Comic Vine News


What You Need to Know Before Playing Batman: Arkham City

Some time has passed in between games and the comic miniseries gives the set up for Arkham City.

Today is the day Batman fans have been waiting for. Batman: Arkham City is in stores today. The story takes place a year after Arkham Asylum. The question for many will be what has happened in that time. From the beginning of the game, Arkham City is already established and Hugo Strange is somehow involved.

If you've read the five-issue mini-series written by Paul Dini (who also wrote the story for the game), you have an idea what has happened. The comic begins six months after the events of the first game and establishes the groundwork for the atmosphere and vibe of the sequel. According to Giant Bomb's review, "The story starts with a bang, but doesn't really do much to set up the current state of the world."

Here are the major events that have occurred in the time between the two video games. This is how half of Gotham City was walled off and turned into a prison. Obviously there will be spoilers for the first game and the comic mini-series below.

== TEASER ==

The Joker is dying

This isn't much of a surprise. Using the Titan formula in the first game had an affect on Joker. He's not doing so well as he sits locked up in Arkham Asylum. In his weakened state, it appeared he hadn't made any attempts to break out of Arkham. Joker was coming to terms with his end.

Harley was also locked up in Arkham. She had been kept separated from "Mr. J." but could hear his laughter from his cell. When a guard confirmed Joker won't be around much longer, she vowed to do something about it.

Warden Quincy Sharp Became the Mayor of Gotham

Despite Sharp's inability to anything to prevent the chaos during the first game, he came out on top afterwards. With some 'coaching' from his psychiatrist, Dr. Hugo Strange, his confidence had been built up and he's essentially become a puppet for Strange.

Sharp made a declaration to anyone following in the footsteps of the Joker. They will be caught and committed for the rest of their lives. He wants to restore the morale of Gotham and makes it clear that anyone that puts on a costume in Gotham will be branded an outlaw.

Gotham is Attacked

A brother and sister team of thugs previously working for Two-Face had been doing jobs while enhanced with the Titan formula. Some crates of the drug washed up in Gotham Harbor so Two-Face ordered it to be locked up in his cellar. The brother and sister decided to take the drug for themselves and turned against Two-Face, killing half his men.

During a dedication for the new City Hall, they made their move against Sharp and Gotham. When Batman arrived, it turned out they were working for Hugo and were prepared to sacrifice themselves for the cause they all believed in. The explosion from the bombs inside of them caused major damage and Gotham was declared a war zone. This allowed Strange's plans to go through as Sharp established Arkham City. Half of Gotham was walled off and Sharp had a privatized military force brought in.

Arkham City is Built

Gotham was torn on the idea of a walled off prison. There was concern that those inside will be reduced to savagery as they struggled to survive. Sharp insisted that order will be maintained inside. Arkham City will have its own security patrol, social services and health care. Once the criminals have proven they are no longer threats, they will be considered for release back into Gotham City.

Bruce Wayne happened to be at the ground breaking ceremony for Arkham City. When he tried asking Sharp who will be deciding when the criminals are fit to be released, Sharp brushed off the question.

Hugo Strange Prepares to Battle Batman

When Batman tried investigating details of Arkham City in the Mayor's mansion, Hugo makes a move against him. Batman is attacked by rubber bullets and gas and he realized his moves and techniques were being recorded. Batman isn't concerned as he felt whoever was recording him didn't get much information.

Joker Arkham City

With the help of Harley, Joker escaped a deadly beating from some angry guards that vowed their friends didn't die for nothing during his attack. The two made their escape right into the heart of Arkham City, giving Joker the advantage of being able to establish his foothold inside.

Penguin also started a play for power inside Arkham and Batman goes undercover inside as a thug to try to get more information.

Batman managed to pass the Joker's deadly interview process but left before being attacked by the rest of Joker's men when he ordered them to keep an eye on him.

Batman then, still undercover, visited Penguin to join his crew. He joined some of Penguin's men in an attempt to hijack a armored security vehicle inside with a shipment of guns. As the attack went sour, Batman managed to destroy the guns and claimed it was the only way to save Penguin's men. Penguin wasn't pleased but allowed him to live.

Batman later left Arkham City after having a good idea what the situation is between Joker and Penguin. As he drove away in the Bat-boat, Hugo was observing him.

Catwoman Saves Batman and Makes an Enemy

Catwoman will have her own role in the game and during this story, she became an enemy of Hugo's. While inside Arkham City, Batman's undercover identity became compromised and he was under the attack of Strange's security troops. With a whole army after him, Batman was on the run and under fire. These weren't ordinary soldiers either, they were equipped with high tech weapons and defense. Selina showed up just in time to give Batman a getaway from the troops. This goes against everything Strange had planned for. Simply put, he was not happy.

The reason Catwoman was in Arkham was to take advantage of the chaos. She knew the crime bosses would be stockpiling any valuables they had and planned on helping herself. She also managed to save Poison Ivy earlier and earned a spot on her "BFF list." That could come in handy later.

Batman Knows Hugo's Identity and...Vice Versa

When questioning a guard, Batman convinced him to reveal who he was really working for, Hugo Strange. To Batman's surprise, Hugo revealed publicly that he was Sharp's secret collaborator behind Arkham City. As Bruce Wayne, he tried to challenge Strange with information on past patient abuse and information on inhumane experiments. Strange points out how odd it was that a 'playboy' managed to come up with this information and easily pushed aside the allegations.

The series ends with Strange watching the events unfold. The criminals have either fled Gotham or are deep in hiding. He is content with allowing the criminals inside to build their empires and make war with each other. When they kill each other, his control over the city will be complete.

With Hugo being aware of Batman's identity, he sees it as a challenge to be the one to break him in mind, body and spirit. He is eager for Batman's return to Arkham City.

Now go out and start playing the game!

58 Comments Refresh
  • 58 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by benpicko

Looking forward to it.

Posted by revbucky

It's going to be a fun ride!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

It doesn't come out till Friday in the UK :(

Posted by Sword5

The Joker should never be given thought boxes.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

my copy will be here at 10:30 until then i just have to continue my TAS marathon

Posted by Keegs

Thanks for this info!

Posted by Or35ti

I can't wait to get this for Christmas! :)

Posted by Hector

Getting my copy from Gamefly tomorrow!

Posted by Keen_12

Appreciate this!

Posted by G-Man

I might be MIA from Comic Vine later today...

Posted by LumpOfCole

My copy arrives next month as I'm a lowly PC gamer

Posted by Golden Cod

Who are the Trasks mentioned in the third picture? Might there be Marvel Sentinels involved?! D:

Posted by HT101

I'm just wating for my copy from Amazon to show up. I hope it shows up soon. Until then, I'll watch the QL of AC when it comes up on Giant Bomb.

Posted by vicsrealms

~sigh~ Still have to wait till November to get it on the PC. Decided not to pre-order it, instead I am going to wait for a Steam Sale.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt
@G-Man said:

I might be MIA from Comic Vine later today...

please. Comicvine will be a ghost town or ghost site as it were.
Edited by G-Man

@Golden Cod: They were twins. They were lame and died. They were the ones that blew up during the City Hall dedication. The brother and sister team.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

Looks great, but I'm still going to wait until the GOTY edition is released.  I have dozens of games to finish first.

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

Thanks, Tony! I forgot about this comic's existence and plan on ordering it from Amazon today, and now I don't have to wait for it to arrive before starting the game in a few hours.

Posted by NXH

CAN'T F**KING WAIT!!! Only a few more days left in the UK for me. It's been way too long. Friday will be renamed as Batman Day. Getting Arkham City Graphic Novel, Batman # 2 and of course the game itself. Collector's edition shall I say :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Posted by Bestostero

This game is great from what I've been playing... this game also has a lot of great cameos, which might lead into a third installment? or just fan service...either way, excited to see a lot of names i recognize that maybe most people wont :)

I'm really enjoying this game!

Posted by craigbo180

Still have to wait until Friday here in the UK. They aren't even doing a midnight launch at my Game store.

Posted by Migz13

I'll get the collected version of this comic series and then maybe buy a ps3 just to play the damn game. hahaha!

Posted by Pokeysteve

Ahhh I have to wait till I get off work at like 7 to go pick this up....*checks time, 10:26 A.M.*........ahhhhhhh

Edited by kfhrfdu_89_76k

@Sword5 said:

The Joker should never be given thought boxes.

Why? Is it because his the strongest when he speaks? It`s a comic! You don`t hear him speak! Or maybe you do, in your imagination. But that doesn`t mean that you wouldn`t hear him thinking! Or is it because he doesn`t make funny faces? well, actually he could! Or are you just not use to him having thought boxes? Seriously, why do you think that he shouldn`t have thoughtboxes!?


You think that you have to wait for long? I don`t even have Playstation 3!

Posted by horshbox

Can't wait for friday!!

Posted by MooseyMcMan

@G-Man: Thanks for enlightening those of us who plan on playing the game, but didn't get around to reading this.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I want the graphic novel so badly, but this is an excellent source to patch up the holes between Asylum and City. Good stuff!

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

I CAN'T PLAY THE GAME!!!! I NEED MONEY!!! or someone to hack... either one works for me.

Posted by NXH

@horshbox said:

Can't wait for friday!!


Posted by NXH

@kfhrfdu_89_76k: Bummer.

Posted by Neverpraying

I'm getting in the mail, and I did not have extra money for the pricey shipping, so it'll get here in a few days :\

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous
@NXH said:

CAN'T F**KING WAIT!!! Only a few more days left in the UK for me. It's been way too long. Friday will be renamed as Batman Day. Getting Arkham City Graphic Novel, Batman # 2 and of course the game itself. Collector's edition shall I say :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Same preordered the collectors edition 
Posted by KasadyCarnage

My wish came true! Joker is dying! Yes!

Posted by KRYPTON

This is a great game!

Posted by Dedpool

I can't wait to play this. they should do animated adaptations of these stories!!

Posted by Zomboid

I really wanna play this game, even though I barely ever play video games. It looks seriously good. Only problem is I haven't played Arkham Asylum. Is it mandatory to play that first or would I be able to follow Arkham City fine enough without it?

Posted by busted1der

Using the Titan formula in the first game had an affect on Joker.

-Isn't it effect?

Posted by CaptainGenisVell

Will/Is Talia be in it as hinted in the comic?

Posted by BlackRoseTessa

have to wait till friday will be tradeing in about 5 games to help me pay for it lol , damn uk lol

Posted by Utandi

The game is awesome!

I didn't read the five-issue mini-series so this article really helped me to connect the two games.


Posted by BlackArmor

Downloading system update now Downloading system update now Downloading system update now Downloading system update now Downloading system update now

I'm 4 minutes and 70% away from awsome

Downloading system update now Downloading.....

Posted by GaspoweR

@busted1der said:

Using the Titan formula in the first game had an affect on Joker.

-Isn't it effect?

Good point.

Posted by The Impersonator

A Hugo award deserved for Hugo.

Posted by TheHT

That seems like a lot of things to know.

Good to know, thanks!

Posted by nnotdead

i didn't like the first game. great voice acting, character design, and atmosphere, but i just didn't like the game play. thought it all became repetitive and boring quickly, and hated how all the boss fights being nothing but batarang throwing exercises. with that all said, i would like to give this one another try. maybe i just wasn't in the mood when i played through the first one. everyone else seemed to like it, so i must have miss something.

can anyone playing the game now(i will be waiting for the pc version if i do pick it up) tell me if the boss battles have become more varied. i think that alone would help me from not liking to liking the game.

Posted by NinjaProtocol

hop joker doesn't die.

Posted by PatVB

Thanks for posting this, Tony! I just started playing and was kind of confused. This cleared a lot of questions up!

Posted by Eyz

I find this panel funny:

I mean his face on TV his always looking straight at you, but from this inclined tv screen, his face his also turned to the side! How does it work? Hi-tech billion dollar WayneTechPlasmTV hybrid hologram-technology(TM)?

And I see Catwoman's barely caring about her secret ID these days :P

Poor Darwyn Cooke...nobody besides Adam Hughes udnerstood his redesigned Catwoman...

Posted by polkanot

Should be a gooden though i wish it was more open ended like gta.It would be sick to roam the streets, air, and water with all of Bruce's batmobiles.

Posted by Grimoire

I started when I got home from EBGames. lol This game is fantastic.

  • 58 results
  • 1
  • 2