, he was knocked unconscious by thieves who planted a bomb. Blinded by the explosion, a brilliant doctor named Engstrom reconnected his optic nerves to his fingertips, enabling him to see through them. Wrongly blaming Batman for his blindness, Reardon adopted the identity of the Ten-Eyed Man and tried to take revenge on him.
- Artistic License Biology: Even in comic books, attaching your optic nerves to your fingertips to allow you to see makes no sense.
- Back from the Dead: The Ten-Eyed Man was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths but was later recreated by the Psycho-Pirate along with many other characters who were wiped out by the effects of the Crisis.
- Blind People Wear Sunglasses: Wears a large pair of sunglasses as part of his costume.
- C-List Fodder: One of the many minor characters killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, reportedly at the specific request of writer Marv Wolfman, among a list of characters he wanted to kill first.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Was a Special Forces soldier in Vietnam. His combat skill make him far more dangerous than his 'superpower' does.
- Jet Pack: When hired to hunt Man-Bat, Reardon was equipped with a jet pack that included a silent hover mode.
- Sinister Shades: Wears a large pair of sunglasses to distract people from the fact his blind and make it less obvious he is 'seeing' with his fingers.
- Skunk Stripe: Has brown hair with a white streak down of the centre of it.
- Tailor-Made Prison: He can only be kept in a jail cell by keeping his hands locked in a special non-see-through box, because with eyes on his fingers, "escape would be child's play for him". Why this would be the case is not explained.
- Too Dumb to Live: He's so stupid (though possibly because of brain damage) that on at least one occasion he was taken out when someone threw a potted cactus at him. Because he grabbed it. Not even the pot, the cactus.
- Utility Belt: When hired to hunt Man-Bat, Reardon was equipped with a trick belt which included a net ejector (shooting a small, compressed net), a latex spray, and a firemarm.
- Weaksauce Weakness: His "eyes" are extremely sensitive to touch and light.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Notorious among fans for how incredibly lame his power is. Sure, he can see 360 degrees around himself but the dude can't touch anything without causing himself extreme pain.
- Whip It Good: When hired to hunt Man-Bat, Reardon was provided with a long, robust whip he used to entangle Man-Bats feet.
The Terrible Trio I (Foxnote , Vulturenote and Sharknote )
A group of animal-themed criminal masterminds whose gimmick revolved around organizing heists on land, air and sea, corresponding with their respective aliases (i.e. Fox robs a bank, Vulture tries to kill Batman with a rocket, Shark steals a submarine). All of them were wealthy inventors who decided to take up a criminal lifestyle for the sport of it. The Trio have been reimagined numerous times over the course of their comic appearances and in other media.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Type 2. None of them have powers (in their original incarnations, at least) but they wear animal masks and commit crimes themed around the biomes their respective aliases would be habituated in.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: In contrast to their goofy animal masks, they all wear suave business and dress suits, creating a slightly eerie contrast.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The original Terrible Trio vanished after their first couple of Silver Age appearances, making very sporadic cameos in the decades since. The versions who antagonized Doctor Mid-Nite were a little more prolific, but not by much.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: All of them are already wealthy from their successful business enterprises, but they nevertheless decide to become a criminal gang for cheap thrills.
- Expressive Mask: Averted for once, as their masks are more like static mascot helmets that completely obscure their faces.
- Flat Character: None of them had much individual personality or even names at first.
- Named by the Adaptation: Their real names were never revealed in the Silver Age stories written by Dave Wood and pencilled by Sheldon Moldoff. Batman: The Animated Series named them as Warren Lawford, Armand Lydecker and Gunther Hardwicke, which has seemingly been Ret-Canon'd into the comics continuity.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: Of a sort. The original Trio only antagonized Batman, but a reimagined Trio composed of three Corrupt Corporate Executives named Fisk, Shackley and Volper appeared to antagonise Doctor Mid-Nite in the 1990s and later came full circle back to Batman in the 2000s. Some sources have declared that the two Trios were actually one and the same, in spite of the glaring contradictions between them.
The Terrible Trio II (Foxnote , Vulturenote and Sharknote )
A Darker and Edgier revamp of the Terrible Trio who terrorized Doctor Mid-Nite in a 1990s miniseries written by Matt Wagner and pencilled by John K. Snyder III. This group are a consortium of three sinister capitalists who dress up as animals while performing occult rituals, calling upon the spirits of earth, wind and water to wreak havoc in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They inevitably end up crossing paths with Batman in the pages of Detective Comics, where they actually seek his help in investigating a mysterious "Fourth Man" hunting them down.
- Ascended Extra: This group are a far bigger deal than their goofy inspirations, being the main enemies of Doctor Mid-Nite.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Shark plots to betray his allies by masquerading as the Fourth Man and faking his death.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The three of them are heads of Praeda Industries and participate in gruesome occult rituals. Their goal is to destroy all the wealthy property districts in the city of Portsmouth with natural disasters, leaving only the property in the poorest areas left to be resold at extortionate prices.
- Enemy Mine: They come crying to Batman for help when the Fourth Man starts killing them off. Though ironically, Batman never actually faced this version of the Trio before.
- Darker and Edgier: Whereas the original Trio were silly Silver Age malcontents, this group are a shady alliance of corporate figureheads who dress in far more intimidating costumes and perform dark rituals. They also run a Venom drug-dealing ring.
- Faking the Dead: The mysterious Fourth Man who murders Shark and threatens the other remaining Trio members turns out to be none other than Shark himself, who faked his own death and began hunting down his former teammates to steal their assets.
- Replacement Goldfish: After Fox and Vulture return to their Arkham cells with Shark disgraced from the team, they decide to ally with another shark-themed Bat-Rogue: Warren White, the Great White Shark!
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: Ironically, this Trio debuted as enemies of obscure Golden Age hero Dr. Mid-Nite and ended up encountering Batman second. See the above folder for more information.
The Terrible Trio III (Fox, Vulturenote and Shark)
A new Terrible Trio composed of three teenaged delinquents who take on the criminal identities of the original animal-themed crooks. To his shock, Batman discovers that one of their members is closely connected to him, being the son of his financial aid Lucius Fox, Timothy. This group only appeared in a Bronze Age throwback one-shot, DC Retroactive: Batman - The '70s, written by Len Wein.
- Antagonistic Offspring: The new Vulture is actually Timothy Fox, Lucius's estranged son who briefly appeared in a handful of Bronze Age comics. Fittingly, he returns in a Bronze Age throwback story.
- For the Evulz: More explicitly than the original team, this Trio create mayhem purely for the sake of it.
- Younger and Hipper: The third Terrible Trio are a bunch of antisocial teenagers in sleeker full-body costumes.
The Terrible Trio IV (Foxnote , Ravennote and Sharknote )
In DC Rebirth, the Terrible Trio were once again reimagined as a secret sorority of students at Gotham Academy descended from long lineages of masked criminals bent on taking over Gotham City. They plan an occult ritual to resurrect a witch who was burned at the stake, Amity Arkham, and have her possess one of the other students.
- Darker and Edgier: Like the second Terrible Trio, this reimagined group are decidedly more sinister than their Silver Age counterparts, this time being a secret society of creepy teenaged occultists who perform dark rituals to revive a long-dead witch.
- Distaff Counterpart: They are female re-imaginings of the typically all-male Terrible Trio, with their animal aliases switched around.
Bat-Cop (Josef Muller), Bat-Bane (Branca), Bat-Devil (Michael Lane)
- The Anti-Christ: Michael Lane styles himself after this idea.
- Ascended Extra: After his stint as Bat-Devil, Michael Lane became the new Azrael.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: Josef Muller invokes this trope when he shoots the Joker, though as a Batman who has no problems with guns he averts it in practice.
- The Berserker: Branca, the Bat-Bane, fights this way, and it's ultimately what gets him killed.
- Coup de Grâce: Muller, the Bat-Cop, shoots the Joker in the face after being at his mercy.
- The Dragon: Lane is this to Doctor Hurt, being the only replacement Batman to directly work for him, and also serves as his personal lackey during Batman RIP.
- Expy: In-universe, Branca's strength, costume, and behavior were crafted to echo Bane.
- Fantastic Drug: Bat-Bane uses a Super Serum to get strength that rivals Bane.
- Freudian Excuse: Invoked. Doctor Hurt, seeing that Batman was made who he was by tragedy, arranged for Lane's family to be killed so that Lane would have a similar driving pain.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Lane's Bat-Devil costume has round glowing eyes.
- Rated M for Manly: Bat-Bane is a larger-than-life mass of muscle who has inhumanly high levels of testosterone and keeps his hideout stocked with pizza and women.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Bat-Devil outfit has glowing red eyes.
- Shadow Archetype: Invoked by Doctor Hurt when he created the Three Ghosts. All three are reflections of what Batman could be if he foresook his morals:
- Bat-Cop uses firearms and kills his opponents.
- Bat-Bane is what would happen if Batman resorted to serums like Bane's venom, and gave up control of his rage.
- Bat-Devil is what would happen if Batman agreed to a deal with Doctor Hurt.
- Super Serum: Bat-Bane is made inhumanly big and strong through a combination of Bane's venom and Hugo Strange's monster serum.
- Super Strength: Bat-Bane is so strong, he can lift the Batmobile.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: While Bat-Bane was killed and Bat-Devil became the second Azrael, the whereabouts of Bat-Cop are completely unknown. He just vanishes from the story after being arrested and is never mentioned again.
- Would Hit a Girl: Branca is kept pacified by a steady stream of prostitutes, and as he grows more and more unstable the girls meet increasingly grisly ends, one of which Batman encounters the remains of.
- Would Hurt a Child: Branca also has no problems with harming children, though thankfully Robin is more capable of taking care of himself than most children.
Trigger Twins (Tom and Tad Trigger)
Tad and Tom Trigger, who are unaware they are twins and had never met, decide to rob the same bank. They both see each others faces and are surprised that they look exactly alike. They decide to team up and finish the robbery themselves. They later begin to work for a local numbers runner after he talks them into working for him. The duo then begins to kill the man's enemies. Eventually branching out on their own, they begin a series of Wild West themed crime.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel : Tom and Tad dress in a series of identical cowboy outfits.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Tom and Tad both feel they belong in The Wild West.
- C-List Fodder: Both were among the casualties of Infinite Crisis and wouldn't be brought back until Rebirth.
- Contrived Coincidence: Invoked. Identical twins who were Separated at Birth both grew up to be high profile bank robbers with cowboy motifs and happened to meet each other for the first time while they were both robbing the exact same bank. Fate is a funny old thing.
- The Gunslinger: The Trigger Twins are amazing quick draws.
- Mythology Gag: Tad and Tom's first boss in Gotham refers to them as "my Trigger Twins", prompting a "What?" from Tad and Tom. The boss says it was just something he read in a comic as a kid. "The Trigger Twins" was the name of a pair of characters who appeared in a DC western comic All-Star Western in the 50s and 60s.
- Separated at Birth: It's unknown how or why they were separated, but they first met while in the process of robbing the same bank.
- Shout-Out: In their first appearance, the Twins gun down a pair of bank guards, and then quote the "Mine hit the ground first"/"Mine was taller" exchange between John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in The War Wagon.
- Single-Minded Twins: The Trigger Twins always seem to be on the exact same wavelength. Hell, they met when they tried to rob the same bank at the same time.
- Train Job: The Trigger Twins first big job was an attempt to rob the money train that collects the day's takings from all of Gotham's subway stations.
Tweedledum & Tweedledee (Deever, Dumfree and Dumson Tweed)
Despite being cousins, Deever and Dumfree were so alike in both appearance and mannerisms that they could easily be mistaken for identical twins. Drawing inspiration from their shared love of Alice in Wonderland, the duo went on to commit multiple crimes in Gotham, dressed as the similarly-named twin brothers from Through The Looking Glass. After the apparent death of Dumfree, his twin brother Dumson has since stepped in to take his place. Although they run their own separate criminal organization, they can often be seen in the employ of the Mad Hatter (see above).
- 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: Dumfree happened to have an identical twin brother named Dumson who neatly replaced him after his death.
- 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)
Arnold was born into a powerful mafia family. However, as a kid, he witnessed his mother killed by the hands of an assassin sent by a rival gang. This sparked a Dissonant Personality Disorder within his mind. The only outlet he found to vent this trauma was through ventriloquism. Eventually, he turned to a life of crime, following in his family footsteps. Or rather his cohort did and he pulled the strings.
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.
- Actually, That's My Assistant: One of the many Scarface's Berserk Button is when people rudely insists to talk to the Ventriloquist instead of him. Of course, maybe this trope is justified if you prefer to believe Scarface is a Demonic Dummy.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Scarface hates being laughed at, but is so ridiculous that someone's likely to...
- Cigar Chomper: Scarface
- Coffin Contraband: The Ventriloquist's original debut had an especially gruesome case: drugs are smuggled through customs a coffin... inside the corpse of a henchman who'd failed him one time too many.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Scarface plays up all of the traditional gangster tropes, 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.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Scarface gets his name from the wicked scar he shares with Al Capone. Wesker added the scar with a chisel when the dummy shifted from being the benevolent Woody to the evil Scarface.
- 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.
- Laughably Evil: Many thugs find the timid Wesker and his dummy comical, and make the mistake of laughing at them. This is usually the last mistake they ever make.
- 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
- Odd Friendship: Had one with Psychopathic Manchild Amygdala.
- Opaque Lenses: It is impossible to see Wesker's eyes through his glasses.
- Pet the Dog: One story reveals that, shortly after she was imprisoned in Arkham for the first time, Arnold cheered up Harley Quinn by staging an impromptu puppet show for her. Harley notes it took a tremendous effort on his part to even momentarily reach out to someone like that and became quite fond of Arnold as result, to the point that she hated the second Ventriloquist for stealing the late Arnold's gimmick.
- Real After All: After Arnold's death, the dummy moves by itself for a few panels before burning up.
- Senseless Violins: Scarface used to carry a miniature Tommy gun hidden inside a toy piano he carried under his arm, in a parody of the classic 'Tommy gun in a violin case'. (It is also a Stealth Pun on 'Chicago piano': a gangster-era slang term for a Tommy gun.
- 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." At times, this has been used for an opening Credits Gag with every "b" in the credited names changed accordingly, i.e. "Gatman created by Gog Kane".
- This became a key point following the Cataclysm; the trauma of the quake created a new identity, the Quakemaster, who claimed responsibility for the event and threatened to trigger another, but the seismologist giving 'Quakemaster' his data fed him flawed information to lead the investigators to her location, while Robin (Tim Drake) guessed his identity by noticing how Quakemaster took care to never use words with the letter 'B' in them.
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.
- Ax-Crazy: Shauna has been known to kill people for saying they can see her lips move.
- 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.
- Eye Scream: Ferdie's favourite attack to go for people's eyes with the drills concealed in his hands.
- 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, Shauna 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.
- 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.
- 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 essentially gender flipped versions of their tormentors, especially Madame Crow who wouldn't look too out of place at a Fan Convention.
- 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-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.
An oft-seen but relatively minor bat-villain, Zsasz was once a wealthy businessman who lost fortune and family alike. The loss of his business was too much for him, and he was attempting suicide when a homeless man tried to assault him with a knife. At that point, he embraced a profoundly nihilistic worldview: all of life is meaningless, and the greatest gift he can offer is to "liberate" people- by slaying them and leaving them in lifelike poses. He celebrates his killings by self-scarification, cutting a tally into his flesh for every life he takes.
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 the first two installments of the Batman: Arkham Series, 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 him 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.
- Discussed in his very first story - all signs of a murder point to him, but because they couldn't find a new tally mark, the GCPD was on the hunt for a copycat killer. They forgot to check the soles of his feet
- 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.
- Remember the New Guy?: His debut story "The Last Arkham" treats him as someone both Batman and the GCPD arrested years ago, and are already familiar with the m.o. of. In fact, the first leg of the story revolves around determining whether he has a copycat on the loose.
- Secret Public Identity: Despite the gimmick, Zsasz chooses to go by his real name.
- 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 futility 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.
- Strong as They Need to Be: Many times when he faces off against various members of the Bat-family, he can suffer some hilariously one-sided beatdowns. But other times he can be portrayed as being a much better combatant who can do a lot more damage for a skinny guy diagnosed as insane and lacks formal training. At one point he was even able to out-fight and nearly kill Damian Wayne, someone who's been trained in the killing arts since birth, even though Damian was armed with a sword and Zsasz was only using a knife.
- 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.
The Werewolf (Anthony Lupus)
Anthony Lupus is a former Olympic gold medallist in decathlon, who started suffering from crippling migraines. In an effort to find a cure, he sought the help of Evilutionary Biologist Professor Milo. Milo used a serum derived from Alaskan timber wolves to treat him. However, a side effect of the serum caused him to become a werewolf. According to Milo, Lupus suffered from latent lycanthropy, which had been the cause of his headaches, and the serum advanced the development of the condition.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Lupus desperately wants to find a cure for his lycanthropy.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Lupus suffered from latent lycanthropy which was triggered by Milo's serum. He turns into a Wolf Man form rather than into an actual wolf.
- Real Award, Fictional Character: Lupus won an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon.
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: Like a traditional werewolf, Lupus is vulnerable to silver. Batman was once able to capture him by wrapping him up in a silver net.
- Werewolf Theme Naming: Anthony Lupus
- Wolf Man: Transforms into a bipedal half-man, half-wolf form.
Whisper A'Daire is an assassin with a snake-like appearance. Originally a member of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul gave her a serum that granted her immortality and the ability to shapeshift. After leaving the League, she joined Intergang and became a high priestess of the Cult of Cain.
- Acid Attack: Can spit acid.
- The Ageless: The serum made her immortal. She remains young and beautiful by shedding her skin.
- Compelling Voice: Her voice has the ability to brainwash people.
- Bastard Girlfriend: To her lover and second-in-command Kyle Abbot, whose obsessive loyalty to her isn't hampered at all by her spitting acid in his face for failing her.
- Evil Brit: Bruce notes her English accent when they first meet, and she's a very nasty person.
- The Fagin: Whisper brainwashes kidnapped children into being Intergang operatives
- Hypnotic Eyes: She can mesmerize and hypnotize people upon eye contact.
- Not Brainwashed: Bruce assumes that Ra's is controlling her with her addiction to his immortality serum, but when he cures that addiction she double-crosses him and reveals that she's loyal to Ra's regardless.
- Older Than They Look: She's almost ninety but appears to be in her late twenties.
- Snake People: When Whisper took the serum, her human form became that of a snake. How much of her is snakelike varies, as she can go from a human woman with a few scales, to having fangs and snakelike eyes, to being fully covered in scales, and finally becoming a humanoid cobra.
- Snakes Are Sexy: Whisper is a seductress with an almost supernatural ability to bend men to her will.
- Two-Faced: After being badly burned in a fight with Renee Montoya, a large part of the left side of her face was scarred.
White Knight (Lewis Bayard)
Lewis Bayard was the son of an Arkham Asylum security guard who was murdered by Doctor Phosphorus during an asylum riot. Years later, Lewis took on the name of The White Knight; a self proclaimed savior to the world. Believing that anyone who appears corrupt must have come from a corrupted bloodline, the White Knight targeted the relatives of Arkham Asylum's inmates in order to save their souls by dressing them as angels and forcing them to commit suicide. The White Knight's ultimate goal is to kill Arkham's inmates and all of their relatives.
- Blinded by the Light: Is bathed in a white light he can use to blind foes.
- Freudian Excuse: Saw his father murdered by Dr. Phosphorus.
- Jet Pack: Wears a winged jet pack that allows him to fly.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: He would use a drug called Special K to put his victims into a state of euphoria, and dress them up to resemble angels. With the use of an audio device placed in their ears, he would then instruct them to commit suicide.
- Shock and Awe: Has electric shock elements built into his costume.
- Strapped to a Bomb: Attached an explosive device to Francine Langstrom before forcing her and her children to jump off a building.
- Vigilante Man: Targets Arkham Asylum inmates and their relatives.
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.
Despite the Alice Allusion, she has no affiliation with the Mad Hatter.
- Me's a Crowd: Jaina can duplicate herself into two beings: a second version of herself and White Rabbit.
- Most Common Superpower: Her assets are pretty prominent.
- 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 (Unknown)
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 Hater: His parents were thieves that a young Jim Gordon was forced to kill after they drew their guns, earning him Wrath's hatred. Wrath tried to convince Batman that Gordon killed his parents without provocation, but Bats refused to believe it.
- 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 colored 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 Dick first became Nightwing). Wrath's father is now depicted as a corrupt cop who was robbing a warehouse with his wife and their son acting as a lookout. Gordon confronted them and, in a gunfight, killed the parents in self-defense.
- Supervillain Packing Heat: A major difference between Batman and Wrath is that the Wrath enthusiastically embraces the use of firearms in his mission.
- Shadow Archetype: The dark version of Batman: a criminal who saw his parents killed by a cop, and who devoted his life to killing law enforcement officers.
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 Hater: Became one in a way similar to the original Wrath.
- Cop Killer: Like his mentor, he specialized in killing cops.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the New 52, he's an evil businessman 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 who shot first and killed the Wrath's unarmed mother, 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 and inflict a fatal wound by accident; 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.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: It may be achieved by having his brain and reflexes artificially augmented, but Zeiss is capable of rapidly observing and replicating an opponent's combat technique.
- Bald of Evil: Zeiss shaves his head.
- Bullet Time: How Zeiss views the world.
- Crazy-Prepared: In his first appearance in Gotham, Zeiss hired a team of mercenaries to fight Batman so that he could watch the Dark Knight in action and prepare for his own battle.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Zeiss' implanted goggles modify his optic nerves to enhance his perception and reflexes to superhuman levels.
- Meaningful Name: Zeiss shares his name with Swiss manufacturer of top-end optics.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Batman at one point observes that Zeiss might as well be this, as he can't expect to rely on people being more intimidated by him than by Batman because he's new in town and Batman's been around for years.
- Super Reflexes: Zeiss' reflexes have been cybernetically enhanced.