First Look at DC Comics's Arkham Knight

Earlier today, DC announced that Detective Comics #1000, out in March, would feature the first appearance of a new Arkham Knight and kick off the next big arc in the series from writer Peter J. Tomasi.

They have also provided fans with a first look at the character of the Arkham Knight, which you can see below, by artist Doug Mahnke.

The character's new origin will be provided by Tomasi and Mahnke, who have collaborated before on Superman and who both are regular parts of the ongoing Detective Comics series.

Arkham Knight Teaser Image
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

The Arkham Knight was created for the Batman: Arkham Knight video game, the final installment in the best-selling and critically-acclaimed Batman: Arkham franchise from Rocksteady.

In the game, Jason Todd was kidnapped and taken to an abandoned wing of Arkham Asylum, where he was tortured by the Joker, who manipulated him into hating Batman over the course of a year. Joker faked Jason's death by sending a tape to Batman in which Robin was apparently shot and killed. He eventually escaped and began plotting his revenge on Batman for not saving and replacing him, taking on the name of the Arkham Knight.

Eventually, Batman would get through to Todd, breaking through the brainwashing, and Jason would become The Red Hood -- a role he used until recently in the comics. Recent events in Red Hood and the Outlaws have put Jason out on his own as "The Outlaw," with a new costume and a darker approach, so it is possible (though probably unlikely) that the Arkham Knight of the comics could be Jason as well.

The addition of a sword to the mostly-game-accurate costume could suggest another Bat-ally -- Azrael -- as the identity of the Arkham Knight, although again, that would require some explanation.

The sword could also just have been added to go with the "Knight" motif, or could be one of a number of swords tied to Batman's backstory and mythology.

In the game, he was billed as the primary villain in the promotional materials, but it turned out that the challenge was not to kill or defeat him but to redeem him. No word on whether that concept will carry over into the comics. The mystery of his identity was a key driving factor in the marketing as well as the first bit of the game, so it would not be surprising for a similar mystery to drive the character's story in the comics.

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This will be Arkham Knight's first appearance in the DC comics universe, although there were comics set in the "Arkhamverse" which featured him -- including an origin story written by Tomasi.

Detective Comics #1000 will be in stores on March 27, 2019.