Top 10 Batman Villains Yet to Be Used in Film
By now you have likely seen The Batman and enjoyed it. If not, maybe take care of that now because we’re going to allude to things. It’s a long-ass film and there’s a couple of ‘end scenes’ that wrap up the main plot lines and set-up content for the sequels. One of these made me think ‘huh…we’re doing that again.’
Look, I told you we were going to allude to things. Don’t blame me if you kept reading. Anyway, we’ve put together a list of villains we haven’t seen used in film yet. In order to narrow this down we’re being strict with who has had a film appearance. We’re also focusing on the ones who’d best interesting in this version of the character.
THE COURT OF OWLS
Let’s deal with the most obvious entry first, definitely the one that one that most people have been talking about in relation to future media of all types. It’s the first secret society on the list, one established by the founders of Gotham and planting a small army of sleeper agents throughout the city. The concept of hidden rooms and levels built into skyscrapers and monuments is cool, the formally attired members of the Court with their minimalist owl masks are costume design gold, and the deadly assassins known as Talons can meat Batman on his own level. You don’t need the addition detail of the Talons being undead kidnapped circus performers, just make them cool clawed ninja assassins.
From the dignified and well dressed secret Court to one of the most grotesque and disturbing serial killers lurking in the shadows. A beautician with a fixation on creating ‘perfection’, the heavily modified Professor Pyg is hard to look at with or without his mask. He’s very much detached from reality and leaves many, many traumatised victims on the streets. The Riddler took a strong shift towards Zodiac Killer style in The Batman, so this is already a good fit.
DOCTOR HUGO STRANGE
It’s been oft noted that most classic heroes will have two types of villains – the physical threat and the intellectual threat. An example of the latter is Hugo Strange, who gained new prominence with the Arkham City video game. A scientist first and a crime lord second, there’s room for a story for an updated mad scientist trope. A new narcotic called ‘Drop’ featured heavily in this new Gotham but its origins are still wide open for a story. Don’t follow the comic thread of him falling off a building and becoming a ghost and haunting Batman though.
THE WONDERLAND GANG
Look, it’s not Batman without some colourful bad guys with a very specific gimmick. Initially we thought Mad Hatter would be a good candidate, but instead went the whole damn gang. Hatter leads the themed group, mind-controlling people with headwear, and gets the most pages of the comics, but there’s no reason not to include Walrus, The Carpenter, the Tweedles and March Harriott for some extra weirdness. Maybe just a prologue scene to highlight the criminal world’s reaction to Batman’s antics, and good way to set the tone for more extreme characters.
This vigilante is best known for their role in the Knightfall story line, where Bruce Wayne is taken out of commission seemingly permanently by Bane and he passes the Bat-torch to his recent ally. This story ended with Azrael – as Batman – going off the deep end. It turns out he was already quite cracked, being raised as an assassin for the extremist Catholic group Order of Dumas. A new masked figure with a corrupted world view driven by extreme values seen in the US is a touchy subject, but an interesting one.
Whilst we are talking about modern extremists, here’s a charismatic cult leader who rallies the poor and desperate lower class of Gotham to their cause, ready to rise up and take the city for themselves. They perceive a great injustice has been done to malign them from society and will act violently to restore their status quo at the behest of a larger-than-life leader who espouses Christian values while not demonstrating them. You know…fiction.
I do get the feeling that serial killers will be a regular feature in this series. The adjustment of Riddler from whacky goofball to Jigsaw killer certainly lays the ground work. With the 1990s David Fincher aesthetic, a truly deranged killer like Jane Doe would fit right in. She begins by stalking her potential victims, learning everything about this before very literally donning their skin and stealing their identity. A constantly shifting target is interesting enough, but the concept of being stalked by someone who is going to steal your identity rings true in the age of social media.
THE BLACK GLOVE
Let’s say that you’re a super-wealthy member of the Gotham Elite but not the descendant of a Colonial Era founder. You can’t join the Court of Owls and wear the cool masks. You can, however, become a member of The Black Glove. They’re billionaires who fuck with people for fun. The details are fuzzy, and it’s suggested that leader Doctor Hurt may be Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas. Did I mention Grant Morrison wrote this? They have a great deal of power, controlling politicians, judges and a bunch of actors they use to pull of their schemes. Maybe not do the bit about Thomas Wayne maybe being alive, it’s a bit close to Amazing Spider-Man 2 ludicrousness, but do link it back to him being a corrupt public figure. Make it personal.
JAMES GORDON JUNIOR
Yeah, you read it right. It’s the son of Jim Gordon, key ally of Batman. Even from a young age, James displayed signs of a troubled mind. He found it easy to manipulate people and showed no empathy for others and was found hurting animals by his father. He’s closely modelled after a several real world serial killers, and the link to such a well established hero character is quite heartbreaking. Clearly they’re not afraid of real twisted killers in this world.
We saved this for the big finale because he feels custom made of this world. He’s a larger than life character with a strong, simple aesthetic, he’s a mentally disturbed serial killer, and his connection to Bruce gives them a good excuse to flesh out some backstory here. Thomas Elliot was Bruce’s childhood friend, initially bonding over both having ‘two first names’, they’d grow apart but come back together with Batman needs Elliot’s skills as a surgeon. Their history of playing strategy games against each other lends itself to another detective narrative. He ticks so many boxes for a good movie villain it’s surprising Nolan didn’t use him.