Now that the DC Extended Universe has given us a new version of Batman and Gotham, it’s time to break out some new characters in celebration! It has already been announced that Joe Magliano (True Blood, Magic Mike) will be playing the mercenary Deathstroke in The Batman, Batman’s 1st solo outing in the DCEU, with Ben Affleck writing, directing, and starring as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Deathstroke is a decent choice, but he’s not on my list of wants, as Batman has perhaps the most extensive Rogue’s Gallery of any character (comics or otherwise) and I feel there are plenty of stronger characters that have been ignored by the Batman films up to this point.
Yes, I would love to see better versions of The Riddler, Poison Ivy, and Penguin, and I would welcome new versions of Harvey Dent/Two-Face and Scarecrow, but here are are the 1st two of five Batman villains that we have yet to see on the silver screen that would mesh perfectly with the current DCEU. Though you wouldn’t want to throw more than one of my choices into The Batman, adding just one of these overlooked villains would compliment Deathstroke in interesting ways.
I only have the space to cover two of my five choices this post, as The Court of Owls requires more explanation than the rest; being the only villains on the list that have only been a part of the Rogues Gallery for 5 years.
Speaking of which:
5. The Court Of OwlsThe Court of Owls were introduced as one of the first villains in 2011’s premiere of DC Comics’ “Reboot,” The New 52. Created by writer Scott Snyder (not Zack!) and artist Greg Capullo, the men behind nearly all issues of the incredible New 52 run of ‘Batman,’ The Court of Owls are an organized crime group and secret society the likes of which Batman has never faced. Organized crime is nothing new in Gotham, but the Court has secretly controlled Gotham since Colonial times. Made up of Gotham’s oldest and wealthiest families, they have used money and political power to shape Gotham to their liking, having an even greater influence on the city than the legacy of the Waynes. Completely unknown to Gotham’s great protector Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne who seeks to improve his city with his fortune, they have bases and hideouts based all over the city, even in Wayne structures. Their existence is but a fairy tale to even Bruce, living on mainly though a nursery rhyme:
Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time,
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed.
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
Talons are their deadly assassins, basically an army of undead soldiers selected by the Court of Owls over the centuries, kept in a “deep sleep” until needed. When called upon, this army is dangerous indeed, not stopped by bullets, knives, or most of Batman’s tricks, because… well… I did say they were, “basically undead.”
I would want to see the Court of Owls used as a sort of secret cult (which it is), controlling Gotham right below Batman’s nose. When Batman and/or Bruce Wayne push too hard to improve Gotham, the Court would push back, declaring war on both sides of Batman’s psyche. I suggest ditching the Talons all together. After all, with the Court secretly calling all the shots, they could make Hell for Batman and Bruce without an army, and it makes perfect sense for them to hire or trick Deathstroke. Deathstroke could even be revealed as the movie version of a Talon; stripping away the supernatural elements and making him their personal solider.
4. ClayfaceUnlike the Court of Owls, Clayface has been a Batman mainstay for over 50 years. In that span of time, there have been many versions Clayface, but my favorite representation was how he was interpreted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 90’s. Without going into every version of the character, Basil Karlo is a well known actor (often presented as washed up or recently fired) who undergoes an experiment/accident that leaves him in the form of a giant mud monster. The powers that come with such a transformation give him super-strength and the ability to shape-shift to impersonate anyone; Batman’s friends and foes, or even Bruce Wayne himself!
Unlike Joker or Two-Face, Clayface has no real personal vendetta against Batman, aside from being thrown into Arkham by the Caped Crusader (like everyone else). He’s also not pure evil. Though different versions of the character often turn to crime before his transformation, Clayface is involved with pettier crimes like robbing a bank or getting revenge against those who have wronged him in the Movie Business.Clayface could be used a number of different ways with Deathstroke. He could pose as a fake Bruce Wayne after Deathstroke takes Batman out of the picture (for a time, Batman obviously comes back and wins in the end). He could be a secondary villain who torments Batman between Deathsroke attacks, or even serve as the villain Batman fights in the opening act, before Deathstroke is on the scene. He could even be an ally to Batman, like in this year’s run of Detective Comics following the latest “Soft Reboot,” Rebirth, becoming Bruce Wayne or Batman to serve as a false target for Deathstroke. The possibilities are nearly endless when the people Clayface can become are.
Come back soon for my top 3 picks for who should appear in either the DCEU or even The Batman alongside Deathstroke. The best is yet to come!