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BatWatch is counting down the top ten greatest Nightwing Villains, a feat which nobody else has ever even attempted to try. If you want to see the villains who came earlier in the countdown or how this list was compiled, just click onNightwing's Greatest Villains #10-#8.
Last week's list featured the powerhouses of Hush, (#10) Ravager (#9) and Black Mask. (#8) Who managed to beat down these three and proved to be an even bigger threat to Dick Grayson?
# 7 Two-Face
Who Is He?
Despite a tough childhood, Harvey Dent became the District Attorney of Gotham City. Dent partnered with Batman by doing his best to prosecute the scum that Batman took off the streets. Sadly, a mobster motivated by vengeance threw a vial of acid at Harvey. The acid covered half of Harvey’s face damaging it beyond recognition. Though the physical wounds were horrific, the true damage was to Harvey’s mind. Harvey lost his sanity, and all the darkness of his childhood swelled up and overwhelmed him. As Two-Face, Harvey Dent is a criminal mastermind, constant enemy of Batman, and a man torn between his two natures.
Why He Made the List
Two-Face was one of the first villains Dick Grayson ever faced as Robin. He was also the first villains that ever truly hurt Dick. In the early days of Robin, Two-Face kidnapped both the district attorney of Gotham and Batman. Putting the two on a makeshift gallows, Two-Face intended to kill them as Robin watched. Grayson managed to break free of his attackers and cut the noose holding the mayor, but sadly, the day was not saved. Two-Face’s deathtrap was twofold, and when Two-Face pulled the lever for the mayor’s trapdoor, the mayor fell, handcuffed, into a tank of water. Robin had saved the mayor form hanging only to have him drown. Grayson tried to save the mayor, but Two-Face’s goons subdued him, and Two-Face then beat Grayson mercilessly. Two-Face probably would have beaten Dick to death had Batman not escaped and managed to save the day. Nonetheless, Two-Face gave Dick his first real defeat and his first real beating.
Two-Face’s crimes against Dick did not stop there. Two-Face fought the original incarnation of the Teen Titans on one occasion. During his solo career as Nightwing, Dick fought Two-Face many times. When Grayson took on the mantle of Batman, Two-Face again caused trouble for Nightwing most crucially when he managed to invade the Bat Cave via teleporter. When Grayson arrived to check out the disturbance, Two-Face shot him with a sedative dart. Upon awakening, Two-Face tortured Grayson for an unknown amount of time until Dick was finally saved by Alfred.
For creating Dick’s first real failure and torturing Grayson on multiple occasions, Two-Face has earned his role as Nightwing’s seventh greatest villain.
Where Is He Now?
Recently, Two-Face squared off against Kate Spencer in court. Two-Face attempted to kill her, but his plan was thwarted. However, Two-Face did manage to escape custody. Two-Face's current location is unknown.
#6 Mayor Hady
Who Is He?
Mayor Hady is the corrupt and sleazy mayor of Gotham City. Though his crimes are largely undisclosed, he has indirectly made trouble for both Batman and Nightwing.
Why He Made the List
I know what you are thinking. How can a corrupt mayor possibly deserve to be on the same list as such accomplished killers as Hush, Black Mask, and Two-Face? Unlike Rose Wilson, Mayor Hady was never an ally of Dick’s that later betrayed him.
The answer lies in the very nature of Gotham City and Batman. When we think of Batman fighting crime in Gotham City, we usually think of the big name villains, but in reality, it is the crooked police and political corruption which has given liberty for such evil to creep over the city. Many classic Batman stories such as “Batman: Year One” deal with the political rot which allows crime to fester in Gotham. Batman may have found an ally to fight crime in the police department via Commissioner Gordon, but he has never truly succeeded in finding a mayor willing to fight for the cause of justice.
When Dick Grayson acted as the Batman of Gotham City, he faced this classic problem with Mayor Hady. Mayor Hady not only allowed crime to continue, he actively participated. Mayor Hady hired Firefly to burn down a series of apartment buildings so that Hady’s construction company could start a new development on the land. He has also blackmailed political opponents in order to cement his role as Mayor of Gotham. Up until present day, Mayor Hady continues to bring darkness upon Gotham, and yet he has never been held responsible for his crimes.
For being the scum who got away, Mayor Hady earned his place as Nightwing’s sixth greatest villain.
WHERE IS HE NOW?
Mayor Hady is still the mayor of Gotham City. Red Robin recently discovered that in addition to his crimes, Mayor Hady has cheated on his wife.
Who Is He?
The mysterious Clown Prince of Crime, Joker, is Batman’s arch-nemesis. Nobody knows where he truly originates, but it is commonly believed that his skin was bleached due to him falling into a chemical vat after a battle with Batman. In addition to his frequent tussles with Batman, Joker has often made trouble for Superman and Dick Grayson.
Why He Made the List
When readers think of the crimes of Joker, they frequently think of how he, more than any other villain, has deeply hurt Batman, but many of the same crimes that brought emotional distress to Batman caused nearly as much pain to Dick Grayson.
Joker is one of Grayson's oldest enemies. However, Joker did not really start to damage Grayson until he had shed the Robin persona and become Nightwing. The first major blow was the crippling of Barbara Gordon, the girl many fans believe to be Nightwing’s one true love. Grayson's love for Barbara is so great that he even proposed to Barbara at one point though various complications kept the marriage from ever occurring. Regardless of the depth of Dick and Barbara’s relationship, Joker was the first one to pierce the Bat Family’s air of invincibility, and in the same act, he horribly injured one of Dick Grayson’s greatest loves.
The second major blow came almost immediately after the first when Joker murdered Jason Todd by beating him to death with a crowbar. Though Dick was not as close to Jason as Bruce, the two were friends, and Joker destroyed, at least temporarily, the legacy of Robin. The death of Jason Todd caused Dick’s adopted father, Bruce, to fall into a deep depression, and in many ways, Bruce has never recovered from the loss. Furthermore, Jason Todd eventually resurrected and became a villain, and Jason, as Red Hood, tried to kill Grayson and his loved ones on multiple occasions before he finally managed to gain back his sanity.
In the years since the death of Jason Todd, Joker continued to be a menace to Grayson. Grayson battled Joker several times in his solo career, and Joker also came into conflict with Nightwing’s team of Outsiders at one point. When Nightwing was working as the Batman of Gotham City, Joker went for the hat trick of personal attacks by nearly killing Dick’s protégé, Damian.
By killing and maiming Dick’s family and friends, Joker earned his place as Nightwing’s fifth greatest villain.
Where Is He Now?
Leading yet another attack on the Bat Family, of course. If Kyle Higgins mysterious tweets are to be believed, it appears as if Joker’s machinations in “The Death of a Family” might cause yet another upset in Nightwing’s career.
More to Come!
Frustrated that your favorite Nightwing nemesis has not made an appearance? Remember, we are not done yet. Nightwing's Greatest Villains #4-#1 is primed and ready to go, but you still have to wait a week to find out. In the meantime, light up the comment section and let me know who you think should be in the top four.
Also, keep an eye out for Friday's commentary article, "Why Is 'The Ravagers' Failing?"
For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.