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"Oh, you're not gonna kill me. You'd just be lonely again. I mean, that's why I'm here, isn't it, with Kate gone because no one really cares about your every move. I mean, the new Batwoman doesn't give a damn about you anymore, and that must drive you absolutely crazy. Well, crazier. What will Alice become now that her sister is dead, hmm? I mean, it's the age-old question, isn't it? If a lunatic throws a tantrum in a forest, will anyone hear? Guess Gotham's not much of a playground without a playmate."
Julia Pennyworth to Alice[src]

Gotham City, simply known as Gotham, is a major city in the United States. It is home to several important businesses and corporations, such as Wayne Enterprises and Hamilton Dynamics. Gotham is notorious for its hostile nature; crime, corruption, terrorism, and poverty are widespread to the point of making it one of the most dangerous cities in the US, nevertheless being a thriving metropolis. Although its exact location is unknown, Gotham seems to be an island city somewhere on the western shores of a large lake in Northern America.[1][2]




Wayne Enterprises

Cafés and restaurants



Sports teams


Gotham City is infamous as a breeding ground for crime. According to many, Batman's presence in Gotham generated a new breed of "crazy" criminals as the city was terrorized for years by notorious madmen such as the Scarecrow[3] and especially the Joker.[4]

Alice and Mouse, the leaders of the Wonderland gang.

The situation worsened after Batman mysteriously disappeared in around 2015.[2] Crime skyrocketed and was at an all-time high, to the point that many citizens believe the city is in dire need of vigilantes.[3][1] Since 2018,[2] Gotham has suffered numerous attacks at the hands of a criminal who went by Alice, along with her Wonderland gang and second-in-command Mouse, aimed at satiating her personal vendetta against the Crows Security's co-founders, Jacob Kane and Catherine Hamilton-Kane, eventually killing the latter.[1] After the Wonderland gang were killed, Alice murdered Mouse too when he lost faith in their goal,[9] and began to work alongside a serial killer dubbed by the media as "Hush".[10]

Other well-known criminals are the art thief Magpie,[4] the murderous vigilante Executioner,[8] the serial killer Nocturna,[7] and the "serial slasher" Duela Dent.[8]

A new gang called the False Face Society appeared in the city during Kate's disappearance.[11]


Batman, the original vigilante.

Gotham was prominent for having registered the first known case of vigilantism in the figure of Batman, a brutal individual who dressed like a bat, fought against evil, and struck terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere, operating at least since 2002.[1] However, Batman's very existence has always sparked debate, with many arguing that he was nothing but an urban legend created by the Gotham City Police Department to instill fear in criminals, while others dismissed him as being simply a "myth", prompting the public opinion to reward Star City's Green Arrow as the first vigilante.[12] One of Batman's apparent associates was a young individual known to the world only as "Robin".[11]

Batwoman, Gotham's new vigilante.

The mysterious Batman, however, disappeared sometime around 2015. Three years later in 2018,[2] the equally-mysterious Batwoman took his place. She alone took on crime and protected Gotham from highly dangerous criminals, acting way more publicly than her predecessor[3] since many initially and mistakenly believed Batwoman to be the finally-returned Batman himself.


The Bat-Signal, one of the most iconic symbols of Gotham.


  • Bat-Signal: Gotham City is famous for the visible light of the Bat-Signal that turns on every night. The large projection lamp that casts the silhouetted shape of a bat across the sky is the iconic distress signal that the city uses to turn on whenever it needed Batman's, and later Batwoman's, help.[3]
  • Orpheum Theatre: A historic theatre in Gotham.[3]
  • Beacon Theatre: A theatre in Gotham University's area.[9]
  • Gotham Cathedral Church: One of the city's most ancient and notable religious buildings until it was abandoned sometime prior to 2019.[7]
  • Gotham Museum of Antiquities: The museum contained artifacts of Gotham's past.[13]





The gates of Arkham Asylum.

  • Arkham Asylum: A psychiatric asylum "for the criminally insane", Arkham is where criminals suffering from mental illnesses are incarcerated, presumably because most of these patients are considered to be very dangerous.[3][1]
  • Mary Hamilton's secret clinic: Mary Hamilton runs a secret and illegal clinic for the citizens of Gotham who cannot afford regular hospitals.[3]
  • Gotham General Hospital: The main hospital in Gotham City.[6] The best neurologists in the country work in Gotham.[14]



  • Gotham City Police Department (GCPD): The GCPD was the police department of Gotham, in charge of the Gothamites' security and overseeing and associating with the operations of private security companies such as the Crows.[3]
  • Crows Security: A private security business headed by Commander Jacob Kane.[7] With Batman's departure from Gotham, the Crows took over as the protectors of Gotham City, albeit only for the wealthiest of civilians.[3]



Public spaces




During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, after the Spectre died battling the Anti-Monitor, creating a new multiverse, this city, which contained most elements of Gotham City of Earth-1, was formed on Earth-Prime.[12]


Gotham City was founded sometime in the 19th century, as its police department has existed since 1820 while some of the elder occupants of its cemetery were born around that period.[3]

Batman's era

Bruce Wayne lived in Gotham with his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, until one fateful night, they were murdered, leaving him as the sole survivor.[1] Sometime after, Bruce began to operate as the vigilante Batman long enough for the public to be aware of him,[3] although the Dark Knight's actual existence was heavily disputed by the public, with many believing the vigilante to be a myth.

For years, Gotham was terrorized by a dangerous homicidal madman known as the Joker,[4] who had an obsession for Batman.[10] Another well-known villain was the Scarecrow,[3] a criminal who utilized a powerful hallucinogen called Fear toxin.[15] At some point, the city was targeted in some way by Ra's and Talia al Ghul, and it was also theatre of some kind of plot revolving around the Order of St. Dumas and Order of the Pure, which resulted in a new vigilante known as Azrael.[10]

Batman trying to save Kate, Beth and Gabi Kane.

On January 26, 2003,[1] the Joker hijacked a school bus and was pursued by Batman. Through happenstance, the bus hit a car with Bruce's two cousins, Kate and Beth Kane, and aunt, Gabi Kane. Despite Batman's efforts to save them, the car fell off a bridge into the river below, leaving Kate as the only survivor.[6] The whole city searched for Gabi and Beth's bodies for months until seemingly succeeding. In reality however, only Gabi's body was recovered; a group of men led by Catherine Hamilton recovered skull fragments of a deer to pose as Beth's body, with Catherine bribing the coroner to match them to Beth's DNA.[3][6]

Batman's presence soon ensured that Gotham became a relatively peaceful city. In 2015 however, Lucius Fox, regarded as a hero to the whole community, was murdered and a petty criminal, Reggie Harris, was framed for the crime.[8] Also, after years of brutal encounters, Batman finally killed the Joker and, presumably due to having broke his code of not killing, left Gotham.[4]

Dawn of Batwoman

Since Batman's disappearance, Gotham was rarely visited by anyone due to crime rates and corruption skyrocketing. Crows Security, founded between 2003 and 2004 by former USSOCOM colonel Jacob Kane and Hamilton Dynamics' CEO Catherine, became the new protector of Gotham, albeit only available for the richest of individuals.[1]

Wonderland gang

In 2018, Gotham began suffering several terroristic attacks by the Wonderland gang, led by the psychotic criminal known as "Alice" and her second-in-command, Mouse. Due to Batman's absence, Kate Kane decided to uphold her cousin's legacy and eventually became the new vigilante of Gotham City known as Batwoman,[3] eventually becoming beloved by her fellow Gothamites[1] and publicly coming out as a lesbian with an issue of CatCo Magazine.[3] After more than a year of battles, Batwoman managed to arrest Alice - who was actually her survived twin sister Beth - and sent her to Arkham Asylum with Jacob's help, leading her gang to be disbanded.[16]

In early 2020, after the A.S.A.'s illegal activities in Freeland were exposed by Black Lightning and his team, the Congressional Commission held a ceremony in Gotham to thank Freeland's heroes and disbanded the rogue organization.[17]

The Bat Team managed to expose the real murderer of Lucius Fox - the corrupt former head of the Crows Homicide Division and former GCPD officer Miguel Robles, who was commissioned by Tommy Elliot into confronting Fox for a journal containing Batman's secrets. With the revelation of corruption within Crows Security, the company began to reform.[4] Lucius' journal was then retrieved by Alice,[5] who had taken over Arkham and started to work with Elliot after helping him fake his death and craft the persona of "Hush". In mid-2020, Alice led a massive breakout in Arkham, leading to the escape of all its inmates, who spread across the city to cause chaos as part of her revenge on Batwoman.[10] Commander Kane blamed the vigilante for this and publicly declared war on her.[9]

Kristen Kramer had visited Gotham on multiple occasions,[18] so Joe West asked Cecile Horton to research the city's authorities to get background info on the woman.[19]

A new Batwoman

After Kate mysteriously disappeared, following the explosion of her private jet, she is presumed dead and a woman named Ryan Wilder discovered the Batsuit among the wreckage and briefly assumed the mantle of Batwoman, but she gave the suit back to Luke Fox and Mary Hamilton after concluding that she is not worthy to use it.[11]

Gothamites protest in favor of Batwoman.

In January 31, 2021,[20] Gotham's citizens noticed Batwoman's disappearance and blamed the Crows, so they planned a protest in front of Gotham Plaza. During the protest, Alice released thousands of infected bats to attack the city, but Ryan managed to resolve the situation with the help of Luke and Mary. Ryan so received Luke and Mary's blessing to operate as Batwoman in Kate's place, at least until Kate returns, becoming the second Batwoman and part of the Bat Team in the process.[21]

A few weeks after, the child trafficker Candice Long, who often kidnapped unsuspecting children and sold them to the False Face Society in the city was exposed by Ryan and arrested by the police.[22] Months later, the Black Mask and the False Face Society caused a blackout in Gotham, but with the help of the Bat Team, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Arkham Asylum.[23]

Known individuals

Known residents

Current residents

Incarcerated residents

Former residents

Known visitors

Known mayors

Known commissioners


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

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Black Lightning

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Season 6




  • Gotham's citizens referred to themselves as Gothamites.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Gotham City is the home of the hero known as Batman. Gotham City is located in the Northeastern United States, in close proximity to Metropolis, with the majority of DC comics references placing Gotham City specifically in New Jersey.
  • In real life, "Gotham" is a nickname that writer Washington Irving attached to New York on November 11, 1807, referencing a village in England inhabited, according to folklore, by people who feigned madness and were branded as true fools.[24]
    • Batman creator Bill Finger took inspiration from that nickname[24] and New York City itself provided the basic visuals for the fictional city.
  • It was revealed that Gotham is connected to the mainland by three bridges, Loeb, Brown, and Trigate, and that those are the only ways of accessing and exiting the city. Therefore, Gotham seems to be in the center of a massive bay.[1]
  • According to Cisco Ramon's map of Earth-Prime, Gotham is located on the western shores of Lake Michigan, somewhere between Chicago and Milwaukee, likely making it a city of Illinois or Wisconsin.[2]