Unlike Central City's Rogues or Metropolis' Intergang, Gotham City's Underworld is filled with insane costumed villains and scientists. Many of them, such as Hugo Strange and the Joker, have relatively large effects on Batman's crime-fighting career in personal ways, most other villains exhaust nearly every aspect of his tactics and morals.
Main Bases of Operation
Almost all of Batman's Villains operate out of two major locations in Gotham City: Arkham Asylum and The Iceberg Lounge. Arkham is where a large portion of villains end up once Batman defeats them, and due to the fact that almost all of them can easily plead insanity in court, they cannot be sent to a regular prison when apprehended.
The Iceberg Lounge is operated by the "Former" Mob boss and Arch-fiend The Penguin. He provides his fellow themed criminals and other thugs a safe haven to gamble, drink, and plan various crimes.
Bane’s real name is unknown. Bane grew up in a Santa Prisca prison called Pena Duro. Bane grew up in prison because he had to serve his father’s life sentence. His only friend was Osoito, his teddy bear. Bane soon learned to defend himself in prison, and the prison soon saw him as a test subject to a drug called venom. He survived the tests unlike so many others, giving him greatly increased strength. Bane soon escaped from the prison with 3 loyal friends and went to Gotham to see if he could defeat the Batman. Unfortunately for him Batman beat him. Bane later learned Batman’s secret identity, and released all the criminals from Arkham to weaken Batman, and waited in the Batcave for Batman to return. When Batman returned Bane broke his spine but did not kill him in order to make him suffer. Bane does not have any superpowers, but the drug venom gives him increased strength. He is also a master at hand to hand combat and is very intelligent.
Black Mask’s real name is Roman Sionis. Roman is an organized crime boss. He grew up in a rich family that only cared about their title in Gotham and not their son. It was also noted that he was in fact dropped on his head as a child, which may have been the cause for his sociopathic behavior. He made his mask out of his mother's ebony coffin lid after he killed her.
Roman was killed by Catwoman after brutally torturing her sister. Later, Jeremiah Arkham took the title of Black Mask after losing his mind. Jeremiah was the head of Arkham Asylum’s medical staff. Neither of the Black Mask’s have superpowers, but they are respected and feared organized gang leaders, and are master marksmen.
Calendar Man's Real name is Julian Day. He commits crimes due to his namesake, Julian Day, which is a homage of Julian and Gregorian Calendars. He's been known for committing crimes on notable Holidays.
Catwoman’s real name is Selina Kyle. Selina is an orphan, and grew up in Gotham. She was abused in a state home that she escaped from. She then got training in the art of being a cat burglar and now often goes after art or jewels that involve cats. Selina has been a foe, a friend, and a lover of Batman over the years.
She does not have any superpowers, but she is good at hand to hand combat, she is a very skilled acrobat, she is intelligent, and has some weapons and gadgets of her own. Two of her weapons are the retractable claws in her gloves, and her whip.
There have been many Clayfaces but Basil Karlo is the original and the most prominent. Basil was a horror movie actor and when the movie he stared in was remade without him, he went on a killing spree dressed as the villain in the movie Clayface. He killed some of the crew and cast of the remake, but was eventually stopped by Batman and Robin.
Some of the Clayfaces have teamed up before, calling their group The Mudpack. When The Mudpack was defeated, Basil stole the powers from the other Clayfaces, making him the ultimate Clayface. Basil has the power to shape shift into anybody he wants, he has unique healing powers and super strength. All Clayfaces have one major weakness: WATER.
Firefly's real name is Garfield Lynns. He is a pyromaniac; he was also a victim of one of his blazes that covered his body in severe scars.
Garfield wears a full body suit that enables him to fly and be resistant to both physical flames and toxic fumes.
Harley Quinn’s real name is Harleen Francis Quinzel. Harleen was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, and one day she had the Joker as a patient, and for her at least it was love at first sight. Harleen then turned to a life of crime and helped The Joker break out of Arkham, so she could prove herself to him. Their relationship is a love/hate one. Harleen has worked as the Jokers assistant; she has also worked with other criminals like Poison Ivy, as well as on her own.
Harley does not have any superpowers, but she is an acrobat, she an excellent hand to hand combatant, has some of her own gadgets, and she is somewhat of a markswoman.
Hugo Strange is a psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with Batman. After a while Hugo figured out that Bruce Wayne is Batman and he tried to destroy Bruce’s/Batman’s reputation by sharing the information he learned. He attempted to blackmail Batman, but at every turn Batman defeated him.
Batman told Hugo and the cops that he made Hugo think he was Bruce in order to hide his true secret identity. From then on Hugo was not sure if he really knew the true identity of Batman. Hugo does not have any superpowers, but he has an IQ of 196, and is surprisingly skilled at hand to hand combat.
Hush’s real name is Thomas Elliot. Thomas was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s (Batman). He grew up in a rich family just like Bruce, but unlike Bruce who loved his parents, Thomas hated his parents and wanted them dead. Thomas cut the brakes on his parent’s car, causing his dad to die, but his mom was saved by Thomas Wayne. Thomas grew to hate Bruce for saying that everything was going to be okay.
Elliot’s mom later on died from cancer. Thomas got the name Hush from Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow) singing the nursing rhyme hush little baby around him. Thomas does not have any superpowers, but he is a master surgeon, as well as a master of hand to hand combat, and marksmanship.
Joe Chill is known as none other than the man who killed Batman’s parents in several of the origin stories.
According to the current comics, which is noted to be a part of Batman: Year One, he is no more than a common criminal.
But according to Pre-Crisis Detective Comics, he was a hired hit-man who was sent to assassinate Thomas and Martha Wayne for pleading against a well known crime boss in court.
The Joker’s real name is Unknown. The Joker is known best as the Clown Prince of Crime. Although the Jokers origins are not completely clear, it is said The Joker was a failed comedian, whose wife and unborn child died or had been murdered. This forced him to a life of crime, and soon enough he encountered Batman. One time when fleeing from Batman he fell into a vat of chemicals. He survived but his skin was turned pale white, and his hair green. From the mixture of the death of his wife and unborn child, being a failed comedian, encountering Batman, and the fall into the toxic chemicals, he was driven insane. The Joker had a sidekick named Harley Quinn, although the Joker does not really care about her, she cares about him.
The Joker does not have any superpowers, but he is very intelligent, and has a number of gadgets. One of his most famous weapons is his Joker Venom. The laughing gas makes the subject almost die from laughter, and gives them an almost permanent smile. The Joker is always working on a way to put an incurable and permanent smile on the faces of Gotham. The Joker is considered Batman's greatest enemy
Killer Croc’s real name is Waylon Jones. He suffers from a rare skin condition which causes him to have scale-like skin and razor sharp teeth and claws. Waylon was in a number of side show attractions at carnivals, in which he wrestled alligators.
He later became a criminal in Gotham City. Over time, Killer Croc has become more beat-like, sometimes loosing his humanity. Waylon’s skills include, super strength, a highly increased healing factor, agility, and near super human speed.
Killer Moth’s real name is Drury Walker. Drury was just a small time criminal, hired by other criminals to help them, be a body guard, etc. Every time Drury was defeated by the Batman or one of his allies he felt more and more humiliated. Drury at one point got an offer from a demon named Neron to sell his soul for power, which Walker accepted because he was tired of being humiliated. He then became known as the moth monster Charaxes.
Now Drury has superpowers, like super strength, flight, and invulnerability. At one point Charaxes laid eggs that where clones of Drury Walker. In the story line Infinite Crisis Superboy-Prime killed Charaxes by ripping him to pieces. Many others have taken up the costume of Killer Moth, but Drury Walker has since returned to the role.
The Mad Hatter’s real name is Jervis Tetch. Jervis is obsessed with the children’s tale Alice in Wonderland. Jervis also loves hats, and a lot of his hats have mind controlling properties that he installed. He also puts mind controlling gadgets in helmets, headphones, and other headgear. Jervis also has a hat of his own; the hat is an oversized top hat, with a card put into the side of his hat with the words "In this style 10/6". He also uses his hat to hide small gadgets, a gun, and some other weapons. Jervis does not have any superpowers, but he is very intelligent.
Man-Bat’s real name is Robert Kirkland Langstrom. Robert worked on a way to harness the power of bats, including their echo-location power. He worked on this with his fiance Francine Evelyn Lee.
One day Robert finally got the formula to work, foolishly testing it on himself. This turned him into Man-Bat, a crazed half-bat half-human creature. Although with the help of his fiance and Batman they made a cure for him. In human form Robert does not have any superpowers, but he is very intelligent. When in the form of Man-Bat he has super strength, super hearing, flight, a powerful shriek, and he can harness the power of echo-location.
Mr. Freeze’s real name is Victor Fries. Victor grew up with no friends and had an abusive father. To deal with the abuse Victor froze animals, he thought he was preserving them forever; others believed it was his way of trying to have some control over his life. Later Victor's wife, Nora Fries, became ill and in order to save her Victor cyrogenically froze her so he could have time to work on a cure. He hid his work at Gothcorp, but one day the cruel and greedy owner of Gothcorp Ferris Boyle pulled the plug on Victor’s wife’s cyrogenetic chamber because according to Boyle it was taking up too much money. Victor got into a fight with him and fell into one of his own experimental coolants; this completely froze Victor inside and out. Now without being in a below freezing environment or his coolant suit, Victor’s skin will boil and his lungs will melt. He, unlike the other villains of Batman, does not kill for fun, he is logical and commits crimes to fund his research.
Victor does not have any superpowers, but known facts are he is immune to any temperature of cold, he is very intelligent, and his armor provides him with heightened strength and defense. Victor also uses his trade mark weapon: his freeze gun, which can instantly freeze anything into a solid block of ice in a matter of seconds.
Mr. Zsasz’s real name is Victor Zsasz. Victor is a cold blooded serial killer who cuts a mark on his body for every person he kills.
Victor does not have any superpowers, but he is very intelligent, unpredictable, and a master of hand to hand combat, as well as various weapons.
He was even almost able to kill Batman in hand to hand combat.
Penguin's real name is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. Oswald had a hard time growing up, because of his funny appearance, he is very short, and has a big nose.
Oswald owns a lounge, called the Iceberg Lounge. Oswald does not have any superpowers, but he is smart, an organized gang leader, very rich, and his most well know items are his unique umbrellas, every one of his umbrellas has some kind of weapon, some even give him means of escape.
Poison Ivy’s real name is Pamela Lillian Isley. Pamela has several origins, but her most recent one is she was a beautiful colleague student, who studied botanical biochemistry. Her professor seduced her and used her to test his plant poison. The plant poison mutated her, giving her plant powers like the plants she loves. Instead of blood running through her veins, chlorophyll instead now runs through her instead. Her skin is now toxic. She also gives off pheromones to seduce and mind control men. She uses her powers to protect the Earth. She has teamed up with people like Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and some others. Her powers also allow her to kill any man she kisses, but the second kiss is an antidote. She can also control plants.
Ra's Al Ghul
Ra’s Al Ghul translates to The Demon’s Head. He is over 700 years old, and has stayed alive through the healing properties of the Lazarus Pit. He is also the leader of the League of Assassins. He is an eco-terrorist, whose goal is to wipe out most of humanity in order to save the planet. His father is the Sensei. One of his daughters, Talia, had an affair with Batman (Bruce Wayne) and they have a son named Damian Wayne. Ra’s bodyguard’s name is Ubu and his right hand man is the White Ghost, who is also his son. He has also been friends with Batman at times. Ra’s has no superpowers, but through the powers of the Lazarus pit he is immortal, he is also a master swordsman, an organized leader, and he is very intelligent.
Riddler’s real name is Edward Nigma. Edward has a need to have attention and be loved. When Edward was in school he completed a puzzle by cheating so he could complete it before anyone else, so he could finally have some respect in school.
His crimes almost always involve riddles. One of his major goals in life is to make a riddle that Batman cannot solve.
Edward does not have any superpowers, but he is very intelligent and has some fancy gadgets, along with some other skills.
Scarecrow’s real name is Jonathan Crane. Jonathan is also known as the Master of Fear. Jonathan’s parents abandoned him, leaving him to grow up with his crazy religious grandmother. One of the worst things she did to him was locking him in the old church nearby, so the crows could attack him whenever he did something she disapproved of. Everyone at school abused and bullied Jonathan because of his gangly and weak appearance, often being called Scarecrow. Jonathan later went to school at the Gotham University to learn about psychology and biochemistry. He later got kicked out for firing a gun during one of his speeches about fear. He then developed his fear gas and tested it out on his old bullies, wearing his Scarecrow costume for the first time. Jonathan seeks to gain respect through fear, power, and control. Jonathan does not have superpowers, but he is very intelligent, he can scare people and control people just through the power of speech. He uses his weaponized fear gas as well as his fear toxin through syringes. This gas or toxin makes all of someone’s worst fears come true, it has even given people heart attacks before.
Two-Face’s real name is Harvey Dent. Harvey has a split personality, because of being abused as a child. Harvey grew up to be the District Attorney in Gotham and a friend of Bruce Wayne. His lucky charm is a two sided silver dollar.
Dent tried to prosecute Vincent Maroni, however he had acid thrown in his face right in the middle of the courtroom. Dent had half of his face permanently scarred. This event brought out his split personality between right and wrong. At this time he scarred one side of his lucky silver dollar so he could then make a choice by flipping the coin; in fact almost every single decision he makes is based on the flip of his coin.
He has even let Batman live because of a flip of the coin. Dent does not have any superpowers but he is intelligent, an organized gang leader, a skilled marksman, and a somewhat skilled unarmed combatant.
Ventriloquist’s real name is Arnold Wesker; he has a condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder, causing the darker aspects of his mind to manifest as a dominating persona known as Scarface.
Arnold lets his split personally Scarface out through a ventriloquism dummy. Arnold is quite, gentle and kind, and often befriends his fellow villains when Scarface is not in control of him. Scarface, however, is very cruel to others and would much rather plan heists. Unfortunately, Scarface is Wesker's dominant personality.
Arnold was later killed by a hired assassin of Great White’s known as the Tally Man. Scarface was later picked up by Peyton Riley, a female ventriloquist. A Third Ventriloquist has since appeared as well.
Scarface, as well as any of the ventriloquists do not have any super powers, but they are intelligent and organized gang leaders. It has been implied that the puppet may actually have some magical properties, however nothing conclusive has been proven.
All of Batman's villains have appeared in many TV shows, movies, and video games. The most well known Batman series is Batman The Animated series (1992-1995), where many of the Minor, more ridiculous villains Such as Mr Freeze and Clayface were rebooted in order for the audiance to relate/symphosize to them.
The show was followed by The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999) which followed the basics of the last series but with alternate character designs. Set in Gotham's future, Batman Beyond (1999-2001) introduced several other villains such as Blight and a revamped version of Spellbinder.
Other Batman shows with Batman villains are The Batman (2004-2008), and Batman The Brave and the Bold 2008. Batman villains have also been seen in episodes of The Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006).
Some of the most popular video games featuring Batman villaisn are Lego Batman (2008), Batman Arkham Asylum (2009) and Batman Atkham City (2011). In Lego Batman a large amount of Batman's Villains are unlockable characters and bosses.
In Batman Arkham Asylum the only villain you can play as is The Joker, who is only playable on the PlayStation 3. Although Batman can unlock character bio for almost all of his villains and some even have unlockable interview tapes. The Bosses in Batman Arkham Asylum are Scarecrow, The Joker, Bane, Killer Croc,Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Zsasz.