Gotham: Latest installment in history of Batman series


Batman: A History

Batman was created by Bob Kane and made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.  Batman was given his own series on 1940, titled Batman.

Batman in 1940 is different than the Batman we know today.  Early Batman had no qualms about killing and even carried a gun to extract justice.  Batman became successful as a darker approach to the cheerful and bright Superman.  After World War II, however, Batman was cheered up and removed from his gritty environment.

Comic books were under attack in the 1950’s and 1960’s, being deemed immoral or degrading.  Batman took a mighty hit and became a silly, campy character to match with the Batman television show of the same time.

In the late 60’s, the television show had ended and Batman was left looking for a revolution.  Utilizing Batman’s Rogues Gallery, Batman was brought back to his dark roots where he has remained to this day.

Batman has starred in thousands of comic series and continues to be as popular as he was in the beginning.

Holy Hollywood Batman!

Batman has been on screen just as long as he has been in print.  Episodic serials starring Batman started showing in 1943.  In 1966, a movie and television series, both called Batman, aired.  The show lasted three seasons and skyrocketed the popularity of Batman.  It was canceled when the price of production became too high to be profitable.

Batman became a movie star again in 1989 when Tim Burton directed Batman and Batman Returns.  The movies were successful and once again brought Batman back into the mainstream.  Director Joel Schumacher took over directing the film franchise and attempted to make more campy movies.  The films were disastrous and regressed the character.  Despite starring in a multitude of animated television shows, it would be eight years until Batman again graced the big screen.

Christopher Nolan took the helm of the rebooted Batman movie franchise.  Batman Begins was released in 2005 and set way for a trilogy.  The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were released and each grossed over $1 billion each.  The franchise was revolutionized and paved the way for new creative interests.

Back on the Small Screen

On September 22, the television show Gotham premiered on FOX.  This is the newest show based off of a DC Comics character; also including The Flash and Arrow.  Gotham is not the average “superhero” show in that it is a prequel.  This show is not about an adult Bruce Wayne dishing out punishment, it follows Detective James Gordon as a new recruit to the Gotham City Police Department as he is trying to solve the Wayne murders among other crimes.

Gotham features a cast of character actors.  Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) plays Detective Gordon and David Mazouz (Touch) plays a newly-orphaned Bruce Wayne.  Also featured are Gordon’s corrupt partner Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue and Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennywoth played by Sean Pertwee.

Gotham has been anticipated since it was ordered in September 2013.  It is a blend of new DC Comics characters and an introduction of Batman’s coterie of villains as younger, new members of Gotham’s crime world.

The show has received positive reviews and has been praised for not falling into the typical police procedural drama style.  Gotham airs on FOX on Mondays at 8pm.