Batman’s investigation of Ra’s al Ghul went high-tech in Batman #122 with the return of an iconic video game gadget from Arkham.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Batman #122, on sale now from DC Comics.
Batman has plenty of tricks and toys up his sleeve, but none were quite as exciting as those seen in the Arkham Games. The series of video games that was launched with the year 2009 Batman: Arkham Asylum gave players Batarangs and Batmobiles to use as they saw fit. It also brought new gadgets like Freeze Breath and Remote Electric Charge to the Caped Crusader’s utility belt. Now the biggest gimmick from the Arkham games has made its way to the comics.
With Ra’s al Ghul’s death triggering Shadow War, the world’s greatest detective was on the case in Batman #122 (by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles). The Dark Knight has always used advanced technology to solve crimes, but what he used in this issue was more advanced than usual – and straight out of the Arkham games.
Batman used the famous detective mode from his video games to recreate the fateful events of Ra’s al Ghul’s murder at the crime scene. Players will be familiar with how Detective Mode works and how it evolves as the series progresses. Initially, it was a kind of alternative vision that highlighted important objects. People highlighted by Detective Mode would appear as skeletons, and details such as heart rate and status (e.g. excited, terrified) would be marked, which has proven useful in scaring off henchmen of joker.
At time Arkham Knight, the detective mode had evolved to the point of total reconstruction of the crime scene. This mode combined evidence analysis with augmented reality to recreate a crime as accurately as possible. Before, this was limited to determining the position of armed men like arkham city, but in knightthis allowed Batman to figure out exactly what happened when the titular Arkham Knight kidnapped Barbara Gordon, among others.
That’s exactly how it works here, in Batman #122. Most likely, the intense media coverage Ra received when he met his end allowed for much more detail in this reconstruction than was seen in the Arkham games. However, the fact that Batman is able to do three-dimensional AR reconstruction, in general, is amazing and a wonderful addition straight out of Arkham’s playbook.
This isn’t the first time the games have found their way into the comics. Perhaps most notable is the character Arkham Knight, who made his comic book debut in Detective comics #1000 with a brand new identity in the form of Astrid Arkham. His most recent appearance was as an undead member of Jason Todd’s Task Force Z. Other examples of crossover games are less obvious, like the original’s Batmobile. arkham asylum game making the odd appearance in the comics.
In general, however, the inclusion of such an advanced gadget from the Arkham series shows just how advanced Dark Knight technology has become in general. Batman has always had technology that surpasses ours. While some remained science fiction, others became science fact. Batman #109 (by Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris) saw the Dark Knight with his own personal drone – and that was 1957! Therefore, Detective Mode is more than just a video game mechanic or tool for solving crimes; it’s a continuation of one of the character’s greatest legacies and could one day become true technology. Perhaps it could even be used for the very purpose Batman originally intended.
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