With the inevitable 3rd Arkham game in the works, Rocksteady will have two problems on their hands. The first is how to include the Joker in the next part, now that he’s dead in the Arkham Universe? The second is how to include the Justice League?
While the easiest way would be to do it and forget about fanboy ire, Rocksteady’s approach is better thought out. If the rumors are true, the next Batman Arkham game will be set in the 1950’s, during the Silver Age and will use the Adam West Batman as inspiration. While the Camp Crusader is not the most popular version at the moment, it would also bring new life to the character. More importantly, it allows Rocksteady to side step the future death of the Joker and use him again.
Also, if done right, it will provide a chance to use the Justice League characters. The Silver Age Batman was a lot friendlier, happier, and more willing to team up with his colleagues in the Justice League than his modern iteration.
While this looks great on paper, it only side-steps the elephant in the room. Batman could not save the Joker at the end of Arkham City and he died. How did that affect Batman? Did he throw himself into work and not address it? Is he slipping up and becoming more careless. Does he see the Joker everywhere he goes? What happened to Batman mentally? Although we do get glimpses of that internal conflict in dialog from Harley Quinn’s revenge, it is not enough. All he did was slip up a little and he got caught, which is not the same as expressing guilt. It would be nice to explore that in some way.
But the problem with the prequel approach is that it wastes a golden opportunity to introduce to the popular culture other villains. Batman has over a hundred villains in his Rogue’s Gallery, ranging from common thugs to criminal masterminds. And any one of them could easily step up to menace the Batman.
The Justice League thing feels like a cynical cheat more than anything else. Instead of doing the work and getting non-comic book readers to actually care about the team, DC is opting for having Batman do it and hoping that’s enough. Batman may be one of the most recognizable pop culture icons in the modern world, but even he can’t elevate everyone.
Does it feel wrong for DC and Time Warner to have their super heroes piggy back on the popularity of Batman? I kind of think it is. Also, why are they worrying so much about the Joker when a dozen other actors have done the voice? Please provide your opinion in the comments section below!