Batman is known as one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Few can compare to this popularity, with maybe only Superman holding the distinction as a higher profile name. The cool part about Batman is that he is by no means gifted with superpowers. He cannot fly, does not have super-strength, and cannot perform magical acts.
He is a human, just like you and me. Of course, he is a billionaire, unlike the average person in this world. He trained to become the hero he would eventually come to be, and with unending finances to do with what he wished, he would become one of the greatest heroes of all time. His fighting skill and finances are certainly helpful to him, but he perhaps stands out in another way as well. He is incredibly intelligent, with smarts that can be considered genius level at times.
He is an incredible detective and can always get the job done in the end. However, Batman may be a great hero but we may not talk about him very often if not for the villains he comes across. Batman is known for having one of the deepest and best rogues galleries in comparison to any other superhero. His villains are often times just as popular with people as he is. Everyone knows at least a few Batman bad guys, which actually helps him stand out above others yet again.
The question is, who are the most powerful and weakest villains in his gallery? We decided to do the research and narrow it down to the seven worst and eight best villains in the Batman comics. We decided to make the list based on the weakest and most powerful in form of impact, not technically strength. Enjoy!
15. Black Mask – Weak
Black Mask became pretty popular due to his time in the animated DC Comics universe with Warner Bros. Whether he was showing up in an animated film or movie, he was always someone of note. This was mostly due to the fact that he was pretty much a mobster type. Black Mask is skilled with guns and great at torture. He is also pretty good at blending in and disguising himself so he cannot be found with ease. He is an excellent businessman, which allows him to know how to talk with people and get them on his side.
The ability he has to blend in is certainly useful and does affect Batman a great deal after a while. The New 52 tried its hardest to change the entire DC Universe, often for the worst. It was here that they added that his mask possessed hypnosis-like mind control. Batman is an excellent fighter and has devices made that can get around his Black Mask’s “powers” with the mask he has on. Mask is great with guns, but without them, he is by no means a good fighter and has to rely on others to get things done.
14. Killer Croc – Powerful
Batman often times runs across some freaks that truly make his job difficult. Killer Croc was a freak of nature that was terrible in theory, but in execution, he was one of the greatest Batman villains ever. Much of the time, Killer Croc is not fighting for himself but rather for others. He normally is not considered to be as bad of a person as the people he normally works around. This allowed him to make sense for the Suicide Squad later on, where he serves a big role.
Killer Croc is exactly what he sounds like, he is a man, but with the body of sorts of a crocodile. His scaly appearance often helps him in battle, as it serves as armor to make it hard for bullets and normal human punches to do damage. In addition to this, he is incredibly strong and naturally does as well in water as he does on land. This makes it easy for him to escape in any area he wants. He played a sideshow wrestler role for money, meaning his skill in the art of wrestling is good too.
Killer Croc makes life hard for Batman, and it is no wonder that Croc is known as one of Batman’s greatest match-up rivals. In the end, Croc is not considered to be as bad in theory…however, he is not necessarily good either. This makes him a threat and one that can be bad for Gotham the entire world. Batman hates going up against him, and no one can really blame him for that.
13. Mr. Freeze – Weak
Mr. Freeze was like Croc, he did not start out as a bad person and was even a pretty good scientist. Known for his work in cryogenics, he realized his wife Nora was dying and knew the only way to stop it was to put her into cryo until he could come up with a cure. However, funding stopped and he needed money. This pushed him to try harder and harder, until one day an industrial accident forces him to need the suit he wears. He uses the cold he is able to come across here to turn to a life of crime to try to help his wife. He does this by using the cold in the formation of his weapons that could help him in his life of crime.
Of course, she is never truly cured and Freeze continues down this path of crime. Freeze is one of the most well-known Batman villains, but really easy to defeat. All Batman must do it get Freeze’s gun away and manage to kill the power to the suit that keeps him alive. Really, Freeze needs the absolute cold to survive and without it, he is a goner. Therefore, Batman can thrive in any environment when Freeze cannot.
At the end of the day, Mr. Freeze is well known but Batman would not have any problems taking him down. I don’t care what that unspeakable 90’s film tries to claim. His smarts do help him, as he has bested Batman from prison, but in combat, Freeze sucks.
12. Two-Face – Powerful
Two-Face does not have powers, and some may even claim he is similar to Black Mask. However, that could not be further from the truth. After the accident that basically took off part of his face, Harvey Dent managed to lose his mind. He would eventually turn into a schizophrenic where a demon of sorts would take over while Harvey would show up every now and then. This made him incredibly dangerous, and with his knowledge of the law, he was able to find ways to stay out of or get out of prison systems a lot.
He was a gifted hand to hand fighter, and very intelligent. He also developed a toxic immunity, helping him get past other villains using it to take out his gang and of course avoid some of Batman’s gadgets. Two-Face was not just a 50/50 chance, coin flipper. He let his other side take over far more than it should, and it turned out to be the worst thing for him. Batman tried to help Dent as much as he could, as he knew a sane Dent could be good for Gotham. Sadly, the other side of Harvey was just too damaged to get past.
Two-Face is difficult on his own, but due to his ability to speak with others and his vast knowledge, he turned out to be one of the most difficult villains to defeat and ran roughshod through Gotham far more than he should have.
Batman still holds onto the faith that Dent can be good, but it is unlikely that ever occurs in the normal universe. Dent is good or unchanged in others, however, so maybe Bruce Wayne can go see Harvey in one of those universes.
11. Hush – Weak
Hush is actually one of the newer Batman villains compared to others that land on this list. It all depends on who you talk to when you reference him. Some absolutely love the character while others do not find him that compelling. One thing is for sure however, Hush does not stand above and beyond as one of the better villains Batman has had. However, he is quite interesting. Known as Dr. Thomas Elliot, Hush was absolutely insane. He grew up poor with an abusive father and a submissive mother who allowed herself and Thomas to be abused.
Eventually, he would cut the brake line in his parent’s car, resulting in his father’s death but Dr. Thomas Wayne was able to save Elliot’s mother. This enraged Elliot who sought revenge. Bruce Wayne (Batman) would know Elliot growing up, and the two would even run into each other at a summer camp before Elliot ended up in a psych ward. When Bruce’s parents were killed, Elliot hated Wayne for attaining all of their wealth when he remained poor. He sought independence and wealth and knew he could get it.
His mother came from a rich background of sorts, and Elliot knew that despite his hatred for his mother due to his father beating him, he could outlast it long enough to wait for her death and become rich in doing so. He would end up dating a woman that his mother did not approve of, which resulted in her taking her taking him out of her will. He then killed his mother while his girlfriend killed their lawyer. They would destroy the will, then Elliot would dump his chick with his newfound fortune.
He tried to live as Bruce did after and would become a successful surgeon, with a high intellect. The major drawback was that he was not unlike anyone Batman faced before. However, Hush hated Bruce Wayne more than anyone and wanted him dead. The sad part is that although the Hush comic series is compelling, he had to use other villains to help him take down Batman.
This was not just one man going after the Bat or one on one battle, he had a need for other top villains. That alone means he is no match for Batman who most of the time needed no one to beat his rogues’ gallery.
10. The Riddler – Powerful
Hush and Riddler worked together a great deal, but Riddler was much better on his own. Known for his puzzles, and, well…riddles…The Riddler happens to be one of Batman’s most notable rogues. He is an expert tactician with a brilliant intellect that put him ahead of Batman more than Batman would care to admit. He invented the puzzle games of Batman truly needing to make a pick between things, which was a terrific storyline.
Riddler is a criminal mastermind who was much better than what that crappy 90’s movie made him out to be. A brilliant scientist before he went nuts, Riddler knew that his genius combined with a personality that was clearly sociopathic would allow him to get things done. This is what pushed him to play mind games with Batman, as he always thought he was the smartest man in the room. Often times he was, but Batman would get a leg up off and on.
At the end of the day, Riddler is clearly one of the best villains in all of comics and certainly one of the strongest in the Batman arc. He has bested Batman mentally before, and there is something to be said about that.
9. Talia al Ghul – Weak
Talia al Ghul is the perfect example of a woman with daddy issues. The daughter of the demon, or Ra’s al Ghul, Talia grew up and trained in the league of assassins. She would eventually run the league, but throughout her time she was a leader within the group under her father. She both hated and loved Bruce Wayne, even having Bruce’s only child Damien. She was terrible to deal with, and honestly Bruce never truly knew where he stood with her. He just knew she was absolutely crazy.
However, she was not crazy and always had a well thought out intention. The issue is that Talia was not unlike people Batman had run across. He fought her father, so clearly he knew how to deal with Talia. She was terrific as a fighter, as she was gifted with great athletic ability and could do almost any martial art. She was tough to kill too, as she had knowledge of the various Lazarus Pits around the world where she could go to heal up. Her age was said to be older than she looked, but a lady never reveals her secrets.
Talia has grown in popularity due to her use over the last decade. She was in the Dark Knight Rises and various animated movies had her in them. She has also taken part in a lot of the new Batman comics. She is even making an appearance on Arrow this season as part of the villains for Green Arrow, who also has a storied history with the al Ghul family. Talia is a terrific fighter, but Batman seems to always know how to handle her.
She may escape death more than she should, but her emotions for Bruce have stopped her from killing him at times.
In the end, Talia will always be considered weaker than other villains simply because she may be a good fighter but without the pit, she can be killed as easily as the likes of Black Mask and can be stopped by the equally talented fighter in Batman in combat. After that, she is nothing but a name and this is why she is weaker than the others.
8. Poison Ivy – Powerful
One woman on the list was not enough, but this time we have one in the strong category. Yet another one of Batman’s most famous villains happens to be Poison Ivy. In theory, she may not sound that strong but you would be surprised at how much she can do that helps her stand out. After falling in love with a man, Dr. Lillian Rose (later Pamela Lillian Isley) finds herself assisting him in stealing an Egyptian artifact that contained ancient herbs. He felt she would complicate things, so he tried to kill her by poisoning her with deadly herbs that were clearly deadly but also untraceable. She somehow survives the murder attempt.
She would, in turn, be given special abilities such as an immunity to all bacteria, viruses, and diseases. Her history changes a bit depending on the comic, but the basic idea is that she has the immunities mentioned above as well as one to all toxins. This allows her to avoid a lot of problems. She has the ability to control the toxic material of all plant life and of course control plant life in general. Since all medication and poison comes from this area, she has the ability to kill without having to really try that hard at it.
She already had a doctorate in botany and toxicology before the incident that gave her the powers she now possesses. This meant that the moment she got them, she was able to understand everything she could do. Her knowledge made her dangerous already, but now she had an unlimited ability to do as she chose. In addition to all of this, she was extremely sexual in the comics and could use her pheromones to trick men and sometimes women, into falling in love with her and even doing her bidding. This allowed her to control heroes, even people like Superman, into helping her.
Batman was able to develop something to get around this as well as other things Ivy could do. She can control all plants on a molecular level, and can pretty much create the life of a plant and develop hybrids to create what she wishes. Poison Ivy often got the better of Batman and could have killed him numerous times over the years. When you talk about one of the most underrated villains of all time, Poison Ivy ranks pretty high.
She can do so much, but her one weakness is her love of all plant life. She can be stopped sometimes by threatening other plants. Batman has stopped her in various ways, but usually, it all comes down to threats on plants at some point.
7. Scarecrow – Weak
Scarecrow is known as yet another famous villain from the Batman rogues gallery. He was immortalized the last number of years due to his role in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies. Nolan loved the character and used him in all three, but he had a huge role in the first. He was also used in the video games as one of the top villains as well. The character was famous for using something called “fear gas” to force people to do his bidding. He could also force people into insanity either temporary or permanently if he went too far.
The fear gas would force people into seeing their greatest fear manifest in front of them. He could also stick people with a liquid form of it over time and even had an immunity to his own toxins. This allowed him to avoid being controlled by the stuff he hurt others with. Batman was originally at odds with Dr. Jonathan Crane, who ended up wearing the mask to avoid being noticed as the Scarecrow. Bruce did not like how he treated patients with his fear toxins at Arkham Asylum.
Eventually, Crane realized he could use this toxin and gas to get things to go his way, so he would use them on politicians, and other major officials. He would still use them on unsuspecting guards too, which allowed him to get access to major organizations or banks for example. Batman could stop him, but he did originally have difficulty with the toxin. This forced him into using a mask to avoid it. At one point, he had a cure for the toxin and used it to get out of the spell whenever he was hit by it.
In every story, Batman has to overcome the toxin and eventually gets to Crane who was not a gifted fighter. Crane often relied on others to help him, usually random mobster types. They would be Batman’s worst fight, which never was much for Batman.
Crane would often try to hit Batman with more toxin in a fight but Batman always beat Scarecrow in the end. Without his toxin, Scarecrow is smart but not good in combat. He needs a lot to help him and that alone makes him weak in comparison to others.
6. Deathstroke – Powerful
When you have the ability to adapt to everyone’s fighting style and your skill is comparable to a master in the field, there is something to be said about that. Saying Deathstroke is highly skilled at combat is putting it lightly.
In addition to this, he is excellent with every weapon one could hold. Swords are what he is commonly known for using, but he loves guns just as much it seems.
His intelligence is also extremely high, and that allows him to stay a step ahead of Batman on a regular basis; as well as psychologically torment people to get whatever he wants in the end. He was taught in similar ways to Batman, so all of the shadow work and tactics are known by Deathstroke, making it even tougher to fool him with really anything. Batman has a lot of difficulty with Slade Wilson, who has hurt the Dark Knight in the past on multiple occasions.
Deathstroke was really invented as a top foe for the Teen Titans, but due to how successful he was with fans, he was able to slide over into the Batman series of characters. Now he is more so known for his work with Batman and the Green Arrow over the Titans.
There are different versions of Deathstroke told, but a popular one has him impacted with something that allows him to gain greater intelligence and strength, along with fast healing and senses.
If Deathstroke was not deadly enough before all of this, he certainly would be after getting an enhancement of sorts, right? Batman will take on Deathstroke in the upcoming film by Warner Bros. and we should expect quite the fight.
5. Firefly – Weak
We’re not writing about the critically acclaimed science fiction television show that should come back to the world of TV. The Firefly we’re discussing is a DC Comics villain that Batman has had run-ins with on far too many occasions. Normally Firefly is something of an associate villain to some other bad guy in the world of the rogues. He tends to be kind of useless on his own, but he has caused havoc before. This is really due to what he brings to the table.
He wears a terrific suit that is equipped with a flamethrower, grenades launcher, and much more. He was written as a person who “used colored lights” in one version. Batman typically can best him once he is taken from the sky.
At the end of the day, Batman normally had more trouble with the damage Firefly caused to the city than the man himself. While he was dangerous, Batman could always get past him with pretty much no issue.
4. Ra’s al Ghul – Powerful
Now we’re getting to the big guys. Ra’s al Ghul is a bit of a different villain compared to the others on the list. He is very old but used the Lazarus Pit to stay alive. It heals him from all mortal wounds and even aging. In some versions, he dies and leaves the League of Assassins to his daughter, Talia. However, other versions have him leave it to another daughter. Then there are some versions where he never dies. Evidently, due to his long life, he has learned a lot.
He interacted with some of the most influential names throughout history and helped take some down while helping others for his own gain.
He learned almost every fighting style invented, and then mastered it. He would then teach his league of assassins a lot that he learned and would equip them to take over. In the comics, it is claimed he is the one responsible for many dynasties and kingdoms falling as he believes things need to be torn down to be built back up.
This brings him to Gotham as well as other places. Batman was once taught by Ra’s in some versions and really, the two know each other well. Ra’s never wants to kill Batman, if nothing more for the fact that he is his grandson’s father. The two have an understanding, but sometimes Ra’s tries to push things and must be stopped. Batman is always pushed by Ra’s as well as his league but has bested him many times by either beating him in combat or stopping his men from accomplishing what Ra’s sent them to do.
Truly one of the best villains in the history of comics is Ra’s al Ghul, simply because of what all he brings to the table. He has his own personal army with various family members helping him. In addition, he alone has an amazing fighting ability and knows every bit of what Batman can and will do. That is not even including the pit to keep him fresh after the attacks. He also knows who Batman really is. At the end of the day, Batman finds ways to get past Ra’s, however, he typically gets past him using diplomatic measures.
3. The Penguin – Weak
The Penguin is one of the most popular, yet unique members of the Batman rogues gallery. However, he is very weak. First and foremost, he relies HEAVILY on his men to get the work done. He is not skilled as a fighter and is one of the smaller villains in the history of DC Comics. Not including those who shrink. He has an umbrella that turns into a weapon and even coverage from bullets. On top of this, he is quite smart with an ability to come up with strategies to get things done.
Typically, Penguin seems to beat Batman not by combat but by simply trying to work him into picking between various areas. He could stop him or stop a bomb or something other sinister.
Problems like this were common for Batman, but Penguin employed it to avoid capture on several occasions. However, when it came down to it, Penguin needed a lot to beat Batman and even then it was rare. Plus he never really beat him if Batman won in the end, right?
2. Bane – Powerful and Kinda Weak
Bane is an interesting case. Before he ever got the juice that helped to make him into a monster, there are various versions of the character that have him as intelligent and great at figuring out tactical material. Of course, the venom he uses to become huge also enhances him enough to help him out. In the Dark Knight Rises, they took the juice away and allowed him to just be a big guy who also relied on his smarts. This was a great interpretation but not real, and neither was the use of him in the old 90’s movie we will again not talk about. We’re all still pissed.
The problem with Bane is that while he is smart without the venom and knows plenty of fighting techniques, he is relatively small without the added juice. However, he clearly has proven to be an incredible foe for the bat! He is one of the few to beat him in combat enough to almost retire him. He is known as the man “who broke the bat,” as he broke Batman’s back and forced him into hiding so he could recover.
Bane is clearly smart and very good at a lot of things. However, he is only seen as a threat due to the venom he can put into his body at will. Without this, a lot of things disappear. This pushes him to be both powerful and weak. The reason for the 50/50 slot is pretty simple.
When you are amazing as a villain, but you need venom to do it at the best of your ability…you are powerful. Yet you need something to get you over the top and allow you to be to the level of man to beat someone like Batman.
1. The Joker – Powerful
There are fewer people in the world of comics and entertainment world that have had more of an impact as a villain than The Joker. Joker has done more to harm Gotham than perhaps any other, yet for some reason, Batman never kills the guy. Apparently, he hates the whole killing thing. The thing about Joker is that he has evolved over the years. Batman knows that when he tangles with Joker, a lot more is to be expected than fighting a guy who is literally crazy. He is an expert with toxins and chemicals, which allows him to utilize a great deal of these in his wardrobe.
In the comics, he basically did what the old school comics would allow. Over the top material having him literally use huge mallets and other crazy stuff. By the time we got to the animated world, Harley Quinn joined him and he had someone willing to do a lot of dirty work for him and get abused for it. She would stay loyal anyway. Even when she was in the Suicide Squad, Joker could be seen throughout. Batman knows how intelligent and how insane Joker is.
Throughout his history, insanity is always the top thing on the list. There is something to be said about this. He just does stuff to do it sometimes and other times it is to get rich. He has said in the comics that he wants to kill Batman and in others that he never does. He enjoys the chase and loves messing with Batman. It literally gives meaning to his life it seems. Joker is dangerous due to his intelligence, but also due to the insanity and his ability to use unique weaponry. Sometimes fighting him can be simple for Batman, but a lot of the time The Joker has a plan.
He has been involved in some of the most brutal storylines in comic history. In The Killing Joke, he raped and crippled Barbara Gordan. In another comic, he killed then Robin, Jason Todd. Both of these were done just to mess with Batman and Gotham PD. He just doesn’t care and he loves hurting people. That makes him simply evil, and an evil man with a brain and connections along with insanity to add in on that…you have someone who cannot be denied as one of it not the greatest villain in comic book history.