Batman: Arkham Knight: Court of Owls spotted

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.

Samuel Roberts
Former PC Gamer EIC Samuel has been writing about games since he was 18. He's a generalist, because life is surely about playing as many games as possible before you're put in the cold ground.