Top 10 Worst Batman Villains & Why They Are Lame

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Batman has some of the best villains of any superhero and some of the worst villains. The Joker made it to #2 on our list of best comic book villains, showing the popularity and ruthlessness of Batman’s arch nemesis. But hold the Batphone just one minute. Batman’s rogue gallery has its share of villains that he might not be to proud to mention when bragging to Superman. Here are the top 10 lamest and worst Batman villains of all time. So prepare yourself for the likes of Killer Moth and the “dangerous” Crazy Quilt.



10. Batzarro

batzarro_colors_by_locomotion

1st Appearance: Superman #181 (April 2002)

Real Name: None
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Similar to Batman
Why He’s Lame: Like Bizarro (Superman’s evil doppleganger), Batzarro is a failed clone of Batman, with his symbol & utility belt upside-down. While a clone of a super-powered alien like Superman can work, a clone of Batman becomes groan-inducing lameness. At least he calls himself, “Batzarro, the world’s worst detective”. Image source.

9. Penguin

penguin

1st Appearance: Detective Comics #58 (December 1941)

Real Name: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Genius criminal intellect, deadly ‘trick’ umbrellas, underworld connections, martial arts: Judo
Why He’s Lame: He fancies himself the “gentleman of crime”, and always looks ridiculous in his tuxedos and umbrellas. While he’s had moments of brilliance in his long-standing criminal career, ultimately there are far better similar characters in comics, namely Lex Luthor (DC, Criminal genius) and Kingpin (Marvel, Crime Lord).

8. Cluemaster

Cluemaster_0001

1st Appearance: Detective Comics #351 (May 1966)

Real Name: Arthur Brown
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Glass capsules attached to his costume that can hold a blinding flare, smoke bombs, paralyzing gas or explosives
Why He’s Lame: He failed as a game show host, he failed as a villain by his compulsory nature to always leave clues about his crimes. Unlike the Riddler, his clues were never riddles. To his credit, his crimes paved the way for his daughter Stephanie to become the Spoiler, to foil his crimes.

7. Humpty Dumpty

1st Appearance: Detective Comics #140 (October 1948)

Real Name: Humphry Dumpler
Superpowers: None
Abilities: None
Why He’s Lame: As his namesake suggests, he’s obsessed with putting things back together again… even if he has to take them apart to begin with. He even “dismantled” his abusive grandmother in an effort to fix her when he sewed her together again.

6. Firefly

1st Appearance: Detective Comics #184 (June 1952)

Real Name: Garfield Lynns
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Flight suit, flamethrower, grenade launchers, expert in pyrotechnics
Why He’s Lame: Firefly is a professional arsonist and pyromaniac. Once the protégé of the Killer Moth, their alliance fell apart when Killer Moth realized Firefly’s madness and feared for his life. If someone as lame as the Killer Moth (see below) dumps you, what does that make you?



5. Killer Moth

Killer_Moth_Earth2_h2

1st Appearance: Batman #63 (February 1951)

Real Name: Cameron van Cleer / Drury Walker
Superpowers: Originally none, later given the proportionate abilities of a moth: flight, sharp claws, sticky cocoon mucus
Abilities: Flight suit, incapacitating cocoon gun, razor-sonar waves
Why He’s Lame: Beyond the obvious costume, he was created as the anti-Batman, to aid super villains the same way Batman aids police & civilians, except for profit. He even had his own moth mobile, a moth signal, and a steel-line to swing around the city on.

4. Calendar Man

1st Appearance: Detective Comics #259 (September 1958)

Real Name: Julian Day
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Inventor
Why He’s Lame: After looking at his costume, do you really need to know more? He’s obsessed with dates and his crimes always have some correlation with the date on which they are committed. He was even recruited by another on our list, Killer Moth, to join a rag-tag group called The Misfits.

3. Ten-Eyed Man

1st Appearance: Batman #226 (November 1970)

Real Name: Philip Reardon
Superpowers: None
Abilities: 360 degree view, superb fighter and marksman
Why He’s Lame: A blind Vietnam War Veteran who had his optic nerves reattached to his fingertips. Batman repeatedly defeated him by making him catch or touch something with his super-sensitive fingertips.

2. Kite Man

1st Appearance: Batman #133 (August 1960)

Real Name: Charles “Chuck” Brown
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Flying kite suit, kite-based weapons
Why He’s Lame: As I’m sure you guessed, he flies by way of a kite strapped to his back, and uses kite-based weapons for his crimes. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Deathstroke threw him off the top of Wayne Tower without his kite. He somehow managed to survive that, only to be eaten by Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim.

1. Crazy Quilt

1st Appearance: Boy Commandos #15 (May-June 1946)

Real Name: Unknown
Superpowers: None
Abilities: Mind-controlling helmet
Why He’s Lame: A painter and master thief loses his sight and an experimental procedure gives him the ability to see blinding colors, driving him insane. He actually hates Robin more than Batman because Robin unintentionally made him blind again.

written by Chris Alexander

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97 Comments

  1. Great list, with one major flaw.

    Penguin, if written correctly, is one of Batman’s greatest villains. Easily in the top ten, and mostly likely in the top five.

  2. I agree with the majority of this list. A few things though..

    Clock King
    Firefly
    Penguin
    Ventriloquist

    These four have been brought up as lame.. I love Clock King (Except when he weres that stupid clock helmet).

  3. His appearance in the animated series was awsome, he could predict everything batman coudl do casually.

    Firefly is just awsome. A flamethrower and a sweet suit…. Not lame.

    Penguin: A classy, if somewhat underated, villain. No idea why he is here.

    Ventriloquist: Some versions of this guy were just awsome. And seeing a deranged insane man talking through a 50’s style gangster is epic.

  4. You think the penguin is lame? Hah, play Arkham City, he’s one of the baddest villains considering Arkham City is canon to the Batman series (it’s a comic too). He was remastered with an end of a glass bottle stabbed in his eye, being confused a monocle and a coat and suit that defeined bad ass. Penguin is a manipulative villain, he was made to be underestimated, Batman would never take the Penguin likely! And the Riddle is not lame and neither is mr. freeze! The riddler is a complete narcissistic villain who always tries to prove that he’s smarter or better than Batman by leaving clues of riddles at his crime scenes. And Mr.Freeze is driven by love and hatred that a lot of readers can sympathize and understand, the guy was cut from his research in order to cure his wife, got trashed and nearly killed in the process, and was turned into a frozen freak that no one wanted, only to be pushed to his wife who was suffering and couldn’t help. He’s the very definition of loneliness, only to resort to crime because he had to cure his wife. That’s true love! And Catwomen is not lame, she is darn sexy (especially in Batman Arkham City) and sometimes an ally to the Batman. Catwomen is the only sane villain in Batman!

  5. Victor the Crab on

    How can you have a top ten list of lamest Batman villians and not include Cavalier?

    And the Penguin is on the list? The only thing lame here is the author who came up with this list!

  6. Harvey J. Satan on

    Y’know…it’s funny , in the Penguin diss , Lex Luthor & Kingpin are mentioned…do the math.. Penguin was first! ( If nothing else ,they are knock-offs of him! Especially given that Lex Luthor EVENTUALLY became all GQ . )

    But seriously… no Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum? Alley Babble? Raven? Queen of Hearts? The Ventriloquist? Catman?

    There’s a ton of 80’s-00’s villains that top out the lame-o-meter. ( The idiot in the Killer Whale costume comes to mind! )

    The Penguin is not the greatest Bat-Villain but in the Valley of the Lame , he’s far from it.

  7. RalphPfromHoboken on

    I agree with “JACK”. The Penguin DOES NOT belong on this list. I personally rate him #3 of MY favorite Batman villians. My favorite 5 villians are 1) JOKER, 2) CATWOMAN, 3) PENGUIN, 4) RIDDLER and 5) MR. FREEZE. Call me old-fashioned, but I have loved these characters since my childhood (the 1960’s) and yes, I liked the “Tim Burton / Joel Schumacher” films as much as the Nolan films (THE DARK KNIGHT being my favorite to date). So, I strongly DISAGREE with this list!!!

  8. I can think of at least 10 other villains who should be on this list way before Humpty Dumpty, Firefly, & the Penguin. For one thing, the Penguin is iconic, & Firefly is awesome. >>

  9. Don’t think the Penguin deserves to be on this list. He’s been around a long time. There are much lamer ones. I personally can’t stand the Ventriloquist.

  10. The Batman of Zurr-En-Arrh on

    This really wasn’t a great list. There are many, many crap Batman villains to choose from.

    However, several of these villains are actually interesting and compelling characters.

    Firefly is a genuine threat, he’s not an alien or a monster, but a guy who starts fires just to watch them burn. That’s scary and interesting in equal measure. Read ‘Knightfall’ and ‘Hush Money’ for more.

    Humpty is also an interesting and unique character. He’s not evil, nor is he malevolent in any way. In fact he’s genteel, clumsy and rather charming. Its just that his obsessions can be lethal for those around him. His appearance in ‘Arkham Asylum: Living Hell’ showed his pathos and the brief part he plays in ‘Leviathan’ is genuinely heartbreaking.

    Anyone who writes off Calendar Man clearly hasn’t read ‘The Long Halloween’ or its sequel ‘Dark Victory’ because he’s both creepy and effective in those stories.

    And Penguin is an iconic character who has been selling books since the 1940’s. He’s actually a part of the American pop culture landscape. That hardly makes him lame. There are many, many great Penguin stories to choose from.

    The truth is that a lot of these villains were created in the 50’s and 60’s, an era where comics were heavily censored and forced to rely on gimmicky villains and silly stories.

    There was once a Woman who turned into an Orca for goodness’ sake. Start there.

  11. Calendar man is in arkham asylum videogame and he’s actually cool because he’s a deranged lunatic that just keeps talking about days in the year.

  12. The Batman Freak on

    The Eraser and Dr. Double X should be on this list, instead of Penguin and Killer Moth.

  13. All this talk about lousy villains and no one mentioned “the Outsider?” At least someone besides me thought to point out that Eraserhead was just ludicrous. There was another villain whose name I can’t remember, but it may have been Hugo Strange. He wasn’t ridiculous so much as pointless. And let’s don’t forget the Signalman.

  14. Penguin should not be on this list in any way. In fact, he should probably be on the top ten of Batman villains. The “Gentlemen of Crime” is actually far popular because he in some ways represents and older mobster with a sense of class. Keep in mind that will most of these villains have fizzled out the Penguin hasn’t.

  15. You just displayed that you don’t understand Penguin’s character basically, he’s supposed to look the way he is to be deceiving and it adds to the character greatly. Penguin is one of Batman’s greatest foes second only to the Joker. He’s a great villain and has been a series staple for decades, not to mention how iconic he is.