New Batman Series Brings Fan-Favorite Villain To Screen For First Time

By Zack Zagranis | Published


Kevin Smith created one of the more interesting rogues to plague the Dark Knight in the last 20+ years–Onomatopoeia. Yet despite being around for over two decades, Onomatopoeia’s villainy has largely been kept away from the screen due to his unique superpower, which only works on the page. Thanks to Bruce Timm and his upcoming animated series Batman: Caped Crusader, however, the sound-based baddie with the impossible-to-spell name is finally making the leap to television.



Smith first created Onomatopoeia for his run on Green Arrow in the early ‘00s before using him in the 2009-10 miniseries Batman: The Widening Gyre. The character made his first appearance in 2002’s Green Arrow #12. Onomatopoeia is essentially a highly skilled serial killer who only kills unpowered, masked vigilantes.

His Unique, Bizarre Power

His coldblooded ruthlessness is juxtaposed with a “power” that, if handled incorrectly, reads as ridiculous and, even when used to full effect, still comes off as a bit silly. Onomatopoeia has the ability to mimic sounds kind of like the guy from Police Academy. The thing is, we, as readers, don’t know if he’s actually reproducing them perfectly or if he’s just saying the sound. If you’re confused, don’t feel bad. It’s a weird power.

Kevin Smith Might Not Want Him On The Screen

Kevin Smith once said that Onomatopoeia wouldn’t work outside of comic books. That’s because, despite his abilities revolving around sound, the best way to express them is visually. When a gun is fired in a comic book, it’s often followed by a sound effect like BLAM! When Onomatopoeia imitates a gun, he also says, “Blam!” Taken solely as a comic book character, Onomatopoeia could be replicating the sound of the firing gun, or he could literally just be saying the word blam. The moment he’s put on screen, a choice has to be made between the two.

Go For Option #2


Given the darker look Timm’s new animated series seems to be going for, we’re hoping they go with the second option. When Onomatopoeia repeats the noises his murder weapons make, it would be a lot darker if he was just saying the noise rather than perfectly replicating it. When the killer slits Silver St. Cloud’s throat at the end of Batman: The Widening Gyre #6, the knife makes a SSSSSSLIT sound that he then repeats.

The scene is so much darker if you read it as him just casually saying the word as he murders her.

Echoes Of Onomatopoeia


Bruce Timm’s new Batman series will be the first time Onomatopoeia is portrayed as a major league villain, but he has been used already as inspiration for other productions.

Prior to the Batman: Caped Crusader, Onomatopoeiabots—robots that look like Onomatopoeia—were featured in a one-minute animated segment of DC Nation Shorts. Likewise, a similar character with a different backstory and powers appeared in the third season of Superman & Lois. But much like how nobody really considers Barry Nelson to be the first person to play James Bond even though the hour long black and white TV adaptation of Casino Royale technically predates Sean Connery’s first Bond outing by almost a decade—we don’t count those.