If you know me, then you know I’m all about hunting for Easter eggs. As such, DC’s latest video game, Gotham Knights, seems to be tailor-made for me. Every level, every cutscene, and every corner you can explore is filled with references to comic book storylines and the DC Universe at large. From a reanimated mannequin to a cheekily named law firm to some of Gotham’s hottest bands, here are some of the fun things you’ll find as you play Gotham Knights.
- Be sure to check the character emails as you’re playing the game, because there’s a lot to be found there. For example, Lois Lane emails Dick Grayson about a new Blüdhaven vigilante named Nite-Wing, which is a reference to a storyline from the ’90s Nightwing series. Roy Harper emails Jason, referencing the time they traveled together in Red Hood and the Outlaws. I could spend an entire article talking about the emails alone! Look for messages from other superheroes, deep-cut supporting characters and other bits of fun.
- Speaking of emails, there is one message that appears to be the DC Universe version of the famous Nigerian prince scam, except Markovia is the country in question. Markovia is a fictional European country that is home to Geo-Force and his sister Terra. The country was first seen in 1983’s Batman and the Outsiders #1.
- I spotted some photos of Ace the Bat-Hound while exploring the kitchen in the Belfry. The Bat-Family’s loveable pet first appeared in 1955’s Batman #92 and recently co-starred in the animated film DC League of Super-Pets. He’s also a good boy.
- While you’re in the Belfry’s kitchen, take a look at the top of the refrigerator. You’ll find a box of cereal called “Flakies” with references to the superhero Booster Gold. Flakies were actually referenced in Booster Gold’s first appearance in 1985’s Booster Gold #1, and he could be seen filming a commercial for the breakfast in the following issue.
- The Belfry contains a Spy Hunter arcade cabinet, and you can even play it! If you do, check out the high scores. CLA, HEL and DIN are listed. Does this mean Clark Kent, Helena Bertinelli and Dinah Lance have visited the Belfry and played the game?
- As you make your way through the GCPD, keep an eye out for the villainous puppet Scarface. Batman’s wooden enemy is usually seen alongside his associate the Ventriloquist. The inanimate mobster first appeared in Detective Comics #583.
- Tim Drake’s desk has a photo of him with Superboy. In the comics, Robin and Superboy are best friends. Tim and Conner first met in Superboy/Robin: World’s Finest Three and their bond grew during their time serving together in Young Justice and the Teen Titans. An email from Conner to Tim also appears in the game.
- While visiting Gotham University, you’ll find a science exhibit referencing Niles Caulder’s work in neuroscience. If you’re a fan of the Doom Patrol, then you know that is probably not a good thing. You’ll also see a reference to a cellular fusion research experiment from Erdid Orson and Gilbert Giles. Orson was a villainous scientist who first appeared in 2014’s Aquaman #28. Giles was a college professor who helped turn Hank Heywood into the superhero Steel. He was introduced in 1978’s Steel #1.
- A poster advertising a Black Canary concert can be seen in the upper levels of the Belfry. The show is titled “Kicking and Screaming,” which is also the name of the trade paperback collecting the first arc of her 2015 series. Dinah’s show is at the Monarch Theater, which was first named in the 1989 Batman film. An email from Dinah to Babs also appears in the game.
- Speaking of musicians, posters throughout the city advertise a concert by a band called Brother Power the Geek. This is a reference to an obscure Silver Age comic called Brother Power the Geek which starred a mannequin that came to life.
- The Monarch Theater has posters advertising performances from the magician Zatara and the band Mucous Membrane. Zatara was a magic-based superhero who actually predates Batman. He first appeared in 1938’s Action Comics #1, the same comic that introduced Superman. Mucous Membrane is John Constantine’s band, which was first seen in 1988’s Hellblazer #11.
- While in Kirk Langstrom’s lab, look for a poster of the Gray Ghost, a pulp hero Bruce Wayne idolized during his boyhood in Batman: The Animated Series. The character, voiced by Adam West, was introduced in the episode “Beware the Gray Ghost.” As a bonus, a calendar next to the poster has the date November 4th, 1992—the same day the episode originally aired.
- Or maybe you’re hungry? You’ll also find a Big Belly Burger restaurant. The fictional fast food chain has been a part of the DC Universe since Adventures of Superman #441 and has been heavily referenced in The CW’s “Arrowverse.”
- Speaking of the Arrowverse, while exploring Gotham, see if you can spot Jitters, Central City’s iconic coffee shop. (Apparently, they’ve franchised out to Gotham City as well.) Jitters was first seen in 2010’s The Flash #1 and the coffee shop is a key location on The Flash television series.
- Jacob Kane has quite the weapons collection! Kane has a katana from Tatsu Yamashiro, and guns from Tallulah Black and Frank Rock. Tatsu is the superhero Katana, Tallulah Black is an associate of the western gunslinger Jonah Hex, and Frank Rock is the given name of DC war hero Sgt. Rock.
- If you go to the Belfry’s upper levels, you’ll spot a poster advertising a performance by the Flying Graysons. This was Dick Grayson’s family circus act before his parents were killed by Tony Zucco in 1940’s Detective Comics #38. The poster lists Robinson Park as the performance venue. Robinson Park was named after the Golden Age artist Jerry Robinson and was first mentioned in Batman: Year One.
- Back out in Gotham City proper, look for a giant billboard advertising Janus Perfume. It’s probably not a good idea to use it. As detailed in Batman #386, Janus is owned by Roman Sionis (otherwise known as the Black Mask) and his cosmetics have been known to disfigure people.
- As you explore the Iceberg Lounge, you might notice that Oswald has kept some trophies from other DC villains, including some boomerangs from Captain Boomerang and the Clock King’s hat.
- During a few points in the game, Tim will mention his relationship with Bernard Dowd. Tim and Bernard’s romantic relationship began in Batman: Urban Legends #6 and another version of it is currently playing out on HBO Max’s Titans.
- If you wander around outside of Gotham Hospital, you’ll find a plaque paying tribute to Neal Adams, a groundbreaking DC artist who passed away earlier this year. Neal Adams drew some of Batman’s most iconic Bronze Age adventures and co-created Ra’s al Ghul and Kirk Langstrom, two characters featured prominently in the game.
- Similarly, in Old Gotham you might come across a plaque memorializing George Pérez, who passed away earlier this year. Pérez was a legendary artist and writer who helped to shape the current DC Universe as we know it. Perhaps most famously, he co-created the New Teen Titans along with Marv Wolfman. Perez and Wolfman were also responsible for transforming Dick Grayson into Nightwing, so in a way, this game wouldn’t have been possible without him.
Honestly, I have a feeling I’m just scratching the surface with these. Just about every time I’ve explored the open world within Gotham Knights, I’ve found something cool that I hadn’t noticed before. I encourage you to do your own Easter egg hunting as you play (or replay) the game and let us know what you find!
Gotham Knights is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. For all the latest on Gotham’s new protectors, visit our official Gotham Knights game page.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.