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Detective Comics #1000 will make the Arkham Knight canon

The villain of Rocksteady’s final Batman game will make his comics debut

An in-game screenshot of Batman: Arkham Knight featuring Batman facing off against the Arkham Knight
Batman fighting the Arkham Knight in 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight.
Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

DC Comics will celebrate Batman’s 80th anniversary and the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics — the series that the letters in “DC” stand for — by making a video game villain into comic book canon. The Arkham Knight is coming to Gotham City.

DC Comics’ plans for Detective Comics #1000 look at lot like the company’s celebration of Action Comics #1000. This March, Detective Comics will publish a 96-page anthology issue and a big hardcover edition collecting Batman stories from across the character’s history as a companion edition. Where Action Comics #1000 had the debut of Brian Michael Bendis’ first published Superman story as a draw, it appears that Detective Comics #1000 will have that sweet, sweet video game connection.

The issue itself will feature a core story that will “reveal a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight,” who first appeared as an alter ego of that series’ Jason Todd, a former Robin whose death had been faked by the Joker, so that Batman’s arch-nemesis could torture his young ally until he wanted nothing but revenge against his mentor.

Of course, Jason Todd has existed in DC Comics canon since the ’80s, although with a different backstory. Also a former Robin, he now works as a mercenary known as the Red Hood, an identity he adopted after he was murdered by the Joker and brought back to life by a series of unrelated events. He’s since developed a resentment toward Batman, after finding out that the Caped Crusader had not killed his arch-nemesis to avenge Jason’s death. It’s unclear whether Detective Comics #1000 will introduce an Arkham Knight who is related to Jason, or simply a complete reinterpretation of the character.

But either way, the story will be written by Peter J. Tomasi — who, among his many DC Comics credits, also worked on the Arkham tie-in comics — and frequent collaborator Doug Mahnke (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman and Robin).

The rest of Detective Comics #1000’s 96 pages will consist of supporting stories from other writers — and likely lots of splash pages from other artists. So far, DC has announced that writers Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Kelley Jones, Dustin Nguyen and Alex Maleev will pen parts of the issue.

Detective Comics #1000 and a companion hardcover, Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, will hit shelves in March 2019.