Between drug overdoses and killer sex robots, it’s hard not to realize that Batman Beyond is a show ahead of its time. It was about a troubled youth trying to find his way in the world and realizing that way is through helping others.
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Any comic book fan knows that a hero is only as good as his villains. For facing a futuristic society, Batman Beyond needed futuristic villains that challenged both his own sensibilities as much as his new, technologically advanced world.
10) Royal Flush Gang
The Royal Flush Gang was notable for several reasons. First off, they are a continuation of villains from Batman’s era, but they hold other distinctions for Batman Beyond. First off, they are a family, which holds a certain significance for Terry McGinnis, who lost his father at the start of the series.
Then there’s Melanie. She’s a troubled member of the Royal Flush Gang and potential love interest for Terry. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about his girlfriend Dana, but Batman – any Batman – can never resist a bad girl. And as Melanie tries to right her wrongs, she offers a very unique temptation for him.
9) Ian Peek
Ian Peek isn’t a particularly prominent Batman villain as he only appeared in one episode, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t particularly effective. He’s essentially a journalist that found a way to make himself intangible. This allowed him to get scoops he otherwise wouldn’t have.
What made him so dangerous is that he was in a prime position to expose Batman’s identity. Very few have gotten this close to revealing Bruce Wayne’s true nature, which allows Peek a spot on this list. But like most villains, his greed cost him everything in the end.
8) Mad Stan
All superheroes need to have throw-away villains. These are the C-listers that are put into a story for no other purpose than a villain needs to challenge the hero as a distraction. That’s where Mad Stan comes in.
Typically, Mad Stan has some grudge against either the government or some other institution, and his solution is simply to blow it up. He’s a very one-dimensional villain, but when the plot is focused elsewhere, he’s a perfect stand-in to give Batman a beating.
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Some of the best villains are those that have a personal grudge against the hero. Batman doesn’t really have any grudge against Shriek, but given that he’s a villain that focuses on sound, he has a very particular grudge against Batman for making him deaf.
What’s also interesting about Shriek is that he’s technically a genius when it comes to sound engineering. He could use sound waves in very interesting ways to terrorize and manipulate Gotham. Those are the most dangerous villains as Batman can never quite predict how they will attack.
6) Brain Trust
The idea behind the Brain Trust is not a particularly original one. The concept is essentially similar to mutants in X-Men. Certain people are born with abilities and a secret group of them try to recruit their own, but there is something especially sinister about the Brain Trust.
Their first appearance revolves around the kidnapping of a little girl and Batman’s search for her. The powers of the other Brain Trust members create unique challenges for Batman, and the fact that they operate in a group makes them much more dangerous.
It’s hard to think of any Batman Beyond foe that’s as true a fighter as Curare. She’s a member of the Society of Assassins that Batman foiled from eliminating her target, forcing her to go on the run.
Curare is a fairly one dimensional villain. She never speaks, and is driven only by her mission to kill. That probably makes her more dangerous, not less. Her propensity for weapons and combat makes her a particularly lethal foe, especially for Terry, who doesn’t have the same kind of training.
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Stalker is essentially a ripoff of Kraven the Hunter. He shows up in Gotham to take down Batman as he views him as the ultimate hunt. It’s hard to find a distinction between the two characters, but that doesn’t mean Stalker isn’t any less of an iconic villain.
Seeing him use the streets and skyline of Gotham like his own personal jungle is pretty cool. Fans have gotten used to seeing stuff like this in a modern city, but considering that Gotham is now futuristic, there’s something extra special about seeing a classic hunter motif in this sci-fi setting.
Some of the best classic Batman villains are those that border the cerebral rather than the physical. These are foes like Scarecrow and Mad Hatter. Spellbinder fits right into this category.
He’s essentially a psychologist that has found a way to manipulate the mind into doing and seeing exactly what he wants. This makes him a particularly tricky foe as he can hide in the shadows without Batman ever knowing he’s behind the plots.
Inque holds the distinction of being the first true supernatural threat Terry faces. And she’s a doozy too, as basically a living goo that can take any form she wants. This makes her super powerful and clever in a way that makes her extremely difficult to defeat.
There are several times that she could have ended Batman, and he only narrowly escaped death. To make matters worse, Inque is not really her own villain. She’s essentially a mercenary for hire, which means Batman never quite knows when she’ll get involved.
And then there’s Derek Powers. Of course, Blight will take the top spot as he was the main villain through the entirety of Batman Beyond’s first season. He was even responsible for Terry becoming Batman in the first place. What’s strange is that Batman was also responsible for his creation when Derek Powers was inadvertently exposed to the deadly virus that forced him undergo a radical radiation treatment.
What’s terrifying about Blight is not just his immense power, but also his savvy business acumen. Many of Batman’s villains don’t have huge aspirations for conquest, but Blight doesn’t just want to hurt his enemies – he wants to destroy them.