Monday, February 2, 2009

Where is Gotham

So Stefany and I have talked about this a couple of times. I come from the Chicago camp and she comes from the NYC camp. Here is what we found.

The distance between Gotham City and Metropolis has varied over the years, ranging everywhere from being hundreds of miles apart to being twin cities.

Why it is NYC

"Gotham" is a nickname for New York, first used by Washington Irving in the early 19th century.

For most of the publication history of Batman in comics, Gotham has been assumed to be a New York City analogue; Frank Miller has said that "Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is New York at night."

DC Comics president and publisher Paul Levitz says that Gotham is "New York from 14th Street down, the older buildings, more brick-and-mortar as opposed to steel-and-glass."

New York Times journalist William Safire describes Gotham City as "New York below 14th Street, from SoHo to Greenwich Village, the Bowery, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the sinister areas around the base of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

Tim Burton's Gotham was based primarily on New York,
"Batman Forever," (1995) was filmed partly in New York City,

In the Batgirl series, as well as in the Vertigo Comics' Sandman series, Gotham is implied to be an entire state, analogous to New York, with Gotham City as its capital. In both cases, the book refers to "Upstate Gotham"

Why it is Chicago

Longtime Batman artist Neal Adams considers Gotham to be based on Chicago (whose nickname is "New Gotham"), pointing to its history of corruption and organized crime, and adding, "One of the things about Chicago is Chicago has alleys (which are virtually nonexistent in New York). Back alleys, that's where Batman fights all the bad guys."

Films directed by Christopher Nolan have shown a Gotham more closely based on Chicago.

Man-Bat #3 refers to Gotham City being in the Central Time zone.

"The Dark Knight", (2008), the film depending most on exteriors, was filmed entirely on location in Chicago, including recognizable shots using the Sears Tower, the Trump Tower, LaSalle St. and Navy Pier (for the Joker's seemingly fatal joke involving the two boats).

In The Dark Knight, the License plates of the cars registered in Gotham strongly resemble that of Illinois but they say Gotham for the state.

However there is a third place that it could be.

Why it is New Jersey

A Gotham City driver's license shown in Batman: Shadow of the Bat annual #1, contains the line "Gotham City, NJ".

A location on the Jersey Shore is described as "twenty miles north of Gotham." Robin and Batgirl drive from a "secret New Jersey airfield" to Gotham City and then drive on the "Hudson County Highway". Hudson County is the name of an actual New Jersey county.

New Adventures of Superboy #22 (October 1981), placed Gotham City and Metropolis on opposite sides of a Delaware Bay, with Gotham City in New Jersey and Metropolis in Delaware.

You Decide


sarah jean said...

i always thought it was chicago

Dad said...

DC comics was started by two Jewish guys (Seigle and Shuster)who created Superman. When that was a hit, Bob Kane created Batman for them. Metropolis is NYC, Gotham was Chicago.

Andy said...

If you were asked the question, “Who created the Batman?” what would your answer be? The obvious answer is printed on the splash page of every Batman comic book, appears at the end of every episode of various TV shows and in the credits of every Batman movie. I’m betting that you answered Bob Kane. And you’d be right – sort of.

Who created Alfred Pennyworth, Catwoman, Penguin, Two-Face and The Riddler? Who came up with the names Bruce Wayne, Robin and Gotham City? The obvious answer would once again be Bob Kane. But that would be wrong. The answer this time is Bill Finger.

Bill wrote that first story “The Case Of The Chemical Syndicate” and named all of the major characters including Bruce Wayne and James Gordon. As part of the character development, it was Finger who decided to make Batman a detective – "My idea was to have Batman be a combination of Douglas Fairbanks, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, and Doc Savage as well."

Writer Bill Finger is credited with the creation of Gotham City. Finger commented on the naming of the city and reasoning for changing Batman's locale from Manhattan to a fictional city: "Originally I was going to call Gotham City 'Civic City'. Then I tried Capital City, then Coast City. Then I flipped through the phone book and spotted the name 'Gotham Jewelers' and said, 'That's it', Gotham City. We didn't call it New York because we wanted anybody in any city to identify with it."

While it’s true that Bob Kane created a bat-man, it was Bill Finger that refined the concept and gave us THE BATMAN. If today’s standards had been applied in the early days of the industry we would be seeing a different credit on the splash pages of our favorite Batman comics.

Dad said...

I bow to your research!!


I thought Gotham was New York...until I read the name Metropolis (that Dad knows everything) and then I remember that that was I do not think I knew where Gotham was...and my heck Andy, when you can outdo Dad on Batman trivia you are THE MASTER.

Andy said...

Dad can talk circles around me. But I can research with the best.

After further study I now believe it is south Manhattan and Jersey. But I found people who think LA and Vancouver.

Rachel said...

I always thought chicago. I always ask dad all DC comic questions :)

Dad said...

On second thought, perhaps it is Spokane. We have a city hall. We have a police commissioner.


Actually, I think it is Spokane...I love all of you...You are all amazing

Andy said...

We do lack the large water. But the goal was for every city to feel that it is theirs.