They say that a hero is only as good as his villain—which is arguably what makes Batman so dang amazing. After all, let’s face it, the Dark Knight holds, hands down, the most infamous and recognizable Rogues Gallery in the history of comic books.

From the Joker, the Riddler and Catwoman to Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Two-Face, to Penguin, Scarecrow and oh so many more, the ill-famed inmates of Arkham, the criminally capricious citizens of Gotham both frighten and fascinate comic fans of all ages with their complexity, depth and completely insanely bazonkers gimmicks.

Almost every writer wants a shot at slipping into the metaphorical cape and cowl of the Dark Knight—but for writer Gregg Hurwitz, being Batman is just an added bonus that comes with getting the chance to pull the strings of the villains trying to kill him. And he’s doing an incredible job at playing puppetmaster, which is why this week we’re bringing you the 5.2 Reasons to Explore the Villainous Side of Batman: The Dark Knight!


1. A Man With a Criminal History

Not in the sense that Mr. Hurwitz has a criminal past but rather that he has a past with criminals—specifically, writing them. Along with writing comic books, Hurwitz has also written a number of crime novels, includingTrust No One, They're Watching, You're Next, The Survivor and more. It’s no wonder he not only enjoys taking a crack at Gotham City’s criminal clientele but also does such a great job of delving into their psyche and uncovering what makes them the way they are.


2. Amazing Art, Psychotic Subjects

It takes a certain amount of skill to make the creepy members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery look good, but with artists like Ethan Van Sciver, David Finch, Szymon Kudranski, and soon Alex Maleev, on the case, you can rest assured that you’ll be seeing them in the most awesomely eerie and chilling detail possible.

3. What Scares the Scarecrow and What Makes the Mad Hatter Mad?

Like a doctor in Arkham, Hurwitz decided to psychologically deconstruct the Dark Knight’s adversaries and figure out what makes them tick. Why is the Scarecrow obsessed with fear? What exactly made the Mad Hatter go mad and become obsessed with Alice? It makes for an deeply disturbing but captivating read that gives readers an understanding of the character that doesn’t make them less terrifying, but even more so.


4. Not the Same Old Nuts in the Bag

Hurwitz seems to like focusing on the less famous of the infamous Rogues, allowing for greater re-examinations of the characters. While certainly Scarecrow and the Penguin feature prominently in Batman-related merchandise outside the comic medium (much like characters such as the Joker, Riddler, and Catwoman), he’s also centering on lesser-known characters like the Mad Hatter and Clayface. It’s cool to see these characters get a greater emphasis in the comic world—especially the Hatter, who’s mostly seen as a joke to many fans.