Well, I just finished wrapping up my thoughts on the pilot to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, the Avengers-less Avengers show that’s been the most anticipated new drama of the year. And what do I hear as soon as I’m finished? The fact that Fox just won a bidding war for a Batman-less Batman show called Gotham.
The show will follow the adventures of Commissioner Gordon as he tracks down Gotham criminals in the city. It will reportedly NOT feature Batman himself, meaning that perhaps the show is a prequel, taking place when Gordon is just a detective, or perhaps its during one of Batman’s many “gap years” when he gives up the cape until some calamity brings him out of retirement.
What’s clear is that Gotham will have a decent amount of freedom to do what it wants in the universe, more so than SHIELD which must stay within the constraints of the Marvel movies. DC TV properties are all free from the burden of their movie companions. Smallville had nothing to do with Superman Returns or Man of Steel, and it also had nothing to do with Arrow, which is building its own separate JLA roster different from past shows AND movies.
This means that Gotham can pretty much run wild with its characterizations of both Gordon and the famed villains of Gotham. Honestly, this is a great idea. Batman is such a strong universe not just because of the caped crusader, but because he has the best stable of villains out of any hero. Of course it’s going to be risky for the show to try and reinvent big guns like the Joker, but there are a TON of others they can incorporate.
If this is a prequel, I think it would be cool if the pilot was Gordon’s first case being the murder of the Wayne’s and the comforting of young Bruce. Anyway, what do you make of this idea? Can you have an interesting Gotham without Batman? Can they make this cool or might it be just a superhero themed police procedural?