Is it fair to say that among all superheroes, Batman has the greatest group of friends and foes? No? What's wrong with you?
From the Joker to Nightwing, there have been some amazing characters in the Batman series, many of whom hide their real names with aliases. Today, you'll be tasked with telling us their real name - or, at the very least, the name they go by most.
What do we mean by that? Well, many of these characters have had their names changed over the years; some previous names were retconned to be aliases, for example, and some changed as a result of it being a different character. For the sake of ease, these are either the most commonly used names or, in the case of a character like the Joker who commonly uses aliases, the real name used the most amount of times.
To clarify, and because I know there are going to be a lot of diehard Batman fans who say, 'well, so and so took upon this mantle so I shouldn't be marked wrong', I'll put this as simply as I can: if _____ was Nightwing for a short period of time, that's fine, but we're looking at the most common character to don the name and gear.
And no, Batman's real name is not on this list. Seriously, if you don't know who Batman is without the mask and cowl...it's Alfred, ok?
Grab your cape, your belt, and your moral code because it's time to look at some of Batman's greatest friends and foes.
It would be flat out wrong to start this list without the Clown Prince of Crime - and it'd be even more wrong if I didn't use one of the best Joker designs we've ever had for the picture. The antithesis to Batman, Joker has evolved from a playful, trick-oriented villain into the most dangerous of Batman's Rogues Gallery. Teaming up with Harley Quinn 25 years ago, the Joker has done everything from trying to bomb Gotham to...cheating at a comedy contest. How evil! In the one instance we've really gotten Joker's real name, what was it?
If it was going to be wrong to not start this list off with Joker, then it'd be even more wrong if we didn't follow with Harley Quinn. The on-and-off girlfriend of the dangerous clown, Quinn was actually on the opposite side of crime prior to donning the jester outfit, serving as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum before the Joker manipulated her. Harley's time in the franchise has been relatively short, only debuting in 1992, but she's become a fan favorite and even spent time fighting alongside Batman. What's Harley's real name?
Before there was Oracle, there was Batgirl. Teaming up with the Dark Knight to clean Gotham of its crime problem, Batgirl - the daughter of a high-ranking police official - intimidated her foes and proved that beauty does not equal nice...until she was shot in her apartment by the Joker, paralyzing her from the waist down. Now, Oracle serves as a confidant to Batman, using the Bat-computer to help him solve crimes and keep him sane in the worst of times. She may be known as Oracle, but what is her real name?
At one point in time, there was no Nightwing; there was only Robin. After a fallout with the Dark Knight - as well as leading the Teen Titans - the hero once known as Robin took up a different mantle in the form of Nightwing, one who would partner with Batman later on. Inspired to take the name 'Nightwing' after a Kryptonian hero who had a similar backstory, this man traded red and green for black and blue, colors that his enemies would be covered in. Who is Nightwing?
There are few stories in the Batman universe more tragic than that of Two-Face, once a revered District Attorney and ally of the Dark Knight. After having his face scarred by acid (in some continuities, it was instead an explosion that did it), 'Apollo' lost track of who he was, becoming the dangerous Two-Face as a result of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Though Two-Face has shown signs and a desire of returning to his former self, he remains a cunning and brilliant enemy of his former friends. What's his real name?
Most times, talk of a woman committing crimes by way of plants will seem benign, but there's nothing easy about dealing with Poison Ivy. Another of the most brilliant adversaries that Batman has faced over the years, Ivy deals in toxins and plants, especially when it comes to those who want to harm the environment. Part of what makes Ivy so loved among Batman fans is not only her place as a dangerous female villain, but her on-and-off romantic relationship with Harley Quinn. What's Ivy's real name?
Do you know what Epidermolytic hyperkeratosi is? Apparently, it's a disease which caused a crocodile wrestler's appearance to progressively become that of the very same reptile he went against in battle. Neat. Though he doesn't have the notoriety that the Joker, Two-Face, and others do, Killer Croc has come close to killing the Dark Knight several times, though all of those attempts usually end up in a stint at Arkham Asylum. Can you tell us who Killer Croc is underneath all of the scales?
One of the few mainstay villains of the Dark Knight who is not clinically insane, The Penguin also lives one of the more legitimate lifestyles. Between honest attempts at work and owning the Iceberg Lounge, it's easy for some to separate Penguin from his real name; the guy only wants to be rich and own things, though his attempts at robbery, larceny, and murder will put him in conflict with the Caped Crusader. When he's not laughing and fiddling with his umbrella, who is The Penguin?
What do you call a villain whose superpowers come from the mind? Fine, my riddles aren't the ones that this member of Batman's Rogue Gallery has, but it's hard to beat some of the Riddler's best tricks and questions. Obsessed with uncovering Batman's true identity, the Riddler has also become a bit of a punching bag for fans for his childish behavior and narcissistic tendencies. To make up for our earlier terrible riddle, we'll give you an easier one: who is the Riddler?
Plenty of Batman's greatest foes have tragic backstories, but how many of them turned evil for noble intentions? A brilliant scientist, the man who became Mr. Freeze met turmoil when his wife, Nora, fell sick with a deadly illness. Hoping to develop a cure with his research, the scientist was involved in a lab accident during a fight with his boss, causing the now cold-hearted man to become Mr. Freeze. Can you tell us who is underneath that cold exterior - well, a suit?
It would be easy for newer Batman fans to think that the Dark Knight is all alone in trying to stop crime in Gotham, but that'd be unfair to Commissioner Gordon. One of the few honest and genuine cops in Gotham, Gordon has an alliance with Batman that is uneasy at worst and a brotherly bond at best - though the father of Oracle has no idea that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Do you have an idea of Gordon's first name, though?
One of the few characters that has pursued a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne - both in and out of costume - the burglar known as Catwoman is also among the most tame of the franchise's main characters. With so many villains and anti-heroes going for a grandiose show, all Catwoman cares about is jewelry and her kitties. A gymnast who will remind some fans of a sane Harley Quinn, can you tell us who Catwoman is underneath all of that leather?
Who? If you're curious about who The Phantasm is, she (yes, there's a woman underneath that suit) is similar to Batman in the fact that both come from wealthy families, fights with more of a hand-to-hand and melee approach - the Grim Reaper getup comes complete with a scythe - and is out for revenge on those who murdered her family. You can watch Mask of the Phantasm to learn more about this character, but if you have seen the movie, who is she?
The Mad Hatter
In this world, we can use fan fiction and draw pictures about our favorite fictional characters. For The Mad Hatter, his attempts at living through Alice in Wonderland come at the price of wanting a real-life Alice for his own. Between tea parties with goons in mind-controlling rabbit masks and hallucinatory toxins, The Mad Hatter is more deadly than his benign name and appearance would indicate. Before going down the rabbit hole, can you tell us who The Mad Hatter is?
Let's take a bit of a break from talking about all of these dangerous villains to talk about someone relatively innocent. An orphan with multiple personality disorder, The Ventriloquist is influenced by Scarface, the dummy that never leaves his sight (Scarface, of course, is modeled after Al Capone); and while The Ventriloquist isn't always the one truly committing the crimes, his mental issues cause him conflict with the Dark Knight. If you'd be so kind to speak up and stop staring at Scarface, can you tell us who his master is?
Rather than our normal bio, listen to this fear-inducing bit from The Scarecrow. "Inducing terror has always intrigued me. Even, as a boy, I liked to frighten things. People, animals, it was all the same. I became obsessed with fear's crippling power. Later, when I became their leading professor of subliminal psychology at the university, I began performing experiments on fear and its subsequent effects." It should go without saying that this guy is crazy. Can you tell us his real name?
Given all that we've heard about these supervillains, it only makes sense that there'd be a police officer at one point that lost it and wanted to take action. Lock-Up is one of the most famous examples, going from the head of Arkham Security to an abusive guard that could intimidate even Scarecrow into feeling genuine fear. Knowing that you'll end up sealed away in the pits of Arkham for getting this wrong, want to take a stab at who Lock-Up is?
The Clock King
Now, the Clock King is a bit of an interesting villain because he exemplifies the 'one bad day' mantra to a T. A successful businessman who saw his life go downhill after being late to a trial, the Clock King has taken the war to Gotham mayor Hamilton Hill, who had advised the man to take a bit of a break rather than being so paranoid about his time. Stop staring at the clock and tell us who the Clock King is!
"Born on a Monday, Christened on Tuesday, Married on Wednesday, Took ill on Thursday, Grew worse on Friday, Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday. That was the end of Solomon Grundy." It's weird to think that such a simple nursery rhyme would help influence the creation of an iconic Batman character, but stranger things have happened. A zombie who cannot be killed, Grundy was once a regular man who became...that...and awoke with only the knowledge of that poem. What was Grundy's name prior to his transformation?
Harley Quinn's Hyenas (THE BABIES!)
Some supervillains have adorable cats. Others like dogs. But Harley Quinn? She has two pet HYENAS at her side, who treat her like the greatest thing in the world rather than wanting to, you know, bite her flesh off. Named after a great comedy act, these hyenas are worth a bucket of laughs when they're spending time with the ex-Arkham doctor. Before thinking about their fate at the hands of the Penguin, let's think about something more positive - their names, mainly.
The man who broke the Bat, we don't blame you if you've become tired of Bane over the year; his act of filling himself Venom - or TITAN - can get repetitive, but there are times where Bane is an elite villain - especially in The Dark Knight Rises. Born in a prison to serve the sentence of his father, we don't know Bane's first name to this point...but we do know his last name. Can you take a shot at it?
A fan of Batman and Batgirl, Killer Moth tried to mimic the two - and, interestingly, Bruce Wayne. After selling his soul, Killer Moth became an actual human-both hybrid, taking on the Bat Family and the Teen Titans. Moth probably joins the Phantasm as one of the more obscure villains on this list, but some of you will be able to guess this guy's real name. Oh, and I'd be letting my UK audience down if I didn't refer to him as a bugger. Get it?
A deadly sniper with brilliant aim, Deadshot is basically Batman's version of Boba Fett: he's a hired gun who loves the thrill of the hunt, but also loves money. For all intents and purposes, Deadshot would - and should - probably be another overused trope, but he's far from that. With a backstory that includes the accidental murder of his brother and an abusive father, Deadshot has some depth to him - and an actual real name which you'll be tasked with finding out.
Like Deadshot, Deathstroke is another gun-for-hire, though he definitely has more of the Star Wars-like look going on with the mask, the armor, and that awesome voice of his. Oh, and Deathstroke happens to be obsessed with Robin (Dick Grayson), hoping to turn him into his son after he lost his family. What is it with people on this list losing their family? Anyways, do you think you can figure out who is behind that one-eyed mask? Hint: it's not Dick Grayson.
We began this list with, for all intents and purposes, a serial killer and we end our list with a serial killer: the Calender Man, who plots who he's going to kill around holidays. It's a neat gimmick that has seen him kill everyone from judges to even his own parents. That's...not as neat. While he looks at his handy calendar to figure out when he's going to kill you, how about you try to figure out what his real name is?