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Vote for Batman’s 75 Greatest Friends and Foes!

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re going to be doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman. Future installments will deal with Batman creators and stories, but this month will be about Batman friends and foes.

Batman has both a rich and varied supporting cast plus a killer Rogues Gallery, so here you will be casting your vote for who you feel are the greatest Batman villains as well as the greatest Batman friends/associates of all-time!

You folks all vote in the comments section here up until 11:59 Pacific time, April 18th. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the top 75 beginning April 21st.

Okay, here are the guidelines!

1. Vote in the comments section below, making sure to include that classic word “ACBC” somewhere in your comment so your vote will be marked invisible.

2. Vote for your TEN favorite Batman villains as well as your TEN favorite Batman supporting cast members/associates/fellow superheroes. So you’ll be listing 20 characters in total.

3. Rank each list of ten from #1 (what you think is the greatest character) to #10 (what you think is the 10th greatest). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count. On that note, please also avoid listing them like this “1) 2) 3) 4),” because 8 with a ) after it transforms into a smiley face in the comments section (this one 8) ). Just plain ol’ “1. 2. 3.” works best.

Here is a template for how your list should look:

TEN GREATEST BATMAN VILLAINS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

TEN GREATEST BATMAN ALLIES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

ACBC

4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.

5. On the friends list, do not vote for teams, like the Justice League or the Outsiders. Just list individual heroes. So, for instance, list Black Lightning not the Outsiders, Superman not the Justice League, etc.

6. As for villain teams, the general rule of thumb is, “Did they first fight Batman as a team?” If the answer is yes, then they can be voted on as a team. If no, then no.

7. You can put Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul on either list or both, if you so choose.

8. For simplicity’s sake, just go with Dick Grayson, Barabra Gordon, Jason Todd and Tim Drake instead of their superhero identities, because they’ve each had multiple identities. Although if you really want to just say Nightwing, Oracle, Red Hood and Red Robin, I’ll accept them accordingly. But if you just say “Batgirl” or just say “Robin” then I won’t know who you mean.

9. Make sure to include ACBC in your ballot.

If you have questions and or requests for clarification, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Remember, please include the following word: ACBC – on your ballot. It will make it so your ballot appears invisible to other readers, so only I can read it (and count your vote secretly).

Most importantly, have fun!

Now vote! :)

112 Comments

Are the two lists going to be combined into one single top 75 list?

Just to be perfectly clear about a few things before everyone starts voting:

1. Do all forms of media featuring Batman count or do the characters have to have appeared and/or originated in the comics? This is relevant for Harley Quinn most notably, but also for Roxy Rocket, Gray Ghost, and characters exclusive to the TV show (among others potentially).

2. Bat-Mite counts as a villain, correct? Because he’s kind of like Bizarro in that he doesn’t realize he’s doing anything wrong and is usually trying to help but just has a very different idea of what that means. I’m assuming he’s still a villain though for the same reason Bizarro is (meaning he’s 100% of the time portrayed as an antagonist regardless of his intentions).

3. Do characters exclusive to never-intended-to-be-canon-in-any-continuity stories (such as Elseworlds or anything comparable) count? I’m thinking Carrie from The Dark Knight Returns specifically, but I’m sure there are others that some people might want to vote for as well.

4. Does ANYONE who has been an ally or villain of Batman even once count for the purposes of this list even if they are more associated with another character(s)? A big one that comes to mind is Solomon Grundy, who is clearly more of a JSA (and related characters [in particular Alan Scott and Jack Knight]) villain, but has had some extremely memorable appearances in Batman stories.

5. Batman has thrown down with Swamp Thing on at least three separate occasions that I can think of off the top of my head (one or two of which are pretty famous even) and to the best of my knowledge the two have never teamed up (correct me if I’m wrong here). What is Swamp Thing’s status as far as this list is concerned and is he even eligible for the voting?

Alfred for the win!!!!

Struggling to think of ten allies that I actually like

I had the same problem as DanCJ, as I’ve never been interested in Batman’s stable of underage peons and hesitated to call characters with fully formed worlds to inhabit themselves mere “allies of Batman”.

Can we vote for Kal-El as a “supporting cast” of Batman ?

Sorry, double post.
Do we have to separate the clayface(s) ?

This may have been covered before, but are the Ventriloquist and Scarface the same character or separate characters? While I have seenthem separated out, I’m not well-read enough to know if that was ever a lasting thing.

LouReedRichards

April 8, 2014 at 6:52 am

Reading is fundamental.

Does Cameron Chase count as an ally or foe? Or both?

Always
Check
Before
Commenting

It’s a good rule people. :D

Let’s go King Tut!

So would you put Amanda Waller as a villain?

Well, that was fun :)

well since you posted your for all to see, I thought about adding Terry Mcguiness to mine but I thought just calling him in allie would be a down grade. He was Batman. If Brian wants to make a list of top Batmen other than Bruce Wayne he’d definitely be at the top of the list.

Please stop voting for Hush. Please.

I included the code that starts w/ AC & ends in BC. I assume my vote went thru but don’t see my post with the usual “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Did it go through?

I know Joker is going to be no.1 but is he honestly anyone’s FAVOURITE villain?

I am so bored of him. Haven’t seen a good interpretation of the character since Heath Ledger.

Snyder’s was so ridiculously crazy that there’s no way he could have achieved half the things he did in the story.

For most of the 90s / 2000s he went around calling Batman “Bats” and making lousy puns.

His self-titled series in the 70s was mostly awful

50s / 60s he was fairly silly kids fare

1980s and 1940s he was pretty cool.

But most of all I’m just BORED of The Joker.

I know Joker is going to be no.1 but is he honestly anyone’s FAVOURITE villain?

No. Everybody who voted him as #1 is lying for some reason.

CaptainMcgloo

April 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

I do find The Joker dull, but he’s also such a force of nature intertwined with the batman mythology it’s impossible to not rate him number one. He’s the force equal and opposite to batman. but as far as an actual character beyond that I agree, when looked at on his own he’s pretty uninteresting. Same reason people love Silence of The Lambs but don’t like Hannibal.

The number of people voting for Hush is kind of mind boggling. He really is a terrible character.

Hoosier X wrote: No. Everybody who voted him as #1 is lying for some reason.

Hi Hoosier X – I mean that I think many may be voting Joker no.1 because he’s the most iconic / famous Batman villain. So my question stands – is he your favourite? Or just the automatic choice for no.1 without really thinking about it? Thanks, LMC

Archie Leach – I do sort of agree with you, in that it was made so obvious who Hush was from the beginning despite the Robin red herrings (eg. endless flashbacks of Bruce and Tommy, even after his “death” – why would they be in the story if he wasn’t Hush?).

Also it was ANOTHER riff on the whole childhood friend becomes adult enemy. A bit of a cliche. However, he could have gone on to become a strong character if other writers had done something interesting with him. Sadly that doesn’t seem to have happened….

C’mon, Batman Jones!

Besides the example Brian gave, I find myself wondering “which Clayface?” Since there were at least three of them. Not so much a problem with the two Two-Faces, nobody remembers the second.

For what it’s worth, I used the “civilian name” as well as the Clayface name.

For anyone wanting to vote for a Clayface:

Basil Karlo — the 1940s one and the current one, started as an actor who became a “real-world” slasher movie villain and is now an “ultimate Clayface ” with the powers of all his successors. Possibly the only version who exists in the New 52 continuity.

Matt Hagen — the first of the shapeshifting Clayfaces; in the comics, he was an unscrupulous treasure hunter, but the Bruce Timm animated series gave him Karlo’s actor backstory

Preston Payne — the one with the flesh-melting death touch and the mannequin girlfriend, who wears an exosuit to hold himself together. Also the version in the Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth GN by Morrison and McKean. Pre-52, he was killed off

Sondra Fuller — aka Lady Clay, who eventually ended up with Preston in the “the Mud Pack.” They had….

Cassius — The kid Clayface from Knightfall, briefly seen again in Batman v.1 #550

Clay-Thing — a scientist who developed the power to melt people into clay after taking a smaple of Cassius’s blood

Todd Russell — The Clayface from the Brubaker/Cooke Catwoman relaunch, a victim of experimentation by unknown parties

Hush’s Clayface — A guy who was recruited by Hush after a chemical palnt explosion made him a “clayface” creature

Ethan Bennett — never used int he comics, he’s the version from The Batman series, the one where the Penguin had ninja robot girl sidekicks and the Joker never wore shoes

Also, there have been four Two-Faces: the famous one is Harvey “Apollo” Dent (or Harvey Kent in the 1940s), but there’s also Paul Sloane (reinvented by Brubaker and Rucka as “Charlatan” in one of their last arcs in Detective Comics) and two Golden Age impostors who tried to frame Harvey during Harvey’s period of reform, one of whom was his butler, Wilkins!

There are also three Killer Moths — the best-known is Drury Walker/Cameron Van Cleer/Charaxes, but there’s also Danko Twagg, a gadgeteer type who claimed to be the “real” Moth but committed suicide when captured by the Birds of Prey, and the otherwise unnamed Moth successor seen briefly in “Face the Face” and Gail Simone’s Secret Six.

You’re gonna have to put that ACDC thing in bold or some shit, Brian

Willie Everstop

April 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Ace the Bathound!

While I didn’t use him I was thinking about Bat-Mite and how he doesn’t really fit well on a list like this. He likes Batman and tries to help him, but usually causes him more problems so he’s really more of a non-villianous antagonist.

I so wanted to vote for the Metal Men. I think they had a yearly tradition of appearing in Brave and Bold when I was a kid.

Can Bob Kane be on our list of villains?

@ Omar Karindu – thank you, man! I had in mind ‘Clayface III’, as I remember him referenced in the original ‘Who’s Who . . ‘ series. Your confirmation spares me rummaging through longboxes!

Clayface III was in this one great story Batman Annual 11. For my money, the best Batman story Alan Moore wrote.

Why is everyone “afraid” to also list Dick Grayson as “The Batman”

I would have Joel Schumaker and Chris O’donell somewhere in my top 10 villains…

“Luscious Fox”

One of my favorites, really.

Although we all know if Fatman from Batman 114 doesn’t win, this whole voting is rigged.

No one knows how to use the fucking copy/paste function apparently. FFS.

Also, I posted a bunch of questions about clarifying the rules and they haven’t shown up in the comments section? What’s up with that?

I was going to question all the Riddler love by people who forgot the code for their ballot, but then I saw Maxie Zeus and laughed so hard I forgot my previous rage.

Bill Williamson

April 9, 2014 at 9:43 am

@ LMC I love The Joker. He’s such an excellent counterpoint to Batman. To me, there is no better villain in comics than the Joker. Not Lex Luthor, not the Green Goblin, not Doctor Doom. The Joker.

@CaptainMcgloo Incidentally I love Hannibal Lecter and disagree with your assertion. Clearly there must be something about the character that people enjoy seeing as he’s had five film incarnations and a TV series to his name. Of course, we’re talking about Batman villains and not Hannibal, so…

Top 10 Batmen would be an interesting one. The problem is I don’t think there have actually been 10 different Batmen, even in Elseworlds continuity.

I suppose you could argue there are multiple Jokers: The calculating, flamboyant killer of the first few years, the gimmicky 1950s1960s hood, the homicidal revival of the Bronze Age and the “he’s crazy what he does never has to make sense” guy who crops up a lot since.

@LMC

The Joker is not just my favorite villain, he’s my favorite comic book character of any kind. Back when I was a kid, in the 1970s, I mostly bought Marvel, but I loved The Joker so much that I would buy DC when it had the Joker, including the wonderful Joker solo comic book in the late 1970s that lasted 9 issues.

About 1980, I finally started reading Batman and Detective regularly because I had come to like Batman a lot more just from reading just Joker stories. (I also like Penguin and Riddler, but not as much as Joker.)

Have there been bad Joker stories? Sure. (There was a JLI Annual that I remember as being particularly dreadful.) But I think the character is versatile enough that there aren’t really that many bad Joker stories. I didn’t even mind him cutting his face off. It sounds like something he would do when he’s bored.

@Archie Leach

I voted for Hush at #10.

You’re right, he is a terrible character in Hush. But I didn’t read that until recently. I was out of comics for a while and I started back in again in 2011 and one of the first things I read (as back issues) was Heart of Hush, and I really liked it. (And the Faces of Evil tie-in issues.)

Everything I’ve read with Hush has been … not-so-good (though some of the art is incredible) but Heart of Hush is still what I think of when I think of Hush, so I have to give Tommy Elliott a little love for that.

Are the two lists going to be combined into one single top 75 list?

Yes. I dunno who will get the coveted extra spot (37 villains, 37 allies gets you just 74 spots). Probably a villain.

Do all forms of media featuring Batman count or do the characters have to have appeared and/or originated in the comics? This is relevant for Harley Quinn most notably, but also for Roxy Rocket, Gray Ghost, and characters exclusive to the TV show (among others potentially).

Sure, you can vote for whoever you’d like, so long as they are a Batman villain or Batman ally. If, say, you feel that Gleep is Batman’s top ally, go for it.

Bat-Mite counts as a villain, correct?

Sure.

Do characters exclusive to never-intended-to-be-canon-in-any-continuity stories (such as Elseworlds or anything comparable) count?

Yes.

Does ANYONE who has been an ally or villain of Batman even once count for the purposes of this list even if they are more associated with another character(s)?

If someone who has allied Batman once is enough for you to consider them one of Batman’s greatest allies of all-time, then fair enough.

What is Swamp Thing’s status as far as this list is concerned and is he even eligible for the voting?

Ally.

Can we vote for Kal-El as a “supporting cast” of Batman ?

They’ve shared a comic book for, like, 60 years, so yes.

Do we have to separate the clayface(s) ?

If enough people do so, I’ll distinguish them, but I’m thinking it’ll just be a singular Clayface on the list.

This may have been covered before, but are the Ventriloquist and Scarface the same character or separate characters? While I have seenthem separated out, I’m not well-read enough to know if that was ever a lasting thing.

Same character.

Does Cameron Chase count as an ally or foe? Or both?

Ally.

So would you put Amanda Waller as a villain?

No, ally.

I included the code that starts w/ AC & ends in BC. I assume my vote went thru but don’t see my post with the usual “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Did it go through?

You voted anonymously (you forgot to include your name). When you vote anonymously, it doesn’t give you the notice thing. But yes, your vote went through.

Why is everyone “afraid” to also list Dick Grayson as “The Batman”

Secret conspiracy. Shhhhh…don’t tell anyone.

Bat-Mite is an ally, dammit!

He wants to help!

He can ride Ace the Bat-Hound into battle!

And don’t forget Mogo the Bat-Ape!

Bat-Mite is an ally, dammit!

He wants to help!

He can ride Ace the Bat-Hound into battle!

And don’t forget Mogo the Bat-Ape!

Bat-Mite means well, but in the end, he’s enough of a pain in Batman’s ass that he has to go into the villain side of things.

Just out of curiosity, if there’s a character that gets a lot of votes as both an ally and an enemy (off the top of my head Catwoman would seem the most obvious possibility), will you combine their votes or disqualify the ones for the affiliation you consider less valid or make them potentially eligible to be on the list twice or what?

Just out of curiosity, if there’s a character that gets a lot of votes as both an ally and an enemy (off the top of my head Catwoman would seem the most obvious possibility), will you combine their votes or disqualify the ones for the affiliation you consider less valid or make them potentially eligible to be on the list twice or what?

See Rule 7. Now, could I just do that with Bat-Mite, too? I suppose so, but I doubt he’d make it on either list if I had people vote for him in both categories. Catwoman has a legit shot of making both lists. And if she is lower on both lists as a result of getting votes from both, then that seems fair enough, as she very likely IS too much of a villain to rank super high on the allies list and too much of an ally to rank super high on the villains list.

@ Hoosier

I think the Joker is a great visual, and I really like his first appearance. He’s never been more creepy than that. But take away the visual, and what are you left with? What character traits does he actually have? He’s go no MO, no proper backstory – he’s just a psycho.

Personally I did not enjoy what I’ve read of his solo series in the 70s – particularly the “Ha-Hacidenda” – a pun so bad it had to be explained in story.

I don’t like the way Joker has been charactisered in later years (90s-2000s) as really silly and then suddenly doing something psychotic. I hate the way he calls Batman “Bats” for example. The terrible Emperor Joker story was the nadir of this interpretation.

However, I was really impressed with the Heath Ledger interpretation. That’s how I’d like the Joker to be in the comics, realistic but with enough kooky edge to set him apart from a normal mobster. (For example, the Brian Azzarello Joker book was great, but he just came across as a standard mobster who happened to have a funny face, rather than a distinct character.)

I’ve heard the “Joker is the flip-side of the Batman! He’s the chaos and Batman is the order!” line SO MANY TIMES. It’s boring now. The Joker has been over-used in all media (eg the Arkham computer games where he is ALWAYS the main villian). The Batman has so many brilliant foes, so i think it’s a shame the Joker gets most of the limelight.

Bill Williamson

April 10, 2014 at 2:29 am

@ LMC. The Joker gets most of the limelight because he usually deserves it.

While I agree, Batman has many great foes, The Joker really is his greatest one. The best Batman villains are always the ones that reflect certain traits of Batman, like The Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Ventriloquist and Scarface, Mr Freeze, even Harley Quinn. You’ll find no greater reflection of Batman than in the Joker.

@ Bill Williamson

What do you actually mean by “reflection” though?! Why is he the greatest reflection of Batman?

I am a bit bored of the whole “Joker’s crazy, Batman is dark” line. For me, the Joker is TOO crazy to be interesting.

The Riddler having a compulsion to give clues to his crimes is interesting
The Scarecrow being obsessed with fear is interesting
Mr Freeze’s backstory with his wife is interesting
The Ventriloquist’s meek demeanour compared with his Scarface alter-ego is interesting

What’s interesting about the Joker?
He’s mad.
He’s got a face like a clown.
THAT’S IT.

“However, I was really impressed with the Heath Ledger interpretation. That’s how I’d like the Joker to be in the comics, realistic but with enough kooky edge to set him apart from a normal mobster.”

Not me. Ledger’s performance was impressive in itself, but I can’t accept a glum Joker. And I wouldn’t rate him over Hamill or Romero (who despite being stuck with a non-homicidal Joker still does a great turn).

Bill Williamson

April 10, 2014 at 6:53 am

@ Fraser. I agree. Nolan’s Joker is a great deconstruction and fits perfectly within the Batman world that he’s constructed. In my mind that’s exactly how the Jokerz from Batman Beyond would behave if it wasn’t a kids’ show. However, to me at least, he doesn’t top Hamill (although Hamill obviously has a different opinion) and he wouldn’t fit very well in the world of Batman comics, although DC have obviously tried to go for a more Ledger-esque interpretation, first with Batman RIP and then with this recent turn as a ‘faceless’ Joker.

@LMC You’re over simplifying it. Think about it:

Batman is grim and moody. The Joker is (usually) upbeat and cheery
Batman is ordered and methodical, a master planner. The Joker is wild and unpredictable. Also a master planner.
Batman dresses in dark colours. The Joker is bright and colourful, and dresses very flamboyantly.
Batman likes to hide in the shadows. The Joker does what he does flagrantly and out in the open.
Batman pretends not to care about others when he secretly does. The Joker pretends to care about others when he secretly doesn’t.
Batman’s back-story is clear cut and tragic. The Joker has had many different back-stories.
Batman won’t kill people. The Joker will mercilessly kill anyone.

@Bill Williamson

Well, for one, I hate the ‘grim and moody’ Batman. Makes the character totally unrelatable.
Two, agreed
Three, ok fine, but does ‘wearing different colours than the hero” make a good villain!??
Four, see above
Five, COME ON! That’s pretty weak
Six, so do lots of Batman’s foes!

So I don’t really think all those add up to a good villain. Like I said, Scarecrow, Riddler, Freeze, Two-Face etc… are all much more interesting in terms of pathos, back-story, MO etc…
I guess the Joker has proved so popular because (like Batman) he is a cypher that can fit into many many different types of story. He’s a rent-a-psycho if you like. For me, I prefer a more complex character.

Joker is definitely #1. Quite frankly, he just has more and better stories than the rest. Batman #1, Joker’s Five Way Revenge, The Laughing Fish/Sign of the Joker, The Dark Knight Returns, Soft Targets, Slayride, Mad Love, Batman and Robin Must Die, The Last Laugh, The Joker Jury…what does Mr. Freeze have? Those two episodes from the Animated Series, thats it. Riddler? He’s forever stuck in a gimmick nobody seems to know what to do with, a second-rate Joker, a genius written by people who aren’t geniuses.

The Joker is used more than any other villain because he’s just flat-out better than any of them. He is a breed above all the other rogues. Scarecrow, Riddler, Freeze…Batman is their archenemy; The Joker is Batman’s archenemy.

Bill Williamson

April 10, 2014 at 8:25 am

@LMC

I love ‘grim and moody’ Batman. It makes for good literature. As The Dark Knight, Batman is the perfect Byronic hero.

As for the other concerns

3: Comics are a visual medium. Bright colours make for a distinctive visual character, which is very important. Bruce Timm has detailed in numerous interviews their struggle to make the Scarecrow visually appealing and frightening. I think it’s also interesting to see the hero wear dark colours and the villain wear bright colours. There’s also that contrast, people hate and fear bats but (many) people love clowns.
4: Mark Hamill has talked about how the appeal of the character is his temerity to say to authorities and Batman ‘Here I am, come and get me!’

The other Bat villains are interesting but I, and so many others, love The Joker, and I can certainly see why he has endured and lasted so long when other Bat villains have faded away and been forgotten.

Even in the 1950s, when the Joker was just a straight villain-with-a-gimmick, he still has more presence than most of the other gimmick villains did back then. Which is why he’s still around and the Spinner, Mr. Hydro, the Gong, Dr. Double X and so forth are just answers for trivia questions. YMMV obviously.

@Fraser
Where do I find Spinner, Mr Hydro and the Gong?

This is a serious question. I have the first Dr Double X appearance (and 3 of his other 4 appearances).

Bill Williamson

April 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

@kdu2814: A cursory search on the internet shows:

Mr Hydro: Batman #74
Spinner: Batman #129
The Gong: Batman #55

Dangit, please delete that. Forgot the CODE

This is a serious question. I have the first Dr Double X appearance (and 3 of his other 4 appearances).

Double X has more than four appearances, even if you don’t count the cameo he made in Batman #400 which featured pretty much every living, recurring Pre-Crisis Batman villain (well, except the Bouncer, the Monarch of Menace, Spellbinder, the Grasshoppers, the Getaway Genius, Mister Esper/Brainwash, Johnny Witts, Doctor Tzin-Tzin, Colonel Sulfur….Batman had a lot of recurring villains back then).

I’m guessing you’re thinking of his two appearances in the 1950s, and then the Mike W. Barr stories from World’s Finest and Brave and the Bold that brought him back briefly in the early 1980s.

Bill Williamson

April 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

Have there been enough Batman girlfriends for a Top 75 Batman Girlfriends series? Although, if there haven’t I suppose the concept could be stretched to include Batman villainesses such as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

Other great Joker stories:

The Joker’s Utility Belt

The Joker’s Journal – The Joker breaks jail and starts an underworld newspaper!

Any issue of The Joker, his solo comic book series from the 1970s. (There were nine issues. #7 guest-stars
Lex Luthor and it’s my favorite post-Golden Age Luthor story.)

The Man Behind the Red Hood

The Crazy Crime Clown

The Joker’s Millions

The Great Clayface/Joker Feud

@Omar Karindu

Can you imagine a Dr. Tzin-Tzin/Johnny Witts team-up? They would be unstoppable!

Brian,

What do you think about a Top Ten stupid Batman villains contest when this one’s over?

I may have a certain affection for guys like Mr. Camera, the Spinner, Mr. Polka Dot, Crazy Quilt and the Mirror Man, but they are still pretty stupid.

My all-time stupidest Batman villain is from the 1990s. Remember Two-Tone, the two-headed mob assassin?

From Detective Comics #630.

Maybe we can do it as a quick poll. I’ll put together a list of choices and people can pick their favorites!

@Brian

Sounds great!

(But it’s really just a contest for #2 through #10. Two-Tone has a lock on #1.)

You have all your polls decided on for this year? I was thinking a poll on which #1 involving Batman was the best. Meaning, one would choose from such issues like Batman and Robin #1, Batman #1, Detective Comics #1…etc. Which #1 is really #1!

Best villain: The Earthquake

Best Ally: That bat that broke his window way back in the day.

Yeah, we should vote for the bat that flew into the window. Taught Bruce everything he knew.

I like the Spinner because too some extent he’s running a con (I won’t divulge details). It’s an angle a number of 1950s stories worked, where the villain has a hidden agenda or he’s working an outright scam (Dr. No Face, the Wrecker, the Zodiac Master, “the man who can change fingerprints”).
KDU, I’d have happily answered your question if Bill hadn’t beaten me to it.

@Fraser

I can’t believe how many of those stories I’ve read. The Spinner story is in a very beat-up 80-Page Giant I’ve had for a while (I think it’s Batman #198 and it features the original Batwoman! (Yay Kathy Kane!) And I have original floppies for Dr. No-Face (Detective #319, I think) and The Zodiac Master (Detective #323)! (With the Martian Manhunter (and Zook!) as the backup feature!)

(They’re all from the early 1960s.)

I feel very lucky to have read so many of these pre-New Look Batman stories! I love the one where the bad guys turn Batman into a genie! But fortunately Bat-Girl (Betty Kane) shows up to help Robin save the day!

Wasn’t there a guy with condiments in the cartoon? And don’t forget the infamous Moth Man Prophecies that were named after The Moth Man from the Adam West TV show.

Bill Williamson

April 11, 2014 at 12:59 am

@Anonymous: Yeah. The Condiment King. In the episode that he appeared in he was supposed to be a parody of ridiculous Batman villains seen in the Adam West series and 50s Batman comics. Of course, much like Harley Quinn and Lock-Up before him, he actually showed up in the comics, again mostly as a joke villain.

@ Bill WIlliamson

OK fair enough – each to his own I guess. But still no one on hear has actually explained why the Joker is a good character yet. All the reasoning seems VERY weak!

As for the ‘grim and moody’ Batman, well we are getting off topic, but I hate him. I was reading a Batman: Dark Knight TBP the other days and Batman said to Jim Gordon: “I AM GOTHAM. I ALWAYS HAVE BEEN”

Really?!? Jeeze. He’s not the Punisher, he’s not Robo-Cop or Judge Dredd. Make him relatable, make him care about the people he’s supposed to be saving. Honestly, he would not be this angry about his parents death after all this time. Bring back Bruce Wayne the human – not the “mask”.

If Bruce is just a mask for the Batman, then why bother with him at all? Just live in the Batcave as Batman as a recluse. I’m sick of Batman being so cold and moody all the time. It makes me dislike him immensely. I don’t want him to be Clark Kent, but would love a return to the good old Batman who smiled once in a while

Bill Williamson

April 11, 2014 at 4:22 am

I’ve had a change of heart. I now believe Film Freak to be the greatest Batman villain ever created.

LMC, I think giving logical reasons why a villain is good/bad is like having to explain a joke: if you don’t like the Joker, there’s no way to reason you into liking him (or to reason anyone else into not liking him). I do agree with you about grim and moody Batman. Sometimes his relationship with Robin comes off so horrible, it feels borderline abusive.
Bill, I remember that when the fifties gimmick criminals Fox, Shark and Vulture (AKA Terrible Trio) showed up in very revised form in the Dini/Timm show, Dini commented the originals were as useless as any villain could possibly be. Yet they’ve managed to show up in the post-Dini/Timm series, Brave and Bold and Dini eventually used the originals when he was writing Batman.
The Brave and the Bold version showing them as fellow martial arts students with Bruce in his training days was easily the best.

@Jeremy,

The bat is just so important, I think Snyder or perhaps Johns really needs to do a couple issue breakdown of where the bat came from and why it flew threw the window. I’m 90% certain that a young Hush threw the bat through the window as an initiation to get into another ages-old conspiracy group that was secretly controlling the Court of Owls. If that hadn’t happened, Bruce would have become Houserobeman or something.

Think about it.

@Bill Williamson
Thanks. I was going to work and did not have the time to look myself.

@Omar Karindu
I was thinking about the two fifties appearances (the second one is where I first saw him, but I have never found a nice copy so I do not have it), Barr’s Brave And The Bold, Batman 400, and Dark Detective. The World’s Finest was around the Dollar Comics time right?

@Fraser
Thanks too. I actually have the Spinner’s story in Batman 198 (my first 80 pager. It rained that late 80s Saturday), but I thought he was called the Top until Hoosier X mentioned the issue. Dr. No-Face, Dr. Dorn and The Raven and The Wasp are the other 50s-60s villains I am interested in.

By the way, the Dini issue with the Terrible Trio Detective 832, was actually a gust issue, writen by Royal McGraw, as was the Dr. Phosphorus issue. Unless Dini and McGraw are the same and I did not know it.

I stand corrected on the Dini. The first Double X story was reprinted in an early Batman Family (as was the Spinner story) which might be easier to find.
Another Comic Book Fan, you made my day.

I assume that as rule 6 is a “general rule of thumb” there is room for exceptions for characters who are only known as a team but worked individually in their first appearance.
I’m thinking of 3 villains who made there debut in the same story and were a team in all 3 later appearances (none of them appearing in any stories without the other 2).
That’s good enough for a team, right?

Does Bruce Wayne’s wallet count?

I used the letters… should I still see my own vote? Not sure…

The hard part about this is distinguishing between:

1. characters I like more

and

2. the characters who really are a greater villain or ally to Batman despite my liking that character or not.

Liking a character more doesn’t necessarily mean that character should be at the top of the list if someone else is a greater villain or ally… but of course this will end up being a popularity contest and more of “Who is your favorite Batman villain/ally”

Bane is hard to place. He might not be as persistent as some of the other Bat villains but that one storyline really did a lot of damage (a certain back was broken). It was 1 moment vs. tons of stories for the older villains, but it was more than many of them have ever accomplished.

will be when all the votes are counted surprised if both the joker and alfred and com gordon do not wind up ranking in the top five of this lists we shall see how the votes turn out .

The Joker isn’t on my list. Do I win a prize? Will that throw off the curve?

Am I the only numbskull who didn’t put any JLA members on greatest friends??

Anyways, my plea is to make sure some great but lesser known villains make the list. Guys, don’t forget about the Reaper, Hugo Strange, Alice Sinner, Great White Shark, Deadshot, Professor Pyg, Wrath, etc.

The hard part about this is distinguishing between:

1. characters I like more

and

2. the characters who really are a greater villain or ally to Batman despite my liking that character or not.

This is a popularity contest. I’d go with the character I like more every time. Which is why I didn’t vote for Dick Grayson.

Am I the only numbskull who didn’t put any JLA members on greatest friends??

Nah. I only voted for people who I consider Bat-characters, not other characters who happen to know him.

I couldnt’ do it. I couldn’t list “Jason Todd” as an ally.

I know I probably should’ve. He’s one of the Robins, right? Shouldn’t that immediately place him over Harvey Bullock or Azrael? Maybe it should. Maybe I’m a fool.

But listen – he pushed that dude off the balcony and we all know it. That dude didn’t slip. He was pushed. Jason Todd is a killer, pure and simple. He uses guns. He shoots people. He’s a dick.

So. No Jason Todd. Fuck that guy.

Bill Williamson

April 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm

@supersente: I know how you feel. I always felt that Jason Todd was a better ally to Batman dead than he was alive. I’ve also felt that they’ve done absolutely nothing interesting with him, since they whored out and brought him back, that justified bringing him back.

I left Damian off my list too. Because to me he’s just Jason Todd MK II

@ JAlexander: I had Deadshot on my list, and Hugo Strange is a good one (although not good enough to make my list). The other ones you mentioned kind of suck. Granted, I don’t know much about Professor Pyg, but the way I see it the others aren’t deep enough to be up there with the Joker, Two-Face etc nor goofy enough to be down there with Kite Man, Signal Man, etc.

Just sent my ballot. Please confirm you have it, Brian.

I sent my ballot too. Did you get it Brian? I noticed I didn’t hide right, so does it still count?

If you sent it in, I got it! :)

And yes, I got yours specifically.

Thanks, Brian. Glad you got it.

sowat – I still see mine “awaiting moderation” (… for some reason I briefly saw TWFI’s)
according to Brian’s Guidelines you should vote for your “TEN favorite” characters.
While he says to place those 10 in order of greatness it would be odd to pick for one reason and sequence for another – so I would say not to try to objectively measure greatness but instead do it subjectively based on how much you like them.

JAlexander – I thought I hadn’t voted for any JLA members but then remembered one briefly joined, and another joined a version of the JLA which didn’t include Batman ,,,but did include another of my picks…and it’s possible that a villain I voted for may have been in the Justice League of Arkham (from when the JLA forgot what the A stood for)

And a point to ponder (for those who remember the story). Sasha Bordeaux had a brief costumed Identity as Batman’s partner which qualifies her as an ally …but does it also qualify her for the previous Batman vote?
8-)

Some will say awaiting moderation, some will not. I really don’t know why. But really, if you posted your comment, it WILL be counted. There’s really no way for your comment to just disappear (even the people whose comments were caught by the spam filter will be found, as I check the spam filter routinely).

Consider “greatness” and “favorite” as interchangeable in their intended usage, since what “great” means varies from person to person.

Hey Brian, did my post go through? I had problems posting before for some reason, and just wanted to be sure!

Posted my votes but I don’t see it… Not sure if my fault or yours, my internet has been a bit of a jerk lately.

Have you decided for sure on how you’re going to tally the votes? Is it going to be the top 75 point getters, or is it just going to be 37 allies and 38 villains regardless of whether or not those were the 75 characters with the most points?

mine has finally disappeared.
Hopefully, most will make the top 75 (my tastes are too weird for all of them to do so)

Andy E. Nystrom

April 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

Any chance after the top 75 are done with, of seeing a description-less list of the other characters who got voted on? It would be interesting to see which lesser-lights people couldn’t resist voting on, even if the character didn’t really have much of a chance of making the cut.

Oh, that could be fun. Everybody’s Somebody’s Batbaby!

Have you decided for sure on how you’re going to tally the votes? Is it going to be the top 75 point getters, or is it just going to be 37 allies and 38 villains regardless of whether or not those were the 75 characters with the most points?

37/38. The only thing I’m currently unsure about is who gets to have 38. I guess I’ll go by whichever #38 has the most votes.

Something that just occurred to me: How are you going to count votes for the Crime Syndicate of America? Going by your rules they would count as a team, but what if people voted for individual members? Would you combine the votes and count them all towards the CSA as a group?

Don’t think it’ll be an issue.

wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader.

What might you recommend about your put up that you simply made some days in the past?

Any certain?

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