Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top Ten Batman Villains by Urban

*Posted July 10, 2008*

Certainly the life and character of Batman and his real-life persona of Bruce Wayne is the central aspect of the entire world of Batman.With that said, a very large portion of every comic book, TV show, and film that surrounds Batman deals with a wide-array of villains.Some are mobsters, rogues, and others are even labeled super-villains.In the 1989 film, Batman, with Michael Keaton, the Joker certainly stole the show from the caped crusader.Many think that Heath Ledger’s performance in the Dark Knight as Joker will do exactly the same.Here are Batman’s top-ten adversaries.


Film: Batman and Robin

Played Most Famously By: Jeep Swenson

Alter Ego: Antonio Diego

Honestly, when researching this list, there were only nine enemies that really deserved to be here.Bane just sorta had to be thrown in because this is a top-ten list and not a top-nine.He has superhuman strength; the comic books portray him as having more intellect than the movies. Bane appears in the dreadful movie, Batman and Robin, often considered to be one of the worst films of all-time.Bane is probably most remembered in comics for being the man to break Batman’s back and put Bruce Wayne out of commission.Kind of a stupid story, but comic geeks love Bane.

9.Poison Ivy

Film: Batman and Robin

Played Most Famously By: Uma Thurman

Alter Ego: Pamela Lillian Isley

Another character from Batman and Robin, she did suck in the movie, but I always remember Poison Ivy as being pretty sweet in the cartoons.Plus, you can’t go wrong with a female villain.Helping a fellow scientist with some sorta of theft, she is poisoned, but instead of dying, Poison Ivy realizes that she is immune to all natural toxins.She often tries to seduce Batman and Robin with a poisonous kiss on the lips.In the movie, she teams up with Mr. Freeze and Bane.

8.The Scarecrow

Film: Batman Begins / Dark Knight

Played Most Famously By: Cillian Murphy

Alter Ego: Jonathon Crane

Played chillingly by Cillian Murphy in Batman Begins, the scarecrow is a crazed psychiatrist who uses drugs such as a fear gas in order to use specific horrors and phobias against his enemies.In the comic books, Crane turns to evil after he is fired from his practice, this slightly differs from the movie.As with Poison Ivy, Scarecrow was a recurring villain in the Batman Animated Series.In Batman Begins, scarecrow teams up with Carmen Falcone and Ra’s al Ghul, and it is said that Cillian Murphy will be back for the Dark Knight.

7.Mr. Freeze

Film: Batman and Robin

Played Most Famously By: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Alter Ego: Victor Fries

Dr. Victor Fries was an expert on cryonics, the low temperature preservation of humans, when his wife Nora was stricken with a life-threatening ailment.Victor tried to preserve her using cryonics when he himself had an accident and his body could only function below freezing point.Mr. Freeze often uses these weird ice guns as his weapons.Freeze was a staple in the cartoons and was played jokingly by the current governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.In the movie, Mr. Freeze delivered these horrible one-liners: "You’re not sending me to the cooler!", "Allow me to break the ice", "Lets, kick some ice", "Hey everyone, Chill", and most infamously, "Ice to see you!"

6.Ra’s al Ghul

Film: Batman Begins

Played Most Famously By: Liam Neeson

Alter Ego: None

Everybody now thinks of Ghul as the sweet Liam Neeson character from Batman Begins.The scene where Neeson reveals his true identity to Christian Bale is possibly the best scene of the entire Batman franchise (EDITORS NOTE: I agree), but people forget how cool Ghul was in the cartoon.The episodes with Batman and Ghul, as well as Ghul’s daughter, were always epics.He is an international terrorist who is concerned with the “balance” of the earth.In the comics, he leads the League of Assassins and seems to have some sort of everlasting life potion.In Batman Begins, he leads the League of Shadows, which is an organization that has been around for centuries.


Film: Batman Returns

Played Most Famously By: Michelle Pfeiffer

Alter Ego: Selina Kyle

Catwoman is an interesting villain just for the mere fact that she has a love/hate relationship with Batman.Wouldn’t any superhero want to nail an evil woman in black leather?As far as villainy goes, she watches out for cats and just has a little whip, not that scary.In Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer plays Selina Kyle as a troubled employee for the ultra-cool Christopher Walken character, Max Shreck.Shreck tries to kill her, but instead of dying, Kyle is transformed into Catwoman.

4.The Riddler

Film: Batman Forever

Played Most Famously By: Jim Carrey

Alter Ego: Edward Nashton / Edward Nygma

The Riddler thinks that he is very smart and often leaves puzzles and clues in order to “outsmart” Batman, but in actuality Batman usually solves the riddles.Jim Carrey gives a very over-the-top portrayal of the Riddler in Batman Forever.Supposedly Carrey’s performance was an homage to Frank Gorshin, who won an Emmy for his performance as the Riddler in the 1960s Batman television series.The top 5 on this list are the most recognizable villains that have been in the Batman universe since the comic conception of the character back in the late 1930s, and the Riddler is certainly one of those villains.

3.The Penguin

Film: Batman Returns

Played Most Famously By: Danny DeVito

Alter Ego: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot

Like the Riddler, the Penguin attempts to use intellect in order to thwart Batman.The Penguin is very short and fat with penguin like hands, and he usually carries umbrellas which generally have some-sort of weapon capability.The origins of the Penguin in Batman Returns are depicted pretty well with the Cobblepots putting their deformed child under a bridge, and the Penguin drifts down a sewer until he comes across and is raised by Penguins.The scene when Danny DeVito returns to his parents grave is pretty emotional.A tough criminal with an interesting back story put the Penguin high on this list.


Film: Batman Forever / Dark Knight

Played Most Famously By: Tommy Lee Jones / Aaron Eckhart

Alter Ego: Harvey Dent

Some villains use their intellect, Riddler and Penguin, others use their pure insanity, like the soon-to-come number one villain.Two-Face uses a little bit of both.Harvey Dent gets splashed with some acid and half his face is extremely disfigured.The dichotomy of good versus evil is displayed in an extended scene in Batman Forever.Two-Face also flips a coin that generally decides the fate of his victims, a la Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men.Billy Dee Williams, most famous as Lando Calrissian, plays just Harvey Dent in Batman, Tommy Lee Jones plays just Two-Face in Batman Forever, and Aaron Eckhart may play both the good and the evil in the Dark Knight.The evilness and insanity of Two-Face puts him slightly higher than some fan favorites like the Riddler and the Penguin.

1.The Joker

Film: Batman / Dark Knight

Played Most Famously By: Jack Nicholson / Heath Ledger

Alter Ego: Jack Napier

This was the easiest choice on the entire list.The Joker is not only the quintessential Batman villain, but he is also one of the most recognizable villains in comic and entertainment history.The Joker has committed many gruesome crimes throughout the comic book time line.They include the crippling of Barbara Gordon, the murder of the second Robin or Red Robin, and the murder of Commisioner Gordon’s second wife.Dressed as a spooky clown with green hair and white face paint, the Joker laughs mockingly at his crimes and victims.Not only can he be funny and comical, but he can also be quite terrifying.There have been many masterful performances surrounding the character.I will first give a nod to Mark Hamill who voiced the Joker brilliantly in the cartoons.If some punk complains about the lack of work Hamill has done since Star Wars, mention the voice of the Joker to him.Cesar Romero is great in the 1960s TV show.Jack Nicholson stole the show from Michael Keaton in Batman and provided a back story as Jack Napier that has never appeared in the comics.Heath Ledger’s performance is said to contradict the comedy of Nicholson and add a terrifying and gruesome element to the character.The character itself took a toll of Nicholson and certainly didn’t help Ledger before his untimely death.It is quite easy to say that the Joker is Batman’s most infamous villain.

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