Off My Mind: Would the "Arkham City" Story Make Sense in Official Batman Continuity?

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Posted by G-Man (36762 posts) - - Show Bio

Gotham City has long been under the protection of Batman. Witnessing the murder of his parents, Bruce Wayne devoted his life to become the Dark Knight, protector of Gotham. Since his arrival, the city has seen more and more crazed and deadly villains come to town. There's always been the argument that superheroes attract supervillains.

The solution for all of Batman's villains is Arkham Asylum. These aren't regular criminals that Batman deals with. They dress up in elaborate costumes and have crazy themes. A regular prison also is not capable of holding them. Therefore it falls that they go to Arkham in order to get treatment. The problem is, they tend to escape just about as soon as they arrive.

In the 'Batman: Arkham City' universe, a different approach is taken. After two suicide bombers caused the deaths of 300 civilians along with billions in property damage, Mayor Quincy (under the...influence of Hugo Strange) declared martial law. Half of Gotham City was walled off, privatized military forces were brought in and the criminally insane were meant to stay there until they have proven they are no longer threats within the Arkham society. Then they will be released back into regular society.

With all the countless escapes and deaths and injuries that result afterwards, is this blow against civil rights the solution that is needed to protect the innocent civilians in Gotham and is it something that should happen in the regular Batman comics?

== TEASER ==

It is a violation of civil rights and seems like an insane idea but maybe there's something to it. Arkham City was meant to be a place where the criminals can be rehabilitated without any dangers to the citizens of Gotham. Being locked up in an Asylum didn't seem to be working. Giving them some semblance of a normal life could be the solution to getting them to see the errors of their ways.

Escaping Arkham Asylum has become too easy for them. It's become a game to them. Being in a city environment, there's more to keep them occupied. Without having hospital orderlies to provide everything they need, they might soon come around, right?

Honestly, it is a crazy idea. It's not like the Joker or Clayface are suddenly going to start a book reading club once they settle down in their new homes. Even with a security patrol, they will soon take over as much as they can. Their fellow inmates will have to choose sides and align themselves with those they feel can offer them the most protection and opportunities. In essence, the villains will soon build an army larger than any they could in the free world.

Despite all the manipulation Hugo Strange went through to make Arkham City happen, he has a point. In the comic prelude to the game, he notes that the wisest criminals have already fled Gotham or have hidden themselves.

So for now, let the little men build their tiny empires and make war with each other. When they have killed each other off, then my dominion over the city will be absolute.

If the crazed villains kill each other off, doesn't that solve the problem? How many times has the Joker been locked up and treated? Is he any less insane than he was the first time he was apprehended? (Assuming he is insane and not simply evil). Arkham Asylum and all the treatment they've administered hasn't helped. This could be a way to thin out the herd.

Of course, this would be like giving up. This isn't what Batman would believe in. Even though having all his enemies contained in one area and possibly taking each other out would make his job a lot easier, Batman isn't one to do things the easy way. If Gotham's most wanted were contained behind the walls of Arkham City, the residents could have a little more piece of mind. The privatized military forces should be able to keep the villains in line but we've seen what they're capable of doing. Putting them all in one place is a powder keg waiting to go off. Actually it'd be larger than a powder keg.

You would think that eventually the powers that be in Gotham might consider something like this in the comics. Hugo Strange is extremely manipulative but trying to sell the idea would take a lot of trickery and convincing. Arkham City is a great idea for a video game because it gives the player a much larger area to roam around in.

In the comics, events wouldn't escalate to this level. The overall comic universe is larger and someone like Hugo Strange, who can be portrayed as an intelligent and scheming character, just wouldn't be able to pull something like this in the DC Universe.

Having the villains contained in a city and attempting to rehabilitate them might seem like a good idea. When you consider the extremely dangerous individuals involved, there's no way it could work. They would either become more dangerous our break down the walls of Arkham City and take over the rest of Gotham. Batman may be only one person but he has had a decent handle on the villains so far. As long as he doesn't mind the continuous trips to Arkham Asylum taking the villains back into custody, Arkham City will never be necessary in Gotham.

#1 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2301 posts) - - Show Bio

Well it would work for the normal criminals inside the prison but people like clayface, joker, two-face etc... would need to be in an arkham within an arkham lol

I could see it happening in gotham i mean people really must be sick of prisoners always breaking out every week

#2 Posted by MisterParker (83 posts) - - Show Bio

True, and there's always the chance that this will encourage the villains to team up together to build up a massive army. Once they've taken over half the city, why stop there? If they have more than enough men to expand their turf, all they will need is a carefully thought-out strategy for conquest and, really, with minds as dangerous yet brilliant as the Joker and Riddler, that's a trivial matter. Sure, it's logical to give the villains/inmates/loonies a taste of the life they could live should they renounce their immoral ways, but what happens when it does the opposite and excites them to continue their deeds instead? Then, my friends, you would be giving the Joker more playing space(which in any way can't possibly do anything that improves their half of Gotham).

What have we seen when villains in Gotham are able to employ the services of but a few henchmen? Complete, fatal and sometimes even city-wide chaos. Imagine the horrendous possibilities of what could be accomplished with much more manpower. Thus, I feel the Arkham Asylum inmates should stay just that: criminally insane, though not necessarily forever, in Arkham Asylum.

#3 Posted by ryanwh (373 posts) - - Show Bio

Well considering some of the dumb nonsense the Kevin Smith Batman books had going on, anything is "viable" in the universe at this point. What I like about the Arkham City angle is its basically the mayor giving up and just walling off half the city and maybe hoping they all just off each other, like Escape from New York.It doesn't seem in character for him, no. It might have made more sense to have a new mayor(who may or may not be the puppet of someone else) walk into town and campaign on the idea that the Mayor Quincy and his bat vigilante have been too soft on crime and just perpetuate the repetition of history so he proposes this idea.

#4 Posted by victorviper (1 posts) - - Show Bio

It doesn't sound too different from No Man's Land, Tony!

#5 Posted by ohrenclez (77 posts) - - Show Bio

I think building a whole city as a prison wouldn't work, because it would have the same problems as a normal prison.

Putting a bunch of criminals together in one place doesn't make them change their way of life. Most of the smaller kind of criminals end up even deeper in the criminal scene when they are released from prison.

I don't think that ,with a crimefighting-organisation like Batman-Inc. already being built up, Batman would let this happen in the regular Batman-Continuity.

Although i think that this is a really interresting story for a game.

#6 Posted by Pokeysteve (8417 posts) - - Show Bio

After reading some of the recent news about the Crisis events, I'm wondering if official Batman continuity will makes sense.

Can't wait for this game though. Even if Nightwing looks like some Japanimation reject.

#7 Edited by ThanosIsMad (2224 posts) - - Show Bio

If it makes sense in the game continuity, it'd make sense in comic continuity. The Arkham Universe is just the Batman universe circa One Year Later with a few modifications, so it wouldn't be hard to transplant it there. An Arkham City wouldn't be any safer than locking these guys up in an actual prison to begin with. And since they're actually within the city proper now, they have a greater chance of causing a ruckus when they escape. not to mention, with it being in a city, realistically, it's easier for them to escape.

What would be reasonable would be something like Marvel's Rykers island, which has no connection to any sort of land mass, Alcatraz, which is also a metahuman prison in DC now, or even the prison that was in the arctic that Nightwing's Outsiders team managed to get destroyed in the months before Infinite Crisis. Criminals have no real way to escape, and if they did, they'd have no where to go.

Those are real solutions, not creating a ridiculous amount of gentrification by moving people out of their homes and places of business, walling off a portion of the city, and then tossing criminals inside. Doing such a thing would really only cause more crime in certain areas by forcing people to live in areas they normally can't afford to live in, causing them to rob and steal in order to get money to pay rent. On top of that, criminals that aren't in the system would then have other areas of town to terrorize.

#8 Posted by Crash_Happy (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Marital law?

#9 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

Not sure if it would help, but I think it's an excellent idea... I'd love to read it...

#10 Posted by DarkChris (303 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article, the title is a bit misleading!

#11 Posted by LordRequiem (1318 posts) - - Show Bio

How to solve the problem of all these crazies, honestly I know he won't but killing them would do the trick. Of course that would render comic stories boring should there be no adversary. We've seen such contingency plans as obliterating areas in the movies, could the Gotham keepers not even mention this action? I think they would, and depending on their view of human life, may or may not agree.

#12 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it would be great in continuity, especially with the New 52 reboot

#13 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

But this only makes me think...why didn't they adapt NO MAN'S LAND from the start instead of this silly "Arkham City" idea??...

#14 Posted by entropy_aegis (15456 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope NEVER.

Online
#15 Posted by DEGRAAF (7896 posts) - - Show Bio

i would love to see this played out in comics

#16 Posted by ChernobylCow (90 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder if the game is going to have an Escape from L.A. references...hopefully a surfing sequence.

#17 Posted by Golden Cod (430 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait till Hugo Strange goes cosmic and mirrors Marvel's Maximum Security! :P

#18 Posted by Migz13 (170 posts) - - Show Bio

For me to love my Batman comic... it needs to have a story... and a damn good one at that! It also has to come with amazing artwork to complement its plot and pacing. When those two are met... I'm a satisfied Bat-Fan.

#19 Posted by Neverpraying (1465 posts) - - Show Bio

ANYTHING can happen in comics. Pretty sure this story line is fine.

#20 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3768 posts) - - Show Bio

Half the city a prison? Where will the good people/those who don`t have incomplete brainchemistry? Will all of the millions of people live in a city half the size?

#21 Posted by DKing_CiCADA (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@victorviper said:

It doesn't sound too different from No Man's Land, Tony!

I was just thinking that. Yeah I don't think this would be a good idea. Just make a bigger better prison. And I'm also wondering how they are going to top this game. Arkham State? Arkham Country? Arkham World?

#22 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1504 posts) - - Show Bio

It's just all the villains in one pot.

That's not really much of a reason to be made canon.

#23 Posted by Dedpool (357 posts) - - Show Bio

Would it work in the current comic continuity? No, maybe if they played it as something that happened years ago, like right after Jason Todd's "Death" or something.

#24 Posted by doublezeroduck (98 posts) - - Show Bio
#25 Posted by Chris207 (118 posts) - - Show Bio

HOLD IT!!! I thought continuity didn't exist in comis anymore...
#26 Posted by kennybaese (1133 posts) - - Show Bio

I always assumed this was a riff on the end of Batman Begins. In it, Gordon says the Hollows are lost and, while you don't see it in The Dark Knight, in Gotham Knight, you see that the Hollows all got sectioned off and were declared Arkham grounds until they could get everything under control. Dini was involved in those shorts, so it wouldn't be surprising if he thought that was a cool idea and ran with it here.

#27 Posted by xanthiss (177 posts) - - Show Bio

I think in game sense, its meant to be a failure. Like there is no way that this social experiment is meant to succeed. It is destined for failure and Batman is there to clean it up. It is the set up for a game. Does it work for the comics? I would say not. It does not really work anywhere else, but a game.

#28 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

You're absolutely right. In the official DCU this idea would never work in Gotham. Hugo Strange is good but not THAT good. But I do also agree with the point that with Gotham under siege of Batman's extended Rogue's Gallery that it might thin the herd. After all, we all know what happens when the nuts take over the nuthouse. The story is wonderful and full of excitement, but no, Arkham City should not be considered canon. Would almost make Batman's mission seem like this story was the endgame when the crusade of the Dark Knight is never-ending.

#29 Posted by Blizaga101 (942 posts) - - Show Bio

@DKing_CiCADA: they could introduce batman inc in the next game, then its coud be a kinda batman world game :P

#30 Posted by Durakken (1593 posts) - - Show Bio

Gotham started as an insane asylum...

#31 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

It could work... but if you think about it the whole concept is a little absurd. Giving the prisoner's total freedom in a city does nothing. They'd need a good number of security robots (like the ones Batman made in Kingdom Come) to maintain order.

#32 Posted by Samimista (20831 posts) - - Show Bio

@Or35ti said:

It could work... but if you think about it the whole concept is a little absurd. Giving the prisoner's total freedom in a city does nothing. They'd need a good number of security robots (like the ones Batman made in Kingdom Come) to maintain order.

I agree with this.

#33 Posted by midnightmare (98 posts) - - Show Bio

It shold have more sense that the courts in Gotham consider some criminals like Jocker beyond treatment and give them the dead penalty. Besides, in one images it looks like civils still live in that territory, which means they have been put in a potential lethal situation.

#34 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

It would worh alot better if was just a graphic novel, realistic and gtitty version of Batman, but with flare.

#35 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio
@Eyz said:

But this only makes me think...why didn't they adapt NO MAN'S LAND from the start instead of this silly "Arkham City" idea??...


@victorviper said:

It doesn't sound too different from No Man's Land, Tony!

 

Agreed. This game is sounding eerily similar to No Man's Land. Obviously they've tweeked some things to make it more presentable for the video game medium, but the concept is basically the same. The city has already been overrun by villains, an army brought in, etc, etc. A story arc like the one described above would seem a little cheap
#36 Posted by Sammo21 (697 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it would be a cool story arc. Then again, the entirety of Gotham kind of became something akin to a prison with the No Man's Land stuff.

#37 Posted by SuperXAsh (512 posts) - - Show Bio

Keep your "New 52" out of my Arkham series!! :P

#38 Posted by The Impersonator (5555 posts) - - Show Bio

Send the villains to Arkham Planet.

#39 Posted by Omegalpha (61 posts) - - Show Bio

Gotham is basically Arkham City already.

#40 Posted by teclo (34 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the bigger question is: was half of Gotham City totally abandoned to begin with, or have they shifted all the population into half the city, and shut down every shop, business, school etc. in the Arkham City side? In other words, what the hell is going on? Either half of the city was a sprawling wasteland of derelict housing with absolutely no businesses, schools, hospitals or anything, or several million people just instantly moved home and workplace overnight.

That enormous, believability crippling oversight aside, it doesn't make any sense to put the sort of villains that'd be in Arkham Asylum into a city environment. They're not ordinary criminals, they're "criminally insane", to quote the Arkham sign. This is more like creating a large urban warzone, similar to how Baghdad was a few years ago, populated by nothing but psychopaths. And the fact they still have foundries and weapon stores in there (as seen in the comics) is just the very silly icing on an outrageously stupid cake.

All said and done, I loved the first game and this looks even better to me so far. The storyline is plainly ridiculous - either badly thought out, or just playfully, wilfully unrealistic as hell - but it definitely serves up a great setting for all kinds of stories and action to take place.

#41 Posted by huser (97 posts) - - Show Bio

@MisterParker: The villains partnering up was a legit concern anyways. Heck, stuck in Arkham that made even more sense at least to get out. Here at least there's the likelihood of infighting keeping the crazies busy with each other. OTOH, the potential eventual winner WILL be in that much better a position so there is that risk.

#42 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

@victorviper said:

It doesn't sound too different from No Man's Land, Tony!

that's what I was thinkin', folk.

#43 Posted by acer51 (2247 posts) - - Show Bio

You have to just kill them.

#44 Posted by Hit_Monkey (920 posts) - - Show Bio

I absolutely can't wait to play the game but the plot seems way too similar to Escape From New York or as already mentioned a little bit No Man's Landish to work outside a videogame without coming across as been there done that.

#45 Posted by Grand_Supremor (47 posts) - - Show Bio
@teclo said:

I think the bigger question is: was half of Gotham City totally abandoned to begin with, or have they shifted all the population into half the city, and shut down every shop, business, school etc. in the Arkham City side? In other words, what the hell is going on? Either half of the city was a sprawling wasteland of derelict housing with absolutely no businesses, schools, hospitals or anything, or several million people just instantly moved home and workplace overnight.

That enormous, believability crippling oversight aside, it doesn't make any sense to put the sort of villains that'd be in Arkham Asylum into a city environment. They're not ordinary criminals, they're "criminally insane", to quote the Arkham sign. This is more like creating a large urban warzone, similar to how Baghdad was a few years ago, populated by nothing but psychopaths. And the fact they still have foundries and weapon stores in there (as seen in the comics) is just the very silly icing on an outrageously stupid cake.

All said and done, I loved the first game and this looks even better to me so far. The storyline is plainly ridiculous - either badly thought out, or just playfully, wilfully unrealistic as hell - but it definitely serves up a great setting for all kinds of stories and action to take place.


I thought the same thing, were did the other Gothamites go? And why would they leave weapons out if they just bought Mercenaries to stop the inmates from being bad? 
#46 Posted by boopie (11 posts) - - Show Bio

the Batman universe in the comics is so carefully structured and meticulous it would never tell such a ridiculous story/sarcasm

#47 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1680 posts) - - Show Bio

If it happens in the games it could happen in the comics. The Universe may not be the same buts its close enough. Personally this entire thing reminds me of No Man's Land, but this its not the entire city. What i'm wondering is where do all the people go that used to live in that area? Honestly this isn't a smart solution at all. Its incredibly stupid. I agree that the Asylum has been compromised too many times. Its a revolving door for them, but this isn't the answer either. Just being realistic, its far easier for them to get out of a city. Especially any villains with powers like Mr. Freeze. This entire thing seems like they're just washing there hands of the villians and giving them there own private empire to run. Why not put them on a island thats not connected to any land mass like Alcatraz? Why not just kill them all and be done with it? <-Know its not a comic friendly idea, but i've always been suprised that there isn't ONE single cop or prison guard who doesn't blow Joker's brains out. Even if he's already captured. I'm sure there are some cops who have loved ones that were killed by the Joker or some other villian.

#48 Posted by ScarecrowWillShowYouFear (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Hell I don't care i just wanna get my hands on that game and play it till the disc breaks lol

#49 Posted by untammed (442 posts) - - Show Bio

@ScarecrowWillShowYouFear said:

Hell I don't care i just wanna get my hands on that game and play it till the disc breaks lol

agree =)

#50 Posted by claudia854 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

@victorviper: It is kinda different from no man's land in no man's land gotham was shut off from te whole outside world. In Arkham City its only a part of the city thats closed off and they still get help from the outside world

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