22 Completely Absurd Batman Villains
The Batman franchise is home to some of the greatest comic book villains of all time: characters like The Joker, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Ra’s Al Ghul, and Bane are simply timeless. But, for every one of those rogues, there’s at least ten that won’t make it to the movies any time soon.
We’re talking about the best worst Batman villains ever. You’ve probably heard of some of them already, but if you haven’t, it was for a good reason.
Some of these guys are way more inept than others, so we’re being fair and just listing them alphabetically. For the optimal reading experience, give each villain’s name your very best Christian Bale Batman voice.
Debut appearance: Superman/Batman #20, 2005
M.O.: Being bizarre
Meet Wayne Bruce, the World’s Worst Detective. Much like Superman’s adversary, Bizarro, Batzarro does everything in reverse. So, in scenes that feature both of them interacting, there are so many negatives nested inside of negatives that it’s like everything and nothing are happening simultaneously.
The writers at DC probably just wanted to mess with our heads.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #463, 1976
M.O.: Incalculable absurdity
The idea is pretty cool, but the execution is flawed: Calculator uses his knowledge of past encounters to calculate the best way to fight different heroes. His suit has the ability to produce countless weapons and tools, but it also looks totally ridiculous. Also, he pretty much never won any fights, anyway.
Later on, the Calculator was reinvented as a source of information or guide for other villains – like the bad guy version of Barbara Gordon’s Oracle. He probably should have just tried that in the first place.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #259, 1958
M.O.: Holidays; mad DIY skills
Calendar Man is a vigilante who kills his targets on specific holidays or other days of the year. Sometimes he dresses for the occasion too, with costumes to correspond to different dates. Really, the silliest thing about Calendar Man is just that his name is Calendar Man. If not for that, he’d be so much cooler.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #460, 1976
M.O.: Pirate costumes
Captain Stingaree believes in a conspiracy in which his three quadruplet brothers are concealing the identity of the Batman. His goal is find out who the real Bat is, and he does so by dressing up like a pirate to investigate. The real Batman was able to confuse and defeat the Captain by asking other people to dress up in Batman costumes.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #351, 1966
M.O.: Telling Batman exactly how to stop him
First came The Joker in 1940 – the ultimate, iconic Batman villain. Then came the Riddler in 1948 – still pretty sinister, and definitely still classic, but somehow not quite as good. Then came this guy in 1966 – a failed game show host who would leave clues at the scenes of his crimes. That seems a little self-defeating, honestly. Also, in the cartoon series The Batman, the dude was like 40 and still lived with his mom.
Debut appearance: World’s Finest Comics #142, 1964
M.O.: Everything except tailoring
One night at the Superman Museum, a bolt of lightning struck a display of statues of the Legion of Superheroes, causing a burst of energy to zap custodian Joseph Meach with superpowers. With literally all the Legionnaires’ powers now at his disposal, Joe had the potential to become the greatest and most powerful villain of all time. Instead, he decided to call himself “Composite Superman” and make the worst supervillain costume in history.
Debut appearance: Batman: The Animated Series, 1995
M.O.: Condiments and the devices used to apply them; devilishly-crafted wordplay
Basically, he’s a lot like the Joker, except with ketchup. Also, instead of being the paragon of comic book villainy, he’s the Condiment King. He uses toxic condiments to poison his enemies and relishes coming up with the best puns he can muster (he really talks like that). To be fair, DC only ever pushed him as a comic relief villain anyways, but still. Condiment King.
Debut appearance: Boy Commandos #15, 1946
M.O.: Deafening opponents with loud wardrobe choices
Crazy Quilt has actually seen a bit of a Renaissance, having appeared on Nickelodeon’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold series and received cameos in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The reason for Crazy Quilt’s crazy costume is that he has a rare form of colorblindness (shocker) which has driven him insane. His helmet provides him with normalized vision, as well as an array of totally rad laser beam weaponry.
Debut appearance: Batman #188, 1966
M.O.: Hidden blades; giant magical erasers
The Eraser is really more of a mercenary of sorts. In exchange for a cut of the spoils, he’ll erase evidence from the scene of a robbery. Why he does this by rubbing his massive eraser helmet on everything instead of using – we don’t know – any sort of handheld or concealable device, we’re not sure. Also, his real name is Leonard Fiasco. Brilliant.
Debut appearance: Batman #395, 1986
M.O: Bothering everyone with movie “fun facts”
The only cool thing about Film Freak is that his name, Burt Weston, is a tribute to Adam West and Burt Ward. Other than that, he just commits copycat crimes based on movies and wears earrings shaped like film canisters.
The King of Cats
Debut appearance: Batman #69, 1952
M.O.: Being (and wearing) the cat’s pajamas
When Catwoman wears all black spandex, it’s sexy. When her muscly and mustachioed estranged brother does it, it’s just kind of awkward. He also drives a cat-shaped car which he calls his “Kitty Car.” It’s almost like we’re supposed to make fun of him.
King Tut (Victor Goodman)
Debut appearance: Batman Confidential #26, 2009
M.O.: Egyptology puns
Victor Goodman is an Egyptologist and historian who leaves “Riddles of Sphinx” at the scene of his crimes. Apparently, they were all so lame that the Riddler himself joined forces with Batman to stop King Tut’s crimes against wordplay.
Debut appearance: Batman #133, 1960
M.O.: Kites and kite-like methods of flight
Kite Man is probably one of the best known WTF villains in all of comics – there are so many jokes about him already that we can’t really add much. First off, his real name is actually Charlie Brown, which is kind of appropriate given the Peanuts character’s defeatist nature. Second off, Batman was able to defeat Kite Man when the latter accidentally flew into a tree. So, yeah.
Debut appearance: Batman: The Animated Series, 1994
M.O.: Locks and locking things with them
Officially, Lock-Up is “an expert on incarceration tactics,” which really means he’s just a modern version of the handlebar mustache guy from silent movies that ties people to train tracks. He’s always trapping his victims in elaborate setups, but he’s not that great at escaping from jail himself.
The “Made of Wood” Killer
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #786, 2003
M.O.: Baseball bats
There’s a little backstory to this one which just makes it so much better – a sporting goods store owner, Samuel Sullivan, had his store destroyed during a battle between The Sportsmaster and Green Lantern. (Lantern has energy projection powers and managed to lose to a wooden stick. What’s that say about him?) Since this origin story isn’t quite as powerful as someone losing a loved one, Sam could only create a supervillain persona even lamer than “The Sportsmaster,” and became The “Made of Wood” Killer. He… kind of just beats people up with bats.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #400, 1970
M.O.: Being a man that is also a bat
Kirk Langston was a scientist researching bats, and tried to use bat genetics to enhance his failing hearing. It didn’t go too smoothly. As a half-man-half-bat, Kirk has all of a bat’s hyper-sensory abilities. So while it’s cool that he can fly and everything, it’s decidedly less cool that he can be totally incapacitated by a megaphone and a flashlight.
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #483, 1979
M.O.: Electricity-generating armor; nice abs
One of Maxie’s biggest claims to villain fame is his organization of the mythology themed villain group, “The Olympians.” Their main goal was to affect the results of the Olympic games that year. The Olympics are serious business, guys.
Debut appearance: World’s Finest Comics #30, 1947
M.O.: Coins of minimal denomination
This guy is even more ridiculous when you take inflation into account; all his crimes involve pennies in some way. He once tried to crush Batman and Robin in a trap involving a giant penny – the same massive coin that’s now associated with the duo’s encounters with Two-Face. Apparently, DC realized how silly the whole “guy who steals pennies” thing was, and erased the Plunderer from existence.
Polka Dot Man
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #300, 1962
M.O.: Extraordinarily elaborate and advanced weaponry concealment, also baseball bats
The spots on PDM’s suit have the ability to shape-shift into different weapons, items, and vehicles. That’s pretty cool; unfortunately he’s managed to lose his suit on multiple occasions. Polka Dot Man’s low point definitely came when he tried robbing a store armed only with a baseball bat. The police showed up, took his bat, and beat him up with it. (Hey, we found someone The “Made of Wood” Killer could take!)
Debut appearance: Detective Comics #446, April 1975
M.O.: Silver and things that are made of it
Sterling Silversmith only steals things that are made of silver, because he believes gold will become worthless. You could say that makes him a little like Goldfinger from James Bond, but suckier. He does have a suit made of a woven silver alloy that causes bullets to ricochet away harmlessly (well, except for whomever they end up hitting). We won’t lie, that’s actually pretty sweet.
Debut appearance: The New Adventures of Batman, 1977
M.O.: Severe dental problems
No, we don’t mean Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. He’s awesome. This Sweet Tooth is not. He’s only appeared in one episode of the ‘70s cartoon The New Adventures of Batman, and in a quick Brave and Bold cameo. His grand plan involved turning all of Gotham’s water into chocolate (Willy Wonka style), and only changing it back if paid millions of dollars. The plan was foiled by Batman, Batgirl, and Robin when the gumshoes got Sweet Tooth stuck in a vat of his own taffy.
The Ten-Eyed Man
Debut appearance: Batman #226, 1970
M.O.: Having ten eyes, sort of
Philip Reardon went blind following an industrial accident and elected to pursue the only logical course of action: have optic nerves implanted into his fingertips. Somehow, we don’t think he quite thought that one through. The man literally sees with his hands, meaning that he’s the only supervillain that can be completely neutralized with a pair of mittens. (He actually has been significantly injured when trying to catch ordinary thrown objects with his eyefingerballtips, too.)
So, what did you think of our list? Did we leave out any of your favorites (or in this case, un-favorites)? Will you be dressing up like a Batman villain or other comic book character for Halloween? If you liked this post and want to see more like it, let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, or send us a note via email. Check out our Pinterest boards for Halloween costume ideas, too.