How does Rocksteady Studios follow up on the smash hits that were Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City? It takes a new direction entirely. Variety reports that the next Batman title from Rocksteady is not another gritty Arkham adventure, but is instead a prequel in which Batman and his nemesis The Joker meet for the very first time. Sure, it sounds intriguing, but here's the twist: it's all set in the Silver Age of Comic Books and supposedly features a highly stylized presentation over the gloom of the two Arkham titles. Here's Variety:
Variety has learned that WBIE is expected to reteam some of the characters in some form for the next installment in Rocksteady Studios' gritty vidgame series that began with "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Arkham City."
New, highly stylized title is being developed as a prequel that revolves around Batman's first meeting with the Joker. It's based on the Silver Age of DC's comicbooks from the 1950s when the Caped Crusader teamed with other heroes like Superman and founded the Justice League of America.
Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill voiced Batman and the Joker, respectively, in the previous games. Hamill has already said he won't be back to play the villain in the next game.
I'm not sure what to think of this right now. I loved the two Arkham games and want to see what happens next following the end of City and the Harley Quinn's Revenge epilogue. There are definite issues that need resolution. I need closure! Of course, nobody is saying that this prequel is a proper Arkham 3 and it may just be a new branch of the tree that is the overall Batman merchandising machine. As an initial pitch this sounds very interesting, but I worry that it will end up bogged down in Silver Age silliness. I talked to my pal Joey Davidson regarding whether or not a Silver Age story must be inherently silly and he helped to settle my fears:
@PressTheButtons Nah. Other modern writers have taken Silver Age material and made it extremely mature.— Joey Davidson (@JoeyDavidson) July 11, 2012
Perhaps things will be alright after all. Hey, Rocksteady, how about announcing something and showing off a few screenshots to bring us all on board?