Jim Gordon, Gotham City Needs Villains for New Show

Jim Gordon Gotham City Needs Villains for New Show

Fox has commissioned a prequel series for Jim Gordon and the city of Gotham. Nerds around the world are already speculating about the thrust of the show. Will this be in line with Nolan-verse continuity or will the show be used to establish continuity for Affleck’s Batman, who will have a few years of experience when Superman or Batman debuts at the movies, or will they go the Smallville route – ten years of building a mythology then doing nothing with it save for a spin-off comic? Being nerd property, expect comment sections to explode in alternating spasms of adulation and righteous indignation.

According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter in reference to Gordon, the show “will focus on the villains that made the fictional city famous.”  This is no small feat as many of the great Batman villains are a commentary on the Dark Knight himself, so how to plot a correct course for this? Show runner Bruno Miller would be wise to tackle villains that can be effective commentaries on Gotham City. Here are five villains (or villainous groups) worth considering:

Rupert Thorne, one Gotham's crankier crime bosses
Rupert Thorne, one Gotham’s crankier crime bosses

1.  The Gotham Crime Families:

The mafia figures prominently in Batman mythology, but most of the characters, be it Rupert Thorne or Carmine Falcone, lack the visual flare of classic super-villains. These are old school bad guys, and in a pre-Batman Gotham City, make excellent foils for a compromised police force in the style of The Shield. No, not as in, Agents of,  but the incredible FX crime drama.

Jim Gordon, Gotham City Needs Villain for New Show
Zsasz is nuts. A lipstick free alternative to the Joker

2.  Mr. Zsasz

A lesser known member of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, Victor Zsasz comes with little continuity baggage. A straight up serial killer who scars himself to mark his kills, Victor is a malleable character whose storyline easily conforms to the needs of the show.  He can be a corporate crazy in the mode of American Psycho or an average Joe-turned-vigilante, who takes a swan dive into the madness pool.

 

Jim Gordon, Gotham City Needs Villains for New Show
The Tim Burton vision of the Cobblepots is too gothic for the tone of the show.

3.  The Cobblepots

 For the uninitiated, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot is the The Penguin. Sometimes depicted as the antithesis of Bruce Wayne, Oswald comes from Gotham’s other old money family. Whether it is Oswald himself or other members of the clan, the family can interject some one percent hegemony into the show, allowing the writers to explore Gotham’s upper-crust. They have the bonus feature of offering a clean dichotomy balanced by the crime families.

 

Im Gordon, Gotham City Needs Villains for New Show
Both the family and the Asylum are important figures in the Batman mythos.

4.  Arkham.

As in Arkham Asylum. If Lex Luthor represents a strain of corporate greed behind the futurism of Metropolis, then the Arkhams represent the madness lurking behind the gargoyles of Gotham’s gothic architecture. Which Arkham matters little, it could be Jonah or some incarnation of Amadeus.  It could be new characters created from scratch. What matters is they are affected by the madness of the asylum:  an incubator for the clown faced irrationalism that eats an otherwise normal big city from the inside.

What do you think?  Are these solid choices or are they too safe?  Who would you like to see on the show?  Leave a comment!

Written By David Arroyo

(Op-ed)

Batman Prequel Series

Arkham Asylum

Mr. Zsasz

Rupert Thorne

The Penguin 

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