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Top 5 Batman Villains and Bad Guys

We better call.....The Batman


My relationship with Batman

As a child I was a comic book fanatic, and to this day still have several hundred stored away. The one character that always got my attention was Batman. I remembered first seeing Batman on Nick at Night. Of course the comic book Batman was a little different than Adam West's variation but I still loved it. It had all the classic villains and the catchy comic lingo that had drawn me to the character in the first place.

As I got older I started to watch the animated series of Batman. Now this was comic genius at work. Now I got to see the villains the original TV series neglected to include. The Croc, Clayface, and even the Scarecrow all graced the animated screen. I set there frozen in suspense awaiting the next move. After awhile I grew weary of comic books and started collecting trading cards. I would buy the occasional Spider-man or Flash comic but it seemed the Batman had started fighting all of his battles with inner struggles and repressed demons and I was just not that into that aspect of the super hero. I wanted villains with quality characteristics that always left me guessing how the Batman would ever get out of the next snare or trap. Than came Nightfall.

Nightfall was in my opinion the greatest comic storyline to ever come about. Arcum was breached and all of the bad guys were set loose and Batman had to find and capture them. This was what I enjoyed as a kid. Needless to say I started collecting comics again. Batman had brought me back home.

The List

That being said let's move on if you will to what I believe to be the top 5 villains Batman has had to face throughout his career. Mind you some people might argue that a few of these are misplaced or shouldn't be placed at all so I will defend each one in my own special way.

First what makes a villain? Is it cunning skills and the ability to allude capture like the Riddler, or is it pure craziness like the Joker? I think it is a little of both. Let's look at my top 5.


Bane, the man who broke the bat.

Bane, the man who broke the bat.


While not on most people's list of baddies involved with the Batman, Bane is a pivotal character in the fact that he did what no other villain could do. He stopped the Batman. It was temporary but it was still a monumental moment. Bane broke the bat! Bane was a prisoner at a highly secretive prison in which he was experimented on with a potent drug called Venom.

The venom increases the strength of Bane and develops him into a roid head for a lack of a better term. Bane suffered from traumatic nightmares as a child. These included a giant demonic bat that would haunt his sleep. Bane associated the demon bat with Gotham City's avenger, Batman. Thus the story of the hatred between Bane and the bat takes hold.

After a brutal battle, and a surprise ending Bane gets his face to face with Batman. Bane figures the identity out, which is a feat in itself, and follows Batman to Wayne manor where the two engage in a heated battle of skill in the batcave. The end result is a broken and battered Batman.

Sadly the association some fans have with Bane is his role in 1997's "Batman and Robin" in which he is no longer the criminal mastermind but simply a thug bodyguard for Poison Ivy. A fall from grace if ever there was one. Of course the next Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" will feature Bane, so maybe he will get the respect he deserves.

Burgess Meridith as the Penguin

Burgess Meridith as the Penguin

The Penguin

The Penguin is quite possibly the silliest villain to grace the pages of Batman's comic legacy but few can deny the importance he had. Born as Oswald Chesterfield Copperpot, what a name, the Penguin was a gentleman of crime. His special abilities were his use of birds, namely penguins and his dangerous arsenal of umbrellas. I can recall Burgess Meridith playing this role in the original TV series of Batman. He gave the character his charming yet dangerous feel. The penguin was short and round but as clever as the Batman himself and he always had a way out.

Once again many turn to the movie variation from "Batman Returns" in which Danny Devito played a Penguin who was not the handsome gentleman of comic fame but a hideously deformed man who favored the penguin over the human. One aspect that always affected how I looked at the Penguin was he was not insane or driven by some secretive force. he was perfectly sane and just wanted to commit crimes. In many ways that has made him such a dangerous counterpart to the Batman.

I always felt he was the underdog of villains. Before I set about writing this Hub I wanted to research other lists that existed in cyberspace. What I discovered was more list of the worst villains contained the Penguin than those that detailed the best. I was shocked but I have to stand strong in saying that the penguin is a villain to be reckoned with.



Few villains have done the emotional damage that Catwoman has managed to accomplish. Batman fell in love with this vixen of the night and nearly ended up our cat toy, if you know what I mean. First known as Selina Kyle, Catwoman became a whip swinging, Batman confusing, robber.

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Catwoman has been featured in the original TV series, and of course she was a major aspect of the "Batman Returns" movies as Michelle Pfeiffer breathed a serious dose of sexy into the character. Later she would endure her own movie being played by Halle Berry, although the film would fade into mediocrity.

Catwoman is a monumental and almost epic character as the writers continue to alter her origin and her very existence is a continually changed one in the DC Comic's universe. One thing that cannot be denied is that she won the Batman over. Their love/hate relationship has spanned several issues of the popular comic and will continue in "The Dark Knight Rises" as Anne Hathaway is set to play the Catwoman on the big screen.


The Riddler

Few characters are as crazed as The Riddler. His name alone is priceless. His real name is Edward Nigma, or E. Nigma. How cool is that? Frank Gorshin played this character on the original TV series and I was hooked. It was one of those intelligent crazy characters you can't help but be intrigued by.

The Riddler torments the Batman with elusive puzzles and games, all the while he is stirring the pot of trouble in Gotham. Even the Riddler's outfit is crazy, as he is covered in question marks. What boosts the Riddler's crimes is not sociopathic means like most of the Batman's adversaries, nope, the Riddler is an ego maniac who delights on being smarter than those around him.

One interesting aspect of this delightful character was after being beatin in a struggle with the Shining Knight the Riddler is reformed. he becomes a detective of sorts and begins to view himself as batman's ally. Of course Batman is not as excited about the union and views it with distaste. Riddler proves however to be a valuable ally and quite a force for the Batman's quest for true justice.

Once again movies spark memopries and some might envision Jim Carey portraying Riddler in "Batman Forever" I can't say I am a fan of Carrey's work, but I felt he really captured the Riddler on the big screen. I won't lie and say I am not a Riddler fan. I have a copy of the emblem from the top of his cane at my library and I still have a good amount of action figured featuring the puzzle tossing loon.



The Joker

It might be cliched to place The Joker at the top of the list, but I don't care I love the hell out of this character. The Joker is Batman's most heated rivalry and rightfully so. What made the Joker such an impactful character is is sly and sadistic humor. He views everything with a sense of humor not unlike that of a killer clown from outer space! This character appeared in the original TV series and was played by Ceasar Romera, who did a great job but made the Joker more of a clown than a killer.

In the first Batman movie by Tim Burton Jack Nicholson gave us the version of the Joker so many comic fans were waiting to see. The Joker takes delight in everything he does, be it petty theft to murder. Very few villain lists exist that do not have this clown faced menace somewhere in their ranking.

No villain has ever been more of a thorn in the side of the Batman than the Joker. He has killed countless Batman friends, including one of the Robins. He has made Commissioner Gordon's life anything but pleasant, and let us not forget the chaos he has caused even when he was locked up! Joker is one of the most memorable faces in comic book history.

Recently the world was treated to a newer version of the Joker played by Heath Ledger. I have to admit his performance was astounding. The Dark Knight was one of those films that captivated audiences to the point of no return and Heath led the way with his witty interpretation of The Joker. I have tons of Joker toys and gadgets laying around.

I guess sometimes laughter just isn't the best medicine!!!

You decide

Who tops your list of Batman baddies?

Burlington Dave on October 14, 2020:

The Joker of course! He is the Yang to Batman’s Ying. They are two sides of the same very messed up coin!

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 05, 2014:


I will be anxiously-waiting for your Spidey news. And I know you will do a superb job.

Marvel is raking in millions today and I hope that DC might get into the action, of course, with a few upgrades.


Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on May 05, 2014:

Will do bud. I actually saw Spiderman 2 last night and it was OK. I felt Rhino looked down right silly but the concept behind the Goblin was amazing.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 02, 2014:

lorddraven . . .

Wonderful. Let me know ahead of time and I will be the first to read and comment.

Ol' Web Slinger. He has sure been through the changes over the years. And still with us.

I thought there had already been a Spider-Man 2.


Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on May 02, 2014:

I thought about doing some spiderman related stuff in the near future.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 02, 2014:


I do enjoy your work. Do you plan on writing anything on MARVEL comics? They are good too, but when they changed writers and artists, they somehow lost that "something" that set them apart from DC.


Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on May 02, 2014:

Thanks Kenneth I am honored that you enjoy my work.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 02, 2014:


I truly enjoy your work such as this. I too am a comic book fan reformed. I had a Chiquita banana box filled with comic books before I married. Then I shared them with my brother-in-law and from there, who knows where they went.

You have so much talent. I am so glad to have met you.

Kenneth/from northwest Alabama.

Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama

Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on May 09, 2013:

Thank you.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on May 09, 2013:

Good list, well done.

Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on March 04, 2011:

Thanks. I appreciate it.

pinkylee on March 04, 2011:

Catwoman is my fav but I also love the joker but only as Jack Nicholson .. Awesome hub and very well written

Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on February 28, 2011:

He had a very small role in Batman Forever as Poison Ivy's henchman and Robin took him out. He was a pretty cool character in the comics and actually put Batman out for awhile.

patdmania from waterford, mi on February 28, 2011:

I don't think i have ever heard of Bane. They need to bring him into a current movie. That guy looks like a badass!

Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on February 27, 2011:

That would be awesome. If you do you have to put a Hub on it and show us.

tmcspadden from Georgia on February 27, 2011:

Catwoman is great when she's bad, but I love Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. One of my goals for 2011 is to attend a con and dress up as either Ivy or Harley :).

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