With Batman’s reported death at the beginning of Gotham Knights, the game might finally prove that Batman games don’t need Bruce Wayne, and that members of the Bat Family are more than capable of leading their own titles. While some fans may be disappointed by Gotham Knights’ October 2022 release date and how far away it seems, Gotham Knights finally promises to put members of the Bat Family front and center. After Bruce Wayne’s apparent death, Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood all have to step up to the plate in order to defend Gotham City in their mentor’s absence, and things are complicated by the recent appearance of the Court of Owls. While some gamers may be disappointed by Batman’s absence from the new title, it is long past time that a video game moves past Bruce Wayne and gives the stellar members of the Bat Family a chance to shine.
The last few years have been a good time for fans of Gotham Knights’ four playable heroes. While the new film, The Batman, doesn’t feature any of the four characters (though there’s always a possibility they could be introduced in a future sequel), the Bat Family has had a much bigger presence on the small screen. The Titans live-action show has featured all four of Gotham Knights’ playable Bat Family members as prominent characters, and there’s even a new Gotham Knights show in the works, set in the CW’s Arrowverse. In addition, a new Batgirl feature film is in production, and is set for an HBO Max release. With all the recent interest in members of the Bat Family, it is about time that Batman and DC video games catch up and begin giving characters like Nightwing and Batgirl their due.
While Gotham Knights is a co-op adventure that tries to capitalize on four major members of the Bat Family, it could lead the way to individual members of the Bat Family finally getting individual games focused on their characters. While Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd are all proteges of Bruce Wayne/Batman, each one brings a unique identity and story potential to the table. While getting to see them team-up and help defend Gotham City together is awesome, it would be a shame if their characters never had a chance to be explored individually in their own games. While Gotham Knights can introduce players to these new versions of the characters, their universe in which Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman can be the perfect opportunity to build upon each of his proteges in their own individually lead games.
Dick Grayson Can Become Gotham Knights’ Next Batman
Already, Gotham Knights takes inspiration from Batman: Reborn, but WB Games Montréal can take their new universe a step further by having Dick Grayson take up the mantle of Batman in Bruce Wayne’s absence. Batman: Reborn is an era of Batman comic books that took place during Bruce Wayne’s absence from DC Comics. During this time, Dick Grayson assumed the mantle of Batman, while Bruce Wayne’s son, Damien Wayne, took on the mantle of Robin, serving as his sidekick. Having a new game with Dick Grayson as Batman can show his growth from Nightwing in Gotham Knights to taking on the full responsibilities of his mentor as Batman. It could also serve as a fantastic introduction to Damien Wayne in the Gotham Knights universe and having Dick Grayson serve as a mentor to Bruce’s son the way Bruce mentored him would be a perfect arc for his character.
A Dick Grayson Batman game could also serve as an introduction to Gotham Knights’ version of the Teen Titans. While a Dick Grayson Batman will have likely already moved on from the Teen Titans team, members of the Titans could be introduced as supporting characters that could end up having their own games down the line. A Dick Grayson Batman game can also pull inspiration from some of the Batman: Reborn era’s big villain arcs, such as Batman: Hush Money. In Batman: Hush Money, Hush surgically alters himself to look like Bruce Wayne, and runs around masquerading as the billionaire. This could be a great way to keep Bruce Wayne’s influence in a world without him, and emotionally challenge Dick Grayson as he tries to learn the truth.
Gotham Knights’ Barbara Gordon Can Become The World’s Greatest Detective
While Dick Grayson is Batman’s first protege, many would argue that Gotham Knight’s Batgirl is Batman’s ideal replacement. Not only does she already carry a mantle with a bat motif and shares many of Batman’s gadgets, but she is one of the few heroes in DC that match Bruce Wayne’s intellect. In addition to being an expert martial artist and athlete, Barbara Gordon also sports a genius level intellect and photographic memory. In DC Comics, Batman is often referred to as the world’s greatest detective. Barbara Gordon’s inheritance of this unofficial title in Gotham Knights’ universe after Batman reported demise at the beginning of Gotham Knights can fulfill the legacy of both her mentor and her father, Jim Gordon.
Batman: Arkham Knight’s Batgirl DLC already showed the impressive potential of what a Batgirl game could look like, but Gotham Knights can introduce players to a new version of the character that could potentially spin-off into her own game. There is a wealth of excellent Batgirl storylines from DC Comics that a Batgirl game can pull from, though arguably one of the most interesting is 2013’s Batgirl: Wanted! In the story, Barbara is being hunted by the police and her own father, Jim Gordon, after he begins to suspect her in the murder of his son. The story also pits her up against Knightfall, who would be an interesting villain for her to contend with in a solo game.
Red Hood & Robin Could Also Have Solo Games Set In Gotham Knights’ World
Jason Todd/Red Hood & Tim Drake/Robin could also have interesting solo games set in Gotham Knights’ universe. Gotham Knights’ Red Hood’s resurrection is a mystery, even to himself. Assuming Gotham Knights doesn’t answer this question, the mystery could be an interesting catalyst for a Red Hood solo game. In Batman comics, the League of Shadows utilizes their Lazarus Pit for healing an resurrections. Having this be the source of Red Hood’s resurrection and giving the League of Shadows an ulterior motive for bringing him back could be a perfect catalyst to pit Jason Todd against the League of Shadows. In addition, since Jason Todd is the only member of the Bat Family to utilize guns in his arsenal, a Red Hood game can play more like a shooter than a brawler.
Gotham Knights’ Robin, Tim Drake, can also star in his own game. A Tim Drake game could see him donning the Red Robin identity, allowing him to separate himself from his former mentor, Batman, and take on an identity not associated with Bruce Wayne’s young sidekicks. Like Batman’s other proteges, Tim Drake has a rich comic book history that a solo game can pull from. Hopefully, Gotham Knights is only the beginning for these four heroes, and the Bat Family’s stories can continue to expand and branch out without the long shadow cast by their mentor.
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About The Author
Michael Montgomery (61 Articles Published)
Michael Montgomery is a writer and Twitch streamer based out of Southern California. He has written two superhero themed novels and can regularly be found streaming Co-op games with his wife on Twitch. When not geeking out over the latest Marvel and DC video games he enjoys writing fantasy and superhero books. He is also an avid collector of anything X-Men related.