An image of brainwashed Batman from Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League
Image via Rocksteady

Is Batman dead in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?

How not to handle an iconic character.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has already been subject to a fair amount of controversy, despite not even being fully released. One of the most controversial elements of the game came from a spoiler leak regarding the fate of Batman from the Arkham franchise, a series that was also developed by Rocksteady.

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Be warned, this is obviously going to be a spoiler-heavy article, so if you want to experience the Kill the Justice League story blind then shut your eyes now!

Does Batman die in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?

From the spoilers we’ve seen, Batman does die in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. This is a blow to fans of the Arkham series, who are understandably upset by this decision. However, it is the way that the developer chose to do this that has caused such an uproar among the gaming community.

How does Batman die in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?

Batman is brainwashed by the big bad of Kill the Justice League, Brainiac. After his stint as Brainiac’s mind-controlled henchman, the Caped Crusader meets his end at the hands of Harley Quinn, who eventually shoots him in the head.

A cutscene was leaked a little while back that showed a mind-controlled Batman captured by the Suicide Squad. It seems like the cutscene follows a boss fight with Batman, as he is looking a little worse for wear and isn’t fighting back. The cutscene has already been shared on social media, so you can watch at your own risk:

The squad places Batman on a bench so Harley Quinn can say her piece to him, berating him for the psychological and physical abuse he has unleashed on his victims over the years. A little rich coming from her, but I digress.

She taunts him a little more about how he likely never expected she would be the one to take him down in the end. Then she pulls out her gun and shoots him point-blank.

Why is Batman’s death so controversial in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League?

When the spoiler started doing the rounds online, many fans were upset, angry, and disillusioned with this turn of events. If this was a random Batman from a different universe, it wouldn’t be such a crushing blow to see him suffer this fate. However, Rocksteady has confirmed several times this game is set in the same universe as the Arkham games and that the Batman we encounter is the one we played throughout that series.

This makes his death at the hands of the Suicide Squad all the more painful and, quite frankly, a little ridiculous. The Arkham games began way back in 2009 with Batman: Arkham Asylum and then continued to become one of the best superhero game trilogies of all time, with its follow-ups Batman: Arkham City (one of my favorite games) releasing in 2011 and Batman: Arkham Knight following several years later. Even the prequel game—2013’s Batman: Arkham Origins, which wasn’t quite as well received—was an excellent game remembered fondly by fans.

Players spent six years in this world, taking on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. We saw him grow as a hero and character while engaging in some of the best combat in superhero games. It very much paved the way for the likes of Insomniac’s Spider-Man. Seeing Bruce taken out so easily by the Suicide Squad isn’t just frustrating, it doesn’t make sense.

If this is truly the way Arkham Batman meets his demise, I would have to argue this was only done for shock value to increase sales. Yes, the game has Kill the Justice League in the title, but to mindlessly slaughter such an iconic hero this way feels like an insult to the fans rather than an emotional and well-developed story beat. Not only that, but veteran Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, who played the role throughout the series (minus Arkham Origins), passed away in 2022, and this was his last project. It hurts to think that this could be the moment that gamers will see as the final bow for Conroy’s Batman.

The real gut-punching part of this is Rocksteady could have very easily just set Kill the Justice League in a different universe. It’s not as if the game is avoiding the multiverse trope, as the developer has explained this is how they are going to be expanding the world in post-story content. The multiverse will be bringing in different DC villains as the live service seasons begin, with an alternate universe Joker being the first new villain to arrive.

Could Batman’s death in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League be a fakeout?

There is always a chance the death of Batman could be reversed by Rocksteady. Death cheating is not a new trope for comic book characters, so it wouldn’t be too shocking or unbelievable if the developer does do a 180 with this decision to kill such a beloved version of Batman. 

Unfortunately, right now, Arkham Batman is well and truly gone, though it feels more like a slap in the face and a middle finger to Arkham fans than a fitting ending.


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Author
Antonia Haynes
Antonia Haynes is a freelance general gaming writer for Dot Esports who resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. Beginning her video game writing career back in 2014, and having an avid love of gaming since childhood, she became a staff writer in 2018 before becoming freelance in 2023 with her role at Dot Esports. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated.