In the wake of the Magistrate’s total takeover, without the original Batman to protect Gotham, the Arkham Knights are becoming a new beacon of hope.
Warning: Spoilers for Future State: The Next Batman #3 ahead
They are the Arkham Knights: a ragtag group of misfits, monsters, and ex-insane asylum patients on a mission to save Gotham from the totalitarian regime which plagues it. In Future State: The Next Batman readers are given a look into a dark possible future for Gotham City, darker than anything it’s seen before. The original Batman is thought to be dead and unlikely heroes are coming out from the shadows to fill the void.
Lead by Astrid Arkham, the Arkham Knight, this team is made up of a rather unusual roster. Harvey Dent acts as second in command, the likes of Victor Zsasz and Dr. Phosphorus fall in amongst the ranks, and they’ve even recruited Killer Croc to add some extra muscle. At a glance, the team seems like a recipe for disaster considering it’s filled with less than sane, and more than agitated, personalities. Yet, somehow, Astrid has managed to keep them all cohesive, grounded, and functioning. She founded a new sort of Justice League in the shadows of Gotham’s darkest days, and she’s determined to fight with them until the sun rises again.
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From the first issue of this sub-story in The Next Batman series, it hasn’t been completely clear what the group’s intentions are. They’ve taken over what was once Wayne Manor as their headquarters and seem to be fighting for the good of Gotham. This is altogether surprising considering they don’t all have the shiniest of track records. Nevertheless, they seem to be combining their efforts to fight off the Magistrate. In this most recent issue by writer Paul Jenkins and artist Jack Herbert, the Arkham Knights have grown their ranks and are mobilizing for a mission that isn’t entirely clear at first. While the Magistrate Peacekeepers’ think the Knights are coming for their arsenal, Astrid has her eye set on something else. Instead of heading for the weaponry like anticipated, the team heads for the roof of the old police precinct in order to obtain a very recognizable relic of the past: the Bat-Signal. While Peacekeeper-06 and her comrades don’t fully understand the purpose of the heist, considering all she see’s is an old floodlight, there is no doubt Astrid has big plans for her prize.
Unfortunately, Dr. Phosphorus died on the mission, but Astrid is determined to not let his loss be in vain. The artifact is more than just a floodlight to her. It is a new beacon of hope for the people of Gotham. No longer will it signal the Batman, but rather, it will be their sun, a light in the darkness they’ve found themselves trapped in. The concept of the sun rising again, finding a light in the darkness, is a thread that weaves itself throughout Astrid’s character and motives. It’s fitting that this is the emblem she chooses to project into the night sky and utilizing the same tool that once was used to beckon her old foe is quite a fitting representation of the role she has chosen to fill.
The Arkham Knights might seem like a crazy bomb waiting to go off, but under Astrid’s leadership, they form a fairly formidable team that is hell-bent on reminding the Magistrate that they shouldn’t let their guard down.
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