The unusual suspects
Not every villain who opposes Batman can be as iconic as The Joker or Scarecrow, but that doesn't mean they can't be memorable. When crafting the Arkham games, developer Rocksteady knew just how to make the most out of the Dark Knight's diverse rogues gallery, applying smart redesigns where necessary to match the series' darker, grittier atmosphere. It's impressive when B-list bad guys like Calendar Man or The Mad Hatter can be made menacing, and WB Games Montreal later mimicked Rocksteady's style in Arkham Origins to elevate underachievers like Copperhead and Anarky into worthwhile adversaries.
With the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocksteady is moving on from its Arkham trilogy to pursue new projects. That means there won't be any in-game criminal makeovers for the legions of forgotten weirdos who've made the mistake of trying to terrorize Gotham. The following villains are generally thought to be some of the least threatening crooks Batman has ever beaten up - but I'd like to think that the patented Arkham style could've scored them a spot on the caped crusader's Most Wanted list. Just imagine the possibilities of fighting the virtual, redone version of someone like...
He's ridiculed because: Poor Crazy Quilt. This petty criminal underwent an experimental procedure to restore his vision after going blind, but the results were less than optimal: Crazy Quilt could see again, but only in a wild kaleidoscope of bright colors. This constant, prismatic assault on the eyes drove him insane. Now, he cavorts around Gotham wearing a garish multicolored costume and a sight-enabling helmet, which can also hypnotize his enemies or zap them with lasers. Try as he might, nobody - least of all Batman - seems to take him seriously.
But in an Arkham game: If you've played DmC: Devil May Cry, there's a good chance you vividly remember the boss fight against news correspondent Bob Barbas, which employs dazzling visual effects that fill the screen with neon and corrupt pixels. Imagine seeing Batman transported into a similarly disorienting, intensely hued world when he's zapped by Crazy Quilt's beams of weaponized color. Given how gorgeous the graphics are in Arkham Knight, this kind of experimental aesthetic could look absolutely stunning.
He's ridiculed because: If you think The Riddler overestimates his own importance, just wait til you meet this toga-clad gangster. Ol' Maximillian here is absolutely convinced he's the reincarnation of the Greek gods' head honcho Zeus, which spurred him to rise up through the ranks of organized crime. Even though he's got no superpowers or inherent strengths to speak of, he's somehow persuaded legions of gun-toting goons to obey his every command. Batman: The Animated Series has him fighting back with a thunderbolt-shaped electric rod, which helps makes his motif seem a little less dorky.
But in an Arkham game: Though he never shows up in-game, the unlockable character bios in Arkham Asylum depict Maxie as a beefcake with a deranged sense of superiority who went haywire after too much electroshock therapy. What if all that shock treatment left him with 10 million volts of electricity surging through his veins, not unlike a certain Metal Gear Solid villain by the name of Volgin? It wouldn't be too much of a leap to think yourself a reincarnated god when you can shoot lightning from your fingertips and flash-fry your enemies in an instant.
He's ridiculed because: When you're a supervillain wearing a white leotard spotted with multicolored polka dots, getting any kind of respect is going to be an uphill battle. But don't judge this crook by his cover, because his power - the ability to morph any of the dots on his suit into a wide assortment of weapons - is actually a legitimate threat.
But in an Arkham game: Arkham's thumpy, trademark brand of fistfighting goes a lot deeper than merely punching and countering, thanks to the variety of enemy types you encounter later on. Throughout the series, Batman has had to deal with rioters, mercenaries, and assassins wielding swords, bats, electrified clubs, miniguns, and remote-controlled drones - but no one soldier combines all the tactics needed to deal with these assorted methods of assault. Enter Polka-Dot Man, who could use his suit to become an all-in-one foe that would demand mastery of all your gadgets and counter techniques to take him down.
He's ridiculed because: You know you're in for a treat when an original character is excessively campy even by 1960s, live-action Batman standards. Played by horror legend Vincent Price, Egghead's shtick is that he's obsessed with eggs. That's pretty much it. He's got a gargantuan bald head, wears a suit of white and yellow, chucks hazardous chicken eggs that can emit radar waves or noxious gas, and makes egg puns at every available opportunity. His greatest peace-disturbing accomplishment was instigating a food fight with Batman and Robin, who then proceeded to smash his face with eggs and fists.
But in an Arkham game: Let's go extra dark and disturbing with this one. Instead of chicken eggs, this twisted Egghead would be obsessed with stem cell research, plundering human embryos from Gotham's hospitals to fuel his own research for developing a genetically perfect henchman. Of course, there'd be many failures along the way - leading to an army of horrific, mutated fetuses viciously crawling at Batman like the Botchlings from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It'd be a scene right up there in the 'mind-warpingly disturbing' department as the infant Crawlers from Dead Space 2.
He's ridiculed because: Just look at him. Charles Brown (likely a reference to the kite-tormented protagonist of the Peanuts comic strip) decided that the best way to distinguish himself in Gotham's crime community was to soar through the air on a gigantic glider and wield miniature kites as projectile weapons. Without any updrafts or wide-open spaces surrounding the things he wishes to steal, Kite Man is completely useless. Unless you feel threatened whenever you hear "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins, Kite Man is about as intimidating as, well, a kite.
But in an Arkham game: Batman's gone up against other high-flyers in the Arkham series, like Firefly and [minor Arkham Knight spoiler redacted], but they've never involved any test of your combat abilities. The AR flight challenges push your cape-gliding skills to their limits, but their presentation is simply boring. A fight against Kite Man could address both problems, testing your capacity for sharp aerial maneuvers while you fistfight in midair, weaving between Gotham's skyscrapers and divebombing to avoid Kite Man's attacks.
He's ridiculed because: Just as Bizarro is the polar opposite of Superman, Batzarro is the cartoonish negative of the Dark Knight. For starters, he wields dual pistols (which he may have used to shoot his own parents), calls himself the World's Worst Detective, and... has fangs and no eyes, for some reason. In an amusing flip of Batman's constant inner monologuing, Batzarro usually just blurts out whatever he's thinking (all styled with the same grating 'opposite day logic' as Bizarro-speak). Unfortunately, he's a little too goofy for many readers' tastes.
But in an Arkham game: Outside of eavesdropping on hilariously dim-witted mooks, the Arkham series rarely gets to flex its humorous muscles on the supervillain scale. But as your exchangers with The Riddler (and, on occasion, The Joker) prove, there's value to having bits of laugh-out-loud comedy amidst all the doom and gloom. As with his counterpart Bizarro, Batzarro's more unpredictable than outright evil, causing chaos whenever he tries to assist his idol Batman. Battling Batzarro could be a boss fight where you have to subdue him and a group of thugs before he kills them in an attempt to help out, all while he spouts ludicrous, laughable dialogue.
He's ridiculed because: Ever see a kid getting picked on because they take too much pride in their fancy calculator? Calculator (the Batman villain) takes that kind of regrettable preoccupation with number-crunching to the nth degree. His master plan revolved around preliminary failure: Calculator would dress up like a TI-83, get beaten to a pulp by various superheroes, then use his costume to analyze the do-gooder's fighting style in the hopes that he'd outsmart them the second time around. Unfortunately for his schemes, those calculations never seemed to pan out.
But in an Arkham game: Calculator has turned his criminal life around in the comics as of late, ditching the geeky getup for a job as a tech-savvy information broker and hacker for the criminal underworld. That effectively makes him the evil equivalent of Batman's close ally Oracle, who plays an important role in the Arkham games. Going up against an in-game Calculator might involve counter-hacking his attempts to take over the Batcomputer, assisting Oracle to help shut him out or misdirect the Calculator away from crucial intelligence related to the Dark Knight's next move.
Lord Death Man
He's ridiculed because: With a name like that, you might be expecting a terrifying Grim Reaper type who wields a scythe, but no - he's just a guy dressed like a skeleton who's really good at playing dead. By inducing a full-body yoga trance, Lord Death Man can fake his own passing, which apparently aids him in committing crimes. Then, somehow, he developed the power to actually reanimate himself after taking fatal damage. Though he's not much of a supervillain, you've got to give him points for sheer willpower.
But in an Arkham game: Lord Death Man's unique ability could push Batman to the limits of his 'no killing' rule (even more than running over thugs on the streets of Arkham Knight). LDM could create a scenario in which Batman would have no choice but to inflict lethal harm in order to prevent further calamity, forcing the Dark Knight to 'kill' him with the knowledge that it wouldn't take (this is actually something that The Joker has tried in the past). It'd also make for a pretty memorable 'Gotcha!' moment when Lord Death Man miraculously shows up later in the game.