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"I have no dysfunctional family background. I suffered neither childhood abuse nor trauma. (Mr. Zsasz) kill(s) for one reason only...Because (he) choose(s) to."

"I have been witness to genius in the area of this criminal endeavor...The kidnapping of the mayor. The crippling of the city on numerous occasions. Oh, and my glorious abduction of the commissioner and his daughter. MASS MURDER, MAIMINGS, TORTURE AND TERROR! I'VE DONE IT ALL, LADY! YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE EINSTEIN OF CRIME!"
The Joker: Devil's Advocate
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Batman's Long Runner status and the massive size of his Rogues Gallery mean that he has faced many foes. However, these stand out as the worst of the worst.

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Pre-Crisis

  • Dr. Karl Hellfern, originally Batman's first supervillain, was a generic villain who became something far worse when reintroduced in 1982. Hellfern was a doctor and health guru who catered to the rich and famous, but was really Dr. Death, who developed a pollen that spreads a deadly disease. Dr. Death had one of his goons killed when he tried to go to the cops to expose his scheme. Dr. Death has his men spread the pollen across Gotham City, infecting the entire population. The virus will kill the population in 48 hours unless Dr. Death provides the cure, which he will only do after he is paid one billion dollars. When the mayor refuses to pay, Dr. Death decides to flee Gotham, letting everyone die as a warning while he attempts this scheme on another city.
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  • Professor Hugo Strange was Batman's original Arch-Enemy, a brilliant yet twisted mastermind who sought power at whatever cost. In one of his first confrontations with the Caped Crusader, Strange kidnapped and experimented on mental patients to turn them into monstrous slaves whom he sends on rampages across Gotham City, endangering hundreds of lives just to act as cover while Strange pulled off heists across the city. Later developing a fear powder with plans to cover all of America in perpetual and agonizing terror so as to assume control and institute a dictatorship of the whole country, Strange would go on to drive crime boss Rupert Thorne insane and lure wealthy people to a health clinic, inject them with a transformative serum, and then force him to do his bidding lest he deny them the antidote and leave them as hideous monsters forever. Strange also becomes insanely obsessed with Batman over their years of fighting, to such a point that he begins mind raping, torturing, and trying to ruin the life of the Dark Knight every chance he can, even repeatedly attempting to kill the hero's loyal butler Alfred and getting his ward Robin taken away by social services, all in Strange's mad quest to kill then become the Batman himself.
  • World's Finest: Anthrax, from the June 1983 issue ("The Anthrax Hotline"), is a grandiloquent, disease-bearing terrorist who in actuality is an utter nobody of a sound engineer named George Swope. Infatuated with his co-worker Susan but abhorring how she ignores him, George steals a particularly virulent strain of anthrax and threatens to release it upon all of Gotham within an hour. Anthrax attaches the trigger to Susan's seat to force her to stay put and puts her through constant, sadistic torment and mockery, cheerfully indifferent as to whether or not Gotham's five-million strong populace survives his agonizing anthrax.

Post-Crisis (May Also Include Pre-Crisis) (by order of appearance)

    Miscellaneous Examples 
  • The Joker, a sadistic Monster Clown with a Multiple-Choice Past, is Batman's Arch-Enemy. Over the course of his long career, despite being mostly without superpowers, he has: crippled Barbara Gordon and tried to psychologically torture her father into madness; sold nuclear weapons to terrorists; savagely beat Jason Todd with a crowbar, then killed him and Jason's mother with a time bomb; repeatedly emotionally and physically abused his girlfriend, Harley Quinn, going so far as to try to kill her multiple times; attempted to infect the entire world by poisoning the atmosphere with Joker-venom when he believed he was dying; tried to kill every newborn baby in Gotham in order to break the city's spirit, killing Commissioner Gordon's second wife, Sarah Essen, in the process; and stealing the powers of Mister Mxyzptlk, becoming a nigh-omnipotent god-like being who turned the world into a hellish caricature of itself, tortured Batman to death only to revive him and repeat the process continuously until Batman was driven insane, devouring everyone in China, and attempting to wipe out all of existence. The Joker's sole motivation, in committing every crime there is, is amusement, based on what his disturbed sense of humor deems funny.
  • The first Black Mask, Roman Sionis, was once merely a rich socialite neglected by his parents, but his psychopathic sadism turned him into one of Gotham's most evil criminals. Murdering his parents and mutilating his fiancée in his rise to power, Black Mask indulges in his love for torture at every opportunity, performing it on not only otherwise-loyal henchmen just for fun, but also on the likes of Maggie Kyle and her husband in vicious ways—notably force-feeding parts of her husband to her—and later Stephanie Brown, torturing her with a variety of tools, which resulted in her death. Becoming the king of Gotham's underworld by murdering countless people in a gang war, Black Mask dabbles in trafficking, assassinations, and even orders a child be murdered just for spite. Black Mask meets his end after torturing one of Selina Kyle's best friends to near-death and boasts that he wants to become her Arch-Enemy and torture everyone she loves to death while forcing her to live through it all, continuing his trend of sadism, card-carrying villainy, and a hilarious black humor all the way to the grave with zero remorse for his atrocities.
  • James Gordon, Jr. is the son of Commissioner James Gordon, and distinguishes himself from his heroic relatives in the extreme. Ever since his youth, James Jr. was a vicious Serial Killer, always hoping the next person would pick on him so it would give him an excuse to torture and kill them. In one instance, he cruelly slashed a woman's face for calling him Four-Eyes years prior. In another, he gruesomely dismembered a man for stealing his glasses a decade prior. James Jr. proceeded to torture his mother with the Joker's fear toxin; tortured his sister Barbara psychologically and physically, driving a pair of knives into her paralyzed legs; and revealed his master plan to destroy the morality of Gotham's children by injecting their food supply with a drug to destroy empathy, which he views as a weakness.
  • Karl Branneck, from the July and August 1988 issues ("Elmore's Lady" & "Just Deserts"), is one half of a duo known as the Dumpster Killer, and the more dominant of the pair compared to the sycophantic Vito. Karl chooses well-off women, hunting them down, before torturing them, raping them and killing them painfully before leaving their remains in dumpsters for others to find. Provoking Batman's attention after a friend of Bruce Wayne's is murdered, Karl obtains ten victims before growing worried about media attention and murdering Vito. After being acquitted, Karl plans to resume his rape, torture and murder spree, targeting two more women, only to fall into the trap of a victim's sister, and dies cursing women in general, showing that in Gotham, one does not need a costume or powers to be pure evil.
  • Batman: The Cult: Deacon Joseph Blackfire is a cult leader who believes humanity is a lost cause and deserves to be purged. Establishing his cult by kidnapping, torturing, and brainwashing homeless people into becoming his followers, Blackfire uses them to begin butchering criminals across Gotham, from entire crime gangs to petty pickpockets. Brainwashing Batman into assisting him, Blackfire assassinates numerous politicians across the city and kills dozens of police officers and soldiers before seizing control of Gotham City. Blackfire then allows crime and anarchy to run rampant throughout the streets, along with holding mass lynchings and executions regularly and displaying the bodies for all to see. Claiming to be immortal, Blackfire regularly bathes in a huge cauldron of human blood, having used the blood of hundreds of innocents for his baths. When confronted by Batman, Blackfire tries to force him to kill him in order to make himself a martyr and convince his followers to carry on his human-purging quest. Whether he is truly thousands of years old or just a petty con man is left ambiguous, but regardless, Deacon Joseph Blackfire was a narcissistic and misanthropic psychopath who stood out as one of the few villains Batman nearly killed due to his depravity.
  • Professor/Doctor Hugo Strange is a sadistic psychologist obsessed with usurping the cape and cowl from Batman and becoming the Dark Knight himself. Turning the police against Batman in his introductory comic, Strange hypnotizes Max Cort into becoming the criminal-murdering Night Scourge, using him to further incriminate Batman and kidnap the mayor's daughter for Strange to abuse and terrorize as petty payback for her rejecting him. Trying to ruin the lives of and kill Batman and his sidekicks many more times, Strange eventually moves on to seek further power, taking over the East End of Gotham by threatening to litter its streets with the bodies of countless innocents and orphaned children, with Strange coldly executing any of his partners who cross him. In his grandest outing, Strange manipulates Jeremiah Arkham into becoming the next Black Mask and works with him in taking over Gotham, performing horrible experiments on dozens of people to make them slaves and forcing heroes to choose victims to save from death. Strange ultimately plans to use Jeremiah to unleash a bioplague of his own design on Gotham, killing thousands of innocents to spite the city and cover his own escape.
  • Abattoir, real name Arnold Etkar, born Arnold Etchison, is a psychotic, prolific Serial Killer who mainly targets family members, believing them to be evil, and believes he will eat their souls. In his second appearance, as part of a ritual he believes will grant him great power, Abattoir and his associates blow up the Gotham Bridge as a train is crossing, which would have killed thousands. Despite being captured yet again, Abattoir is one of the residents of Arkham Asylum who are broken out by Bane. After killing a family, he goes after his cousin Graham, hijacking a bus Graham and 12 orphans are on, planning to kill them all. Batman saves them, but Abattoir escapes, kidnapping the child of Clayface III and Lady Clayface to force them to help him. Abattoir eventually kidnaps Graham, and places him in a sadistic Death Trap, which eventually results in Graham suffering an agonizing, hours-long death. Even as a spirit, his evil lives on; in Jean-Paul Valley's old armor, he tries to induce a miscarriage in his niece to possess the unborn baby's body.
  • Victor Zsasz, aka Mr. Zsasz, is one of Gotham's most prolific and horrifying serial killers. A man who believes in nothing, Zsasz erases the emptiness in his own life by murdering others, recording every victim upon his flesh in a tally mark scar. Zsasz has killed hundreds of people: men, women and children. Only one victim, Alfred Pennyworth, survived his attacks, which brought him into conflict with Batman, who soon earned Zsasz's eternal loathing. Zsasz has continued his crusade to rid the world of life one human at a time, murdering those who cross his path to "liberate" them from the meaninglessness of life. At one point, Zsasz abducted runaways and forced them to fight to the death. The winner would be forced to fight Zsasz himself.
  • Knightquest Appearances : Benedict Asp, born Benjamin Asplin, is the brother of the good-hearted psychic Dr. Shondra Kinsolving and a murderous egomaniac who forces his sister's loyalty by violently torturing one of her patients on life-support in front of her, just before cheerfully unplugging the man when his sister yields in horror. Asp builds a helmet that helps him augment and direct her sister's Psychic Powers while keeping Shondra as his abused slave, forcing her to murder her own elderly adoptive mother just as he had their abusive adoptive father killed when he and Shondra were children. Asp intends to use Shondra as a psychic assassin, bribing billions of dollars out of the government by threatening to have the President and several heads of state assassinated, and reaches the climax of his villainy by forcing Shondra to wipe out an entire village, displaying a vile glee when he sees the effect of his sister's powers upon the children of the village.
  • Joker's Apprentice, by C.J. Henderson et al.: Arthur Rankel is a vicious Serial Rapist and killer who was locked up after raping and killing 18 women. Learning new methods of evil under Joker's tutelage, Rankel escapes Arkham Asylum and begins a new killing spree with two manipulated thugs, torturing, raping, and killing 25 women, even filming some of their deaths and sending it to the GCPD to taunt them. Rankel plans to kill Batman then betray Joker and collect the reward money and the fame all for himself, bragging all the way of how much he loves hurting others, and how prideful he is in his evil deeds.
  • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell: Daedalus "Doodlebug" Boch is a Mad Artist who killed and mutilated many people across Gotham, using their blood to paint massive murals. During his later escape of Arkham Asylum, Boch kills his longtime cellmate, Junkyard Dog, and allies with the demonic forces seeking to bring Hell on Earth. Boch begins sacrificing every prisoner and guard in the Asylum to the forces of Hell, condemning them to a burning torment while he plans to finish his artistic "vision"—even if it means dooming humankind.
  • Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) & Streets of Gotham (primarily): This incarnation of Dr. Karl Hellfern, aka Dr. Death, starts off as a chemist who worked for Elliot Pharmaceuticals and secretly cut heroin for gangster Salvatore "Sallie" Guzzo. Hellfern is hired by Guzzo and his associate Judson Pierce to help destroy Leslie Thompkins's clinic that helps the poor, with the gangsters wanting the land the clinic is on. Hellfern develops a deadly virus and infects a rat with it. When a local kid is caught spying on Hellfern, Hellfern has the rat bite the boy and drops him off in front of the clinic, hoping to infect everyone there. After that scheme, Hellfern is arrested and turns state's evidence against Pierce. Hellfern decides to become a supervillain and renames himself Dr. Death, and decides to sell his services to the highest bidder. He agrees to work for the dictator of the small post-Soviet country Tarakstan. Dr. Death demonstrates a poison that will kill people and turn the bodies in oil, by exposing several captured civilians to it. When rebels attack the government lab Dr. Death is operating at, Dr. Death plans to release his poison on the rebels and he has the rest of the civilians he was imprisoned in his lab as test subjects released on to the battlefield, so they can die as well. Dr. Death later engages in a scheme to steal corpses across Gotham, turning them into a designer drug called Soul, which often turns its users into violent maniacs for a short period of time, causing chaos across Gotham City.
  • Grant Morrison's Batman: Dr. Simon Hurt, born Thomas Wayne centuries past, was a devil worshipper who gained immortality when resorting to blood sacrifice to summon demons, instead linking himself with the Hyper-Adapter. Using sacrifice to keep himself alive through centuries, Hurt developed a dark fixation on Bruce Wayne with his obsession to prove that evil could always overcome good. He created the Black Glove, a shadowy evil council dedicated to spreading evil and bloodshed throughout the world. Hurt sought to break Bruce Wayne psychologically, even having him buried without oxygen to permanently damage his mind and shatter him into Hurt's slave. Defeated, Hurt established himself in Mexico as a drug lord known as El Penitente where he financed dark experiments from Professor Pyg that destroyed countless minds, even having a noble opponent of the Cartels turned into a cannibalistic monster who killed his own family. Sacrificing his followers without a second thought, Hurt returned to Gotham intending on spreading the poisons he had developed throughout the city, turning everyone there into a violent monster who would fall upon one another, allowing Hurt to rule over an empire of evil at last.

    Legends of the Dark Knight 
  • Gothic (#6-10): "Mr. Whisper" was once a pious monk named Brother Manfred who sought to do good, but, once indulging himself in his violent impulses, he came to believe that carnal depravity is the true way to happiness in life. Leading his followers to torture, rape, and immolate innocent nuns, Whisper contacted and made a Deal with the Devil himself for centuries' long immortality in exchange for his soul, and spends hundreds of years murdering innocents. Upon realizing his contract with Hell is almost up, Whisper determines to avoid being damned for eternity by unleashing a plague onto Gotham to kill millions and sacrifice their souls to the devil instead, murdering children for their blood to complete the ritual and wiping out an entire gang for revenge when they try to stop his murder spree. One of the earliest supernatural threats Batman faced, Mr. Whisper stood out with his sadistic embrace of debauchery and depravity.
  • Venom (#16-20): Dr. Randolph Porter and General Timothy Slaycroft are two equally-sociopathic glory seekers who want to make their marks on history. Developing the drug that would later be known as "Venom", Porter and Slaycroft use it to first addict Batman, then leave him to die from agonizing withdrawals, and later use it in experiments to transform several men into abominable super soldiers who they test by massacring a village. Both absolutely monstrous parents, Porter willingly dampens his capacity for love so as to drown his own daughter as one step of his schemes, while Slaycroft abuses and hands his son Timmy over to Porter to be injected with Venom, even admitting to murdering the boy's mother to have sole control over him. Porter and Slaycroft murder any and all of their partners or minions who outlive their usefulness, culminating in Slaycroft torturing and trying to kill Porter, and Porter forcing Slaycroft's son to kill his own father.
  • Blades (#32–34): Mr. Lime, real name Dewhurst, is a greedy sociopath who, after murdering his elderly parents to gain their inheritance, begins systematically slaughtering elderly folks across Gotham to frame his acts as the work of a Serial Killer and draw attention away from himself. Utilizing guns, bombs, and poisons, Mr. Lime kills over a dozen innocent seniors, even couples and the homeless, and sets an occupied nursing home on fire to kill as many of the occupants as possible. Me. Lime plans to continue his spree until he's absolutely certain he's in the clear, being stopped by Batman even as he prepares to murder even more people. Batman shows a special disgust towards Mr. Lime, noting his petty and despicable motive is that of a pure evil monster.
  • Idols (#80-82): Buddy Nelson starts as a Serial Killer known as the Circuit Rider, who kills over a dozen women by strangling them due to his rampant misogyny. After being inspired by Batman, Nelson becomes a vigilante himself but one based around hatred and Biblical insanity. Nelson beats a security guard to death, tries to execute a pair of muggers, and later goes on a shooting spree at a Red Light district, killing many prostitutes. Nelson caps his spree off by opening fire on an entire street, killing anyone in his way before shooting down a police helicopter in an attempt to take down as many people with him as possible.
  • Blink (#156–158): Davies is a seemingly unassuming man who in truth runs a Snuff Film ring. Taking a special order from Richard Carmichael, Davies has a dozen young women kidnapped, tortured, and asphyxiated on camera, selling the films to Carmichael and planning to continue making more. When Batman begins investigating him, Davies has his partners murdered before trying to have Lee Hyland, a potential witness, executed as well. After Davies's death, Batman finds a ledger filled with dozens of names who Davies has made films for, exposing his massive snuff ring and revealing he has made countless films and is responsible for countless deaths across Gotham.
  • (The) Madmen of Gotham (#204–206): Erik Gavlin is a born psychopath who murdered his own mother and neighborhood pets as a child, then played himself as having dementia to escape true justice. Years later developing psychic abilities, Erik begins driving people across Gotham insane, sparking riots and all sorts of mayhem while he personally mind rapes his own father. Erik plans to drive all of Gotham insane and make each and every citizen rip each other apart while he expands his powers across the world, and, when Batman attempts to stop him, Erik uses dozens of innocent people as human shields, threatening their lives to distract Batman.
  • Otaku (#213): Rentaro Hara is a Yakuza boss who christens himself "the Otaku" due to his obsession with superheroes. Murdering a Black Market dealer to steal all of his superhero items, the Otaku is revealed to be a human trafficker who has kidnapped and sold dozens of people into trafficking rings. In his personal time, the Otaku hosts disturbing superhero cosplay parties, where he drugs people, dresses them as superheroes, and roleplays his sexual fantasies on them before either selling them into trafficking, or murdering them and stuffing their bodies as trophies to mount on his wall.

New 52

    Examples 
  • The Joker initially emerges from the shadows as the mysterious "Red Hood One", where he recruits members in to his "Red Hood Gang" by blackmailing and threatening families and friends of middle and upper classes individuals from Gotham. Using his gang to promote his philosophy of randomness of life and pointlessness of existence, the Red Hood spreads chaos and anarchy around Gotham by robbing banks and killing people left and right. Upon becoming the Joker, he continues to spread chaos over Gotham and later starting his infamous killing sprees, torturing and killing those close to Batman. After being absent for over a year, Joker makes his return by attacking the Gotham City Police Department to retrieve the face he had cut off, murdering 19 police officers and Mayor Hady's police guards. Reenacting his old crimes, the Joker poisons many people and blows up the Gotham reservoir. Hunting down the whole Bat-Family and trapping them in the Batcave, Joker leaves them soaked in gasoline while he forces Batman to watch as he attempts to set them ablaze. Finally deciding to kill Batman for real, he creates a new Joker Venom and infects the entire Justice League with it, making them extremely aggressive and have them attack Batman as a distraction, before using the same toxin on all of Gotham. Joker plans to burn down the entire city as Batman tries to stop him, showing again and again that no crime is too awful for the Joker to get his laughs.
  • Victor Zsasz is a Serial Killer who believes life itself is meaningless and that the only thing that matters is murder. A killer of men, women, and children alike, he carves a tally mark into his body for each of his victims and has hundreds of marks to illustrate his immense body count. He has killed his way out of Arkham several times, once even murdering his way inside simply to capture Catwoman to later torture to death, always with the express purpose to kill as many people throughout Gotham as possible. In his quest for mass death, he even resorts to allying with the Emperor Penguin in a plot to transform every last citizen of Gotham into bat monsters that will rip each other to shreds as a monument to death itself. His sadism is unmatched, being regarded by many as Batman's second most vile foe after the Joker, and in one of his crowning moments of villainy, kills a young girl's parents then mocks her when she confronts him over it, attempting to end her life while giddily promising to put her "mark" on his body right alongside her parents'.
  • Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask, shares his Post-Crisis counterpart's penchant for being a monster. A crime boss who made his mark on Gotham by killing and maiming countless innocents—and several of his own men should they fail him—he allies with several other crime families of Gotham, notably the Hasigawa family, using their influence to extort and murder any opponents of his. Torturing Selina Kyle's cousin and outing him as a police informant, he leaves him alive for the sole purpose of forcing Selina herself to do it lest she be seen as a traitor, knowing it will torment her. After falsely believing Tetsuo Hasigawa to be allied with Catwoman, he leads a massacre on Hasigawa's compound and shoots the man in the head, planning to then move on to his daughter. After his attempts to grab up Hasigawa's territories by threatening and harming people of all ages fail, he tracks down his hospitalized father, murders him as well as several people in the building, then proceeds to take over the False Face Society and put Catwoman through hell for all his crimes she's thwarted.
  • Byron Meredith, aka "the Merrymaker", was a brutal doctor in Arkham Asylum who tortured his patients before setting up his own practice that targeted those obsessed with the Joker. Honing in on four men, he psychologically manipulates and pushes the men into their homicidal tendencies, driving them to murder several innocent people. He then ordered these men, his "Legion", to begin carrying out mass murders of his choosing—notably targeting a children's hospital and a memorial of Joker victims—solely to cover up murders he commits against people he hates like his ex-wife. Even after being taken down the first time, he breaks out of Arkham alongside the Scarecrow and happily assists him in flooding Gotham with fear gas in an attempt to tear the city apart as revenge on Batman for stopping him before.
  • Batman Eternal: Arthur Brown, aka Cluemaster, is revealed as the true mastermind behind the plot to destroy Gotham City. Hypnotizing Commissioner Gordon with Mad Hatter technology, Cluemaster influences him to cause a massive train collision that kills 162 people, and follows this up by contacting several of Batman's rogues and inviting them to come to Gotham and run wild, causing major damage to the city. When his daughter Stephanie Brown learns of his plans, Cluemaster doesn't hesitate to try and murder her, even blowing up her friend to draw her out. Outfitting numerous supervillains with Wayne technology, Cluemaster sends them off to cause more mayhem, all of this merely a distraction to occupy the Bat-Family while he and his allies set all of Gotham aflame. Capturing Batman, Cluemaster reveals his intent to force him to watch as his city burns before Cluemaster kills him, while also revealing his motivation was mere bitterness over not being seen as an "A-list" villain.
  • The New 52: Future's End & Batman Beyond: Brother Eye is an A.I. created by Batman and Mister Terrific, originally designed to protect humanity but having undergone a sudden Face–Heel Turn. Despising flesh and seeking to exploit psychological warfare, Brother Eye decided to assimilate everyone, turning superheroes into grotesque embodiments of Body Horror either by turning them into cyborg monsters or by sewing them to fleshy servants like Frankenstein. Upon learning of Batman's plot with Terry McGinnis, Brother Eye decides to sew Batman with the Joker to create a cyborg monster that it sends back in time. In the past it is revealed that Brother Eye manipulated Cadmus by holding King Faraday's family hostage and making a deal with Fifty Sue—whose later rejection prompts it to spite her by revealing her file in order to psychologically break her—taking advantage of the discrimination against Earth-2 heroes by subjecting them to inhumane experiments and embedding them with implants that spread over them like cancer. Brother Eye always takes its time to taunt people, culminating in The Reveal that all of the plot was meaningless as Tim Drake goes forward in time to find a hologram of a perfect future, which quickly dissipates as Brother Eye mocks him, disguised as his Love Interest. All too casual to subject everyone to torture from children to Superman himself and revealing in its sadism, this incarnation of Brother Eye is one of the most pointlessly cruel villains in DC's recent years.

DC Rebirth

  • Professor/Doctor Hugo Strange is a genius scientist convinced of his own moral and intellectual superiority over all mankind, who schemes to take the role of hero of Gotham from Batman and institute his own Darwinistic rule over the city. Orchestrating a plane crash, the unleashing of Solomon Grundy, and the bombing of a bridge to throw Gotham into chaos and kill hundreds, Strange—currently under Amanda Waller's thumb—drives two superhero twins into insane rampages that leads to bloodshed across Gotham before forcing his entire security detail to killing themselves so as to escape Waller. Later initiating his master plan, Strange unleashes a variety of nightmarish monsters onto Gotham that tear the city apart and massacres civilians while infecting thousands of evacuees with a Hate Plague. When this plan to utterly decimate Gotham to prove his superiority to Batman fails, Strange allies with Bane to ruin Batman's life, and spends his free time systematically killing group after group of "test subjects" with death traps that Strange uses to further understand the psychology of superheroes.
  • Dark Nights: Metal: The dark god Barbatos, one of the first beings in all creation, turned on and killed his master the Forger, allowing a multiverse of worlds to decay and rot, eventually forming the Dark Multiverse. Influencing Earth to spread evil and cause bloodshed and destruction, Barbatos developed a fixation on Bruce Wayne after encountering him on his trip through time. Barbatos proceeded to allow countless worlds to die to torment each Bruce Wayne and corrupt him in a myriad of realities, choosing the seven most twisted and evil incarnations of Batman as his Dark Knights. Invading the Multiverse and coldly having his loyal servants, the Court of Owls, disposed of, Barbatos has the Dark Knights wreak death and destruction on a global scale, having countless innocents corrupted to serve as a power source for his machines in order to eventually bring the Dark Multiverse into reality, completely wiping out most of the Multiverse and killing or corrupting everything there while Barbatos reigns over it like a god. One of the most evil beings to ever grace the Multiverse, Barbatos shows himself utterly devoted to making everything that lives suffer until it is a reflection of his own twisted self.
  • The Batman Who Laughs #1, written by James Tynion IV: The Joker of Earth-22, after discovering the chemicals that made him into what he is are also killing him, decided to start his endgame, and began by butchering his fellow rogues, along with Commissioner Gordon. Taking Batman hostage after learning his identity, Joker razes Gotham, making him watch as Gotham General Hospital crumbles. Then he begins to reenact Batman's origins by forcing children to walk through Crime Alley with their parents, shooting the parents dead, and driving the children mad with Joker toxin. This causes Batman to snap, break free from his bounds and finally kill The Joker by snapping his neck, allowing his corrupting gas to turn Batman into the next Joker after inhaling it. Despite his limited page time, the Joker of this Earth is responsible for every life The Batman who Laughs has taken.

Elseworlds

    Examples 
  • Batman: Bloodstorm: The Joker himself appears as the central threat in this second story of the Batman-Vampire trilogy. Immediately seizing the vacuum in power over the remaining Gotham vampires left by Dracula's demise, Joker sets up savage massacres of criminal gangs to seize their assets and make himself stronger, converting every person murdered into a vampire under his command. Joker intends to kill and convert every single person within Gotham City and attack the rest of the nation with his army whilst basking in the power it brings him. Confronted by the now-vampiric Batman, Joker strangles a priest to death for a chuckle and sets up a trap in a church for Batman, directly murdering his companion Selina Kyle in a failed attempted to shoot Batman down. Joker's actions cause Batman to snap, succumb to his bloodlust, and murder the psychopath himself, resulting in Batman becoming a feral Knight Templar as Joker's posthumous last laugh. As always, the Joker has a penchant for twisted wit and depthless charm whilst committing horrific atrocities for little more than amusement, and manages to outdo Dracula himself in wickedness despite never even becoming a vampire himself.
  • Batman: Castle of the Bat, by Jack C. Harris, Bo Hampton, & Tracy Hampton-Munsey: The depraved Dr. Seltsam discovered a fluid that can preserve dead bodies, having countless people killed by extracting its main ingredient from their brains and storing enough jars containing the fluid and body parts to fill entire anatomical vaults. Dr. Seltsam has the highwayman Van Klooster murder Thomas Wayne and his wife when the former opposes his research, tortures Van Klooster in preparation for extracting the fluid's main ingredient, and attempts to electrocute Bruce's creation the Bat-Man, who is actually the resurrected Thomas, to death.
  • Batman/Demon: A Tragedy, by Alan Grant, Jim Murray, et al.: Etrigan, the demon of the title, is Bruce Wayne's Superpowered Evil Side. Etrigan, a demon too evil for even Hell itself, was called upon in desperation in ancient Gotham to destroy their enemies in Metropolis, whereupon Etrigan slaughtered thousands from the opposing side before trying to turn his anger toward Gotham's innocents. Bound to Bruce Wayne, Etrigan attempts to escape, slaughtering criminals every night as a sinister bat-man before Etrigan finally takes the chance to free himself from his host. Etrigan promptly goes on a killing spree, gruesomely murdering Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and Catwoman and their gangs, before incinerating an entire squadron of police officers led by Commissioner Gordon. Etrigan is stopped before he can continue onto the rest of Gotham, but murders Bruce's Love Interest in one final act of spite.
  • Batman: Detective No. 27: Dr. Thomas Wayne is a cruel, fanatical leader of the Confederate group known as the Knights of the Golden Circle. Thomas orchestrates the death of his wife Martha just to fake his own death, and leaves his young son Bruce alive solely to serve as an eyewitness. Developing a plant-based fear toxin, Thomas uses it to brainwash people into serving him, hoping to unleash the toxin at a baseball game and drive the tens of thousands of civilians attending into violent frenzies and kill one another. When his plans are exposed, Thomas murders one of his Co-Dragons, tries to kill his son Bruce, and nearly douses the President of the United States with his toxin, uncaring that it could cause a world war so long as he completes his mission of getting revenge on the Northern states for defeating the Confederates in the Civil War.
  • Batman: Gotham Noir, by Ed Brubaker et al.:
    • Mayor Artie DeHaven is a Corrupt Politician who came to power through murder and extortion. Able and willing to kill anyone and everyone who stands in his way, from his own hired guns to officials trying to expose him, DeHaven's most despicable crime is turning the young Rachel into his personal Sex Slave and hooker from the time she was 13, using her to blackmail those he forced her to have sex with. When Rachel and James Gordon try to expose his wicked ways, DeHaven has Rachel killed and frames Gordon for it, threatening the man's wife and child to keep him in line before kickstarting a shoot-out in a night club in an attempt to kill his final competition, Tony Zucco.
    • Jack Napier starts out as one of DeHaven's lieutenants, secretly snitching on his boss to attorney Harvey Dent to maintain his own side operations. However, after Gordon lets slip Napier's status as a mole and DeHaven slashes Napier's cheeks and leaves him for dead, Napier returns much worse. Now in an insane rage towards Gordon, Napier shoots his way out of a hospital, killing many people, before kidnapping Gordon's wife and child. Murdering a security guard, Napier strings up Gordon's family, planning to murder them, and, even after being beaten, tries to gun down a little girl as a final spiteful move towards Gordon.
  • Batman: Holy Terror: Dr. Saul Erdel, the head scientist of Star Chamber, is an amoral mad scientist studying the “para-gene” for the purposes of the theocratic state. To activate the gene after witnessing its effects in the former scientist Barry Allen, Erdel has dozens of people with the gene kidnapped and experimented on, resulting in all of his subjects afflicted with varying states of trauma, insanity, Body Horror, and mental and physical deformation—including a three-year-old he induced rapid aging in to the point of eventual death and a merman he forcefully mated with another mermaid, leading to the mermaid's death in childbirth and the resulting children all being born as agony-stricken mutations. Disintegrating even his favorite project Barry once he stands up, Erdel's most powerful specimen is an alien he calls the Green Man, whom he raised under experimentation and eventually killed via exposure to Kryptonite once he grows too strong, showing Batman the Green Man's body with the sole purpose of breaking his hope with a proud smile on his face the whole while.
  • Batman: In Darkest Knight, by Mike W. Barr, Jerry Bingham, et al.: In this comic about Batman being a Green Lantern instead of Hal Jordan, Sinestro is a Green Lantern from Planet Korugar in Sector 1417 who ended up becoming a tyrant of said planet. Deposed to Planet Qward by Batman and the Guardians of the Universe, Sinestro then developed a personal vendetta against Batman. Gaining the power of the yellow ring from one of the aliens from Planet Qward, he then infiltrates Gotham's police station to gain more information of Batman's past life and murders the Comissioner, James Gordon, in order to get rid of the witness. After gaining the information, he then murders the wife of Batman's parents' killer, Joe Chill, and then absorbs Joe's mind. He also turns the two acquaintances of Batman into his minions and then destroys several planets in order to incriminate Batman. Sinestro also attacks the Batcave in order to tamper with Batman's power source which resulted on Batman's butler, Alfred, mortally wounded.
  • Batman: Leatherwing, by Chuck Dixon, Enrique Alcatena, et al.: The Laughing Man, the steadfast Arch-Enemy of Captain Leatherwing, is a wickedly sophisticated pirate who makes a name for himself with slaughterous piracy so brutal it earns him rumor that he was the Devil's first mate. He introduces himself killing the crew of a Spanish ship, sinking it, and joyfully tormenting its sole survivor with a cannon during interrogation for the location of the elusive Bat's Cay, later tying up the man to use for target practice. Winning the favor of Capitana Felina by slaughtering her rebellious men, the Laughing Man has Felina seduce Leatherwing to coax the location of the Cay out of him and later furiously vows to slaughter her and all his enemies in a tide of bloodshed during the final battle, even shooting Leatherwing's young friend Robin Redblade in his mad cause to kill Leatherwing and eat his heart.
  • Batman: Nosferatu, by Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier, et al.: Dr. Arkham is the fiendish ruler of the asylum in the aftermath of the death of Lutor. Mistreating and tormenting his patients, he has possession of the monstrous Laughing Man that he uses to kill anyone inconvenient. Arkham sends the Laughing Man to murder First Eschevin Gord-son, and later has Dirk Gray-son killed as well. Upon Bruss Wayn-son discovering his schemes, Arkham has him thrown to his seeming death and attempts to have Gord-son's daughter Barbara murdered. Keeping and torturing countless souls in his asylum, Arkham intends on eventually spreading his works to all of Metropolis to "cure" them.
  • Batman/Dark Joker: The Wild, by Doug Moench et al.: In this medieval retelling of the Batman mythos, Dark Joker, He Who Laughs At Pain, is a psychopathic sorcerer bent on unleashing his most evil magics across the land for fun. Years ago, Joker was a master torturer who took great pleasure in causing others pain, and while he was cursed to forever smile because of his twisted cruelty, this only served to make Joker worse, as he then learned the secrets of magic. Using his new powers, Joker amasses an army of monsters, murders the man who cursed him along with his wife and attempting the same on their newborn, then begins leading the massacres of entire villages, whose inhabitants he decapitates, then eats the brains of, something he extends to performing on his own minions. After regaining his full power, Dark Joker controls a man into killing his own son before moving on to others, calls down fire to set innocents aflame, and, when confronted by an army of enemy troops, Dark Joker turns half of them into zombies that rip into their own teammates and friends. Continuing his streak of pure evil across all media, Dark Joker just may be one of the most wicked incarnations of the Clown Prince of Crime yet.
  • Batman/Houdini: The Devil's Workshop, by Howard Chaykin, John Francis Moore, & Mark Chiarello: Baron Elijah Montenegro is an obese meatpacking mogul who doubles as a ravenous vampire with a particular sweet tooth for children. After coming to America years ago and murdering his way into a powerful position, Montenegro took the psychopathic Jack Schadenfreude to be his servant, and uses him to capture children, drain them dry of their blood to feed Montenegro, then dump the corpses into his meat vats, killing dozens of children over the years. When Batman and Harry Houdini begin investigating his crimes, Montenegro, to cover his tracks, has Jack set one of his own packing plants aflame, hoping to kill the many women and children inside the complex as well. After capturing reporter Victoria Vale, Montenegro plans to turn her and force her into being his pet slave for all eternity. Greedy, sociopathic, and gluttonous, Baron Montenegro made his mark as a true creature of night, more than living up to title of "Lord of Hell".
  • The Batman of Arkham: The Joker and his gang start by raiding a chemicals factory, with Joker using his gas on a night watchman, who is brought into Arkham Asylum Laughing Mad; Commissioner Gordon says the man is lucky, as most victims Die Laughing. Batman confronts Joker and his gang, but is sprayed with some of the gas; he manages to escape before a bomb set by Joker explodes. A week later, having recovered from the effects, Batman manages to escape Arkham and confront the Joker again. This time, Joker plans to use a hot air balloon and drop "laughing bombs" filled with his gas, resulting in all of Gotham City being Driven to Madness, with many dying.
  • Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham, by Mike Mignola, Richard Pace, et al.: Ra's Al-Ghul is imagined here as a stand-in for Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab. Having written the Testament of Ghul years back and having been rent apart by an invisible beast afterwards, Ra's is resurrected by his daughter Talia and he immediately returns to business, drowning Gotham in a sea of reptiles and proclaiming Bruce Wayne their first victim. Now a faithful servant of the eldritch god Iog-Sotha, Ra's hopes to allow Iog-Sotha passage into the world to end all humanity and begins arranging the material for its passage through, tearing through the now-mad Grendon and leaving him to slowly freeze to death whilst having a plant demon he creates from Grendon's seed to assassinate Oliver Queen and nearly murder the young Tim Drake. Afterwards, Ra's has Harvey Dent subjected to a horrific, painful mutation that eventually renders Harvey immobile and twists half his body into a gate through which Ra's attempts to draw Iog-Sotha forth through. Ra's mutates his own form in his final, furious attempt to slay Bruce, fanatically claiming that a "million million" souls will follow Bruce into Hell when Iog-Sotha makes its crossing.
  • Batman: Thrillkiller: Bianca Steeplechase is a ruthless gangster known as "The Joker". As a message to those trailing her activities, Bianca has Robin's family and informant Selina Kyle killed. When Batgirl and Robin confront her, Bianca kills Robin in front of Batgirl and mocks her about his death. After escaping, Bianca resurfaces as the wife of a mayoral candidate and works with former Nazi scientist, Otto Saunders, to produce a dangerous and highly addictive drug. Ultimately hoping to rule Gotham politically by using her husband, while she gets rich off a drug epidemic, Bianca is a power-hungry monster.
  • Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham: Batman himself is a completely homicidal maniac, who commits horrible deeds simply because he can. As a teenager, Batman gunned down two innocent people to steal their jewelry, leaving the young Selina Kyle orphaned. In his adult years, Batman begins murdering criminals all over Gotham, to eliminate any competition for his crime spree, during which he steals and murders to his heart's content. In his public persona of Bruce Wayne, Batman seduces Selina Kyle, and manipulates her into marrying him, at which point he murders Kyle's best friend before attempting the same on her, gleefully mocking her about how easy it was to manipulate her.
  • Dark Knight Dynasty, by Mike W. Barr et al.: Vandal Savage, frustrated by the question of his existence and the meteor that provided him with his immortality, founds a legacy of murder trying to bring the meteor back to Earth. Savage, in his immortal lifespan, makes enemies with succeeding generations of Waynes. In the 13th century, Savage murders the companions of Sir Joshua Wainwright and then has him burned alive at the stake for "heresy" after he foils his plan; in the 20th century, Savage has Thomas and Martha Wayne alongside several other obstacles to his plan kill themselves through Mind Rape, and even kills Alfred Pennyworth by blowing up the Wayne Manor; and in 25th century, attempts one final time to bring the meteor to Earth, disregarding the millions who will die in future Gotham when it collides.
  • Earth-3839:
    • Batman & Captain America: Red Skull, here a high-ranking member of the Nazi regime, allies himself with the Joker in his latest plot for expanding the Third Reich. Having the Joker murder several innocents to assist in his own theft of an atomic bomb dubbed "Fat Boy," Red Skull casually poisons one of his own soldiers for questioning his orders, and later has the Joker slaughter a path into a military base. Betraying the Joker at this juncture, Red Skull boasts his plans to parade the Joker's broken body around as a trophy, and reveals his true master plan to drop Fat Boy onto Washington, D.C., then use the ensuing millions of casualties to pave the way for the Nazis to invade America. Even when his original plan is thwarted, Red Skull still attempts to drop Fat Boy miles out of Washington, gleefully proclaiming that the fallout will still kill countless innocents.
    • Superman & Batman: Generations:
      • The Ultra-Humanite attacks the Metropolis World's Fair with a giant robot in 1939, intending to kill civilians until he gets $1 million. After he is stopped, he takes Lois Lane as his hostage until Batman and Superman find his lair. He reveals that he has set the Hyperglobe to blow up Metropolis, but Batman and Superman stop him. Though seemingly killed, it is later revealed he has swapped brains with the below-mentioned Lex Luthor. Years later, he exposes Lois's unborn son, Joel, to Gold Kryptonite, rendering him powerless, and manipulates him into believing that Superman stripped him of his powers. In 1979, Joel and the Ultra-Humanite attack the wedding of Bruce Wayne Jr. and Supergirl, leading to the deaths of Supergirl and Lois. Hours later, Joel also dies, because the concoction from the Humanite that gave him superpowers is ultimately fatal. In 1989, when Superman tracks him down, the Ultra-Humanite reveals he had several of his close friends and family murdered and plans to swap brains with Superman to gain his powers. When Superman stops him, it is revealed that the Ultra-Humanite has made it appear that Superman killed him in cold blood out of spite for Superman.
      • Lex Luthor is far worse than his mainstream counterpart. In 1929, he betrays his boss, Dr. Erwin Stanislaus, and has a robot wreak havoc on the city until it is stopped. In 2008, Luthor, now a brain in a robot's body and calling himself Metallo, attacks Metropolis and is stopped, but not before he detonates an EMP that causes a blackout in Metropolis. In 2025, Luthor escapes from prison and detonates a larger EMP, causing humanity to fall back into the Dark Ages temporarily, with hundreds of millions dying. In the 25th century, Luthor is freed again and goes to the Superman Museum, planting a bomb and intending to gain control of every computer grid on the planet. The bomb is contained safely, but Luthor succeeds in gaining control of every computer grid, and wages war on humanity until he is stopped.
  • Superman: Speeding Bullets, by J.M. DeMatteis, Eduardo Barreto, et al.: Lex Luthor himself becomes The Joker in this alternate retelling of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne's backstories. A powerful, amoral businessman disfigured in an accident, Luthor is the one responsible for the death of the Waynes in this continuity, executing the burglars he sent to do the job afterward. Violently possessive of Lois Lane, Luthor schemes to make her his own, intending her to be the queen of his own "Jokerania." To remold the city, Luthor sends mercenary armies to utterly devastate Gotham to remake it from the ground up in his own image, killing hundreds—to which Joker merely quips "why not?" when Batman furiously demands why so many have suffered for his convenience.

Miscellaneous

    Examples 
  • Batman/Daredevil: King of New York, by Alan Grant, Eduardo Barreto, et al.: In this crossover, The Scarecrow has been running guns for The Kingpin, from Gotham City to New York, but has his own agenda in mind. He hires Catwoman to gather information on Kingpin, seeming making plans to usurp Kingpin's position as New York's reigning crime lord. Daredevil and Batman team up to stop one of Scarecrow's trucks that was supposed to be delivering guns, but find it is full of bombs instead, with Scarecrow intending to kill Batman and Daredevil, along with the men driving the van. Scarecrow arrives in New York and uses his fear gas to force some of Kingpin's men to work for him. Scarecrow then begins a reign of terror having his men shoot up a restaurant, blow up a jewelry store, set fire to a night club and murder people in gangland killings. However, Daredevil and Batman soon discover Scarecrow's real plan: From the Statue of Liberty, Scarecrow plans to spread his fear gas across New York, leading to untold death and suffering.
  • Batman Beyond: Douglas Tan, from the "10,000 Clowns" arc, is a disturbed youth obsessed with The Joker and his carnage, and dedicates himself to proving the fundamental meaningless of life and becoming the Joker's own Superior Successor. Fashioning himself "the Joker King", Douglas drugs dozens of Jokerz from around the nation into becoming suicide bombers, using them to wreak havoc across Gotham and cause thousands of deaths in an attempt to destroy the city, murdering his own best friend on a random whim just before the destruction starts. Douglas eventually decides to murder his entire family too, attempting to kill his comatose father in the hospital and only hesitating when his sister steps in the way—before deciding without another second of hesitation to kill her too.
  • Batman: Earth One: Both Big Bads count:
    • Volume One: Mayor Oswald Cobblepot note  takes Corrupt Politician to new levels. Cobblepot runs Gotham like his own private Mafia and tried to have Thomas Wayne killed for running against him as Mayor. He represses the courts through fear and intimidation, allows crime to run rampant and utilizes an insane Serial Killer called Birthday Boy by providing him with young, female victims. When a judge fails to stop Harvey and Jessica Dent from investigating him, Cobblepot has the judge's eldest daughter given to Birthday Boy in payment for the assassination of a corrupt officer who has become a liability, promising that should he fail again, the judge's younger daughter will be next. When he finally confronts Batman, Cobblepot tries to slice him to pieces with a sword umbrella, laughing about the corrupt nature of Gotham City and how his only regret was that a mugger got to Thomas Wayne before his plan went off.
    • Volume Two: The Riddler is a nobody attempting to be somebody. To that end, after Mayor Cobblepot's death, he takes over one fifth of the criminal empire and has aspirations on the other 80 percent. Framing his assassinations as mass killings, the Riddler rigs an elevator with a bomb and gives the inhabitants sixty seconds to answer a riddle, killing all on board, including his target, when time is up. His next target is killed when he bombs an art museum. The third is onboard a public train with families and children aboard. When Batman gets the riddle correct, the Riddler blows up the train anyways and later attempts to blow up the police precinct to tie up loose ends.
  • Batman/Judge Dredd:
    • Judge Death is the Arch-Enemy of Judge Dredd and, much like his original counterpart, presented as a psychopath who believes life itself is a crime deserving of death. Having kicked off his mission to purge the universe of all life by slaughtering his entire home world, Death arrives in Gotham in Judgement on Gotham to continue his bloody rampage, killing numerous people before being stopped by Batman. Escaping in ethereal form, Death allies with the Master of Fear, Scarecrow, and, after failing to betray and murder the man when he outlives his usefulness, teams up with him in massacring a rock concert of dozens of people in grotesque ways, planning to move onto the rest of Gotham afterwards. Later allying with the Joker in Die Laughing, Death turns him into a Dark Judge and proceeds to butcher thousands of people in Mega City One, and is stopped only after wiping out an entire amusement park of adults and children. With a love of killing and a philosophy to enable it, Judge Death is truly the worst foe in Dredd's enemy line-up.
    • Judgement on Gotham: The Scarecrow is a sadistic criminal obsessed with terrifying others and spreading widespread fear, and is thus ecstatic when meeting Judge Death. Watching in fascination as Death kills Scarecrow's own assistant, Scarecrow then cows Death with his patented Fear Gas, forcing the evil Judge to become his partner, and then, wanting Death to show him a "feast of fear", brings him to a highly-populated rock concert and watches in glee as he sics Death on the thousands of concert-goers, even videotaping the whole ordeal in sick amusement.
    • Die Laughing: The Joker is as usual portrayed as a lunatic who wants nothing more than to torment and kill everything he can as a form of entertainment and "humor". Infiltrating Mega City One, Joker kills numerous people to enable the release of Judge Death and his Dark Judges, and, requesting to be made a Dark Judge himself, Joker uses his new abilities to go on a slaughter spree with Death. Personally using his new power of screeching laughter, Joker kills dozens of people at a time by making their heads explode, and, after wiping out every man, woman, and child at an amusement park, proclaims his intentions to head back to Gotham and showcase his new powers to its millions of inhabitants.
  • Batman/Spawn: War Devil, by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, & Klaus Janson: Croatoan is an ambitious demon in service to Satan who murders then assumes the identity of corporate leader Simon Vesper—supposedly killed by Spawn—for his own ambitions. Responsible for damning 100 lives of a Roanoke colony to Hell centuries ago, Croatoan attempts to do the same to one-hundred thousand more lives across Gotham City, slaughtering his own human proxy before cutting out the power all across Gotham and arising the dead to slaughter as they will across Gotham. Croatoan's ultimate intention is to lead in the apocalypse using the souls of those he's damned as his army, all for his own corner of Hell to rule over as reward.
  • Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Crisis in a Half Shell: Krang is an Utrom warlord and one of the sworn enemies of the Turtles. Discovering the existence of the Omniverse, a collection of different multiverses, Krang decides to destroy it and create his own multiverse out of its parts. To this end he tracked down the Anti-Monitor from Batman's multiverse, killed him and used him as his new body. Creating his Ultra-Technodrome from the parts of Batman's universe, Krang finds the original versions of Batman and the Turtles and captures them, using them to forcefully merge the entire Omniverse into two universes, Dimension X and New Earth, erasing all the rest. When the Turtles and Batman find out about this and started thwarting Krang's schemes by trying to separate their multiverses once again and restore the Omniverse, an angry Krang tries to destroy the whole Earth, so he could rebuild it again, only without the heroes.
  • Batman: The Ultimate Evil, by Andrew Vachss: William X. Malady is the leader of a child pornography ring. When Thomas and Martha Wayne started investigating his crimes, Malady hires a killer to gun them down, after which he fled the Gotham City. Taking up residence in the foreign country of Udon Khai, Malady immediately installs a private military group that he uses to regularly kidnap innocent children from poor villagers to use them as sex slaves and selling them to pedophiles all across the world. In order to prevent moles from infiltrating his organization, he has instituted an initiation protocol where, if one wishes to gain access, they must rape a child on film.
  • Frank Miller's Dark Knight trilogy:
    • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns; All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder; Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade: The Joker is a psychotic murderer, responsible for deaths of hundreds, including Dick Grayson's parents and Jason Todd. Beginning his criminal spree with trying to poison Gotham's water supply, the Joker continues causing chaos and destruction in Gotham by having his gang commit crimes for fun. Setting up a trap for Jason Todd, Joker manipulates several inmates in Arkham Asylum to mutilate themselves, before starting a riot, killing countless guards before escaping. After having gone into unresponsive catatonia for a decade due to Batman retiring, the Joker returns to his old habits after the return of Batman to Gotham. The Joker marks his return by fatally gassing the entirety of a talk show audience with his Joker toxins, causing them to die a slow death as they laugh themselves to death. To goad Batman into coming after him, the Joker sells poisoned cotton candy to dozens of children, which resulted in all of them quickly dying. After Batman started chasing him, the Joker shoots randomly many innocent people and when Batman snapped his neck thus paralyzing him, the Joker defiantly snaps his own neck the rest of the way anyways and dies with a wide smile on his face, intending to frame Batman for his own death, proclaiming he'll meet Batman in Hell.
    • The Dark Knight Strikes Again:
      • Lex Luthor is Superman's Arch-Enemy and the current de facto ruler of the United States. Seizing control of the country after installing a hologram to assume the role of the president, Luthor proceeded to turn the entire country into a police state. Recruiting the help of Brainiac, Luthor kept the superheroes of Earth in line by threatening to kill their loved ones. The heroes that Luthor did not find useful were either imprisoned or subjected to horrific genetic experiments. After a series of raids led by Batman reinvigorates the public's interest in superheroes, Luthor snaps and begins cracking down on any super-heroic activities. Luthor launches a missile strike against Costa Rica that kills Hawkman and Hawkgirl, while he orders his forces to open fire on a concert held by "The Superchix". Luthor has Brainiac kill thousands of people in Metropolis in an attempt to discredit superheroes, not caring at all about the innocent lives lost. Luthor later captures Batman and begins torturing him while gloating how the rebellion has given him the perfect opportunity to use his satellite defense network to kill most of the world's population and allow him to rule what's left. Lacking any pretenses of helping his fellow man, Lex Luthor is motivated entirely by his lust for power.
      • Brainiac is an alien cyborg who partners up with Lex Luthor in order to make sure that Superman is compliant with Luthor's regime. Holding the bottled city of Kandor hostage, Brainiac murders a Kryptonian family for every time that Superman refuses to follow their orders. In an attempt to publicly discredit superheroes, Brainiac attacks Metropolis and orders Superman to not fight back or he'll have all of Kandor destroyed. Brainiac proceeds to wail on Superman when he refuses to flee, and continues on his rampage. While he is eventually stopped by Superman's daughter Lara, Brainiac's assault ends up killing thousands of people, including Captain Marvel, Jimmy Olson, and Lois Lane. Lara travels to Brainiac's hideout to free the citizens of Kandor by pretending to surrender, but not before Brainiac attempts to turn her into his subservient slave. Driven by sadism rather than his usual logic, Brainiac takes immense pleasure in the pain and suffering that he causes others.
    • Dark Knight III: The Master Race: Quar is a Kryptonian cult leader who was shunned by the citizens of Kandor for his fanatical beliefs. Believing it was his right to be worshipped by humanity, he slaughtered any who opposed him and tricked Ray Palmer into enlarging his congregation back to normal size. Quar destroyed the remaining citizens of Kandor with his heat vision and led his "children" on a trail of mass destruction across the globe. After having one of his followers suicide bomb the city of Moscow, Quar ordered humanity to surrender or face his wrath. He turned Superman's daughter Lara against him and threatened to destroy Gotham if they didn't surrender Batman to him. After a failed attempt to kidnap Superman's infant son, Quar killed most of his flock when they express a desire to leave humanity alone. With his remaining children, he planned to destroy the rest of the Earth by blowing themselves up at a fault line. With a massive god complex to go along with his powers, Quar believed that Kryptonians were the true Master Race.
  • Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, by Mariko Tamaki & Steve Pugh: John Kane, aka The Joker, is a respected son of Mr. and Mrs. Kane, owners of Kane Enterprises. Growing bored with Gotham, John Kane starts committing various acts of vandalism, setting buildings on fire and breaking cars. Deciding to manipulate Harley Quinn, John has her join his cause and tricks her into helping him to break into Kane Enterprise's headquarters, then having her help him carry bombs to the roof and orders his henchmen to hold her, as he reveals that he plans to blow up a gigantic sign of the building right on top of dozens of protesters below, planning to frame Harley for said crime. When Harley beats up his thugs, John escapes, while setting the bombs to explode, also revealing that he rigged to explode the garden at a school, which belongs to Harley's best friend, Ivy Du-Barry.
  • Joker: The titular Joker is once again presented as a madman bent on creating as much chaos and destruction as possible. Managing to get himself be released from Arkham Asylum, the Joker immediately began rebuilding his criminal empire. Starting off by skinning a former member of his gang for allowing Joker's influence in Gotham to crumble while he was gone, Joker forced "Abner" to work for him by threatening to feed him to Killer Croc. As his next move Joker goes to slaughter countless criminals and mob bosses to get himself to the top of Gotham's underground. Starting a gang war with Two-Face, Joker murdered all of his henchmen, afterwards raping the wife of one of his closest men, Johnny Frost, because Johnny lied to him. Deciding to have some "fun", Joker begins to murder innocent people, at one point invading the apartment of peaceful old couple and brutally killing them for no reason.
  • Joker: Killer Smile, written by Jeff Lemire: The Joker, defined by his nihilistic viewpoints and insane love of art that manifests as murder, serves as the corrupting force that afflicts Dr. Benjamin Arnell throughout the comic. Locked in Arkham for at least two counts of mass murder—gassing an entire street of innocent men, women and children, and drowning a subway full of people before beating the only survivor to death—Joker makes Arnell his personal project, scheming to corrupt and drive the man insane over the course of several years. When Arnell's family leaves him due to Joker's influence over the doctor, Joker pushes Arnell over the edge and orchestrates him into killing several innocent people before freeing the Joker. During his escape from Arkham, Joker kickstarts a prison riot, leading to an utter massacre of the security staff, before sending Arnell to kill his wife and son, laughing afterwards at how he's broken Arnell into murdering his once-beloved family.
  • The Shadow/Batman, by Steve Orlando, Giovanni Timpano, et al.: Shiwan Khan, the Shadow's Arch-Enemy, is a descendant of Genghis Khan and a cunning psychic who is the most evil student to emerge from Shamba-La. One of the leaders of the Silent Seven alongside Ra's Al-Ghul, Shiwan Khan assists in "culling" the human population and keeping a control over the numbers to dominate the world. Lacking his partner's well-intentioned goals, Shiwan resurrects others as slaves, mentally torturing Batman and the Shadow, physically torturing the latter as well before even reviving one of his friends and killing him in front of the Shadow. Happily destroying all in his path, Shiwan Khan is a man who sees the evil lurking in the hearts of men, only to enjoy it in his quest to rule it.
  • Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds: Carnage and Joker are Ax-Crazy as usual:
    • Cletus "Carnage" Kasady, much like his mainstream counterpart, is a killing-obsessed lunatic driven by sadism. Heavily implied by the narrative to have been the crook who murdered the Wayne parents, Carnage opens the comic being implanted with a microchip alongside the Joker that will "cure" him of his insanity after his latest killing spree. Revealed to have faked his "recovery", Carnage brutally maims several innocents to distract Batman and Spider-Man while he kidnaps the Joker, destroying the clown's microchip and proposing a partnership. This doesn't last long, as Carnage attempts to murder the Joker after a difference of opinion on how to hurt the city of Gotham best. Capturing Batman, Carnage reveals his plan to simply slaughter each and every innocent in Gotham one by one so as to bask in their screams and fear, and attempts to kick off his massacre by killing Batman on live television for all of Gotham to see and despair at. Carnage was utter madman who rejoiced in his "black heart" and depravity, and who wanted nothing more than to butcher every thing in sight.
    • The Joker, as usual, is a theatrical sadist who contrasts Carnage's wanton bloodlust with concentrated, depraved flourish, and is possibly the one who murdered Spider-Man's Uncle Ben. Introducing himself in the comic by attempting to unleash a swarm of poisoned bats to drive all of Gotham to fatal insanity, Joker is eventually subdued and briefly controlled under the influence of a microchip that suppresses his insanity. Once freed from the chip's influence by Carnage, Joker initially takes up Carnage on his offer of a partnership, intending to have hundreds of needy children around Gotham horribly killed by his poisoned "presents". Once Carnage turns on Joker for his difference in opinion, Joker attempts to kill him and eventually resolves to release his insanity virus on Gotham anyways, solely to stick it to Carnage for invading on his turf.
  • Superman and Batman vs. Vampires and Werewolves & Batman vs. The Undead, by Kevin VanHook, Tom Mandrake, et al.: Professor Herbert Combs is a twisted scientist who seeks to discover the secrets of the undead, planning to use them to conquer the world. Discovering a portal to the undead, he would kidnap its inhabitants and use their blood to experiment on countless innocents of all ages, turning them into vampires and werewolves and sending them out to the public to kill people, having done so to Dimeter and Janko. After Superman saves a child named Chadd, Combs captures Chadd and turns him into a vampire. Escaping from Arkham Asylum, Combs travels to New Orleans to become a student of Mama Ezili, hoping to learn the secrets of Voodoo and rule the world with a zombie army. Kidnapping Dimeter's girlfriend Olivia to lure him to be sacrificed, Combs sacrifices a man to become his zombie slave, planning to do the same to Batman when he arrives to stop him.

Other Batfamily members (all continuities, by order of appearance)

    Examples 
  • Birds of Prey: Black Canary/Oracle (June 1996) & Robin: Year One (October 2000): Generalissimo Singh Manh Lee is the tinpot dictator of Rheelasia. Secretly far worse than his corrupt appearance already implies, Lee is a pedophile who enlists The Mad Hatter into brainwashing over a dozen little girls to "get to know them better", casually flaunting his diplomatic immunity to walk off at the end while all his minions are arrested.
  • Birds of Prey: Si Fu Huang, from the June 2005 and October 2010 issues, was a legendary, undefeated martial artist who in his old age feared his legacy would be tarnished. To eclipse this, Si Fu Huang raised twelve sons and brutally conditioned them from birth to be assassins named the Brothers of Silk, having them kill him to forever preserve his legacy. Si Fu Huang murdered every single baby that was born female or was unfit to his horrible conditions, even sparing no mercy to the wives who die in childbirth because of him.
  • Batgirl: Year One: In this 2009 Motion Comic adaption of the 2003 miniseries by Chuck Dixon, Firefly, real name Garfield Lynns, stands out compared to the more harmless Killer Moth. Starting off as a special effects artist working on a Hollywood film, Lynns sets up a stunt so the main lead is badly burned. After being fired by the director, Lynns kills said director by putting a bomb in his car. Lynns meets Killer Moth in a bar and agrees to be his partner. Killer Moth tries to shake down mobster Tony Bressi at a strip club. Killer Moth orders Firefly to scare Bressi into complying, but Firefly sets the club ablaze, almost killing everyone there. This scares Killer Moth, who wants nothing to do with Firefly after this, but Firefly cows him into staying partners. Later, Firefly tries to shakedown Bressi further by setting his business holdings on fire. When Bressi hires 2 goons to dress up Killer Moth and Firefly to frame them for some crimes, Firefly burns the two copycats alive. Eventually, Firefly sets the GCPD HQ on fire, trying to kill every cop in the building.
  • Red Robin: Vitoria, aka Wanderer, was born in Brazil. As a young girl, she was abused by the men in the village. One day, while running from the men, she fell into a pit of venomous spiders. However, instead of dying, she gained the power to kill with a touch. After killing the men—which was justified—Vitoria murdered her mother, then went on a killing spree across South America, slaughtering people at random. When she grew bored with this, she recruited a band of like-minded psychos, which she names the Council of Spiders, and attacked the League of Assassins for sport, butchering dozens of its members in the process, and caring not a whit for any innocents who got in the way. Buried Alive after her plot failed, Vitoria killed the man who rescued her, before announcing her intention of moving on from targeting assassins to targeting heroes.
  • Red Hood: The Lost Days: Egon, from issue 3, is the first of a resurrected Jason Todd's new teachers Talia points him to. Not only is Egon a Professional Killer openly Only in It for the Money, he turns out to have far darker pastimes. Egon trains Red Hood in the art of murder, keeping him at arm's length from his affairs and beating one of his goons to death when he tries to let Todd in on Egon's secret: He's a child sex trafficker. Egon's latest shipment alone is forty-two children ready to be shipped off as sex toys, with his talking of the regular deaths in previous batches as minor inconveniences.
  • Batwing: General Ayo Keita, from issues 3-6, is the leader of a self-fashioned group of Child Soldiers named the Army of the Dawn, all of whom Keita has "enlisted" through the wanton slaughtering of their villages, stealing away any children and men that fit his qualifications while killing the rest. Keita fixates on David Zavimbe—-the future Batwing—-and his brother Isaac, forcing them to massacre and burn alive innocents, and even attempting to force them to blow up a compound of orphan children to kill one single man. Upon their violent refusal, Keita merely opts to murder both David and Isaac. Years later, even long after his death, Keita's abuses shatter Isaac and turn him into a monster, so much so David mistakes him for Keita himself.
  • Batwoman (Katherine "Kate" Kane): Maro Ito is a former warlock who became a servant of the Medusa cult, planning to unleash monsters from Greek mythology upon mankind. Starting off by drowning the children of Maria Salvaje, thus turning her into the Weeping Woman, Maro goes off to create several more monsters and have them kill and kidnap young women and children, whom he used for Human Sacrifice. Manipulating Batwoman to help kill his master Christopher Falchion, Maro becomes the chief servant of Medusa and helps her free many monsters from the myths, who then proceed to cause chaos all over Gotham, killing hundreds. Later on, he assists Medusa in the summoning of Mother of all Monsters to bring the end of mankind.

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