Let’s face it, when a superhero has been around for over 75 years, there are going to be some villains that just aren’t as great as the others. And while it may be true that there are no bad characters, only bad stories, this list just might prove otherwise. Batman had some periods where writers made some really strange choices. Sometimes it was just one issue, in other cases the villains became something more under the pen of other writers. Maybe it is all in a name. Some characters seem doomed from the start with wacky gimmicks or just bad writing.
Either way, Batman also has the remarkable quality of having periods where “campy” or “corny” worked for him as a character. Whether it was the ’66 Batman television show or the Batman: Brave and the Bold animated show, sometimes bad was actually good. So to be clear, if you love one of these characters, don’t take offense. You probably love them because of the reasons they are on this list. It is that obscurity, that very inanity that makes these characters great! But don’t be fooled, these are definitely Batman’s corniest villains to date!
Let’s get this out of the way, Catwoman is a classic DC character. She is a household name and a potential bride-to-be for Batman. She should not be confused with Catman, who copied her style and theft of cat-related valuables. His suit has often been associated with having nine lives; you know, like a cat. As time went on, he gained weight and became a big joke. His response was to dye his hair black.
He has had a resurgence recently. His time with the Secret Six under the pen of Gail Simone is one that has made the character more beloved than he has any right to be. His sense of honor has made him more of an antihero than a villain. So maybe he isn’t too lame after all. After all, he only needed to live amongst a pride of lions to reinvent himself.
14. CALENDAR MAN
At some point, the DC Comics offices must have just flipped a dictionary open and stuck their finger on a word and put “man” after it to come up with characters and particularly villains. In Julian Day’s case, it actually makes for something interesting in that his obsession is with dates of crimes and holidays. The part that is so strange about this guy have been his various looks over the years.
Having the months tattooed on your head is one thing, but having calendar dates pasted together to make a cape is taking it to another level. Despite his pathetic taste in costumes, he has played an interesting role in some cool stories like The Long Halloween. Could this guy be on a real path towards being taken seriously? Time will tell.
13. CRAZY QUILT
What really drives a person to insanity? Most of you immediately think of when a person has a vision issue that makes you see nothing but bright colors, right? Of course this trauma would lead one to develop a helmet with powers that project lasers and bright lights to help control the minds of others. This is the wacky story of one Paul Dekker, the Crazy Quilt.
One unique trait of this character is that he hates Robin more than Batman due to Robin blinding him for a second time in a fight. Crazy Quilt is often more concerned with hurting Robin than he is Batman in both comics and television appearances. His most recent appearances in Scott Snyder’s “Endgame” made him a doctor involved in one of the “metals” that currently playing a big role in the DCU. He was last seen still wearing his rainbow quilt.
12. BIRTHDAY BOY
Batman: Earth One features this guy as a villain. If we were going strictly on fear factor, this guy would not be on this list. He is a serial killer who looks for young girls who look like his first victim over and over again. It is the name and costume that really throws things for this guy. A party hat and a mask? Yeesh.
The whole throwing a birthday party gimmick before hurting his victims is certainly corny, but this guy is most definitely the scariest one of the list. He is also only featured in one story that is not even in main DC continuity, so he might benefit from a reinvention at some point in the main DCU. For now, we just want you to focus on what this guy wears when committing crimes.
11. KILLER MOTH
What if there was a criminal equivalent of Batman? Certainly the first name that would leap to mind as the opposing force to Batman would be Killer Moth, right? This was the original gimmick for the character, complete with a Moth-cave and Moth-signal. This guy has always had to deal with not being taken seriously, he even led a team called “the misfits” at one point.
As shocking as that may seem, of the villains on this list, this guy has actually been involved in a lot more stories and pushed the bat-crew, particularly an inexperienced Barbara Gordon, at points. He was particularly nasty when he was transformed by Neron into Charaxes, a human-moth hybrid that creates duplicates of himself by laying eggs. Anyway, is it us or could this guy just be defeated with a really big light?
10. POLKA-DOT MAN
If we made a list of things that were not the least bit intimidating, polka dots may or may not make the top 10. Early in his criminal days, the spots on Polka-Dot Man’s costume actually transformed into various weapons and methods of transportation. This is some seriously high level technology from a guy who would later be severely beaten up not by Batman, but by the Gotham City Police Department’s own Harvey Dent.
That beating actually put ol’ Abner Krill into traction, but that’s not even the worst of it. This guy is so lame that when he was on the Brave and the Bold cartoon, he was basically an illusion. As you will come to see from other entries on this list, if you can’t be real on that show, you might as well not be real at all.
9. MUSIC MEISTER
People love musicals and certain stories really work when they are told in this fashion. The question is whether superhero stories are the type that should be relayed in musicals. Batman: The Brave and the Bold actually created a character for this purpose! Music Meister’s powers are that the higher he sings, it puts those around him into a trance and they can be controlled.
He learned about his abilities after being picked on for being in a choir. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, but where this guy gets himself into the corny zone may be more in costume choice. He can’t help but wear the costumes of various iconic music eras like those of Elvis or Cab Calloway. Oh, and he has a conductor’s baton that shoots music note shaped energy blasts. Draw your own conclusions.
8. DOCTOR DOUBLE X
We all want to be able to have a duplicate of ourselves in today’s world of fast-paced living. Dr. Simon Ecks did this way back in ‘58 using human auras. He became the evil Doctor Double X, and his duplicates pushed Batman to the limits. Batman had to actually duplicate himself and later teamed up with Superman to stop Doctor Double X!
Much of the above makes this guy seem pretty formidable. However, as time went on, he became mentally weaker and had to take to the sci-fi convention circuit instead of going up against Batman and other superheroes. This guy seems like a missed opportunity, and maybe the baton will be picked up by a future Batman writer (he cameoed in a recent Batman issue). A power like this has a lot of potential and modern relevance, it’s a shame things have fallen apart for the “good” doctor.
7. TWEEDLEDEE & TWEEDLEDUM
So many of the entries on this list are summed up in their name. In this case, there are two names… and one them sound an awful lot like dumb. These cousins are very similar in their looks and round shapes, so much so that they could be twins. One of their calling cards is their laziness. They actually look to find henchmen to do the work for them because they can’t handle it physically.
Their connection to Alice in Wonderland leads them to often be connected to Mad Hatter’s technology, sometimes using it to their advantage and sometimes being used by Mad Hatter himself. Their only real ability seems to be rolling and bouncing around. Sometimes their size lends itself to a more robust innate strength. Mostly, though, they are just a laughingstock of superheroes who defeat them easily.
There were many interpretations of villains on the ’66 Batman series that could be on this list. One was an original that was played by a highly respected horror actor of the time named Vincent Price. This character was the not-quite-so-highly-respected Egghead. He wore yellow and white for reasons (most of them nominal in nature), and he always pronounced words that started with “ex” as egg. In short, being corny was kind of this guy’s thing.
All that being said, it was his intelligence that made this character stand out. After all, his bald head looked like an egg, but it had an overly large brain in there as well. He was even able to deduce that Bruce Wayne was Batman. That’s pretty incredible for someone who once sought out an artifact known as the Egg of Ogg, for unknown reasons, of course.
5. CAPTAIN STINGAREE
It would seem that being a quadruplet is tough. Being the weirdest of the four children would be even tougher. Your siblings may in fact wonder why you would choose to dress as a pirate obsessed with the identity of Batman. And yes, that may in fact lead you to believe that your siblings are actually Batman themselves. Yes, this is the story of one Captain Stingaree, a sad, sad man. Unfortunately, it all becomes even worse when Batman uses said siblings to set a trap by dressing them all up as Batman to confuse their poor crazed brother even more.
What might be more confounding is that Batman needed the Flash’s help bring the ol’ Captain down. He once even teamed with Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang for no other logical reason than to hang out with other captains. This guy is just plain pathetic.
4. CONDIMENT KING
When a person makes the choice to have guns filled with ketchup and mustard to shoot at the unsuspecting victims of his crimes, he must be on this list. His last name is also Mayo, so there is that as well. His creation on the animated series was a throwback to the Adam West Batman era, but this character did make it to the pages of the comics too.
He has always been the punchline of a joke, but his condiment guns can cause shock in his victims. So, he does present some level of danger, however miniscule. Not only that but he actually asks if Batman can, “cut the mustard.” So whether you take him seriously or not, he at least has a pretty strong ability when it comes to making puns.
3. PENNY PLUNDERER
Some think that the penny should no longer even be created as part of United States currency. Others are completely obsessed with accumulating as many of them as possible through nefarious means. The latter would describe the aptly named Joe Coyne. He was also a member of the criminal underworld known as the Penny Plunderer.
Despite what seems like a silly desire, he does put Batman and Robin in what has become a legendarily trap. Using a giant penny-based deathtrap (which ultimately fails) may seem silly, but it is that penny that is on display in the Batcave to this very day. Yes, that one that you always see in sprawling images of the Batcave — that one. Too bad it was later changed to be from a Two-Face caper instead. Such is the fate of the Penny Plunderer.
This guy seems to be making a big time push towards credibility in the recent Batman run of Tom King. Sure, his dialogue is generally limited to saying his own name followed by, “Hell yeah,” but hey, at least it’s character growth. This is especially true, considering this guy travels from crime to crime on a hang glider type… thing; hence, his awesome name! Heck, he has even inspired Batman to use Kites against him at times!
That must be one heck of an accomplishment for a guy who was always fascinated with kites as a kid. And before you ask, yes, he has been defeated by simply flying into a tree. Is it possible that an origin story in the “War of Jokes and Riddles” can bring some credibility to ol’ Chuck Brown? Somehow, we doubt it.
1. THE ERASER
Evidence of a crime can be a real burden for some. It tends to be the one thing that always lingers and could bring you down. It helps a lot to have somebody with the ability to “erase” that evidence for good. Now, you would expect someone capable of this to be a mob-type — tough and sneaky, right? You would not expect them to literally dress like a pencil. Well, not only did he do just that, he also used the eraser on his head to remove the evidence! It is no coincidence that this dude’s last name is Fiasco. If you want his services, all you need to do is provide a 20 percent cut. Seems like a bargain just to get a chance to see this fool in action.
Who would make your corniest bat-villains list? Let us know in the comments.
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