Gavin Gronenthal ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
About two days ago, Game Informer revealed the next chapter of the Arkham series with Batman: Arkham Origins. As you can probably tell by the title, the game takes place before the first two entries, on the night of Christmas Eve. Though Rocksteady is no longer developing the game, they have given their full endorsement to the new developers WB Montreal, who have said that many of the mainstays of the Arkham Games will return. This includes free flow combat, stealth attacks from perches, and of course grappling around the city. Some additions include quick travel by Batplane, an expanded part of Gotham, and, of course, new villains.
The villains are perhaps the most intriguing part. Apparently, Black Mask is responsible for putting a bounty on Batman’s head, and now eight assassins have arrived in Gotham to hunt him down. One of them was revealed to be Deathstroke (Slade for you Teen Titans fans), who has always been a favorite among the DC community. But the other seven remain a mystery.
So now, we here at Emtertainment Monthly have decided to attempt to uncover the seven remaining killers. Keep in mind, we’ve taken into consideration that this takes place early into Batman’s career, but not too early, and we’ve also considered how each character could fit into the universe of the Arkham Games. And now, let the games begin.
True, Floyd Lawton made his first appearance in the Arkham Games universe in a side mission in Arkham City. But by then, Batman already know who he was, and what better way to introduce them to each other than to put him in the prequel? An established assassin and the best shot in the DC Universe, Deadshot is not only an obvious choice but also a near perfect one to boot. As long as they give him his original costume, of course.
Sandra Wu-San may be one of the most confusing frenemies that Batman has encountered. She has assisted and fought both The Dark Knight himself and The Birds of Prey. She personally saw to Batman’s rehabilitation after Bane broke his back and was even the mother to Cassandra Cain, a previous Batgirl. In fact, she would be a perfect match for our hero if she wasn’t a ruthless killer. Their working relationship could create an insane amount of tension as the tow attempt to bring each other down in the streets of the city. Her credentials as one of the world’s top martial artists and a personal relation to Batman make her a prime assassin to join the hunt.
A creation of Kevin Smith, Onomatopoeia has jumped between fighting Batman and Green Arrow on several occasions. Most recently he was the central villain of the Batman: Cacophony and Batman: The Widening Gyre mini-series written by Smith himself. A lethal assassin who talks only in sound effects, Onomatopoeia could make a surprising and very dangerous threat to the Caped Crusader. The reason he was picked, though? We just want to see how the game designers could work in his interesting tick of speaking every sound effect in a setting where they aren’t already written out for him.
Surely one of Grant Morrison’s more flamboyant creations (and that’s saying something) Flamingo is a brainwashed assassin who stops at nothing to eliminate his targets. One of our stranger picks, his more unknown status is sure to raise a few eyebrows, but how often is Batman hunted by a psycho on a motorcycle dressed in all pink? He is certainly a shift from our last few entries, and could make a very interesting opponent when Batman actually has to face him (on the Batcycle, perhaps? We hope so).
Now here’s the really out-of-left-field option. Andrea Beaumont, or The Phantasm, is a character completely exclusive to the DC Animated Universe, and was once the one woman Batman would have given up his crime fighting ways for. But it turns out she hid a part of herself as well: a spirit of the night who seeks bloody vengeance on the men who killed her father. As the central figure in Batman: Mask of Phantasm, the best Batman movie before Christopher Nolan came along, we see no reason why the developers couldn’t also slip her into the Arkham Games world as one of the eight. Perhaps she can even act as a dual love interest character in flashback scenes? Only time will tell.
Scott Snyder has been doing wonders during his run on Batman, but perhaps his most important contribution to the DC Universe so far has been the introduction of The Court of Owls. So in honor of that, why not use their deadliest assassin (or Talon, as they call it) against Batman? William Cobb is neither alive nor dead, and only does what the Court bids him to do, making him a relentless opponent for Batman to face. Plus, if the writers of the game see fit, his inclusion could lead to a more “Court of the Owls” themed sequel.
Ra’s Al Ghul and The League of Assassins
Perhaps Batman’s most formidable opponent aside from The Joker himself, Ra’s Al Ghul has been plaguing the Dark Knight for years, and was a key plot in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. And although he already appeared in Arkham City, he was almost a secondary villain there, and not nearly worthy of the legendary villain. Though it has already been stated that Black Mask put out the bounty, his motives have yet to be released, and it is very possible that the man behind the curtain may be oh, I don’t know, the leader of the League of Assassins. He could also be responsible for the appearance of Phantasm, a character deeply rooted in Batman’s past. Ra’s is every bit Batman’s equal, and even if he specifically is not the eighth assassin, you can be good money that the League of Assassins is involved somehow.
So, there you have it: our picks for the seven remaining killers. Batman: Arkham Origins has no set release date yet, but be sure to keep checking for more information.