There’s a general consensus among true comic fans that one the best rogues galleries of all time belongs to none other than the Dark Knight himself – Batman. What’s more, I’m pretty sure 90% of people would also say the greatest super villain of all time is the Joker. He is the perfect antithesis (and in some ways reflection) of Batman in terms of psychology, principles and motivations.
However, the twisted beauty of Batman’s rogues gallery is that the Joker is merely the tip of the iceberg; there are a myriad of other villains out to get the World’s Greatest Detective and their individual motivations and drives for doing so are just as fascinating.
The DCEU’s gritty tone has proven it doesn’t plan to shy away from tackling issues of psychology (hint: the mentally scarred Batfleck following the death of Jason Todd), which means there has never been a better time for us to be introduced to some of Batman’s other villains. Villains who can now shine in the naturalistic psychological ambience of the Batverse.
So here are the top 6 members of Batman’s rogues gallery that we’d like to see introduced into the DCEU*.
*not counting villains we’ve seen recently on film or villains already confirmed for upcoming films.
6. Hugo Strange
Professor Hugo Strange is a genius psychologist and has dedicated his life to understanding how the human mind works. However, Strange’s unstable ego and malevolent nature led him to abuse and unethically experiment on his patients in order to achieve his goal of truly understanding and being able to control every aspect of the criminal mind.
Strange was drawn to Batman’s unique psychology and soon became unhealthily obsessed with him, going to great lengths to find a weakness that he could exploit in order to control Batman and eventually succeed him. But why does Strange make this list?
Well, Strange is one of very, very few villains who was able to figure out one of Batman’s weaknesses – his secret identity. If revealed, The Batman would no longer be an immortal symbol of justice. Rather, just a man in a bat-suit. This fact alone makes Strange one of the most dangerous members of Batman’s rogues gallery and he would undoubtedly fit right into the DCEU because of this.
5. Black Mask
Roman Sionis was born to affluent parents who cared little about their son and more about maintaining their high social status in the eyes of others. However, they would often ridicule other member’s of Gotham’s elite behind closed doors. Roman developed a detestation of his parents for their neglect and was left deeply scarred by their hypocrisy, so he decided to burn down the family home with his parents inside.
Sionis went on to become obsessed with the masks people wear in day-to-day life and dug up his fathers ebony coffin to create an actual mask for himself in order to take revenge on Gotham for the hardships he faced during his life. He began using his fortune to build a criminal empire and began using his new identity – Black Mask.
During an encounter with Batman, the mask was accidentally permanently melted onto his face and all traces of Roman Sionis have since disappeared.
Black Mask is one of the greatest criminal strategists Gotham has ever seen, capable of taking complete control of its criminal underworld and is also a master of physical and mental torture. Black Mask is now one the most affluent, powerful and feared mob bosses in Gotham City and his sordid history, coupled with his malignant mind, would definitely make him a worthy adversary for Batfleck.
Plus, exploring the psychology of why people feel the need to wear masks, both literally and figuratively, could really give the films a weight that hasn’t quite been achieved yet by any film in the DCEU.
4. Poison Ivy
While Poison Ivy is one of Batman’s greatest antagonists, she is included on this list for a slightly different reason.
The recent confirmation of a solo Harley Quinn movie may provide the perfect opportunity for the DCEU to introduce another of their strong female characters.
The complexity of Harley Quinn’s relationship with the Joker is characterised by years of both physical and mental abuse. Suicide Squad’s ensemble cast unfortunately seemed to overshadow this aspect of their relationship but perhaps a solo-film will allow this all-too-real side of the relationship to be explored.
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn have been shown on a number of occasions to be best friends (and sometimes even more than that!). However their relationship is particularly interesting because while the Joker seemed to revel in inflicting psychological damage upon Harley; Ivy has been known to play the role of confidant and has supported Harley in rehabilitating her own self-confidence, allowing her to return to her bright, albeit twisted, self. Ivy encourages Harley and allows her to shine as an individual and reach her full potential, proving that villains aren’t always bad.
Not only would it be great to see such a positive and composite relationship between two strong female figures but this would definitely make for a great movie.
Once a wealthy businessman, Victor Zsasz fell into a deep depression when his parents died in a boating accident and turned to gambling as a means of coping. Slowly he gambled away his fortune and eventually bet everything he had left against the Penguin who cheated and won. This threw Zsasz into a downward spiral. He began to realise his life up until that point was a futile chase to attain wealth and he felt empty.
Zsasz was attempting to commit suicide by jumping off Gotham Bridge when he was approached by a homeless man who tried to mug him at knifepoint. Realising all life is meaningless, Zsasz took the knife and stabbed the man to death in an attempt to liberate him from the burdens of his empty existence on earth, marking the man’s death by cutting a tally mark into his own forearm. This mark would be the first of many tally marks as Zsasz took it upon himself from this day to make it his mission to ‘save’ as many people as he could. As a result of his ‘mission’, Zsasz is often unpredictable and indiscriminate in choosing his victims.
Zsasz’s descent into madness definitely make for an interesting on screen adaption; but his savagery, disregard for human life and the psychotic belief that what he’s doing is right earn him the #3 spot on this list!
2. The Riddler
Edward Nygma. Intense narcissism, a heightened inferiority complex and an overwhelming desire for attention are a few of the conditions listed on Nygma’s psychological profile.
One of the better known villains on this list, The Riddler holds an iconic status as one of Batman’s greatest villains and for good reason. Nygma suffered constant abuse from his parents who constantly diminished his intellect and his achievements through his childhood. As a result he now has a pathological compulsion to leave a trail of clues behind at the scene of his crimes to prove that he cannot be caught and is the smartest there is. Although, why would any criminal WANT to leave behind evidence? Maybe Nygma has a subconscious desire to be caught? …interesting
Although Nygma has genius level intelligence, it pales in comparison to the World’s Greatest Detective and because of his supreme inferiority complex Nygma is determined to create a riddle that Batman cannot solve. Riddler is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove his superiority over Batman and this makes him one of the most dangerous villains on this list.
Eagle-eyed viewers will already have seen clues to the Riddler’s existence in the DCEU in Batman v Superman but why exactly should Riddler be introduced?
Well, Batfleck’s brutal fighting style made him an instant fan favourite as it showed audiences a side to Batman that we previously haven’t seen on film. Introducing The Riddler would force Batman to now show us that he has brains as well as brawn and truly prove to us that this Batman is also worthy of the title of World’s Greatest Detective.
1. Red Hood
Note: for those of you unfamiliar with the Red Hood and who don’t want potential spoilers for upcoming films in the DCEU, maybe skip this last entry.
The death of the second Robin, Jason Todd, at the hands of the Joker (and Harley Quinn) was perhaps the most psychologically devastating event to ever happen to Batman. The weight of the the guilt from not being able to save Robin plagued Batman for years and we’ve already seen this guilt weighing heavy on Batman in the DCEU. Shots of Jason Todd’s armour in Batman v Superman and a brief flash of the words ‘Accomplice to the murder of Robin’ that appear during Harley Quinn’s introduction in Suicide Squad both explain why Ben Affleck‘s Batman was so brooding and vicious.
This event intensified Batman’s feud with the Joker, changed his approach to crime fighting and the consequent guilt made him reluctant to include others in his work from that moment on.
Well, Jason Todd is the Red Hood. A vicious anti-hero, willing to use lethal measures to deal with those who get in his way. He is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, an adept marksman and is characterised by an exceptional brutality that he uses to deal with those who he feels have done wrong. Especially those who weren’t able to save him from the Joker.
Seeing as Batman himself trained Jason Todd to become Robin, his skill set is no surprise and there is perhaps no threat greater to him than someone who knows him so intimately. Especially when they’re fuelled by such an intense hatred and disregard for the moral code that Batman once held onto so tightly.
But didn’t he die? How would Batman be able to cope seeing Jason again after his death had such a profound psychological affect on him? What would happen if the two went toe-to-toe?
Well, we’ll just have to wait and see…hopefully. In the meantime, why not check out our listicle counting down the top 6 reasons we want the Red Hood in the DCEU!
So thats the top 6 member’s of Batman’s rogues gallery that we’d like to see introduced to the DCEU. Do you agree? Is there anyone that you think we missed out? Is there anyone on this list that doesn’t deserve their spot? Who are you most looking forward to seeing in the DCEU? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter!