Batman: Who’s Who in the Next Generation of Gotham Villains

Batman is arguably the most well-known superhero in any comic book universe, and his biggest villains are just about as famous as him. With a comic book history spanning over 80 years, a slew of animated series, and more than a few blockbuster movies under his utility belt, Batman has saved Gotham City in countless stories from his impressive rogues’ gallery.

While Batman has spent most of the past several decades fighting the same group of villains, a new class of villains has emerged throughout Gotham City over the past few months. Even though all of these characters are still making their villainous first impressions on the DC Universe,  these five villains are already well on their way to fitting in with the dark denizens of Gotham City.

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Even though the Designer just made his first comic book appearance in James Tynion IV, Guillem March, and Carlo Pagulaylan’s Batman #89, this enigmatic figure has had his gaze firmly fixed on Gotham City for quite some time. Planted deep in the background of the criminal underbelly of Gotham, the Designer is obsessed with “designing” perfect crimes and planned schemes with the Joker, the Penguin, and Catwoman years ago. Although he was thought to have been killed when the Joker and the other villains rejected him, the Designer became an urban legend among Gotham’s villains. However, this “urban legend” recently resurfaced and reunited with the Riddler to spread his own brand of havoc across the city.

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Created by James Tynion IV, and Tony S. Daniel in Batman #86, Gunsmith is a killer-for-hire with a misguided sense of patriotism. With an outfit consisting of elements of the American Flag and a star-spangled bandana, Gunsmith got his name from his reputation of constructing a gun and silencer from items he got from an airport electronics store before using that weapon to eliminate his target. Although he is clearly a formidable opponent who is not afraid of getting his hands dirty, Batman made quick work of him in their initial, frenetic encounter. Although he has yet to attain the caliber and respectability of Batman’s other gun-based rogues like Deadshot, Gunsmith has still proven himself as a force to be reckoned with.

Even though Mr. Teeth sounds like the name of a dentist’s mascot, this killer is shaping up to be a very frightening opponent. Debuting alongside Gunsmith in Batman #86, this man of mystery was initially a serial killer in Portland who was dubbed “The Teeth Eater” for his unsettling habit of removing the teeth of his victims before implanting them in his victims’ stomachs. Displaying a painful-looking array of hooks that hold his mouth open into a terrifying visage of evil, Mister Teeth was part of the team hired by Deathstroke as part of the Designer’s master plan to eliminate Batman. However, Batman made quick work of the villain by luring him into one of his traps.

While Nora Fries has been the cryogenically frozen wife of Mr. Freeze since Batman: The Animated Series, she received a character-redefining upgrade when she was reintroduced as Mrs. Freeze in Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke’s Detective Comics #1014.

Given a serum provided to her husband by Lex Luthor, Nora was freed from the icy status her husband had kept her in to preserve her life. However, Driven to the point of madness in no small part due to the serum, Mrs. Freeze embarked on a solo criminal career, much to her husband’s chagrin. Openly disdainful of her husband for keeping her frozen for years, Mrs. Freeze overcame the combined effort of her husband and Batman, leaving a cold trail of frozen bodies in her wake.

Debuting in Tynion IV, March, and Pagulaylan’s Batman #89, Punchline is the Joker’s new girlfriend, and she’s already proven that she’s everything Harley Quinn was not. Punchline is a knife-wielding assassin who rarely speaks and already seems to be just as sadistic as the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime calls Punchline the funniest person he’s ever met, and he delights in the carnage she causes at his command. Although the details of Punchline’s life are still largely a mystery, Punchline and Harley Quinn are scheduled to have their first meeting in Batman #93, and the two don’t seem like they’re going to get along.

With the next generation of Batman villains already making their debuts, it comes as no surprise that the new crop of Bat-rogues are well on their way to being every bit as compelling as their predecessors. With their places now being firmly established in current issues of Batman and Detective Comics, it’s only a matter of time before one of these villains joins Gotham City’s bad guy A-list.

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In the DC Universe a new generation of villains is already popping up all around Gotham City, and they already have their sights set on Batman.

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