It has been a long time since Batman had his own series, with the last being the underrated Beware The Batman series on Cartoon Network. Bruce Timm, the co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series, is now returning to Batman by teaming up with J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, the director of The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, for a brand new show.
This new animated series titled Batman: Caped Crusader is said to be a return to roots for the character. Instead of bombastic superhero adventures, it will be a more grounded, noir-style take on Batman. Of course, with it being Batman, he is going to need villains to fight, but which fits best in this classic style?
10 Killer Moth
With the right amount of tweaking and the proper writer, Killer Moth could have a great reboot. Rather than the goofy, gimmicky character of ages past, Caped Crusader has the opportunity to make Killer Moth into a more deadly foe.
Whether he’s an assassin such as in more modern comics or a serial killer who stalks from the skies, if Mr. Freeze can be altered to become one of the most beloved villains of all time, there is no reason why Killer Moth can’t be the same.
9 Black Mask
For the most realistic and grounded take on Batman, Black Mask makes a lot of sense. Black Mask rivals the Penguin as Gotham’s most powerful crime lord. One could easily see Black Mask acting as the first integral threat, with his puppet strings attached to everything and everyone in Gotham City.
The entire first season of Caped Crusader could be about Batman working his way up to Black Mask just to bring him down. This could be a way of serializing the show for a season-long arc while retaining a villain of the week type format.
8 The Ventriloquist
Whether it’s Arnold Vesker or Peyton Riley, the Ventriloquist is a creepy villain that fits within that noir world. In many versions, Ventriloquist and their puppet Scarface amass great power in Gotham’s underworld.
This would make them perfectly grounded for the more investigative version of Batman. Depending on how they portray the character, Ventriloquist could be equally part scary and tragic at the same time.
Having Anarky introduced in Caped Crusader would allow for a scarier version of the character, especially if the show follows portrayals such as in Batman: Arkham Origins where this villain is murdering anyone he deems to be corrupt.
With the series seeming to be going into the psychology of characters, Caped Crusader could develop Anarky more than most versions ever could. Plus, the detective thriller angle would work perfectly as Batman tries to figure out where Anarky strikes next.
6 Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange is one of Batman’s first-ever recurring villains in comic book history. Batman: Caped Crusader is seemingly embracing the earliest version of Batman, so it would make sense to bring in Hugo Strange as one of his most dangerous villains.
At first, Hugo seems like a regular scientist working at Arkham. However, Hugo Strange is one of the few villains to discover Batman’s identity, allowing for a more personal fight for Batman. Alternatively, Caped Crusader could adapt the Monster Men story into the series where Strange creates monsters that create havoc in Gotham City.
5 Mr. Freeze
Other than the Arkham games, Mr. Freeze has not had his proper chance in the spotlight since the DC Animated Universe. Everyone has been asking for more of him because of how enthralling he is. From his tragic backstory to his powerful presence, Victor Fries was reinvented for the better in Batman: The Animated Series.
If anybody can find a way to bring the character back for Caped Crusader, it is Bruce Timm. Sure, Mr. Freeze’s armor and freezing gun are a little futuristic for a noir story; however, if most of the story focuses on Batman investigating Freeze’s past, it would work just as well as it did then. As a bonus, Freeze’s story could allow for more fantastical elements, providing a breath of fresh air for viewers.
Yes, Catwoman has been done many times, but Caped Crusader could shake things up. Instead of the typical cat and bat routine where they fight and flirt, Catwoman could make for a perfect thief thriller. Catwoman could be stealing from locations across Gotham while Batman tries to figure out the pattern.
Perhaps Caped Crusader could embrace a more antagonistic side of Catwoman. Showing that when they do fight, she has more than just beguiling beauty to help her get away.
Harvey Dent, Gotham’s white knight and friend of Bruce Wayne, becoming the city’s next biggest crime lord? That screams a noir thriller as Batman is not only trying to stop him but to figure out how his friend fell so far from grace.
With an HBO Max release, Two-Face could potentially be done even better than Batman: The Animated Series. Rather than the frozen blue face to prevent a veto by the rating board, perhaps the burnt side of Two-Face will be more realistic and disturbing a la the Batman: Arkham games or The Dark Knight.
2 The Riddler
Considering Matt Reeves is working on the project, it is not unwarranted to think the Riddler will appear. Caped Crusader could embrace the dark, sinister villain vibe, similar to the Zodiac combined with Jigsaw.
Having Batman running across the city to save innocents from being slaughtered by the Riddler’s traps is reminiscent of the Saw franchise. In recent years, the Riddler became a joke due to his lackluster portrayal in the Arkham games. Caped Crusader could bring respect back to the character, much like the new movie.
1 The Penguin
Of all the villains that came from Batman: The Animated Series, one of the weakest was always the Penguin. Even in the episodes that are beloved, Penguin was the least beloved thing about them. The character just never got the chance to provide anything else besides bird-related puns and one-liners.
Again, since The Batman is revitalizing the Penguin, Caped Crusader could do the same. He could be the perfect recurring threat that controls Gotham City that Batman is always either fighting or reluctantly working with to keep Gotham from falling apart.
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