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Old 02-21-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
CinematicESP
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Default Batman Villain analysis

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to analyze what each of the main Batman villains represents in relation to Batman himself, specifically how they mirror him in different ways. Here's what I can come up with...

The Joker: The ultimate representation of the chaos and theatricality that Batman's existence has brought to Gotham City. He is Batman's exact opposite, an inevitable reaction.

Catwoman: She is Batman's equal. They are both in a moral grey area, straddling the line between right and wrong. Batman is more on the "right" side of that line, while Catwoman is more on the wrong side.

Two-Face: An exaggeration of the duality of Batman's identity (and any superhero for that matter).

The Riddler: He attempts to one-up Batman in the area of one of his strengths (intelligence). Basically, it's a pissing contest of the mind for him.

Penguin: A twisted version of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne, in that he's a wealthy gentleman, but he is Batman's physical opposite.

Ra's al Ghul: Someone on a quest similar to Batman's, to eradicate crime, but takes it to its most ideologically extreme.

Scarecrow: A twisted version of Batman's modus operandi of using fear as a weapon.

Bane: The most extreme example of the self-made warrior that Batman is.

Hugo Strange: Someone who is obsessed/fascinated with Batman to the point of antagonism.

Harley Quinn: Conversely, she is someone who is obsessed/fascinated with Batman's total opposite, the Joker. She is more an extension of the Joker than directly thematically related to Batman.

Mr. Freeze: The emotionless shell of a man that Batman could potentially become if he let his tragic past overtake him.

The Ventriloquist: Perhaps, like Two-Face, another exaggeration of the multiple identities inherent to Batman and superheroes in general.

Clayface:More multiple identities?

Man-Bat: The fearsome creature that Batman tries to appear to be and is often interpreted as by terrified criminals.

Black Mask: A reversal of the origin of Bruce Wayne (he murders his own parents). Also, someone with a personal vendetta against the hero's alter ego.

Hush: Another reversal of Bruce Wayne in almost the same way, also with a personal vendetta against him.


And I'm not sure where to place these...
Poison Ivy
Mad Hatter
Killer Croc

Several of these categorizations could be improved/more accurate... And if you think there are some major villains that I forgot, please bring them up.

Thoughts?


Last edited by CinematicESP; 02-21-2011 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
Harls
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

This is interesting.

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Old 02-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

Indeed it is.

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Old 04-14-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

Killer Croc mirrors the savagery inherent to the Batman persona, the monstruosity of his own rage

Mad Hatter is about Batman's wish for control, to limit the actions of the others

Victor Zsasz is the anti-Batman in the sense he had a similar life to Bruce Wayne but his trauma made him believe life has no sense and his duty is killing all possible people. The opposite of Batman's purpose.

Humpty Dumpty, a lunatic obsessed with fixing things who involuntarily causes chaos and destruction

Maxie Zeus reflects the God-complex of Batman

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Old 04-14-2014, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

Brilliant job, Oswald. I'd add to Killer Croc - the urban legend come to life, ala Batman.

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Old 04-15-2014, 01:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

Nice analysis!

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Old 05-11-2014, 11:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinematicESP View Post
Clayface:More multiple identities?
Not really. He just disguises himself as different people to either pull of a crime or escape from a tricky situation. Batman is not just an identity for Bruce. It's a persona. It's part of who he is.

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Old 05-12-2014, 01:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

Poison Ivy - mirrors Bruce Wayne's obsession with order and avenging his parents, except it's about restoring natural order to the planet, and avenging mankind's destruction of the environment.. also two identities (Pamela Isley and Poison Ivy).. is 'poison' to Batman, just like how his secret identity is poisonous to any love interest

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Old 05-12-2014, 04:28 AM   #9
Oswald
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Originally Posted by Doctor Octopus View Post
Not really. He just disguises himself as different people to either pull of a crime or escape from a tricky situation. Batman is not just an identity for Bruce. It's a persona. It's part of who he is.
I suppose Clayface mirrors the liquid identity of Bruce Wayne, at the point of difficulty know who he really is.

There are other ways to analyze Batman's villains, for example saying what trauma of Bruce Wayne they mirror:

Joker: the trauma with chaos and the imposibility of prevent the violence (and therefore the death of his parents)

Deadshot: the trauma with guns

Bane: the fear there's someone stronger he can't defeat

Riddler: the fear there's someone smarter who passes him

Scarecrown: the trauma with fear itself, and the possibility he's afraid again and doesn't avoid the death of his parents

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Old 05-14-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinematicESP View Post
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to analyze what each of the main Batman villains represents in relation to Batman himself, specifically how they mirror him in different ways. Here's what I can come up with...

The Joker: The ultimate representation of the chaos and theatricality that Batman's existence has brought to Gotham City. He is Batman's exact opposite, an inevitable reaction.

Catwoman: She is Batman's equal. They are both in a moral grey area, straddling the line between right and wrong. Batman is more on the "right" side of that line, while Catwoman is more on the wrong side.

Two-Face: An exaggeration of the duality of Batman's identity (and any superhero for that matter).

The Riddler: He attempts to one-up Batman in the area of one of his strengths (intelligence). Basically, it's a pissing contest of the mind for him.

Penguin: A twisted version of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne, in that he's a wealthy gentleman, but he is Batman's physical opposite.

Ra's al Ghul: Someone on a quest similar to Batman's, to eradicate crime, but takes it to its most ideologically extreme.

Scarecrow: A twisted version of Batman's modus operandi of using fear as a weapon.

Bane: The most extreme example of the self-made warrior that Batman is.

Hugo Strange: Someone who is obsessed/fascinated with Batman to the point of antagonism.

Harley Quinn: Conversely, she is someone who is obsessed/fascinated with Batman's total opposite, the Joker. She is more an extension of the Joker than directly thematically related to Batman.

Mr. Freeze: The emotionless shell of a man that Batman could potentially become if he let his tragic past overtake him.

The Ventriloquist: Perhaps, like Two-Face, another exaggeration of the multiple identities inherent to Batman and superheroes in general.

Clayface:More multiple identities?

Man-Bat: The fearsome creature that Batman tries to appear to be and is often interpreted as by terrified criminals.

Black Mask: A reversal of the origin of Bruce Wayne (he murders his own parents). Also, someone with a personal vendetta against the hero's alter ego.

Hush: Another reversal of Bruce Wayne in almost the same way, also with a personal vendetta against him.


And I'm not sure where to place these...
Poison Ivy
Mad Hatter
Killer Croc

Several of these categorizations could be improved/more accurate... And if you think there are some major villains that I forgot, please bring them up.

Thoughts?
Very good stuff, although I'm a bit surprised people weren't generally aware of this. The point of a hero story is ultimately to tell you how great a hero is, and the point of a villain is to show how great the hero is by overcoming them. If the villain can present a themetic or conceptual threat to our hero as well as a physical one, it makes for a more effective story.

The Joker is the perfect Batman villain because he represents the very randomness of crime and violence that stole his parents. The Joker is the embodiment of everything Batman hates and opposes.


Last edited by Uncle Radiation; 05-14-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Radiation View Post
Very good stuff, although I'm a bit surprised people weren't generally aware of this. The point of a hero story is ultimately to tell you how great a hero is, and the point of a villain is to show how great the hero is by overcoming them. If the villain can present a themetic or conceptual threat to our hero as well as a physical one, it makes for a more effective story.

The Joker is the perfect Batman villain because he represents the very randomness of crime and violence that stole his parents. The Joker is the embodiment of everything Batman hates and opposes.
I would add the Joker is winning the battle, every time he kills or mutilates somebody Batman loses and his crusade is ridiculized... because such a crazy crusade is soooo easy to ridiculize

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Old 05-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswald View Post
I would add the Joker is winning the battle, every time he kills or mutilates somebody Batman loses and his crusade is ridiculized... because such a crazy crusade is soooo easy to ridiculize
I think the word you are looking for is ridicule.

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Old 05-18-2014, 03:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

I always thought Bane was the third world version of Batman.

Go to a third world country. You'll meet people just like Bane.

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Old 05-19-2014, 05:08 AM   #14
Oswald
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Originally Posted by Uncle Radiation View Post
I think the word you are looking for is ridicule.
What?

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Old 05-21-2014, 07:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Batman Villain analysis (in relation

I think the mad hatter is possibly a representation of batmans id that wants to go back to childhood (When his parents were still alive) as you know the hatter uses mind control in the theme of a story book.
Just a thought

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