‘Batman’ villains ranked: Greatest, worst Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin


Director Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” marks one more onscreen reboot of Gotham’s caped crusader.

The movie, out now, sees Robert Pattinson taking on the mantle as Batman early in his vigilante profession. The story additionally reintroduces quite a lot of different basic DC Comics characters, together with villains such because the Riddler (Paul Dano), the Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz).

Longtime members of Batman’s rogues gallery, these villains have been first launched in varied comics greater than 80 years in the past. And like Batman, every has been tailored for the display screen quite a lot of instances in movies, tv and even video video games. “The Batman” viewers can resolve on their very own how these new incarnations measure up in opposition to these reigning greatest variations of the characters.

The Riddler

Burgess Meredith because the Penguin, left, Frank Gorshin because the Riddler and Cesar Romero because the Joker in 1966’s “Batman.”

(©twentieth Century Fox / Everett Assortment)

Greatest: Frank Gorshin within the “Batman” TV collection

Honorable point out: Cory Michael Smith within the TV collection “Gotham”

Created by Invoice Finger and Dick Sprang, the Riddler made his comedian guide debut on the pages of “Detective Comics” No. 140 within the Forties. This model of the Prince of Puzzles traces his obsession with video games, riddles and puzzles to his childhood earlier than his time working on the carnival led him to a lifetime of crime. Though the character has been revamped over time, Edward Nygma (also referred to as Edward Nigma and Edward Nashton) is understood for his genius-level mind that he can’t assist however flaunt in his prison endeavors by making an attempt to stump Batman.

One of the best onscreen variations of the Riddler have been on tv, together with Frank Gorshin’s portrayal of the character within the Sixties “Batman” collection. Launched as Batman’s “outdated arch-enemy” within the very first episode of the present, Gorshin’s Riddler repeatedly taunted the dynamic duo and was simply as routinely thwarted — ultimately. Befitting the campy nature of the collection, this Riddler alternately donned a jumpsuit and masks and a extra dapper swimsuit and bowler hat. Gorshin, who portrayed the Riddler in “Batman’s” first and third seasons, was nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for his work on the present.

The Penguin

A man in a suit being photographed

Robin Lord Taylor because the Penguin in “Gotham.”


Greatest: Robin Lord Taylor within the “Gotham” TV collection

Honorable point out: Danny DeVito in “Batman Returns”

One other long-standing member of the Batman rogues gallery is the Penguin, who was launched in “Detective Comics” No. 58 by Invoice Finger and Bob Kane. Though his backstory has been reimagined over time, the Penguin is commonly known as the alias of Oswald Cobblepot, a Gotham Metropolis crime boss with an affinity for fancy apparel and lethal umbrellas. The Penguin has a fame for being sensible, ruthless and well-connected.

Danny DeVito’s portrayal of the ugly villain raised by penguins in 1992’s “Batman Returns” is loads memorable, however Cobblepot’s rise as depicted in “Gotham” offers the sting to Robin Lord Taylor’s model of the character. Taylor’s Cobblepot begins as a low-level gangster working for a robust mob boss. His crafty and endurance, mixed along with his aspiration for greatness, make him extremely harmful as he climbs to the highest of Gotham’s prison underworld. Taylor’s Cobblepot is darkish but in addition emotionally difficult. Whereas he’s not a sympathetic character, seeing the circumstances of his evolution into the Penguin on this origin collection made him extremely compelling.


Catwoman reclines in a black mask and bodysuit.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in “Batman Returns” (1992).

(Warner Bros. / Everett Assortment)

Greatest: Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns”

Honorable mentions: Adrienne Barbeau in “Batman: The Animated Sequence”; Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt within the “Batman” TV collection

Launched in “Batman” No. 1 within the Forties as “the Cat” by Invoice Finger and Bob Kane, Catwoman has an extended and complex historical past with Batman. Not solely has Selina Kyle’s backstory modified over time, Catwoman has oscillated between supervillain and antihero whereas additionally sustaining a longtime on-and-off romance with the caped crusader. Within the comics, she’s usually been portrayed as a grasp cat burglar and expert fighter whose arsenal features a whip and clawed gloves. She’s additionally a widely known cat lover.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle, who transforms from underappreciated secretary to slinky femme fatale in “Batman Returns,” stays one of the vital memorable incarnations of the character. After her boss makes an attempt to kill her, Selina is revived by a clowder and embraces her internal supervillain. An in depth second is the Selina Kyle voiced by Adrienne Barbeau in “Batman: The Animated Sequence,” who’s depicted extra as a socialite-turned-thief with a comfortable spot for animals.


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