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Who Are The Assassins Of Batman: Arkham Origins?

by Matt Miller on Apr 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM

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.   

Deadshot
First 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 Owls
First 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.

Firefly
First 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]

David Cain
First Appearance: Batman #567, July 1999

Long before Bruce Wayne became Batman, the assassin David Cain helped to train the young Wayne in the art of killing. Wayne turned away from those teachings, but it would be fascinating to see one of Batman’s former teachers hired to kill him. With a sniper rifle in the villain’s hand, we’d love to see a duel play out between Cain and Batman, reminiscent of the battle against The End in Metal Gear Solid 3. 

Lady Shiva
First Appearance: Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #5, December 1975

For a straight-up martial arts one-on-one brawl, we can’t think of a better assassin to bring into the game than Lady Shiva. Like Batman, Lady Shiva has no superpowers, but her unparalleled mastery of martial arts makes her one of the most formidable hired assassins in the DC universe, known for her ability to kill without the aid of any weapons. We like the idea of seeing Lady Shiva dive down to assault Batman in a frantic, fast-paced duel multiple times during the game, keeping players on their toes as they watch for her arrival.

Clayface
First Appearance: Detective Comics #40, June 1940

The name Clayface has applied to many Batman villains over the years; most of them have shared transformational traits and clay-like qualities to their bodies. While Clayface plays a role in Arkham City (which we won’t spoil here in case you haven’t played it), it would be fun to see the character’s early interactions with Batman played out on the game screen. We’d be enthusiastic about witnessing an encounter with Clayface as he’s still learning about his shapeshifting powers, in which Batman is forced to stay out of reach of the villain’s chaotic body shifts. 

Calendar Man
First Appearance: Detective Comics #259, September 1958

One of the most memorable secrets of Batman: Arkham City is Calendar Man’s incarceration in the Solomon Wayne Courthouse jail cell. By visiting him on actual holidays, players could learn about the many crimes he had committed. But how did Calendar Man actually get caught in the first place? Arkham Origins could let us have a more active confrontation with Calendar Man, especially since the game occurs on Christmas Eve; we’re confident the villain has some memorable plans on how to destroy Batman in an devilishly holiday-themed way. 

Cluemaster
First Appearance: Detective Comics #351, May 1966

Riddler has crafted some great challenges for players to face in the previous Arkham games, but it may be time for another villain to take on the role of leaving mysterious clues behind for Batman. That villain could be Cluemaster, leaving clues behind for Batman to find in order to save his own life, like following a trail of bread crumbs to find an antidote to a deadly poison, or some other plot. Cluemaster’s history in the comics was as a game show host – we imagine some great scenes involving a deadly game show with Batman as the chief contestant. 

What villains do you want to see in Batman: Arkham Origins? Share your thoughts in the comments thread below. For more on Arkham Origins throughout the month, click on the banner below.