There are many ongoing and eternal comic book debates. Marvel vs. DC. Married or single Spider-Man. Superman with trunks, or without. But one thing that almost no one ever argues with is this—Batman has the best rogues’ gallery, hands down. Sorry Spidey, you are close second. But the Dark Knight’s legion of bad guys win every time. And the best interpretation of the Bat villains in history probably are those found in Batman: The Animated Series. Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and the rest of the B:TAS team made many great iconic rogues that much greater on this series.
Warner Brothers / DC Comics
An artist by the name of Raf Grassetti has given his own interpretation of the classic Batman baddies from the cartoon, with far more realistic detail than the streamlined versions of the animated designs. So it’s a bit more detailed than Bruce Timm’s original designs, but not quite so much as the live-action movies, or the Arkham games. These are still recognizable as their B:TAS versions.
The first one up is Two-Face, also known as D.A. Harvey Dent. Although the Aaron Eckhart version from The Dark Knight is pretty fantastic, I still think the sleek two-tone version from the animated show is best.
Bane, in his classic Mexican wrestler look, is still the best Bane. Sorry, Tom Hardy. I still love you.
Killer Croc has only shown up in live-action once. You might have forgotten, but he was in Suicide Squad. But we think this version based on the cartoon should hit the other one with a rock (points to anyone who knows that B:TAS reference in the comments!)
🦇Batman The Animated Series #3 - Killer Croc pic.twitter.com/muBxhyGXFL— Raf Grassetti ❄️🥶⚡️ (@rafagrassetti) March 19, 2020
Somehow, the more “kid-friendly” version of the Scarecrow from the cartoon is still the creepiest version. Although, the version from Super Friends was actually pretty scary too come to think of it.
I love Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, regardless of what costume she uses. But I would do pretty much anything to see her in her classic B:TAS design in a movie for more than five seconds! This image below shows just how cool it could look.
🦇BTAS #05 - Harley Quinn pic.twitter.com/lriDBJTCEN— Raf Grassetti ❄️🥶⚡️ (@rafagrassetti) March 21, 2020
Oswald Cobblepot’s more realistic design is very reminiscent of the Danny DeVito version from Batman Returns. Which makes sense, as the B:TAS design was made to reflect that, as both were released in the same year. Corporate synergy at its finest.
There have been many great Jokers. But in this fan’s humble opinion, Mark Hamill’s is still the GOAT.
Due to the very comic-booky nature of the character, Clayface might not ever see a live-action incarnation. But who even needs it, when the animated version pretty much nailed the character from the get go? But if he does show up in cinemas at some point, I kind of hope he looks like this.
There are still a few classic B:TAS villains yet to get a cool new redesign. I know I can’t wait to see Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and especially Man-Bat!
Featured Image: Warner Brothers Animation