It still really, really sucks Heath Ledger is gone.

That being said, I wonder even if he were alive, would Robert Nolan bring back The Joker for the upcoming "Dark Knight Rises"?

Think about it: would it be better to leave that eerie, riveting, frightening, scintillating and oh so haunting performace alone? Regardless, it will always cast a huge shadow over the franchise.

But we'll never know.

So we've been left with wondering who'll follow as Batman's next adversary. It's perplexing in that The Joker is such a daunting figure, that after him the other characters seem too cartoonish.

I'm in the minority as I tend to find Johnny Depp overrated, but the idea of him as The Riddler in Nolan's hands intrigued me.

I envisioned it as something along the lines of "Zodiac", having the villain post sinister codes and puzzles online or in newspapers, challenging Batman to solve them in an allotted amount of time  and should he fail, well, watch out public.

Btw, if you'd like to see that idea realized magnificently, check out "The Great Game", an episode in the amazing new PBS Sherlock Holmes series "Sherlock".

In it, Moriarty - every bit Holmes' intellectual equal - kidnaps his victims, straps bombs on them, places a shooter with a laser scope to keep a bead on them, then forces them to relay clues to Holmes via cell phone.

Holmes is given 24 hours to solve whatever puzzle. If not, boom.

Perhaps Nolan, an Englishman, saw how well his fellow countrymen executed the whole thing and decided it wasn't worth the risk of appearing unoriginal.

So with that being said, I guess Catwoman does possess the most potential. She's a real human being, complex, not unlike Batman/Bruce Wayne and with Bruce's love interest Rachel disposed of in "Dark Knight", she offers all kinds of possibilities.

And I'm glad it's Anne Hathaway. She's rare in that she's altogether likable, classy, radiant while also talented and uber-sexy. She's also shown she's not afraid to get down-and-dirty on screen. She takes risks.

Also featured in "Rises" will be the villian-character Bane.

"The Dark Knight Rises" is set for release in June of 2012.