A few articles are circulating around about the identity of the Arkham Knight. Some even suggest that he may be Azrael, and so my mate gave me the idea to come up with a theory of how it could be.
Before we continue I would like to show you a picture of Azrael (Michael Lane) from the comics.
Notice how the red cross on his outfit bares a striking resemblance to the cross of the Knights Templar from the Second Crusade. Could the Arkham Knight character be a hint to Azrael's apparent connection to the Knights Templar?
Azrael (a name given to the Angel of Death) was trained as part of a GCPD experiment that intended to replace the Batman. He was ultimately driven insane along with the other participants and became the Bat-devil. After being reformed through the help of Batman, he was then taken in by the Order of Purity, and became Azrael, a deadly assassin to judge the wicked in the name of God.
Although Azrael in the Batman: Arkham video game series was identified as the reformed Michael Lane, it is interesting to note that his character has a similar aspects to that of his precursor, Jean-Paul Valley. But, instead of him developing a violent inclination through failed experimentation, Valley developed it from the intense conditioning he was put through in his youth. This manifested itself when he donned the Batman cowl for Knightfall, where he chose to punish criminals instead of save lives. Valley modified the Bat-suit to do more damage, and was able to even take down Bane wearing it. When he took off the mask his timid Jean-Paul personality resurfaced and he was left feeling shamed. This was the only way Bruce could defeat the crazed Azbat.
Could the Arkham Knight be a re-imagining of Jean-Paul's Azbat, combined with Michael Lane's Bat-devil?
Some would say it is impossible because if that were so, he may have killed all the villains in the trailer making it a very short game. Also Azrael has been rumored as a playable character which kind of means that he will either be an ally to batman or be a part of a few challenge map's. But as the story unfold's in the game, and with the Arkham series having that shock factor, this may just be viable. Also bare in mind that he wears the Suit of Sorrows which has a history for driving its wearers off their rockers if they are not 'pure of heart'.
Remember the prophecy foretold in Batman: Arkham City?
"Dark days are coming, Batman. The Prophecy is coming true, you are the warrior who will close the gates of Hell, you are the one who will save this day, and in doing so, events will occur that you cannot stop, from the Ashes of Arkham the fires will rage and Gotham will burn, and you, you will burn too."
What could these event's have meant for Azrael? With the figurative gates of Hell being closed, surely something would have got out. It wouldn't surprize me if that something were the Bat-devil clad in an advanced Bat-suit.
I guess we will have to wait for when the game is released for an actual answer to this question (or we could hire Mystery Inc. to unmask the Arkham Knight instead). Till then here is the awesome trailer to watch over and over again: