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  1. #1
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    Default How many of the villains of would have existed even without Batman?

    In a meta sense, none obviously. But I'm talking in-universe.

    There's been this persistent theme that Batman caused the emergence of all his crazier foes, which made me wonder if that's indeed the case with all of them, or if some of them might have come to be even without Batman existing.

    I can see Penguin existing in a world without Batman easily enough. Hell, he might just have thrived in the criminal underworld since he could just focus on his criminal enterprises without the distractions of being a 'Batman villain'.

    I think Riddler would still have existed. Maybe he wouldn't have adopted the costumed persona of 'the Riddler', but Edward Nygma would still be out there making trouble for the authorities with his riddles no doubt.

    Scarecrow too I think has an origin largely independent of Batman.

    Two Face is a tricky case. One can argue that Harvey Dent wouldn't have risen to such prominence as to have Sal Maroni in the dock without Batman. Alternatively, he might just have stepped up to the plate a lot sooner and gotten killed otherwise. Assuming his career would have panned out mostly the same, I think there's a reasonable chance he would have ended with the acid in his face and becoming Two Face.

    Hugo Strange...well I don't see how Batman not existing would affect his making Monster Men. Of course the psychological obsession with Batman wouldn't be a thing.

    Don't think Clayface's origin has anything to do with Batman either. Ditto with Poison Ivy.

    Mr. Freeze? Well the New 52 version had Bruce Wayne involved, but if you go by the more classic version, I don't think it would be affected.

    The one villain who I'm pretty sure wouldn't exist without Batman is Joker, because pretty much every version of his origin has Batman inadvertantly dropping him in that vat of chemicals. That's not to say that he couldn't still be a villain as Red Hood though, going by some versions.

    So the scary fact is that most of Batman's rogue's gallery might have been running unchecked in Gotham had Batman not existed.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not a big fan of that theory either for the same reasons you pointed out. As you said, I'd say only Joker exists the way he does because of Batman. But even then, he'd probably still be a criminal of some sort. Just not necessarily in this persona.

    It's a concept that The Dark Knight played with back in the day. With the Joker going from robbing gangsters and drug dealers to becoming an anarchist terrorist directly due to his obsession with Batman
    DC, hurry up and make your own version of Marvel Unlimited!

  3. #3
    Mad scientist Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Two Face is a tricky case. One can argue that Harvey Dent wouldn't have risen to such prominence as to have Sal Maroni in the dock without Batman. Alternatively, he might just have stepped up to the plate a lot sooner and gotten killed otherwise. Assuming his career would have panned out mostly the same, I think there's a reasonable chance he would have ended with the acid in his face and becoming Two Face.
    In the origin I am familiar with, thanks to Batman's interefence Dent avoided the worst of the acid attack, which was intended to kill him.

    So Batman "creates" Two-Face, and no Batman just leaves us with a dead Dent.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  4. #4
    Mighty Member Mutant God's Avatar
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    All of them, they would be just criminals and psychopaths but "thanks" to Batman's costume wearing they all just wear costumes to represent their mindsets.
    Skeeter: Hey time traveling O5 members of the X-Men We don't take kindly to people who create a time paradox around here!

    Bartender: Now calm down Skeeter they aint hurtin nobody.

    Skeeter: No! I wanna know som'in from the "O5" How come you cant go back to your own timeline in the first place and how come when Reed Richards "fixed" the universe you wasnt put back and how come the changes that happn to you dont happn to your present day selves?

    Bartender: Skeeter I dont want trouble

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Caivu's Avatar
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    Bane was a criminal before learning about Batman, right?
    Should we count characters who were alive before Bruce was born, like David Cain and Ra's?
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  6. #6
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    There was an episode of BTAS that dealt with this question, with the villains putting Batman on trail for ruining their lives, but the DA they kidnapped to defend Batman argues that these villains ruined their own lives and would have become criminals even if Batman did not exist.

  7. #7
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    We've seen Harvey depicted with some degree of mental instability before his face was disfigured, so even if Batman wasn't involved in his life he probably would still have to wrestle with the dark side of himself, if just not as viscerally as he does as Two-Face.

  8. #8
    Incredible Member Lady Nightwing's Avatar
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    I hate the idea that Batman created his villains. He does give the more mentally unstable ones something to Focus on but I don't think he can be held accountable for that. The Joker is fixated on him, Catwoman steals things for his attention and I don't think the Riddler would be quite as excessive if he wasn't trying to outsmart Batman.

    Although there is an argument to be made for the Joker if the Ace chemical origin is canon.

  9. #9
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    If anything, Batman is responsible for most of them becoming costumed arch-criminals, by inspiration, not becoming criminals or bad guys in-and-of-itself.

  10. #10
    Mad scientist Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caivu View Post
    Bane was a criminal before learning about Batman, right?
    No, he was an inncocent who was born in hell prison and rew up in it.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  11. #11
    Mad scientist Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    If anything, Batman is responsible for most of them becoming costumed arch-criminals, by inspiration, not becoming criminals or bad guys in-and-of-itself.
    That only really works if Batman is not just the first, but the only superhero in the DCU.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Caivu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    No, he was an inncocent who was born in hell prison and rew up in it.
    He still became a criminal, though. Was it without knowing about Batman?
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  13. #13
    Heir of Batman adrikito's Avatar
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    -BANE
    -A corrupt Harvey Dent (no two face)
    -Oswald Cobbleppot
    -Roman Sionis (Black Mask)
    -Al Ghul
    -Cort of Owls (corrupt rich people)

    And others.. like Falcone..

    The crime existed in gotham before Batman first appearance.
    Last edited by adrikito; 04-20-2017 at 02:08 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Nightwing View Post
    Although there is an argument to be made for the Joker if the Ace chemical origin is canon.
    If Zero Year is canon he was already a Supervillain before he became the Joker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    No, he was an inncocent who was born in hell prison and rew up in it.
    But without Batman he would have probably attacked someone else. And his reason to attack Batman was imo always kind of weak.

    In most cases it really depends on the version of the origin story, I think pre COIE the villains were usually not created by Batman.

  15. #15
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    I didn't even consider characters like Ra's al Ghul and Bane because they are not just 'Gotham villains' per se, and naturally their origins have nothing to do with Batman. Though neither of them would have ever set their sights on Gotham without Batman, most likely.

    The Court of Owls naturally predate Batman too.

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