Hey guys, I hope you’re presently enjoying your weekend. For the past few days, I have been locked into a certain routine that is beginning to slowly drive me insane. I wake up, apply for jobs and then spend the rest of my day reading or playing video games. It is the last part of that pattern that inspired what I am writing about today. Recently Batman: Arkham Knight came out. After waiting for years to play the piece, I finally got my hands on it and devoured the story.
Now before I get into the key issue I have with the game, I just want to put this in……
Turn back now to avoid spoilers…….
Though I loved the game (it has genuine surprises, an interesting narrative and one of the most interesting new game-play mechanics I’ve seen in some time), I was deeply disappointed with the identity of the titular Arkham Knight, the supposedly new character Rocksteady created in collaboration with DC Comics. Instead of crafting a character that could have been just as worthy of being added to the Batman mythos as Harley Quinn, the Arkham Knight is actually someone we’ve already seen before. Specifically, he’s actually none other than Jason Todd.
Who is that? Well, for those who aren’t as familiar with the Batman character as I am, I’ll gladly provide a bit of a background. Jason Todd was the 3rd Robin (After Dick Grayson and Tim Drake) to fight alongside Batman. First introduced in the 1980’s, the character rose to fame after being chosen to die by readers (through a phone dial in contest) in a story arc called Death in the Family. In the piece, the Joker lures Jason overseas, beats him to a pulp with a crowbar and leaves him for dead in a warehouse that later explodes with Jason still inside. Batman later finds his dead body, has to deal with Joker being made an Iranian Ambassador and prevent an attack at the United Nations. It’s really a great story that is poorly translated to the Arkham game series.
In this world, Jason is kidnapped by the Joker and held in an abandoned part of Arkham Asylum and tortured for a year. Yeah, you read that right. Through flashbacks we witness some of this brutality, but far too many questions don’t get answered as this backstory is shown to the player.
How did Jason escape from the Joker’s clutches?
Why didn’t Batman look in Arkham in the first place? Isn’t that kind of obvious?
Where did Jason (Who is introduced as a street kid stealing the Batmobiles tires in the comics) get the money to become the Arkham Knight? He isn’t rich.
Ultimately, the identity of this character is a total cop out by a tremendously talented studio. If I was working there, I would have lobbied for something far different. Maybe make the character a business rival of Bruce Wayne who deduces that he is Batman. That would make for something far more interesting than re-hashing an older and far better depicted concept from the comics.
But hey, what do I know? I’m just a fan.