The Architect was created by writers Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins for use in the Batman: Gates of Gotham mini series, where the new villain was portrayed by artist Trevor McCarthy.
Major Story Arcs
Gates of Gotham
In 1881, Nicholas Anders and his stepbrother Bradley Gates were approached by Alan Wayne, great-great grandfather of Bruce Wayne, and asked them to help bring Gotham into the future. The brothers would build three bridges in Gotham, each dedicated to one of the men who helped finance the projects including then Mayor Theodore Cobblepot and newspaper tycoon Edward Elliot. Shortly after the construction of the bridges, the two were brought in to build Old Wayne Tower. With the completion of these projects, the brother's notoriety grew, and Nicholas decided to take his stepbrother's last name, Gates. Together, the two would become known as the Gates of Gotham.
Within a few months, Nicholas got married and had a child. After Wayne Tower was built, the founding fathers asked the Gates Brothers to construct a retaining wall along the Eastern shoreline of Gotham in order to provide additional land thereby establishing new buildings. Alan Wayne wanted the Gates Brothers to do this because he was familiar with Gotham's poor geography and he wanted a foundation that will enable the Gates Brothers to build a colossal bridge which will surpass the others. With this bridge, the main city will be connected to on of the outer counties and allow Gotham to grow into one of the largest cities in the world.
Nicholas approached Bradley with the founding fathers' new proposal. However, Bradley was less than thrilled about this monumental bridge. Bradley feels their efforts have only lined the founding fathers' pockets and when there is nothing left to build in Gotham or their usefulness runs out, they will be cut off financially. Bradley tries to convince his brother into branching out with different cities while they still have notoriety.
By the summer of 1892, Cameron Kane became involved with the founding fathers' push for a new bridge because the bridge would connect Gotham to the northern county which is owned by Kane. Theodore was concerned about this new bridge because Gotham would be open Kane County's infamous reputation as a solicitor of prostitution, gambling and violence. This could jeopardize his chances for re-election. Edward Elliot on the other hand, was leaning towards the connection between Gotham and Kane County because if they move the direction of the bridge towards the Eastern county then Alan Wayne will gain more influence since he owns the Eastern half.
The Elliots were jealous of the Waynes and the Cobblepots worried about their reputations being tainted by the Kane's corrupt legacy. The founding fathers left the decision of building the bridge to Nicholas. Nicholas admired Alan Wayne out of three founding fathers so he decided to build the bridge and connect to the Eastern county. Kane angrily left Wayne Manor because this meant less clientel for Kane county.Bradley and Nicholas began the construction of the colossal bridge but they were met with disaster. Bradley was working on the bridge's foundation below the water line with his underwater protection suit until the bridge suddenly came crashing down on him. Nicholas only found Bradley's helmet among the wreckage.
After burying Bradley, Nicholas was confronted by bad publicity. The Gotham Herald branded Nicholas as a failed architect whose reckless behavior and lack of architectural knowledge cost the lives of so many innocent laborers. The construction of the bridge was given to someone else and the bridge's direction was moved to Kane county even though Wayne county was structurally ideal and sound. Nicholas goes to Alan Wayne for support in his theory that the Kane family was responsible for the sabotage of the their latest bridge and the murder of his brother. Nicholas knows how much Kane county would be worth if it became an entry point into Gotham as a gateway.
However, Wayne threatens Nicholas to keep his assumptions to himself because secrets can be influential, powerful and dangerous if not kept. Wayne tells Nicholas that any word he utters to the Gotham Herald will be branded as libel slander or it may never reach the public's ears at all. As for an investigation, Cobblepot's influence over the police will make Nicholas' case stick and the police can make Nicholas' life difficult. Nicholas leaves with the realization that the founding fathers are corrupt.
Nicholas also realizes that Wayne is angry because he knows the Kanes and probably the Elliots were responsible for the sabotage but now the founding fathers have to do damage control. Cobblepot's worries about losing votes have been put aside because Kane county will support Theodore's re-election. Elliot will be pleased because Alan will have lost his impending influence over Gotham with the destruction of the bridge to Wayne county but Wayne will have at least gained capital with the merger between Kane county and Gotham.
Nicholas takes it upon himself to exact revenge on those who murdered his brother. First, he attacked Cameron Kane with his brother's underwater protection suit. Unfortunately, Nicholas came under fire by Robert Kane, Cameron's son. Robert shot a valve in Bradley's suit and Nicholas was beginning to feel fatigued by the depressurization. With his last ounce of strength, Nicholas grabbed the shotgun from Robert's hands and began to choke him. When the police arrived, Nicholas stood perfectly still because the suit could no longer allow Nicholas to move. Robert Kane died in Nicholas' grip and Nicholas was carted off to either Blackgate or Arkham. From that day, Nicholas swore that any descendant of the founding fathers would suffer for the sins of their fore fathers because their crimes against the Gates of Gotham.
In present time, a masked villain by the name of The Architect bombs the three bridges with the Wayne, Cobblepot and Elliot adornments also targeting their descendants in Penguin and Hush. He leaves a message for the city's protectors, reading: "The families will fall by the Gates of Gotham." Dick and Tim managed to save as many survivors as they could. Later on, Dick gets a tip from an informant that a week ago, Penguin smuggled in a shipment of about a hundred pounds of Semtex (a plastic explosive) from Hong Kong to Gotham because he had a potential buyer lined up for the purchase. After the destruction of Gotham's ancestral bridges, the Architect pays Hush a visit at Arkham Asylum and offers him a chance to participate in his venture to instill chaos in Gotham.
Dick meets up with Commissioner Gordon because Gordon has just picked up some troubling news from the Gotham Gazette. Gordon informs Dick that thirty lives were lost to the explosions and a mysterious note was sent to the gazette's chief editor. The note stated that, “the families will fall by the gates of Gotham.” Dick decides to act on his tip and pay Penguin a visit with Gordon. As Dick interrogated Penguin, he learns that Penguin had sold the Semtex to someone who wore an unusual costume and used the name of Oswald's ancestor as an alias.
Gordon offers Penguin protective custody since the destruction of his ancestor's bridge and the content of the mysterious note no doubt means the bomber intends to kill Penguin in due time. However, Penguin refuses Gordon's offer and says his newly built Iceburg Lounge is a fortress. Dick decides if Penguin won't cooperate then he will have Damian and Cassandra Cain keep watch over the Iceberg Lounge while he doubles the security at Wayne Tower.
During the reopening night of the Iceberg Lounge, Damian and Cassandra notice several people fleeing in terror from the club. It seems Penguin has discovered a bomb in his office and its up to Damian to disarm it. Unfortunately, Damian is unsuccessful in disarming the bomb and Cassandra pulls him out of Penguin's office before the lounge explodes. Penguin is met with utter disappointment since he has lost his nightclub once again.
Meanwhile, Gordon informs Dick about Hush's escape from Arkham Asylum but Dick tells Gordon that Hush will have to wait since the security at Wayne Tower must be maintained. During the reopening night of the Iceberg Lounge, the security sensors at Wayne Tower go off. The sensors indicate an explosive device has been placed in Bruce's office. Dick tells everyone inside Wayne Tower to evacuate while he calls in Batman for help. As soon as everyone got out of the building, Dick went to Bruce's office and discovers Hush tied up in a straitjacket with a bomb strapped to him.
Hush informs Dick that if he disconnects the bomb from the straitjacket then the timer will speed up but Dick had no other choice. He had to sacrifice Wayne Tower in order to save Hush. Dick cuts the bomb off of Hush and they both jump out of the office window. Dick grapples to a nearby building and watches in horror as Wayne Tower burns to the ground. Angered by Hush's involvement in this, Dick interrogates him and wants to know why the bomber is targeting the historical pillars of Gotham. Hush tells Dick that the Architect is actually targeting the men who built Gotham which means the descendents of Gotham's founding fathers and the two architect brothers who helped the founding fathers.