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Silver Age Prequel for Rocksteady’s Batman Franchise, Will Feature JLA!

News is making the rounds today via Variety that Rocksteady Studio is apparently working on its next game, a prequel to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City that will be set during comics’ Silver Age- the 1950s and 1960s. Apparently the story will detail Batman’s first round with Joker and the Justice League of America will be introduced. Seems Warner Brothers wants to get the JLA into the public consciousness to prepare the way for a film.

Don’t trip on that there on the floor. It’s my jaw.

This has the potential to be the Greatest Video Game of All Time. Both Arkham games rank very, very highly on my list, and the thought of these game makers getting their hands on Silver Age characters and storylines makes me weak in the knees. There’s so much potential here, so many directions this can go. I’m really hoping that they do something brave (and bold) and do something lighter and more in tune with the kinds of stories and characterizations from the period. I mean, this is a game that could have both Rainbow Batman and Bat-Mite in it.

We’ll find out how Aquaman fits into all this sometime in 2014.


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Michael Barnes

Games writer Michael Barnes is a co-founder of as well as His trolling has been published on the Web and in print in at least two languages and in three countries. His special ability is to cheese off nerds using the power of the Internet and his deep, dark secret is that he's actually terrible at games. Before you ask, no, the avatar is not him. It's Mark E. Smith of The Fall.

11 thoughts to “Silver Age Prequel for Rocksteady’s Batman Franchise, Will Feature JLA!”

  1. This makes so much sense. Adopt a lighter, perhaps Avengers-esque tone, tie in with upcoming movie plans, and avoid going back to the Arkham Asylum/City well of aesthetics one too many times.

    Will it actually be set in a pseudo-60’s? Will it tie in with the previous games’ continuity? Not that it ultimately matters… comics and character continuity as it spans across decades is a special beast wwe make inherent allowances for. Excited.

    1. I am all about the lighter tone for Batman lately. I’ve been watching the Brave and the Bold series and I _love_ taking Batman back to the pre-Crisis, pre-Denny O’neil, pre-Frank Miller days. Batman can be light and fun and not be Adam West.

      One of my favorite moments in that show is when Bat-Mite is addressing a convention of Batman fans (all bearded slobs in ersatz Batman cowls) who are angry that Batman fights killer Easter Bunnies and robot Santa Clauses on the show. The producers of the show hand Bat-Mite a message and he reads it, basically stating that Batman has enjoyed many different interpretations throughout the character’s history, and that the show’s lighter take on it is no less valid than the “dark avenger, crying for his mommy and daddy”. Ha!

      At any rate, I’d love to see Rocksteady take a chance and do a 1960s-set game with a brighter, more colorful and more optimistic art style. Arkham City was incredible, but they’ve shown that they’ve got that Batman style locked down. I want to see some giant, Bill Finger-like props. I want to see the Dick Grayson Robin in action. I want to hear music appropriate to the setting and time period. There’s so much they could do with this…and going dark and gritty would be the easy, lazy way to approach the game. It could still be great, but here’s hoping they take some chances.

      1. I was hoping for your and other NHS Batman guy (Brandon or Todd, I forgot, don’t shoot me :D) thoughts on this, since you’re old fans. For me, this news at first didn’t sound too good – I got hooked on Batman after Arkham Asylum/City and Nolan’s movies afterwards, but I can’t stand Superman, and don’t find other DC characters that interesting… Dunno, after your take on news and this comment, new rumoured Rocksteady Batman sounds better than the one I had in my head 5 minutes ago. But I still don’t want Superman in my Batman game Nor other JLA guys/gals.

        But! Knowing Rocksteady, they could make me in a fan of JLA, I think. But still not in a fan of Superman. And until then, gotta get my hands on Lego Batman 2 😀

        Also, I’d prefer if they made that rumoured Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, would be good change of pace after Arkhamverse games, but no such luck for me. Now to get back to those challenge and campaign maps in Arkham City…

        1. Eh, just combine ’em. Call ’em Brodd.

          I’m assuming you’re a new comics reader, and as such something you’ll eventually come to realize is that the characters are only as good as the person writing them and the quality of the story they’re in. Superman can be incredible in the hands of a good writer (see Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman or Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow). I’ve NEVER liked Wonder Woman at all, but I’ve been reading Brian Azzarello’s recent take on her and it’s _great_. The thing is, you’ve got to find which writers you like for the characters.

          Superman and Batman have an awesome dynamic- again, when it’s in the hands of a great writer. Check out Mark Waid’s “Tower of Babel” series to see some interesting dynamics and differences between Superman and Batman. There’s a neat dichotomy between the characters that a good writer can really make the most of. You can even see this in Lego Batman 2.

          I used to not really care much for most of the DC stable beyond Batman, the greatest comic book character of all time. But when you read some of the really good Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman stuff…you can really see why these characters have persisted even though in some ways they’re still VERY Silver Age.

          1. Not a new comics reader – not a comics reader at all. And if I do start reading them, I’ll rather follow your earlier recommendations for Batman comics, which you gave me sometime after Arkham City But thanks for these new ones too!

  2. As someone who loved the Arkham games but is not a huge comics guy, I am curious about one thing. If we assume Arkham were set in the 2000s or somewhere around there, then how can Batman be zip-lining around and punching dudes out in the 1960s? If Bruce Wayne was mostly an adult in the 60s, call him 20 years old, then he would be 70 by the time of Arkham.

    Obviously this doesn’t matter to the game in any significant way, but I am curious about how those kind of time-dissonance things are resolved for these decades-old comic characters.

  3. Not 100% sure, but isn’t mark hamill Not going to do the joker voice anymore? Which would be a shame… But if it’s gonna be an “origin of joker” story where he doesn’t become the joker until the end, I suppose it could work…

    1. The guy that does Joker’s voice on The Brave and the Bold is actually pretty great- he’s not trying to imitate Hamill and kind of doing his own take…I’d like to see him get hired on if Hamill can’t be sweet-talked back on board.

      Problem is, Hamill is _definitive_.

  4. I’m all excited about the host of alternate skins this take could open up… Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Super Friends, Adam West, Pink Batman…

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