“Gotham” introduced us to the Penguin and the characters who will become Catwoman and the Riddler. And the FOX series has followed a villain-of-the-week format, giving us criminals who kill with weather balloons and steampunk switchblades.

I thought these fast and furious flashes of Gotham’s most wanted would only be used for the first few episodes of the series. They would get viewers hooked, allowing the show to slow down and focus more on the characters we’ve already met. However, the series is going to continue adding more criminals to its cast of Batman baddies, and I’m really hoping the mean streets of Gotham don’t get too crowded with masked menaces.

With that being said, I’m still looking forward to meeting the villains listed below in the near future.

The Black Mask

“Gotham” is set to introduce a character who might be the father of one of the city’s future crime lords.

A promo photo shows a character named Richard Sionis wearing an intricate black mask that looks like something straight out of “Pulp Fiction.” The mysterious masked character runs a fight club where he makes men battle to the death to score jobs at his financial firm.

Richard might be the father of comic book character Roman Sionis, a disturbed wealthy kid whose parents care more about their social status than his wellbeing. Roman has ties to Bruce Wayne in the Batman comic books, as Batman’s parents force him to befriend Bruce because of his parents’ wealth and notoriety. However, Roman hates Wayne, and he grows up to become the Black Mask, one of Gotham’s most powerful villains. Perhaps he inherits his mask from his father in “Gotham.”

Bruce will be heading back to school next week, and promo photo shows him punching a classmate. Don’t be surprised if the recipient of that blow turns out to be the future Black Mask.

The Scarecrow

The teen Black Mask idea is just a theory, but we will get to see a young version of the Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane). Executive producer Danny Cannon recently revealed the “Gotham” writers are working on a story that includes a glimpse of Crane as a child. This is similar to what the show did with Poison Ivy; she’s the daughter of the man who was framed for the Wayne family murder. On “Gotham,” the Scarecrow identity is something Crane inherits from his father. Jim Gordon will likely face off against the elder Crane.

Two-Face

Later this season, “Gotham” fans will be introduced to Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto). The fresh-faced Assistant District Attorney’s story will be similar to the Riddler in that he’ll start out working for the good guys. However, he’ll likely be a charismatic lady-killer, not a creepster like Nygma. We’ll presumably get to see Harvey being slowly corrupted by Gotham’s dark underbelly before going full-on villain when half of his face goes missing. Look for his first appearance in episode 9.

Detective Delaware

Masked menaces, politicians, and mob bosses aren’t the only villains on “Gotham” as many of the city’s boys in blue are working with the bad guys. Jim Gordon realized this soon after being partnered up with Harvey Bullock.

Harvey is slowly becoming more heroic, so “Gotham” is introducing a new crooked cop to meddle with Gordon’s grand plan to clean up the corrupt city. Detective Delaware is described as “cocky,” “gangly” troublemaker “with a face like a meatball sub.” Sounds like the type of man who may eventually decide to hide his mug behind a mask.

The Joker

“Gotham” creator Bruno Heller has confirmed the Joker will eventually pop up in Gotham, but it sounds like the popular villain’s reveal will be saved for a later season. In the meantime, look for plenty of potential Jokers as the first season of the series rolls on. Numerous characters will seem like likely candidates for the job, including the comedian in the pilot episode and even the Penguin. Some fans even believe Oswald Cobblepot will eventually morph into the Joker. This is because the “Gotham” Cobblepot behaves more like the Joker than the Penguin from the comic books, movies, and previous TV series.

“Gotham” airs Monday nights on FOX.


Photo: Justin Stephens/FOX