In Gotham Knights, Batman is dead and Gotham City is crumbling. Left without their mentor and leader, the Bat-Family faces the challenge of cleaning up Gotham’s streets and besting the Caped Crusader’s most nefarious villains.
This new Batman game wants to take this solid concept and turn it into a cooperative game while revamping the iconic combat system of the Batman: Arkham series. More importantly, it’s adapting the beloved Court of Owls storyline, which pivoted on the titular organization’s centuries-long grip on Gotham.
Gotham Knights is shaping up to be a promising experience where players take on the role of Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, or Batgirl. Although this is a strong cast, there are other characters that could help strengthen the game and delight comic book fans. These individuals either go along with the source material, were established in past games, or are comic book characters we feel deserve the spotlight.
In the first gameplay demo of Gotham Knights, Renee Montoya spoke to Batgirl through a comlink. Montoya’s face appeared on the bottom right of the screen as she discussed Batgirl’s mission to stop Mr. Freeze’s weather manipulation. A small badge materialized under her picture indicating she is entangled with the police force.
Comic book fans know Montoya as a police detective who became the second person to adopt the mantle of The Question. Her predecessor was Vic Sage, a broadcast news reporter who had a keen eye for conspiracy theories and an unconventional yet brutal fighting style.
As a student of Sage, Montoya practices a similar fighting style while also possessing mastery over her emotions and the ability to resist a degree of physical pain. The Question’s mysterious and dark personality fits with Gotham’s overall tone, and her improvisational combat could bring some devastating moves to the table. She doesn’t even have to be a playable character; Montoya could just lend the Bat-Family her valuable detective skills on occasion.
The Green Arrow
Since Batman and the Green Arrow are similar characters – both are billionaire vigilantes with high-tech gadgets – Warner Bros could easily adapt the Emerald Archer for video games. Though the CW’s Green Arrow is a dark and serious version of the character, we’re looking for a more comic accurate, comedic personality.
Green Arrow’s sarcastic attitude would provide a nice juxtaposition to the grit of Gotham City and his move set matches that of the various Bat-Family members. He also has several types of trick arrow, like Greek Fire and Boxing Glove, that are a good fit for the gadget-centered gameplay.
In practical terms, it makes sense for Oliver Queen to travel to Gotham City after hearing of Batman’s demise. He could be a fifth playable character, part of the supporting cast, or even a DLC character.
With Gotham Knights adapting The Court of Owls, the Talons are sure to make an appearance. Throughout history, the Talons served as the Court of Owls’ nigh-unstoppable assassins. They are strong enough to stand up against The Dark Knight and even trap him in a complex maze, completely humiliating Gotham’s hero.
However, one Talon named Calvin Rose managed to escape the Court and deny their evil ways. Rose was on the run until news of Batman’s strenuous victory over the court dragged him back to Gotham. While the Talons will serve as Gotham Knight’s antagonists, it would be tempting to play as one of them. Calvin Rose gives Warner Bros the perfect opportunity to make that a reality.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched if Rose factored into Gotham Knight’s story and became a playable character. His inside knowledge could help Batman’s associates take down Rose’s former masters. It doesn’t follow Rose’s comic book storyline, but Batman games were never afraid to take their own liberties with the given source material.
This lone warrior was an intriguing side character in Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight. In the former, Azrael was sent to Gotham by the Order of St. Dumas to deliver a prophecy. As Batman doesn’t believe in fairy tales, he shrugged off Azrael’s assertion that Gotham would burn in flames. Later, in Arkham Knight, Batman tested Azrael to see if he was worthy to take his place.
Now that Batman is dead, Azrael can take over as Gotham’s protector. The Dark Knight himself influenced Azrael’s fighting style, and is just as fear-inducing. Suffice to say, Azrael will help scratch that itch left by Batman’s apparent absence.
Just as intriguing, though, is Azrael’s comic book background. Born as Jean-Paul Valley, he is a genetically modified assassin created by an extreme faction within the Knights Templar. Azrael once took Batman’s place after his spine injury by Bane during the Knightfall story, but his bloodlust and massacres went too far. Azrael’s presence could cause conflict among the Bat-Family and may even incite the wrath of the more brutal Red Hood.
The Batman (Who Laughs)
It’s hard to imagine that Batman is actually dead. We suspect that he will be absent for a while, but in time the Caped Crusader has to return. Given the presence of the Court of Owls, it’s plausible that Batman may have faked his death or been captured.
In the latter case, that means that the Court of Owls maze sequence could be adapted into gameplay. There, Batman’s mental state deteriorated as he stumbled around an endless and ever-changing maze. Such a comic book moment would make for a terrifying gameplay loop.
Another option for Batman’s return is out of left field, but it would throw everyone for a loop. Picture the camera panning to Batman’s face, only to show that he has a large smile smothered in red makeup. This is not the Batman we knew but instead The Batman Who Laughs, an evil version of Batman from the Dark Multiverse. He is a cruel mix of the Joker and Batman in one body, an undeniable threat to almost every DC hero.
It just so happens that The Batman Who Laughs is also somewhat acquainted with the Court of Owls, so to speak. In one storyline he murders them after failing to gain their allegiance. It’s safe to assume Gotham Knights will take a different approach to how it ties The Batman Who Laughs to the Court, if he even makes an appearance.
In all likelihood, though, The Batman Who Laughs is a doubtful addition. That said, he would make for a stunning after-credits cameo.