I wanted to put killer croc on this list, but as much as I like him, he is still a big and nasty thug with a skin condition. Clayface on the other hand..
There have been many bearers of the clayface mantle, the first being basil karlo, a bitter actor who went on a killing spree when he learned that one of his films was being remade (this was back in the golden age of comics, where most characters had simple motives, if ridiculous) Future clayfaces however would go beyond simple costumes and masks and become a more dangerous adversary.
All of them have the power of shape-shifting, able to change their appearance at will, become anyone or even anything. When Clayface’s true form is revealed, (image above) he is truly grotesque. In addition to changing faces, he can also change parts of his body into weapons and smother his enemies with his clay-substance.
I’ve always liked clayface, ever since BTAS, where he became a more tragic character, similar to Mr. freeze and two-face. Sadly, his best stories (as that of several other villains who appeared) were in the cartoon, as there aren’t a lot of memorable clayface stories, except one where all the clayfaces came together to kill batman.
Hopefully, Clayface will get more prominent stories in the comics.
9) Hugo strange:
Hugo has a special distinction from most of Batman’s villains, as he is the first recurring foe for the dark knight (preceding The Joker and Catwoman) and the first villain to discover Batman’s secret ID.
This already alleviates him to arch-foe status, however, until recently, he has been unused and overlooked. Considering the competition, it understandable. It’s a shame, because similar to Hatter and Scarecrow, he uses psychological in nature, but like a psychologist, he studies his “patients” and manipulates them using their own psychosis.
And then there’s his obsession. Like Joker, Hugo is obsessed with batman, but he wants more to just destroy him, he wants to become him. He sees Batman as the perfect human being, mentally and physically. And this drive Hugo mad with envy and drives him to break batman, physically and mentally.
Hugo has become quite popular in recent years, thanks to his role in Arkham City and if am right, he will have a huge role in the latest batman comic, Batman: Eternal. We will have to wait and see, till then, “The Dr. will see you now”.
Unlike Hugo, The Penguin has had little trouble staying in the spotlight. Despite coming from a wealthy family, Penguin was mercilessly bullied in his youth, eventually turning to a life of crime. What I’ve always loved about Penguin is his staying power. Often considered one of Batman’s weakest foes, penguin is actually his most cunning foe, as he was smart enough to open his own business and become a respectable business man. Not only is he making money on the outside, he is making much more on the inside, thanks to his criminal connections. Despite this, he is still underestimated by others, which usually results in them getting a face full of machine gun, via being concealed inside one of his umbrellas.
While Oswald looks the gentleman, he is one of Gotham’s most ruthless and sociopathic criminals and not to be made fun of. Just ask batman.
7) Harley Quinn:
I don’t need to go into much detail on Quinn, but here is the short version: Once the joker’s therapist, the clown slowly seduced (manipulated) the young doctor, playing upon her insecurities and drove her mad. Eventually, Harleen Quinzel becomes Harley Quinn, one of the Dark Knight’s most popular foes, arguably even more popular than her “Puddin”.
Quinn debut in BTAS, but eventually became a fixture in the comics where she is still a mainstay. Unlike most of the villains in Gotham, Quinn is more innocent and acts more eccentric than insane. Her only flaw is her obsessive and violent relationship with the Joker.
In recent years, Harley has become a darker character, and as of the New 52 reboot, she has become DC comics Deadpool. However, despite this change in character, I still love Harleen and hope she gets her Happy ending.
Crane is very similar to batman. They both use fear as a weapon, but whereas Batman uses fear to fight crime, Scarecrow uses it to terrorize everyone in Gotham. Since he was young, Jonathan Crane was always obsessed with fear, and combined with his constant abuse by his peers, drove him to use fear for his own twisted experiments.
Scarecrow has always been one of my favourites, as he is one of the few villains to scare batman. Whenever these two meet, Bats usually falls victim to Scarecrow’s fear gas, which is designed to force the victim to experience their own worst fears and nightmares. Crane has come close on many occasions to drive Batman mad with fear, but has always come up short. Not surprising because, you know, his bloody batman.
Despite this, Scarecrow continues to strike fear into the hearts of the people of Gotham and has stayed one of Batman’s most persistent foes.
Come later today for the Top 5!