Scott Snyder has taken Batman fans on one wild ride since he began writing the New 52 Batman back in 2011. His take on the Dark Knight mythos isn't one that will be forgotten anytime soon, and along the way he's managed to tell some truly captivating tales with villains both new and old.
First came the Talons and Court of Owls. Then came the return of the Joker in the "Death of the Family" arc. Next we saw a new take on Batman's origin story, one heavily revolving around the Riddler. Now we are back to the Joker in the currently ongoing "Endgame" story arc.
We don't yet know how the story will end, but what might come next for Snyder's Batman? The writer will continue to write Batman as DC undergoes its Convergence relaunch, saying that he and partner Greg Capullo have created a brand new villain for Batman's next story arc, much like they did with the Court of Owls. But that isn't to say some classic villains might not make an appearance. Here are five Batman villains Snyder should explore next:
Aside from the Joker, there might not be a more iconic Batman villain than Two-Face. The story of district-attorney-turned-insane-criminal Harvey Dent is a tragic and fascinating tale that would be a perfect fit for Snyder's style. Snyder loves to dive into the psyches of his characters, and with Two-Face's duality Snyder would find plenty to explore. The writer previously told DC All Access he would love to bring Two-Face into the fold moving forward. Whether or not that will actually happen remains to be seen.
Though technically more of an anti-hero, it would be very easy for Snyder to spin the character of Azrael into a full-fledged villain. Named after the Biblical angel of vengeance, the title of Azrael is granted to one capable warrior by the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas. The first Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, is a genetically-enhanced human who has been brainwashed from birth to carry out the Order's wishes. He would temporarily replace Batman in the Knightfall story arc, but his brutal methods would put both criminals and allies in danger, eventually leading to Bruce stripping Azrael of the cape and cowl. Snyder has shown an interest in exploring the secret societies that call Gotham home. A story arc examining the Order of Saint Dumas and Azrael would be right up his alley.
A childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, Thomas Elliot once attempted to murder his parents in order to obtain their wealth, only for Elliot's mother to be saved by Thomas Wayne. When Bruce's parents were both killed, Elliot's resentment towards the Wayne family, and Bruce, continued to grow, as Bruce was now living the life of luxury and independence Elliot so desperately yearned for. This would lead the character's transformation into Hush, a gun-wielding madman who wraps his face with bandages to conceal his identity. Hush is a cunning villain and one of the few capable of outwitting Batman. In fact, Hush is among a select few who knows Batman's true identity and is more interested in Bruce Wayne than Batman himself. Snyder has tackled the character in the weekly Batman Eternal series along with a group of other writers, but to do Hush justice Snyder should look at bringing the deranged surgeon into his monthly Batman series.
Snyder seems fascinated with Gotham's past. From the Court of Owls secretly pulling Gotham's strings to Joker's (still unconfirmed) supernatural origins that seem to be rooted in the city, Snyder treats Gotham as a character all its own. Few characters have ties to Gotham's past like Solomon Grundy. Once an accomplished businessman who brutally killed his way to the top in Gotham's early days, he would later be hunted down for his cruelty before taking his own life in a swamp outside Gotham. A curse would resurrect the man who would later become known as Solomon Grundy, forever doomed to walk the Earth as a mindless monster. If Snyder is still interested in exploring more of Gotham's past, Grundy seems like the perfect character to analyze further.
Most of Snyder's villains during his run on Batman have been more than capable of duking it out with Batman intellectually, but aside from the Talon assassins we have yet to see a foe who is truly Batman's superior physically. That's where Lady Shiva comes in. Shiva is a member of the League of Assassins and one of the deadliest warriors on the planet. Her mastering of nearly every martial art imaginable makes her more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the Caped Crusader in a brawl and her ties to one of the longest-standing criminal factions in Batman's universe gives Snyder plenty to work with. If he is looking for a villain that will have Batman break a sweat, Lady Shiva is definitely worth considering.