THE THUGS OF BATMAN ARKHAMVERSE
Throughout the Batman Arkham series created by both the team at Rocksteady and WB Games Montreal there have always been the gangs, or inmates as they sometimes get called. Though they may seem like basic cannon fodder they actually play a huge part in the series.
The gangs can often provide more unique and interesting background information regarding the characters and their stories, or even the current events within the storyline.
As the series went on the different gangs and inmates changed in both appearance and leadership.
THE GANGS OF ARKHAM ORIGINS
In Arkham Origins many of the gangs were seen to have joined forces with either Joker or Penguin. Who were two of the main antagonists. Black Mask was another key individual who, just like the other two was also classed as a main antagonist within the game.
However, unlike both Penguin and Joker, Black Mask (who was actually Joker in disguise) was more interested in recruiting much more powerful individuals to help aid him. These recruited individuals would become part of his assassins. Part of his recruited assassins included Bane, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Copperhead, Firefly, Electrocutioner, and Lady Shiva.
Originally the members of Joker’s gang were working alongside Black Mask. It was not until the clown had managed to impersonate Roman Sionis when some of them turned and worked for Joker instead.
The gang were then found in many of the city districts including the Industrial District and the Steel Mill. Where they would roam around wielding assault rifles, baseball bats, and even shotguns.
Before the events of Arkham Origins Penguin had ideals that would make him the ultimate crime lord. However, in doing so he would need to remove the mob boss Carmine Falcone. So he gathered as many men as he could. However, Penguin was not alone in wanting to take over the city. He also had Black Mask to deal with.
Carmine Falcone then entered the weapon side of business, to Penguin’s dismay and this resulted in Carmine’s son being kidnapped. However, Penguin’s plans were halted aboard the ship known as the Final Offer. Where he was confronted by Batman.
Many of Penguin’s thugs wore puffy vests and winter hats.
Batman Arkham Origins was the only one in the series to feature online multiplayer. In it players were able to partake in a rival gang fight between both Joker and Bane. Whilst the dynamic duo of both Batman and Robin tried to stop it.
It featured two online modes including Invisible Predator Online and Hunter, Hunted. During the former mode players could win by eliminating the other gang reinforcements. Which was maxed at 25. What made this mode particularly interesting was that halfway through an online match the supervillains would try to join in. Thus making it less of a gang war and more of war that featured both supervillains and their gang members. This was also the only mode to feature both Batman and Robin.
During the Hunter, Hunted mode players were once again either playing for the side of Joker or Bane. The key difference this time was that Robin was no longer present. Only Batman was around to try and stop the fight. Players could win by either defeating their rival gang and Batman or by taking both control points. Gangs would lose if Batman was able to defeat and ultimately stop the fight. However, everyone only had a single life, there were no respawns.
The servers for the online mode were shut down back in December, 2016.
ARKHAM ASYLUM HENCHMEN
Arkham Asylum was the first entry into the Arkham series despite it not being the first cannon entry into the storyline. Though Batman Arkham Origins was the start of the Arkham series storyline it was not released until 2013, several years after the original release of Arkham Asylum. Due to this the game was much smaller and linear when compared to the rest of the series.
The gangs within Arkham Asylum were very limited. In fact the entire storyline was focused on a fight against Joker who had managed to escape the prison cells and was planning to take over Arkham Island. Thus the only gangs within the game were ones that belonged to the clown. With the exception of the random inmates that appeared towards the end of the game.
Many of Joker’s men wore bright orange prison clothing and carried a range of different weapons including both sniper and assault rifles.
THE ARKHAM CITY INMATES
Now at the release of the 2011 title, Arkham City, the game had managed to expand a lot more when compared to the likes of Arkham Asylum. With it being five times bigger than that of the 2009 title. It also included a lot more characters and with them came even more gangs.
In fact the gangs within Arkham City even had their own little storyline which connected to the main storyline itself. You could say that they had their own little gang war going on. This gang war usually consisted of members from the Two-Face, Joker, and Penguin factions.
The first gang that you encounter within Arkham City belong to the Penguin faction. This occurs as Bruce Wayne is being held captive by the main antagonist, Hugo Strange. As Bruce is cuffed Penguin tries to intimidate him. However, things do not go very well as Bruce manages to break free. Breaking Cobblepot’s hand and defeating some of his goons in the process.
A war between both Joker and Penguin begins when there is word of Penguin’s goons being butchered by the Joker and his men. This then leads the storyline over to the Museum and Penguin deciding to blow the bridges in hopes that this would prevent the clown’s men from interfering any more.
Eventually Batman catches up to Cobblepot and stops him. This then leads to Penguin’s men being dispersed and any remaining stragglers either being recruited over to Joker’s side or murdered.
Many of Penguin‘s thugs wear thick coats with little penguins etched on the back.
This faction is one that you will first encounter after Bruce Wayne is kitted out into his Batman gear. Thus making them the second one within the game. At first they are seen guarding the courthouse where their boss, Two-Face, is currently holding a court session that also happens to involve Catwoman.
Though it is not exactly present within the storyline itself. This gang ends up being caught in their own war, which at first involves Joker and his men trying to take over the courthouse. Which was originally the hideout of Two-Face. The gang are beaten and hide along the rooftops watching and waiting for their boss to instruct them on what to do next.
Further into the story we then see that some members of the Two-Face crew regaining possession of the courthouse. Thus claiming their victory against Joker’s henchmen. This all happens after Batman pays Mr. Freeze a visit regarding a possible cure to both his and the clown’s sickness. At this point Joker assumes that Batman is no longer helping him and his illness is getting worse.
PENGUIN IS NEXT!
Now that the thugs working for Two-Face have managed to defeat Joker’s gang and reclaimed the courthouse once again, they decide to turn their attention to Penguin and eliminating his goons next.
After that we do not see or hear from them until towards the end of the game, when Penguin has been apprehended. Here we hear that Joker has decided to attack Two-Face and his goons. Thus provoking a war between the two remaining factions.
The last we see of them is when Batman infiltrates the Steel Mill and sees some of Joker’s men threatening to drop one of Two-Face’s henchmen into a boiling pot of hot lava. At this point the player is given a choice to either help the struggling thug or to leave him. By helping him it will only result in a fight against him. So there are no rewards for having done so.
Members of the Two-Face gang can be seen wearing both black and white suits. To more or less resemble their boss and make it easier to distinguish them.
Joker declares war against Penguin after Cobblepot attempts to steal the clown’s only cure that Mr. Freeze is able to create. Due to the events of Arkham Asylum the clown is sick and dying. So because of this he orders his men to find Mr. Freeze and murder anyone that appears to be working for Cobblepot. To make matters worse the ‘bird’ has also managed to murder two of Harley Quinn‘s prized pet hyenas and decided to use them as a display for his museum.
A lot of this description can be connected to the previous two. However, it is basically a fight for territory between all three rival gang factions. It ends with Joker defeating Two-Face‘s henchmen over at the Steel Mill. The reason behind their victory is due to Hugo Strange completing a deal with the Joker for better weapons and firearms.
However, towards the later section and ending of the game we hear that Hugo Strange has managed to betray Joker and defeated the remainder of his men.
Whereas members of Joker’s crew usually wear clown masks to show their loyalty.
CRIME IN BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT
The storyline with the gangs and inmates are a little different to the previous title, for one the typical gangs are no longer in charge or have any real authority over the city. Though they are still around and are not afraid in making it clear that their new neighbours are not wanted.
In Batman Arkham Knight we once again have gang members from both the Two-Face and Penguin factions. Due to the events of the previous title the Joker is no longer around. So to make up for that we now have two additional factions. Both of which come later in the storyline.
For the most part the gangs play more of a background role due to the Militia who seem to have taken over. The gang wars are no longer in effect as both Two-Face and Penguin have teamed up in order to work alongside the main antagonist, Scarecrow.
HARLEY QUINN’S BOYS
Since the events of Arkham City the Joker is no longer around, at least not in physical form. So, instead, Harley Quinn, the wife of the Joker has decided to take over the remaining members of Joker’s crew.
The first chance that we will come across these members is when the storyline takes place inside the Panessa Studios. Here Batman will try to gain access to the building only to find that the door is locked and guarded by members of Harley’s new gang.
The gang is rather distinguishable by their clothing and gang colours which feature both red and black suits with little diamonds etched on, similar to the style of Harley Quinn. They can often be seen wielding weapons such as gatling guns and shotguns.
They often follow Harley around as she continues to grieve over the loss of Joker. Though, some of the members of her team are starting to get a little fed up of her being all mopey and think that she should move on with her life.
The Militia are technically the new neighbours and latest additions to the series. They also become part of the main story when it comes to gangs and street crime.
They are basically an army that works for the Arkham Knight. One of the main antagonists that works alongside Scarecrow. They come equipped with highly explosive and much more dangerous weapons. That even includes tanks and other such vehicles
The ones that are most often used by the basic members of the Militia include the
The Humvee is an armoured personnel carrier. These types of vehicles are the most common ones within the game. They can hold up to four passengers at any given time.
The APC vehicles are usually used for the Militia lieutenants and come equipped with turrets.
Throughout the Batman Arkham series there are many gang members and thugs that are actually working undercover as Riddler informants. These type of members are often located by going into the detective mode or searching for highlighted gang members.
Once you manage to find one of them then Batman can interrogate them in order to find out more about the Riddler and his plans. Thus being able to locate more of his hidden trophies and riddles.
SOURCE: Fandom, Batman Arkham series