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Why it's time for a Batwoman game

With the Arkham series drawing to a close, who's left to pick up Batman's mantle?

Now that Rocksteady is planning to close the book on the Arkham trilogy, there's an opening for a new hero to take centre stage. And as much as I love Superman, Spider-Man, the X-Men et al, I think it's time that we introduced some lesser known heroes to the gaming/comic crossover gene pool.

If you ask me (and you should), top of the list of characters who deserve their own game is Batwoman - one of my favourite 'superhero' characters of the moment, and certainly one of the best redesigns to come out of DC's New 52 reboot alongside Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

Kate Kane is Jewish, sports multiple tattoos on her slender chalk-white frame and is one of DC's highest profile gay characters. More important than any of that, though, is the fact that she's a complex, kickass vigilante who roams the streets of Gotham taking down any criminals unlucky enough to cross her path. And she's tons more craic than mopey oul' Batman. But don't tell him I said that.

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At a glance Kane's origin story is similar to Bruce Wayne's, in that she's a wealthy heiress who experienced great personal tragedy during very early childhood. Taken hostage on her twelfth birthday, Kane saw her mother executed and twin sister apparently shot dead in a standoff between the kidnappers and the police. Years later, she enlists in a military academy where she receives top grades but is forced to leave under the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy when she refuses to deny her sexuality.

Her father, Colonel Jacob Kane, continues to support her following her dismissal, but Kate attempts to fill the emptiness in her life by spending her family's endless supply of money in the pursuit of a somewhat hedonistic lifestyle. It's only when she uses her military training to fend off a mugger and meets Batman himself that she finds her direction in becoming Batwoman. Her father resolves to help her, essentially becoming her Alfred.

Batwoman's fighting style, which is based on her military training, is precise and unique to her - Batman notes in an early issue of her self-titled run that she must have invented it herself. Unlike playable characters in past Arkham games, she doesn't rely on either brute strength or ridiculous acrobatics - just a keen knowledge of straightforward combat and an awareness of her surroundings.

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And though the moniker of 'World's Greatest Detective' is taken, she's proven more observant than Batman himself on occasion, correcting him as to the details of a crime scene or underground organisation. It'd be interesting to see a developer interpret her approach to crime-solving - perhaps she'd rely more on Assassin's Creed-style espionage at street level than Batman's scientific approach of deduction. She's also much less of a stiff than Bruce, meaning that the game's main campaign wouldn't have to take itself so seriously. The comic makes fun of the fact that most superheroines are able to fight in stupidly tall heels, for example, when Kane hastily swaps them for a pair of more practical flat boots.

Though they share a city and their paths do cross, Batwoman is very much a separate outfit to Batman, working independently of him and the other members of the Bat family when she sees fit. All of Batwoman's story arcs so far have been a touch more fantastical than the overarching narratives Batman: Arkham fans will be used to, and the comic's singular art style could provide a colourful (but no less gritty) counterpoint to the Arkhamverse Gotham's dreariness.

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