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Batman’s Biggest Enemies

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Batman A History of the Dark Knight

Over the course of the last 70 years Batman has fought an almost uncountable number of villains. However, a handful of those adversaries have made a significant impact in the life of the Dark Knight.

  • The Joker - First appeared in Batman #1 in 1940. The Joker is the pre-eminent Batman villain. A homicidal maniac dressed like a clown, he seems to take equal delight in murdering and torturing people. The Joker has been responsible for the crippling of Barbara Gordon, murder of Jason Todd and murder of Commisioner Gordon's second wife Sarah Essen.
  • The Joker and Harley Quinn.  Art by Alex Ross.Image via Wikipedia

  • Catwoman - Selina Kyle first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940 as burglar with a cat themed costume. Over the years she developed a love/hate relationship with Batman, though recently she has largely reformed though she still occasionally clashes with Batman.
  • Scarerow - Professor Jonathan Crane's first appearance was in World's Finest Comics #3 in 1941. An insane psychiatrist, he specialized in fear. Dressed as a scarecrow he uses gas to cause delusions and panic.
  • Penguin - Real name Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, he first appeared in Detective Comics #58 in 1941. Dressed in a tuxedo and top hat with a monocle he carries umbrellas that have weapons contained within them.
  • Two-Face - Harvey Dent, a former District Attorney and friend of Bruce Wayne, was horrifically scarred and became obsessed with committing crimes themed around duality and opposites. He makes most of his decisions by flipping a two headed coin, one side of which is scarred. He first appeared in Detective Comics #66
  • The Riddler - Edward Nygma has a compulsion to leave clues to his crimes in the form of riddles and puzzles. He first appeared in Detective Comics #140. He has recently reformed and is working as a freelance investigator.
  • Poison Ivy - First appearing in Batman #181 in 1966, Pamela Lillian Isley is a student of botanical biochemistry with the ability to control/manipulate all plant life. She is fanatical about defending plants from humans.
  • Man-Bat - An interesting counterpoint to the Batman. Doctor Kirk Langstrom periodically turns into an animalistic humanoid bat. The Man-Bat first appeared in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970).
  • Ra's al Ghul - A centuries old eco-terrorist first introduced in Batman #232 in 1971. He wante dBatman to marry his daughter Talia and become his successor.
  • Lady Shiva - First appeared in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #5 1975. A mercenary and assassin who trained Batman and may be the greatest martial artist alive.
  • Harley Quinn - First appeared in Batman The Animated Series in 1992. Dr Harleen Quinzel is a criminal psychiatrist who fell in love with the Joker and became his accomplice.
  • Bane - An escaped convict from South America first introduced in Vengeance of Bane #1 in January 1993. Bane has abnormal strength as a result of his use of Venom. IN his first encounter with Batman, he broke Bruce Wayne's back.
  • Red Hood - First appears in Batman#635, but he is actually Jason Todd, the second Robin. Killed by the Joker, he returned years later and has no problem killing criminals.
Eoghann Irving is amongst other things the creator and Editor of Solar Flare. He has a life long interest in all forms of science fiction and fantasy and a pressing need to share this interest with anyone who will listen. Find out more at his his website

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