The titular character of Batman: Arkham Knight is making his comic debut in the landmark issue of Detective Comics #1000. The Arkham Knight was first created as the main antagonist of Rocksteady Studios' last Batman video game. He was designed as the opposite of Batman - a brutal militaristic leader who wasn't afraid to use lethal force and worked for Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow.
Before the game's debut, Rocksteady claimed the Arkham Knight was an original character. Yet halfway through the game, it was revealed that the Knight wasn't a new figure but someone very familiar from Batman's past. In Arkham Knight, the villain was unmasked to be Jason Todd, Batman's former Robin that was supposedly killed by The Joker. Arkham Knight was original in name only, sharing much with the comic version of Jason Todd. However, the new Arkham Knight is set to be a radically different character.
According to THR, DC Comics has big plans for 2019 and Batman. Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight and see the Detective Comics series reach its thousandth issue. Similar to Superman's Action Comics #1000 that preceded it, Detective Comics #1000 will be a super-sized issue with multiple stories all celebrating the Caped Crusader. It'll be overseen by the regular Detective Comics creative team of Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke with several guest writers including Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, Christopher Priest and Neal Adams. Among these stories will be "a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight."
The fact that the Arkham Knight will be a "never-before-seen iteration" does suggest that DC Comics will make good on the promise that Rocksteady previously claimed and really add a brand-new villain to the Batman mythos. Even if Arkham Knight was a solid Batman story, it didn't break too much ground especially when it came to the title character. The Arkham Knight's motivations and story arc where almost exactly the same to Jason Todd's resurrection and return as the villain Red Hood. By the end of the game, Jason even called himself the Red Hood, transforming his Arkham Knight outfit into the much more recognizable "Hood" design. It is possible that Jason Todd could be the Arkham Knight in the comics as well since the character had the name Red Hood ripped from him by Batman - but that does seem unlikely, not to mention disappointing.
The more interesting thing to consider with the Arkham Knight's comic debut isn't who will be behind the mask, but how long he'll last. Action Comics #1000 consisted of mostly standalone stories, some in continuity and some outside of it, that celebrated the Man of Steel's history. There was a notable exception, the last tale by Bendis served as a prequel to Bendis' Man of Steel miniseries and his runs on Action Comics and Superman. Bendis and DC Comics used Action Comics #1000 to introduce Superman's latest ongoing villain Rogol Zaar.
It's reasonable to assume that Detective Comics #1000 could serve a similar function for Batman and the Arkham Knight. Detective Comics #1000 could be the first chapter in a much longer Arkham Knight saga that takes some of the ideas from the video games and morphs them to the world of the comic. Arkham Knight certainly wouldn't be the first Batman character to make their debut in another medium then rise to new popularity in the comics. Harley Quinn was introduced as a supporting character on Batman: the Animated Series before joining the comics and being set up to lead her own female-led DCEU movie, Birds of Prey. DC Comics can only hope for that lightning of success to strike twice.