Like any other respectable Gothic-styled superhero, Batman has had his fair share of enemies. Considering that it is almost seventy years since the creation of ‘The Caped Crusader’ you can imagine that to comprise a detailed dossier of each and every foe that Batman has faced would be a mammoth task.
Instead of listing all of his adversaries to date (most of whom few of us would ever have heard of) it would probably be more interesting to mention the most dangerous and infamous.
First up is, of course, The Joker. Out of all of the characters to create misery for Batman he must take first place. The Joker, name aside, is not to be taken lightly. He is a worthy opponent of Batman and is extremely unpredictable and dangerous. Jack Nicholson did a great job of playing the character in 1989’s ‘Batman’ but it has to be said that the late Heath Ledger probably bettered him if only for the dark and downright disturbing Gothic edge that he brought to the role in 2008’s ‘The Dark Knight’.
Next up is The Penguin, so named because of his appearance and its similarity to the Antarctic bird. With his long, beak-like nose and squat body he is a rather repulsive character. He is, however, a very intelligent man. He sees himself as a ‘higher being’ but he is also very much of an outcast. In the sixties ‘Batman’ series he was portrayed by Burgess Meredith but of the actors that have played the role Danny DeVito got it down to a tee in 1992’s ‘Batman Returns’. While we are on the subject of that movie there is also satisfyingly Goth-styled Catwoman to mention. Who could forget Michelle Pfeiffer’s sexy slant on the P.V.C. darkly clad villainess? The character had already been portrayed very well by the late Eartha Kitt twenty-five years previously. Who is the rightful queen of that part is debatable.
Then there is The Riddler. Between 1967 and 1968 during the ‘Batman’ series the character was played by both Frank Gorshin and John Astin. In 1995 Jim Carrey became The Riddler for ‘Batman Forever’. The Riddler, as his name suggests, is obsessed with riddles. He frequently sends complicated clues to both Batman and the police before committing a crime. The Riddler is always dressed in a green outfit with a domino mask. A lot of the time he is accompanied by two female accomplices named Echo and Query.
Our last enemy of Batman is Mister Freeze. He first appeared in Detective Comics as ‘Mister Zero’ and wasn’t a particularly dangerous character. However, after appearing in the ‘Batman’ series of the sixties on several different occasions he became ‘Mister Freeze’, a far more serious threat to our hero. He is a mad scientist who just so happens to have a great understanding of cryonics. To survive anywhere except for a special refrigeration unit, Mister Freeze is forced to wear a special suit to keep him sufficiently cold. His suit gives him superhuman strength and he uses weapons of his own invention that harness cold in destructive ways. In 1997’s ‘Batman and Robin’ he was played by the well cast Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So, as you can see, Batman has his work cut out. And remember…these are just a few of many, many more.