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"First Krypton, now Metropolis...People you love tend to blow up, don't they..."

"Do you know what happens now, Mr. Wayne? I'm not going to kill you... I'm going to set you free... Free to see the city you swore to defend tear itself apart. Free to see everyone you love hunted down and killed. Every scream, every death, vengeance for all that Batman has done."
Scarecrow, Batman: Arkham Knight
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Given the source material, it comes as no surprise that video games (and related comics) based on The DCU feature heinous villains.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!


Batman: Arkham Series (chronological order, by first appearance)
  • The Joker serves as the Overarching Villain of the series. The Arch-Enemy of Batman, Joker regularly commits crimes solely to torture his nemesis throughout the series. When first establishing himself in Gotham, Joker hijacked Black Mask's organization, and used his influence to torture and murder innocents, along with bombing multiple buildings across the city. In one notable instance, Joker staged a breakout at Arkham Asylum, ensuring the slaughter of as many people as possible. Left dying of a TITAN overdose in the wake of this incident, Joker forces Batman to find a cure for his condition by poisoning more than two thousand people with his infected blood; he also executes Batman's Love Interest, Talia Al Ghul, right in front of him. Caring nothing for his subordinates, The Joker regularly abuses his "girlfriend," Harley Quinn, and tortures and murders his henchmen, along with threatening their family members, for fun. Even after his death, flashbacks further show his wicked deeds, such as crippling Barbara Gordon and physically and psychologically torturing Jason Todd for months, then sending Batman videotapes of said torture; this torture resulted in Jason becoming the Arkham Knight. Tie-in material only adds to his list of crimes, with trying to blow up Gotham City and rigging fireworks with Joker toxin that kills hundreds (the latter seen in the digital comic, Arkham City: End Game) being just a few of his extra depravities. A narcissistic sadist with a pathological need for attention, the Joker is determined to make Gotham forever remember him by writing his name in the city with blood.
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  • The sadistic Firefly, real name Garfield Lynns, stands out among Batman's lesser foes. When Joker puts out a $50 million bounty on Batman, Firefly goes an entirely different route than his fellow assassins, leading an attack on the Gotham Pioneer Bridge and endangering hundreds of people. Taking nearly a dozen people hostage, Firefly uses them as bait to lure in Batman and various squads of the GCPD, planning to blow up the bridge once they are all gathered so as to kill them all. Even when Batman informs Firefly that the bounty is called off, the assassin continues his attempted mass murder just for fun. A decade later, Firefly returns to mass murder by trying to burn alive over a dozen firefighters, leaving them to be tortured and killed by gangs after that fails, and then plans to set Gotham aflame one building at a time until all that is left are ashes of building and citizen alike.
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  • The Scarecrow, Dr. Jonathan Crane, first appears while participating in Joker's plan to take over Arkham Asylum, attempting to Mind Rape Batman several times with his fear toxin; defeated, he threatens to contaminate Gotham's water supply with the toxin simply to spite Batman. Returning in Arkham Knight as the Big Bad, he takes advantage of the power vacuum created by Joker's death and to unite the remaining villains against Batman. After his newest fear toxin causes a diner full of people to rip each other apart, Gotham is evacuated, allowing Scarecrow to manufacture an extremely powerful fear bomb; when this is foiled, he steals a superweapon called the Cloudburst to drive all of Gotham temporarily mad with fear. He leads Batman to believe that his toxin caused Barbara Gordon to kill herself. He then manipulates Commissioner Gordon into betraying Batman, later forcing the disobedient Jim to watch as he drops the still-living Barbara off of a building. In the end, he captures Batman and forces Gordon to unmask him on live TV, planning on letting Batman go so he can watch as Gotham is torn apart and everyone he loves is hunted down and killed. All of this was done to completely destroy the myth of the Batman as a savior, and force everyone to experience true fear by destroying their symbol of hope.
  • Oswald Cobblepot, The Penguin, stands out in this franchise as a calculating and sadistic mob boss, intent on ruling Gotham's criminal underworld through any means necessary. A vicious crime lord who runs illegal gambling rings and fight clubs—where the losers of each are tortured and murdered—Cobblepot engages in weapons trafficking and black arms deals, supplying Gotham's criminal element with weapons that cause catastrophe all over the city. An absolutely horrendous employer, Cobblepot routinely tortures and murders his own men for failure, feeds them to sharks and hands them off to Solomon Grundy to be ripped to shreds for the most petty of reasons, and leaves an entire gang of them to die in enemy territory to strike a minor blow against his enemy. Cobblepot also sets Wayne Manor aflame during a charity gala, brutally tortures any police officers he gets his hands on in Arkham City, forces dozens of Blackgate guards to fight to the death for their survival, and bombs an entire building filled with his own men. Cobblepot is a ruthless sociopath masquerading as a "gentleman," with no care or concern for anyone but his own selfish desires.
  • Julian Gregory Day, aka the Calendar Man, is a soft-spoken psychopath who commits crimes during and based on holidays. In Arkham City, he boasts about a sizeable rap sheet over the years, from murdering his parents and potential lovers to laying siege to maternity wards and poisoning entire gangs working for him, Day kicks off his next spree in the Arkham Knight tie-in comic by murdering dozens of people in stores across Gotham on holidays. Later capturing Batman, Day forces him to fight monsters continuously for an entire week while using an infant as a hostage, before revealing he has poisoned over 300 people in Gotham—-many of whom are children and toddlers—hoping for Batman to tire himself into exhaustion and allow Day to strike the killing blow. Day ultimately flings the hostage infant off a ledge to enable his own escape, successfully evading capture and ending his current spree solely to bask in Batman's coming defeat at the hands of Scarecrow.
  • Arkham City: Professor Hugo Strange is the sociopathic psychiatrist behind the titular Arkham City project. An amoral monster since his career in Arkham Asylum, during which time he experimented on and lobotomized hundreds of prisoners, Strange harbors an intense, seething desire to become a hero, and begins his quest to fulfill this dream by convincing Ra's Al-Ghul to fund his enterprises. Turning Quincy Sharp into a Serial Killer, then mind-controlled puppet, Strange uses him and a supervillain suicide bombing—orchestrated by Strange himself—as catalysts to build "Arkham City", a super prison designed to house thousands of inmates. In truth a hellhole of chaos where rape, torture, and murder abound, Strange not only fuels the fires between gangs, forces several villains into service by threatening their loved ones, and uses his brainwashed TYGER guards to kickstart bloody massacres, but also uses trumped-up charges to throw countless innocent people in with the raving lunatics of the prison to be horrifically killed should they stand in his way, continuing to torture and experiment on prisoners. Strange ultimately plans to wipe out the entirety of Arkham City, slaughtering the thousands of inmates guilty and innocent alike, then build concentration camps just like it in every major city across the globe until the "filth" of all crime is cleansed and Strange rules the world as its "salvation". An utterly self-righteous narcissist who would torture, brainwash, and murder enemy and ally alike, Hugo Strange cared only for becoming a greater hero than Batman ever was and creating for himself a glorious new future to lord over as savior to all.
  • Arkham Knight: Simon Stagg is a corrupt, depraved businessman who turned his philanthropic company into an arms and drug dealing enterprise to satisfy his own greed. Stagg began kidnapping countless people who "wouldn't be missed" and subjecting them to torturous experiments to develop chemical weapons that he then sold off to militaries around the world, profiting from war and death. After allying with Scarecrow, Stagg secretly uses his Fear Toxin to torture dozens of people, keeping them alive and pumped with Fear Toxin for weeks on end to drive them mad, hoping to then sell the Toxin as a new bioweapon for more profit. When Stagg's lifelong co-worker Alex Sartorius tries to expose his evil, Stagg turns him into another experiment, and even after being beaten, Stagg nearly allows Scarecrow to kill millions of people just to evade blame for his own crimes.

Injustice franchise:

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: The Joker first appears in the comic when he fatally shoots Jimmy Olsen. Worse than that, he is the reason Superman adopts a zero tolerance policy on crime, as he places a detonator in the pregnant Lois Lane, set to trigger a nuke in Metropolis the moment her heart stops, and then uses a Kryptonite-laced version of Scarecrow's fear toxin to trick Superman into seeing Doomsday, so that the deaths of Lois and the millions in Metropolis are on Superman's hands. He does all of this because he was tired of losing to Batman and wanted to go after an easier target.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us & Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe: Darkseid is the despotic ruler of the planet Apokolips and one of the most sworn and powerful enemies of Superman. Torturing Black Racer into submission, Darkseid allows his son Kalibak to lead an assault on Earth, killing tens of thousands of people, before his army was destroyed by Superman. Angered at the fact that Superman sullied his reputation by killing Kalibak, Darkseid starts scheming the destruction of Superman more aggressively, first hiring Lobo to take him down and then, when that failed, joining the conspiracy with Ares and Hera, manipulating humans, superheroes, and Olympians into a bloody conflict, with the human government even launching nukes as a result. After this, Darkseid found the weakened Skeletor in the cosmos, and from him, he found the location of the solution to Anti-Life Equation to be in Castle Grayskull. Invading Eternia, Darkseid kills, captures and transforms thousands of people into his obedient slaves, as he tries to uncover Anti-Life Equation, to take control of the multiverse, killing the minds and personalities of every living being aside from himself.
  • He-Man/ThunderCats & Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe: Skeletor and Mumm-Ra are the evil supernatural beings who decided to unite in order to destroy their sworn enemies and take over all reality. Enslaving the Ancient Spirits of Evil, thus giving them the form of titanic beasts, the two command them to cause chaos all over Eternia in order to take possession of two ancient magic swords, the Sword of Omens and the Sword of Power. As a result, thousands of Eternians were killed, and nearly all Eternia was on the brink of destruction. When the remaining forces of Eternia and the ThunderCats managed to defeat their beasts, Skeletor and Mumm-Ra fused into the extremely powerful Mumm-Ator and, after destroying the remaining opposition, break into Castle Grayskull to try to take over the multiverse. After Lion-O and He-Man combined their power to separate and banish them, the weakened Skeletor pretends to serve both Darkseid and the power-mad Superman, manipulating them both, causing Darkseid to invade Eternia, an action which resulted in many more people being killed or brainwashed to be servants of Darkseid.
  • Injustice 2: Brainiac is The Collector of worlds and threatens the universe in this sequel. Shown in a flashback to have stolen Argo City and Kandor before destroying Krypton, Brainiac arrives on Earth after learning that Superman was defeated. Intrigued, Brainiac sends his Betas to round up, scan and vaporize civilians as well as brainwashing several heroes. Stealing numerous cities, Brainiac smiles as he takes Metropolis, after which he seemingly kills Superman. He declares that unless the heroes give him Supergirl to study how yellow sun radiation affects Kryptonian cells, he will order his Betas to self-destruct, igniting Earth’s atmosphere and wiping out all its life; in doing so he betrays Gorilla Grodd and the Society that were working with him. When Supergirl and Batman infiltrate his Skull Ship they find at least dozens of shrunken cities from different worlds giving a small glimpse of the scale of Brainiac’s atrocities. They are captured, Brainiac intending to vivisect Supergirl while dismissively leaving Batman to be killed. Personally murdering Doctor Fate, Brainiac is confronted by Superman, to which Brainiac boasts that he has killed billions of Kryptonians. With countless crimes of theft and genocide, the cold, ruthless Brainiac justifies himself with this line: "I value knowledge. And like your metal trinkets, knowledge is more valuable when it is rare."

Other Games

  • Batman Begins: Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow, is even worse than his film counterpart. Helping Ra's Al-Ghul by developing the gas needed for his plan, Scarecrow tests it out on innocent people, having them driven insane and using them as attack dogs. Scarecrow shows no concern when many of his men are infected by the gas and holds the brother of one of his men hostage. When Batman reaches his lair, Scarecrow tries to leave his patients to burn to death. When Ra's starts his plan to release the gas into Gotham, Scarecrow tries to lower the bridge to allow the first few people to be infected into the city to start tearing it apart.
  • Batman: Vengeance: The Joker is the true Big Bad and the ultimate mastermind behind the game's evil. Faking his death to keep suspicion off himself, Joker manipulates the supervillains Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy into committing various crimes, from flash freezing a factory of workers to implanting carnivorous plants inside innocents to blackmail them, and uses the ensuing chaos to initiate his own scheme. Joker plans to pump Joker Gas and the highly flammable substance Promethium into Gotham City's sewers, then giddily watch as millions of innocents choke on their own laughter as they burn alive. Even when beaten, Joker attempts to fling himself to his death, hoping to both torment Batman and immortalize himself as the greatest nightmare in Gotham's history.
  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters: Amon Sur is the son of Abin Sur, the greatest member of the Green Lantern Corps, who died before the game began. Amon presented himself as a kind and dutiful son at his father's funeral, but that was all an act. Amon was secretly bitter that his father's ring was given to Hal Jordan instead of him and planned to exact his revenge. Allying himself with the Green Lantern's old enemies, the Manhunters, Amon has the Manhunters attack Oa. This attack was a diversion so that the Manhunters could locate the Yellow Fear Battery hidden beneath Oa and steal its power. The Manhunters succeed and with this new power Amon orders them to brainwash and enslave another race, the Zamarons, so that they will attack Oa. Foiling this scheme, Hal Jordan heads to the Manhunters' home world, where he discovers Amon's treachery and finds his friend Kilowog trapped in a giant Manhunter that is slowly draining away his life force. After freeing Kilowog, Hal Jordan finds Amon leading the Manhunters in another attack on Oa, with Amon intending to kill everyone on the planet for revenge.
  • Justice League Heroes:
    • Brainiac, after receiving a telepathic message from a meteorite, promising him great power and knowledge if he can release the power within the meteor, launches a complex scheme to get the equipment he needs. He creates a series of disasters to keep the Justice League busy: He has his robot minions attack random citizens; has Queen Bee transform people into bee creatures; hires the Key and Killer Frost to set off several nuclear weapons; frees the White Martians so they can attack Earth; frees Gorilla Grodd so he will use his Earthquake Machine, eventually planning to destroy Gorilla City; and uses a Doomsday clone to help him take over the Justice League Watchtower, imprison Martian Manhunter, and steal a Mother Box. Brainiac is willing to endanger millions of lives just as a distraction tactic, so the Justice League would too busy to stop his quest for power and knowledge.
    • Darkseid himself, while trapped inside an extradimensional prison, had been manipulating Brainiac the whole time, communicating telepathically via the meteorite. He makes his actual appearance by vaporizing Brainiac. Darkseid then uses the Mother Box and a Sensory Matrix Field Generator to banish the Justice League, before transforming the Earth into a new Apokolips, which he describes as "something far, far worse'' than Hell on Earth; he then incarcerates Superman in a Kryptonite prison.
  • Superman Returns: Mongul is the sadistic leader of Warworld, where he forces aliens to fight for his amusement. Capturing Superman on his way back to Earth from Krypton. Mongul forces him to fight in Gladiator Games against his will. When Superman beats his opponents, Mongul enters the ring himself, but is beaten. Mongul tries to goad Superman into killing him, and following Superman to Earth, he has his men attack Metropolis. In his final battle with Superman, Mongul attempts to have asteroids crash into the city and has his men attack citizens to hurt Superman.

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