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We put on our comic book fan hats and detail some of the heavy-hitter villains we hope to see in the new game from Warner Bros. Games Montreal.
Batman: Arkham Origins takes us back to the early days of the Dark Knight’s struggle against the villains of Gotham. Unfortunately, on a cold Christmas Eve night, the hunter becomes the hunted, as Black Mask hires eight of the world’s deadliest assassins to bring down Batman once and for all. The killers sent to kill Batman are at the center of the storyline for Arkham Origins, but most of their identities remain under wraps – Deathstroke is the only confirmed assassin from the list below.
Warner Bros. Games Montreal is almost certainly looking to the stars of the DC universe as inspiration for who might be included. With some historical knowledge of DC comics fueling our decisions, here are some of the characters we hope to see show up in the game, and some top-level details about their backgrounds in the comics. We’ve mostly steered away from including villains who have played a major role in previous Arkham games, like Joker and Mr. Freeze, and instead focused on other characters who we think are ready to take on larger roles.
When you’re done reading, hop to the comments below, and let us know which villains and assassins you want to see hunting Batman in the upcoming game.
Deathstroke (confirmed)First Appearance: New Teen Titans (vol1) #2, December 1980
Deathstroke’s history within the DC universe began as a central villain in the Teen Titans comics. Also called Slade Wilson or the Terminator, Deathstroke has incredibly heightened physical and mental capabilities, making him one of the most feared combatants in the world, but also one of the finest tactical minds around. In many ways, he is an ideal opponent and mirror to Batman’s abilities, but with his eye turned towards profit and death instead of justice. Deathstroke is a weapons specialist, highly trained in everything from swords to guns, and he uses his expertise as a mercenary and an assassin all around the world. When fans think about assassins in the DC universe, Deathstroke is usually the first name that comes up, so it’s no surprise that Arkham Origins has already confirmed his inclusion.
DeadshotFirst Appearance: Batman #59, June 1950
If Deathstroke is the most common assassin remembered by fans, Deadshot is a close second. Part of Batman’s rogue’s gallery for decades, Deadshot is commonly cited for his incredible aim; his ability to hit and bring down any target makes him a real danger to Batman’s often close-range techniques. A battle between Deadshot and Batman could be great fun, pitting Deadshot’s signature pistols against Batman’s wily predator instincts.
Talon and the Court of OwlsFirst Appearance: Batman #1, September 2011
Few recent comics are as praised as the recent storyline regarding the Court of Owls, a mysterious organization that runs Gotham from the shadows. The incredibly powerful and secretive Court trains a new Talon to do their bidding in every generation, and then keeps them alive in suspended animation for potential future use. One particular Talon nearly takes out Batman in the story, and later, Batman and his allies are forced to face the revived might of all the Talons. A furious throwdown against the Talon could make for a great boss fight, which could play out in the twisting labyrinth of the Court of Owls first depicted in the comics.
FireflyFirst Appearance: Detective Comics #184, June 1952
In the midst of one of the worst snow storms in Gotham history, we love the idea of a roaring inferno taking over a part of the city. That’s why we’re tagging Firefly as a great pick for another assassin sent to take out Batman. The pyromaniac has shown up in Batman comics for decades, but he has never been as popular as some of Batman’s other villains. Nonetheless, his focus on setting fires could make for a great set-piece encounter for the game. Moreover, Firefly was mentioned in connection with Black Mask in the Arkham City game; maybe Arkham Origins is when the two villains first met each other.
Talia al Ghul First Appearance: Detective Comics #411, May 1971
Talia al Ghul plays a big part in Arkham City, but only partially as a true antagonist, and more as a sympathetic love interest. We’d like to see Talia’s first encounter with Batman – perhaps she’s been hired to kill Batman, and is intent on completing her mission in order to impress her father Ra’s al Ghul. However, along the way, Talia ends up falling for the Dark Knight. Talia’s extensive training as an assassin would make her a worthy adversary, and it would be great fun to see the genesis of the longstanding and contentious relationship between the two shadowy figures.
[Next up: The greatest martial artist in the DCU, and a villain who shows up on every holiday]
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.