Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is explicitly set in the Arkhamverse created by Rocksteady, meaning it’s a quasi-sequel to 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight. Given how that game ends and how this one begins, there are some questions that need answering for fans of the ongoing storyline, and Rocksteady thankfully takes a moment to set the record straight in an early scene in the game.
Please be aware that this article contains spoilers for Suicide Squad and Batman: Arkham Knight.
In one of the first missions in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, the foursome of anti-heroes find themselves in a museum dedicated to Batman. In-universe, this is because, well, Batman rules and that’s enough reason, right? But it also serves as a way for Rocksteady to call back to its past efforts and even answer some lingering questions along the way.
For those who finished Batman: Arkham Knight, you know the game ends with Batman faking the death of Bruce Wayne, his identity under the mask. In the game’s true ending, you can even see someone taking up the cape and cowl as they descend on some street-level villains in Gotham, though precisely when this takes place is never explained. It’s assumed, though not explicitly stated, that this was still the same Batman players have controlled throughout the series. So the question of how that Batman ties into the Batman seen in Suicide Squad was a lingering one. If it’s the same one, what’s he been up to?
Rocksteady clarifies this in Suicide Squad, albeit succinctly. In the Batman museum exhibit, the final display acts as a way to explain what Batman was up to in the five years that unfold between the events of Arkham Knight and Suicide Squad. According to a display in the museum, Batman returned to the world after years out of the picture, admitting he is the one and only Bruce Wayne and thereby acknowledging that he faked his death as Wayne.
He then takes up a role as a member of the Justice League, per the group’s request, and is said to now serve a much larger area than just his stomping grounds of Gotham. If you’d like to read the explanation verbatim, here’s how the in-game voiceover from Jack Ryder puts it:
Several years after faking his death, Bruce Wayne finally returned, drawn back to the light by the meta-human “super-heroes.” They asked Batman to join the Justice League. He accepted. And so the story of Bruce Wayne–the Batman–continues, far from the mean streets of the city that made him.
That still leaves a lot to wonder about–namely whether he went on hiatus, during which time others may have protected Gotham, or if he never relented and simply allowed the citizenry to assume someone else was under the mask. Still, it does provide some amount of closure for those still wondering nearly a decade later how the ending of Arkham Knight is to be interpreted.
For more on what Suicide Squad tells us of the Arkhamverse, here’s what it has to say (or not say) about Arkham Origins.