BATMAN VILLIANS I’D LIKE TO SEE
(with sincere apologies to Bob Kane, Bill Finger and DC Comics)
by Joe Buonfiglio
The Caped Crusader; be it in the comics of my youth, the films from the 1980s or the fantastic cinematic reimagining of more recent movies, I’m fascinated by “The Dark Knight.”
Weeeeeeeeeeeell, technically that’s not quite true. I don’t really give a Batmobile’s lug nut about Bruce Wayne’s alter ego in the black mask or his bird-appellation sidekick “Robin” either. It’s the villains that get my Gotham-rocks off.
Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman… Hell, I even like the B-level criminal weirdos such as Two-Face, Mister Freeze, Egghead, Poison Ivy, Bookworm and King Tut! Insanely twisted murderous evil rolled into the most delightfully costumed lunatics to ever walk in the fictional world. Forget the imagination of a strange little child; now as a strange little man, I STILL wish I could join their bizarre ranks.
However, who would I be? If I were to wake up one morning and discover that dark city actually existed and I was in the midst of its seedy underbelly, into what arch-enemy schizoid criminal mastermind destined for Arkham Asylum would I morph myself?
“THE FLATULENTOR” No. Too early in the creative process to fall back on fart jokes. Besides, while I am quite adept in the art of Anal Jujitsu in real life, a gassy geek who only tries robbing baked-beans factories for product would quickly get stale in the old storyline department.
“LA NONNE d’NAUGHTIE” While enjoying a good French-Catholic drag-queen antagonist as much as the next guy, family-values advocacy groups across both the civilized world and North Carolina would demand to crush my balls in a vice so soon after the character’s first few episodic appearances that no studio exec would risk the potential public-relations nightmare. Although, in all fairness, the possible damage to the production company’s reputation might be worth it in light of the merchandising coin that would stuff the studio’s coffers from Halloween-costume sponsors alone.
“THE RABID RABBI” Too Jewish.
Too offensively Jewish.
“THE PETULANT PUTZ” Being a method actor, I’d have no problem getting into character for this one. That’s not what bothers me. Pulling off a bad-tempered, childishly sulky, irritable, crotchety, touchy, tetchy, testy, grumpy, disgruntled, crabby, grouchy, cranky and otherwise curmudgeonly dickhead is not a problem; it comes quite naturally, actually. I just don’t see young kids “playing Batman” in the schoolyard yelling “You kids get off my lawn” while stomping their feet in a tantrum having much staying power in keeping their attention and developing an audience.
“ITSY CREAM” While the potential backstory on a friendly Good Humor Man-type and his delightful truck of frozen treats “turning bad” and becoming forces for evil is almost too much fun to contemplate, it has the potential to turn TOO dark. WAAAAAAAY too dark.
Can you say John Wayne Gacy?
“BONDAGE BOB” Okay, now I’m just fuckin’ with my own head.
Let’s face it; all the good Batman nemeses have already been done. Trying to pull a new villain out my ass in my fiction-driven lust to satisfy some childhood vocational fantasy and become part of a beloved franchise’s history is doing it for all the wrong reasons. Potentially satiated personal bank-accounts from all that cash flowing in from residuals thanks to playing such a character; THAT’S the right reason.
Hey. Hold the Batphone and call me Bane. Maybe I’d make a good criminal after all.
© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.