Rocksteady have released a series of new screenshots for Batman: Arkham Knight which feature a couple of images showcasing the new titular enemy, Arkham Knight. But is the man behind the mask our old friend and former Batman sidekick, Jason Todd?
The theory that Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight isn’t exactly a new one, with many fans building upon this idea shortly after Batman: Arkham Knight was revealed, but with little known about Rocksteady’s new villainous creation, let’s take a look and see how likely it is that Batman’s former sidekick will make his debut appearance in the upcoming title.
A brief history of Jason Todd
For the non-hardcore Batman fans, Jason Todd first made his appearance in 1983 was the second person to don the Robin outfit following Dick Grayson’s departure to pursue his new crime-fighting persona, Nightwing, as part of the Teen Titans. Whilst Grayson is arguably the most famous Robin, Jason Todd is well recognised amongst fans following the characters death in 1988 when he was beaten to death with a crowbar by the Joker, making the way for Tim Drake; the Robin chosen for the Batman: Arkham City game.
Like most comic books stories, it’s hard for a character to stay dead and Jason Todd was fully resurrected by Talia Al Ghul as the new Red Hood in Jeph Loeb’s brilliant storyline “Hush,” the beginning of Todd’s career as a villain. Todd also spent a brief time donning the Nightwing costume as a more violent vigilante imposter of the Dick Grayson hero and the two eventually team up. The partnership doesn’t last long however as Todd leaves the city and once again takes up the Red Hood persona.
We know Jason Todd is dead in the Arkham universe
So how does this all fit into the Rocksteady Arkham universe? Well we know that Tim Drake appears as Robin in Batman: Arkham City, which would leave fans to believe that Jason Todd’s time as Robin has been and gone. This theory is confirmed by a piece of dialogue from the Joker in the “Joker’s Carnival” challenge map where he comments to Drake “Didn’t I kill you already?”, which we can presume is in reference to the Joker killing Jason Todd.
Arkham Knight armour
It’s clear from the design of the Arkham Knight armour and from the description by game director Sefton Hill that they wanted the character to appear as a more “militarised” version of Batman. In the “Battle for the Cowl” comic series which features a war to become the new Batman following Bruce Wayne’s disappearance, Todd makes an appearance in his own version of the Batsuit which would definitely bear similarities to the Arkham Knight suit in a Rocksteady universe.
One of Todd’s greatest talents is being a skilled marksman and throughout his comic career as various villains and even a gun-runner, he is rarely seen without a firearm. As we can see in the latest screenshots, the Arkham Knight certainly doesn’t have the issue with guns that Batman has.
He’s learned from the master’s masters
Game director Sefton Hill has also commented in our Batman: Arkham Knight preview that their new villain was born out of the team wanting to “introduce someone who could really challenge Batman, to go head to head with him in a lot of ways.” Now there are a few villains who could feasibly accomplish that, but Jason Todd has had the opportunity to be trained by the Dark Knight himself as well as those who trained Batman; giving him an advantage of knowing Batman’s combat style and tricks.
He has access to the technology
If you take the idea that following Jason Todd’s resurrection by Talia Al Ghul he chooses to become the Arkham Knight instead of the new Red Hood, there’s even more supporting evidence to this theory. In the comic universe, Todd’s connections with Talia allowed him full access to military-grade weapons and hardware; providing him with a feasible outlet to construct everything he needs to become the Arkham Knight.
Would Rocksteady want to include Jason Todd?
Taking both the comic book and Rocksteady universes into consideration, there’s a lot of evidence supporting the theory that the Arkham Knight is Jason Todd. However with Batman: Arkham Knight being the closing chapter to the Rocksteady series and with the opportunity to develop an entirely new character into Batman’s world, would Rocksteady really want to work with a pre-existing narrative and character? As we’ve seen in the previous Arkham games, the team clearly have a lot of respect for the lore but could you really turn down the opportunity to bring in something completely fresh and new and leave your unique stamp on the Batman franchise? We’ll have to wait and see.