For whatever reason Warner Bros. seems to be on a C-grade Bat-villain kick. Both Batman: Arkham Origins and the most recent Batman animated series largely cast aside the Jokers, Two-Faces and Ras al Ghuls in order to focus on lesser-known villains, which is fine in theory, but some of WB’s villain choices have been questionable. Magpie? Electrocutioner? Tobias Whale? These villains are more than just obscure and/or goofy — there’s simply no depth to any of them.
If Warner Bros. is desperate for new villains to market to mainstream audiences, Batman’s back-catalogue of baddies has some much better options. Such as…
Cornelius Stirk has the psychic ability to make you see whatever he wants, which he can use to pose as other people or force you to encounter your worst fears. Oh, and he also has a thing for eating human hearts. Basically the guy is Scarecrow meets Professor X meets an X-files freak-of-the-week. Personally I’ve always thought he was a better creepy serial killer villain than the overexposed Mr. Zsasz.
Antagonist of the criminally underrated Batman: The Cult, Deacon Blackfire leads a vast cult of homeless followers beneath the streets of Gotham City, and manages to get in Batman’s head like few villains ever have, successfully brainwashing and almost breaking the Bat. Christopher Nolan’s version of Bane cribs a lot from Deacon Blackfire, but I’d love to see the Deacon himself promoted to the big leagues.
Apologies to anybody out there that works in the pest control industry, but exterminators are creepy, right? I mean, most people have been weirded out by people who spend too much time with vermin since Pied Piper times. So yeah, I’ve always thought there was a lot of untapped potential in Ratcatcher. Hell, the makers of the Arkham games seem to agree since there’s Ratcatcher Easter eggs in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City! Time to bite the bullet and put him in a game for real guys!
Warner Bros. is clearly on the lookout for more female Bat-villains (why else would they drag Magpie out of mothballs and gender-swap Copperhead?) and I think Lady Vic would be a great choice. Lady Vic is a British noblewoman who moonlights as an assassin and has been described as somebody who, “Talks like Jane Seymour and fights like Bruce Lee”. Dated cultural references aside, she’s a breath of fresh air from overly sexed-up villains like Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Yeah, she’s mostly been a Nightwing adversary, but Bat family members are allowed to share baddies.
Another good, not over-fetishized female villain. Jane Doe obsessively studies her victims every personality tic and mannerism before killing them, stealing their faces and taking on their identity, often living as them for months or even years at a time. She might be a little too macabre for Batman cartoons, but she definitely deserves a video game sidequest or two.
King Snake is one of the raddest martial artist in the DC Universe and he fathered Bane, and he did it all while blind. This dude (and his righteous mullet) was one of DC’s biggest badasses during the 90s, and honestly I thought he was a shoo-in for Arkham Origins considering how many other obscure 90s guys made the game. You include Electrocutioner but not King Snake? Come on.
The Mad Monk
Batman’s first major villain, The Mad Monk may or may not be a legit vampire, which you may have noticed are kind of in right now. Even if he’s not a real vampire, The Mad Monk is a legit badass — just read Matt Wagner’s excellent miniseries Batman and the Mad Monk if you don’t believe me. Shouldn’t Batman’s first foe, who also happens to be a vampire that looks like Cobra commander, deserve some mainstream attention?
Because no list about minor Bat-villains is complete without KGBeast. ‘Nuff said.
Flamingo is basically Prince as a psychotic, lobotomized mob killer. Grant Morrison’s Batman run had it’s ups and downs, but Flamingo was a definite giant, pink up. This guy not making the Arkham Origins assassins list while not even remotely assassin-like Killer Croc did is a true injustice.
So those are some of my favorite minor Bat villains — what obscure Batagonists do you think deserve a promotion to the big leagues?