Watching Doc's Batman Live clips made me think again about how dated the Dark Knight's most well-known villains are. This has nothing to do with the arena show but it does seem to downgrade Gotham's worse into Ice Capade territory!

The Joker: I have mentioned several times that the Joker has gone beyond the realm of modern believeability. He has become Chaotic Death, yet protected by his fame and merchandise value. In a recent Action, Luthor threatens to kill him, an act he says no one will care about, but the Grinning Ghoul proudly and confidently states that Batman will and he will go after Lex for it. The Joker has committed the most brutal, heinous and unforgiveable murders and crimes (Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Sarah Essen) since he returned to his killing ways in Batman #251 from 1973! Yet he never pays for his crimes and is completely realizes that no hero will try to put him down because that will make them just like him. He's thrown into Arkham Asylum and escapes at will. Chooses a victim and slaughters them at will! Everyone wants to do their Joker story and his slayings multiply. As I say detective comics featured a new style Joker.

More to follow!

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It's funny you would say that, Rob, because that's how I feel about the Daleks in Doctor Who.  I like them in small doses, and respect that they're a tradition on the show, but I believe their use should be restricted. Every new Doctor should fight them no more or less than one time. The revived show has overused them, I think.  The problem with trotting out your monster heel(s) on a regular basis is that if the viewer/reader sees them being beaten like a rug all the time, they no longer seem like monsters anymore.

I would love to see deeper selections from Batman's rogue's gallery. Unfortunately, I kind of wonder if his more obscure villains are just totally overshadowed by the more famous ones. Maybe DC should "lend out" the lesser-knowns to other titles for a while. You know, let Maxie Zeus harrass the Teen Titans for a story arc and that kind of thing. (And yeah, Maxie is actually dead, but Hades might take pity on him sometime.)

Once such villains develop a little more cache, then bring them back to Gotham.

For example, I've been eagerly awaiting an all-out between Batman and Catman ever since CM got a big boost by Gail Simone in Secret Six. (It may have already happened...)

Not to mention Bane and Deadshot who were also given more depth. I could pull out my Who's Who and Batman Encyclopedia and probably pull at least twenty-thirty villains who could be revived or revised to take on the Bat and give the Big Names, plus Two-Face and the Scarecrow a rest for awhile!

And I did say kill off the Joker but replace him with a new one!

Anne Hathaway is going to be Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, but Catwoman has been done continually in TV, cartoons and movies. Why not Anne Hathaway as Talia, the daughter of the Demon! Just as sexy, just as dangerous, probably moreso, and nothing to judge her against with her performance. And she has a good reason to steam up the screen with her Dark Baby-Daddy! Hey, if Supes can have a kid out of wedlock...

Great comparison, Rob. I wouldn't want to get rid of Joker or other classic villains but I love the idea of using them sparingly so that their appearances really mean something. I'd also love to see some of the second tier villains show up in other titles. I'm ready for somebody to take on Magpie.

Ps. This was Chris writing from Ana's computer. I'm not sure she's ever heard of Magpie.

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