Batman: The Animated Series featured many terrific characters from the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. Here are the very best of the worst…
10. Baby Doll
She might not be the most significant creation of a series that came up with such prominent supporting characters like Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya, but Baby Doll was still a surprisingly effective antagonist. A fully-grown woman with a genetic disorder that means she looks three years old, Mary Dahl only really wanted to look her age. Plus, she has a memorably weird partnership with Killer Croc.
9. Scarface/The Ventriloquist
One of Gotham’s fiercest crime bosses, Scarface just happens to be a ventriloquist’s dummy. Arnold Wesker AKA The Ventriloquist suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder – though meek and cowardly in himself, the dominant persona of Scarface is the exact opposite. Spoilers: Ventriloquist gets a rare happy ending for a villain, eventually “killing ” Scarface and asserting his own personality.
Any actor wishes to disappear into their role but for Matt Hagen this is his curse – after disfiguring his face in an accident, Hagen uses an experimental cream to renew his looks. Unfortunately, this mutates him into a clay-like form which allows him to assume other’s identities. Clayface later joined the likes of Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro in the villainous Secret Society on Justice League.
7. The Scarecrow
Jonathan Crane’s scary alter ego went through the most redesigns of any character in BTAS and its follow-up The New Batman Adventures. The ‘hanged preacher’ look is definitely the most effective, though. With his quiet, cultured voice coming out of this disfigured corpse-like mask, he is genuinely scary. He is also responsible for bringing about Batman’s iconic line: “I am vengeance, I am the night. I am Batman!”
6. Mad Hatter
Voiced by Planet of the Apes star (and former 60s Batman villain) Roddy McDowall, The Mad Hatter of BTAS is not quite as creepy as he is in some of the comics (which often take his twisted obsession with Alice in Wonderland to some dark places), but he is still a misguided villain with some unsettling subtext. When his beloved secretary Alice rejects him, Jervis Tetch uses his mind-controlling device on her. He is also the villain of the brilliant ‘Perchance to Dream’ episode.
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