In the newly-revealed Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocksteady unveiled a mysterious brand-new villain who's actually called the Arkham Knight. But who is this enigmatic robo-Batman with a hint of blue in his armour? Dark Knight aficionados Chris Thursten and Samuel Roberts highlight the most likely candidates from their disgustingly rich knowledge of DC lore.
Samuel: At the end of the Hush sidequest in Arkham City, we see that Tommy Elliott has had his face reconstructed to look exactly like Bruce Wayne. Would it not make sense, then, that Elliott has taken on a persona that is pretty Batman-esque? He hasn't been mentioned by Rocksteady as part of the main story or shown in the demo's cutscenes like Two-Face and Penguin. This seems like the most likely outcome that tallies with the Arkham continuity.
Chris: I think this is probably the most likely scenario, honestly. The Arkham Knight's weapons and apparent schtick are all a reasonable next step for Hush, and as you say the context is already in place. I'd rather it be something else, though—it's nice to be surprised.
Samuel: Give me a break—there's no way the Arkham Knight is the Joker. There's a few continuity-based reasons this wouldn't happen, but the main one is, why would he dress up as shiny robot Batman? He's the Joker! Though he does have a history . of colourful disguises . Nah.
Chris: Yeah, no.
Art from the cover of Batman #408, art by Chris Warner.
Chris: Did somebody say 'mad theory'? Okay! So far, the Arkham games have made reference to the first robin (Dick Grayson, now Nightwing) and the third (Tim Drake). They've missed out number two: Jason Todd, the kid from the streets that Batman couldn't control and—ultimately—could save from the Joker. In the comics, he's made a couple of comebacks. Notably, he's usually a lethal foil to Batman. In the Battle for the Cowl event a couple of years ago, he looked like this .
It'd be totally fitting to write him into the Arkham series as a rogue Robin. What if - instead of being killed, as in the comics - the Joker drove Jason Todd insane? After years in the asylum he gets out, gears up, and goes after Batman as the Arkham Knight. It'd be an opportunity for Rocksteady to get the Joker into the story without requiring his actual presence, too.
Oh, also! Todd was recruited by Batman after trying to steal the wheels of the Batmobile. This game has the Batmobile in it! I am totally right, aren't I? Yes I am.
Samuel: But do normal people know about Death Of The Family or Battle For The Cowl? Would Rocksteady make the answer that abstract? I see your point about writing him into the story, but I don't think it would have the same impact to non-Batman fans as seeing a returning character from a previous game. Personally, I'd welcome a surprise that's this nerdy.
Samuel: Chris has a mad theory about Jason Todd that circumvents logic and heads straight into tinfoil hat madness. But what if his theory could be applied to a different Robin, one who already has a backstory in the Arkham games and played a fairly prominent role in its story? What if Tim Drake went missing after a failed mission in Sri Lanka and I'm swerving into fanfic territory again stop talking Samuel.
Damian Wayne as Batman, from the cover of Batman #666, art by Andy Kubert.
Chris: I'm leaning pretty hard on this 'it's one of the Robins' thing, I guess. Damian Wayne is Bruce's psychopathic son with Talia al Ghul, who showed up in Arkham City. An older Damian could be a good fit for the Arkham Knight. The League of Assassins would have the resources to kit him out with that high-tech batsuit, too. It'd also fit with the 'daddy issues' theme established by the reveal trailer.
Samuel: This is crazy, but Chris did sound excited when he convinced himself it was Damian this afternoon.
Samuel: Oinkity oink oink.