Yes, it’s time for a new List. I like Lists, which is why I’m putting a capital “L” on the word.
What’s the topic this time around? Well, True Believers, today we’re talking about:
Barry’s Top Ten Batman Villains.
Yes, the bad guys get their turn here. These are villains that I get genuinely excited about when I hear that they’re popping up in a Batman story — and I admit that some of them are pretty darned obscure.
So let’s count them down in reverse order, shall we?
10. Signalman – Yes, he of the striped underpants and weird cape. I first encountered this guy in the JLA/JSA crossover which featured the Ultra-Humanite and his Secret Society. I’ve been weirdly fond of him ever since, funky costume and all. I was thrilled to see him pop up in the lead in to Forever Evil.
9. The Joker – Why so low? I’ve read a lot of great Joker stories and I’m honestly okay with never reading another one. I’m tired of the guy. Having said that, he’s a classic villain and I understand why he keeps coming back.
8. Hush – I enjoyed his debut and have found him interesting in subsequent stories, as well. I like how he’s tied into Bruce Wayne’s childhood.
7. Poison Ivy – A fun character as long as she’s not overused. I particularly enjoy her relationship with Harley Quinn.
6. Bane – It really depends on who’s writing him. When done well, he’s a great foe — a sort of evil Doc Savage. When written poorly, he’s a Mexican wrestler on steroids.
5. Clayface – I’m not sure why this big hunk of mud rates so high on my list — I think it’s because of how much I enjoyed him on the animated series in the 1990s. I like him, though, and think more could be done with him.
4. Nocturna – An obscure character that I fell in love with during the Moench/Colan era in the 1980s. I wish she’d been treated like an A-Lister from that point on but it didn’t really happen.
3. Harley Quinn – I love this crazy little gal and think she’s far more interesting than her sometime lover, The Joker. She’s unpredictable and deadly but not quite as out and out disgusting as The Joker sometimes is. She’s playfully murderous.
2. Black Mask – I prefer the original version but the idea of a gangster who leads Gotham’s underworld while hiding his identities and those of his lieutenants behind masks works for me.
1. Ra’s al Ghul – Batman’s archfoe in my eyes: brilliant and deadly, with the physical skills to match our hero. Throw in his connections to Talia and Damian and you have the proper recipe for greatness.
Honorable mentions: Court of Owls, Catwoman and Doctor Hurt.
What Bat villains do you prefer?