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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Greatest Batman Villians! Ever? And The Most Terrible Too!

There's no doubt that a hero is only great because he or she has a great adversary. It's the villains that give depth to a hero, especially a superhero. Who better to test the metal and character? It's true when they say that a hero is nothing without a villain. The greater the villain, the greater the hero! So in light of the Dark Knight Rises now in production, I'm gonna spin some the greatest and cheesiest Batman villains ever!

1. The Joker

If this choice was even to be questioned. The Joker is, perhaps, one of the best comic villains of all time. When written right, The Joker can truly be frightening and menacing. A great example is Heath Ledger's performance in Batman: The Dark Knight. The character of The Joker was written perfectly and acted perfectly.

 Without the crazy antics of The Joker, would Batman even be as great of a superhero? That's a good question since many believe that the two are actually two opposite extremes of one persona.

Some comic writers have capitalized on the viewpoint that Bruce Wayne has to be quite nutty himself in order to dress up like a bat and go around pummeling bad guys. Heck, even dressing up as a huge bat is out there.
These writers recognized the polar extremities between Batman and The Joker.

While Batman is crazy with vengeance against evil doers, he also has a rigid and extreme code he abides by. The Joker is the exact opposite of crazy from Batman. The Joker has no codes. He is the personification of true anarchy.

There are few rivalries in comic books that compare to The Clown Prince and The Dark Knight. I'm saying this and I'm mostly a Marvel guy.

2. Catwoman
I know. You're probably thinking, "Catwoman? Huh?" However, chummie, Catwoman is probably one of the female villains that Batman has the hardest time debating whether to bust or fall in love with. Some say he's done both, and he has.

Catwoman is not really a baddie quite like The Joker. She's along the borderline, where she can go either way. I think she's one the sexiest female villains ever, cleverly crafted and created. She also first appeared in Batman #1, so she absolutely deserves the number two spotlight.

She also happens to be in the new Batman: The Dark Knight Rises movie coming out in 2012. Who is playing her? Anne Hathaway! Yeah, yeah. I know. She's the Devil Wears Prada chick, but what do you think? The picture below is her of Selena Kyle in the new Batman flick coming soon.

She doesn't seem intimated either, considering that the role has been filled by Hollywood heavyweights such as the gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer and the ever beautiful and stunning Halle Berry. Now let's remind you, all you youngins who were not old enough to watch the Catwoman movie that Halle Berry starred, that the Catwoman movie tanked badly. 

Actually, it was considered one of the worst movies...ever made! Ouch. To be honest I didn't think it was that bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't that bad. For all the critics who weren't comic book geeks and didn't know Catwoman's origin or very little about Catwoman, they should be ashamed. You suck if you didn't know!

Anne Hathaway is filling huge shoes in this role. None of the previous Catwoman roles seemed to capture it. Michelle's Catwoman character was pretty off the mark as well. Not her fault. The character was written poorly and shared the spotlight with the Penguin. C' mon, the Penguin? Warner Bros. what were you thinking?

Let's hope that they get it this time and Anne Hathaway's version of Catwoman is written as well as Heath Ledger's Joker. If so, we are in for an awesome ride. If not written so good, we are in for one huge disappointment.

3. Bane
Oh yes! Bane beats out the Riddler, The Penguin, & Poison Ivy. Why? Because he's been in two friggin' Batman movies. The earlier appearance of him in the 1997 Batman & Robin flick was horrible. It was so horrible I'm surprised they chose to even consider Bane in another Batman movie.

But here's the fact. The character Bane in the comics is one of the few villains to have ever come close to breaking Batman in an all-out fist fight. The dude broke Batman's back in the "Nightfall" story arc. If that doesn't say something, I don't know what does.

Since the new Batman: Dark Knight reboots have taken on a more darker and edgier approach, compared to the campier versions prior, I'm hoping Bane is gonna be as badass in the new Batman flick. He better be. 

Bane is ranked as 34 of IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time. While the poorly written Batman & Robin movie discards Bane as a behemoth idiot, the character of Bane is actually extremely intelligent in the comic books.

Whatever! To this day, Bane is still the only man to have "Broken The Bat," and that puts him up higher than any of Batman's more recognizable foes, who have, through out time, failed to get the best of Batman.

4. Two-Face
Personally, I love the character of Two-Face. He's such a great play on the whole Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde creation, which is one of the best horror stories ever written. The fact that this guy is torn apart between an evil side and a good side makes him a scary foe.

Two Face, maybe is not as scary as The Joker, but he's just as dangerous. Maybe more. It's never been established that The Joker has an internal conflict between good and evil, but Mr. Harvey Dent does. I think this makes him a bit more believable as a character and as a great villain. 

I also believe that the knowledge of good makes an evil villain a lot more menacing. If a character has had some good in him or her, he or she will know how a good person will think or behave. This can be an even greater way to set up a hero for a great trap.

Unfortunately, I was majorly upset that they killed off Two-Face in the last Dark Knight movie. His character would have been pretty interesting to pursue. 

5. The Riddler
Okay, for you guys wondering why Poison Ivy or the Penguin isn't before the Riddler it's because of this reason: Both the characters of Poison Ivy and the Penguin are just, well, really too cheesy to work with.

I'm not saying The Riddler isn't cheesy. Of course he is. Any fool dressed up in a full body green tights with question marks all over him is pretty lame! However, if done right and with a new costume upgrade, The Riddler can be a truly interesting foe.

Mind games are extremely screwed up. Just look at the "Saw" horror movie series. Man, that character was a rip off of The Riddler character. A total screwing with the mind, and that's how The Riddler is suppose to be.

Making The Riddler dark and sinister is a lot more believable and workable than Poison Ivy or the Penguin. Jim Carry completely brought the campiness of The Riddler. That role should have been burned a long with the script. What a waste of a good villain with potential.

6. Harley Quinn
Dude, she fell in love with The Joker! If that doesn't top the list as mentally disturbed, I don't know what does. The fact that she's down with Batman's greatest villain ever, makes her a pretty formidable foe as well. After all, love makes you do really, really stupid things - like go up against the Batman.

However, as she stands by her man's side, trying to prove her worthiness to him (too bad all chicks aren't like that), all the craziness of The Joker is amplified ten fold. After all, it's a woman's love that brings out the best in us men, right? Especially from such a supporting and understanding lady like Harley. Joker, you lucky guy, and you don't even realize it.

7. Black Mask
Creepy with ubber potential to be a great villain in a future Batman film, Black Mask has become quite a popular villain even though he's a lot newer than the other classic villains. Appearing in Batman #336, the Black Mask has the sole goal of tormenting Bruce Wayne.

Aside from that, considering all of Batman villains get off on torturing Bruce Wayne or the caped crusader, Black Mask did off a Robin in the comic book. Yes, he offed Tim Drake's girlfriend, Stephanie Brown, who filled the Robin shoes for a short while. If you didn't know, Tim Drake was the former boy wonder.

Yep, any sadistic and believable character who causes a lot of pain and damage gets high marks on this list. Like I said before, the more a villain pushes and tests our hero, the more that villain makes that hero look even the more greater.

8. The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow can be a menacing foe for Batman. He's friggin' creepy and so is his costume. Scarecrows are just creepy, and it's no wonder why this villain was created.

I loved the way the Scarecrow was used in Batman Begins. I love any villain who has a great touch of psychotic air about them. It makes them unpredictable and dangerous. The Scarecrow has the potential to be psychologically dangerous, and he's proven so in quite a few Batman issues.

9. Rha's al Ghul
Yes, he was already in the first Batman Begins reboot, but Ra's al Ghul is quite an interesting foe of Batman. Although the movie took a bit of his origin (A really small bit), Ra's al Ghul is a more believable foe to Batman than any of his more popular campy foes like Penguin and Poison Ivy.

You're probably wondering why I have such a bash-on these two villains. It's because they're completely ridiculous. They're so ridiculous that they can't even be translated onto screen in an appropriate way. Ra's al Ghul can, at least. If you want to read the origin on him more, click the link to get a taste of Ra's al Ghul.

He actually is a pretty interesting foe for the Batman.
10. Hugo Strange
Did you know that Hugo Strange was one of Batman's very first villains. Yep. Yep. He came before The Joker and Catwoman, and first appeared in Detective Comics #36. Despite the fact that he was one of  Batman's earliest foes doesn't make him the best.

Not by a long shot.

His crimes are really lame and quite boring in the comic books. He does have potential to be a truly sinister Batman villain. It's just that no comic writer has utilized him all that great. However, the fact that he made The Venom serum that Bane would later use is one of the reasons he's even on this list. Well, that and the fact that he is one of Batman's first villains.

So, do you think Hugo Strange may make an appearance in the new Batman: The Dark Knight Rises sequel? Well, if Bane is in there, then the Venom serum has to be in the flick. It won't be too hard to fit in a Hugo Strange in the Batman sequel, even if it's a short cameo.

11. Poison Ivy
Despite the sexiness of Poison Ivy, she does not hold a candle to Catwoman as a Batman villain or a love interest. I know mostly everyone loves redheads, but Poison Ivy as a villain? Her power to control guys with toxins and pheromones from plants and stuff, as well as control plants. Uh, yeah. Can we say lame?

I don't see how she can be a workable villain for any kind of movie, and although Uma Thurman looked ultra hot in the Poison Ivy get-up, the character on screen was terribly campy.

I don't think I need to talk further more about this topic. I disagree with a lot of other comic geek fans out there, because most will say Poison Ivy is one of Batman's best villains. Uh....errrr...okay.  However, Poison Ivy isn't as lame as the Penguin.

12. The Penguin
The Penguin is just an ultra lame villain for any superhero, which is why he is placed here at the bottom, sitting right where he belongs at number 12. The fact he's on this list is only because he is an iconic villain within the Batman universe. Why that is, I have no idea.
Just the fact that his name Oswald Cobblepot doesn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of the majority. Penguin is one of Batman's non-crazy adversaries. Yes, it's true. He's actually not insane, and he's quite a laughable crime lord. 

He doesn't look menacing, and when the comics try to make him appear as such, I think we fans just humor the writers and go a long with it. The Penguin is, perhaps, the top character in Batman's world that can't be made cool no matter what.

Cobblepot isn't a workable great villain. The fact that he thinks of himself as a "Gentleman of Crime" puts him in the solid worst Batman villain ever slot.

So there we are...some of the best and worst Batman villains ever! Click the link and you'll find out what comic book issues each of these dastardly Batman villains 1st appeared in. Any suggestions or villains you think deserves to be on this list? If so, lemme know and drop a comment.

Looking for Batman key comics? Be sure to click the link to discover some of the greatest Batman key issue comics ever.

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