9 Underappreciated Batman Villains Who Deserve Way More Credit

Cornelius Stirk

It’s hard to argue that Batman doesn’t take the cake when it comes to having the best rogues gallery in comics. The Joker, Two-Face, Bane, Riddler, Poison Ivy…the list of incredible villains who call Gotham City home goes on and on. Even the more obscure Batman villains are formidable in their own right and don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve.

Due to the sheer volume of supervillains Batman has faced over his 75 year history, some of his most dangerous and interesting foes have been lost in the shuffle. It’s time to give some of these lost bad guys their dues. Because anybody with the nerve to take on Batman has earned our respect, even the Condiment King. No, you know what, especially the Condiment King.

These Batman villains were voted on by 3,000 Batman fans on Ranker, so we’re going to present the list in a countdown format with the #1 most underrated villain being last.

9. Cornelius Stirk

Cornelius Stirk

Name:  Cornelius Stirk

Abilities:  Can make other people see him as someone else. Also eats human hearts, since you weren’t having enough nightmares.

Menace Rating:  6 out of 10 Uneaten Hearts

Cornelius Stirk is a sick man. His delusions make him believe that he needs the nutrients of a human heart in order to stay alive. To add to this terrifying conviction, he believes that the heart is the most nutritious when it is full of norepinephrine, a natural hormone that secretes when a person is terrified. His ability to mentally make people perceive him as someone else allows him to get close to his victims for a quick kill and a hearty (heh) dinner. Luckily, Batman usually finds Stirk and returns him to Arkham Asylum, but Cornelius is still a sickeningly effective serial killer.  

8. Carmine Falcone

Carmine Falcone

Name:  Carmine “The Roman” Falcone

Abilities:  Head of Gotham’s most feared crime family, good with a gun, decent left hook.

Menace Rating:  5 out of 10 Offers You Can’t Refuse

“The Roman” and his Falcone crime family were the true power behind Gotham City’s underworld for decades. Drugs, racketeering (whatever that is), and other related “businesses” had to go through him and get his approval first. Carmine Falcone was a great villain for a then-rookie Batman to topple before a stranger, more spandexy form of criminal emerged. 

7. Clock King

Clock King

Name:  The Clock King

Abilities:  Time manipulation, swordsmanship, genius-level tactician.

Menace Rating:  5 out of 10 Menacing Minutes

The Clock King really ticks off Batman. Boom, best joke ever. Anyway, his gadgets allow him to pause and manipulate time, but when that fails he can always rely on his stellar intellect. The Clock King’s insanely good timing and ability to anticipate the future forces Batman and other DC heroes to regard him as a genuinely terrifying threat. Too bad they can’t just ask for a timeout. Sorry, these are just too easy.   

6. KGBeast


Name:  KGBeast

Abilities:  Cybernetic enhancements, KGB training, weapons expert, hand-to-hand combat master, has a freakin’ gun for a hand.

Menace Rating:  9 out of 10 Soviet Prosthetic Gun Hands

While his name dates him to the Cold War period, KGBeast is one of the most dangerous foes Batman has ever faced. With his combat training, killer instinct, and tactical expertise, he’s on equal footing with the Dark Knight. They’re so evenly matched, in fact, that Batman thought he straight-up couldn’t beat KGBeast mano-a-Batmano. 

He locked the Beast in a room instead of fighting him and waited for him to suffocate to death in Batman #420. It was revealed in Batman: Year Three that Batman called the police to pick up KGBeast’s unconscious body, but for a while there KGBeast was one of the few foes Batman killed intentionally.   

5. Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker)

Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker)

Name:  Arnold Wesker/Scarface

Abilities:  Criminal genius, good with a Tommy gun.

Menace Rating:  5 out of 10 Mobster Marionettes 

Meek, soft-spoken Arnold Wesker is the reluctant host to one of the most effective crime bosses in Gotham. His ventriloquist dummy/alternative personality/abusive partner Mr. Scarface is respected throughout Gotham’s underworld, despite basically being a caricature of a 1920’s gangster. While Batman could easily pummel Wesker (and, by extension, his puppet), Scarface still causes plenty of trouble in Gotham and inspires enough loyalty in his gang to make the Dark Knight look like the real dummy.

4. Owlman


Name:  Owlman

Abilities:  You know what Batman can do? All of that but, like, EVIL.

Menace Rating:  10 out of 10 Doppelgängers

Owlman is the criminal genius version of Batman from Earth 3. He has the intellect, wealth, and martial arts abilities of Batman, but he is willing to kill and betray anyone or anything that stands in his way. If there is anything more dangerous than Batman, it’s Batman without a moral compass. Or maybe Batman if he was also a shark, somehow. Get on it, DC writers. 

3. Lady Shiva

Lady Shiva

Name:  Lady Shiva

Abilities:  Martial arts grandmaster, able to read body language and anticipate an opponent’s next action.

Menace Rating:  7 out of 10 One-Punch Deathblows

Lady Shiva is widely regarded as one of the most deadly assassins in the DC Universe. And that’s just with her bare hands. While she and Batman are enemies, Batman respects her expert hand-to-hand combat proficiency and her ruthless cunning. In fact, when Batman’s spine was broken by Bane he sought training from Lady Shiva in order rebuild his spirit and fighting skills. This frenemy proves to be one of Batman’s most difficult foes and an occasional valued ally. Mainly, she’s kind of like the Hydrox to Catwoman’s Oreo. Still basically just as good.  

2. Professor Pyg

Professor Pyg

Name:  Professor Pyg

Abilities:  Chemistry expert, preternaturally skilled surgeon.

Menace Rating:  6 out of 10 “DEAR GOD, WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY FACE?!?”

Professor Pyg just wants to make you perfect, that’s all. Totally harmless, admirable even. Oh, except by “perfect” he means “lobotomized to follow his will through brain surgery, genital mutilation, mind-altering drugs, and a creepy doll mask permanently attached to your face.”

With his army of “perfected” Dollotrons and the rest of his “Circus of Strange,” Pyg is a psychotic menace to the people of Gotham. Despite being a relatively new villain to Batman’s rogues gallery, Pyg has cemented himself as one of the most disturbing villains in the Dark Knight’s lore. Now that’s really saying something. It’s like being the most stoned person at a Phish concert.   

1. Hugo Strange

Hugo Strange

Name:  Professor Hugo Strange

Abilities:  Genius-level intellect. Master of psychology, chemistry, and biology.

Menace Rating:  8 out of 10 Mad Scientist Clichés

Okay, you know the one villain that’s an evil psychiatrist who manipulates people to do his bidding? Or the evil chemist who creates a potent fear-inducing powder? Or the mad scientist who uses injections to turn men into hulking monsters? Alright, so merge all three of those and you get Hugo Strange. Three Batman villains in one and to top it off he knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne! It’s astounding that Strange hasn’t been featured in the DC Cinematic Universe yet.