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75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Villains #20-16

by  in Comic News Comment
75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Villains #20-16

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman. Future installments will deal with Batman creators and stories, but this month will be about Batman’s allies and his villains.

You all voted, now here are the results (40 bad guys, 35 good guys for a total of 75)! Here is a list of all the characters revealed so far. We continue with Villains #20-16 (I decided to go back-to-back villains entries)…


NOTE: There’s so many images in these pieces that I’ll be breaking them up over two pages.

20. Man-Bat

Created by Frank Robbins and Neal Adams, the mutated bat-creature known as Man-Bat was introduced as a friend to Batman. However, very quickly Robbins and Adams decided that he worked better as a tragic villain, as his mutation led to him becoming alienated from Batman and even fighting his idol!

Over the next four decades, Man-Bat has alternated between good guy and unwilling bad guy (sort of like Curt Conners and the Lizard for Spider-Man) but I guess he was most popular among voters as a bad guy!

19. Dr. Simon Hurt

Based on the scientist from the classic Batman tale “Robin Dies at Dawn” (where a scientist puts Batman through the mental wringer as part of an experiment), Grant Morrison decided to say “What if that scientist, who had access to Batman’s inner-most fears for over a week, was a BAD GUY?” So he gave us Dr. Simon Hurt, the head of the evil organization known as the Black Glove…

Hurt decides to absolutely break Batman, both by leaking false reports defaming Batman’s dead parents (and Alfred Pennyworth) and actually seemingly breaking Batman’s own PSYCHE!!

However, this being Batman, he thought of everything and found a way to save his psyche. In the end, we discover that Hurt was actually a Wayne from over a century ago who had gained long life due to his contact with one of Darkseid’s devices.

18. Killer Croc

Introduced by Gerry Conway and Curt Swan as a new crime boss…

Killer Croc was both super strong AND street smart…

However, as time has gone by, outside of a story here and there (like Brian Azzarello’s Batman run), Killer Croc has sort of been distilled to just a big super-strong villain, where he is still a boon to Batman’s Rogues Gallery since he has such a great visual…

Go to the next page for #17-16!

17. Deadshot

Introduced as an evil version of Batman in 1950 by David Vern Reed, Bob Kane and Lew Schwartz, Deadshot went unused for over twenty years after his creation.

Only due to a scheduling conflict did Steve Englehart decide to bring the character back for a single issue during his Detective Comics run. That single issue allowed Marshall Rogers to design for Deadshot one of the coolest costumes in comic book history…

As I noted in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed, that costume alone was responsible for Deadshot becoming a star character in the 1980s, a role he maintains to this day (although he has not been much of a Batman villain for quite a while).

16. Clayface (Basil Karlo)

Clayface is just a bit of a mess.

The original Clayface, Basil Karlo, was just an actor and makeup artist who was angry that his classic role was being recasted. He showed up in one of the earliest issues of Detective Comics (in a story by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson) and was just a guy who used makeup to disguise himself as he killed people, caught up in his mind as thinking as if he was one of the evil creatures he used to play in films…

Over the next forty years, THREE more Clayfaces were introduced. The next three had various super-powers. In 1989, Alan Grant decided to make things easy by combining all of the Clayface powers into Basil so we could finally have one steady Clayface…

Of course, then DC went on to introduced at least THREE more Clayfaces over the years.

In the New 52, Basil is the “only” Clayface…for now!

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