Deadshot5. DEADSHOT

 

When Floyd Lawton first emerged in Gotham City as Deadshot, he claimed to be its newest hero devastating crime using his unparalleled trick shot skills. However, this was a ploy to eliminate opposition to becoming the king of the underworld where, upon killing Batman, he could run crime and the superhero racket alone in the city. When his plan fell through and his scheme uncovered, it seemed he would be left forgotten. However, during one of Batman’s most memorable runs during the Bronze Age, Deadshot returned in a new sleek red and chrome costume with arm-mounted gauntlet guns. The villain was given a great deal of depth and background. Son of the wealthy Lawton family in Gotham, Floyd idolized his brother Edward and loathed his abusive father George. Eventually, Floyd’s mother Genevieve convinced Edward to kill George. In order to protect his brother, Edward locked Floyd outside and took a rifle with the intent of slaying their father. Floyd, not wanting his brother to throw his future away, procured a rifle and tried to shoot the firearm out of his Edward’s arms from outside in a tree. Instead, the branch he was on broke and he ended up killing his brother (and, by extension, saving his father). The experience created a deep emotional trauma in Floyd, instilling a desire to never again miss, generating a death wish, and a desire to seek out a brother figure. When Floyd broke out of jail and failed again to kill Batman, he became an international assassin, gaining the renown the likes of Deathstroke and Lady Shiva. The law would eventually catch up with Deadshot and he would become a fixture in the Suicide Squad (alongside Rick Flag, Jr. and Bronze Tiger, who developed a complex relationship with Lawton). Deadshot has a strong belief in family, devastated when his son Edward was killed and developed a desire to change thanks to his daughter Zoe (going to Star City to clean up the criminal element in the neighborhood she lived in). Following this, Deadshot would make another significant group affiliation with the Secret Six, developing a brotherly relationship with fellow member Catman (at one point, Deadshot would again join the Suicide Squad and develop a rapport with Bane who would join Deadshot in the Secret Six later).

 

Prometheus4. PROMETHEUS

 

Largely considered a post-Crisis version of the anti-Batman the Wrath, Prometheus was the son of a Bonnie and Clyde-type couple who were murdered by police in front of his eyes. The boy’s hair turned white and he made a solemn vow that day to combat the forces of good. Using his parents’ ill-gotten gains, the boy traveled the world developing skills as a master assassin and extortionist eventually arriving at the legendary city of Shamballa. Therein resided a cult of monks who worshiped evil that trained the man and would impart to him a key to enter the “Ghost Zone” (aka the Phantom Zone). Developing various technological tools (including a helmet that could download the skills and techniques of thirty of Earth’s greatest martial artists), the man dubbed himself Prometheus and took on the Justice League of America nearly defeating them if not for the timely intervention of Catwoman. Prometheus would return as part of Lex Luthor’s Injustice Gang but would be defeated through Batman’s cunning. While Prometheus was imprisoned, his protege would take his name and identity largely working as a partner to Hush. Upon escape, the original Prometheus killed his apprentice and again attacked the League. He would again be thwarted, this time by Donna Troy, and murdered by Green Arrow.

 

Catman3. CATMAN

 

Son of wealthy parents Reese and Sienna Blake, Thomas Blake was an overweight child who his father saw as a momma’s boy. Sadistic, taking pleasure in hunting to indulge his blood thirst, Reese would strive to make his son as crazed as him while he would frequently abuse his wife. One night, Sienna couldn’t take the abuse anymore and her husband went to murder her. Thomas picked up a rifle to protect her but his father made him shoot his mother instead. While Reese calmly called the police to report his son, Thomas picked up a knife and killed his father. Little is known of Thomas’ life following the deaths of his parents, save that as an adult he burned through most of his fortune and was a world-renowned big game hunter. In order to increase his funds and cross swords with Batman, whom he regarded as the most dangerous game, Blake became Catman modeling himself after both Batman and Catwoman. The villainess didn’t appreciate being copied prompting Catwoman to team with Batman to bring down Catman. Blake would reappear infrequently, occasionally as a rival to Catwoman and at one point as her partner. Catman would later emerge as part of Killer Moth’s team the Misfits alongside Chancer and Calendar Man. He would also be hired by the Shade to help eliminate any traces of Green Arrow’s past to protect his secret identity from the world. Blake would eventually retire from the villain game, turning state’s evidence on Monsieur Mallah and going into witness protection where he again became overweight. After Green Arrow hunted him down to uncover why Blake attended his funeral, Mallah would find the former villain but felt him too pathetic to kill. Blake would later attempt and fail at suicide prompting him to move to Africa and live side-by-side with a pride of lions (again gaining his athletic physique). The Society tried and failed to recruit Blake for their union of supervillains (with a distinct no scabs rule). When he refused, Lex Luthor sent Deadshot to kill the lions to make it appear they were murdered by Deathstroke so that Blake would seek revenge by joining the Secret Six. The plan worked and Catman would become like a brother to Deadshot (the truth would come out and Blake would forgive his friend). When Batman disappeared from Gotham, Catman, Bane, and Ragdoll had a mission in the city where the question was begged of Blake and Bane if they had it in them to replace the Dark Knight.

 

Bane2. BANE

 

The child who would become Bane was forced to grow up in the prison Peña Dura of the Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca in place of his father, an unnamed revolutionary. As an adult, Bane would seek out the identity of his parent, at one point believing it to be Thomas Wayne (making him Batman’s half brother), only to learn it was the mercenary King Snake. While his childhood was rough to say the least, committing his first murder at age eight (carrying a shiv in his teddy bear Osito), Bane found the location to be a varied teacher, consuming the contents of its library, instruction from its many prisoners (including a classically trained scholar in a Jesuit priest), and turned into a deadly weapon from a rigorous workout routine and combating the most dangerous inmates. As an adult, Bane was the king of Peña Dura, feared by those that even operated the penitentiary who selected him for an experimental treatment they hoped would rid them of his presence. Unfortunately for them, the test of the strength-enhancing drug Venom made Bane that much more unstoppable, allowing him to escape with his minions Trogg, Zombie, and Bird in tow. Bane would come to Gotham, a strong desire to test himself against Batman (a man feared around the globe) all the while the villain having surmised Batman’s secret identity. Rather than attack Batman head-on, Bane released the prisoners of Arkham Asylum and waited for Batman to exhaust himself recapturing them so that Bane could pick him off when he returned to the perceived safety of Wayne Manor. The plan would be a success, Bane shattering Batman’s spine and apparently ending his career. Bane would takeover the Gotham underworld but would be captured by Batman’s successor Jean-Paul Valley. Bane would later return as the heir to Ra’s al Ghul’s empire as Talia’s suitor only to be defeated by Batman and rejected by Ghul. Following this, Bane becomes somewhat of an anti-hero only to realize he’s a villain and accept his cast in life. That life, however, proved to be unfruitful and he would later join the Suicide Squad (befriending Deadshot, eventually joining him as part of the Secret Six). Bane would finally find a family in the Secret Six, eventually descending into madness as they gladly joined him.

 

The Wrath1. WRATH

 

Often cited as the supreme anti-Batman, the Wrath as a boy was the son of a burglar couple mistakenly killed by police officer James Gordon when they were skipping out on paying their rent. The boy dedicated his life to combating law enforcement, traveling the world becoming an accomplished assassin. Now known as the Wrath, the anti-Batman returned to Gotham to get his revenge on Gordon running afoul of the Dark Knight. Wrath would uncover Batman’s identity and target his loved ones, hospitalizing father figure Alfred and capturing mother figure Leslie Thompkins. In his final battle with Batman, the Wrath would fall into a fire of his own setting and be burned to death. Post-Crisis,  Prometheus would be introduced and post-Infinite Crisis, the Wrath would be retconned with Gordon killing the parents to defend himself and the villain training a partner akin to Robin. The Batman would introduce a version of the Wrath partnered with his younger brother codenamed Scorn as children of jewel thieves (wealthy from their parents’ ill-gotten gains). Somewhat in the manner of Killer Moth, the duo assisted criminals and would discover Batman’s secret identity (before being able to do anything with the knowledge, Joker drives them insane with gas derived from his Joker venom).

Honorable mention: Night-Slayer.