The new comic book version of the Arkham Knight isn't who readers may expect based on the villain's video game namesake - and the mystery of just who is under the helmet will be central to Detective Comics #1000 and the story which spins out of it, running through issue #1005.
And to the new Arkham Knight - whoever it winds up being - Batman is "most definitely" a villain.
"It comes from the Arkham Knight, from their perspective as it plays out from that from that story — and then of course through the subsequent storyline," writer Peter Tomasi told The Hollywood Reporter. "We really start to peel back the layers to their perspective which, due to their upbringing, is very much tainted by [the idea of] Batman being a villain. In Arkham Knight's eyes, Batman is just a dark black hole over Gotham, and continues to suck the life energy out of it."
"So it all stems from really examining Arkham Knight, and what this new character is all about, and making sure it played a central part in the origin," Tomasi explained. "In the origin of the Arkham Knight, Batman is most definitely a villain."
And in the course of telling the Arkham Knight's origin (which Tomasi says gets "a lot of real estate" in the six-part series), Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke will revisit some of the most iconic moments in Batman's career - through a lens that shows Batman's villainous side.
"It's playing with that whole adage that the best heroes really truly believe they're the hero. in this case we really wanted to be the to the Nth degree, and this character really really feels it's there to save Gotham and destroy Batman for no reason like, they've been in jail, or being disturbed," Tomasi explained. "It's purely a person who wants to do good."
Detective Comics #1000 goes on sale March 27.