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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Who Has the Best Rogues Gallery?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November.



Batman can’t lose this, can he?

This is EASY.
Dick Tracy of course.

Batman can’t lose this, can he?

After 20 votes, he IS losing. ;)

Of course, it’s just 20 votes, but still…. :)

This is EASY.
Dick Tracy of course.

This one is almost more interesting to see who comes in last.

Batman’s Rogues sprang to my mind as soon as I saw this. Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Clayface, Zasaz, Ra’s Al-Guhl, Man-Bat, Harley Quinn, Bane, Scarecrow, Black Mask, Ventriloquist and Scarface, Lock Up, to name a few.

Definitely Batman.

I thought it was a tie between Spider-Man and Batman (the Flash’s rogues might be awesome, I just haven’t read enough Flash to judge), but I voted for Spider-Man since I figured Batman would sweep the poll. While many of Spider-Man’s villains can’t match the coolness of Batman’s rogues, overall, they have a lot more pathos than guys like the Joker and Penguin.

As someone who recently stopped reading Spiderman and started reading Flash and Batman, I have to say, Spidey can’t lose.

Seems I’m in the minority: Flash

This is difficult, but for sheer number of recurring villains alone, I’ll go with Spidey.

Anyone who votes for anyone but the Flash is clearly insane.

Just sayin’.

I have to say Flash, because his rogues actually are a gallery. The others have a lot of great villains, but the Flash actually has a large group that talks and works together, which I think makes them the best rogue’s gallery.

I went with Batman but this was a tough one.

Dick Tracy, obviously, INVENTED THE CONCEPT of a Rogue’s Gallery. My older brother let me read that super treasury pictured above and I was happier than a pig in shit. (I was also five years old. Haven’t seen it since. I remember loving it.) And I have an old Signet paperback of Dick Tracy featuring Mrs. Pruneface (!) that I would not sell, for love nor money. Tracy’s gonna be last ’cause all you kids got no idea about it, see?

The Flash has the best and most varied COLLECTION of foes. And you always learn something about fire or freezing or centrifugal force. Flash Fact.

Spider-Man has the Sinister Six but he also has some of the BEST villains ever created. Plus, Spidey’s bad guys always have that touch of pathos to them, almost a noirish “I don’t have a choice” quality. With Great Disfigurement or Insanity, Comes Great Pathos.

Jim Aparo’s Joker and Cat-Woman did it, though. Also, one of Batman’s greatest eneimies is also SUPERMAN’S greatest enemy. Let me repeat that. ONE of Batman’s greatest enemies. Is SUPERMAN’S greatest enemy.

Also, I TOTALLY FORGOT that Batman already died in 1977.

My first instincts were to go with Batman’s rogues gallery but the more thought I put into it I just had to go with Spidey’s. It’s hard to argue against Green Goblin, Sandman, Rhino, Vulture, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, The Kingpin, Venom, Kraven, Electro, Shocker, The Lizard, Doc Ock, and Scorpion. Not to mention I even like some of the newer threats coming off of Brand New Day like Menace and Mr. Negative.

Sad that outside of these four characters, I can’t think of anybody else who has a “great” rogue’s gallery. I assume a “gallery” equals at least five villains. Superman, maybe, but his enemies tend to be a very ecclectic bunch, and they’ve all been poorly written last time I was reading Superman.

Everybody else seems to have one or two major villains, and a bunch of other B or C rate foes.

I went with the flash

"O" the Humanatee!

October 3, 2009 at 6:47 am

Regardless of the merits, Dick Tracy’s rogues gallery is at a major disadvantage here, as I’d wager that very few readers of this blog have read his comic strip to anywhere near the same extent as they’ve read the others’ comic books.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the problem with Dick Tracy’s rogues gallery is that they’re kind of interchangable? They’re all gansters with a strange physical deformity or weird habit. Again, I might be off considering that my memories of Dick Tracy were reading short stories when I was younger and seeing the Warren Beatty live-action film some time ago.

I also wanted to point out that even though I voted for Spider-Man’s bad guys and consider Batman’s villains to be 1-B to Spidey’s 1-A… The Flash’s Rogues would be the one I’d most want to hang out with at a small pub.

I’d wager that very few readers of this blog have read his comic strip to anywhere near the same extent as they’ve read the others’ comic books.

Which one is it, motorcycle stuntman or a jetplane pilot? I can tell based on this statement that you like to live dangerously. ;)

I voted for Spider-Man’s. True, Batman’s is probably the best known, but it has always had one serious flaw: most of these guys are psychos in costumes. No powers, no special training. How are they a match for Mr. Almost-Perfect Batman? Not to mention that insanity is not usually an advantage, you know. Flash’s Rogues are even worse, most of them used HAND HELD superweapons against a guy who should logically disarm them before they could blink! Now, Spidey’s foes were often a match for him, and as mentioned above always had good story “hooks”, they weren’t just bankrobbers or crazy murderers. Dick Tracy’s, while being the most influential, is simply too obscure today. Besides most of them were just ugly-looking gangsters.

I voted for the Flash, just because I love the Joe Sixpack vibe the Rogues have. These are professionals doing their job, which just happens to be putting on an outlandish costume and robbing banks. Batman’s villains are the most well known, obviously, and many of them have stronger gimmicks and higher body counts, but the Rogues drink beer together and reminisce about the good old days. and that makes them awesome.

I’m so glad to see Dick Tracy in here, even if I didn’t vote for him. But yeah, he’s certainly in my Top Four Rogues’ Galleries.


Oh, wait…

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 3, 2009 at 8:17 am

Dick Tracy got my vote not merely for inventing the concept, but for the sheer longevity of his rofgues’ gallery despite the fact that they tend to perish within one storyline. For Pete’s sake,t he guy’s been taking on memorable villains for as long as Batman, villains of all stripes.

Far from being interchangeable, Tracy’s best rogues are recognizable types. Prune Face (it was two wards, originally) was a Nazi spy in the comics, as was the Brow; and Mrs. Pruneface was a psychotic, disfigured hulk of a woman seeking revenge, while the Brow’s son turned out to be a whiny nebbish. Flattop’s popularity spawned an entire family of distinctive baddies, from his son Flattop Jr. with his tricked-out car, to lunatic daughter Angeltop, as well as his irascible brother Blowtop, and gangsta grandson Hi-Top.

You’ve just go so many colorable baddies: the creepy Itchy Oliver, who chained Tracy up just to starve him to death; Mumbles, the least smooth-tongued con artist in history; Big Boy, who was the Kingpin about 40 years before the Kingpin; the hypnotist Influence, with his skeletal face and mind-controlling gaze; Breathless Mahoney, in the comic strip the daughter of another villain, Shaky, who poisoned her own mother in order to claim the family fortune; the Blank, a disfigured criminal now perpetrating vigilante-style killings of his former cronies, including the disgusting human trafficker Studs Bronzen; and the Mole, a thoroughly unsocialized creep who made his cash by hiding fugitives in his spacious sewer lair, then strangling them to death while raving in Hulk-speak English.

And that’s hardly all of the better ones.

I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Captain Marvel. Granted it hasn’t been used as well as it could be by DC, but when you have a rogues gallery that opens Dr. Sivana, Black Adam, Mister Mind, and you have the Monster Society of Evil years before similar coalitions of villains, it’s worth mentioning.

“Sad that outside of these four characters, I can’t think of anybody else who has a “great” rogue’s gallery. I assume a “gallery” equals at least five villains. Superman, maybe, but his enemies tend to be a very ecclectic bunch, and they’ve all been poorly written last time I was reading Superman.”

Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, Toyman, Prankster, Kryptonite Man, the Legion of Super-Villains, Mr. Mxyzptlk – and that’s just from “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”, we could also add: General Zod, Silver Banshee, Darkseid, Ultra-Humanite, Parasite, etc. I’d argue Superman has a great collection of rogues, but not a “gallery” as they don’t tend to gang up outside of a few common duos – Luthor/Brainiac, for example.

But, yeah. The characters listed in the poll are clearly the top four contenders. Other runners up could include:

Captain Marvel (Sivana, Mr. Mind, Captain Nazi, Black Adam, Sabbac, Ibac)

Doom Patrol (The Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Madame Rouge, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, General Immortus, The Brotherhood of Evil/Dada, the Scissormen, Red Jack, the Candlemaker)

Fantastic Four (Dr. Doom, Galactus, Namor, Mole Man, Puppet Master, Super-Skrull, Mad Thinker, Annihilus, Blastaar, Impossible Man, Terrax)

Wonder Woman (Cheetah, Dr. Psycho, Giganta, Circe, Ares, Dr. Poison)

X-Men (Magneto, Mystique, Apocolypse, Cassandra Nova, Sabretooth, Juggernaut, Mojo, Mr. Sinister, Lady Deathstrike, the Sentinels, the various incarnations of the Brotherhood)

I feel like it’s a question of quality over quantity. Batman has fewer big names, but they’re BIGGER names, mostly because of the exposure on the 60s TV show and movies. How more well known is even the Riddler than the Vulture or Captain Cold or Mirror Master?

By the way, is the Flash the very first group of villains to be called a “Rogues’ Gallery”? Because that seems to be who springs to mind most when the phrase comes up.

Batman easy. The Flash only has a handful of great villains, and besides a few exceptions Spider-Man’s villains are mostly interesting because of their powers. Obviously, all four have great villains, but Batman has the best,

I’m surprised that nobody has revamped Dick Tracy and reintroduced him in a more modern fashion to today’s comicbook readers. That seems like a property that is full of great characters and stories just waiting for someone to run with. Anyone know who owns the rights? Is it WB?

Flash. His groupies seem to “collaborate” more than others’.

Gotta go with Batman. Its actually a very deep gallery with lots of cool minor ones and and the top can’t be beat: Joker and Catwoman. Spider-man and Flash can’t compete with that top 2.

Although they haven’t transfered over into other mediums as Batman’s, Spidey’s or Superman’s, from a purely comic perspective the Fantastic Four’s rogue’s are hands down the best.

The Flash loses because I’m forced to take a guy called Captain Boomerang seriously. and Captain Cold or whatever isn’t as cool as Mr. Freeze.
So it comes down to Batman vs. Spider-Man

Gotta go with Batman; his villains are all dark reflections of some aspect of the hero himself. Not that the others guys don’t have a great line-up, because they do. Probably best to get these 4 out of the way now, since it would probably come down to them anyway.

The Flash’s rogues gallery wins hands down…they are disrespected by other heroes and villains however when s*** hits the fan, the Rogues are often shown to be crafty and inventive. Very handy when you are fighting heroes that can move faster than sound / light. And this was ever BEFORE Johns’ run added depth to each.

Spidey comes in at #2 followed by Bats. I couldn’t vote for Dick Tracy because I personally hate things tied to mobsters.

Galleries in my underrated category : Teen Titans, Nova (cool kids table ironically just did a write-up on them last week), Wonder Woman, Superman, and Fantastic Four.

um…I meant “even before” damn stubby fingers with no edit button…..

Dick Tracy, hands down. Inventing the concept has to be worth something, and some of them were just so weird. I remember reading a treasury and there was this one villain from the early 60s, Spots, who was this Hawaiian kidnapper with this cloud of spots hovering around his head where his eyes ought to have been. It was so bizarrely pop-arty, and the fact that Chester Gould was still making crazy-ass stuff like this after 30 years was awesome. As I recall, Spots had a sidekick named Ogden ho only spoke in poetic verse mis-attributed to various famous poets. Good stuff from Tracy.

My problem is I’ve barely read any Flash stories. The only villain I can remember is the boomerang guy. And like most people under 60, I don’t know much about Dick Tracy villains other than some names.
But there was never any question this would be a contest between Batman and Spider-Man, was there? I have to go with Spider-Man, but that may be simply because that’s what I know best.

Flash wins in my mind, because unlike Batman and Spidey whose rogues who work best as neighborhood baddies (With the exceptions of Ra’s and Doc Ock, and even they seem to be less global these days). Flash has the ability to do any kind of story: goofy Silver Age w/ hard sci-fi (Flash villains invented the genre), hard-boiled noir (the Rogues), magical (Abra Kadabra and Dr. Alchemy), stories with global stakes (Grodd, Dr. Alchemy, Vandal Savage), and the down and dirty personal rivalries (every single one of the Reverse Flashes). Plus, almost all of them have realistic motivations beyond “we’re CRAZY.”

I voted Flash but I agree with Thok-Captain Marvel has one of the better rogues gallery.

When I saw the topic, I was certain I would be voting for Flash. But, once I saw that Dick Tracy was a choice, he became the only choice.


I’m it’s a toss up between Batman and Spider-man. Both have a large portion of comic’s most famous villains of all time, if you asked someone to list 20 comic book villains at least half would probably be from these two. Joker, Cat-woman, Penguin, Two-face, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc etc vs. Assorted Goblins, Dr Octopus, Lizard, Venom, Scorpion, Carnage, Sandman, Vulture, Electro, Kraven etc….

I’m going for Batman, on the basis that in some ways his villains do seem to work better in relation to him individually than Spider-mans. Lizard, Goblin, Dr Octopus and Venom all work as specific foils for him but beyond that the rest would seem to be more generic opponents who could feasibly go with any street level hero.

The one wildcard in this would be that you could arguably include J. Jonah Jameson in spider-man’s rogues gallery to some degree, as he’s quite a unique sort of foil that is unique to Spider-man. But still I’m going with Batman.

I’m having trouble choosing between Batman and Spidey. Batman’s does pop to mind as having the coolest, most colorful villains, but I also agree with Sijo’s “psychos in costumes” description. Spider-Man also has a great variety, and what’s more they all have very unique powers and backstories. I want to go with Spidey, but Batman’s rogues keep pulling me back (great cover to pick for Batman, by the way, adding to my tough decision. It’s also the first Batman comic I ever owned!).

I’ll sleep on it.

My problem with Batman and Flash’s rogues galleries is that they are blatantly inferior to the hero that dspite their cool concepts they lose points in my eyes. Outside of Ras Al Ghul and Bane, none of Batman’s villains are good enough to hang with him in a one on one fight. For Pete’s sake they even need henchmen just to even the odds! Flash’s villains, most of them don’t even have powers, just a single gimmick versus a man fast enough to approach lightspeed. Flash’s Rogue Gallery would make a better rogue’s gallery for Batman I think.

Spider-Man and Dick Tracy have better rogues I think because not only are they just as colorful but you can also see them going one on one with the hero and possibly winning.

The producers of Batman: The Brave and the Bold certainly recognize the connection to Dick Tracy’s villain history. In the Bat-Mite episode they wonderfully spoofed the Daffy Duck “Duck Twacy”s scene where Twacy is haunted by all of his baddies. Can’t believe that many of the current viewers recognized the bow to the old Daffy Duck cartoon, but I thought it was hilarious.
I voted for Tracy just because too many younger fans only know him through the Warren Beatty movie which is no more true to the strip than the serial that TCM has been running on Saturday mornings. The other rogues’ galleries are great, but I had to go old school on this vote.

have to go with batman for as much as spider mans rogues and flash rogues are cool ones. batman beat them espically with the joker as a member. for not even the green goblin can match the clown prince of crime in insanity and as a number one rogue for the hero

Such varied opinion! This one’s going down to the wire, folks! It’s anybody’s race, at this point! Looks like it Bats and Spidey! But Tracy’s rallying and the Flash is never far behind! More breathless exposition after our regularly scheduled program of dance music!

Batman: The Brave and The Bold is also showing a Dick Tracy influence in the villain Babyface and his gang, who are just a bunch of weird-looking hoods.

I think that “What makes a Rogues Gallery?” is a question that should have been asked to start with. After all, nearly every hero has multiple enemies. I agree that a “gallery” must interact with each other at least semi-regularly- not necessarily in a friendly way, they could be rivals, but there should be a sense that they don’t exist independently.

Another good question would be “how do we rate these galleries?” By how famous they are? Or how effective? Or how they get along?

As for alternate rogues galleries, sadly, there are few. Superman (Luthor, Brainiac, the Parasite, the Toyman, Mr. Mix-yez-pittle-ick and …uh… Metallo? Bizarro?) or Captain America (The Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Dr. Faustus … um… does Ultron count?)

As for Captain Marvel … he fought a WORM. Yes, he wore glasses but he was a WORM.

These were the best four. The FF can’t bump Dick Tracy, sorry.

Oh damn. This is hard. Batman seems like the obvious choice at first. His villains are such a great psychotic subversion of pulp tropes and such great foils to the character. But then you have all those great visually striking characters that Gould created for Tracy. I think I’m gonna go with The Flash though. I mean, his rouges basically formed a union and then you add to that blue collar style with them hanging out at the same dive splitting the tab for drinks with stolen money. That’s fucking awesome. Just so long as Spider-Man doesn’t win, cause seriously, his rogues are so uninspired.

Batman has the most iconic villians but he doesnt have alot, The Flashes rouges are the most organized and its kewl they all hang out together , dick tracy and his rouges arent as well know in this day and age so for me the winner has to be Spider-man over Batman only because he has a solid 10 rouges that can be considered popular and iconic. Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Mysterio, Sandman, Elecktro, Venom, Kraven, Rhino, Vulture, Cameleon. thats alot of vilians without diggin to deep …there are even more…the good Batman rouges are only 6 deep at best. Joker riddler catwoman penguin poison ivy scarecrow

I break the members of Rogue’s Galleries into tiers. Tier 1 are characters who could plausibly do something that changes the status quo. The classic example is the Joker who killed Jason Todd and crippled Batgirl. Tier 2 are bad guys who can carry a story arc on their own, but are not going to do anything game changing. Tier 3 are the bad guys who have been good in the past, but have a gimmick that wears thin quickly.

Spider-Man has one Tier 1 (Green Goblin), a bunch on Tier 2 (Doc Ock, the Scorpion, the Lizard, Electro, Kraven, Mysterio, Sandman) and few notable ones on Tier 3 (Vulture, Venom). That is a lot.

The Flash has exactly zero on Tier 1. Before someone objects and say “What about PROFESSOR ZOOM!?!”, that guy loses points for having his big crime (killing Iris Wst-Allen) undone. He just does. What the Flash lacks on Tier 1, he makes up for on Tier 2 both during Silver (Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, Abra Kadabra, Trickster, Dr. Alchemy, Gorilla Grodd) and modern (Black Flash, Kilg%re). The Flash also has an embarrassment of riches on Tier 3.

I am not going to pretend to be a Dick Tracy expert. My understanding is that they are wonderful and colorful, but I don’t know them.

However, Batman really does have it all. Not only does he have the best arch-enemy, but he has several other Tier 1 Rogues (Two-Face, Catwoman, Ra’s al Ghul). He has nearly as many on Tier 2 as the Flash (Penguin, Riddler, Bane, Clayface, Deadshot, Man-Bat, Poison Ivy) and keeps adding to them (The Ventriloquist, Hush).

Dick Tracy’s gallery is my favorite. His gallery set the tone for all future galleries. It was doggone fun too.

Batman has my two favorite bad guys: (1) Ra’s and (2) Joker.

BTW, I’m under sixty.

I had to go with Flash.

Yeah, Dick Tracy’s was the first, but they’re really all the same gangster-type of villain. Batman’s was basically inspired by Dick Tracy. And…well…I’ve just never been a fan of Marvel…so Spidey (despite having a respectable showing) is out. Besides, every time this topic is brought up, I always seem to think of Flash’s first.

Perhaps mine isn’t the most sound of reasoning…but…one has to go with one’s own heart.

“Sad that outside of these four characters, I can’t think of anybody else who has a “great” rogue’s gallery.”

I’m sad that no one has brought Will Eisner’s Spirit into this conversation.


October 4, 2009 at 1:53 am

I think it has to go to Batman.
I’m not as a familiar with Dick Tracy, but his villains don’t seem to be much more than disfigured gangsters and their children, Flashes rogues refer to themselves as the rogues and that’s really annoying (and they just aren’t that great), Spider-man’s villains haven’t been the greatest since Dikto was on the book and it had the whole science gone wrong motif running through it…. where as Batmans villains still maintain their twisted reflections of him and still re4main interesting through countless different creators takes on them.

I think it has to go to Spider-Man. I agree with the reasons of those who picked him.

One, I think Spidey simply has more major villains than Batman or Flash. Probably half a dozen or a dozen more. Two, his villains are deeper and richer characters overall.

I mean, once you get past the Joker and Catwoman, how much do we really know or care about the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, et al.? In contrast, Marvel has done major, character-defining stories about several of Spidey’s foes: Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Kraven, and of course the Kingpin. If you match up these five to Batman’s top five, I think you’ll see Spider-Man’s villains are superior.

The final order will be Spider-Man or Batman (close), Flash, and Dick Tracy. Nobody remembers Dick Tracy or his villains that well. The villains haven’t entered the popular culture the way Lex Luthor and the Joker have. They’re not iconic enough.

The FF and X-Men have equally good sets of villains, but do they really count as “rogues galleries”? When I think of a rogues gallery, I think of villains dedicated to defeating one particular hero or group of heroes. Can we really say characters such as Galactus, the Sub-Mariner, the Super-Skrull, or Klaw are dedicated to the FF? Can we even say Galactus and the Sub-Mariner are villains?

The X-Men have a slightly different problem. They have a lot of villains dedicated to them, but several of them–Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth, Juggernaut–also have been team members. I’m not sure we can put them in a rogues gallery when they go back and forth between hero and villain status. They may have been classic rogues once, but now they’re something more complex.


October 4, 2009 at 6:11 am

One, I think Spidey simply has more major villains than Batman or Flash. Probably half a dozen or a dozen more. Two, his villains are deeper and richer characters overall.

This isn’t about quantity though, it’s about quality.
Sure, Spidermans got a lot of villains, but The Jackal, Dragonfly, Grim Hunter… they aren’t all good, let alone great.

As for deeper and richer… really?
Their goals don’t seem to shift that much – which worked great with Dikto on the book where the book was a new freak of science every month, but not that they’ve been picked to death, it’s gone a little stale.

I mean, once you get past the Joker and Catwoman, how much do we really know or care about the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, et al.?

Are you kidding?
Batmans stories are usually all about the villain, and so the writers have done so much with the villains and their stories in the regular ongoing titles, throw in all the specials and mini’s and such dedicated to each villain, they are well known and cared about, where as Spider-man is all about Spider-man, and so the villains are only defined through him.

Also, Spidey’s villains often seem to only want to hurt him, Batmans are out to get everyone.

Also shocked that you don’t see characters like Two Face or The Ventriloquist as fascinating characters due to their mental states (unless that puppet is independent!) – Spidey’s villains just don’t have such messed up motivations or functions as these guys… Two Face is possibly the least predictable villain ever, a gangster who leaves every decision p to chance!

Great Spider-Man Villains : the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus,the Scorpion, the Vulture, Kraven, Electro, the Molten Man.
Lousy Spider-Man villains : too many to mention. (Rocket Racer? The Spot?)

Great Batman villains : Joker, Two Face, Catwoman, Penguin, Scarecrow, Riddler, Mad Hatter, Ra’s Al Ghul and that’s just for starters.
Lousy Batman villains : Again, too many to mention. But even the crappiest Batman villains are terrifying. (The Ratcatcher, for example.)

The Flashes rogues drink beer together and that’s cool and all but … And Dick Tracy’s group are more than just disfigured crooks. In fact, they’re not even disfigured. That’s the art style, kids. It’s a shame they don’t teach comics in school or you kids would know about the Brow, Flattop, Mumbles, Shaky, Pruneface, Mrs. Pruneface(!), Krime, Inc., etc …

It’s Bats vs Spidey as we round the final turn, looks like…

Alvin (locomambo)

October 4, 2009 at 9:33 am

I wanted to vote Spidey but I went with the Bat. later!

Daniel O' Dreams

October 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

I went with my original knee jerk reaction, Batman. His villains are the most iconic, the Joker, Catwoman and Ras are personal favorites and I really think supervillains SHOULD be a little psycho. Why don’t the Flash’s villains just SELL their fantastic weaponry and make billions? They seem smart enough to figure that out. (Admittedly Mr. Freeze has the same problem, he’s not nearly as crazy as Joker or Poison Ivy. Is his motivation still to save his wife? I know that was the retcon after Paul Dini came up with a new backstory for TAS. Seems he could have made a fortune and maybe revived her by now.)

Spiderman has the second greatest Rogues gallery. (Sorry Dick Tracy I just don’t know enough about your guys) Challenging complex and sometimes willing to gang up on him.

Flash has the most well organized Rogues. Their interpersonal relationships; some are pals some flat out hate each other, make them interesting. Their ability to support one another and work together (they are a superteam a super-villain team) makes them dangerous.

Still think Bats wins.

I’ll put my money on Batman

I voted for the Spider but i think the Bat will win. By the way, where can i see the results again? (Technologically-challenged Indonesian comic fiend at work here..although not all Indonesians are like me. Technology just doesn’t like me ‘s all..and vice versa)

Batman just squeezes out The Flash for me.

Spider-Man doesn’t come close and I don’t really know Dick Tracey

I voted Batman, but after reading the comments, I want to switch it to Spidey.

I chose Batman because his rogues can be seen as parallels to him. They are all aspects of Batman gone awry. Spider-Man’s foes have a little of this, Doc Ock, Kraven and Green Goblin are a bit like him, but the rest are just colorful villains. Great ones, for the most part, but they could take on anyone, not just Spidey.
Flash’s rogues are clever, but outside of Professor Zoom, Barry Allen was humoring the lot of them.
I can’t say I know enough about Dick Tracy’s rogues to judge.

I voted Spider-Man. Like many others said Spider-Man’s villains relate best to him as a character in terms of strength and skill level. Also, many of them are also smart folks (scientists) , who have just taken different paths with their abilities. So many of Spidey’s villains are a reflection of himself.

Speakin of villains, I always thought Ras Al Guhl would have been a better Captain America villain.

Batman, FTW. Is there any man who can deny Orca or KGBeast?

Dr. Doom, the Skrulls, Superskrull, Galactus, Silver Surfer, the Inhumans, Namor, Puppet Master, Red Ghost, Mad Thinker, Molecule Man, the Hate-Monger, Rama-tut, DragonMan, Frightful Four, the Hulk, Blastaar, Ronan, the Sentry, Annihilus… and I’m not even an FF diehard. I’m much more X-men/Avengers. But c’mon

Spider-Man. There’s way more diversity.


October 5, 2009 at 10:30 am

I go with Batman, he has so many archetypal foes.

I’d rather hang out with the Flash Rogues though, they seem like a hell of a lot more fun. But that may be an undue influence from the “Tom Vs. the Flash” podcasts – good stuff!

I agree that the FF have the best foes, but as was pointed out earlier, they don’t really constitute a “rogues gallery” very well.


October 5, 2009 at 10:59 am

I had to vote for the Flash.
His Rogues Gallery is awesome!
You have a bunch of colorful, wondeful, talented and awesome men who commit crimes and have dedictaed their life to annoy the fastets man alive.
That is pure awesome.

Secondly, they work together and manage not to screw each other over after a fight.
They are capable of teamwork and can support each other.

Thirdly, the puns.
Names with alliterations, and…have you seen the puns?

Captain Cold – ice
Heat Wave – fire
Weather Wizard – the freaking weather (preferance lightning)
Mirror Master – light, illusions, mirror verses
Trickster – toys, gadgets that would put Wile. E. Coyote to shame and blingingly bright pants
Piper – sonic weapons, power of hypnosis and now apparentl muse to the new gods and bearer of the anti life equation
Captain Boomerang – he´s australian, awesome by default.

First of all, I agree that there should be relevant, material, threshold criteria for what constitutes a “rogues’ gallery” for a hero or team so there is a basis for choosing one assemblage of villains over the others. And it has to be proceed with the proposition that the villains are strongly and primarily associated with their antagonist (i.e., Mordru with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Mole Man with the FF, Red Skull with Captain America, Ultron with the Avengers, Brainiac with Superman) occupy the same “space” if you will, that allows for interactions amongst the members of the gallery (Gotham City, hanging out at the same dive as Flash’s foes) and are tied to the mythos of the hero (Dr. Doom’s hatred of Reed Richards originating in their college years, Baron Mordu’s rivalry with Dr. Strange from their shared discipleship under the Ancient One, Batman’s role in the creation of the Joker, the Smallville origins of Luthor and Kent, Thor’s wicked adoptive broker Loki).

Whether the rogues have weapons or super-powers or facial deformities seem less than serious reasons to choose one group over another, and reflect a post hoc or arbitrary justification for a preference reached by gut instinct or familiarity. Comparative powers and skill sets work both ways: although the Flash is physically superior to any individual rogue, they have often worked together to present a challenge and even as individuals, the rogues have shown a certain guile, creativity and ruthlessness, which coupled with their criminal experience and scientific expertise (in soem instances) tend to equalize the power disparity somewhat.

Speaking of which, as a second point: shouldn’t members of the on-line electorate be reasonably familiar with all of the available choices before casting a ballot? Several voters have unabashedly admitted that they were unfamiliar with, or ignorant of, the “rogue’s galleries” for Dick Tracy or the Silver Age Flash, which gives their selections less validity and merit from the very beginning.

Third, a useful characteristic for comparing rogues galleries may be the internal diversity within the group—-appearances, abilities, styles and strategies (one villain is superhumanly strong, another an acrobatic thief, another is from outer space and has cosmic powers, another may wield supernatural forces) Thor, for example, from the beginning of his Marvel career tussled with Mr. Hyde, the Cobra, Ego the Living Planet, the previously-mentioned Loki, etc)

Following the framework set forth in the poll, of those choices mentioned, I would select the Flash.
If there were additional choices, I would opt for Thor.

Wait a minute! Where’s the FF’s rogues gallery?

Doctor Doom. The Inhumans. Galactus. Black Panther. Psycho Man and Sub-Atomica. The Mad Thinker and his Android. The Frightful Four – Wizard, Trapster, Sandman. Molecule Man. The Krees and Ronan. The Skrulls and Super-Skrull. Diablo. Annihilus. Impossible Man. Mole Man. Silver Surfer. Blastar. Puppet Master. “Him.” And that’s only considering the Kirby villains!


October 5, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Well Maurice, it’s a wide wide comics world out there. If you expected people to only voice an opinion on things they knew things about… well the whole internet might just disappear.

Seriously though, I think peoples relative lack of knowledge about Dick Tracy is probably taken into account when all of this is being discussed.

Thirdly, the puns.
Names with alliterations, and…have you seen the puns?

Puns? Heat Wave I’ll grant you, but I can’t think of any others.

No, FunkyGreenJerusalem, I wasn’t kidding. Marvel probably could produce a “greatest stories” volume for each of Spidey’s top 12 villains. Probably two for Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus as well as one for Harry Osborn’s Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin.

DC could produce a “greatest stories” volume for the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Ra’s Al-Ghul…and then who? The Penguin? The Riddler? Poison Ivy? The Scarecrow? Killer Croc? Clayface? Mr. Freeze? Hugo Strange? Are there really seven or eight great character-defining stories for each of these villains? I’ve been reading Batman off and on for almost 40 years and I must’ve missed them.

I could understand you missing them. I’ve missed the ones for most Spider-Man’s top twelve.

Flash, easily.

Mr Bribary's Shrunken Heads

June 10, 2011 at 2:20 am

Dick Tracy inspired me to like Spider Man, back in 1974. The Dick Tracy weird freaky KILLERS were the strangest out there, until I saw Spider Man. It is a tough over-all call, but DT CREATED the whole freaky re-appearing bad guys. My favorite DT bad guys? Flattop (best action sequence ever inked…seriously), Flattop Jr (the RV-type car, years before RVs, used to do evil), the above mentioned Spots and mis-quoted Ogden, Pucker Puss who fired bullets from his dentures, Bribery an evil, evil evil (think Green Goblin or Jackal evil) dude who killed associates, shrunk their heads and put them on a rotating display, assisted by a cocaine huffing peruvian assassin. Yes, this was in the newspaper in 1965, with a baddie who owned a cigar smoking cat…Bribery liked to talk to roses about his insecurities, long before Spider-Man bad-guys were allowed to have their own motivations and character). Spider-Man was cool on the abstract, but Dick Tracy was the weird freaks that could come at you in a non-supernatural world. Batman = Dick Tracy WITHOUT THE LAW. Spider-Man = Dick Tracy WITH A CONSCIOUS.

Spider-Man wins on one level monthly -(Doc Oc, Lizard, Hammerhead, Jackal, Carrion, Tarantula, Sandman, Green Goblin, [actually, Venom was my favorite character, good story telling, but too much like Green Goblin and Carrion), Dick Tracy wins on the daily “I can’t believe I am reading this on Saturday morning and watching Croft Supershow” subv ersion of the normal status quo inflicted upon us by the 1970s. Way to go, Chester Gould!! All villains were certain to die HORRIBLY and never come back…something sorely lacking in comic books.

Plus, Lizz was way hotter than MJ or Gwen and into BDSM scenarios. She survived as many Death-Traps as Dick Tracy.

This is a GREAT poll….but I have to choose DT because of the lack of super-powers.

Mr Bribary's Shrunken Heads

June 10, 2011 at 2:25 am

And pshaw, Dick Tracy had Poison Ivy in the early 50s and upped it with Mr Crime who had flesh eating plants to dispose of bodies and a barracuda in a swimming pool to dispose of lackeys.

Two Face was generated from Dick Tracy’s Haf and Haf, who fell into a vat of acid, became a side-show freak and had a way with poisonous animals.

The Flash’s rogues actually work together, and they’re not just individual crazies. But I grew up with Batman and Spider-Man, and although it’s close, I’ll have to say Batman. All of Batman’s villains represent a dark reflection of some aspect of him, what he could’ve become if his parents murders had broken him rather than make him stronger. On a sub-conscious level, Batman and his villains are pretty similar, and I think that’s why he refuses to kill them. They’re like him, he thinks he can ‘cure’ them. Spider-Man’s villains have no motives other than “KILL SPIDEY” and that gets broing after awhile. Spider-Man has great villain, but Batman has the best villains. Batman’s don’t need superpowers, and that makes it all the more real. Besides maybe Clayface. But I like Clayface. And I never really knew Dick Tracy, it just sounds familiar.

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