Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.
I didn’t think a sequel to Arkham Asylum would ever be able to outdo its predecessor. But in an age where video games are all about topping the previous installment in terms of scope and depth, Arkham City did just that. Arkham City was huge compared to Arkham Asylum with familiar locales such as Crime Alley and the Ice Berg Lounge to geek out the countless Batman faithful out there. And if you thought that Asylum sported a good amount of the Batman Rogues Gallery, it was nothing compared to Arkham City. From Two Face to Mad Hatter, Arkham city showcased over a dozen of Batman’s greatest villains in roles small and large. So the next question is; where does the story go from here given what happened at the end of Arkham City? As those of you who have beaten the game know, there was a death at the end which is a pretty large void to fill. What villains should be featured in the next installment? I can think of a few that didn’t show up and a couple from Arkham Asylum that were noticeably absent from Arkham City.
Below we will discuss which villains need to make the cut next and what the possible story could be for the next Arkham sequel. So please don’t read any further if you haven’t beaten Arkham City because I’ll dropping spoiler almost immediately.
So we all know that the Joker is dead. D-E-A-D. And I doubt he’ll be coming back since Mark Hamil has stated that he won’t be back to voice the Clown Prince of Crime in any future Batman material. I’m fine with Joker being dead by the way, and it’s for the best because I wouldn’t want to see anyone voicing the Joker again. Hamil owned that role and for as big of a Star Wars fan that I am, I think that Hamil’s career is defined by the excellent work he has done voicing the Joker these past twenty years. Luke Skywalker comes in a close second. I can’t see anyone else voicing the Joker as well as Mark Hamil and would like to tip my hat to him.
Now, if you did some exploring to past locales after beating the game and you happened to go back to the Joker’s hideout at Sionis Industries you’ll find an interesting tid-bit on the floor next to Harley’s Arkham Asylum outfit. Yes, it’s a pregnancy test that is POSITIVE!
Also at the end of the credits you’ll hear Harley singing Hush little baby to someone in her own twisted way. That means we may have a baby Joker on the way? Oh, boy…. If done right this could be very interesting indeed. This would also mean that the next game would have to take place years down the road. And if we’re introducing the son of the Joker as Batman’s next big nemesis then I’d be all for them bringing Damien Wayne into play as well. Son of Batman v.s. Son of Joker? Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me! Talia did die after all, before Bruce could have any knowledge of little Damien if they decided to have him be a part of this Bat-continuity.
Also, if the games just want to continue going bigger and bigger in terms of environment then I suggest Rocksteady break free of the Arkham aspect and simply call the game Gotham City or Gotham Knights. This way the entire city can be opened up to play in and we can see plenty of other Gotham locations such as Wayne Tower. Actually, Wayne Tower would be the perfect place for the game’s climax if there is a final fight between Bruce and Joker Jr. or Damien and Joker Jr. I’d like to see Wayne Manor (Bat Cave included), Blackgate Prison, the Wayne Botanical Garden and even a revisiting of good old Arkham Asylum.
Now to the villains and my favorite part. There were not a whole lot left out of Arkham City that’s for sure, but there are a couple that I think would make good additions to the third installment. One of the most deranged villains and a personal favorite of mine is Professor Pyg. Pyg has his own strange meaning to the word “perfection” which he forces upon his victims by bonding doll faces onto their own face in gruesome fashion. Then by some form of surgery or simple lobotomizing, Pyg turns his victims into his own personal soldier, known as a Dollotron. I think it would be far the creepiest aspect of the games yet when Batman is being swarmed by groups of hideously transformed Dollotrons who want nothing more than to present the Dark Knight to their master for “surgery”.
Garfield Lynns would also be a welcome addition to the game and provide Batman with an interesting boss fight. It’s one thing fighting Mr. Freeze on the ground with his freeze ray assailing you at every turn, but imagine a foe flying above and trying to incinerate you! Lynns would of course not have much story depth to him, but after being featured on the front page of a Gotham newspaper in Arkham Aslyum I think it’s time for the resident pyromaniac to be set loose upon our gaming systems.
In terms of crime boss villains such as Two Face and Penguin, I think that the Great White Shark Warren White would be a great addition. The once meek Warren White underwent a terrible transformation during his time in Arkham Asylum that turned him into the hideous, hardened crime boss that he is in the comics. White was once on top in the Gotham underworld in the comic book continuity and he would work great in the next game.
I envision all of the established crime syndicates to show up in the next game actually including the Maroni and Falcone crime families and the return of Two Face, Penguin and Black Mask. Roman Sionis, the Black Mask, in particular had a very brief role in Arkham City which disappointed me greatly. If you’ll remember he was at the very beginning getting the living shit beat out of him by TYGER guards. Unacceptable! Black Mask is one of the most ruthless crime bosses in Gotham and he needs a little more to do than get beat down in the next installment!
Aside from Black Mask, Penguin and Two Face being brought back I have a few other choices of villains that need to make a repeat, two of which were noticeably absent from Arkham City; The first being that of Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow. After being taken down by Killer Croc in the first game, Crane was not heard from in Arkham City except in a couple of instances. First, there is his mask and some hay laying atop a bridge just outside of Sionis industries.
Then close by on the little barge/boat in the water there is a secret door you can use your cryptographic sequencer to open which reveals a little laboratory of sorts. There’s even a tortured “patient”, containers of cockroaches and a shipping manifest made out to Dr. Crane from Falcone Shipping. The place is just straight up creepy. I suppose this means that our friend the Scarecrow is alive and well and Batman will have to stop him again sooner or later. I say later in the next video game.
Killer Croc was another who was missing from the game. You can have a little confrontation with him in the sewer after facing off with Ra’s Al’ Ghul but nothing beyond that. In the third game I want to see Killer Croc as a boss or someone’s enforcer. I enjoyed running from him in the sewers of Arkham Asylum but a head on fight would be most excellent.
Bane would be another foe worth running into again, this time as a head on enemy again and not a pseudo ally. This will more than likely happen depending mostly on the success of his character in the Dark Knight Rises which is already bound to be a box office smash hit. It would be nice if they use him a little better than just the Solomon Grundy type brute in the next game, maybe as a more calculating foe as he was in the Knightfall arc of the Batman comics.
It wouldn’t hurt to see Ivy return either, just because I’ve always had a thing for women with green skin who dress in skimpy prison clothes. I liked her small role in Arkham City but I think they could use her a little more somehow in the third game. Another huge favortite of mine would also be Clayface, who was my favorite rogue to show up in Arkham City. You know they’ll be doing something with him after he fell into the Lazarus Pit; perhaps he’ll return with some new mutation that will make him more dangerous than before.
On the bat family side of things I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Batman’s allies as playable characters in the third game. It was excellent being able to switch between Batman and Catwoman in Arkham City, and it was awesome to kick ass in the challenge modes with Robin and Nightwing. Hopefully in the third game it will allow you to switch between all of the characters to perform different missions throughout Gotham City. And I may go completely ballistic if the map is bigger than ever before and you are not allowed to use the batmobile. Vehicles seems like the next logical step in the franchise. It would be like Grand Theft Auto: Gotham City.
Well, that’s about all I have for now. Have I forgotten anything that needs to be in the next Arkham game? Locations, characters or otherwise? It’s probably a long way off from now but who knows, Rocksteady might be moving their asses off on this red hot franchise to follow up the release of the Dark Knight Rises.
Back when Batman: Arkham Asylum came out, I remember the series of trailers that teased all the villains featured n that game, and the excitement it caused. The game was no disappointment and on the eve of the sequel, Batman: Arkham City, we are being hit with another barrage of villain trailers.
First we got to see Joker and Harley along with quick glimpses of Two-Face. That’s 2 major villains there (I’m lumping Harley in with Joker). Next we saw a brief trailer at the VGA’s that featured a very sinister Hugo Strange. That’s 3.
A lot has happened since my Gratuitous Batman Update from a while back, so I thought I’d try to get you caught up a little on the source material – the comic books.
– Batman: The Dark Knight #1-2
This new book looks at Bruce Wayne while Dick, Tim, and Damian are off on their own. These first 2 issues have Bruce looking for a kidnapped girl, and his search leads him to Killer Croc. Croc is strung out on a low-street grade of ‘venom’, the drug that Bane uses to bulk up. Bats learns that Croc is working as muscle for The Penguin, but not until after Batman tortures Cobblepot, breaking several of his limbs. The 2nd issue ends with Batman captured by Croc and ready to be tortured.
I like the art, I love the story, both issues were enjoyable and I look forward to the 3rd.
– Batman #710
Issues 708 and 709 (Which were reviewed Here) closed up the ‘Judgement on Gotham’ arc, so we now look to #710, we do so at the start of a new story; Two-Face Returns!
Harvey Dent is back in town and missing his lucky coin, so he’s killing his way through Gotham looking for it. Well, Dent seems now forever tied to the Falcone Crime Family, and when Mario Falcone hears about his return he sets a trap. Mario is accompanied by a mysterious woman, and it’s not till the last page we find out who she is – Gilda Dent. The book ends with Gilda putting several bullets into Harvey’s chest…
– Detective Comics #875-876
Most of 875 focuses on flashbacks of Jim Gordon’s, and what lead him to believe his own son is a killer. Batman doesn’t actually show up till the end of the book, but we’re lead to believe that Jim Jr. killed one of Barbara’s friends as a child and the Commissioner is convinced his son hasn’t changed. This seems to be building to something bigger to come. In 876 we get back to Bats and his investigation into the appearance of a giant killer whale in the lobby of a bank. This leads Dick to a custom car lot in which is about to be crushed to death when the story stops.
A relatively short issue, though we are given a preview to Arkham City #1 in the back…
– Batman: Arkham City #1 – CLICK HERE
– Batman & Robin #22-23
In issue 22 we wrap up the ‘White Knight’ arc and are given another respectable addition to the Rouges Gallery. This one isn’t as strong as the last chapter, but we do see him head to Arkham in an attempt to wipe out the scum that reside there once and for all. In the end we learn that the White Knight’s father was a guard at Arkham before being killed in a riot by Dr. Phosphorous. Before the Knight (aka Lewis Bayard) can return the favor his is put down by out new Dynamic Duo. It’s nice to see Dick and Damian starting to build their own Rouge’s Gallery to add to Bruce’s. In addition to the White Knight, you could also credit them with Prof. Pyg, The Flamingo, and The Dealer. Not too shabby a crew.
Issue 23 brings us not only a new arc, but a new creative team as well. Tomasi, Gleason, and Gray are replaced by Winick, March, and Bresson. And the new team kicked things off with a bang, going back to where the book began, dealing with Jason Todd. Todd is demanding to be transferred out of Arkham and into a regular prison as he is crazy, only psychotic. Once transferred he starts killing other inmates at a prodigious rate and is ultimately sent back to Arkham, only this time the transport doesn’t make it. A new team of apparent ThunderCat rejects attack the convoy and free Jason. Their motives are not made clear, but the appear to be headed on the road to being jobbers more so than respectable villains.
– Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 of 5
This is the start of a 5 Issue Mini-Series examining the some of the most prominent families in Gotham. The book starts out in the 1881 as we see the start of planing for the great City to be. Present at the meeting are men belonging to the families of Wayne, Cobblepot, and Elliot.
Present day we see Bruce and Tim tracking down a shipment of explosives that have entered Gotham, and we see the 3 oldest bridges in Gotham blown up. It’s only then that they begin to see the look into the connection between the Penguin, Hush, and the Waynes. The end of the issue teases the reveal of the fourth ‘Family of Gotham’, but we’ll have to wait to find out who that is…
For some more cover art on upcoming issues, you can CLICK HERE….
Well thank God there’s something here to hold us over until October when Batman: Arkham City is finally released. Part of a five issue run, Arkham City is written by the legendary Paul Dini, and so far is a nice filler for the story between Arkham Asylum and the new game. I wasn’t too crazy about the art, but it was still above average to me.