Something that I was disappointed Arkham Knight didn’t explore was Crane’s physical trauma. We saw that he had numerous bodily injuries–clouded eyes, a leg brace, whatever was going on with his face–but there was little to no mention of his appearance throughout the game. Loss of physical autonomy can be a devastating, life-altering experience, and I think the permanent damage caused by Killer Croc’s attack were at least partially what led Crane to seek vengeance on Batman.
I’m trying to imagine what Crane must have felt when Croc first attacked him: shock, of course, and an incredible amount of pain. I’m thinking of him being dragged underwater and trying very hard to hold his breath, but being unable to stop himself from screaming when Croc began to bite and claw at him. I’m imagining Crane gagging on the taste of sewage and his own blood when the water began filling his mouth and noise, and I’m imagining the instinctive surge of adrenaline that fueled his swim into Gotham’s reservoir when Croc finally released him. I’m thinking of how he took ragged, nourishing breaths of air as he clung to a Titan container before washing onto shore, and the agony he must have felt as muck and grime made contact with his fresh wounds. Maybe he sank into unconsciousness and consider it merciful, or maybe Crane was not spared from agony for even a few peaceful moments.
Then I’m picturing Crane limping away to a hideout, leaving behind a trail of bloody footprints in the sand, and beginning the process of literally piecing himself back together. I’m picturing him studying his mangled reflection in a mirror and feeling a hateful, furious desire to make Batman pay for every single stitch. I’m imagining Crane spending every. single. day, in a state of constant, aching pain until he can no longer remember what it was like to not endure pain on a daily basis. I can even imagine him choosing to forego pain medication in order to keep his mind “clear”, instead nursing himself with hatred and the thought of inflicting every ounce of agony onto Batman tenfold.
I’m imagining all of this, and I’m wondering why Arkham Knight neglected to make any mention of the pain, degradation, and perceived injustice that fueled Crane in his quest for vengeance. We saw Crane’s anger, but there was no explanation for it–Crane does not so much as utter Killer Croc’s name throughout the entire game. I feel like this was just such a completely wasted opportunity, especially when you consider that so many comics have featured Crane seeking revenge on various bullies and tormentors.
As much as I loved Crane in Arkham Knight, I do feel that the character was unfortunately not used to his full potential and overall left much to be desired.