Matt Reeves’ 2022 interpretation of The Batman has grossed over $300 million in the United States and Canada, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2022. While Robert Pattinson’s performance as the famous defender of Gotham has been applauded, a lot has also been said about Paul Dano’s performance as The Riddler and how he’s helped carry the film.
All of this reminds us of the importance of villains in films and how vital they make a storyline go from good to downright legendary. In honor of the latest Batman movie, we’re rounding up some of the best Batman villains. If you’ve forgotten what they look like, this infographic on Batman’s villains and their disguises should help you get up to speed.
- The Joker
The Joker is possibly the most famous Batman villain of all time. Several actors have played Joker throughout the years, including iconic performances byJack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Joaquin Phoenix also played the clown prince of crime in the eponymous 2019 film that won several awards, including the Academy Awards for best actor and best original score.
Joker first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940 and was instantly popular amongst fans. He then became Batman’s archnemesis, often teaming up with other villains to defeat the Bat.
While he’s fought with the Justice League, what’s more impressive is that Joker doesn’t have any actual superpowers. Instead, he is a master manipulator and strategist who’s able to always be one-step ahead. He’s unpredictable and deadly, capable of doing terrible things in the name of chaos – most notably, his run in with Superman and Robin.
- The Riddler
Jim Carrey took The Riddler to the big screenl when he portrayed him in the 1995 film Batman Forever with his campy performance. However, Paul Dano’s recent performance put a completely different spin on the child-like villain.
The Riddler goes by many different names, including Edward Nigma and Edward Nashton, and is obsessed with coming up with complex riddles and puzzles to triumph over Batman. Like the Joker, the Riddler, too, doesn’t possess any actual superpowers. However, he is brilliant and vile enough to do anything it takes to succeed. His superior intelligence makes him more than a match for Batman and the Gotham police.
Catwoman is practically synonymous with Batman, and it’s no surprise why. The duo often has sexual tension on camera, and the 2022 version of Batman was no different. Zoë Kravitz takes on the role of the feline femme fatale, partnering with Bruce on some occasions but betraying him when their agendas differ.
While she might be villain, Catwoman has a occasionally shown that she’s got a softer side to her and sometimes teams up with the Bat to do great things.
A skilled martial artist, acrobat, and master thief, Catwoman is an impressive villain and first appeared in the 1940 comic series called Catwoman. Past incarnations of the character have seen her wielding a whip, but in recent years we’ve seen a more serious cat burglar-themed villain.
Made famous by Tom Hardy in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series, Bane is easily one of the most complex villas for Batman to defeat. After all, Bane did break the Bat’s spine over his knee at one point.
While he might seem extremely brutal, Bane wasn’t always like that. According to his origin story, Bane grew up within the prison walls of Pena Dura on the fictional Caribbean island of Santa Prisca. Over time and through some intense training, Bane became the most powerfil prisoner in Pena Dura. Unfortunately, his strength made him the test subject for the Venom super-steroid while in prison.
Pumped directly into his veins through his mask, Venom gives Bane superhuman strength and makes him almost undefeatable. While it might seem great, in some incarnations, Venom can also be Bane’s most significant weakness as he needs a hit every 12 hours. Without Venom, Bane suffers excruciating pain and other side effects.
So here’s the thing, Penguin isn’t exactly the strongest villain on Batman’s list, but he’s still super iconic. Who forget could Danny DeVito’s cartoonal of the villain?
Truth be told, the Penguin has a tragic origin story. Oswald Cobblepot was abandoned in Gotham sewers as a baby after his family noticed how deformed and strange he was. There are different iterations of where he got his nickname, the wackiest being that penguins from Gotham City zoo raised the Oswald.
Over time, Penguin became a solid criminal mastermind that’s charming and skilled in combat. As a mob boss and owner of the nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin may occasionally work with the Bat to offer him information on the whereabouts of shady individuals that pass through his club doors.
In the 2022 film, the Penguin is portrayed by Colin Farrell, who looks almost unrecognizable.
With their maniacal tendencies and talents, Batman has plenty of adversaries, and it’s not always easy to rank them all in a list. Throughout the years, though, these villains above have been repeatedly featured in films, video games, and more, making them super iconic. Who’s your favorite Batman villain?