If industry insiders are to be believed, WB Montreal has been working on one failed DC Comics game project in ‘development hell’ after another ever since Batman: Arkham Origins delighted fans of Gotham City way back in 2013. Thankfully, it now looks like they plan to launch a new game sometime quite soon.
A project already heavily hinted at by both the development studio and people-in-the-know at DC Comics like Scott Snyder on Twitter, the game supposedly called Batman: Arkham Legacy is expected to follow the expanded roster of ‘Bat-Family’ characters on an adventure as they battle the fearsome Court of Owls for the fate of Gotham City and perhaps even the world itself.
Beware The Court Of Owls
The Court of Owls first appeared back in Batman (2011-2016) and was created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to serve as Batman’s main foes in the first two-story arcs of a long run that originally launched as part of DC’s The New 52 line wide comic book reboot event.
Snyder and Capullo’s comics revealed that The Court of Owls had existed for centuries before Bruce Wayne was even born and that their leadership may even have included members of his family from time to time.
The Court uses its money, old architecture and political influence to control Gotham City and its development from the shadows for its own agenda. They believe themselves to be the only real saviours and most important urban legend of Gotham, taking issue with Batman’s very existence as a matter of pride.
Although the cabal’s leaders started out as humans, they seem to somehow have super-human resilience and a disproportionately long lifespan. They may even be functionally immortal, having demonstrated the ability to bring court members back from the dead on more than one occasion. The Court of Owls that exists within Gotham is only a small part of a larger global syndicate called The Parliament of Owls, although their goals and attitudes do not always align.
Within the DC Universe the Court of Owls was initially considered a fiction, an urban legend passed down between generations in the form of a nursery rhyme. As a child Bruce Wayne once thought that The Court of Owls could have been responsible for the murder of his parents. He even personally investigated the possibility, but was unable to find any evidence to prove his theory.
Ruling Gotham From A Shadow Perch
It’s interesting to note the ‘Bat-Family’ aspect of the Batman: Arkham Legacy rumour as The Court of Owls have an interesting connection to Wayne’s adopted son Dick Greyson, the man that was the original Robin and later became the solo vigilante Nightwing.
As a part of his The New 52 relaunch story Greyson learned that after his parents had been killed in a ‘circus accident’ (actually a mob hit) the Court had originally planned to adopt him, only changing their plans to avoid a full-on confrontation when they discovered he had instead been taken in by the Batman.
He soon learned that he was in fact their prophesised “Grey Son” and that both his family and the circus they worked for had had strong links to The Court’s crime syndicate from the beginning. They attempt from then on to convince him to join their ranks and he eventually takes them up on the offer so that he can attempt to take them down from within.
They’ll Send The Talon For Your Head
The Talons are The Court’s primary method of neutralising outsiders and protecting their secret existence from any threats that may arise. These powerful, stealthy and often not-quite-human assassins are conditioned to be absolutely and unconditionally loyal to their fellow Owls. Traditionally they remain in suspended animation within the group’s inner sanctum until they are needed, with only one active at a time outside of rare circumstances.
It’s possible for Talons to be revived from the dead with a combination of electrum and a proprietary serum. A Talon revived in this way appears to be basically unkillable. There are examples of these Talons surviving losing body parts and even falling from the tops of skyscrapers. If left in low enough cold temperatures for long enough, revived Talons go back into stasis, but the only way to truly defeat one that has been revived in this way is a poison also created for internal use by The Court.
These fearsome warriors are trained to be both experts in hand-to-hand combat and master knife throwers, often using those skills to perform assassinations for their masters.
The Talons aren’t the only soldiers of The Court of Owls, however. Also in The Court’s service are terrifying mutants, spine-chilling owl-human hybrids that have no problem feasting upon the flesh of their victims.
The Court of Owls is a relatively new creation in the grand scheme of things for DC Comics, but they have quickly become fan favourites. They’re the sort of foes that are likely to return again and again in future stories and adaptations and —well, it all sounds like it’d be brilliant video game stuff, right?
WB Montreal’s Batman: Arkham Legacy is currently just a rumour, but we believe it might launch before the end of 2020.