Wait! Go back and check out my first installment from the 2016 Halloween season in case you missed it!
Savage Skull is an obscure Batman villain who (so far) has appeared in only two Batman comics way back in 1983. A disfigured Gotham City police officer who was fired for police brutality, Savage Skull attempted to exact his revenge by taking Commissioner Gordon’s life but was stopped by Batman. Really kind of a slasher villain, I would love to see Savage Skull dusted off once more.
Debuting in 1939, the vampiric Monk (also known as the Mad Monk) is one of Batman’s first super-villains. In one story in the early 1980’s, he succeeded in turning Batman into a vampire.
Another creation from 1983, Nocturna was more like an adversary & romantic interest of Batman’s (similar to Catwoman and Talia al Ghul) rather than a full-blown villain. Further adding to the drama and conflict with Batman, she managed to adopt Jason Todd/Robin for a short amount of time, taking him away from Bruce Wayne.
An accident involving a laser beam at the Gotham City Observatory drained Natalia Knight of her pigment and made her sensitive to sunlight. Natalia became Nocturna, the “Mistress of the Night”, and along with her lover known as the Thief of Night (later called the Night-Slayer), she took to stealing from Gotham’s wealthiest in order to keep up with her expensive lifestyle and to afford the cost of treatment for her pigmentation.
I liked this character a lot. She was a prominent character in the Bat-books for a few years in the early ’80s, but hasn’t been used much after that. When she appeared again in 2002, it was with a new origin and she was reduced to being more of a standard villain. I hope DC Rebirth leads to this character being used again, and in a manner more similar to her 1983 origin.
Bag O’ Bones
Appearing in Batman #165 in 1967, Bag O’ Bones (given this name by Robin) was Ned Creegan, an average criminal who was exposed to radiation that caused him to be a walking X-ray image. He’s a cool villain because, hey, who doesn’t love to see a skeleton give Batman a flying dropkick? He could shoot “electro-blasts”, which would take time off his life every time he used these powers.
With his powers under control and beefed up, Creegan would reappear in 1977 as Cyclotronic Man to battle Black Lightning and Superman. As One Man Meltdown, Creegan faced off against the Outsiders in 1983.
Anthony Lupus, the Werewolf
Anthony Lupus was an Olympic athlete who turned to criminal chemist Dr. Milo to help him deal with his chronic headaches. The serum used as treatment was derived from Alaskan timber wolves and turned Lupus into a werewolf. Milo blackmailed Lupus with a cure for his lycanthropy by ordering him to kill Batman.
The Reaper (Dr. Benjamin Gruener)
The original Reaper debuted in Batman #237 in 1971, looks like a Scooby-Doo villain, and Halloween actually featured into the story. The Reaper dies at the end of the story but is resurrected many, many years later in the comics by Professor Huge Strange as a pawn to assist Black Mask in fighting Batman.
The Reaper (Judson Caspian)
Unrelated to the Reaper that appeared in 1971, this Reaper was created in 1987 for the “Batman: Year Two” story-line. This Reaper was positioned as being active in the 1950’s as one of Gotham City’s first vigilantes, albeit a murderous one that led him to clash with Green Lantern Alan Scott. He would reappear in Gotham early in Batman’s career where they obviously had a difference of opinion on what justice is. The Phantasm villain from the original theatrical release movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (based on Batman: The Animated Series) seems to take some inspiration from the Judson Caspian version of the Reaper.
A few years later, Joe Chill Jr. (the son of the man who killed Batman’s parents) would sport this same costume to do battle with Batman.