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

Image result for Detective Comics #58

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

HumptyDumptyDCComics.jpg

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

Image result for Detective Comics #184

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

Image result for Detective Comics #259

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

Image result for 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

Image result for 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

Image result for Crazy Quilt villain

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. I think that Mr Freeze, in all his incarnations, is a totally lame baddie.

    At least in the Batman TV show, he was played variously by George Sanders, Otto Preminger, and Eli Wallach. Even those fine actors couldn't raise Mr Freeze from his lameness.

    In Batman and Robin, Arnold Schwarzenegger played Mr F, and botched it nearly as badly as he has with California.

    Speaking of Batman and Robin, we were "treated" to a free showing after the movie we came to see ended. Even for free, we couldn't abide wasting another moment of our lives on such lame fare, and we left mid-movie.

  2. the thing with modern penguin he isn't like the rest of the villains he runs a 'legitimate' business and is a source of info

    • Wooooahhhhhhh, hold on. That’s dangerous waters my friend. Harley is one of the best female villains of all time, and shes just a sidekick! The twisted obsessed love she has for the Joker even though his feelings for her are hot and cold at best show her level of insanity. She is fast, strong, and has a complete lack of morals. Harley is the best!

  3. Deadman Wade. on

    I bet calender man never could get a date. And this list is pretty lame, but there are some that really deserve to be here too. And I think Batzarro is deliberately lame. Besides, didn't he die?

  4. "Penguin Triumphant" is a great little graphic novel from 1992 that should make an instant Penguin fan out of anyone. Until I read it, I didn't really "get" the character either (not that I'd tried all that hard).

    Exact quote from Bruce/Batman: "EVERYONE seems to consistently underestimate the Penguin — myself included. In point of fact, Cobblepot is ruthless, vindictive, calculating, inventive — and perhaps the most BRILLIANT man I've ever fought.

    "He's smarter than I am."

    . . . and this isn't a young Batman, either: Tim Drake is by his side as Robin, and Bruce is even drawn with a touch of gray in his hair. I thought it was pretty refreshing to see the Penguin portrayed not as an object of pity or comedic relief, but as a truly despicable but brilliant criminal, hatching schemes within schemes. John Ostrander's writing was definitely the best part of this one. (The pencilling has a lot going for it, but the inking and coloring pretty much sucks.)

    Definitely recommended if you're feeling open-minded about the Penguin.

    No way does he belong in the top ten of lameness, but I understand the desire to put SOME character on the list that's recognizable to most of the casual fans and the mainstream.

  5. I think that the only reason Penny Plunderer wasn’t on this list was because originally, it was from fighting him that Batman got the iconic giant penny in the Batcave.

    Of course, they’ve retconned that to having come from a fight with Two-Face, so it’s kinda rendered moot.

    And honestly, my mind boggles at why the hell Mad Hatter isn’t on here.

  6. the penguin!!! come on he beat the crap out of spiderman, and the jonas brothers! if we want to move to a brighter tomarrow we need vilians who arnt just freaks with some stupid power

  7. HOW DARE YOU!!! How dare you put me the mighty PENGUIN on the list with BATZARRO!!! i beat the tar outta the jonas brothers and for the record the suits get me chicks, THATS why i wear em! Just because the BatFREAK wears a mask dosent mean his enemys should

  8. is the only reason firefly is on here is because the killer moth dumped him? HE IS AWESOME!!!!!! and by the way don't make lists about lamest or worst or else you are gonna get a lot of no speakers so use words like weirdest batman villains and once again WHY IS FIRE FLY HERE!!!!!!!!!

  9. The Penguin's C on

    I agree that most of these characters would have to be rewritten to be threatening. Bruce Timm made wonders with the Clock King, Catman, Maxie Zeus and Calendar Girl. There are no bad characters, only poor writers and uncreative people.

    But with the Penguin it's completely different. Whoever criticizes the character has to watch Birds of a Feather, Blind as A Bat, Batman Returns a bunch of Burgess Meredith episodes and specially, Joker's Asylum: The Penguin to understand the character. Firstly, yes, he's lame, as lame as it gets. So is Dick Chaney, it doesn't mean he's not a threat to the world. Think Eric Cartman, a fat, self-centered, egocentric, egotistic, greedy, lamo with a great deal of charisma manipulating everybody for the most shallow reasons. His manipulating skills give him an edge over feared public enemies like the Joker or the Scarecrow. In his best stories, he's a cunning, hyperactive, obsessive, neurotic and revengeful genius, that keeps going against his enemies until they are destroyed. Him being also short fat and ugly is just poetry at work.

    The Penguin is similar to Scar-face, Rupert Thorne, Lex Luthor, the Kingpin, Tobias Whale and Black Mask, only more volatile, obsessive and insisting.

    I agree that whenever he's written as phlegmatic the character loses his edge.

  10. DUDE! Penguin is not a lame villain. Where’s Clock King? Egghead? King Tut? Maxie Zeus? There’s so many to choose from!

    • penguin is a total duesch. you cant be bad ass with the name penguin. The only thing bad about the list is firefly, he's cool.

      • Wrong. Penguin is supposef to not look intimidating. People didn’t take him serious. That was his motivation to become Gotham’s greatest crimelord. He is a serious threat to Batman.

  11. penguin is a total dusch, you cant be intimidating with the name penguin. The only thing bad about the list is that fireflys is on it. He's cool

    • So I guess Tony "the Ant" Spilotro wasn't a badass or intimidating because his nickname was "the Ant." You know, the guy who Joe Pesci's character from CASINO was based on.

      Besides the whole point of the Penguin is that he doesn't APPEAR dangerous but is. You need to understand subtlety and subtext to appreciate the Penguin.

  12. Maxie Zeus in original form is lame, but read Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum- A Serious House on Serious Earth.

    Like Calender Man in Long Halloween(who gets a Hannibal Lector type upgrade) Morrison's portrayel of Maxie Zeus is that of a man suffering delusions of grandeur addicted to electro-therapy. Between that and Dave McKean's unique, but beautiful artwork, I'd have to say that Maxie Zeus creeped me the hell out.

  13. Oh yeah, and Firefly is not lame. Read the first part of Knightfall, and you'll see what I mean.

    As for Penguin, I always though he was lame, but I'm willing to change my opinion of him given a comic I've read of him.

    And even so, I might put Penguin high on top 50 lamest Batman villians list, but why not someone like Batmite in his place. Just seeing his commentaries in Dark Knight Strikes Again made me want to drop kick him. (And don't read DKSA, not half as good as Dark Knight Returns)

  14. Clock King?

    Maxie Zeus?

    Penny Plunderer?

    Mad Hatter?

    Tweedledee and Tweedledum?

    At least one of them should replace Firefly. The guy has a friggin' flamethrower!

  15. You kidding? Penguin's got a LOT more cred than guys like the Riddler. The Riddler was nothing more than a re-tooled Cluemaster who became more iconic despite bringing less to the table. For one thing, the Riddler had a compulsion to leave clues at the scene of the crime and couldn't really stop even when he tried. Then you have the fact that he got beaten up by a woman and honestly has never been able to hold his own. And, oh right, the guy almost NEVER uses any real weapons.

    What about the Ventriloquist? Certainly he was hokey enough. Then you have the eternal joke that is Maxie Zeus, hated alike by fans and writers. King Tut is another classic, but he's too easy to pick on. Guess the same goes for The Lilac. All of these are FAR less impressive than Firefly, who actually has some bad-ass equipment and, unlike the Riddler, can actually pose a physical threat to Batman.

  16. Why are Firefly and Penguin there?
    Firefly is Awesome, Penguin is kinda silly but he’s okey

  17. WarlockJamesOBrien on

    I like this list, except for a few things: Mainly the Penguin. He’s a little goofy, but he’s actually a hell of a villain, and poses a real threat to batman on a regular basis. Besides, when you look at The Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, just about any incarnation of the Royal Flush Gang, all of them are far more annoying and lame than the Penguin. Firefly…. he’s got a flamethrower, but, he’s still kinda lame. Sorry, he is. And there’s always Owlman. I mean, seriously, why does anyone think evil versions of superheroes are cool? Owlman’s a friggin loser!

    • His name is not worse than “Joker”, Riddler, etc. Also he is not supposed to be intimidating, he is supposed to be a crime lord.