Everyone loves a good villain, and Gotham has plenty of them to spare. When it comes to polarizing shows based on comic book superheroes, there is no doubt that Gotham will somehow be in that conversation. While it may have started off rocky, four seasons later, it seems to be getting a bit more traction, despite the constant ups and downs.
But regardless of what thoughts are on the show, there is no doubt that the show has delivered some unforgettable depictions of various Batman villains. Here are the ten best.
(Note: This list focuses on villains that were already in DC Comics before the show. Therefore, as great as they were, characters like Fish Mooney and Barbara Kean are not featured on this list.)
10. Mad Hatter
Sometimes, changes are made to a character that on paper look like they shouldn't work, but in the end, work out extremely well. This was exactly the case with the Mad Hatter.
Slightly changed from his kooky Alice in Wonderland gimmick, Mad Hatter was turned into a massive serial killer, with a slight Alice in Wonderland twist to his work. Introduced at the beginning of Season 3, Jervis Tetch played a key role in introducing a virus that would come back to haunt characters later in the future. While he may be currently locked up, it is entirely possible for #MadHatter to return once again and continue his mad brilliance.
Another character who ended up being changed for the better in the show was fan favorite pyromaniac #Firefly. In the comics, he was a burn victim-turned-assassin with sadistic taste for arson and lighting people on fire, while on Gotham, her backstory is much more fleshed out.
Bridget Pike is the sister of a group of arsonists, and when they end up kidnapping her, she takes matters into her own hands and destroys them with their own weapon, becoming Firefly. As a friend of Selina Kyle, a main character on the show, Pike's storyline eventually becomes investing as she goes down this fiery path.
When he was first introduced on the show, #TheoGalavan was a rather bland villain and didn't have much going for him, other than the fact that he was running for mayor. But after his death and eventual resurrection, his story became more interesting.
As it turned out, Galavan belonged to the family of St. Dumas, which were a rival family of the Waynes, and even tried to assassinate Bruce Wayne on a few occasions. But the fact that Galavan was part of the St. Dumas family meant that that Dr. Hugo Strange could dive into his past and brainwash Galavan to believe he was the fan favorite Templar Knight. While in the comics, #Azrael shifts between a hero and villain against Batman, in Gotham, Azrael was no more than a pawn in Strange's game. But it was a nice bit of fan service to finally see him on screen.
7. Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy has had one of the strangest character developments on Gotham. When the story first started, she was a small girl named Ivy Pepper who was about the same age as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.
Fast forward to Season 3, and after Ivy steps in on something she wasn't meant to see, she tries to escape, but not before she is aged 10-15 years. From there she has teamed up with the Penguin, but may be set to turn on him. As of right now, pun intended, the seeds are sown for who will eventually become #PoisonIvy. She only comes in at #7 on this list, however, because as a pawn right now, she isn't living up to her full potential—yet.
6. Mr. Freeze
One of the great things about Gotham is that the longer the show has gone, the better it has gotten. It hasn't been an easy trip uphill, but it is getting there. Something that has certainly gotten better with time has been the show's take on major Batman villains; case in point, Mr. Freeze.
On Gotham, the story of how Victor Fries became the villainous #MrFreeze in attempt to save his wife was told pretty spot-on, with one small change. That change was that to try and stop her husband from going too far, Fries' wife ends up freezing herself past the point of coming back. But other than that, the coming of Mr. Freeze is well done. His costume is fairly loyal to the comics, which is fitting as it's a great costume.
Sometimes she's good, sometimes she's bad. But for the most part, #SelinaKyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, has always been a villain. That is something that Gotham has perfectly done for her character, making her something of a ying to Bruce Wayne's yang.
#Catwoman has been on the show since day one, and has almost always had something to do with with the main story for each season, whether it be helping Bruce Wayne find his parent's killer, or joining up with Barbara Kean and her group. There is always that will they/won't they tease between her and Bruce Wayne, and it seems set to continue until the end of the show.
4. Hugo Strange
B.D. Wong was born to play #HugoStrange. Well, maybe not, but the resemblance between him and DC's Doctor Strange is remarkably uncanny. Wong's performance of Strange on Gotham is like it's lifted straight out of a comic book.
One of the main villains of Season 2, Strange managed to take absolute control over Arkham Asylum, and was nearly successful in having his own gallery of rogues wipe out Gotham. He's behind bars as of now, but it's highly likely that he will somehow pull more strings in Gotham, if he isn't pulling them already.
3. The Riddler
Edward Nygma has had one of the craziest stories of anyone on Gotham. Starting off as a forensic scientist for the GCPD, he was later disbanded and sent to Arkham after it was revealed that he murdered the woman he loved. After that, Penguin set him free and developed feelings for Nygma. But when the former scientist didn't return them, Penguin had the woman Nygma was seeing murdered. This would lead to an all-out war between the two.
But within that transformation, we have seen #EdwardNygma grow from the annoyingly brilliant forensic scientist to an insanely brilliant psychopath. Nygma has already used some of his signature tropes, such as the green suit and the question marks at the scenes of his crime. Once he gets thawed out of the ice, maybe there's hope that he will eventually get his infamous cane.
Believe it or not, there is still debate as to whether or not Jerome truly is Gotham's depiction of the Clown Prince of Crime. But if he truly is, then has not disappointed.
To best describe Gotham's depiction would be a mix of what made Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and Cesar Romero's takes on the character so great. In a perfect blend of madness and humor, whenever #Jerome is on the screen, you can't take your eyes off of him, especially after he loses his face. Every story he's in turns into one of the most interesting stories of that season, which makes him one of the best depictions of any Batman villain on Gotham. However, he's still not the best. That honor belongs to the only villain who could ever be Gotham's #1 baddie...
1. The Penguin
If Jim Gordon weren't a part of the show, then this man would be the main star of Gotham. While completely different from Danny DeVito's portrayal in Batman Returns, the #Penguin on Gotham has an aura about him that attracts you wherever and whatever he's doing.
While most of the time he is a villain, there are times where Penguin does put aside his differences with his "old friend" #JimGordon to help him and the GCPD out with something, much like how he has been known to do so for Batman in the comics. But what truly draws fans in to this Penguin is his dark, yet campy character, a contrast that makes him the most watchable on Gotham.
So what do you think? Who is the best villain on Gotham? Sound off in the comments below!