Top 10 Unlikely Dark Knight Rises Villains
Another year, another Batman film, and one of the most exciting things about The Dark Knight Rises is the advent of Bane – Tom Hardy’s ‘roided-up ravager – as a palate cleanser from Ledger’s cackling Joker and Aaron Eckhart’s poignant Two-Face. Fans were surprised to hear that Bane would be Christopher Nolan’s final villain; more famous nemeses like The Riddler and Hugo Strange seemed more likely than Joel Schumacher’s beefcake with a gorilla suit fetish from 1997’s Batman and Robin. With the beastly silk purse producers have made out of Bane’s proverbial sow’s ear, they could probably have brought any of this motley crew back from the bottom of the villain heap. ONWARDS.
#10 – Anarky
What a jumped-up little wanker. Anarky’s introduction to the comics in the late 1980s was apparently to move with the maturing readership. What creators Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle failed to recognise was that teenagers in the 80s were probably less illiterate than we are now, and thus would notice the glaring spelling error in his name. Breyfogle describes him as an “Aristotle in tights” who is “more than just a crimefighter – he cuts to the heart of social commentary”. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. That’s all very well, because part of what makes the whole superhero thing so compelling is how they fit into our societal structures, but YOU CANNOT TRUST A SUPERHERO WHO CANNOT SPELL. That is like trusting Prince Charles to “rule” the country when he wears a pinky signet ring, which everyone knows is a sure sign of a dick. Add to that Anarky’s unsettling penchant for improvising innocuous gadgets to be used against THE MAN, and he’s already as annoying as Alex Pettyfer. Who should play him, should Ant-Man fall through and Hollywood need another shitty non-hero no one asked for to build a 90-minute explosion fest around.
#9 – Catman
Look, Catwoman is 90% latex, 10% bestiality-enthusiast. But she made the films because it’s sexist not to get a woman in – even if she is just a glorified gymnast who doesn’t get to maim and kill like everyone else, but steals shiny things and bodes ill every time she shows up, like some dingbatty magpie. Catman however, is 100% knob. Turned to cat-burglary after a lifetime hunting jungle cats BECAUSE HE WAS BORED? So it’s you we can blame when those weepy-looking leopards take all our money in those WWF adverts? You take away Simba and Co., stars of The Greatest Film of Our Time™ (The Lion King) and then expect us be frightened? You can fuck right off, Catman.
#8 – Victor Zsasz
Now, we cannot pronounce your name, sir, but we can pronounce you useless. With most of these villains, there’s at least a sense of someone having put a bit of thought into why they do what they do. The success of this thought process varies hugely, but it’s at least there. Zsasz is a serial killer. And that’s it. Foiled in his depressive attempt to kill himself by a homeless man, he killed the guy on the basis that his life definitely had less meaning than Victor had previously thought his own had; and so his spree of “freeing” meaningless people begins. On the frequent occasions he gets broken out of Arkham Asylum by better villains, he simply sneaks out and runs around stabbing people until he gets captured again. He doesn’t have the attention-span to be a villain – wise choice, Hollywood, to keep this one as a footnote at the beginning of Batman Begins.
#7 – Harley Quinn
Oh, Dr. Harleen Quinzel. You had so much going for you! You had a fun name. You were a doctor. You got to talk some sense into Victor Zsasz about his God complex. You were too good for a bloody boy to derail you. Granted, The Joker is almost definitely decent in bed – all that chaos has got to make for some rather athletic, though likely selfish, sexytimes. That aside however, one shit pun and an antitoxin from Uma Thurman later, and you’re just a walking, talking, besuited cry for help. Read He’s Just Not That Into You and get back to us.
#6 – The Mad Hatter
Yeah, hi, Alice called. Yes, the one from Wonderland. Oh, nothing big, she just wanted to know if she could have her sociopath back. No? For fuck’s sake, WHY NOT? We don’t want him; not only does he not actually have any superpowers, but his hats are fucking hideous, and we’ve got enough fugly apparel in this universe, thank you very much.
#5 – Hush
Hush used to be friends with Bruce Wayne and the fam back in the day, and though it would take at least three separate posts to properly explain why, long story short, they fell out, and Hush never got over it. We don’t give a fuck how “stealthy” and “devoid of noisy signatures” you are, mate; you don’t get superhero points for grudge-holding. If Harley Quinn hadn’t lost her marbles, we’re sure that’s what she would tell you. LET IT GO. Also, you are named for a nursery rhyme, because even Scarecrow knew you hadn’t actually stopped being a total child. Let it go, which should allow your balls to drop, and then you can move on.
#4 – Deadshot
What sort of suicidal assassin manages to make a career out of it? A shit one, that’s what. He wants to die in a heroic fashion, as you do, and in the meanwhile, has a beautifully complete disregard for human life, and a lot of very big guns. It’s his fatalistic side that keeps ruining him, because regret and feelings and stuff kick him in the teeth every so often; all that makes him look is wishy-washy. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN DOES NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR EXISTENTIAL CRISES, DEADSHOT.
#3 – The Cluemaster
Normal failed gameshow hosts just take their millions, buy a mansion, and swim around in luxury outdoor pools of cocaine and rentboys until one or the other kills them. Doesn’t that sound more fun than leaving clues to make it easier to get arrested? Because, if you hadn’t done that, then you wouldn’t have spent so much time in prison, your daughter Stephanie wouldn’t have developed all those abandonment issues, wouldn’t have become The Spoiler and started helping you get to prison, and then she wouldn’t have bloody well died, and then come back to be Batgirl. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
#2 – Maxie Zeus
YOUR MYTHOLOGY IS WRONG. YOUR DELUSIONS AREN’T JUST FAKE, BUT MYTHOLOGICALLY FLAWED. What sort of history teacher were you? Kidnapping an Olympic athlete is not the same as kidnapping an actual Olympian, what with them being gods and you categorically not. You named your daughter after Medea, arguably the first literary child-killer. THAT BODES WELL. Also, your name? Maximilian = ROMAN. Zeus = GREEK. So not only are you an anachronistic motherfucker, but Bane went to all that trouble getting you out of the nuthouse, where you and your Greek Mythology for Kidz book belong, and you run straight into a tree. Stay down, will you?
#1 – Calendar Man
If everyone knows when you’re coming, what, pray tell, is the fucking point? That just makes you a mean-spirited Easter Bunny. And we’re not impressed by your too-on-the-nose name either, Julian Gregory Day. Finally, if people can check dates on the back of your calendar cape, they’re certainly not going to run from you – after the 4th of July, you can’t do jack shit until Hallowe’en. Because, like an idiot, you only do the major holidays – any idea how much mileage you could get out of Black History Month?