It's been a few days since DC and Batman: Arkham Knight revealed the first images of the game's titular heavy in what they're billing as the finale to the Arkham series. And we have some thoughts on who might be under the techno cowl.
Sure, both sides are saying the Arkham Knight is a new villain, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one of Batman's longtime rogues hasn't decided to suit up in a new costumed identity. So here are eight characters who we think could be suiting up as the Arkham Knight - and the reasons why they might have the Dark Knight in their crosshairs.
8. Two-Face Suffers Another Personality Split
Harvey Dent might be the only villain whose alignment could be described as both lawful evil and chaotic evil. Well, maybe Typhoid Mary. And Man-E-Faces.
Anyway, what if he sprouted yet another personality that wanted to kill Batman - using the Caped Crusader's own weapons against him? There's precedent for this, as recently as 2006 during DC Comics' One Year Later event in the wake of the weekly 52 comic series.
With Batman on walkabout for a year, a cured Harvey Dent was placed in charge of protecting Gotham. That is, until being accused of a series of murders pushed Harvey back over the edge and into his Two-Face persona again.
Two-Face was a second-string villain in Arkham City and is featured in the trailer for Arkham Knight - what if the Knight is a new persona (and therefore a new character) for old Harv?
Or maybe it's just a wannabe Batman...
7. The Reaper Believes Batman Isn't Tough Enough on Crime
The promo images released so far only show the Arkham Knight going after the Batman. What if Batman isn't his target, but the whole Gotham underworld?
Making his debut in Detective Comics #575 ("Batman: Year Two"), the original Reaper was the socialite-turned-vigilante Judson Caspian, who used his scythe to slice and dice Gotham's criminals. Like Batman, Caspian lost a loved one to a robbery gone wrong, but unlike Batman, the Reaper has decided that if his wife had to die, so do Gotham's crooks.
The story surrounding the first Reaper (there have been a couple since Caspian's death) wasn't the greatest: it involved, among other things, Batman teaming up with Joe Chill, the man who shot his parents, to track down the vigilante. But it might provide a point of inspiration for the Knight.
Arkham Knight is set during yet another crime spree by Gotham's costumed crazies - what if someone out there has had enough and decided to take them all on (along with the Dark Knight)?
6. Wrath, or the Anti-Batman Batman
Given the amount of crime in Gotham, chances are if you lived there, someone you loved would be the victim of a violent crime. But what about violent criminals who were victims of... justice?
That's the story of the first Wrath, an unnamed criminal whose parents were small-time burglars shot by a rookie GCPD cop. Like Batman, the young Wrath vowed revenge, promising a war on the law (the Mike W. Barr era of Batman had a few of these mirror-image Batmen).
While initially an assassin, things get personal for Wrath when he comes home to Gotham to kill his parents' killer: Ol' Jimmy Gordon.
The New 52 version of the character is one E.D. Caldwell, a technology magnate who uses his fortune to yadda yadda because dead criminal parents. This time without all of the purple that marked the original Wrath, in a tech-heavy suit that doesn't look too far off from the Arkham Knight's design.
But Wrath's origin story, no matter how gritty you make it, is still kind of dumb, and it's hard to see him making his way into the game.
Also somewhat unlikely (and hated with the hate of a million suns)...
5. Prometheus Is Terrible, Could Still Show Up
This goon's whole deal is that he's built a database with the fighting techniques and ways to defeat the members of the Justice League, apparently predicated on the fact that we need two Wraths.
Like Wrath, the first Prometheus' hippie ripper parents were killed by the police, and he dedicated his life to becoming blah, blah, blah.
His whole deal is that he once got one over on the whole Justice League until Catwoman showed up to (*sigh*) hit him in the groin, thus laying waste to his carefully orchestrated superhero murder.
Let's move one.