Gotham City — riddled with crime and the hub of villainy in the world of Batman media. Over the years, the Dark Knight has gone up against the likes of the Joker, Riddler, Catwoman and countless others. These villains of Gotham have enjoyed wreaking havoc with steel, guns and on occasion, drugs. For example, the Joker, probably the most notorious of Batman’s adversaries, used a crowbar to beat Jason Todd to death, unaware that the boy would return as Red Hood to seek vengeance.
One can say that Gotham City has a habit of birthing weapon wielding looney tunes who commit terrible crimes. Here are four of the worst.
4. The Beating Of Jason Todd
Perpetrator(s): The Joker
Comic Era(s): Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis
Result: Jason Todd brutally beaten and left for dead; later returns as Red Hood
Everybody knows #TheJoker as one of the most iconic Batman villains, but one of his most heinous crimes is not as well-known: the death of Jason Peter Todd. Jason was the successor to the mantle of Robin, handed down to him by Dick Grayson who had taken up the mantle of Nightwing. Unlike Dick before him, Jason wasn’t as popular with the Batman readership, so #DC comics let readers to call in and cast votes on whether or not Jason should be allowed to live. Unfortunately, it wasn't good news for the character.
Jason’s death comes during the storyline A Death in the Family. Unearthing a world-shattering family secret, Jason goes in search of his birth mother. After he finally finds her, he continues to dig up information, only to discover the Joker is blackmailing her. In an act of betrayal, Jason's mom actually hands him over to the Joker. He beats Jason with a crowbar, breaking his body. The villain then sets off an explosion that kills Sheila and (supposedly) kills Jason. Batman arrives on the scene a moment too late and discovers his protégé’s crippled body.
Jason’s death hit Batman so hard that he deemed Jason’s demise as he’s biggest failure. The Dark Knight ultimately blamed himself for not being quick enough to get to Jason, and his death haunted Batman to the point where he nearly didn’t take on another Robin. Unfortunately for the Joker, this terrible crime only inspired Jason to return later as the Red Hood.
3. The Crippling Of Barbara Gordon
Perpetrator(s): The Joker
Result: Barbara Gordon shot and paralyzed; ultimately confined to a wheelchair
After leaving Jason Todd to die after beating him with a crowbar, one of the Joker's worst crimes was crippling Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. #Batgirl.
Upon deciding that it would be hilarious for Commissioner Gordon to have a mental breakdown, the Joker breaks into Barbara’s apartment with some of his goons. When Barbara opens her apartment door, Joker shoots her in the stomach, crippling her and rendering her immobile so she can’t fight back. Over the years, it has been further debated whether Joker actually sexually assaulted Barbara while she was vulnerable. Joker knew hurting the one person Jim loved most would destroy him. The villain even went as far as taking photos of Barbara’s beaten, broken body to bring about Jim’s mental breakdown.
Despite her crippling, Barbara returned to fighting crime and continued on with her life. She didn’t kick butt and take names the way she use to, but she became known as Oracle and fought crime with a supercomputer.
2. An 8-Year-Old Commits Murder
Weapon: Knife hidden inside his teddy bear
Result: Criminal stabbed to death
Born inside a prison and serving his father’s life sentence, the man who became known as Bane started his life as a scared little boy. After the death of his mother when he was just six-years-old, Bane became hardened, not even crying when her body was disposed of and became food to the sharks.
Only two years after his mother dies, the child who would become Bane kills for the time. Using his beloved teddy bear, the boy hid a knife in the stuffed-animal and used it to kill an inmate in cold blood. After this experience, the boy started to call himself Bane, and the rest is history.
1. Holly Robinson Slits Batman’s Throat
Perpetrator(s): Catwoman (Holly Robinson)
Catwoman is also one of Batman’s most infamous foes, as well as being one of his most famous love-interests. But in recent media, her story takes an interesting turn and she becomes a mass murderer. While Selina Kyle is the most famous Catwoman, for a short while, her protégé Holly Robinson took on the mantle. Selina's Catwoman was never known to kill anyone, but Holly's iteration is far more deadly.
Now, any fan who knows #Batman will know he’s very hard to trick and to catch off guard. So, how did Robinson manage to slit his throat? Let’s examine the scenario.
Holly wakes up early in the morning to find the Dark Knight in her apartment with questions her about the whereabouts of Selina Kyle. Holly tries to twist the truth and in an attempt to get out of the situation, she grabs a knife from a drawer and slashes Batman across the throat. The attack renders the Dark Knight unconscious. Thankfully, this isn't the end for Batman, and he's saved by Selina.
It's completely apparent that in every piece of Batman media crime is a massive problem. Regardless of what Batman and his team do, crime bears it’s own weight in Gotham. No matter what the weapon, steel or gun, these villains know how to cause damage in the city, especially damaging its protectors. Regardless of what any fan says, these crimes against the people of Gotham City are not for the faint-hearted.
What other crimes in Gotham or the DC universe did you find particularly terrible? Let me know in the comments down below.