Because we Love our Villains…Part One of Several
Obviously we know the villains who will most likely appear in this newest Arkham game thanks to their plentiful cameos and hinted appearances from the game’s trailers. However, there are plenty more obscure villains and curiously silent ones that have also appeared before in the Arkham-verse who could be intriguing additions to the newest and assuredly (according to Rocksteady) last Arkham game as well. This having been said, I’m going to make it my goal to go through as many classic and classless Batman villains as possible and to argue why they should be included, could be included, or can’t possibly be left out of the game. I’ll also speculate about about a few more who probably should be passed over or are dead and whatnot- sorry Jokester, you’re gone buddy. Also, though stranger things have happened (punny, as you’ll see shortly) I think it’s safe to say that as the Arkham-verse goes, we’ve seen the last of Hugo Strange and some other killed off characters… Now, let’s do this!
The Holiday Killer aka Holiday (Alberto Falcone): Well, this one dates back to Batman’s first moments and his fight against the organized crime in Gotham City. Obviously, including somebody who isn’t a super-villain but rather a serial killer such as Hush and others could be neat in the earlier or later stages of the game- before the city is overrun with bandits and outlaws, or after it has fallen and the Bat swoops in to help clean up. Seeing how the Falcone family could tied in to the story would be neat, or how Bruce could remember his past and possibly encounter this psychopath again would be as well.
Two Face aka Harvey Dent: Two Face is no stranger to the Arkham-verse, and is in fact one of the more prominent villains in the series- having shown up in pretty much every Arkham game to date with either a major or minor part to play in the stories. No doubt Batman still feels bad about letting Harvey down years ago, but maybe he’ll finally have his chance to bring the scarred man back into the light or lay him to rest for good. As the duality of his appearance, mentality, and nature goes- there are equal amounts chaos and peace raging through Harvey’s veins, and the only thing to lay him at ease will tragically be an unavoidable death. I’m thinking Two Face meets his end here- either with or without the Bat’s most likely inadvertent help. After all, Dent’s destructive personality could easily lead him to mistakenly fall or blow himself up…
Penguin aka Oswald C. Cobblepot: Penguin is another great, classic villain, and as such an excellent shoe-in for the game as well. I mean, the developers have pretty much all but confirmed it anyway, and as his history in the series goes, it’s assured by all means. I can’t wait to see him in some flashbacks of Bruce’s as well as struggling with his short size and a large gun as he did with the stolen Freeze-tech in Arkham City. While he’s got to be taken seriously, and will hurt people- Cobblepot is also essentially the comedic relief in an otherwise quite grim world of crime and evil deeds and insanity.
Catwoman aka Selina Kyle: I imagine it would shake things up to have Batman initially come into conflict with his cooperative partner from Arkham City, only to later team up with her- mostly out of necessity, as he has been forced to do in the comics and across other mediums over the years. She’s not a villain so much as an anti-heroine, but she’s a dark horse or black cat all the same, and that’s some seriously bad voodoo. Don’t back kitty in the corner unless you want to get scratched. I’m thinking something along the lines of The Dark Knight Rises- Kyle getting tricked or coerced into giving up Wayne’s identity and then some big baddies trying to take him down, or maybe even successfully doing so…for a time. Following pieces of TDKR isn’t the worst thing to think of…it wasn’t bad at all.
Bane: If it’s an Arkham game, there can only be Bane. Seriously, the guy’s been present in like everything! I mean, it may not be Bane over brawn, er- however that goes, but still. While he has also fluctuated on the side of helping and hindering Batman across the years- from breaking the Bat to taking a nap, I think it’s good to keep some things going. As he was the first villain we took down with relative ease and with mucho gusto in Arkham Asylum way back when, it would be only fitting to take him down near the end of the line in Arkham Knight- maybe on the way through the city for one final confrontation with the major players of the game, or to stop some dangerous device. However he factors in, Bane could be fleshed out more or just a meathead and honestly, it wouldn’t really matter. He’s Bane.
Riddler aka Edward Nigma: Enigma is an appropriate word for the Riddler and master of puns, puzzles, and deadly dilemmas. Truly, it fits his personality perfectly. However slim his roles in the Arkham games have been- limited mainly to leaving riddles and clues to in-game secrets around for everyone’s favorite bat, fleshing him out even more than he was in Arkham City- as Rocksteady has pretty much promised, would be greatly appreciated and of good taste. There’s so much story to be found, and so many more satisfying puzzles and traps to solve as well, so it’s a win-win situation for everybody. Well, at least until Batman gets his gauntlets on that hat…
Hush aka Thomas Elliot: Come on. You’re going to tease us with Hush’s sidequest in Arkham City and then not really do anything about that? Well, since this chronologically takes place after that game and he’s been relatively under the radar for a long time after having narrowly evaded justice, I think it’s about time to bring Hush back in style. As in the comics, I think there are many serious ways the man could contribute to the plot. First of all, if he were to be an anti-hero like villain such as say, Arkham Knight in his efforts to thoroughly trounce Batman and also steal his thunder, that would be pretty epic. Or of course he could in fact be the mastermind behind everything the entire time, and playing his villainous friends against one another and the Bat, only to swoop in at the last minute to try and claim the kill for himself- more like the comics where he and Riddler team up for quite some time and pinpoint Bruce’s identity and whatever else. Or maybe even he himself gets deceived by some other, greater foe- the Arkham Knight possibly, as a completely standalone character after all? Who knows. What I do know is that not including Hush at all after adding his awesome little sidequest in Arkham City would be inhumane and such a tease. Also, bring back all the plot points from those sidequests- like Scarecrow’s plans and Falcone and whatnot. Do it.
Killer Croc aka Waylon Jones: Croc’s backstory is actually pretty sad, but that doesn’t make his crimes any more acceptable or even forgivable. Arkham Asylum had an excellent segment concerning being stuck in a sewer with the crocodile, and having such a large city to explore in Arkham Knights means surely we can include some underground water treatment plant or facility with the deformed hulk in it. Another excellent boss battle or stealthy encounter would be more than enough to make up for the few cameos he made in other games, and could give his character the freshening up he needs as well.
Poison Ivy aka Pamela Isley:Poison Ivy’s character is actually quite like that of Catwoman’s in many ways- she sometimes helps the Bat, sometimes hurts him, and is thoroughly crazy about him, though not always as you’d imagine. She was featured as a prominent villain in the first game, though she was really mainly a scapegoat of the Joker. She made some cameo appearances across Arkham City but that was really it for that game. And she didn’t really do much as far as the other titles have gone. Maybe Akrham Knight will be her time to come back, in whatever capacity. Personally, I’d like to see her grudgingly help Batman, only to later betray him for some reason or another. That’d really make the story that much more compelling and complex, and I’d love it profusely.
Scarecrow aka Doctor Jonathon Crane:Dr. Crane featured prominently in the first half of Arkham Asylum, but for the majority of the other games has been nothing except a little flicker at the corner of the eye and a ghostly shape skirting the shadows. According to Rocksteady, he’s going to have some large role in organizing the villains of Gotham City in going after the Bat0 for some reason or another, not that they really need one, but aside from that it is unclear what exactly his intentions are. As in the Batman Begins film and the series of films themselves, I don’t really see Scarecrow as a main villain here, but as most likely yet another pawn of some larger character- perhaps the Arkham Knight, or mayhaps even a healed Ra’s al Ghul. Lazarus pits, anybody? They could be featured prominently what with some of the characters on this list… After all, Ghul thinks his league of assassins is helping the world in ways by removing chaos, so maybe even he is the Arkham Knight or something, who knows?
Black Mask aka Roman Sionis (As Far as Arkham-verse Goes): Black Mask’s story is a tragic one as well, and as Penguin shares Bruce Wayne’s wealthy characteristics, so too does Sionis share the man’s parental loss. Though he was somewhat included, and often more alluded to than anything, in Arkham Origins, it would be interesting to see either Sionis return in some capacity, or Doctor Jeremiah Arkham- whose insanity was continually hinted at across Arkham Asylum, who in the comics takes up the mantle of Black Mask after Sionis’ untimely death. So…many here Sionis meets some grisly end at Arkham’s hands, and the good old Doctor wages war along with the rest of the criminal majority, picking up Sionis’ assets along the way? Hmm…could work.
The Great White Shark aka Warren White:This next bad guy would be more of an interesting cameo character than anything else, mainly because I feel like Rocksteady’s gritty character creation would really make his particular character fleshed out great, but he could play a role as a minor baddie I suppose too. Warren White plead insanity thinking he was getting out of a long stint in jail, but ended up doing time in Arkham Asylum instead. That poor choice lead to him being tortured and locked in a freezer, subsequently turning his skin a pale white color, causing him to lose his hair, nose, lips, and a few fingers- giving him the appearance of a great white, true to the name. How epic would that look?