After a long stretch as an undistinguished career criminal, Drury Walker struck it rich with one big score; obsessed by the lifestyles of Gotham's wealthy elite, he takes on the dual alter egos of Cameron von Cleer - playboy millionaire philanthropist styled after Bruce Wayne - and Killer Moth, a garishly dressed, winged misanthropist sociopath.
Not to be outdone by the Caped Crusader, the original Killer Moth posed as a sort of anti-Batman, and even had the Moth-Cave, the Moth-mobile (possibly just a painted Chevy), and boasted an impressive array of gadgetry, most famously (!), his awesome cocoon gun. Working for Gotham's criminal bosses, Killer Moth was never a real force to be reckoned with, but did once discover the Dark Knight's true identity... before a knock-out blow from Batman himself caused him to suffer from an unfortunate bout of amnesia. Later in his DC tenure - after years and years of constant defeat from Gothams' superhero-elite, and the ridicule of his fellow Gotham criminals - Killer Moth sold his soul to the demon lord Neron to become Charaxes, a freakishly large, super-strength moth-creature, but even then was ultimately defeated by Superman-Prime. He never quite made it past 'Quirkily Dressed Insectoid Sociopath' stage as far as his place in DC lore is concerned.
Having said that, I quite like Killer Moth, a real footnote in villain terms and rarely even a true threat, but despite all this still has the potential to make it big. Firstly, and I don't know about you, but I hate moths. Can't stand them. Get one in your house, they'll never leave you alone, and they seem to be able to take quite a battering too, much like old Killer Moth did - regularly so - at the hands of Batman, Robin, and Bat-girl - and you have to admire his dogged, moth-like sense of persistence; secondly, he was a very flashy dresser the likes of which we have not truly seen on-screen since Nicholson's Joker; thirdly, despite no real super-abilities, he mirrored Batman's penchant for the theatrical on regular occasion, even if he seemingly had a glass jaw that a boxer on a losing streak would be proud of.
It seems that if the somewhat comical Killer Moth character were to have made it into the cinematic Gotham City, his best chance would've been under Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, perhaps as a campy underling to The Riddler or a goon for The Penguin, and even then it might have been a push. He does still makes the odd appearance, though - a new Killer Moth rumoured to be Drury Walker back from the dead has recently shown up in the DC comics - as well as acting as an insect punchbag in The Brave and the Bold. He also had a boss level all to himself in the NES version of Batman, which sadly might be his greatest claim to fame.
Maybe in Nolan's revised universe, he could be re-imagined as some kind of horrible half-moth-thing, a freak of nature, keeping in line with the dark, nightmarish nature of Gotham City in the latest films (I think the stripe-y tights might be a bit of a feat in 2012), and for ironys' sake, I'd cast him to be played by Jeff Goldblum. Although, I doubt any of this is really going to fly. (YES!)
Waylon Jones was born with a medical condition illness that led to him developing certain reptilian tendencies as he grew older. Kids can be cruel at the best of times, but having a fellow pupil with the characteristic of a young crocodile was never going to pass unremarked, and he was mercilessly teased throughout his unhappy schooldays. Things were no better at home, either. His mother died during childbirth and his father abandoned him, leaving him in the care of his alcoholic Aunt.
His path quickly led to prison. After 18 years’ incarceration he was finally released, and found a job wrestling alligators. Once he realised his prodigious strength opened doors for him to better himself in the criminal underworld, he didn’t look back. He headed from Florida to Gotham and so began a long pattern of crime and punishment. He would seek to dominate the criminal underworld; Batman would defeat him; he would be sent to Arkham Asylum; he would escape.
Croc's skin has hardened to the extent that it cannot easily be broken, and is strong enough to repel bullets. He has superhuman strength that is well beyond that of Batman. His body heals quickly, as demonstrated when Bane nonchalently broke both his arms in their first vicious encounter; he withdrew for a while to let the bones re-stitch and then rejoined the fray (only for Bane to break an arm again). He can swim like a lizard as those who have played Rock Steady’s excellent Batman games will attest.
Croc is too mentally limited to play the part of a main villain in any forthcoming Batman film, and perhaps a little too far-fetched to fit into Christopher Nolan’s world. But with a different director might come wider access to Arkham’s denizens, and he could very well be the muscle to complement a more cerebral villain like The Penguin or The Riddler. But who would play him? It would have to be someone with a serious physical presence. I’m thinking a wrestler, here. Dave Batista, fresh off The Man With the Iron Fists? Maybe. Or if a little more in the way of acting chops was appropriate, how about the other Wrestler? Mickey Rourke has plenty of darkness to draw upon, and would make for a pretty decent Croc.
The Batman movie-verse is full of male villains, but the female antagonist is a class currently under-represented with only Catwoman and Poison Ivy to have featured. So why not introduce another into the mix, the acrobatic and ever-so-slightly deranged Harley Quinn? Originally, Dr. Harleen Quinzell was an intern at Arkham Asylum and was driven insane by the imprisoned Joker after she fell in love with him, leading to one of the darkest relationships in the Batman canon. One of the few characters to make the unusual transition from Batman: The Animated Series to the comics and later, videogames, Harley Quinn is mostly depicted as a sidekick to The Joker, joined together by a mutual insanity and a talent for causing chaos.
Clad in a harlequin's jester outfit, she's got mad gymnastic skills, a throwback from her saner days, and a capacity for deadly, psychotic violence. Because of the characters' connection, any appearance in the live-action films would need to introduce her through The Joker. Just as chaotic and focused on creating mayhem, she would provide a worthy, uninhibited female adversary for Batman. Her relationship with The Joker would also be something different to bring to the screen and while villains often appear in pairs, none are so intrinsically and dangerously linked as the Clown Prince of Crime and his chief jester. Also, with a physicality so different to Batman's, Quinn's gymnastic ability would provide an opportunity for some truly inventive action sequences. Harley Quinn, though still relatively young, is one of the most popular villains and a film appearance for her would be instantly iconic, giving Batman a unique, maniacal challenge.
The name Hugo Strange will sound familiar to even comic-book virgins, after rumours that he’d be appearing in Nolan’s final Batman film. In the end, the threat of an evil Robin Williams was an empty one, and Hugo Strange remains one of the few villains without a cinematic outing. But has Hollywood missed a trick?
Before the Joker, the Riddler or Catwoman even showed up, Professor Strange established himself as a worthy adversary for Gotham’s protector. He is one of the only people to discover Batman’s real identity, and is unburdened with pantomime novelty. He is your classic “Evil Scientist” figure, with complimentary eyewear and a bitter sense of humour. He can turn a criminal into a giant, a yuppie into a monster, and Bruce Wayne into a topless plaything for whipping. When he’s not busy trying to ruin a billionaire’s reputation, he enjoys using yoga techniques to cheat death. Twice.
Given that Christopher Nolan's films have a reputation for being as realistic and down-to-earth as movies about superheroes can be, the villain known as Clayface may not be an immediate choice. But would a shapeshifting monster be too outlandish for the Nolanverse, or would it be more suited to a more fantastic take on the Batman?
There have been a ton of villains who have taken the name Clayface with varying aspects of character and powers, from actor Basil Karlo, who donned a Clayface mask to kill off the cast and crew of a remake of his greatest success but didn't change shape until a while later, to Matt Hagen, who received the powers via good ol' radioactive goo. There's also Preston Payne, who injected Hagen's DNA into his bloodstream, and Sondra Fuller, aka Lady Clay, who got her shifting ability via the Kobra organization. As well as Payne and Fuller's son, um, Cassius "Clay". No, seriously.
So Clayface has some cool abilities that would look great on a movie screen. Shapeshifting, stretching his body and increasing mass, having pieces break off him that then have a mind of their own. That's cool, no? A kind of mix between the T-1000 and the Sandman. But are cool powers enough? No, of course not, there needs to be an actual character behind that, as Batman: The Animated Series showed when they debuted their Clayface, who was an actor disfigured in an accident who turned to crime to fuel his need for a substance that made him look normal. The mobsters who were supplying it eventually suffocated him with it, and it bonded with his body and drove him mad, adding a depth and sympathetic edge that wasn't really there on the page.
So it's not the special effects that are an issue - it's the characterisation, and the need to tone it right to fit into whatever world he would be put into. For the Nolanverse, a real fractured-mind take on the character could be enough to balance the fantastic powers, the likes of which haven't really been displayed in Nolan's films thus far. It remains to be seen how far the next directors will stray from Nolan's formula and style, but given the success I can't imagine they'll go too far. Thusly, I'd enjoy seeing Dominic West in the part, with his rugged good looks that could still carry a disfigurement, with his intensity allowing for the more fantasy edge his powers bring. I'd go in the direction of the animated series, balancing the psychotic and insane edge of the character with a sense of tragedy, which would hopefully give Clayface the depth to not only exist in, but help carry a Batman film.