Who’s Who in Gotham Knights

The Disciples of Batman and the Secret Society of Gotham

Released the other day , Gotham Knights received not the best reviews from the players and the press. But even if the developers cannot fix the problems, the game is interesting at least for its universe. Gotham Knights is based on the patterns of the Batman: Arkham series, although it does not formally belong to it, and the action here takes place in a different reality. The starting point of the plot is the deaths of Batman and Commissioner Gordon, who plunge Gotham into even more chaos and lawlessness than before. After that, the disciples of the Dark Knight take over the duties of protecting the city. And since they are not as famous as Batman himself, we decided to introduce each of them and talk about the secret organization that they will have to confront.


Batman’s first apprentice came in 1940 when the publishing house decided to make comics about him more appealing to younger readers. In order for them to have someone to associate with, the writers introduced a teenage character, Dick Grayson, into the Batman series. The son of circus acrobats, he entered the path of fighting crime for much the same reasons as Bruce Wayne. Due to the fact that his parents died in front of Dick – and also through the fault of Gotham criminals. The circus where the Graysons performed refused to pay the crime boss for “protection”, and the bandits damaged one of the trapezes, which broke off during the performance of the acrobats.

Bruce took custody of a teenager until he, driven by a thirst for revenge, did something stupid. Soon, Dick learned the secret of his guardian, volunteered to become his assistant, and after severe training became Batman’s partner. The young superhero took on the pseudonym Robin – the name, as well as the costume, were inspired by Robin Hood.

For a long time, Robin remained just an assistant to Batman, but over time he began to take independent steps. When the Teen Titans, a team of young superheroes, appeared in the mid-60s, it was Robin who became its leader. As Dick matured in the comics, he clearly began to be weary of the role of Batman’s partner, and the relationship between teacher and student cooled. As a result, Dick took on a new pseudonym, Nightwing, and began to fight crime on his own – mainly in the city of Bludhaven, located near Gotham. However, the last Nightwing kept returning, for example, to help his former mentor. And several times Dick even acted as Batman himself – for example, after the “death” of Bruce during the global Final Crisis event (of course, over time, DC writers returned the original Dark Knight).

Like Batman, Nightwing uses all kinds of gadgets in battle, but he prefers to fight not with his bare hands, but with the help of a pair of combat wands.

Red Cap

Shortly after Dick Grayson began his career as a superhero in his own right, Batman has a new Robin in the world – Jason Todd. At first, he, like his predecessor, was shown as the son of acrobats, whose parents were killed by Gotham bandits, but then he was given a different background. He became a homeless orphan who caught the attention of the Dark Knight when he tried to steal the Batmobile’s tires. Bruce Wayne took pity on the boy, began to patronize him, and then train him to become his new partner.

In 1988, DC Comics decided to experiment and let readers decide the character’s fate for themselves. Considering that the audience treated the new Robin very coolly, it was his management of the publishing house who did not feel sorry for “spending”. In the Batman episode 427 finale, Robin was brutally beaten by the Joker and the character’s fate was decided by telephone vote. With an advantage of 72 votes (more than 10 thousand people participated in total), the option with the death of the hero won, and in the next issue, readers were convinced that Robin was dead.

However, in superhero comics, the death of characters is rarely final, and Jason Todd was another confirmation of this. In 2005, he returned to the pages of the Batman series, but in a new capacity and under the pseudonym of the Red Hood, which was once used by the Joker.

The DC Comics Universe has had to endure reality-changing incidents more than once, and one of them led to the fact that the deceased Jason was resurrected. Over time, he returned to Gotham, eager to take revenge on both the Joker and Batman for having “let him down” – over and over again refusing to kill the evil clown, the Dark Knight became the culprit in the death of his pupil.

For a while, Jason Todd filled up the gallery of Gotham villains, challenging Batman and his associates, but then turned into more of an anti-hero. He returned to the fight against crime, although he professes different methods than his mentor – he acts much more cruelly, uses firearms with might and main and is ready to kill enemies.


Having let Jason Todd go to waste, DC Comics wasn’t sure whether to invent another partner for Batman – perhaps readers didn’t like Jason in particular, but it’s also possible that most preferred to see the Dark Knight as a lone crime fighter. But in the end, the publisher still decided that a new Robin was needed. This time, the prehistory was written for him in a more detailed and original way than in his time for his predecessor.

Tim Drake was a young genius who, at the age of nine, managed to figure out who was hiding under the masks of Batman and the first Robin. Inspired by their example, the boy himself began to learn martial arts and develop detective skills in himself. After the death of Jason Todd, Tim saw that Batman became darker and more violent. Deciding that the Dark Knight needed Robin in order not to slide into the abyss of darkness, the boy tried to persuade Dick Grayson to become Batman’s partner again. And, when this did not work out, he himself became a student of the Dark Knight, and then – the third Robin.

In battle, he likes to use a staff, but Tim Drake’s main weapon, as in those days when he was still a child, has always remained a sharp mind. No wonder Ra’s al Ghul, one of the most dangerous opponents of Batman, noted that if one of the pupils of the latter deserves the title of detective, then this Robin.


Batgirl appeared for about the same reasons as the first Robin. If he was intended to attract a young audience, then Batgirl was created with the aim of making readers interested in comics. Behind the mask of Batgirl is Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, who inherited her father’s strong will and drive to protect the innocent.

She made her comic book debut in 1967 when, during a masquerade ball where she dressed up as a female version of Batman, she bravely rushed to the defense of Bruce Wayne, who was being kidnapped by Killer Moth. The dark knight drew attention to the militant girl, but at first did not support her desire to join the masked crime fighters – they say this is not a woman’s business. The strong-willed girl, however, insisted on her own and for many years joined the ranks of the defenders of Gotham.

Like Jason Todd, in the comics, she became the victim of the Joker – his shot injured her spine in Alan Moore’s famous comic book The Killing Joke. Barbara was paralyzed from the waist down, but continued to fight crime in a different role. Taking on the alias Oracle, she began helping the Dark Knight and the other heroes of Gotham as a consultant and hacker.

In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its series globally. As part of this project, called The New 52, ​​the images and biographies of many heroes were corrected. The change also affected Barbara, who, thanks to advanced therapy, regained the ability to walk, allowing her to become Batgirl again.

yard of owls

Many famous Gotham villains will appear in Gotham Knights – Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Harley Quinn, Clayface. But the main opponent of the heroes promises to be the Court of Owls – an organization that appeared on the pages of comics relatively recently, only 10 years ago, and not as widely known as other, older opponents of Batman.

However, the history of the Court goes back to the mists of time, to the days of the founding of Gotham itself. This secret organization, made up of powerful and wealthy residents of the city, has ruled it from behind the scenes for generations. To achieve its goals, the organization used both intrigue and assassination. The members of the Court themselves, who even at his meetings hide their faces under masks of owls, being people of high position, of course do not like to get their hands dirty. For the “dirty work”, the Court has at its disposal a group of assassins called the Claws, who are highly trained and have superhuman regeneration, so even Batman can’t deal with them.

For most residents of Gotham, the Court of Owls remained nothing more than an urban legend – this is what Bruce Wayne thought of him, and one day, without knowing it, he crossed his path. Wayne’s plans to rebuild his hometown ran counter to the goals of the Court of Owls, and Wayne sent the Talons to kill Bruce. Thus began a protracted confrontation between Batman and his friends with the gray cardinals of Gotham.

Those characters who became the protagonists of Gotham Knights were originally just Batman’s assistants, but gradually managed to get out of his shadow and become heroes who are interesting and popular in their own right. I would like to hope that the game will not remain just a follower of the traditions of Batman: Arkham, but will turn out to be a bright and self-sufficient project.


by Abdullah Sam
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