?Bat-fans in the ’60s tuned into the Adam West Batman TV show for one reason: the awesome villain guest-stars. Sure, West was campy, Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl was hot, and Stafford Repp’s Chief O’Hara was painfully Irish, but none of them held a Bat-candle to the weekly parade of colorful celebrity kooks who showed up to do battle with the Dynamic Duo. Sadly, the rights to all the villains who were created for the show belong solely to Fox while everything else Bat-related lives with Warner Brothers.
More than 40 years later, fans are still waiting for those show villains to show up in Batman comics, but aside from King Tut’s appearance in recent issues of Batman Confidential and a cameo-filled episode of Brave and the Bold, it’s not happening until Fox and the Warners make nice, which they’ve managed to avoid so far. But a Bat-fan can dream, can’t he?
10) Chandell, Played by Liberace
Liberace, for you kids who don’t know, was extremely well-known as a piano player and showman in the ’60s. In the show he basically played himself, with a different name, and couldn’t take a punch (again, like the real Liberace). With the new Grant Morrison series, where every villain is more or less the same murdering psycho with a different mask, a quick nod to an extremely gay piano player who wants to marry a rich heiress might be a nice change of pace. Of course, if Morrison was writing it, Chandell would also wear a pig mask and rape nuns.
9) The Siren, Played by Joan Collins
You can’t swing a dead cat around the DCU without hitting someone who either deafens or controls people with their voice. But now that Gotham City Sirens is doing brisk business, it’s time to bring this shrieking, hysterical woman back! It would make more sense for her to team-up with the other Greek pantheon-themed villain, Maxie Zeus, or his girlfriend the Harpy (thought we’d forgotten her two issues, didn’t you?), for some old-fashioned Gotham City mayhem. Maybe they can rob a couple of Greek diners, or one of those bodegas that only sells out-of-date Olympics merchandise.
8) The Archer, Played by Art Carney
Everyone loves Art Carney! He’s funny! He’s goofy! The Archer, however, is kind of lame. BUT, set him up as some sort of low-budget, down on his luck super-villain who keeps getting laughed at by Green Arrow, Red Arrow, Speedy, Arrowette, and Merlin, and he could make for some fun times. Also, in later appearances, to make him more “edgy,” he’d get mutated into a giant monster and get taken down by napalm while killing one of Commissioner Gordon’s relatives.
7) Lord Fogg, Played by Rudy Vallee
Batman writers always had a theme, an obsession if you will, that they based each and every villain on. Fogg’s was that he was from England. And not just the easy British things, like bad teeth, bland food, and Oasis. He was into London fog (the stuff, not the clothing brand). Poisoned fog. Yes, they coasted three episodes on poison fog. Sure, he probably wouldn’t fare too well in Arkham Asylum next to some of the other homicidal maniacs, but we would pay good cash to see a tubby guy dressed in tweed get savagely beaten by Killer Croc and a wrench. Hell, it could be a two-parter.
6) Zelda the Great, Played by Anne Baxter
Zelda was an escape artist who stole money to fund her addiction to new escape gimmicks. Make her a showgirl who’s obsessed with finding ways that she might die, but her amazing luck keeps her from doing the deed. Distraught, she seeks out ways to end her life but guns keep jamming, ropes snap, and poison just makes her puke. When she finally sets a bomb in the post office to collapse the place down on her, Batman swoops in and takes her away. She’d also have really big breasts.
5) Shame, Played by Cliff Robertson
In the ’60s comics, it wasn’t strange to have a cowboy show up in your Batman comics. Pretty much everyone had to have one cowboy-themed adventure a year, because kids liked cowboys and editors had to like them too or they wouldn’t sell issues. Shame was a dumb cowboy, although Cliff Robertson, who went on to play Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man films, did a nice job with him. He should be played absolutely the same way as he was played on the show — an old school cowboy committing crimes in the modern world. And do not make him a robot, DC, although we know how much you want to.
4) Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds, Played by Carolyn Jones
No one makes much use of love potions anymore in the DCU. There’s Poison Ivy, that’s about it. And while Marsha was the Queen of Diamonds, she was also heavy into the love potion game. With the great Bat-villain tradition of crimes that do as much damage as possible to Gotham City, let Marsha soak the city with love potions, leaving Gotham one big humpin’ orgy. What would happen to commerce?! Oh no! There would be so much nudity it would have to be a Vertigo book. Then Batman punches her in the face or something. Whatever. The key’s the naked people. Like Zelda, she’d also have really big breasts.
3) Louie the Lilac, Played by Milton Berle
Of all the ’60s villains who could easily be transformed into an obsessive maniac, Louie the Lilac is the best. He’s obsessed with flowers. That’s it, nothing fancy, he likes flowers and talks like a gangster. Now take that obsession with flowers and that gangster image and make him an obsessive flower collector. Steal all flowers he can, and slaughtering people who try to take them from him. Plus make him mute. Now, wouldn’t that freak the shit out of you? Deranged guy in a lavender suit, doesn’t talk, snatches at flowers. Bat-shit insane. Get on it, Morrison.
2) Bookworm, Played by Roddy McDowall
Bookworm was a nerd who wore a leather suit, like most nerds nowadays. At least he didn’t wear cat ears and write fan fiction (at least none that we saw). He’d just be a really fun guy to have square off against the Dark Knight. Draw him just like Roddy McDowall and keep the reading light hat too. He’ll do some book crimes, get a few ladies, go in and out of Arkham Asylum and next thing you know he’s guest-starring in the next Arkham Asylum game. Tailor-made for awesomeness.
1) Egghead, Played by Vincent Price
He had to be #1 on the list, Vincent Price was everything that was good about the old show. Gimmick, puns, bright colors… fans are just begging for him to show up in a Batman comic. And no, Egg-Fu the giant Chinese egg from Wonder Woman doesn’t count. Set him up as a crime boss to rival Black Mask and the Penguin and keep the egg puns and pencil mustache. Egghead’s got legs; he could join up with the Injustice League or the Society of Supervillains, team up with some other Bat foes, take on the Outsiders or the Teen Titans (if Clock King could be a badass, so can Egghead), and then die at the hands of the Spectre. Plus he’d have egg puns! You can’t lose!