Poison Ivy

Costume Couture: Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes & Villains

Happy Pride Month! To celebrate, Rae and Ian discuss their Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes and Villains from comic books, videos games, and more! We cover good guys and bad guys from DC Comics, Marvel, X-Men, Overwatch, and so much more to help celebrate the LGBT+ pop culture icons we have today.

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

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Costume Couture: Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes & Villains

Costume Couture: DC Superhero Girls

Many superhero and villain costumes come off as being a little too adult for kids. You’ve got the classic Powergirl boob window and Starfire showing off a lot of skin. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn aren’t exactly the most child friendly characters out there either. So, DC Entertainment had their work cut out for them when they decided to bring an animated series to young girls, DC Superhero Girls. The show start in 2015 as a webseries with one straight to DVD movie. DC Superhero Girls includes class good guys like Wonder Woman and Batgirl, plus some villain and anti-hero types like Harley and Ivy.

This week, we talk about their costumes and styles, looking and how DC Superheroe Girls was able to bring these characters to young girls without totally losing who they are while keeping them appropriate.

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Rae of SirynRae Cosplay
Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay

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Costume Couture: DC Superhero Girls

Batman and Harley Quinn – Quick Movie Take

Ian and Rae of Costume Couture hit up the Fathom event for Batman and Harley Quinn, a new animated movie focusing on the Dark Knight, Harley, Nightwing, and Poison Ivy. The movie includes legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy and Harley Quinn newcomer Melissa Rauch (Big Bang Theory). The story is by Bruce Timm too!

We’ve got their spoiler-free Quick Movie Take below, so check it out and then see the movie yourself on Blu-Ray August 29th.

Here’s the description from the Fathom One Night Only Event held on August 14th:

From an original story by animation icon Bruce Timm, comes an all-new DC Universe animated movie. Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. The result is a thrill ride of action, adventure and comedy no Batman fan has seen before.

Batman and Harley Quinn features a stellar voice cast led by Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) reprising his role as the Dark Knight, alongside Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) making her debut as the irrepressible Harley Quinn. Loren Lester, the voice of Robin in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as Nightwing.

Does this sound like a movie you’d enjoy? Did you see it already? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Facebook and Twitter!

Batman and Harley Quinn – Quick Movie Take

Costume Couture: Injustice 2

The battle for DC continues in a new video game, Injustice 2 and we’re here to talk about the incredibly cool and sometimes totally lame costumes. Injustice is an alternate DC universe where Superman is the bad guy, just about anyone can get superpowers, and everyone wears armor. Sometimes that creates a very cool new look but other times, we just don’t understand why they bothered.

Also, don’t miss our Cosplayer of the Week, Kuda Cosplay who can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Patreon!

Catch Rae are her new handle SirynRae and Ian at Haus of Turner Cosplay!

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Cosplayer of the Week
Kuda Cosplay

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Costume Couture: Injustice 2

Costume Couture: DC Bombshells

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the fabulous DC Bombshells by Ant Lucia in the last 6 years.  What started as a couple pin up pictures has grown into an entire franchise of its own. Statues, calendars, playing cards, and more; this series can be found everywhere.  Even better, it’s been embraced by cosplayers, creating unique outlets for Ant Lucia’s work. Which ones are your favorites? Have you cosplayed a Bombshell before?

Wanna know our favorites? Check out this week’s Costume Couture!

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Rae of SirynRae Cosplay
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Costume Couture: DC Bombshells

Costume Couture: Ana Chronistic Cosplay

Our first guest joins us on Costume Couture, Ana Chronistic Cosplay! Ana Chronistic is known for her work with children’s events using any number of her Disney Princess cosplay options including Cinderella, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast, as well as her work with the Renaissance Faire. Her cosplays range from princess to superheroes and even super villains! She’s tackled some pretty intense cosplay costumes including a Marvel Squirrel Girl and has a dream cosplay that is even more intense! You’ll have to watch our latest episode to find out the details.

What did you think of Ana Chronistic Cosplay and her awesome costumes? Are there any characters you think she’d be perfect for? Comment on our YouTube Channel and don’t forget to subscribe! We’ll be back next week.

Costume Couture: Ana Chronistic Cosplay

Costume Couture: X-Men Trilogy

Costume Couture continues with a look at the entire original X-Men trilogy including Wolverine, Professor X, Mystique, Rogue, Storm, Nightcrawler, and even some more obscure characters. We talk about the black leather look compared to the original yellow and blue spandex, which characters it worked for and which ones it clearly did not. We also discuss some of our thoughts on the movies as a whole, did they do a good job in portraying their comic book characters? You’ll have to watch to find out!

In addition to talk costumes and designs, we also welcome our next Cosplayer of the Week, Jason Kiss (AKA The Snarky Gay Guy)! He’s known for his DC Comics’ Nightwing and genderbent Poison Ivy.

Check out our second episode below and comment with your thoughts!

Costume Couture is hosted by Rae of Super Sirens Cosplay and Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay.

What did you think of our second episode? Subscribe on YouTube and comment on the video with your thoughts on the X-Men trilogy’s costumes and design concepts. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you want a chance at being Cosplayer of the Week? Submit a form here!

Stay tuned for a new episode every week! Costume Couture will be analyzing all kinds of costumes and styles from Princess movies, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, and more! Plus, we’ll have even more cosplayers and prop builders featured!

Costume Couture: X-Men Trilogy

SH S3E08: Gotham City Sirens Casting

The Gotham City Sirens are coming thanks to Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn in the DCEU film Suicide Squad. So, we hang out with both of the Super Sirens to cast our own Gotham City Sirens movies. We cast Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Black Mask, Nightwing, Batgirl, and other classic DC Comics characters. So sit back, relax, and then let us know your thoughts on our casts plus who you think should fill these roles.

Be sure to head over to our Facebook page to let us know your thoughts on the Justice League Dark movie!

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Hillary Lewis

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S3E08: Gotham City Sirens Casting

Rebirth Harley Quinn: The Joker’s Call Review

Allow me to start by making a statement of opinion: I am not a fan of The New 52 Harley Quinn writing team or the work they have done on the series. The review you are reading is a reflection of that opinion, and I understand that there are readers who appreciate this series. I do not wish to put off that audience. While sales suggest this audience is turning away from the series, the readership was strong and committed to the point that. Unlike almost every other DC title, the creative leads on the series were not changed over or stories reset by the Rebirth event. This was a disappointment to me, but there have been suggestions of a shift in story that might occur.

Please be aware that from this point on there will be spoilers for some of the Harley Quinn series, specifically the more recent issues with the return of the Joker. You have been warned.

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I have not read the complete series of The New 52, now Rebirth, the Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti Harley Quinn, but not for lack of trying. I find their stories inconsequential and shallow, and feel that the character they are working with now, that their continued storytelling has created, has little similarity to the 25-year-old character that shares it’s name. However, this is not to say that Harley Quinn cannot survive on her own without The Joker, a choice that much of these stories works with, or that she cannot hold her own in a title of her own. Her early 2000s series and Gotham City Sirens both demonstrate otherwise. Any reader, fan base included, who claims that stories involving this character needn’t or shouldn’t have depth are simply incorrect. Characters change and evolve, but this character isn’t only dissimilar to what she had been but has been stripped of what one would consider character. Removing her of larger, more worthwhile conflict has created mostly a vehicle for jokes and innuendo that is great for selling products and looking good on covers. Outside of character issues, I find the writing in itself difficult to follow. I won’t make sweeping statements; most of these critiques are reflected in the recent issues that I want to comment on. All of this said, let’s focus on the most recent issues of the series that offer a carrot to fans of the origins of the character and a possible relationship with Joker. I tune-in and read the series when there is a story being told that interests me. Recently, the series has courted fans who want to see Harley in a more consistent relationship that reflects her history, grounding her in her roots between Joker and Poison Ivy that were cemented in Batman: The Animated Series. A few panels went viral and created discussion and debate when Harley seemed to finally answer the will they/won’t they with Joker.

bite

He attacks her, forcing himself on her, and she bites his lip, leaving him bleeding on the floor and stating she will never follow his demands again. Many fans liked this, as it demonstrated her ability to overcome abuse and gave her growth beyond being a subsidiary character to Joker. Issues followed in which Harley and Ivy are shown solidifying their relationship, with Harley asking to become something consistent. This story was done over several issues, and the answer from Ivy delayed by a story of their vacation adventures. Finally, she states that she can’t commit, because of her responsibility to plants. Really.

Ivy

While I understand the concept that Ivy’s mission is more important than her relationship with Harley, there are no stakes that dictate the need for a choice. There is nothing pressing that keeps Ivy from spending her time with Harley and nothing that kept her from taking a vacation and participating in adventures with Harley any more than she would be creating adventures individually.

At that juncture, I tuned off again. However, it didn’t take the creative team long to create a new relationship option, one that interested me within the confines of this canon: Joker wants her back.

Issue #9 shows Harley returning to the roller derby and once more fighting someone who beat her in an early comic, Bertha. Someone in the audience kills Bertha when she is close to murdering Harley, saving her. The rest of the comic is essentially padding with multiple dream sequences that are cute but have little importance. Yes, we know Harley is weighed by her past with Joker. Yes, we know Harley likely remembers her affection for Ivy sweetly. Outside of reminding us of that, these sequences do little. There is also a small subplot in which Harley buys some pizza, stops a robber, and gets free pizza for life, giving some to a homeless man. These sorts of stories are common in this series, attempts to show Harley as compassionate and human in extremely hammy ways that otherwise aren’t important to the plot. The disjointed subplots and dream segments make for stories that are difficult to follow. These minor plots, attempted to actually convey some form of character, are often more limited in page count than fluff, making them difficult to take with weight. The comic ends with Joker being in Harley’s apartment when she gets home.

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Issue #10 is a holiday comic. Issue #11 starts with a terse discussion between Harley and Joker where he asks her to meet him the next day in public to show he is a changed man. It then reacquaints readers with Red Tool, a parody character intended as a stand-in to answer the fan question, “what would a relationship between Harley and Deadpool be like?” The answer is “uninteresting.” Deadpool may be intentionally grating and verbose, but this character shares none of that wisecracking brevity or fun. Red Tool is essentially a guy in a suit similar to Deadpool who seeks to protect Harley because of an attraction to her. His dialogue is wordy, yes, but it isn’t written to be fun or clever. It’s lengthy because they haven’t resolved how to show story instead of tell story, an issue I have always had with these comics. That isn’t to say the dialogue reads like exposition drop. Between the accents they awkwardly write into each character and the choices made in speech layout.  It can be difficult to follow what is being said between forced catchphrases and supposed colloquial language. Red Tool makes Joker leave and Harley intends to meet him later. The pair return to an earlier unfinished plot of a door on the carnival lot that is locked. They break the door with grenades and find a monster inside. Similarly, this story is short, depicting it as insignificant, despite there being lots of questions about a huge goo monster. Escaping it, Harley returns home exhausted and sets her clock to meet Joker. Instead, Red Tool meets him.

Issue #12 has Harley sleeping through the meeting because Red Tool changed her alarm, and the two men exchange words. Joker tells him he will not fight. Red Tool then beats him. Harley is woken by the noon bells and realizes her alarm was changed. She hurries to find Red Tool beating Joker, telling him to stop and that, because of the altercation and change of her clock, she will not speak to him for a month. She takes Joker home and ties him to a chair, blindfolding him and taking him into the city. Joker demonstrates he does not intend to harm her. His dialogue is somewhat unusual, little of it seeming like it is coming from the character. He rarely smiles or makes a joke. This can be attributed to his hope to show himself as a “changed person,” but to me, personally, it simply feels out of place. Harley leaves him in the middle of the road with a sign that says “Brooklyn Sucks.” He is beaten and run over by several drivers. While the comic is billed as a conflict between Red Tool and Joker, it really isn’t. Joker takes the beating and Red Tool is shown as a bully. While Joker isn’t depicted as a victim, really, he is more of a mannequin; the reader doesn’t feel bad for him or validated for Harley’s choice to have him harmed. The actions he takes, or lack of, seem so lifeless that it comes across as totally inconsequential, something that has always been the main issue with the series.

In all, the attempt to draw in fans of Harley and Joker as well as fans of Harley who don’t want her to return to Joker is unsatisfying for either. Joker does little, Harley doesn’t make a choice, and the most significant encounter is Red Tool’s leaving the story for what will likely be the duration of this arc, something fans of Red Tool will be frustrated by. The choice to show Joker as less aggressive towards Harley is presumably a response to the reception of Joker as a more compassionate character in Suicide Squad. With the abuse removed from the final film, fans can subscribe to their relationship with limited backlash and DC can sell more merchandise that references their partnership. That said, one of the biggest criticisms of the merchandise is also one of the strangest parts of this story up to issue 11: Mad Love.

reference

“Mad Love” is the story that summarizes the pair’s union and depicts their backstory that every version since has worked around, up until The New 52. And this issue of Harley Quinn either redraws and re-contextualizes or flat-out blatantly reuses panels or concepts originally presented in Mad Love. These panels are some of the most interesting and engaging pages of these issues, and that’s the problem, because these stories didn’t exist in this canon until now. Harley in her nightie with bleached skin doesn’t seem unusual, but it depicts a version of this character, and her relationship, that carries more depth and subtlety than this series has offered. Not only do these panels serve only as a reminder of what both was and what this series struggles to be, many of them are improbable or impossible in the canon of this series. This is not only a problem in writing, but serves to demonstrate what fans want against what they choose to give us. These panels serve to do little more than to bait readers with a strong reaction to the original stories, with either affection or disdain. If references to other stories, stories that the series has mostly ignored or worked around in unsubtle ways, is the most appealing part of your current series, that series has, no pun intended, issues.

While this arc will likely see Joker warming in Harley’s opinion, the handling of this concept over the current series seems more like a choose your own adventure but not for the reader, rather for the staff. The series will be predicted by responses, each issue ending without resolution and being drawn out similar to the story of Harley and Ivy. At best, they will make a choice that will violate the trust of a group of readers. At worst, there will be little movement in the story, something this series has struggled with for years, and while no one will be entirely put off, no one will be served, either. In other words: please tell us a story.

Rebirth Harley Quinn: The Joker’s Call Review

SH S2E21: Ranking the Batman Villains

We return to the DC Comics world of Batman to rank his Top 20 villains including the big names like The Penguin and Catwoman plus some less-iconic characters including Phantasm and Killer Croc. In Episode 47 of the Heroes Podcast Network flagship series, we are joined by special guest and our #1 Patreon contributor, Jordan Seper! This was also his suggested topic, just another perk of being a Patreon contributor. Want to see what other cool stuff you can get? Head over to patreon.com\heroespodcasts to check out the perks.

Don’t forget that we have re-branded! The Grid Daily is now the Heroes Podcast Network and we have new homes across the Interwebs. So check out the updated links below and make sure you follow our brand new Twitch Channel at twitch.tv\heroespodcasts.

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Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com\HeroesPodcasts

Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Jordan Seper

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S2E21: Ranking the Batman Villains

Psycho Killers and the Women Who Love Them: Harley Quinn, Abuse, and Cosplay Pt 1

Suicide Squad is the most successful August movie in history and it brought many characters unfamiliar to non-comic audiences to the front of pop culture conversation. In the wake of all the buzz, more people than ever are asking “who is Harley Quinn?” Almost anyone with a little geek knowledge can tell you she’s the Joker’s moll, but it’s a much more complicated question than that, fraught with questions of morality, violence, romanticization, sexualization, and perhaps most of all, love. We took the time out to really analyze these issues by viewing them through the lens of what turned out to be a surprisingly large section of comics audiences: Harley Quinn fans who also identified as victims of abuse.

Few characters capture the imagination of on-screen and comic audiences quite like the Joker. He is the longest-standing comic villain and has the most iterations of any of Batman’s rogue gallery, from the big screen to the small. Since the popularity of Batman: The Animated Series, fans have found pleasure in pairing the Clown Prince of Crime with a partner: Harley Quinn. Originally intended to be a one-off henchwoman, Harley was written by Paul Dini and designed by Bruce Timm in 1992. Quinn only appeared in nine episodes to her beau’s 15, but her iconic appearance, personality, and voice has lived on for over 20 years. Quinn has found herself the star of multiple spin-off comics and found further success in the New 52. For comic fans, Harley may be DC’s brightest star. For cosplayers, the Joker and Harley Quinn have found themselves to be two of the most-imitated characters in the Batverse. This success, however, isn’t without it’s critics.

The characters do not have what anyone in their right mind would call a healthy relationship. Harleen Quinzel became Harley Quinn to appease the man she loved, a love most would agree is built around Joker’s manipulation and Harley’s attraction to the psychologically extreme. In 1994’s “Mad Love”, their relationship was explored and given both a back story and a bottom line: love is not always kind, or sane. Harley was a young, capable doctor with no history of crime or mental issues prior to meeting Mr. J. Joker throws Harley out a window, and all it takes is a note attached to some flowers sent to her hospital room to take Harley from “never again” to “whenever he wants.”

Harley Quinn I1

Harley’s standalone comics have seen her pairing up (read: sometimes shacking up) with other DC characters, with Poison Ivy often stepping in to fill the clown’s squeaky shoes. Ivy occasionally perpetuates her own brand of manipulation, but she is definitely more of a straight shooter, and is shown to both outwardly care for and reciprocate the feelings of Quinn. In other words, since her inception, Harley has been familiar with abuse, mental, emotional, and physical.

Harley Quinn I2

That isn’t to say that Harley doesn’t do her own share of violent things to the ones she cares for. Joker may often take the prize at “most manipulative,” but Harley was a gymnast, and has shown herself to be a capable foe physically. She is also  powered up by Ivy in both the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Harley and Ivy” and during “No Man’s Land”, gaining extra strength and agility as well as an immunity to poisons. When the Joker sets her off, it isn’t the Dark Knight she is taking out her aggression on.

Harley Quinn I3

So, who would find these two appealing? Apparently, a lot of DC’s audience. Harley and Joker as a pair are some of the most sought after DC collectibles, and Alex Ross’ recent work, titled “Mind If I Cut In?” depicts the couple seconds after the Caped Crusader steps in on their now-classic pose. The print goes for upwards of $900 dollars and fans seem willing to spend it. Retail stores like Hot Topic sell merchandise of both “Mad Love” and Alex Ross’ work, as well as other products that depict the particularly toxic duo’s relationship as something to be admired.

Harley Quinn I4

This depiction, as well as countless works of fan art and fiction, has drawn criticism from those who feel that the relationship and it’s romanticization is a detriment to readers. Opposing remarks can be found about couples who cosplay as the grinning lovers. Detractors say that romanticizing the two is a detriment to those who have had abusive relationships, and that cosplay is idolization of a dangerous, problematic pairing. Some have went as far as to say that, if you do not have a history of abuse, you can’t enjoy them.

Harley Quinn I5

Negative representations of relationships skewed to be romantic aren’t new. Romeo and Juliet have been criticized for pushing dangerous versions of love since long before New York accents and definitely prior to Paul Dini giving one to a girl dressed like a harlequin. “There is tons of violence in Shakespeare, there is nothing wrong with enjoying/appreciating it because it is  just art. Just like comics are art,” said Andrew Arkham Cosplay.

So, who are these fans? How do these people deal with the idea that their beloved couple might be a poor example for relationships? We spoke to Joker and Harley cosplayers about their interest in the characters, their history with relationships, and if, and where, the two meet. Trigger warning for anyone reading who might find discussions of abuse, both mental and physical difficult, as this is a discussion with abuse victims about their experience and the ways in which they have found to deal with their past.

Next week, we continue our series of interviews with cosplayers and dive into the world of fictional abuse and it’s significance in real world affinity for characterization. Tune in Monday for more.

Psycho Killers and the Women Who Love Them: Harley Quinn, Abuse, and Cosplay Pt 1

Batman: Arkham Knight – Review

I just finished my first play through of Batman: Arkham Knight. To fully explain how I feel about the game, I have to start by describing how I felt about the other installments of the series. There will be no spoilers for Arkham Knight, but previous games in the series, as they are all old at this point, are fair game.

I enjoyed Arkham Asylum quite a bit. Arkham City was fun, though at times it was difficult to figure out where I needed to go or what I needed to do next.  And honestly I was really annoyed that Talia died before the story was over. But after two games with the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill in what I can only describe as an iconic performance) inserting himself as the main villain of the story, I was really quite ready to move on. Batman has other villains you know. How about allowing one of them to be the spotlight central villain for once?

 

Arkham Knight - Joker Which brings us to Batman: Arkham Origins, the one game in the series that I never purchased or played. Why not? Well, first off, because these days, I have a general dislike of prequels. I prefer to get to see what happens next, not how it all began, since I’ve already seen pieces of that, or enough to feel that there isn’t much of real interest there. Then I learned that the primary villain for Origins was Black Mask…except that it was really just Joker PRETENDING to be Black Mask. So that makes three games with Joker as the primary villain. Color me not interested.

Now we have Batman: Arkham Knight. The graphics are beautiful, the controls nice and clean. Driving the Batmobile around Gotham and generally causing mayhem with it is incredibly fun. But my first concern was that, despite the fact that the Joker died at the end of Arkham City, he would somehow come back and once again insert himself as the primary villain to the story. And while Joker does show up in the story, the way in which he participates is extremely different than previous installments of the series, and gave both Joker and Batman a new twist for us to enjoy the characters through.  And Mark Hamill once again delivers an amazing performance as Joker.  It’s going to be very difficult for me to accept someone else ever voicing that role again.

 

Arkham Knight - Female Characters

 

A conversation with some friends on Facebook brought up a post over at The Mary Sue (warning, the article contains spoilers for the game) bringing the game to task for its treatment of the female characters in the cast. But what it ultimately boils down to is that all three female characters in this game (Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and Oracle/Barbara Gordon) seem to exist primarily so that Batman can save them. Poison Ivy and Oracle at least have a slight boost in that they also serve a very specific plot function, but Catwoman is literally restricted to a single building the entire game.

While I dislike how those characters are treated, the male supporting characters only seem to come across marginally better. The general sentiment I came away from the game with is, everyone is incompetent except for Batman. There was a moment during the game where I thought I would switch to playing Robin for a bit, while Batman recovered for a bit…but that didn’t happen. Instead, Batman runs off on his own again to prove how awesome he is… because he’s Batman!  With this being the last game in the series, and considering how the game ends (more on that in a minute), I was really hoping that some of the other characters, specifically Robin and Nightwing, would get more screen time or have more of an opportunity to shine.

Arkham Knight

Then there’s the Arkham Knight character himself, which I have a problem with. I’m going to try and not spoil who the character is, since the reveal itself was fairly well done… but by the point the reveal comes, it isn’t exactly a surprise anymore. It’s telegraphed fairly strongly about halfway through the game when Batman is seeing/hallucinating certain events that Joker was involved with regarding another character. As I’m watching that scene, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh that’s who the Arkham Knight is.”  The fact that it is telegraphed fairly early isn’t the problem. Who the Arkham Knight ended up being isn’t the problem. The problem is that, after finally being able to confront the Arkham Knight, the character essentially disappears. This is the character that this installment of the series is named after, and it was really disappointing that we didn’t get some kind of real resolution to the character.

Of course, given the way the game ends, that’s how I kind of feel about the conclusion to the game in general: disappointed with the lack of resolution. And since this is the last installment to the series (at least as far as developer Rocksteady is concerned), I have no hope of getting the resolution I’m looking for. We get nothing in the way of real parting words or last wishes from Batman to the people that he has trained to be the next generation of heroes. If you solve 100% of the puzzles and quests in the game prior to triggering the ending cinematic, you’re treated to an ever-so-slightly altered ending cinematic (that contains a few sentences of additional dialogue and one additional scene at the end) that leaves you with more questions than answers. For my money, that’s a rather distasteful way to close out a series.

All in all, the game is fun to play, but on days where I’m looking for a good story to experience, I’ll have to play something else. I guess this is what the Batman: Arkham series wants to be: a way for you to experience the thrill of being Batman and punching out the bad guys, without regard to how any kind of narrative connecting events together.  Perhaps Joker best sums up my feelings on the game, in one of the first lines he delivers in this game:

“Oh, Bats, how I’ve missed you. All the subtlety and nuance of a napalm enema…”

Batman: Arkham Knight – Review