While there has been plenty of Batman news over the years, the current iterations of the character might be the most exciting. Robert Pattinson was a totally new version of Bruce Wayne in The Batman and Ben Affleck is still holding it down as the Justice League timeline of DC comes to a close.
And where the Batman franchise is concerned, there is even more to come.
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With more stories coming in the Caped Crusader’s universe, the Batman Rogues Gallery has become more important than ever. There are plenty of rumors going around now stating that famed DC director Matt Reeves is currently building out his Batman universe with even more spinoff shows and movies that might include many of the central Batman villains. We have already been introduced to Catwoman, The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Carmine Falcone, all of who appeared in The Batman.
However, with Reeves hard at work building out his new universe, it’s time to take everyone through some of the more important members of the infamous Batman Rogues Gallery that could be appearing soon in live action.
Central Batman Rogues Gallery
There are the main villains for Batman Rogues Gallery that have already appeared in live-action, but not quite yet in the Matt Reeves-built universe. They all have a strong likelihood of being selected for a new DC series or movie.
Dr. Johnathan Crane, aka Scarecrow, was initially introduced in the fall of 1941 in the World’s Finest Comics #3 issue, with his costume, lanky appearance, and surname pulled from Ichabod Crane of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” fame. He had only been shown twice in the 1940s before the Batman writers of the 1960s brought him back, effectively making him a major villain in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Scarecrow is an overly obsessive ex-professor of psychology who uses drugs and psychological tactics to prey on the fears of people and Batman. Instead of committing crimes for money or power in Gotham, he instead wants to further his research of using fear as an agent of control, often resulting in the poor citizens of Gotham falling victim to his tortures of the mind, making him one of the most twisted villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Wherever Batman goes, he is usually followed by Dr. Johnathan Crane aka Scarecrow. Dedicated DC film watchers have already seen Scarecrow make his live-action movie debut during the Christopher Nolan universe, as Crane was featured in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises. However, a new iteration of this mainstay Batman Rogues Gallery has yet to appear.
Bane was introduced in January of 1993 in the Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 issue. The character would instantly become a hit amongst fans, as, “The Man Who Broke the Bat,” a designation given because he literally broke Batman’s back. Bane is one of the more popular villains in Batman Rogues Gallery
Bane is an escaped convict from a prison in South America, and his character is usually of Latin descent in the comics, games, and animations. Bane possesses abnormal physical strength, as he was experimented on with a drug that is a version of Venom. Bane is a supervillain and assassin, who constantly attempts to thwart Batman at every turn, making him one of the most formidable villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Bane is another of the Batman Rogues Gallery that has appeared in live action as he was initially introduced in Batman & Robin, though that version is universally hated. He was also one of the main antagonists in The Dark Knight Rises, where he mimicked the back-breaking moment from the comics. We think it might be highly unlikely that Matt Reeves brings him into his universe, but it still could happen.
Basil Karlo, aka Clayface, was introduced in June of 1940 in the Detective Comics #40 issue. He had a much different origin story as a disgraced actor when he was first introduced. Karlo became furious when he found out he was not the lead in Dark Castle, he would then become a serial killer that targeted the cast and crew, eventually turning into the shapeshifting menace in the Batman Rogues Gallery
The Clayface that most people know is Matthew Hagen, who was created in December of 1961 in Detective Comics #298. Hagen was the more popular version of the character created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldroff. Hagen finds a pool of protoplasm, and when he submerges himself, the material turns him into a malleable clay-like form that can be turned into anything. The shapeshifting villain from the Batman Rogues Gallery is what most people know him as.
The Matthew Hagen iteration of Clayface was also used in Batman: The Animated Series, and many video games and other animated ventures. He has yet to appear in a live-action movie, but we believe that Matt Reeves could finally be the director to bring Clayface onto the big screen and to the forefront of the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Waylon Jones, aka Killer Croc, was introduced in March of 1983 in the Batman #357 issue. Jones is one of the most formidable opponents in the Batman Rogues Gallery. He suffers from a disease called Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, which has changed his skin into that of a crocodile, hence his name. Killer Croc has gone through many variations over the years, with some being more human-like, and others showcasing him more like a humanoid crocodile.
Killer Croc has one of the most tragic backstories of any villain in the Batman Rogues Gallery, as his mother died in childbirth, and his father abandoned him, leaving him no choice but to take to the streets, eventually becoming a side-show performer who wrestled alligators. His skin condition, though grotesque in appearance, has also made him nearly impenetrable by most weaponry, but Croc’s condition also leaves his mental state in peril, as his “reptilian” brain takes over, turning him into more beast than man. Croc can also regenerate far faster than humans and has super agility, and strength, but doesnt possess the best fighting skills.
The first live-action iteration of Killer Croc was introduced in 2016’s Suicide Squad, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The character did have some grotesque-looking skin, though the character was more humanized than he was Crocodile. We would imagine that Matt Reeves could bring in the more monstrous version of this iconic Batman Rogues Gallery villain.
Jervis Tetch, aka Mad Hatter, was first introduced in October of 1948 in the Batman #49 issue. Much like his namesake and appearance, Tetch is obsessed with Lewis Carroll’s work and believes himself to be the reincarnation of the Mad Hatter character, making him one of the more unhinged villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Mad Hatter is a former neuroscientist who uses the power of mind manipulation and hypnosis to commit his crimes. He is so obsessed with this, that he often implants chips into his own hats and the hats of his victims so that he may control them through means of hypnosis. He is often one of the biggest villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery, simply for his intellect and ability to control the minds of those around him.
Mad Hatter has appeared in several iterations of animated shows and movies, though he has not yet appeared in any live-action movie. Matt Reeves is developing new movies and shows that focus more on the lesser-known Batman Rogues Gallery villains, and Mad Hatter could be one of the perfect members to be showcased.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom, aka Man-Bat, was first introduced in June 1970 in the Detective Comics #400 issue. Langstrom is a brilliant scientist who studies bats, and when he is attempting to create an extract that will give humans sonar, it backfires on him, turning him into a horrific humanoid bat creature. Man-Bat is one of the most horrific villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Man-Bat is arguably one of the best Batman Rogues Gallery villains, as he is essentially what Batman is without the suits and gadgets, though he begins to lose his psyche when his bat side begins to dominate his mind. He possesses echolocation, flight, and razor-sharp claws that can through flesh quite easily. Though he was initially human, he also possesses the abilities given by his bat form, which are superhuman strength, speed, vision, smell, and hearing.
Man-Bat has yet to appear in live-action, and though he is a bit more on the superhuman side of things, Matt Reeves could bring this famed villain into his Batman universe. He might be one of the hardest Batman Rogues Gallery villains to capture, but we could see it happening.
Dr. Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze, was introduced in February of 1959 in the Batman #121 issue. Mr. Freeze was initially a gimmick character named Mr. Zero, who was also killed by The Joker at one point, but once his backstory was retooled for Batman: The Animated Series, he became a mainstay in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
In Batman: The Animated Series, Mr. Freeze became known as the tortured cryogenicist who has a terminally ill wife whom he must save at all costs, Nora. Freeze then begins to commit crimes to further his research and save his wife. The “Heart of Ice” episode became groundbreaking for creating the adopted backstory of the villain and setting the tone for the entire series, and his top spot in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Mr. Freeze has appeared in many animated and live-action movies, though most of us would like to forget that Arnold Schwarzenegger ever suited up as this Batman Rogues Gallery villain. While there has not yet been a zany version of the character, we would think that Matt Reeves could somehow bring in a more grounded version of the character for his universe.
Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, aka Poison Ivy, was first introduced in June 1966 in the Batman #181 issue. Poison Ivy is an eco-terrorist that is obsessed with preserving plants around the world and stopping anyone who might do further damage to the planet. Poison Ivy is one of the most important villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery, though her popularity has not skyrocketed in the same way that Harley Quinn has.
Poison Ivy is seen as a meta-human, who is imbued with the power to control plants as she has been given hybridized plant DNA, which allows her to use pheromones to control the plant life around her. Poison Ivy often pals around with Quinn, as the pair are usually partners in crime and love interests as well, making them a great Batman Rogues Gallery duo.
Poison Ivy has appeared in many animated and live-action iterations, though she has not been recently used in movies. While Matt Reeves could be staying away from the meta-human aspect to keep his noir-styled movie intact, we could see this Batman Rogues Gallery villain used.
Ra’s Al Ghul
Ra’s al Ghul was introduced in June of 1971 in the Batman #232 issue. Ra’s al Ghul is better known as the “head of the demon” and the leader of the League of Assassins. This league is who taught Bruce Wayne to become the martial artist that he is known as, though he never shared the extremist ideology to kill humans to save the planet, the same way that Ra’s al Ghul has. Ra’s is one of the most extremist villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery.
Ra’s al Ghul is a master of fighting and is said to have been born some 600 years prior to Batman ever appearing. This is because he uses the Lazarus Pits to heal his body and cheat death. Ra’s al Ghul has appeared as a supervillain for the Batman Rogues Gallery and DC, as he fought the Justice League as well.
Ra’s al Ghul was portrayed by Liam Neeson in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy but has not appeared since. While his origins have been altered a bit, he does contain some more mysticism that might not be used by Matt Reeves in any upcoming movie. Still, he is one of the bigger villains for the Batman Rogues Gallery, so it would make sense for him to appear again.
Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, was first introduced in August 1942 in the Detective Comics #66 issue. Harvey Dent is Gotham’s district attorney, before Sal “Boss” Maroni throws acid in his face, scarring him, and turning him into one of the biggest villains in the Batman Rogues Gallery. Two-Face’s backstory has been altered plenty, but his fractured mental state always turns him into a villain.
Two-Face adopts a criminal temperament after he is horribly scarred and becomes obsessed with chance in an unfair world. His psyche is represented by a silver dollar coin, that also has one side scratched up and destroyed. Though Batman attempts many times to bring his ally back from insanity, it never takes hold. Two-Face is easily one of the most tortured Batman Rogues Gallery villains.
Two-Face last appeared in the Nolan Batman trilogy, which was one of the best iterations of his backstory after he is burned by Batman saving him and not Rachel Dawes. Considering Two-Face is a criminal mastermind in the Batman Rogues Gallery, like The Penguin, we could see him being brought into Matt Reeves’s Batman universe.
Batman Rogues Gallery Characters Already Introduced
There are many characters from the Batman Rogues Gallery that have already been introduced many times in live-action and in Matt Reeves’s The Batman, so we will shorty detail them and their chances of appearing in the upcoming Batman sequels and shows.
The Joker has appeared in more movies than any other villain, and that is because he is the antithesis of Batman. The more recent version of the character was a quick shot of Barry Keoghan at Arkham speaking to The Riddler at the end of Matt Reeves’s The Batman movie, so it would be safe to say that he is going to appear in the sequel. He might be the most common Batman Rogues Gallery villain, but there is a great reason for that, as he is a fantastic villain.
Ever since Harley Quinn was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series, she has been a popular character. She usually ends up being the abused girlfriend of The Joker but has since transformed into something completely different, more recently portrayed by Margot Robbie. Our assumption is she might be skipped over this time around, as she might now be the most overused Batman Rogues Gallery villain.
The Penguin was already brought in The Batman, portrayed by Colin Farrell, and more of a lackey to Carmine Falcone. With Falcone now dead, we are going to see the rise of The Penguin as a central crime figure in Gotham. There is already a new series that is moving forward that will detail more about this Batman Rogues Gallery villain.
Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle, is always one of Batman’s biggest loves and most formidable Batman Rogues Gallery villains. She already appeared in The Batman, portrayed by Zoe Kravitz. While she is a career thief, she sometimes allies herself with the other villains in the Rogues Gallery. Though she left Gotham at the end of the movie, we would assume she is going to return for the sequel.
The Riddler is one of the most popular Batman Rogues Gallery villains, and he was expertly played by Paul Dano in The Batman. He was shown speaking to The Joker at the end of the movie, and we would assume that his “comeback” is going to happen at some point in Matt Reeves’s universe.
Matt Reeves has hinted at some more secondary Batman Rogues Gallery villains that he might focus on for this grander universe, so here are some honorable mentions.
Victor Zsasz is a serial killer who is obsessed with tattooing or inking the number of his victims in his own body. He often portrays his victims in lifelike poses and thinks he is ridding them of the pain of living by killing them. He would be a fantastic Batman Rogues Gallery choice for the noir style that Matt Reeves is going for in his Batman universe.
Professor Pyg is one of the most twisted Batman Rogues Gallery villains, as he is a surgeon obsessed with Pygmalion, so he kidnaps Gotham citizens to operate on them and turn them into his “Dollotrons.” Matt Reeves is rumored to be working on a spinoff movie or show about this villain.
Calendar Man was initially seen as a joke villain, though he became a mastermind after he was reintroduced in Batman: The Long Halloween. He commits themed crimes on certain holidays, as his namesake suggests. We would consider him one of the secondary Batman Rogues Gallery villains that Matt Reeves might bring in, if only for a cell at Arkham.
Solomon Grundy is nearly like the DC version of The Hulk. He is said to have been killed in 1895 by mobsters, with his body dumped in the swamps, eventually being transformed by the vegetation and swamp. He would reemerge 50 years later with no memory of who he is, only recanting a nurse rhyme repeatedly. He is a powerful villain that has not quite made it into a live-action movie but could be used by Matt Reeves at some point, though he is more of a supernatural Batman Rogues Gallery villain.
There you have it, a long but necessary list of some of the main and most popular Batman villains. While we would assume Matt Reeves could pull out some lesser-known Batman Rogues Gallery villains to appear in the Arkham series and upcoming movies, there are hopes he is going to bring in some underused villains as well.
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