Rocksteady have revealed an all-new villain created in conjunction with DC Comics just for Batman: Arkham Knight, but as all comic fans know, the concept isn’t exactly original.
Batman lore is filled with more vicious versions of the Caped Crusader, so perhaps this new challenger to Batman’s crown could be one of the following…
1. Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight
The semi-psychotic second Robin brought back from the dead by Talia al’Ghul to take revenge on Bruce Wayne, although he’s much better now, thank you.
Following his one-time mentor/hate figure’s death in an event book nobody needs to read, Todd took on the Batman mantle.
Perhaps the strongest contender, like the Arkham Knight he had a face-plate on his armoured Batcowl and wasn’t adverse to dishing out handgun justice.
Modern crusader knight and religious zealot Azrael took on the cowl with Bruce’s blessing after the now deeply dated Knightfall story arc, and steadily became more and more batshit insane.
Like the Arkham Knight, he wound up with an armoured Bat-suit and dispensed Old Testament-style justice on the scum of Gotham. However, this being the 90s, his armour looked like a badly cast action figure.
3. Thomas Wayne is the Arkham Knight
What a twist, eh?
In the surprisingly good Flashpoint event, it’s Bruce Wayne who was killed that night and not his parents, resulting in the ageing Thomas Wayne becoming a nocturnal terror to avenge his death.
Although Thomas Wayne has a fairly faithful Batman costume, like the Arkham Knight there’s some red decals, and like the Arkham Knight he’s happy to take a few lives if it gets the job done.
4. Prometheus is the Arkham Knight
Perhaps this is the most likely of them all in a rather odd way. Prometheus had a minor cameo in Arkham Asylum and was namechecked in Arkham City, but has yet to appear in the videogame franchise.
Originally created to be a dark mirror image of Batman, Prometheus uses his expert training and cybernetic implants to best the Justice League, and his armoured costume is fairly Batman-esque.
That’s about it, actually.
5. Terry McGinnis is the Arkham Knight
Batman Beyond star Terry McGinnis was the future Dark Knight, complete with technologically advanced suit and red markings.
Although a favourite theory with a certain kind of comic fan, it’s all fairly circumstantial – although McGinnis is making his New 52 debut this year, and synergy is very much the name of the game when it comes to winning at superheroes in 2014.
6. Hugo Strange is the Arkham Knight
Sure, he was already the big bad in Arkham City, but psychotic psychiatrist Hugo Strange made a habit out of dressing like the Dark Knight in order to get into his mind, presiding over several criminally overlooked Seventies and Eighties story arcs that took Batman to the brink of his sanity.
Although the Arkham Knight’s physical prowess would seem to rule Hugo Strange out as the man behind the cowl, he could still be at the heart of it all.
Him being dead, meanwhile, isn’t exactly a problem…. nobody stays dead in comics.
7. Wrath is the Arkham Knight
A fantastically obscure suggestion from Trevor Hirst on Facebook and one we’d totally overlooked, the Wrath is an underused anti-Batman created in the mid-Eighties.
The son of criminals shot by the police, his obsessive Batman-like crusade was aimed at law enforcement instead.
Like the Arkham Knight, the original Wrath had red elements on his costume and was keen on firearms, while the New 52 Wrath has an eerily similar armoured costume with an urban camo motif.
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released 14 October 2014 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Find out more about the comics that inspired the game with new digital magazine Uncanny Comics.