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Updated: October 09, 2023

Batman Villains:

( The Joker )

The Joker, depending on who's writing him, has two modes: the "murderous clown genius" mode, where he's Batman's deadliest and most wily arch-foe, or the "Rip Taylor unchained" mode, where he's basically a lawless prop comic. The latter is typified by Caesar Romero's Joker in the old TV series, who once tied Batman to the inside of a giant coffee pot in order to kill him. An interesting metaphor for many people's lives to be sure, but an ineffective deathtrap. Yeah, the more sinister versions of the Joker don't end up killing Batman either, but at least in those he takes out some innocent bystanders.

( Two-Face )

I'd think you could defeat this guy by just playing up the indecision. "Do you want to hold that axe left-handed or right-handed before you kill me with it? Do you want to use an overhead swing, or a side-swing? Do you want to start hacking at my extremities, or shall we just lop off my head and get on with things? Heads or tails, bucko?" After a while he's so exhausted from coin-flipping that he has to go lie down on either the bed or sofa, and you're home free. Another public service announcement from your friends at the Brunching Shuttlecocks.

( The Penguin )

Hmm. Short, slow, harmless, vaguely comical. Did The Penguin choose his name at random or does he have some real bad-guy self-esteem issues to work out? At any rate, The Penguin started out as a chubby guy in a dumb suit with a pointy nose, and he's pretty much stayed there despite all Burton-inspired attempts to hip him up. I mean, umbrellas? Please.

( Clayface )

Dumb name, cool villain. This was an evil guy made of clay who could sculpt himself into anything, the better to pound the Caped Crusader into spandex-clad bodily humors. Clayface hasn't made it into the movies yet. One would presume that this is partly due to cost it's cheaper to slap Arnold into a plastic suit than it is to create a morphing clay guy and partly due to the fact that it's hard to sell a movie using a big star when the star in question is obscured by fifty pounds of clay. "Look! It's Sylvester Stallone! Or Michael Jordan! Or possibly Cheech Marin!"

( Catwoman )

You know, I've just never gotten into the homina-homina thing that Catwoman seems to inspire in so many, not the least of whom is Batman himself. I think I could create a much more stable and rational long-term relationship with, say, Xena. The meow, hiss, claw, whip, steal, flip, form-fitting black Bad-Guy-Au-Go-Go bodysuit routine just doesn't do it for me. Now, Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, there's someone who can violate my Comics Code Authority anytime.

( The Riddler )

Okay, I've got it figured out. I'm going to call myself "The Non-Riddler," and I'm going to do everything the Riddler would do, but I'm not going to give out any darn riddles. Judging from the fact that it's the Riddler's own clues that inevitably give him away, I figure this is going to leave the Dynamic Duo sitting in the Batcave playing Freecell on the Bat-computer while I'm out crime-spreeing. I can retire after a couple weeks of this, and Batman can go back to defeating villains who provide four-color pamphlets detailing their upcoming capers.

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