With the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins it’s not only an exciting time to be a Batman fan, but also a fan of his rogues gallery. Batman has some of the greatest, creepiest and most thematic villains around and Arkham Origins promises to let us combat some of them which the previous games have neglected like crime boss Black Mask and the ultimate mercenary badass Deathstroke. For some players these villains are completely unknown, having never achieved the same infamy as staples like The Joker and Two-Face. Even previous Z-Listers like Calendar Man have gotten their moment in the sun and had their criminal careers rejuvenated. But for me there are even more obscure, but no less awesome, villains that I know I’ll never get the chance to grapple with in an Arkham game. Here’s a rundown of Batman villains you probably don’t know, but are still worthy of your attention. And your fist.
I know, right? Humpty Dumpty doesn’t sound quite as threatening as Killer Croc or The Scarecrow, and… well, he’s not. But he’s an oddly tragic and likeable villain. Humphry Dumpler (you get points from me for a name like that) had an abusive childhood and has a bad case of arrested development. He holds an obsession with fixing things, especially putting broken things back together again, and often takes things apart first to find the problem. Harmless, right? Not when you dismember your abusive grandmother to try and find out what’s wrong with her, then stitch her back together again. As disturbing as this is, the strangely endearing thing about Humpty Dumpty is that he doesn’t really understand that the things he does are wrong. His simple nature leads to him being easily manipulated by other villains and used as a distraction or low level muscle. I don’t really want to fight him, but protecting him from one of the other villains on this list would go a long way to making me feel heroic.
It’s unlikely Humpty will ever have a direct appearance in a Batman game, but there is an Easter Egg (Egg… heh) in the new Arkham Origins game. During your adventures why not sit a while and see if you can put the pieces together?
Another name that doesn’t strike fear at first, but Jane Doe is genuinely creepy. She’s the ultimate identity thief, spending as long as it takes getting to know her victim before killing them and assuming their identity completely. Her imitation skills are impeccable, but further enhanced by the fact that she convinces herself she is the person she’s pretending to be – to the point that she refers to Jane Doe in the third person. She feels empty, as though she has no identity of her own (This is compounded by the fact that she has no face of her own. Yyyeah… I’d be weird too.) and has to steal other peoples to feel complete. She’s not only clashed with Batman, but other villains as well ranging from Hush to Warren White. Oh, speaking of whom…
Great White Shark
Warren White was a financier and an embezzler, stealing millions of dollars from sources like the Arkham Asylum pension fund. Once he was caught Warren thought he’d made a smart move by pleading insanity, but quickly realised that white collar criminals aren’t cut out for life in the company of maniacs like The Joker. Attempting to get transferred to a minimum security prison didn’t work – Dr. Jeremiah Arkham had the paperwork ‘lost’ in revenge for Warren’s theft. The doctor in charge of his care, Dr. Anne Carver, had (unfortunately for Warren) been replaced by Jane Doe some months earlier. Doe, intent on stealing Warrens identity for herself locked him in one of the refrigeration units meant for Mr. Freeze. The extreme cold disfigured Warren, freezing off his ears, hair, nose, lips and bleaching his skin white. The experience drove him insane and he filed his teeth into points, dubbing himself The Great White Shark – a creature he now resembled. Ever since then Warren has become a major crime boss in Arkham, rivalling the likes of The Penguin and Two-Face, but usually works behind the scenes. Not much of one for fisticuffs, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get to battle Great White Shark in an Arkham game.
Yes, that’s Catman. No, he isn’t related to Catwoman. She actually deeply resents his using the Cat title, and has knocked his furballs in on several occasions. Thomas Blake was a big cat hunter who turned to crime in Gotham City because he was bored. BORED. I understand taking up a hobby and meeting new and interesting people, but if that translates into fighting Batman and hanging out with the likes of The Riddler? You’ve got a screw loose. He took on the moniker of Catman and spent several years getting knocked around by Batman and Catwoman. He was a fairly pathetic character, but has had a revitalisation in recent years. Training himself relentlessly and working alongside top class characters like Bane in The Secret Six has turned Blake into not only a likeable character, but a much more formidable fighter. His checkered past as a, frankly, pathetic loser may mean we never see Catman grace our consoles, but everyone deserves a second chance. Or nine.
An Onomatopoeia is several things. It’s an incredibly difficult word to spell. It’s a word which describes a sound that is written down how it sounds (such as bang, or sploosh). But it’s also a villain created by Kevin Smith, the film director behind Clerks and Chasing Amy. Although primarily known as a Green Arrow villain Onomatopoeia has had a number of dealings in Gotham, including breaking The Joker out of Arkham. Very little is known about him, other than that he is a caucasian male and imitates the sounds that things make. While creeping through the bushes he’ll mutter “Rustlerustlerustle” and once, when seeing The Joker drop his trousers, said “Shudder”. He may or may have superhuman endurance or regeneration, having taken a quiver full of arrows and a seven story drop, then still managing to escape pursuit by Green Arrow. With so many unanswered questions – why does he make these sounds? Who is he? What does he want? – a large part of his appeal is the mystery surrounding him. Despite being so intriguing however it’s unlikely he’ll ever appear in any medium other than comic books, as creator Kevin Smith has himself stated. Speaking only in onomatopoeia’s works great on page, a speech bubble saying “Thwack!” is immediately understandable. But when you put this character on screen saying Thwack as he hits someone it becomes comical. Despite this limitation I still love Onomatopoeia and hope to see more of him in the future.
So there you have it, a small collection of Batman villains you probably never heard of, and probably won’t see in any Batman game. But they’re still great and worthy of your attention. There are plenty of others worth talking about of course, so if you have a favourite I’ve not mentioned, leave a comment below and tell us all about them.