Love it or hate it, Fox’s drama series Gotham! The stable of villains Jim Gordon fights is growing every week, but which ones who have yet to appear on the show, or in the Batman films for that matter, do we want to see appear next?
One of the big “bruisers” in the Batman Rogues Gallery stable is Waylon Jones, aka Killer Croc. Born with a terrible skin condition, Waylon grew up with his abusive aunt, until one day he snapped and killed her, choosing to become a career criminal, hoping to rule Gotham’s Underworld while also dragging people to their dooms in the sewers for his daily midnight snack. Croc was thought up by comic writers Gerry Conway & Gene Colan and artists Don Newton & Curt Swan in 1983 as a physical threat for Batman to wrestle with once every blue moon. Over the years, Croc became more popular with appearances in the Batman: Animated Series and the Batman: Arkham games. To be fair, there’s not a lot to Croc’s character but who’s to say that he couldn’t be further fleshed out within the realm of Gotham?
Obviously, Croc as a giant crocodile man might be a tad difficult to swallow in Gotham as it stands right now. We haven’t really seen a ton of costumed antics for one, and we certainly haven’t really seen any super powered folks coming out of the woodwork. Batman is a funny duck because his world can be portrayed in a realistic tone, for the most part, and be completely bereft of super powers without missing a beat. This leads to characters like Croc being a tad trickier to pull off, but he needn’t sit on the sidelines entirely. Introduce a teenager with a skin condition who files down his teeth and is dubbed with the name, “Killer Croc” and he’ll fit right in with the other antagonists plaguing Jim Gordon on a weekly basis.
Ventriloquist and Scarface
Now here’s an entry I’ve wanted to see break onto the live action scene for quite some time, just to hear the reaction from the general public. Arnold Wesker is the right hand man to one of the most dangerous mob bosses in the city limits of Gotham, who just so happens to be a ventriloquist dummy. Yes, the Ventriloquist and Scarface are certainly two of the strangest villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery and would make for a perfect weird addition to the gallery of villains in Gotham. Originally created by comic book greats, Alan Grant, John Wagner and Norm Breyfogle in 1988, one of the main draws of the creepy duo was the mystery behind their pairing.
Is Arnold Wesker in fact insane, or is Scarface an actual entity unto himself who people believe is just Wesker throwing his voice? This is a pair who offers more of a sheer spectacle factor rather than a true threat to the citizens of Gotham City, but it would be great to see them show up all the same. It’s made a tad easier of course by the fact that Wesker is a much older villain than most of the folks Batman usually tussles with, so you can introduce a younger version of him without missing a beat.
Court of Owls
Of all the choices for villains to appear on Gotham, the Court of Owls are the ones that I feel would work the best within the confines of the show. Created recently by Batman writer, Scott Snyder, the Court of Owls is a mysterious organization that has its roots deep in the history of Gotham City. Thought of mostly as fairy tales and nursery rhymes, the group is made up of Gotham’s elite, hiding behind white owl masks, employing “Talons” to do their dirty work. These Talons are dead members of Gotham City who are resurrected by the Court to usually go hand-to-hand with Batman. Look for them to be a prominent part in WB’s upcoming animated film Batman vs. Robin.
The big hook of the Court of Owls is that it’s deeply tied to Gotham’s history. Active for hundreds of years, this creepy group of aristocrats has been responsible for the deaths of a few of Bruce Wayne’s ancestors and resurrected the great grandfather of Dick Grayson, former Robin now Nightwing, to do their bidding. A good way to create a bigger impact from their first appearance would certainly be to reveal that one of the current cast has always been a member of the Court of Owls, perhaps with Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Fish Mooney?
I left the best for last. Professor Pyg may very well be my favorite Batman villain of all time. Why, you may ask? Well Pyg does the impossible and manages to “out crazy” the Joker. Lazlo Valentin (no relation to me I promise) was the owner of a circus who decided that his time would be best spent wearing a giant pig mask, creating “Dollotrons”, folks who he takes control of using a series of creepy masks, and generally terrorize Gotham. Lazlo was created by comic book juggernaut Grant Morrison, and did not actually fight Bruce Wayne, but rather Dick Grayson who was acting as Batman in the big man’s absence (time travel was involved; it was a whole thing).
Did I mention how crazy Professor Pyg is? It bears repeating that here is a character who is so out there, it’s almost uncomfortable to follow his exploits, which would really make him perfect for Gotham. I had originally thought that Pyg was the villain Balloon Man, who showed up early on in the series, or a guy who was introduced wearing a pig mask later on, but that turned out not to be the case, so there’s certainly still a Pyg-sized hole in the show yet to be filled. I’m still shocked to this day that he actually appeared in the most recent Batman animated series, albeit severely toned down.
Which characters do you want to see appear in Gotham?