List of Batman Villains In Order of Appearance
Batman villains in order of appearance include Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy and others. Hugo Strange is the newest villain to appear in Batman films.
The first villain to be ever introduced in volume one of the popular comic book series include Joker and Catwoman, they both appeared in #1 of the popular ongoing DC comic series in 1940.
Although there are hundreds of villains in the storyline of the comic book, we will only cover selected villains who have appeared in the films.
Several installments of the films have been made by different showrunners over time with the first film being released in 1966. The DC character made its motion picture debut much earlier in a self-titled theatrical serial on July 16, 1943, but the serial had an original plot and villain focusing on the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Batman films saw several changes and development through the past 6 decades with different renowned filmmakers trying to adapt the storyline in their own ways. The character as we know it today started with the 1989–1997 film series which three films were released.
We have created selected Batman villains list in the chronological order of their appearance in the motion picture series starting in 1966. The list does not include their television or spinoff series appearances.
Batman Villains names and pictures are included in this list.
Batman Villains In Order of Appearance In Films
|Year Of Appearance
|Ra's Al Ghul
The first Batman villains in order of appearance is Catwoman. Catwoman is also the first villain to appear in the comic book series in 1940.
The fictional character was initially developed to be the antagonist in the storyline, which she has been for the most part, and she is one of the most enduring villains. However, some series and spin-off versions of the story have depicted Catwoman having a love-and-hate relationship with Batman.
Catwoman is an alter-ego of a Gotham City residence Selina Kyle who is a robber and burglar by profession and is characterized by her tight one-piece outfit. She made her motion picture debut in the 1966 film Batman and was portrayed by actress Lee Meriwether.
She does not posses any special superpower as she is also a normal human being. However, she is proficient in using Whip, the particular reason for using a Whip is that people must be trained to wield the weapon and thus it cannot be used against her during confrontations.
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The Batman villains list is incomplete without Joker. The villain debuted in films in 1966 but was in the comic book series from the beginning in 1940.
The sadistic psychopath is the archenemy of the protagonist with an astonishing criminal mastermind. Joker has been around since the beginning of Batman's story and is one of the most enduring villains of the comic book series. Cesar Romero portrayed Joker in the character's debut live action film in 1966.
His actual name has never been revealed in the comic book series and the earlier versions of the films. However, his name is said to be Arthur Fleck in the solo 2019 film titled Joker where he was portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix.
His comic book creation history has varied over time but the most famous one states that he slipped inside a chemical waste tank which turned his skin white, hair green, and lips red driving him insane.
Although Joker does not have any superhuman abilities, he synthesis weapons using his astonishing knowledge of chemical engineering. Some of his most used weapons include razor-tipped playing cards, exploding cigars, and like a true prankster jack-in-the-boxes with unpleasant surprises.
Joker is also one of the easy movie characters to dress up as.
Clayface made a live-action debut in the 1966 film The Batman in the opening credits. Matt Hagen incarnation of Clayface was seen in the series film.
Clayface is not an actual entity or villain of the Gotham protector Batman but an alias used by many villains with similar attributes. The comic book series introduces the villains as incarnations of Clayface.
Clayface is the first villain in our list with superhuman capabilities, all of its incarnations possess the ability to shape-shift making them easy to take the shape of anything of their desire while fighting Batman.
Some of the well-known incarnations of the supervillain include Basil Karlo, Matt Hagen, Preston Payne, The Mud Pack, Cassius "Clay" Payne, Peter "Claything" Malley, and Todd Russell, among others.
Each Clayface incarnations have its unique capabilities, some inherited and some developed. Their superhuman abilities include melting people by touching them to dissolving others just by looking. All of them have something similar to shape-shifting and a body made of clay-like compound.
Penguin first appeared in the 1966 film Batman. Penguin made its comic book debut in 1941 after the character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
The wealthy mobster is a rich businessman from Gotham City's high society. He is best known as the owner of the nightclub Iceberg Lounge which acts as the cover of his criminal operations, Batman also uses the lounge to gather information about the criminal world.
Penguin whose real name in the comic book series is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot became a mobster after proving himself as an excellent thief by sneaking an invaluable painting and joining a gang which he later took control of after killing the leader.
The character was portrayed by Burgess Meredith in the 1966 film. Penguin is characterized by his short and fat body structure, well-fitted formal suit, a monocle, a top hat, and umbrella.
Although the character does not have any superhuman abilities and is the only supervillain who is not insane and has control over his action, he does have a vast amount of wealth which helps him to develop numerous technological weapons. His umbrella can transform into a gun, rocket launcher, and even a mini-helicopter.
Riddler is a criminal mastermind who made his character debut in the 1966 film Batman. Riddler was first introduced in 1948 by creators Bill Finger and Dick Sprang.
The criminal mastermind has an obsessive-compulsive disorder of putting puzzles and riddles on his elaborate and often theatrical plots to prove his superior intelligence over Batman's. He was portrayed by Frank Gorshin in the 1966 film giving his character debut in the live-action film.
The comic book origin of the character portrays him as a young boy fascinated by puzzles and cheats to win his first competition at school. He later masters all kinds of puzzles and starts to challenge Batman and Robin with his moniker Riddler to prove his intelligence.
Like most other supervillains, Riddler does not have any superhuman capabilities but has a trained criminal mind. He has the ability of extensive lateral thinking and can make and solve puzzles of any magnitude and complexity with ease. He is known for his question mark symbol as a moniker.
Two-Face is the alter ego of Gotham City lawyer Harvey Dent. Two-Face is obsessed with the number two and the duality of everything.
The supervillain character made a live-action film debut in 1989 in the film Tim Burton's Batman. The character was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams. However, the lawyer-turned-supervillain has been around in comic books since 1942.
Harvey Dent develops Two-Face alter ego after he gets attacked with acid by a mobster in the courtroom during a case proceeding burning one side of his face beyond repairs. He was once friends with Batman and his allies but has not turned against them seeking vengeance.
As he is just a normal human being, he does not have any superhuman capabilities but has profound skills and knowledge of martial arts and combat. His knowledge from his former profession as an attorney helps him devise crimes keeping criminology and police investigation in mind.
Two-face uses a dual pistol as he is obsessed with the number 2 and has exceptional firearms handling skills. Furthermore, he is also seen wielding shotguns, grenades, and other similar weapons during his fight with Batman.
7. Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze is alter ego of Dr. Victor Fries. Mr. Freeze character made his live-action film debut in the 1997 film Batman & Robin portrayed by Arnold.
The character which was initially known as Mr. Zero was casually killed off by Joker in the early days of the comic series but was later resurrected after it became popular in the animated television series.
Although the character did not have much of a background story and biography to tell previously, later his origin was revamped. Dr. Victor is a cryogenic scientist from Gotham City who is dedicated to finding a cure for his cryogenically frozen terminally ill wife.
His alter ego was created after he is engulfed in a mishap at his laboratory causing his body temperature to dip to extremely low temperatures. He is now forced to wear a Cryogenic suit to stay alive and can go to any length to find a cure for his wife. His illegal business often leads him to face Batman.
As a genetically mutated human, Mr. Freeze has abilities to survive in temperatures nearing absolute zero. He wields a freeze gun which can be used to blast gusts of absolute zero winds and create a cocoon of ice to capture and imprison his enemies. However, his extraordinary mind and scientific knowledge is his greatest weapon.
8. Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy is a botanist with superhuman control over plant life. Poison Ivy first appeared in the 1996 film Batman & Robin portrayed by Uma Thurman.
Poison Ivy is portrayed as a botanist working for Wayne Enterprise to create a plant-animal hybrid to save the vegetation of the world by developing a self-defense mechanism. However, she turns into a supervillain after she is thrown crashing into a room full of plant toxins and animal poisons.
After Poison is mutated, her blood turns into aloe and her skin is replaced by chlorophyll and her lips develop poison capable of killing people with just a kiss. She unites with Mr. Freeze and Bane to establish plant supremacy over the world which is later thwarted by Batman after a dramatic fight.
However, her comic book series version has several differences from as depicted in the films. For instance, her origin story in the comic book states she develops her abilities after one of her allies tries to kill her by giving a dose of poisonous ancient herbs.
9. Ra's Al Ghul
Ra's Al Ghul made his film debut with the 2005 film Batman Begins. Ra's Al Ghul has been in the comic book storyline since 1971.
Ra's Al Ghul's character is portrayed by Liam Neeson in the 2005 film but his true identity is not revealed until the climax of the film. The entire movie paints a decoy played by Ken Watanabe as the supervillain and Liam is instead shown as a mentor of Batman.
However, when Liam tasks Bruce to murder someone as his final test, he denies it and burns down Ra's entire establishment. In the process, the decoy is killed by falling debris which prompts the original Ra's Al Ghul to reveal his identity along with his plan of releasing fear-inducing toxins in Gotham City's water supply.
Ghul also admits to trying to destroy Gotham with an economic rescission previously which was an indirect cause of Bruce's parent's death enraging him. Ghul is then trapped in a runaway train as it derails and explodes killing him.
In the comic book version, the character has a photographic memory and longevity giving him ample time to master all skills and disciplines. He also has a green Lazarus pit which helps recharge him to his prime healing all his injuries and illness. The pit has the capability of bringing back recently dead to life but causes insanity for a while.
Scarecrow character made its film debut in the 2005 film Batman Begins. Scarecrow is the alter ego of Jonathan Crane, the administrator of Arkham Asylum.
Scarecrow is depicted as a professor of psychology turned into a criminal mastermind in comic books after he made his debut in 1941. The character's backstory depicts he was bullied as a child and later develops a fear toxin which he uses to exploit the phobias of Gotham citizens for his pleasure and another sadistic experiment.
However, his film appearance has a slightly different narrative despite the core idea behind the supervillain being the same. In the 2005 film, Scarecrow is portrayed by Cillian Murphy. He is an alter ego of corrupt psychopharmacologist Dr. Jonathan Crane who also serves as the chief administrator of Arkham Asylum.
Scarecrow wears a sack-like mask that has an inbuilt gasmask and breather to keep him safe during his experiments with the fear gas. He teams with Ra's al Ghul and Carmine Falcone to contaminate Gotham's water supply with his fear-inducing chemical but is later stopped by Batman.
11. Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn is a relatively new character among Batman villains with her film debut being in 2016. Harley is portrayed by actress Margot Robbie.
Harley Quinn made her live-action film debut with the 2016 film Suicide Squad. However, her character has been around in the comic book universe for over three decades now after being first introduced in 1992.
In her film biography, she is abandoned by her alcoholic father at a very young age but later gets her life straight and becomes a psychiatrist only to work on Joker as her first patient. Joker manipulates her and gets her to fall madly in love with him and later persuades her to release him from prison.
Joker also leads Harley to jump into the same chemical waste that disfigured him to prove her love which she does without hesitation and the two become equally insane making a perfect criminal pair in Gotham City.
12. Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange is the newest supervillain from Batman to make a film debut. Hugo appeared in a live-action film in 2017 for the first time.
Hugo Strange is one of the oldest supervillains in the Comic book universe but only made a debut in 2017 in the film universe. He is a professor and criminal mastermind from Gotham City and one of the first supervillains to uncover Batman's true identity.
The mad scientist character has the mental ability to create new technologies to aid him in creating chaos and performing easy robberies around Gotham City. He makes a machine that can create dense fog so that his men can rob banks without being seen and a serum to turn normal people into 15-foot giants.
However, he is sent to death falling off a cliff in the 1940 comic book series but returns in 1970. In the 2017 film, Hugo Strange is one of several villains to aid Joker in his plans of vengeance on Batman.