The last of the Arkham games from developer Rocksteady is coming next year – and from what I’ve played of it, it’s going to be something quite special for fans. It may even take the bitter taste of Arkham Oranges (Seville, no doubt) out of people’s mouths. The prevailing question though is just who the Arkham Knight is.
A creation of Rocksteady’s, in the game he’s like a more militaristic, darker and mocking version of Batman himself. He seems to have an intimate knowledge of Batman; who he is, how he works and importantly, how he thinks.
But who’s the man behind this mask? Right now, nobody outside of Rocksteady knows. The prevailing theory is that it’s Jason Todd; The Red Hood – a sort of anti-hero version of Batman who’s just that little more willing to kill. The Red Hood has already been confirmed as a playable character as DLC in Arkham Knight… so if it is Jason Todd under the mask, that would be both terribly dull and awfully disappointing.
While I have no real insight as to who might be under the Arkham Knight’s metallic cowl (though I definitely think it’s one of the missing Robins), the lead character artist certainly does. And here’s said artist, Albert Feliu offering his particular insight into this latest villain, from the pages of the excellent Games TM.
“The mask is a vital component of many super villains, and we needed the Arkham Knight’s helmet to achieve a range of different things. Firstly, it needs to cover his face in order to conceal any sense of the man underneath. Next, it provides him with a detailed heads-up display that keeps track of his forces moving throughout Gotham City. This information is projected across the inside of his visor, creating the illusion of those inhuman eyes and giving him a face that is equal parts ghostly and robotic.”
2. Chest plate
“The design of the Arkham Knight’s armour is intended to be a psychological weapon against Batman as well as a defence against the tactics and strategies that Batman uses. The Arkham Knight knows the deep influence that the events of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City had on Batman, and by making the logo of the institution into his own, he aims to put Gotham’s saviour at a disadvantage. The angular design of the armour plating was influenced by the A-shape of Batman: Arkham Asylum’s logo, but it’s also designed to deflect one of Batman’s weapons of choice: the bat claw.”
“Visually one of the most important things we want to communicate through the design of the Arkham Knight is the high-tech, military threat that he poses to Gotham City. The materials on his gauntlets, boots and armour are influenced by the design of fighter aircraft: highly resistant, unreflective and totally intimidating. The Arkham Knight’s knowledge of the Caped Crusader influences his fighting style, and so his gauntlets fulfil a similar role to Batman’s: they’re armoured so he can use them to repel opponents with blades while remaining light enough to enable rapid strikes. We’ve always had the same approach to armour design in the Arkhamverse: it needs to match the anatomy and ergonomics of the character, and reflect each character’s unique visual themes.”
“In creating the image of this military leader invading an urban space, we designed the Arkham Knight’s red camouflage pattern to make him identifiable to his troops, but also to take advantage of how Gotham City looks at night: the dark greys interspersed with dashes of red enable him to remain concealed between the gloomy shadows and garish neons of Gotham’s alleyways and rooftops. The dark material that armours his biceps and triceps is partially reflective, working as part of the camouflage as it mirrors the environment around him.”
5. The Utility Belt
“The Arkham Knight is a military commander, and that’s reflected most in the design of his helmet, but he’s also a highly capable and resourceful warrior just like Batman. His utility belt is designed for more personal confrontations, and it reflects his aggressive personality: he wears it low-slung in contrast with Batman’s more regimented approach to field equipment. He thinks he’s better, badder and definitely cooler than the Batman himself.”
6. The Ears
“The ears serve two purposes: first, they act as transmitters relaying the Arkham Knight’s commands to his troops and drones in the field. Secondly, they are his greatest psychological attack on Batman: while they’re much shorter and more streamlined than the Dark Knight’s, (to make them more practical for combat), this design is an intentional mockery of Batman and everything that he stands for.”
Who do you think is hiding behind the mask?
Last Updated: September 4, 2014