“You are young, but destined for great things,” writes Thomas Wayne in his last will and testament to his son, Bruce, in the trailer for Warner Bros. Interactive and Rocksteady Games’ upcoming “Batman: Arkham Knight.” “Make the most of your opportunities. Use them to give back to a city that has given us so much, to change the lives of millions of people. Do not be frivolous… with this.”
It is a spectacularly dramatic sequence. Spoiler alert: Bruce is Batman, the Caped Crusader of Gotham City. The fact that Bruce has used his father’s fortune to build up a different type of empire — one that fights crime with high-tech gadgetry and expensive battlesuits — seems to hold a significant importance in Rocksteady’s finale for the “Arkham” series, which is on its way to Xbox One.
So, has Bruce made good choices? Was it all a gamble?
There are a few things we know: Its new villain is the titular Arkham Knight. Batman will get to drive the Batmobile for the first time in the series. Gotham City will be at his disposal. Mainstay villains like Penguin, Two-Face, and Harley Quinn are reportedly reuniting to face down Batman one last time (spoiler: they’ll probably lose). But as the series has handily proven, Rocksteady’s “Batman” games are opportunities to bring in all sorts of characters from the titular character’s lore. So, we humbly submit a list of villains that we think would help make “Arkham Knight” a memorable final act.
This is a character that can be done well. Don’t be fooled by the fact that his real name is William Tockman, or that he’s sported glasses with clock faces on them, a necktie with clocks on it, and a sword shaped like a clock’s arm. Yes, Clock King likes clocks; dig a little deeper, and you’ll see a criminal mind at play. He’s someone who understands meticulous planning, and can use that to his advantage in the eternal game of chess that rages between hero and villain. Even Batman needed a reboot, so Clock King can get his here. In fact, he recently was shown to be a badass, hardcore opponent in a recent episode of the CW’s “Arrow,” hacking into a train system to create a bus collision — just as a diversion to his greater plan. If Batman has all of Gotham City available to him, so does Clock King. Imagine what he can do with it.
This one’s a gimme, and shouldn’t be too much work, since he’s already made appearances in both “Batman: Arkham City” and “Batman: Arkham Origins.” Mad Hatter’s side mission in “Arkham City,” where you’re bound and facing the man down as a spooky silhouette at a tea party, is far more horrifying than… well, most other things in Batman’s universe. The sequence that follows it, where Batman wears a floppy bunny mask and is besieged by muscular bunny-men on a falling clock, is pretty dang bizarre, memorable, and haunting. A full-on boss fight dedicated to the Mad Hatter would have the power to be all the more disturbing. This next game will be the series’ last — the time is now!
Hush shouldn’t stay silent. He made a great appearance in one of “Arkham City’s” side-missions, engaging Batman in a cat-and-mouse game, and ultimately revealing himself to have surgically altered his face, hair, and fingerprints to match Bruce Wayne’s — an elaborate ruse to frame the childhood friend he has adamantly despised. Hush leaves Batman in the dust, promising that the next time they meet, he will “not be in such a generous mood.” “Arkham Knight” stands as a chance for these frenemies to duke it out once and for all.
The best villains and characters in drama often hold up twisted mirrors to the protagonist. Case in point: Hush is who Bruce Wayne might have become, had he hated his parents. Black Spider, like Batman, is a vigilante — but an uncaring one. He targets the drug trade and doesn’t care who or what winds up as collateral damage; he lets innocents die, plays fast and loose with his ethics (he’ll team up with a villain if it suits his purposes), and also has a pretty cool costume to boot. All these are great reasons to include him in “Arkham Knight.” Heck, he pops up in “Arkham Origins” as one of the Joker’s rejected potential Bat-assassins. Someone deemed too shifty for the Joker? This, we gotta see.
The Suicide Squad
Yeah, Black Spider is part of the Suicide Squad, but his story in particular is so interesting that it demands consideration of its own. But hey, so does the highly expendable motley crew of costumed creeps he belongs to. Harley Quinn is a member, so it isn’t that farfetched to expect the rest of her colleagues to make an appearance, especially considering team mastermind Amanda Waller’s recruitment drive in “Arkham Origins.” We’d give anything for a finale that features the likes of Deadshot, Rick Flag, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, Deathstroke, and Bronze Tiger converging to take down Batman. Yeah, like anyone could ever do that.