Starting us off is a recent character. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo started their run on the Batman title in 2011 and in their first year on the title they accomplished one of the most difficult feats of creating modern comics : Creating an interesting, lasting, dynamic villain.
The Court Of Owls are a force to be reckoned with. They are run by mysterious men and women wearing Owl masks that could be literally anybody and they command a nearly immortal army of assassins known as Talons. They use fear tactics to tell people what to do within Gotham and if they didn’t comply then they would send a Talon to kill them.
They target young recruits to be Talons, predominantly looking for orphans and runaways in Haly’s Circus. The Talons are trained to be deadly killers with special attributes as well as given a special serum that allows them an incredibly prolonged life.
In their first appearance in Batman, they’re angry that Bruce Wayne wants to build up parts of The Narrows, a run-down area of Gotham, and so they send him a few messages and ultimately send a Talon for him. Naturally, that doesn’t go well but then you begin to see that The Court isn’t like anything else Batman has ever faced. They truly have a grip on Gotham and it’s up to Batman to stop them.
Since then they’ve spread even further throughout DC, even forcing Nightwing to work for them and honestly that’s why they’re on this list : Because they’re so difficult to stop. They’ll never truly leave Gotham and that’s why the Bat family will always have to stop them.
The other reason The Court Of Owls is on my list is because they’re a new foe for Batman that will literally last for years. As a writer I’m already thinking of the Stories I could tell with them as the Villains. They’re terrifying, they make you think and they challenge our hero in a way that no other villain can and that’s what makes them compelling.