ByDickie Holmes, writer at Creators.co
Dickie Holmes

In the world of comics, a superhero is balanced out by his or her villains. You can easily slap a few powers and gadgets into a set of tights, but unless they’re at odds with someone who makes them interesting they’ll never gain access to the higher pantheons. Spider-Man, a nerd with powers, combats with a roster of total losers with powers. Superman is nigh strong, but he clashes mostly with a bald genius who hates him so dang much. Batman is famous for being a scowling affluent avenger, but he’s also famous for having some of the best villains. No one gets more excited about supervillains quite like they do his. Look at the brilliant reaction and buzz that surrounded the Suicide Squad Teaser Trailer for example. I also bet your grandmother could name more of his rivals than she can her second cousins. (Thank You Adam West!!)

Be it The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze. Batman has always had the most compelling set of criminals to fight against — and if you look at them all as a group, the reason why they’re so much more interesting than any other villains out there becomes pretty clear. Our hero likes order and the clown likes dis-order. Batman's suit is black and the Joker is bright and multicoloured, but what makes the Joker such a great villain is that he, like Batman, is just a guy. So when he decides to go up against Batman, like him he is also an obsessive. He uses his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry and you get the impression it’s because he’s truly confident in his fiendish schemes and plotting. He is the ultimate antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance. But it’s not just the Joker. When you look a little closer, it’s pretty clear that there’s a similar strain running all through Gotham City....

Batman himself has always been a well-known outlier among superheroes. Unlike his contemporaries — whose spec sheets include things like “eye lasers” or “human flight”— his own special skillset is comparatively earthbound. He’s exceptionally strong, but within human parameters. He’s extremely clever, but his mind is not a computer. He’s wealthy and technologically adept, but the tools of his trade are mostly things that you might plausibly see in a test lab. Basically, much of the appeal of Batman is that, unlike other superheroes, he’s simply a person who has pushed himself to the edge of his natural limits.....

...The flipside of that, though, is that (with a few notable exceptions that veer into the pure realm of fantasy/supernatural) the villains he battles against are also by and large simply people with a single, notable obsession — and that’s why they’re so much more interesting than the rest. When a supervillain or superhero origin story is told, it’s usually just an accounting of whatever accidents lined up to give them their strange new powers. In Batman, origin stories tend to be about fixations that overtake that character’s life, whether that fixation is retribution (Bruce Wayne), saving a loved one from a terminal illness (Mr Freeze), environmental issues or lobotomy (Poison Ivy) and the strange randomness of life (Harvey Dent). This is what makes Batman's villains so much more relatable and it's this relatability that makes them so....very....very...."human"....

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