Warner Bros. Montreal has already officially broken the silence on the next installment to the Arkham franchise with the announcement of Batman: Arkham Origins. Yet, it seems that many fans are still uneasy about Rocksteady’s development roll being handed off to a new developer.
What may very well be worrying most fans of the Arkham franchise though is that the story will not center around the likes of Batman’s most famous villains. Instead, WB Montreal has elected to focus on one of the most sadistic members of the Gotham City Underworld, Black Mask.
Game Informer recently shed some light on why the Black Mask is a formidable nemesis that will challenge Batman to face his own code of ethics in the wake of the masked menace’s reign of terror.
Black Mask’s center spotlight will show gamers why he is a mastermind of crime in the Gotham City of Arkham Origins. The questions that are plaguing every comic book fan’s mind is how much control Black Mask will possess of Gotham? Executing his insidious plans to take over the city may even stretch to the civilian world, as he also controls his father’s company, Janus Cosmetics. This of course only happens after he murders his parents.
The brief back story of Black Mask should be enough to intrigue fans of the game, but for a very specific reason. Ultimately, Black Mask can be viewed as a powerful nemesis once we consider the dual nature of both men. Black Mask serves as an antithesis of what Batman stands for, not only in the realm of super heroes and villains, but in the realm of normality as well. Roman Sionis’ double life as the infamous crime boss reveals his desire to take control of anything by any means necessary. He is a ruthless murderer evoking a level of fear and power that fits perfectly to challenge Bruce Wayne in his younger years in the cape and cowl.
Eric Holmes, the creative director for Batman: Arkham Origins, understands that the “Black Mask is not necessarily as prominent in people’s minds as some other classic Batman villains.” With this realization in mind, the team has dedicated themselves to ensure that “[i]t’s not something people bring a lot of baggage to when you see the Black Mask, so we have to do the work to make him scary.”
With this in mind, the creative team decided to create a Roman Sionis in the world of Origins with a vast expanse of power. Holmes elaborated on this idea by stating, “Black Mask is new money. He’s rich. He’s very, very powerful. He’s made it…and particularly at this point in the Arkham franchise he has enormous resources.” These limitless resources are exactly what allows Black Mask to hire eight of the world’s deadliest assassins to arrive in Gotham on Christmas Eve, and eliminate the Bat once and for all.
We will have to wait to understand more behind Black Mask’s motivations in Batman: Arkham Origins. It seems fair enough to assume though that he may simply be trying to make life easier for a criminal in Gotham. One thing is for sure, “His thing is torture. That is what gets his rocks off, and he’s really good at it.”
What do you think? Will Black Mask make for a formidable opponent?