It is often said that a hero is only as good as their villains, and few superheroes come close to Batman in this department. Over the course of his 80-plus years of existence, Batman built up one of the most impressive rogues’ galleries ever for a fictional character. His enemies come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the planet and even from other dimensions. Exactly how strong is the Batman Who Laughs depends on what the current story arc demands.
Being powerful can be defined in many different ways. Someone like Bane is ahead of all others in terms of physical strength, but it can also mean having a great deal of influence and assets, like Ra’s Al Ghul does. But all things considered, some are evidently more powerful than others, and below it has been tried to rank the villains according to how powerful they are as fairly as possible.
Updated on April 22nd, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: With The Batman bringing the Caped Crusader back to the big screen, director Matt Reeves reinvented Batman once again. This time, the movie took Batman to his early days fighting crime, where he was not a finished product and had a lot of work to do. However, one area where nothing new came in was the aspect of the villains.
While Riddler and Penguin were reimagined, they were still the same old villains that appeared in movies before, non-powered bad guys who relied on their wits and creativity. Few of Batman’s most powerful villains have popped up in movies outside of Bane, and in some cases, Joker. However, in his rogues’ gallery, Batman has some very powerful villains who not only push him to the limit but match up well with almost any hero in DC Comics.
When it comes to all the villains who portrayed Clayface over the years, Basil Karlo is arguably the best. He is an incredibly strong and tricky opponent. Clayface can also take the form of other people and hide in plain sight. His superhuman strength, agility, and stamina, while being able to transform into a giant or heal detached body parts easily, makes him almost unbeatable.
He can also morph his appendages into weapons and can reduce another person into protoplasm by touching them. His vast arsenal of powers clearly makes him more capable than many of the strongest Batman villains
The opposite of Batman might be Man-Bat. While Batman is a man dressed up as a bat to scare criminals and stop crime, Man-Bat is a man turned into a bat thanks to experimental testing. The testing was supposed to be to cure hearing loss but it turned him into a werewolf-styled character.
Much like Lizard in Spider-Man comics, Langstrom wasn’t wanting to be evil, but when Man-Bat’s more animalistic urges arose, he turned into an impulsive, unpredictable predator with incredible strength. While Batman posed as a bat, Man-Bat was a powerful Batman villain that took it all one step too far.
13 Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy is a powerful Batman villain who really just wants to be left alone. Before his death, Cyrus Gold was a criminal who ended up murdered in the Slaughter Swamp. However, he ended up resurrected as an almost Frankenstein’s Monster sort of character.
He mostly just stays in the swamps and keeps to himself. However, when other villains bring him out to manipulate him for his immense power, they have a scary powerful ally on their side. Batman actually developed a connection with the creature, but when Grundy gets out of line, he has a few tricks up his sleeve to at least send him back home to the swamp.
12 Killer Croc
Killer Croc is not focused on world domination or making billions of dollars. All this Batman villain enjoys is killing and making a meal out of heroes like Batman whenever he gets the opportunity to do so.
As one of the most powerful Batman villains, Killer Croc doesn’t need special weapons or gadgets. With his fangs, claws, and general bodily strength, he can attack the Dark Knight at a moment’s notice. However, one thing that holds Killer Croc down is that he is mostly an underling when placed alongside other antagonists because he is only a doer, not a thinker. Fighting Batman requires well-thought-out strategies and Killer Croc’s lack of any is why he gets routinely beaten.
Anatoli Knyazev was an assassin working for Russia that had cybernetic enhancements made to improve his strength and reflexes. He then got even stronger after an injury. When KGBeast lost his hand, he had it replaced with a weaponized arm.
KGBeast was easily one of the most powerful Batman villains, and that was proven when the Caped Crusader proved he couldn’t beat the Russian villain. The best that Batman has found to deal with KGBeast was locking him in an underground bunker and leaving him there.
Like so many villains out there, Two-Face’s origin story is a tragic one, which makes him all the more interesting as a character. Harvey Dent was once one of Batman’s closest allies, but since getting acid thrown at his face and turning into what he is today, he is little more than another character out for blood on the streets of Gotham.
He is dangerous of course, as all of Batman’s villains are, but at the end of the day, he is still just a guy with some surprisingly symmetrical facial scars and an obsession with flipping coins.
9 Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze is one of those villains for whom it is difficult not to feel sorry for. The only thing he wants to do is find a cure for his terminally ill wife, and all his criminal acts are driven by this rather wholesome motive.
His iconic Cryo-Suit that he can be seen wearing at all times (as it is necessary for him to stay alive) grants him superhuman strength. Mr. Freeze’s ice-related powers that he mainly channels through his freeze gun are not to be taken lightly either, capable of taking the temperature of things to insanely low levels.
8 The Scarecrow
His primary weapon of choice is his signature creation the fear toxin, with which he has been terrorizing the citizens of Gotham for many years. There is no denying the sheer potency of the fear toxin, as it has been shown time and time again how effective it is as an agent of chemical warfare, and it is what makes Scarecrow one of Batman’s greatest foes.
But at the same time, he is something of a one-trick pony. Someone as capable as Batman shouldn’t have a very hard time protecting himself against the toxin.
7 The Joker
The Joker is undoubtedly the best Batman villain by a long shot, but being the best doesn’t necessarily mean being the strongest. His biggest weapon is simply how insane he is, which makes him unpredictable even in the eyes of the so-called World’s Greatest Detective.
It’s impossible to guess what the Joker is planning at any given time, and the way he can get under Batman’s skin makes him a foe that is not to be underestimated. As much as the film Joker would like people to believe, there really isn’t anything sympathetic about the character.
6 Ra’s Al Ghul
Besides being a terrible father-in-law (his daughter Talia al Ghul and Bruce Wayne were married once upon a time), Ra’s Al Ghul is also the head of one of the deadliest factions in DC – the League of Assassins. That makes him a fearsome adversary in itself but he is also nigh immortal on top of that, due to the fact that he has access to the Lazarus Pits which are capable of prolonging life and healing any wounds.
The knowledge and resources he has gathered over the centuries of being alive make him deadlier than most, and he has never shied away from putting them to use when necessary.
5 Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy’s control over all kinds of plant life, many of them poisonous in nature, is a mighty superpower in itself, but she has shown the full extent of her powers only a few times.
In 2018’s Batman #41 she literally took over the mind of every single person on the planet except for Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, in the most impressive show of her powers ever. As someone who cares deeply about the plant kingdom, her heart is definitely in the right place and it could even be said that she is deserving of redemption.
4 The Court Of Owls
Writer Scott Snyder introduced a completely new and hefty threat to the Bat-family in the form of the Court Of Owls, a group of shadowy figures who had been secretly controlling Gotham for centuries.
Besides owning a seemingly endless supply of resources, they also have their very own house-grown assassins called the Talons, against whom the entire Bat-family practically went to war towards the beginning of Batman’s New 52 run. Furthermore, the Court Of Owls is related to an even bigger and more powerful organization, called the Parliament of Owls whose influence extends around the world.
From Lady Shiva to Lobo, there’s no end to the number of deadly assassins in the DC universe, and Batman has gone toe to toe with many of them on various occasions, with Deathstroke being arguably the most formidable of them all.
He has enhanced physical attributes but no flashy superpowers, which has never stopped him from heading straight into fights against opponents much stronger than him such as Superman. DC comics have always made a point about how Batman is insanely skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and Deathstroke has repeatedly shown that he is just as good if not better.
One of Batman’s most iconic story arcs, ‘Knightfall’, and a core premise of the film The Dark Knight Rises revolves around how Bane absolutely breaks Batman, both physically and spiritually. On the surface, it would seem that he is little more than just a brute on steroids, but as Tom King’s Batman run showed, he is capable of intellectual planning as well.
Despite being imprisoned inside Arkham Asylum, he managed to take over Gotham and drive Batman out of his own city. Bane beat Batman within an inch of his life during the storyline ‘I Am Bane’, and also almost killed Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin.
1 The Batman Who Laughs
The introduction of the Dark Multiverse was a game-changer for the entirety of the DC Universe, and some serious new threats came into the picture in the form of the Dark Knights. These Dark Knights represented some of the worst versions of Batman that could possibly exist, and the most dangerous of them all was The Batman Who Laughs, an amalgamation of the Joker and Batman.
He isn’t just unpredictable to boot, but also has the powers of the god-like being Doctor Manhattan, and there is seemingly no limit to how powerful he is. He single-handedly defeated the entire Justice League of his reality.
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