You’ve read “5 Unused Batman Villains That Need To Appear In the DCEU, Part 1” featuring the Court of Owls and Clayface? And now you want to know who my 3 top choices are for who I’d like Ben Affleck to eventually face in the DC Extended Universe? Here we go with the 2nd and final part!
3. Victor Zsasz Okay, I’m cheating a wee bit here, as Victor Zsasz appeared briefly in Chrisopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. It was a cameo mostly by name only; we watch Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) get the serial killer transferred to Arkham early in the film, only to see him again once when Ra’s Al Ghul’s men break the inmates out of Arkham in the finale. But we never see Zsasz in action… or with his trademark look.
Zsasz is a serial killer who cuts a mark on his body to represent everyone he’s murdered. Like Clayface, he has no personal hatred for Batman, besides being a criminal, but he is pure evil. Focusing on women and children, preferably little girls, Zsasz has hundreds of cuts on his body, as he is very good at what he does. Oh, and he’s just plain nuts, if the cutting and murdering didn’t tip you off.
A while back, it was rumored that Zsasz would be used in Batman V Superman as a villain Batman (Ben Affleck) faces in the beginning of the film to establish his role as the protector of Gotham. Though that rumor proved to be false, I suggest nothing more than that in The Batman; just have Batman take down Zsasz before Deathstroke (Joe Magliano) comes to town.
2. Black MaskYes, Black Mask is wearing a mask; he is not a Red Skull wanna be. Like Clayface, there have been more than one Black Mask since his first appearance in 1985 (which actually makes him one of the newer villains in Batman’s 77 year history). The most well known incarnation is Roman Sionis, the head of one of the gangs in Gotham, The False Face Society. Sionis is interesting as he can fill the role of a regular crime boss like Falcone or Maroni, while also dressing like one of the “freaks” Gotham is known for. If they wanted, the creative team behind the DCEU could simply use Black Mask as a crime boss Batman is trying to take down. He’d be the perfect villain to hire Deathstroke to help him do away with Batman.
Of course, Black Mask doesn’t just sit on his ass like Falcone, he can face Batman directly with his trademark double automatic pistols and sword. Sionis is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and is a brilliant strategist that rivals Batman.
Black Mask has had different abilities and histories with Bruce Wayne that could be utilized to make him less of a mobster and more of a super-villain with personal vendetta against Batman. In the New 52, his mask has hypnosis-like mind control abilities and Sionis used toxin filled masks to kill his victims, leaving their faces blackened and shriveled like a skull (or his own mask). In his initial appearance, Roman’s parents had a “friendship” with Martha and Thomas Wayne, while secretly hating them. This “friendship” lead them to force young Sionis to become friends with young Bruce Wayne. Such a relationship would certainly make things more interesting as the relationship between Roman and Bruce could be explored against the backdrop of Black Mask’s hatred towards Batman.
Hugo is an oldie, but a goodie, appearing in Detective Comics #36, predating Catwoman or even The Joker. He’s the 1st and most notable of the villains that figured out Bruce Wayne is Batman over the decades, which has made him an incredibly dangerous adversary. Sometimes he is a simple psychologist (or a famous one), though he has also run Arkham Asylum in various iterations, another power move most villains haven’t pulled off.
My favorite Hugo Strange story comes from Batman: Prey (also one of my favorite Batman Graphic Novels overall). In this version, Strange is a brilliant Psychologist who promises Gotham he can uncover Batman’s secret identity, leading to his being hired as a Police Consultant with access to all of the police records. Strange correctly surmises that Batman is a result of great trauma, so he uses said files to narrow down who in Gotham could actually be Batman. Strange attempts to use Scarecrow as a pawn (which doesn’t end well for poor old Hugo) and brainwashes GCPD Sargent Max Cort to become a violent vigilante, The Night-Scourge, who will stop at nothing to kill Batman. Strange’s obsession with Batman is explored in this story as well, including a scene where Strange himself dresses as the Bat. Strange would work particularly well with Deathstroke. Deathstroke’s origin could be tweaked so he is less a mercenary and more a product of Hugo Strange’s hypnosis and obsession, just like Night-Scourge. Or, if Strange is head of Arkham in the DCEU, he could also be responsible for releasing Deathstroke to do his dirty work. It would be fun to watch a movie where there is the actual threat of Batman’s secret identity going public, and, if Deathstroke had said information it would make him an even bigger threat for the Dark Knight.
So that’s my wish-list for which Batman Villains I hope appear either alongside Deathstroke in The Batman or later in the DCEU. I hope either Ben Affleck or Geoff Jones is listening (they’re not… to me at least)!