"Skins," if you've never heard the term, are costumes or outfits for characters in video games. Many games allow you to customize your characters' skins or provide you with alternate skins that you can pick from.
The Batman: Arkham games are notorious for this, having provided alternate skins for almost every game in the series. Some of them come with the game and others are unlockable or exclusives for certain retailers, though it should be noted that none of them alter the gameplay.
The skins serve as purely an aesthetic alteration.
Having looked over all of the alternate skins provided in previous games, we were surprised to discover that all of the best-known Batman variants and costumes had already been used. Batman: Year One uniform? Check. Adam West TV show? Check. Long Halloween? Check. Dark Knight movies? Check. Gotham by Gaslight? You betcha. And on and on.
Finding 10 new skins was no small challenge, but we've come up with a list of what we think are particularly juicy ones that we hope Rocksteady has already considered adding to Batman: Arkham Knight.
1. Kingdom Come
We were pretty shocked to find that the elder, armored version of Batman from Kingdom Come has never been a skin in one of the Arkham games. Let's fix that.
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batfleck's suit is inspired by the character's appearance in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which has been used (it was in Arkham City). However, we've yet to see the full details of the new big-screen Batman; the only pictures we have of him are grainy, black and white shots. Who knows what sorts of muted colors it might sport?
Oh, come off it. You know you'd use it.
4. Vampire Batman
This alternate-Earth Batman was designed and drawn by Kelley Jones circa 1991. In the New 52, Vampire Batman is officially recognized as a member of the Blood League on Earth-43.
5. Future Batman
This Batman from DC Universe Online comes from a post-apocalyptic alternate future, and holy moley, is he armored-up.
We were on the fence about this one since he's not as well known as other alternate Batmen (like Gotham By Gaslight's) from almost 20 years ago. That is, until we saw that Earth-18, aka the Old West Earth, and its team of "Justice Riders" is set to return in Convergence. Bat-Lash of Earth-18 is a cloaked, black cowboy hat-wearing, masked sheriff type, and he does not have time for your crap.
Yes, we know. Batwing isn't Bruce Wayne. He's a completely different character. The Batman Incorporated version was okay, but the Luke Fox Batwing has got it going on. His teched-out batsuit would make a killer skin.
8. Future Damian Wayne
In one possible future, Batman's son Damian Wayne grows up to take on his father's mantle. Unfortunately, the world he's grown up in is a hellish nightmare. So, Damian sells his soul to Satan in exchange for the power to protect Gotham and adopts this trenchcoat-and-collar look as the new Batman.
The ultimate "dark mirror" version of Batman, Owlman, hails from Earth-3. There, with his superpowered comrades, he's a member of the greatest collection of criminals ever assembled: the Crime Syndicate.
10. Post-Endgame Batman
Everything about the new Batman is a mystery at the time of this writing. Just exactly why he's wearing big bunny-eared Iron Man armor is at the top of the list, though we don't even know if it's Bruce Wayne under that suit. But it looks like he's going to be a pretty big deal, so, y'know ... gimme.
With the Batmobile playing such a major role in Arkham Knight, Rocksteady has already announced a nifty bonus: the Batmobile will also have alternate skins. Only two have been announced so far: a "Classic TV" skin and a futuristic "Prototype" skin. It should be noted that, much like the Batman skins, these are basically new paint-jobs and do not alter the physical dimensions of the existing vehicle.
To add to the two that have been announced, we'd like to nominate the Tumbler, the Tim Burton Batmobile and the sleek car from Batman: The Animated Series.
Batman: Arkham Knight arrives at long last on June 23, 2015.