My friend... your luck is about to change.
~ Carl Grissom's betraying to Jack Napier.

Carl Grissom is the overarching antagonist in the 1989 film Batman and its sequels.

He was Gotham City's most powerful crime lord until he was betrayed and killed by his second-in-command Jack Napier, who survived an assassination attempt arranged by his boss and is now surfacing as the infamous supervillain Joker.

He was portrayed by the late Jack Palance, who also played Yves Perret In Tango & CashRothbart in The Swan Princess and Voltan in Hawk the Slayer.

History

Carl Grissom used to be the most powerful crime lord in Gotham City, as he got some or even most officers of the Gotham City Police Department (except Commissioner Gordon) on his payroll, including Lieutenant Max Eckhardt. When the recently-elected District Attorney Harvey Dent begins to make connections between Grissom and Axis Chemicals, Grissom panics, knowing that the evidence stored at the factory is enough to have him executed.

Grissom also finds out from Eckhardt that his mistress Alicia Hunt has been having an affair with Napier. So to take his revenge, Grissom sends Napier and his crew to Axis Chemicals to seize the evidence before Dent can. At the same time, he calls Lt. Eckhardt and orders him to lead a team of police officers to kill Napier. However, the plan goes wrong when Commissioner Gordon intervenes to take Napier in alive. Eckhardt then attempts to escape, but is shot in the chest and killed by a vengeful Napier. Napier is then confronted by Batman, but falls into a vat of chemicals, leaving Grissom to believe that Jack is dead, much to his delight.

The next day in the night, after a shower, Grissom has a visit from Napier, who survived the fall in the vat of chemicals and now wants revenge for setting him up. Grissom feigns relief in an attempt to grab his gun, but Napier scoffs him and plays wise to Grissom's moves by holding the crime lord at gunpoint. Grissom then pleads for his life by offering to cut a new deal with Napier, but Napier refuses and instead reveals his new identity as the Joker, with green hair, white skin, and a widened, permanent grin with red lips, much to Grissom's horror. At that point, the Joker shoots Grissom to his death and takes over his crime empire.

Legacy

After Grissom died and his body was disposed of, the Joker told Grissom's associates that Grissom was in hiding and that he was standing in for him. Mobster Antoine Rotelli is electrocuted to death by the Joker for refusing to cooperate while mobster Vinnie Ricorso presents false documents to the city government that Grissom handed over all his properties. Ricorso is then executed by the Joker, who makes his first public appearance. As for Alicia, she would be tortured to insanity by the Joker since the Joker was enraged that Grissom only punished him and not her for the affair causing Alicia to die. The Joker uses Grissom's factory Axis Chemicals to manufacture toxins that cost lives until Batman and Vicki Vale informed the G.C.P.D. about the lethal combinations that the Joker was using. Grissom's death would finally be avenged when Batman allows the Joker to fall to his death from the top of the Gotham Cathedral when Joker was trying to make moves on Vicki due to wanting nothing to do with Alicia anymore. Grissom's actions led to the rise of lunacy in the criminal underworld which led to theatric criminals rising such as the Penguin, Catwoman, and Red Triangle Circus Gang. Max Shreck, a corrupt member of Gotham's elite, would try to take advantage of this lunacy by turning Selina Kyle, his secretary, into Catwoman after trying to kill her and in manipulating Penguin to running for mayor by terrorizing Gotham to approve of a power plant that Shreck planned to construct in order to drain Gotham of it's electrical power.

Personality

According to the novelization, Carl Grissom enjoyed the finer things in life such as Alicia and his penthouse. Grissom had no remorse for his murderous actions, but was willing to manipulate others for his own ends. For instance, when Grissom learned that Napier and Alicia were having an affair, Grissom sent Napier to Axis Chemicals to get assassinated by the G.C.P.D. and Napier only went to Axis Chemicals to retrieve documents from Grissom that would've had him executed if District Attorney Dent were to seize them. Grissom at first had guilt in setting Napier up, but decided otherwise since he knew he had to draw the line while reshuffling the entire organization. When Napier resurfaced to get revenge on Grissom, Grissom tried to manipulate Napier again by feigning relief and tried to bargain for his life only for the Joker to play wise to Grissom's motives.

Despite Grissom being a murderous gangster, he truly did love Alicia and would never have tortured her to insanity similar to what Napier did when Napier became the Joker. Prior to his transformation as the Joker, Napier was rude to Alicia while Grissom was always polite to her. Grissom was only motivated to set Napier up because of his affair with Alicia, Grissom was unaware that Napier was planning to kill him to take control of the organization.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In early drafts of the film's script, Rupert Thorne was meant to fill Carl Grissom's role before Grissom was created.
  • Coincidentally, Jack Palance, the actor who played Grissom in Batman, inspired the look of the face of Darkseid, a Superman rogue and another DC Comics villain (yet one actually created in the comics).
  • Along with Ross Webster from Superman III and Max Shreck from Batman Returns, Carl Grissom is one of the few characters created in a DC Comics live-action movie who has not been featured in actual comic media since then. Interestingly, all three characters were created to replace in their role an actual comic character.

Navigation

           TheBatman.png Villains

Comics
Alfred Stryker | Alice | Amanda Waller | Amygdala | Anarky | An Innocent Guy | Arkham Knight | Arnold John Flass | Azrael | Baby Doll | Bane | Barbatos | The Batman Who Laughs | Black Glove | Black Mask | Blockbuster I | Blockbuster II | Brain | Broker | Brother EYE | Calculator | Calendar Man | Castle Bat | Captain Fear | Carmine Falcone | Catman | Catwoman | Circus of Strange | Clayface | Claything | Clock King | Clownface | Club of Villains | Cluemaster | Commissioner Loeb | Composite Superman | Condiment King | Copperhead | Cornelius Stirk | Court of Owls | Crazy Quilt | Crime Doctor | Curtis Base | Dark Archer | David Cain | Dark Knights | Deacon Blackfire | Deadshot | Dealer | Deathstroke | The Dawnbreaker | The Devastator | Doctor Death | Doctor Double X | Doctor Hurt | Doctor Phosphorus | Doctor Randolph Porter | Dr. Silversmith | The Drowned | Electrocutioner | Emperor Penguin | Enigma | Ernie Chubb | Faceless | Firebug | Firefly | Flamingo | Floronic Man | Gearhead | General Ulysses Armstrong | Gorilla Boss | Gotham City Police Department | Great White Shark | The Grim Knight | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Harley Quinn | Holiday | Holly Robinson | Humpty Dumpty | Hugo Strange | Hush | Jack the Ripper | James Gordon, Jr. | Jason Todd | Joe Chill | Joker | Judge of Owls | Joker's Daughter | Key | KGBeast | King of Cats | King Snake | King Tut | Killer Croc | Killer Moth | Kite Man | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Leviathan | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Lloyd Ventrix | Mad Hatter | Mad Monk | Magpie | Malochia | Man-Bat | Maxie Zeus | The Merciless | Merrymaker | Monk | Mr. Freeze | Mrs. Freeze | Mr. Toad | Mutants | Nightslayer | Nocturna | Onomatopoeia | Orca | Outsider | Owlman | Penguin | Penny Plunderer | Phosphorus Rex | Planet Master | Poison Ivy | Polka Dot Man | Professor Arnold Hugo | Professor Pyg | Prometheus | Punchline | Ra's al Ghul | Ragdoll | Ratcatcher | Reaper | Red Claw | Red Death | Reverse-Flash | Riddler | Robin King | Roland Daggett | Roxy Rocket | Royal Flush Gang | Rupert Thorne | Sal Maroni | Scarecrow | Sensei | Sewer King | Signalman | Sinestro | Snowman | Solomon Grundy | Spellbinder | Squid | Steeljacket | Suicide Squad | Talia al Ghul | Tally Man | Ten Eyed Man | Terrible Trio | Thomas Wayne | Tiger Shark | Timecode | Tony Zucco | Tweedledum and Tweedledee | Two-Face | Ubu | Vandal Savage | Ventriloquist | Ventriloquist II | Ventriloquist III | Vertigo | Victor Zsasz | Whisper A'Daire | Wrath | The Wonderland Gang | Zebra-Man

Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Joker Goons (Bob Hawkins) | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Joker | Phantasm | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins) | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler
Joker: Clowns (Joker, Clown & Ambulance Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul Bonk & Woof) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
Batman: Year One: Batman | Commissioner Loeb | Carmine Falcone | Arnold John Flass | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Vinnie & Joe | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Thomas Elliot
Batman: Soul of the Dragon: Nāga | Kobra (Jeffery Burr, Schlangenfaust, Lady Eve, King Snake & Rip Jagger) | Ben Turner | Shiva | Richard Dragon | Jade

Television
Batman 60s show
Joker | Penguin | Catwoman | Riddler | Mr. Freeze | Egghead | Queenie Goldstein | The Sandman | Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft | False Face | The Siren | Undine | Chandell | King Tut | Cornelia | Baby Jane Towser

1970s Filmation series
Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler | Clayface | Mr Freese | Sweet Tooth

Batman: The Animated Series
Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge | Grant Walker | Gil Mason | Arkady Duvall | Fake Harley | Ferris Boyle | Arnold Stromwell | Tony Zucco

The Batman
Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Ethan Bennit | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface | Gearhead | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro | Joker 2.0 | Prank | Killgore Steed | Team Penguin | Julie | Spellbinder | Blaze | The Joining | Cosmo Krank | Marty Slacker | Scorn

Beware the Batman
Anarky | Ra's al Ghul | Deathstroke | Two-Face | Killer Croc | Simon Stagg | Professor Pyg | Mr. Toad | Man-Bat | Cypher | Magpie | Lady Shiva | Tobias Whale | Phosphorus Rex | Lunkhead | Humpty Dumpty | Silver Monkey | Key

Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Joker | Music Meister | Catwoman | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Clayface | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Lex Luthor | Harley Quinn | Morgaine Le Fey | Sweet Tooth | Queenie Goldstein | Bane | Kite Man | Black Manta | Gentleman Ghost

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Joker | Scarecrow | Queen of Fables | Darkseid | Parademons | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Lex Luthor | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Riddler | Kite Man | Doctor Psycho | Clayface | King Shark | Sy Borgman | Doctor Trap | Frank the Plant | Two-Face | Catwoman | Nick Quinzel | Sharon Quinzel

           Tim Burton Logo.pngVillains

Movies
Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Joker Goons | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill |
Edward Scissorhands: Jim
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock and Barrel
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Mars Attacks!: Martian Leader | Martians (Martian Ambassador & Martian Girl)
Sleepy Hollow (1999): Lady Van Tassel | Headless Horseman | Reverend Steenwyck
Planet of the Apes (2001) General Thade | Attar | Limbo
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth
Corpse Bride: Barkis Bittern | Maudeline Everglot
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd | Mrs. Lovett | Judge Turpin | Beadle Bamford | Jonas Fogg | Adolfo Pirelli
9: Fabrication Machine | 1 | 8 | Machines (Cat Beast, Winged Beast, Seamstress, Steel Behemoths, Seeker Drones & Spiderbots) | Chancellor Fredinand | The Chancellor's Party
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Red Queen | Knave of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Hamish Ascot
Dark Shadows: Angelique Bouchard | Julia Hoffman
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Adam
Frankenweenie: Mr. Whiskers | Shelley | Were-Rat | Sea Monkeys | Mr. Burgermeister
Big Eyes: Walter Keane
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Mr. Barron | Malthus
Dumbo (2019): V.A. Vandevere | Neils Skellig | Pink Elephants | Rufus Sorghum

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