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 #25-21…
NOTE: There’s so many images in these pieces that I’ll be breaking them up over two pages.
25. Professor Pyg
In a world of twisted Batman villains, Professor Pyg might be the most twisted of them all. Introduced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in Batman and Robin #1 (although he had a cameo in Batman #666), Pyg performs awful surgeries on people…
He leads a strange group calling themselves the Circus of Strange.
He manufactures a mind-altering drug, which is how he funds his operations, but his greatest (worst?) creation are the Doll-O-Trons, they’re people that he mutilates and mind controls and gives them all matching masks and they serve him as mindless slaves. In Batman and Robin #3, he tries to turn Robin into one…
Yikes, that is one messed up bad guy.
24. Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter, created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Lew Schwartz and Charles Paris, is an odd little figure in Batman history. He debuted during the Golden Age but then didn’t appear again until the 1980s (he was even replaced by another Mad Hatter for a time). It seemed like he was poised to be just a one-off villain.
It was during his return in the 1980s that the hat-obsessed Mad Hatter picked up his most famous gimmick – MIND CONTROL HATS!
By the time the 2000s rolled around, mind control in general was sort of his “thing,” like the time he controlled a third of the Gotham police force using drugged coffee and a receiver in the “Buy 10 Get One Free” coffee card…
23. The Court of Owls
Introduced by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion, the Court of Owls are a secret society who tries to control Gotham from behind the scenes.
They are known by their nursery rhyme “Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send The Talon for your head.”
The Talons are genetically engineered assassins that the Court recruit from circus performers (as no one tends to miss them while they’re gone and they all tend to have skill sets that would work well for being an assassin).
Like owls, their bases are “nested” inside Gotham’s most famous buildings, as Batman discovers to his great distress in an early issue of the New 52 Batman…
The Court was content in letting Batman do his thing until his plans (or more appropriately, Bruce Wayne’s plans) to re-invent Gotham City challenged their control and they decide to take him out. This being Batman, I think you know how well THAT plan turned out.
22. Black Mask
Created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake, Black Mask was advertised on his first appearance as being crazier than Joker and deadlier than Ra’s Al Ghul. He was also described as a villain for the 80s. Well…of those three, he WAS created in the 1980s, so we have to give them that much, right?
Seriously, though, Black Mask has a WEIRD origin. He was dropped as a baby. He was then bitten by a rabid raccoon. He was never quite the same after that (seriously? A rabid raccoon?) and when he grew to adulthood, he ends up killing his parents and taking over his father’s cosmetic company. However, his plans are awful and Wayne Industries has to step in and take control when he launches a new line of make-up that CANNOT be removed – it bonds with your face completely. Ruined, he blames Bruce Wayne and his company for his failures, as well as his own father. This leads to him making quite a discovery…
Over the years, Black Mask has been a very capable crime boss (Moench later brought him back during Moench’s 1990s run on Batman with Kelley Jones). During the War Crimes storyline, Black Mask actually seemingly KILLED Robin (Stephanie Brown). In addition, he was a major player in Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman series, with Catwoman ultimately being driven to kill Black Mask after he threatened her friends and family one too many times.
Black Mask has re-appeared in the New 52 alive and well (well, as “well” as can be expected, that is).
21. Red Hood
Serving as the second Robin, Jason Todd always felt a little out of sorts with his role as Batman’s sidekick. Eventually he began to become more and more reckless and after running afoul of the Joker, Jason lost his life to a crowbar beating and an explosion. Jason was revived in the Lazarus Pit by Ra’s Al Ghul. He returned to Gotham using an old identity of the Joker’s, the Red Hood and took on both the gangs of Gotham AND Batman before he revealed himself…
In the end, it appears as though Jason was more misguided than truly evil, and during the New 52, he has turned over a new leaf and is basically a superhero in his own right, just with his own way of doing things that differ from Batman’s.