Gotham Knights kicks off with an intriguing mystery as Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan) investigates the murder of his adoptive father, Bruce Wayne. After Bruce Wayne is killed and outed as the Batman, Turner himself is framed as the mastermind behind the murder. However, the first episode of the brand-new series suggests that there are several other possibilities as to the identity of the Caped Crusader’s killer. Although the series has offered few clues in its first episode regarding the circumstances surrounding Batman’s death, there are several suspects who already stand out as the most likely perpetrators of the heinous, albeit historic, crime.
Bereft of many characters in the Batman mythos, Gotham Knights explores a city without its Caped Crusader. After years of crimefighting as Batman, Bruce Wayne’s crusade is cut tragically short, leaving his adopted son Turner Hayes to pick up the pieces. The first season of the series follows Turner as he investigates his father’s grisly murder, teaming up with his new friends, including Harper Row (Fallon Smythe), Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara), Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore), Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson), and Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan), who claims to be the daughter of the Joker. As Gotham falls apart in Batman’s absence, these teenagers aim to become the troubled city’s new protectors.
6 The Joker
Although Gotham Knights suggests that Batman killed the Joker before the events of the series, the Clown Prince of Crime remains one of the likeliest suspects behind the Caped Crusader’s murder. Batman and the Joker, like in many other adaptations, have been at odds for years, each acting as the polar opposite of the other’s crusade. Even if the Joker is believed dead in Gotham Knights, the slippery supervillain has proven exceptionally hard to kill in the past, opening up an avenue for him to be revealed as Batman’s killer in a future episode, getting revenge on his enemy for their last tussle, which apparently left him worse for wear.
Gotham Knights took a risk by killing Batman in its very first episode, likely alienating some viewers in the process. Without even showing Batman in action once before revealing his mangled corpse, it is all too easy for the show’s version of the superhero to come off as weak and disappointing. However, if a later episode reveals that one of his most dangerous enemies was behind his murder, it would go a long way in justifying Batman’s death early in Gotham Knights‘ run. While killing Batman immediately will always be counted against Gotham Knights, the show could at least lessen the impact by revealing the Joker as the vigilante’s killer.
5 Harvey Dent
A major part of Gotham Knights‘ cast is Harvey Dent, portrayed by Supernatural star Misha Collins. Although the character has not yet been transformed into his iconic Two-Face supervillain persona, it is still possible that he is involved in the murder of Bruce Wayne. The series takes great pains to make Harvey as likable as possible, no doubt setting up his inevitable heel turn in a later episode. The general assumption has been that Harvey will suffer an accident that will turn him into Two-Fact, as is often the case with versions of his character. However, Gotham Knights may be preparing to reveal that Harvey has been crooked all along.
Distracting viewers with clues about how Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face when he has actually been a villain for a while would be genius on the part of Gotham Knights. By building the characters’ trust in Harvey over the course of the season, Gotham Knights can deliver a killer twist in his villainous reveal, going on to explore his origin as Two-Face in later seasons. Batman’s murder, after all, would boost Harvey’s chances of winning the mayoral race if he manages to pin the crime on someone else and get all the credit for catching the killer–which the premiere puts him in a perfect position to do.
Gotham Knights may reveal a character in the Bat Family as Batman’s killer, though it remains unclear exactly which members of the Bat Family exist in the world of Gotham Knights. The existence of Carrie Kelley’s Robin implies that this version of Batman was open to bringing sidekicks into his crusade against crime, suggesting that Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne could have all worn the Robin suit at some point or other. As shocking as it might be, any one of these former Robins might be revealed as the one behind Batman’s murder in Gotham Knights‘ final episodes, betraying their former mentor for an as-yet-unknown reason.
Carrie Kelley is too integral to Gotham Knights to be revealed as Batman’s killer, leaving any one of her predecessors to have done the dark deed. Batman has had no shortage of disputes with Robin in their comic book history, with each of his sidekicks going a separate way at some point in their crimefighting career. It is easily conceivable that a Robin like Jason Todd, who eventually becomes the Red Hood, would abandon and betray Batman after a falling-out, killing him in anger. Moreover, Batman’s killer was aware of his secret identity, suggesting that it was someone close to him that finally ended his long crimefighting career.
3 The League Of Shadows
The League of Shadows is key to Batman and his story in most iterations of the character, and they may be behind his death in Gotham Knights. The secret organization of assassins is led by the villainous Ra’s al Ghul, who is one of Batman’s most dangerous enemies in the DC universe. Not only is Ra’s al Ghul one of the few villains who is powerful and skilled enough to be capable of killing a hero as dangerous as Batman, but he also happens to be involved in the Caped Crusader’s death in the 2022 Gotham Knights video game, which follows a similar storyline as the series.
If not her father, Talia al Ghul may have killed Batman in Gotham Knights. The two characters have had a turbulent history in the comics, and though they are sometimes depicted as lovers, they have also been bitter enemies at times as well. Noting that Ra’s al Ghul has been depicted in live-action multiple times, Gotham Knights may opt to follow his daughter’s story instead, revealing her as the true villain of the season. Although the series has not yet made any allusion to the al Ghuls or the League of Shadows, they are among some of the very few villains who are even remotely capable of killing Batman.
2 The Court of Owls
In DC Comics, the Court of Owls are among Batman’s greatest enemies, having proven themselves capable of killing the Dark Knight on many occasions. The secret society has control over the entire city of Gotham, accomplishing its agenda from the shadows. Moreover, the Court of Owls has been confirmed as a major villainous entity in Gotham Knights, with the series premiere ending with an alarming tease regarding the group’s existence. Based on the clues present in the first episode of Gotham Knights, it seems highly likely that the Court of Owls was in some way involved in the murder of Bruce Wayne.
As violent as they are secretive, Gotham Knights‘ Court of Owls promise to kill anyone who stands in their way, even sending an agent to behead a corrupt cop who failed to apprehend Turner Hayes. Even more alarming, Turner happened to find a coin with the Court’s signet in Bruce Wayne’s office shortly after his murder, implying that they had been the ones to kill him. However, the Court of Owls is also known to send others to do their dirty work, and while they were almost certainly the masterminds behind Batman’s death, it is more likely that they hired another mysterious individual to carry out the actual murder.
1 Turner Hayes
If Gotham Knights truly wishes to provide a shocking twist, it will reveal Turner Hayes as Batman’s killer. While the best-known son of Batman is certainly Damian Wayne, Turner is the protagonist of this particular series and apparently had no idea that Bruce was Batman. Turner was subsequently arrested for financing the murder of Bruce Wayne after it was discovered that money had been paid from his bank account to Bruce’s supposed killers. Although the series suggests that Turner is an innocent kid framed for the death of his father, not everything in his story really adds up.
After Bruce Wayne is revealed as Batman, Turner makes a show out of his surprise at this fact, claiming to feel incredibly betrayed by this secret. As tragic as Batman’s son makes himself out to be, he may still be the mastermind behind his father’s death. As unlikely as it may seem, Turner may have discovered his father’s nighttime activities and, in his anger, murdered him and framed a group of thieves for the crime. After all, the series glosses over the hours before Batman’s death, perhaps in an attempt to hide its protagonist’s exploits that day. Turner Hayes may be the true villain of Gotham Knightsafter all.
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