Warning: this article contains spoilers for the ending of Batman: Arkham Knight!
Arkham Knight opens with an ominous bit of narration from Commissioner Gordon, “This is how it happened. This is how the Batman died.” From there, the final entry in the Arkham video game quadrilogy proceeds to document Batman’s final night as Gotham’s protector. Bruce Wayne faces a gauntlet of foes, conquers his fears and apparently sacrifices himself in order to ensure that Batman transforms into Bat-myth. But perhaps what’s most interesting about Arkham Knight is that it’s just the latest in a growing lineup of stories focused on “the last Batman story.” Between this game, The Dark Knight Rises, the Batman: Endgame comic book storyline and even classics like The Dark Knight Returns, it seems Bat-fans are increasingly fascinated by the idea of Batman confronting his own mortality. And why not? It’s not because of a morbid desire to see a hero fall or the DC Universe to be consumed by darkness, but because Batman is so often at his best at the end of his journey.