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75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Villains #30-26

by  in Comic News Comment

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 #30-26…

Enjoy!

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

30. Clayface (Preston Payne)

Preston Payne’s tenure as the Clayface of record (I love comics because I can make statements like “the Clayface of record”) was not particularly long, but Len Wein, Marshall Rogers and Dick Giordano imbued him with so much pathos that he really stood out and it certainly seems like he was a major influence on the Batman: The Animated Series’ version of Mister Freeze. Check out his introduction…






That’s some powerful stuff right there.

29. Lex Luthor

At first I was surprised to see Luthor (the greatest creation by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, besides Slam Bradley, of course) on the list, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how Batman and Luthor really HAVE had some notable confrontations over the years. They clashed during No Man’s Land. Luthor FRAMED BRUCE WAYNE FOR MURDER. Batman then helped get Luthor removed from the U.S. presidency. But then it also occurred to me, Luthor was one of the villains during the classic “How I Killed Batman” storyline, so that’s reason enough for him to be on the list…





28. Lady Shiva

While Lady Shiva (who was first introduced in the Richard Dragon series by Denny O’Neil) is definitely a villain, it is interesting to note that she and Batman have rarely actually clashed, in part I imagine so that we wouldn’t have to learn the answer to who would win in a fight, as Shiva was known for being the best martial artist in the world. But they have crossed paths a number of times over the years, including when Shiva trained Batman after he was recuperating from his magic pixie girlfriend healing his back after the events of Knightfall (how in the world Shondra Kinsolving didn’t make it into Dark Knight Rises is beyond me). Here is their first meeting…





Go to the next page for #27-26!

27. Mr. Zsasz

Created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Mr. Zsasz was an instant classic as soon as he debuted in Shadow of the Bat, with one of the best visual hooks of any Batman foe…





That’s about ALL he has going for him, but goddamn, that’s an awesome hook!

26. Joe Chill

Created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Charles Paris, the dude KILLED BATMAN’S PARENTS! That’s enough to make Batman’s top villains list, I would say.

I love how awesome Finger’s story is of their first meeting since that day…





How freakin’ amazing is that sequence? Dude DIES before he can tell Batman’s secret because HE caused Batman! That is so damned clever by Finger. And some of Kane’s best artwork from the time period.