A hero is just as great as its villain. Batman is known for having some of the most complex and unique rouges gallery. And although many of Batmans villains are some of the craziest, for this short list we wanted to explore some of the more psychotic ones. Not only because they are deadly and terrifying, but the ones who could be very real in our own world. It’s the villains like these that make Batmans stories so dark, twisted and relatable. Though we wish to never encourage any kind of behavior like the ones from the comic pages, just like Alfred says in The Dark Knight “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Which is where these five psychotic killers fit perfectly, as men who just want to watch the world burn.
Doctor Death – Batman #25 (January 2014)
Originally created in 1939 by Bob Kane in Detective Comics #29 as a foe who uses poisonous chemicals to extort money from Gothams wealthiest. The Doctor Death we will be examining the recreation of the character in Scott Snyders run of Batman during the Zero Year storyline. Doctor Karl Hellfern was working on a serum that would eliminate physical weakness, his first experiment was tested on himself and instead turned him into a skeletal monster we know as Doctor Death. The serum he created ended up causing uncontrollable bone growth and will use it on his victims to kill them. We would only expect such dark and twisted writing from Scott Snyder, which is what makes this story so unique and different than the norm. Not only does the idea of “Death by rapid bone growth” sound like such a terrifying way to go, but also the shocking appearance of Doctor Death is one that could only come from the mind of Greg Capullo. As a long and lanky creature with long sharp teeth, the visual of him on the comic pages is horrifying. Unfortunately he was killed off in Batman #29, and we have yet to see him come back into the comics. But we would love to see him some how many a return in the Rebirth run or even in other forms of entertainment. Perhaps a side mission in the next Batman Arkham game?
Flamingo – Batman #666 (July 2007)
Created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Eduardo Flamingo appeared as the super villain Flamingo. He first appeared in a special issue of Batman that took place 15 years into the future and showed Damian Wayne as a Batman. Flamingo can be seen in a prison escape during the issue as himself and other villains attack Batman. An expert hitman and in excellent physical human condition, Flamingo also uses an array of weaponry but will often revert to the basic guns and swords. Along with his ensemble of weapons, they will sometimes come in pink. Bright pink is his color of choice, and will go around sporting a pink biker’s jacket along with a pink motorcycle. You might think that this guy sounds just like any other assassin in DC Comics like Deadshot or Deathstroke. But what makes Flamingo such a horrific villain, is what comes next after he kills his victims. Flamingo has a tendency to remove the faces of his victims and eat them. I know, we went from zero to a hundred really quick. This brought us a unique twist to the common contract killer in comics, making him into an assassin with a dark and twisted motive. Just to add onto the already creepy trait of Flamingos, he also lacks feeling and shows no emotion to his victims and the acts he performs on them.
Mr. Teeth – Batman #86 (March 2020)
Probably our most recent entry on this list, Mr. Teeth was created by James Tynion IV and Tony S. Daniel during the story Their Dark Designs. When Deathstroke is hired by the mysterious new villain The Designer, Deathstroke recruits Dark Archer, Cheshire, Gunsmith and Mr. Teeth to assist him on the hunt for Batmans other rouges. Due to how new he is to comics, not much of his background and origin has been explored in the comics. What we do know is that he had been committed his heinous crimes about three years prior to his recruitment from Deathstroke, otherwise there are no other known. Originally known as the Teeth Eater, his crimes would consist of removing the teeth of his victims and inserting them into their stomach which is where his creepy name comes from. Mr. Teeth’s pale skin, grey eyes and white hair, along with hooks that peel back his mouth to reveal his teeth makes him such a terror to look at. Although this character has only appeared briefly in only seven issues so far, but we look forward to seeing more of this deranged killer in future installments and possibly other variation in games, movies or television shows.
Victor Zsasz – Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 (June 1992)
Created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Victor Zsasz has become a much more popular character in the DC Universe recently with an appearance in the 2020 film Birds of Prey, as well as other iterations in the Batman Arkham games and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Zsasz first appeared in the storyline Batman: The Last Arkham. When Batman comes across a series of murders that fit the M.O. of Victor Zsasz, only to discover that Zsasz has been locked up in Arkham Asylum during the time of the murders. So in an effort to prove Zsasz’s guilt, Batman and Commissioner Gordon work together in a plan to get Batman incarcerated in the Asylum to get closer to investigating Zsasz and prove he is guilty to the murders. Zsasz might sound like your garden variety killer, but Zsasz has an interesting way to end his murders. With a knife as his weapon of choice, Zsasz will engrave a tally on his body for every kill he makes. Obsessed with making a mark on his body, Zsasz will do anything to fulfill his craving for marking his body with more and more scars he claims on his killing spree. Making him as real of a killer as we could see from comic books.
Professor Pyg – Batman #666 (July 2007)
First appearing alongside another entry on our list, Flamingo and also created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Professor Pyg has definitely gathered more of a fan following than the other killer on this list. An alternate iteration of Pyg has been presented through the show Beware the Batman, where he is more of a mob boss. The one we will be taking a look at is the comic book version, the same one that was shown in the game Batman: Arkham Knight and television show Gotham. When Grant Morrison created this character, he got the name from the term “Pygmalion” that refers to a mythical sculptor who fell in love with his own creations. While also intending to create the most “weirdest and insane” character he could make. Lazlo Valentin is a scientist who had a schizophrenic breakdown and transformed him into a pig wearing killer. Valentin has become disconnected from reality and believes that human beings are imperfect, since he considers himself as a perfectionist. He has taken it upon himself to fix these people, kidnapping them and surgically altering their bodies and sometimes even their minds to turn them in to mind-controlled automatons. Even going as far as using animal parts to alter their designs, creating human–animal hybrids.
Cornelius Stirk – Detective Comics #592 (November 1988)
Created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle. Detective Comics #592 shows Batman to be stalking not the normal criminal, but what he believes to be a vampire. Turns out to be Cornelius Stirk, a cannibal with the ability to hypnotize people. Strik was originally released from Arkham Asylum, he was incarcerated at age 16 after attempting to murder one of his classmates. When he was released, is when he ceased to take his medications and led him to a life of killing. Similar to the Scarecrow, Strik uses fear on his victims with his ability to hypnotize people. And will sometimes use it to create an illusion of himself, in order to get closer to his prey. Strik believes that in order to stay alive, he must consume the hearts of his victims. Since it full of nutrients and hormones, he prefers inflicting fear in is meals by pumping norepinephrine through their heart, which carries hormones to the heart and making it a tasty snack for him to devour. Despite his horrific acts, Strik has mentioned in comics that he actually cannot stomach violence. So far, this crazed cannibal has only made one appearance in other media in the television series Gotham as a side character.