Batman is, without question, one of the most iconic characters in comic book history. It wouldn’t even be much of a stretch to say that the “Dark Knight” is part of our American cultural heritage.
Through the years, Batman has had many memorable and less-than-memorable enemies. There have been so many Batman foes, as a matter of fact, that some prime time villains are bound to be lost in the shuffle and relegated to second-tier status.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five underrated Batman villains:
It’s only logical that a Batman should have a Man-Bat enemy. The Man-Bat began as a scientist looking to augment human ability, who found that the self-tested serum would convert him to a super strong human-bat hybrid. Man-Bat had been portrayed, at times, as an animalistic killing machine and, at other times, as a vengeful villain with retained human intellect. One a few occasions, Man-Bat has even been on the side of good. However, no matter which Man-Bat arrives on the scene, he’s a character that always demands attention.
A hideous-looking, deranged cannibal serial killer, Cornelius Stirk has the power to make others see him however he likes. Living under the impression that he needs to eat the heart of people stricken with fear, Stirk will reveal his true self to his victims shortly before killing them. As an antagonist, Cornelius Stirk is serious, deadly business and a truly underrated adversary for Batman.
A rare genetic disorder caused Waylon Jones to be born with the features and attributes of a crocodile, but it was bullies and other tormenters that turned the young man into a hateful killer determined to force his will on the rest of society. Gifted with extraordinary strength, durability, and water-based abilities, Killer Croc has fought Batman on a number of occasions and has always held his own. An awesome super villain with cool powers and a compelling back story, Killer Croc deserves more play than he currently gets.
A pyromaniac/arsonist who suffered burns over most of his body from a botched job, Firefly entered the super villain world by creating a fire-retardant and heat-resistant bodysuit equipped with several fire-based weapons. This villain-for-hire has clashed with Batman on a number of occasions and, while he never wins, always provides an interesting challenge for the caped crusader.
Determined to become the “anti-Batman,” a lifetime criminal leaves prison and uses his intellect and guile to put together a suit with as much weaponry and technical wizardry as Batman’s. Offering his services to criminals, Killer Moth becomes a villain-for-hire, complete with a Moth Cave, Mothmobile, and Moth-Signal. Frequently thwarted by Batman and even Batgirl, Killer Moth sold his soul to have ultimate power as the moth creature Charaxes. Literally ripped in half by Superman in battle, Killer Moth/Charaxes was thought to be dead. Recently, though, several villains sporting the Killer Moth costume have appeared in Gotham city, leading one to believe that the original may have somehow survived the Superman attack.