Batman has had more than his fair share of villains standing in his way over the years!
From jokers to riddlers to penguins--and a sexy catwoman or two thrown in for good measure--Batman has been successfully fighting evil for more than 45 years. With The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters nationwide today, we're taking a look at some of the best Batman villains of all time! From Jack Nicholson as the Joker to Jim Carrey as the Riddler, check out our rundown of the top 9!
1. Lee Meriwether (Catwoman/Miss Kitka: Batman, 1966)
Lee was the first ever sex symbol in this franchise with her gold-clawed role as the Catwoman. Disguised as a Soviet journalist named Miss Kitka, she lures Bruce Wayne into a trap to destroy Batman, but doesn't suspect that it's merely his alter ego! Batman suffers heartbreak too after finding out that Miss Kitka really is the Catwoman.
2. Jack Nicholson (Joker/Jack Napier: Batman, 1989)
Jack's take on the Joker is considered by many to be the greatest Batman villain of all time. The Joker's face is permanently disfigured after a bullet deflected off Batman knocks him into a vat of chemical waste. The accident resulted in a permanent grin on his face, but he used those same chemicals to alter hygiene products and make his victims laugh themselves to death, ultimately ending up with the same sadistic grin as his!
3. Danny Devito (Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot: Batman Returns, 1992)
We hate to say it, but Danny was perfect for this role since he kind of looks like a penguin already! Born deformed and thrown into the sewer by his parents, he returned to Gotham 33 years later with quite a bit of anger in him. He tried to kill the Catwoman when she rejected his advance, ordered his penguins to obliterate Gotham and told his clowns to drown all of Gotham's first-born children in the sewers! Luckily, none of these plans were successful.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman/Selina Kyle: Batman Returns, 1992)
Michelle's take on the Catwoman is known as one of her biggest roles ever and she's considered by many to be the sexiest Catwoman of all time! And she had plenty of romantic conflict on this flick. She survives an attempted murder from the Penguin after she rejects his advances while her alter ego, Selina Kyle, ends up falling in love with Bruce Wayne.
5. Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face/Harvey Dent: Batman Forever, 1995)
Sometimes good turns into evil. Two-Face was formerly Harvey Dent, the good D.A. of Gotham City before half of his face was scarred with acid during the conviction of a crime boss. He went insane and turned into the criminal mastermind known as Two-Face, ultimately believing Batman is responsible for the incident. He ends up killing a family of acrobats called The Flying Graysons with the exception of the youngest number, Dick, who vows to kill Two-Face.
6. Jim Carrey (Riddler/Dr. Edward Nygma: Batman Returns, 1995)
Jim was a perfect fit for the quirky role of the Riddler! Using a device known as "The Box," the Riddler had the power to access people's brainwaves and discover every secret they possess. Not only did he discover Batman's secret identity, but he made it into the Batcave and destroyed most of the equipment!
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries: Batman & Robin, 1997)
Dr. Fries is a scientist who becomes Mr. Freeze after becoming dependent on a diamond-power subzero suit after an accident in a cryogenics lab where he was trying to find a cure for his wife's terminal MacGregor's Syndrome. He was freeze captured and detained by Batman before being freed by Poison Ivy and Bane, then attones for his crimes after being defeated by Batman once again by giving him the medicine he developed for MacGregor's (in order to cure Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred).
8. Uma Thurman (Poison Ivy/Dr. Pamela Isley: Batman & Robin, 1997)
Dr. Isley is transformed into the seductive Poison Ivy after a shelf of toxins is overturned on her by Dr. Woodrue. She ends up killing him with a kiss and uses her womanly charms to not only seduce Batman and Robin, but pit them against each other! Poison Ivy is ultimately defeated by Batgirl and detained at Arkham.
9. Heath Ledger (Joker: The Dark Knight, 2008)
The final role of Heath's career before his death in 2008 was one of his most iconic ever, ultimately earning him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2009.
Who do you think is the best Batman villain of all time?
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures