Categories of Criminals

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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dell
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Categories of Criminals

Post by dell » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:33 pm

There were several different type of categories or themes for villains on Batman. One group is what I'll call the Teasers: The Joker, The Riddler and the Puzzler. All of them gave Batman clues, usually quite obscure, as to the nature of their crime spree. I don't think a fourth villain would have been significantly different than the three listed. I know a lot of people consider the Puzzler a poor attempt at a Riddler. Therefore, I think this group is more than filled out by the three villains listed.

Another group is what I'll call the Animal group. They all based their villain concept, costume, or some aspect of their persona on an animal or creature of some kind: The Catwoman, The Penguin, The Bookworm and the Black Widow.

There are a lot of villains not covered by these two groups, but for now let's consider the Animal group. I think the four listed leave a lot of room in this category for more villains. What other animals or creatures would have made a good idea for a villain?
dell

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High C
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Re: Categories of Criminals

Post by High C » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:07 am

Interesting question. The best I can come up with off the top of my head is another from the cat group.

How about The Cheetah? She/he is so fast that she/he can steal jewels, money, whatever, incredibly quickly without anyone knowing. Of course, wearing the Cheetah costume in broad daylight might be kind of a giveaway. . .
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

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Jim Akin
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Re: Categories of Criminals

Post by Jim Akin » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:14 am

Fun question.

For starters, can we agree that a moth, even a Killer Moth (whatever that is), is NOT a potent criminal totem? :)

Comics have featured a variety of villains with snake-inspired motifs (Batman has battled Copperhead and Kobra; Marvel Comics has a whole Serpent Squad that's fought Spider-Man and Captain America). Snakes, like spiders, are always good for a scare, so an adaptation of one of those bad guys, or a series original (Tuesday Weld as Princess Python, anyone?) could've been cool.

Comics have also delivered some interesting villains with aquatic-predator themes: Killer Croc, Great White Shark, etc. Superman comics featured mer-people (both good and evil), and Marvel's Sub-Mariner is an A-list villain/antihero. These guys would overlap on Pengy's turf a bit, and it might have been hard to make maritime capers work on the mean streets of Gotham. But it would have been cool to have an undersea hideout, where Batman and Robin alone had to wear respirators, along the lines of Mr. Freeze's infrared HQ.

He wasn't introduced until after the Batman series ended, but another potentially cool animal character from the comics is Man-Bat, a scientist whose secret serum turns him into a giant bat. The character never would have worked on the series, for much the same reason Two-face didn't (too horrific for young viewers, and too demanding in terms of make-up and prosthetics for the series weekly budget). Still he's a cool animal-based villain.

One last category, which would've been in perfect sync with the comics that inspired the Batman series, would have been some kind of super-intelligent gorilla. DC comics of the 1950s and early 60s featured many of these characters, as both villains and heroes, after the publisher figured out that gorillas on covers inexplicably boosted comic book sales.

Final thought: I'm not sure I'd consider Bookworm an "animal" villain. His leather costume emulates old book covers. He essentially dresses AS a book, so he'd likely consider an *actual* bookworm his natural enemy. Seems to me he's a consumer of books only in the figurative sense.

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clavierankh
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Re: Categories of Criminals

Post by clavierankh » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:56 am

I see Bookworm as obsession or hobbyist villain. Like Clock King , Mad Hatter, Marsha Queen of Diamonds, and The Later Egghead. his villainy is based on his obsession with a certain type of item.

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