I wonder how much my enjoyment of Batman Arkham Knight stems from my relative dislike of Batman as a character. I've always preferred the villains of Gotham, and viewed Batman as a sounding board for their wild ideas. Batman Arkham Knight is my dream Batman story: Batman behaves less and less like Batman, and the weirdest villains are given more and more chances to be as silly, non-sensical, and extravagant. This isn't the Nolan universe, and thank goodness.
This comic by Chris Furniss, one of my favorite comic strip artists, nails the game's not-so-subtle goofiness. In one night, Batman is expected to save all of Gotham from Scarecrow's chemical weapon attack, along with a few individual allies from direct harm, but we, as the hero, have no problem stopping here and there to solve Riddler's elaborate car puzzle, which must have cost millions of dollars and countless years to secretly construct beneath the city's streets.
The promo for the game says, "Be the Batman," but in some ways like Gita Jackson at Paste, I don't want to be Batman in this world. I don't want to feel like a rich, grumpy dude with a vendetta and a tony penthouse. I just want to be an audience for all the villains who commit crimes just so they can leave me increasingly over-the-top calling cards.
Batman's high stakes obligations demand to be handled immediately, but his video game coaxes me to do anything but save the city. Mercifully in this version of Gotham, this one trouble night never really has to end. Bad news for the hostages is great news for Cool Driving Batman.
You can see more of Furniss' work on his Facebook page. This Batman comic comes from his daily comic series. The first zine collection of those comics is available at Etsy.