Batman might (supposedly) be dead in the upcoming Gotham Knights, but this is, of course, still very much game set in the Batman universe. And if there’s one thing that we can be sure of about any new Batman story, it’s that it’ll give us some great villains. The DC property has probably the greatest ever rogues gallery for any superhero, and sure enough, it’s been used quite effectively in games over the years, as it has in other media as well. With Gotham Knights’ launch drawing closer, then, it’s only natural that excitement surrounding its roster of villains grows as well. To that end, here, we’re going to talk about every villain that has been confirmed to appear in Gotham Knights so far, before briefly going over some others that haven’t yet been officially confirmed, but might end up appearing in the game after all.
Let’s kick things off with the big one.
COURT OF OWLS
We’ve pretty much known for a fact that the Court of Owls is going to be the primary antagonistic threat in Gotham Knights since a couple of years before the game as even announced. Relentless leaks during that period of time pegged the group of shadowy villains as the main threat in the game constantly, and that was, of course, officially confirmed right when the game was unveiled in 2020. The Court of Owls is a fairly new addition to the Batman mythos, having only been introduced by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo with the New 52 reboot back in 2011, but even in that short amount of time, it’s quickly become a fan-favourite. This is a group that has been secretly controlling Gotham for centuries, so to go up against them – as well as their highly trained assassins known as Talons – should be a fascinating experience for Batman fans.
Other than the Court of Owls, Mr. Freeze was one of the first villains to be officially revealed for Gotham Knights. Freeze is, of course, a Batman mainstay, a member of the old guard of the property’s iconic villains, so to speak, so his appearance in the upcoming open world action RPG doesn’t exactly come as a big shock. What role he plays in the story and how prominent he remains throughout remains to be seen. Interestingly, Freeze apparently had an arrangement with Batman to stop committing crime in exchange for resources for his research, but since the Caped Crusader’s supposed death, the icy villain has returned to his old ways. As Batman fans will well know, Mr. Freeze in Arkham City remains one of the best boss fights in a superhero game to date, so we can only hope that his appearance in Gotham Knights doesn’t disappoint.
The Penguin is yet another classic Batman villain that’s been confirmed to appear in Gotham Knights– and of course, he’s another welcome addition. Oswald Cobblepot is a fascinating character and has proven to be a worthy adversary to Gotham’s heroes nearly every time he has shown up in Batman stories, so we’re always excited to see more of him. We haven’t seen an awful lot of him in Gotham Knights footage so far, but based on what little we have seen, it seems like the Knights will, at some point in the story, seek him out to get information on the Court of Owls. Whether he plays a persistent role throughout the story, and perhaps even features in a boss fight, remains to be seen- though we’re certainly hoping that’s the case.
Harley Quinn might not have been around in the Batman mythos as long as some of the property’s other biggest villains have been, but in the little over two decades that have passed since her first appearance, she has quickly become an iconic, wildly popular character. Her inclusion in Gotham Knights was only recently confirmed, and unsurprisingly, that’s gone down well with plenty of well. What role she plays in the story should be interesting to see, especially since Gotham Knights’ developers have very explicitly confirmed that The Joker is not going to appear in the game. Meanwhile, while we don’t know much about her narrative role in the game, we do know that, at the very least, she’s going to be a boss fight in the game, for which we’ve also already seen some electrifying gameplay.
Here’s another fan-favourite- perhaps not a mainstream hit, but definitely a widely popular Batman villain that’s been around for a long time. Clayface has made his mark in games as well, most notably having played an important part in Batman: Arkham City. Gotham Knights is, of course, set in its very own continuity, so we’re excited to see what WB Games Montreal’s take on the character looks like. We’re hoping that he’ll have more than a bit part role to play in the game’s story – maybe even get a side quest line dedicated entirely to him, or something along those lines – while a Clayface boss obviously has to be on the agenda as well.
Here’s where we get really obscure. Professor Pyg might not be a character you’ve heard of, but those who’re more than a little familiar with the DC universe will known him well as a bit of an unusual supervillain. We saw a little bit of him in one of Gotham Knights’ recent showings- or at least we think we did. A character with a pig’s head slipped on top of their face like a gruesome mask- that has to be Professor Pyg, right? Either way, the game’s certainly got our attention with this one. Here’s hoping we learn more in the not-too-distant future.
While those are all the villains that have been officially confirmed to appear in Gotham Knights so far, it’s probably safe to assume that there are, of course, going to be several more that haven’t yet been spoken about by the developers (and might not be spoken of at all until the game is actually out). Some of these we might be able to guess at. For instance, the League of Assassins is very likely to show up, given the fact that the group’s crest was something that was frequently used in teases by the developers before the game itself was formally unveiled. Interestingly, IMDB also lists voice actor Mylène Dinh-Robic as the voice of Talia al’Ghul in Gotham Knights, though that’s not a character that has been confirmed to appear in the game.
Then there’s Man-Bat- some of the gameplay footage we’ve seen so far has suggested that Kirk Langstrom, the man who becomes the vampiric Man-Bat, is dead in Gotham Knights, but there’s always the chance that that’s a fake-out and that he ends up making an appearance as the villain later on in the game. Then there’s also William Cobb, the best and most dangerous Talon that the Court of Owls has at its disposal. That he’ll show up at some point in the game seems like a pretty safe bet, especially since he’s also the great-grandfather of Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, one of the four playable characters. That might make for some interesting narrative drama.
Then, of course, there are other fan-favourites like Deathstroke, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and many others- though for now, there’s little to no indication about whether or not any of them will or won’t show up in Gotham Knights. Hopefully, more will be revealed in the coming weeks.