Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is continuing Rocksteady’s Arkhamverse, and with Batman and Harley there, it can’t just ignore the Joker.
2023 is set to be one of the most exciting years in gaming in quite some time, that is as long as some titles live up to their true potential. While games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Resident Evil 4 Remake are all just too big to fail, the jury’s still out on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. First announced back in 2020, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is Rocksteady’s first game since Batman: Arkham Knight, which was released almost eight years ago. A lot is riding on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and a lot will come down to the game’s story and writing.
Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series is one of the most critically-acclaimed superhero video game series of all time, with even the worst-performing entry, Arkham Knight, still reviewed very well at the time. While the series’ weighty, satisfying combat has always been one of its most praised aspects, its portrayal of Batman’s rogue’s gallery has also been a consistent highlight, and Rocksteady seems to be taking this one step further in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. But in all the trailers shown so far, Batman’s most iconic foe, the Joker, hasn’t been mentioned once, and the final game needs to at least reference his connection to the wider universe.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Needs to Reference the Joker’s Death
Soon after Rocksteady Games first announced Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the developer confirmed that the game would in fact be set in its ‘Arkhamverse,’ taking place sometime after the events of Batman: Arkham Knight. Right now, the timeline is a little unclear, with some sources stating that the game will take place years after Arkham Knight while others say it’s set just a few months after. Regardless of the timeline, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a direct continuation of this universe’s continuity, and that means all the characters that have shown up in both the Arkham games and Suicide Squad are one and the same.
One of the four playable characters in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is Harley Quinn, and if she is the same character as the one in the Arkhamverse, then she’s been through a hell of a lot before the events of this game. First introduced in Batman: Arkham Asylum, this version of Harley Quinn is just as obsessed with the Joker as the vast majority of other iterations, willing to do just about anything to win his affection. This continues in Batman: Arkham City, where her adoration for the Joker reaches an all-time high. When the Joker dies at the end of Arkham City, Harley becomes distraught and attempts to kill Batman and Robin in his name, which players get to experience in the Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC. This need for revenge continues in Batman: Arkham Knight, with Harley agreeing to work with Scarecrow solely to kill Batman.
It’s fair to say that the Joker’s death affected this version of Harley Quinn a lot, and though her personality seems pretty different in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, this is the same character, and the Joker’s actions will have still affected her just as much. It’s imperative that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League not only references the Joker and the events of the Arkham series, but dives right into it, giving fans plenty of conversations between the characters about how the Joker’s death affected Harley and how it informed her decision to join the Suicide Squad.
This need to reference the Joker and the events of Arkham only becomes more necessary with the inclusion of Batman. Revealed in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League‘s latest trailer, Kevin Conroy’s Batman is making one final appearance, and his presence in the game brings up a few glaring questions. As well as revealing how he survived Arkham Knight‘s Knightfall ending, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League also needs to show how Harley views Batman at this point in time and whether she still wants revenge for the Joker.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League launches May 26, 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.