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We got a mysterious black envelope in the ScienceFiction.com mailbox today, no return address, only an oval with a stylized bat symbol on the front. We found some great photos inside, along with some awesome casting news on the new Batman prequel, ‘Gotham!’

Executive producer/writer Bruno Heller’s ‘Gotham’ focuses on rising cop James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his love for his city where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. The series begins 2 weeks into Gordon’s career as as a Gotham City detective, with fiancee, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), alongside him. Gordon is living his dream as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

Police legend Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), is Gordon’s partner and together, they try to protect the city. The team stumbles upon a high-profile case: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. Gordon, in one of Comicdom’s most iconic moments, meets the Wayne’s 12-year-old son, Bruce (David Mazouz).

Having connected in an inexplicably profound way to the boy, Gordon vows to catch the killer, going up against not only the criminal filth of his beloved city, but the sometimes shady politics of it as well.

In his search for justice, Gordon goes up against gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), among other legendary Gotham City denizens including Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) and Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor).

While the crime drama will follow Gordon’s turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, Alfred (Sean Pertwee). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he’s destined to be.

If that  synopsis wasn’t enough, here’s a few stills from the pilot episode:

Also released were these new character images of Catwoman, Bruce Wayne, Sarah Essen, Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Barbara Kean, Fish Mooney, The Penguin, and Alfred.

Digging down into the bottom of that black envelope was this bit of juicy info:  more characters are slated to walk the city streets of Gotham! More specifically Edward Nygma, Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen (played by Cory Michael Smith, Victoria Cartagena, and Andrew Stewart-Jones  respectively). While the Riddler is a well-known villain in the Batman universe, having Smith bumped to a regular cast member on the series means that viewers will be seeing more of this awkward forensic scientist before he transformed into the supervillain otherwise known as The Riddler. As for the addition of the characters Montoya and Allen, they were key characters in the comic series ‘Gotham Central’ which the show is based upon. It’s good to see that the TV series will be giving extra nods to the comic inspiration. 

The series has great potential for longevity; the world exists, the characters are in place, great writing and impeccable casting is all that is needed to rocket this series into a good decade of great programming.

So what do you think fellow Batfans? Will ‘Gotham’ be a series comic book fans will want to watch? Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments below!

‘Gotham’ will air Monday nights at 8 p.m. on the FOX network.