*Warning: Spoilers from previous Arkham games throughout.*
With Batman: Arkham Knight coming out next summer, the last volume of Rocksteady’s incredibly successful Arkham series, a lot of speculation has been going around as to the identity of the titular character, the Arkham Knight. Now, while Rocksteady have claimed that this will be an original character, the truth behind this statement may be that it will be an original version of the character, as it’s hard to see how anyone could truly see them creating an all-new character to play a leading role in the final chapter in one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time.
So, the question is: Who is the Arkham Knight? While there have been many theories out there, I’m going to look at the three I consider to be the most plausible.
#3: The Joker
This one seems to be the most unlikely (on the surface at least), given that the Joker died at the end of Arkham City. I doubt that we’re going to see him return from the dead — though this isstill a possibility, given that Ra’s al Ghul’s immortality is due to his use of the Lazarus Pits, and someone certainly could use one to bring the Joker back, although pretty much everyone working on the game have confirmed that he will, in fact, stay dead. Alternatively, and far more likely, the Joker — and the Arkham Knight himself — could be a figment of Batman’s imagination, his deepest fear, brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin. However, this is an unlikely route for Rocksteady to take, given that Mark Hamill will not be returning to voice the Joker, and the negative response to Black Mask’s reveal as the Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins.
#2: Jason Todd
Jason Todd, for those of you unfamiliar with the lore of the Dark Knight, was the second Robin, after Dick Greyson — who appears as Nightwing in an Arkham City DLC — and before Tim Drake, who appears briefly in the main Arkham City storyline. Todd has not been referenced before in the series, but in the comics he was apparently murdered by the Joker — beaten to death with a crowbar, no less — only to later reappear as the anti-hero Red Hood. Now a character with a vendetta against Batman, who appears to be more than willing to use violence to achieve his goals, while also mimicking Batman in his methods and appearance – who does that sound like? Also, given that Todd, as the Red Hood, has been confirmed to be playable in the Challenge Maps, it seems likely that he’ll make an appearance in some form or another. Could he be the Arkham Knight?
#1: Damian Wayne
While it’s entirely plausible that it could be Jason Todd, this final theory is possibly the most likely: Bruce’s son with Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne, who also serves as the fourth Robin in the comics. Given the very clear theme of Bruce’s daddy issues re-emerging as shown in the trailer, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the game end with Damian taking on his father’s legacy, just as Bruce sought to uphold his own father’s. Damian has more than enough reason to turn on Batman — his mother, Talia, was killed by the Joker in Arkham City, though she may well have survived due to the League of Assassin’s knowledge of the Lazarus Pits. This could fuel his desire to destroy the criminal element of Gotham permanently, and set him against Batman, who would presumably try to prevent him from murdering the criminals.
We could end up seeing some combination of the three when the game releases, perhaps with Batman believing it to be Jason Todd, only for the Arkham Knight to turn out to be the son he never knew he had. Whichever way it turns out, though, there is certainly no doubt that this game is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases of 2015.
Batman: Arkham Knight is to be released on 2 June, 2015 for PS4 and Xbox One.