One of the strongest, and most memorable, aspects of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy was the wide-range of eclectic villains that it presented to audiences, ranging from the refined insanity of the Joker, to the hulking brutality of Bane, each of them confronted different aspects of Bruce Wayne’s psyche and forced him to push himself to the brink of darkness in order to stop them.
But, due to the nature of a trilogy, three films was never going to be enough to fit in all of The Dark Knight’s best foes, at least not without bloating the series as in the case of Spider-Man 3. Unfortunately, there are a number of villains who I can’t help but think that Christopher Nolan would have presented absolutely perfectly, making it a huge shame that we will never see them in his version of Gotham, even though in a way I am glad that we didn’t, as for me the trilogy itself was near perfect.
A final point before I start, whilst Gotham Knight was marketed and released as a series of connecting stories taking place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it is not to be taken as part of the trilogy’s canon storyline, and so villains that appear in it, or are referenced in it, may still appear here.
Honourable Mention: Harley Quinn
Harley misses out on a place in the top 10 simply because of her status as The Joker’s girlfriend. Whilst she is a brilliant character, it is still hard to imagine her inclusion in The Dark Knight and whether it would have been a positive inclusion to Heath Ledger’s character, with the answer probably lying in the fact that she was not included because she was unnecessary to the plot. But still, Nolan has proven he can create a strong female character in Catwoman, so he could definitely have done Harley justice, with her likely becoming a huge hit with male fans due to her revealing outfits and psychotic nature.
Whilst Harley could have added an intriguing dynamic to Ledger’s Joker, her role in the film would have been muted by the impact that Two-Faces introduction has, not to mention the Joker’s lack of empathy for anyone else in the world, including himself. It is unlikely he would have accepted what is effectively a sidekick, especially one whom he has never showed any affection towards. However, had The Dark Knight Rises gone a slightly different route, it would have been interesting to see a vengeful Harley, who had never really known the Joker but become smitten with him anyway, targeting Batman and joining forces with Bane or even bringing Bane to Gotham in the first place.
The Mad Hatter and Poison Ivy get an honourable mention here too, only not included because of their slight similarities to other Batman villains, it is hard to imagine Mad Hatter’s mind control coming off as anything other than a Scarecrow trip whilst Poison Ivy was beaten to the post by another temptress in the form of Talia Al Ghul.
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This article was first posted on February 1, 2013