Here’s what happened after Batman: Arkham Knight, according to Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is explicitly set in the Arkhamverse created by Rocksteady, meaning it’s a semi-sequel to 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight. Considering how that game ends and how this game begins, there are some questions that need to be answered for fans of the story persistent, and thankfully Rocksteady takes a moment to set the record straight in an early scene in the game.
Please note that this article contains spoilers for Suicide Squad and Batman: Arkham Knight.
In one of the first missions in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, the anti-hero quartet find themselves in a museum dedicated to Batman. In-universe, it’s because Batman rules and that’s reason enough, right? But it also serves as a way for Rocksteady to revisit its previous efforts and even answer some lingering questions along the way.
For those who have finished Batman: Arkham Knight, you know that the game ends with Batman faking Bruce Wayne’s death, his identity beneath the mask. In the game’s true ending, you can even see someone wearing a cape and cowl as he takes down some of Gotham’s street-level villains, though specifically… when It is never explained that this happened. Presumably, although not explicitly stated, this was still the same Batman players controlled throughout the series. So the question of how Batman would relate to the Batman seen in Suicide Squad was an unresolved question. If it was him, what was he doing?
Rocksteady makes this clear in Suicide Squad, albeit briefly. In the Batman Museum exhibit, the final display serves as a way to explain what Batman has been doing in the five years between the events of Arkham Knight and Suicide Squad. According to the display at the museum, Batman returns to the world after years out of the picture, admitting that he is the one and only Bruce Wayne, and thus admitting that he faked his death as Wayne.
He then takes on a role as a member of the Justice League, at the group’s request, and is said to now serve a much larger area than just his stomping ground in Gotham. If you want to read the explanation verbatim, here’s how Jack Ryder’s in-game voiceover is worded:
After several years of faking his death, Bruce Wayne has finally returned, drawn to the light by supernatural “superheroes.” They asked Batman to join the Justice League. He accepts. And so the story of Bruce Wayne – Batman – continues far from the streets of the city that made him.
This still leaves a lot to question – namely whether he went out of business, and during that time others might have protected Gotham, or if he never relented and simply allowed citizens to assume that someone else was under the mask. However, it does provide a measure of closure for those who, nearly a decade later, are still wondering how to interpret the ending of Arkham Knight.
For more on what Suicide Squad tells us about the Arkhamverse, here’s what she (or… no Say) about Arkham Origins.