Batman: Arkham City is bulging at the seams with villains aplenty: Mr. Freeze, The Mad Hatter, Two-Face, The Penguin, and even Calendar Man are all hitting the scene to make Batman's life a living hell. And we can't count out Harley Quinn and Mistah Jay, or any of the baddies we happily felled in Arkham Asylum. No doubt about it, this is going to be a huge sequel. A villain for every taste and a nefarious plan for every crime lord -- that's Arkham City.
But Rocksteady Studios won't be able to please everyone. There's just not enough room to fit every single worthy baddie into the constrictive confines of one game. There's always hope for a sequel though, right? That means plenty of space for more of the ridiculously large cornucopia of Batman villains. In fact, I've picked some personal favorites to join any theoretical sequel’s cast. Sorry though, no Batzarro – was he ever truly a bad guy, anyway? Check out our list of other baddies that could be thrown up against Batsy in future games. Or possibly still in Arkham City?
First Appearance: Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The almighty Music Meister has grown to amass quite the fanbase ever since bursting onto the scene. With his garish costume (dapper, if you ask me) and flaming red hair, he’d fit right in with the rest of the crazies roaming Arkham City. His gossamer pipes (that might be a little too forgiving) allow him to hypnotize and enslave civilians as he forces them to do his bidding. In some cases, they’ll break out in song and dance like some kind of bizarre flash mob. Imagine the possibilities if the Meister (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, no less) leapt out from behind an abandoned alleyway, singing a defenseless Batman into a state of hypnosis.
I know the game’s supposed to be dark and gritty and all, but a little song and dance never hurt anyone…except maybe the bullies who picked on Music Meister when he was little. Plus, this guy’s got a baton that fires flaming musical notes. Come on. With all the attention Glee’s getting, I think it’d be a no-brainer that music-lovers would flock to Arkham City with the inclusion of this quirky villain. Unfortunately, the chances of seeing Music Meister flash his gap-toothed grin are lower than a musical number a la Aquaman erupting from Killer Croc.
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series
Who knew a coquettish little girl could be so terrifying? To be fair, she’s actually a bitter middle-aged woman whose destroyed career as a sitcom darling has twisted her into a sociopathic criminal bent on revenge, but that’s beside the point. Marion Louise Dahl, better known as Baby Doll of the long-running fictional sitcom Love That Baby, has a rare disorder that has trapped her in the body of a child even as she grows into old age. After living in the spotlight in Love That Baby and subsequently being thrown out of grace by newcomer character Spunky, Dahl went on to pursue other “serious” acting gigs and watched her waning career bite the dust.
It was only natural that she should round up a bunch of hardened thugs to exact revenge on the Love That Baby cast to relive her glory days and find the love and acceptance she’s craved since appearing on the show. Her trademark catchphrase? “I didn’t mean to!” She’d fit in beautifully with the Arkham City gallery of rogues, especially if it were possible to play up the little girl dynamic with overgrown teddy bears and other childish décor – possibly a Baby Doll who’s finally gone off the deep end? That’s got the potential to dredge up more nightmares than Scarecrow’s masterful segments in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and I think Baby Doll deserves at least a cameo. That severed head over there in the shadows? She didn’t mean to.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #647
If the Riddler is famous for riddles, what is the Cluemaster famous for? Probably one of the most boneheaded schticks this side of Gotham: leaving clues at the scene of the crime. What can you expect, though, from a former game show host? Though his record is mediocre at best (typical let’s-unmask-the-Bat plots) it’s his origin that makes Cluemaster potentially one of the more unique experiences that Arkham City could offer. He’s the prime candidate for a darker spin on the character, though I suppose sealing someone’s nose and lips shut with a “secret substance” is fairly dark already. Game show hosts are creepy enough as it is (Richard Dawson, anyone?) and the Cluemaster could make Dawson look like the picture of normalcy if portrayed correctly. Imagine Cluemaster clues left scattered around Arkham City like the Riddler’s trophies, though decidedly more sinister “clues” – what monstrosities could you potentially unearth? Think about it. It could be great. We just need a few alterations to his costume. As long as we don’t have to deal with the morbidly obese Cluemaster as seen in The Batman. What were they thinking with that, anyway?
First Appearance: Batman Beyond
The power of sound can be devastating, as proven by the nefarious Shriek, who stole the show in Batman Beyond. Technically he isn’t Bruce Wayne’s problem and falls under Terry McGinnis’s jurisdiction, but he’s still a formidable enemy that could create some delicious tension, especially considering his sinister appearance and technological specialization. The former audio engineer pieced together a “sound suit” meant originally for demolition, until Derek Powers (corrupt businessman of Wayne-Powers fame) caught wind of the creation’s destructive abilities.
The carrot at the end of the stick for Shriek, then Walter Shriev, was Powers’ use of the suit for demolition projects, but eventually devolved into an assassination attempt on Bruce Wayne’s life for Powers’ gain. Shriek’s suit can unleash a host of sound-related offensive and defensive attacks and can even mute the sound in a surrounding area. A final showdown with Shriek in Arkham City could mean relying on visual cues and quick reflexes in an area meant to simulate sensory deprivation. Think Killer Croc’s iconic showdown in Arkham Asylum, but devoid of the comfort of sound. It could certainly be unsettling. Plus, Shriek’s suit is rad.
First Appearance: Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1
Imagine a serial killer so skilled at imitating their victims that after a while they seem to become the other person entirely. That’s Jane Doe, notorious inmate of Arkham Asylum, who does just that. Be it man, woman, or child, Jane is capable of mimicking her victims down to every single little idiosyncratic quirk. Having reportedly lost her own face years ago, she studies each and every potential victim before making the kill, hoping that her next assumed identity will bring her joy. Placing Jane Doe in the confines of Arkham City could make some uneasy alliances even shakier – has Jane taken the place of a trusted ally? Who’s really who? I’m all for some twisted psychological drama and Jane’s particular skill would work beautifully. Tell me it wouldn’t chill you to the bone to think Jane could have killed and usurped a familiar comrade’s identity. That trumps Arkham Asylum’s lackluster endboss Joker showdown any day.
There are my five villains – but there’s plenty of ‘em out there. Who do you think would make an excellent addition to Rocksteady’s current roster?
Brittany Vincent is a freelance writer who routinely eviscerates virtual opponents and tempts fate by approaching wayward Zoloms. A connoisseur of all things bloody and bizarre, she's available to chat via Twitter @MolotovCupcake, and is always ready to take on new projects. You can peruse her archived work at PfhortheWin.com