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The “Gotham” rogues gallery continues to grow in size with each episode of the show, and a distinctive pattern is starting to emerge. There’s a quickly-apprehended villain of the week, and there are the big baddies who get to stay out on the street. Some of them might not be free to cause chaos for long, but they definitely leave their marks on Gotham.

Let’s take a look at how these various villains stack up from the least-threatening to the most-threatening.

Catwoman

Selina Kyle is more of a victim of the corrupt Gotham system than a villain. Her biggest crimes appear to be petty thefts, and how can you view someone as a villain when they steal milk to feed street kitties? However, the street urchin isn’t afraid to show her claws when she needs to—she’s a pro at scratching out eyes.

Poison Ivy

The dangerous villainess is very young right now, so she doesn’t pose much of a threat. However, her father was a career criminal who tried to kill a cop, and he was framed for the Wayne murder. Fatherless Ivy might grow up with a grudge against James Gordon and the rest of the Gotham police force, and someday she’ll start using poisonous plants to take down her enemies.

The Riddler

Edward Nygma has shown no signs of being evil so far, but it’s only a matter of time before the riddle-cracking oddball cracks and goes completely crazy. Right now he’s working as a forensic investigator for the cops, and they aren’t very appreciative of his expertise—the detectives refuse to listen to his riddles, and they wave him away as soon as he tells them what they want to know. Eventually his inside knowledge about crime scene investigations will make him a formidable foe, and his poor treatment by policemen could make the boys in blue his primary targets.

The Balloonman

This is the first villain who really resembled the psychotic masked menaces Batman fans have grown to love so much. His signature look was a black fedora and a black mask that covered the bottom half of his face. His murderous modus operandi had the flourish of a proper comic book supervillain: handcuffing his victims to weather balloons in order to give them time to digest why they were being killed as they float into the stratosphere. He doesn’t land higher on this list because he only targeted corrupt people who did horrible things. He actually cared about the suffering citizens of Gotham, and he just wanted to make the city a better place. Hopefully the Balloonman will “pop” up again in the future.

Gladwell

Gladwell managed to take down a few city council members, and the coldblooded killer didn’t care about gang alliances or Gotham politics—he would kill anyone in any manner as long as the price was right. He burned a man alive and managed to make it inside the mayor’s mansion, which was supposed to be guarded by Gotham’s finest. Unfortunately, Gladwell’s signature weapon was a bit silly. His flute-like steampunk switchblade was unnecessarily elaborate, and he’s no longer a threat now that he’s dead.

Falcone and Maroni

These are two of the most powerful men and in Gotham, and both of their body counts are probably sky-high. However, they’re just run-of-the-mill mob bosses fighting for control and power. They hire scary hit-men and corrupt cops, but the men themselves aren’t very intimidating or interesting. They’re more like extremely corrupt politicians than cool comic book villains.

The Dollmaker

This creepy villain finishes so high on the list because he targets children, including Selina Kyle. His harmless-looking henchwoman and henchman lured homeless kids in with the promise of a warm meal, but the hungry kids ended up being kidnapped and shipped to someone called “the Dollmaker.” No one knows what he does with these kids, and this makes his character even more disturbing. Even worse, he’s still out there somewhere trying to come up with sinister new ways to snare street kids.

Fish Mooney

Fish is a femme fatale who will do anything to get the power she craves, including stabbing old friends in the back. Right now she’s in the process of using a woman as a weapon; she hired a sultry new singer as bait for Falcone, and the Angelina Jolie look-alike has been told she has to do whatever it takes to get close to the mob boss. Fish already got very close to killing James Gordon and Harvey Bullock, and she really seems to get off on violence. This delight in bloodshed and beatings is what separates her from the business-as-usual mob bosses.

The Penguin

Sallow-skinned Oswald Cobblepot shares Mooney’s love of watching people squirm. The first evidence of his sadistic side was shown when he cackled with delight after being given the chance to beat a man with a baseball bat. Since then, we’ve seen him commit more violent acts than other villains. He’s slashed a fisherman’s throat for a sandwich, murdered another man for his shoes, tortured a guy in a trailer to get ransom money from his mother, and killed a group of hired gunmen using poisoned cannolis. Oh, and don’t call him Penguin—you might end up on the business end of a broken bottle. James Gordon gave him a chance to leave Gotham’s seedy underworld behind when he spared his life, but Oswald is a sociopath with a thirst for power and bloodshed. Now he’s slowly working his way up Maroni’s ranks and gleefully awaiting that great Gotham gang war he just can’t shut up about.

Do you agree the Penguin is the most threatening villain on “Gotham” so far?


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Photo: FOX