Gotham is the most iconic fictitious comic city alongside Superman’s Metropolis. The city has been depicted in dozens of DC comic books, as well as many TV and movie productions. How much do you know about Batman’s hometown? Take a look at our list below!
Number Ten: It’s Not All About Batman
Most people associate Gotham City to Batman. However, this city is home to many other characters and superheroes. Alan Scott’s Green Lantern, for instance, is also a citizen of Gotham. 2011’s cinematic adaptation of Green Lantern moved the story to a different fictional city, “Coast City”, which also appears on the Silver Age comic books.
Number Nine: Thomas Jefferson Did What?
In DC’s parallel 1764, the Founding Father performed a satanic ritual (”The Ceremony of the Bat”) which brought forward a demon; the spirit of Gotham City. After being attacked by a bat-like creature, Jefferson decided to quit playing with the occult and focus on politics instead.
Number Eight: No Man’s Land
In the Batman comics, Gotham once became a totally deserted city. After an earthquake destroyed most of the buildings and killed more than a million people, the government decided to shut down the city and kick everyone out of it. Once the city became largely unpopulated, the bridges were all destroyed to prevent people from coming back in. The few people who stayed there had their citizenship revoked!
Number Seven: It’s Not Really New York
When we think of Gotham, we instantly picture New York City. Mostly since Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan’s Batman series came out. “Gotham” has long been a nickname for New York City, first coined by Washington Irving in 1807. DC writer Bill Finger picked this name simply because it sounded appropriate for the story. The original Gotham was based on many different U.S. cities, such as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York. Some British villages have served as inspiration as well. A few Batman aficionados have actually placed Gotham in New Jersey, and there’s strong research to back it up!
Number Six: Gotham Was Always a Horrible Place
Batman’s hometown didn’t become a criminal metropolis over time—it was already a trainwreck when it was founded. In fact, it used to be so bad that its current sinful, rotten state is considered to be a major improvement over its past situation!
Number Five: Gotham or Vancouver?
A map of Gotham City appears in Tim Burton’s Batman which, in fact, was an inverted map of Vancouver! The film wasn’t really shot anywhere near Canada; it was entirely filmed at the iconic Pinewood Studios, in England.
Number Four: The Bat-Cave and Gotham are Pretty Close
The Bat-Cave is supposed to be within Gotham County and, according to 1966’s film, it’s only 14 miles from the city. Due to the bat-mobile’s high speed acceleration, it would only take a few minutes for Batman to get there.
Number Three: Gotham’s Gotham Took Forever to Build
Fox’s TV series Gotham tells the origin stories of many DC characters, including Wayne, Catwoman, the Penguin and the Joker. The show is entirely shot in New York. Fox’s executives wanted to use as little CGI as possible, so real sets were built instead. The main set, the police precinct, took 10 weeks to build!
Number Two: Gotham Really Exists… and It Needs Your Help
Gotham is an actual little village in Nottinghamshire, England. It doesn’t really have a lot to do with the fictitious DC city, other than the shared name. However, its government is turning to Batman’s fans for help; The Gotham Royal British Legion Building has been shut down due to financial struggles, and they want DC fans to donate money so that they can turn it into a “community-run cafe and visitor hub where village archives can be stored and displayed.” It would be a nice way for Batman fans to make it up to Gotham’s population for regularly stealing their road sign!
Number One: Clear Rooftops for Batman
The rooftops of most Batman’s adaptations are usually clear, free of signs or antennas (which, in fact, used to plague the city in the early stages of the story). That’s a conscious decision—it’s supposed to be a government choice to help Batman lurk around the city freely and safely. Gotham city passed the “Sprang Act” to forbid institutions to place big advertising signs on top of any buildings. We hope you enjoyed reading our list!