With the news that Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns are collaborating on a standalone Batman film, the big question of course is who will be the villain? Batman has so many terrific villains that Affleck and Johns don’t need to dip into the old standby well and have Batman face off once again with the likes of Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler and Two-Face.
Instead, let’s give Batman some fresh opponents who haven’t haven’t made it to the big screen yet. I’d be thrilled to see any of them. Some could be cameos while others could easily headline their own film against Batman. Here’s my Top 5…
5. Hugo Strange
Strange is one of the first Batman adversaries to crack the secret that Batman is Bruce Wayne. With an older Batman long used to maintaining his secret identity, Strange could prove an interesting challenge as piece by piece he tries to shatter Bruce Wayne’s life before going after Batman. As a non-powered opponent who doesn’t use any fancy gadgets or gimmick, this would have to be Strange’s approach, which would be different from most of Batman’s Rogues. Strange isn’t above doping unsuspecting lackeys with a growth hormone that turns them into superpowered walkers though so there could definitely be an opportunity to see Batman bash some heads as well.
Treat him like a joke if you will, but Catman is an old school Batman villain created by Batman co-creator Bill Finger. While his gimmick is a bit derivative, he’s one of the few Batman Rogues who is The Dark Knight’s physical equal. Have him arrive in Gotham trying to kill some poachers and let him tangle repeatedly with Batman as they attempt to determine who is the superior fighter.
3. Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove
This cabal of villains meet annually to bet on a life and death struggle. They planned for their first encounter with Batman for over a year and this could be played out on screen like a psychological thriller with Batman slowly coming to his wit’s end trying to unravel the Black Glove’s secret before it’s too late.
With their eccentric looks, the Black Glove would make for a colorful assemblage of villains for Batman (and Robin?) to take down. Dr. Hurt has been alleged to be Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne, which leads to all kinds of mind-screw plot twists.
2. Court of Owls
The Court isn’t one lone villain coming after Batman, but a corrupt secret society deeply entrenched in Gotham City. The Court has controlled Gotham for centuries, but becomes worried when Bruce Wayne tries to implement a significant rehabilitation effort.
To stop this Wayne issue before it becomes a greater problem, the Court dispatches their assassin The Talon to kill Bruce, but after being stopped by Batman, the Court rains their Talons on Gotham to prove once and for all the owl can always hunt and kill the bat. Bringing this saga to life would definitely mean Batman would need some help, but since DC is all about universe building, this would be an ideal opportunity to bring in Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, Red Hood, etc. and launch potential spin-offs.
Unlike some of the other Batman Rogues, Hush has a much longer connection to Batman. Thomas Elliot was Bruce Wayne’s childhood best friend. Unbeknownst to Bruce, Tommy seeks to ruin Bruce’s life ever since Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne, saved Tommy’s mother’s life and foiling his attempted matricide.
Now as an adult, Hush uses Gotham’s other criminals to wear down Batman before coming in for the kill. In the more realistic-skewing DC Cinematic Universe, Hush would make for an incredible enemy just from a visual standpoint and his personal grudge would make Batman get more emotionally invested than usual.