Batman: Arkham Knight: Court of Owls spotted

Samuel Roberts at

I like Batman too much, if such a thing is possible. During my recent first look at Arkham Knight I managed to pick out a neat reference to a popular recent enemy in DC Comics' Batman lore: the Court of Owls, created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo for their 2011-2012 storylines Court Of The Owls and Night Of The Owls, which were very popular and have consequently caused me to use the word 'owl' a lot in this paragraph.

Worried that I might've imagined the whole thing due to GDC jet lag, I asked Rocksteady's Dax Ginn if I saw it or not - and indeed, confirm that the Court exists as part of the Arkham continuity.

What I saw was one of the Owls' creepy-looking masks like in the cover image from Batman and Robin 23.2 above, on a shelf in Barbara Gordon's apartment (there's a switch that reveals Oracle's HQ hidden in a Shakespeare statue on the same unit, itself a reference to the Sixties Adam West series). Ginn laughs when I ask. "There may have been!"

I say this is probably just a sign I read far too many Batman comics. "We always fill out these things that only 1% of people are going to pick up on, but those people who do, it really means a lot to them," Ginn elaborates on why they included such a recent reference to Batman mythos. "And that's the sort of people we are, so all of our games are full of stuff like that."

I don't know if the Court plays any larger role than a reference or two in an already villain-busy game, but I'd take it as a sign that Rocksteady doesn't phone it in with the Batman references in its final installment - this is pleasantly geeky, and no doubt they were hoping someone would catch it in the demo. They're probably too obscure to the Batman fan on the street to be a bigger part of the studio's trilogy closer, but then I never thought I'd see Hush, Azrael, Mad Hatter and Nightwing in Arkham City, either.

For some background reference, the Court is like a Gotham City Illuminati, embedded in every strata of its social and political make-up. Naturally, they don't like Batman, and try pretty hard to eliminate the Dark Knight and his family of allies.