The Evolution Of Gotham


Batman is the protector of Gotham. But Gotham is more than just anytown, USA. It’s a distinct city with it’s own characteristics and is just as important to the Batman mythos as Batman himself. Batman and Gotham are two intertwined things, forever connected to each other.

This video by The Nerdwriter explores the evolution of Gotham City over the years. No matter how much Gotham has changed, it is defined by he characteristic of “there must always be crime” because Batman is “the one who fights crime”, and Batman in essence was created by Gotham when a thug murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents. And Batman’s efforts to rid Gotham of crime brought forth more dangerous and twisted criminals than your run of the mill thugs.

It’s really interesting to see how Gotham basically went from an ill-defined New York City to the Gotham we know through modern TV, movies and comics.In fact, Gotham really didn’t even start to come into it’s own and really become it’s own character and a city with some sense of continuity and recognizable landmarks until after the 1960s Batman TV show starring Adam West & Burt Ward ended.

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As the video points out, arguably the most iconic version of Gotham that is still drawn from today is the vision from Tim Burton’s seminal 1989 Batman film, where Burton described his inspiration for the city as “if Hell burst through the pavement and grew”.

And of course this dark gothic feel gave way to terrible camp in the Joel Schumacher Batman films (espeically Batman & Robin). You’ll notice that no vision of Gotham has never even tried to go for anything anywhere near that campy since.

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Gotham is a city that has changed over time and will probably continue to change, but there will always be crime and there will always be a Batman to fight that crime, even if he never fully succeeds in eliminating it. What’s your favorite interpretation of Gotham? Let us know in the comments!