A few days ago, Fox announced it had ordered a full season of a show called ‘Gotham’ and that would be based on the early years in the career of James Gordon, the man who would eventually be elected Commissioner of the Gotham City police force, a force that it should be noted, is riddled with corruption. The show would take place before Batman makes his debut, so essentially it’s mythology is based on Batman, but doesn’t feature the lead hero. However, there may still be some super human factors as it was stated that the show “will focus on the villains that made the fictional city famous.”
The Hollywood Reporter examined some possible comic book sources that could be mined for inspiration for the new series, pointing out a similar “origin” story in the famous ‘Batman: Year One’ miniseries by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. “The Gordon that appears in that storyline — set at the very start of Batman’s career — has just arrived in Gotham City after a 15-year career in Chicago, and is faced with a police force almost as corrupt as the city itself, forcing him to rely on his own resources in order to bring order to the streets before the arrival of Batman.”
The site also points out that Gordon’s story is essentially being rewritten now in the current Batman book. “In current issues of DC Comics’ ‘Batman’ series, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo are providing their own take on that period, and a Jim Gordon that seems significantly less troubled than Miller and Mazzucchelli’s version — at least so far.”
They also mentioned Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s ‘Gotham Central’ a series that ran for 40 issues from 2003-06, which focused on the non-powered officers of the Gotham PD who had to content with the bizarre creatures and criminals that plagued the city.
“‘Gotham Central’ was a distinctly grounded take on the Batman mythology — imagine ‘Hill Street Blues’, but with the Joker showing up to cause mass terror every now and again. With minimal appearances from Batman throughout the run, ‘Gotham Central’ demonstrated how well a police procedural could work in a world of supervillains and larger than life threats, given the appropriate treatment.”
Among the most notable police officers from the comics are Detective Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer, the head of the Major Crimes Unit. But then again, producer Bruno Heller (‘The Mentalist’) may chose to go the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ route and create an all new cast of characters with no ties to the comic book continuity.
As for Gordon himself, currently in the comics, he is divorced from his first wife Barbara. His son, James Jr. recently returned as a crazed killer and was killed by his daughter, also named Barbara, a.k.a. Batgirl. But since the show is set earlier in his career, it’s possible he could still be married and his kids would be younger.
How do you think the should should be approached? Dark and gritty? Would you prefer to see characters from the comics or do you think the creators have the right to make up their own characters and stories? Comment below!