As you may have already seen, Lex Luthor is referred to on more than one occasion throughout Batman: Arkham Knight. Apart from the message on the answering machine, Lex has quite a strong presence in the city of Gotham.
As you smash, drift, and speed around Gotham, it’ll be difficult to miss the numerous billboards and buildings featuring the above Lex Corp logo. The building shown above, arguably the Gotham branch of this billion dollar aerospace engineering firm is located on Founders Island. There was also a slight reference to Lex Corp in the opening scene of Arkham Knight that we picked out in our feature here.
Turns out that when Rocksteady mentioned they’d love to do another superhero game when they put the Batman saga to an end, they may have already had their next idea in mind. All we can do for now is merely speculate, but it sure is an interesting prospect.
While some fans may be disappointed that the huge Venom-addicted supervillain Bane was absent from Arkham Knight’s main story, there are a couple of subtle references to the big brute.
The above image shows the billboards placed throughout Gotham which make a reference to Bane’s birthplace, Santa Prisca. Is this just a mere nod to the big villain of the blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, or is it a hint at what fans can expect to see in the upcoming DLC for Arkham Knight?
It is possible that Bane could make one final appearance in the Batman games in the Gotham City Stories, Batgirl, or The Season of Infamy DLC packs. The latter in particular would make sense considering the DLC description is “where Batman goes up against legendary super-villains invading Gotham City, with new story arcs, missions, and gameplay features.”
Last year, the gaming industry got a pretty bad rap when Gamergate erupted. Evidently, Rocksteady wanted to voice their disdain against the whole ‘disastrous social media campaign’ in Riddler’s own #CrusaderGate. The Easter egg can be found by finishing the Riddler Challenges dotted around the world of Arkham Knight, which result in the player receiving lots of background and stories from the city of Gotham. For your own reference, the above story is called “Social Outcast.”
The Gray Ghost
This next Easter egg is easy enough to just glance right past if you’re not looking out for it. In several areas of the game, such as Oracle’s Clocktower and Panessa Studios, the above poster is sprawled over random walls. It’s also one of the best examples of Rocksteady’s excellent knowledge on Batman and everything else DC.
This is a little reference to the Batman Animated Series episode “Beware the Gray Ghost.” Gray Ghost was a “fictional” superhero in the animated series who was also Bruce’s inspiration of Batman, to an extent. Gray Ghost is essentially an homage to the ’66 Batman and only exists in the animated/ Arkham/ Dini-verse.
In the above episode, Batman teams up with the Gray Ghost who is also kind of a superhero in real life. He too, was voiced by Adam West. Furthermore, in Batman Beyond, a villain named Inque infiltrates the Batcave. In order to disguise himself and fight her off, Bruce Wayne wears the mask of the Gray Ghost he has in the Batcave. Pretty cool historiography, Rocksteady.
Green Arrow, also know as Oliver Queen, gets his own building and sneaky reference inArkham Knight.
Not only has Queen set up his business in Gotham, as pictured above, but Catwoman also mentions that she has burgled Queen Industries during a conversation between herself and Batman.
Again, this could be another suggestion of where Rocksteady want to go with their next superhero project, especially when you take into account that Green Arrow has a much more violent fighting style than Batman’s. Dropping Queen Industries right into the middle of Gotham gives Rocksteady the perfect platform for transition from the Arkham trilogy into a Green Arrow game or series.
The case for a Green Arrow game gets significantly stronger when you bring the TV show’s overwhelming popularity and success into consideration. Particularly when it’s currently changing form in order to allow other characters such as The Flash to be incorporated, in an attempt to challenge Marvel’s Avengers.
As you traverse through Gotham City on foot or gliding, look out for a tall industrial complex shelved away in the shadow of the main city bridges. Upon the complex, you will see a shield crest logo cast in red and bronze spelling out the name “Kord Industries.” An easy way to spot the building is the car display in the window. Kord Industries, or Kord Enterprises, within the larger DC Universe is a business founded by scientist and entrepreneur – Ted Kord, who is secretly the Blue Beetle.
Outside the comics, Kord Industries has been alluded to in other media including Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, and most recently in two episodes of CW’s Arrow. In the show, it was briefly mentioned that Felicity Smoak had once worked for the company but was later fired.
Batman is seriously having the worst and longest night of his life in Arkham Knight. That’s certainly saying something considering the headaches he encountered in the last two games. It doesn’t help that Batman doesn’t give himself a lot of time to kick back or take a breather.
Thanks to an Easter egg, may we suggest the Black Canary Club? Naturally, this is a nod to the iconic heroine Black Canary. While commonly associated and romantically involved with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and the criminal happenings that take place in Star City, Black Canary is no stranger to Gotham as she was formerly part of Oracle’s Birds of Prey team.
In the New 52 continuity, Barbara Gordon steps down with Black Canary as the new leader. The fact that she has her own club in Arkham Knight is especially fitting since in the current continuity she is the leader of her own punk rock band! Get ready to mosh, here comes her Canary Cry!
Adam West’s Shakespeare Bust
Holy Paschals, Batman! We’ve found another Easter Egg!
Arkham Knight pays homage all iterations and legends of the Bat – even the campy and light-hearted Batman ’66 television show starring Adam West and Burt Ward. For example, there are Adam West and Batman ’66 Batman & Batmobile skins available to switch into in the main menu!
However, there’s a more subtle nod to the classic TV serial within the game. If you visit the clock tower where tech wiz Barbara Gordon/Oracle operates, take a careful look at her wall of trinkets and trophies. If you do, you will see a bust of the iconic William Shakespeare bust from the show – the very same one from Batman ’66 that opens up, with the press of a button, the secret entrance from Wayne Manor into the Batcave! The only way this wonderful nod could be made better is if the Bat-Cave in the Arkham games actually has a secret side room showcasing the cheesy Bat-poles. Glider capes and grapple guns are so overrated anyway.
GCPD Evidence Room
I’ve always been surprising that in the era of MTV Cribs there was never an episode that covered Batman’s awesome (though, I admit, somewhat dreary) Bat-cave abode. But seriously, how could one not be awed by such trophies as a giant robotic Tyrannosaurs Rex, or the oversized penny?
However, if you explore the GCPD headquarters, you will discover that the boys in blue also have a trophy room of their own. In the glass case, you can see trinkets, costumes, and weapons harkening back to classic villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. These include Mr. Freeze’s ice gun, the Ventriloquist’s creepy Scarface puppet, and the metal jaw apparatus belonging to Great White Shark. What trophies do you think should have also been included?
Metal Gear Solid
Snake? Snake? Snaaaaaake! You remember that from the Metal Gear Solid series, right? Well Rocksteady just couldn’t help themselves but to get their own version of it in the game. After all, Phantom Pain is Arkham Knight’s biggest contender for the hottest summer title, and what’s a little jive in some friendly competition?
Unfortunately, we’re not sure how frequently this happens, but what we can tell you is dying a lot will increase the probability.
And there you have it, our top 10 references. We just had to end on that Metal Gear Solid reference for our finale. Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!