Thursday, October 16, 2014
Over in his blog, my pal Bob Greenberger has his comments about Gotham, the show that wants to be for Batman what Smallville was for Superman. You can take a moment to go there and check it out. I'll wait.
I'm sure there are things in the show that annoy or anger regular fans of the Batman comics being published today. What those fans don't realize is that the show's producers really don't care about making the 50,000 of them (if there still are that many) happy. They are aiming at the millions of people who have seen the movies.
So the rather heavy-handed introductions of Oswald Cobblepot (who walks like a penguin) and Selina ("Call me Cat") Kyle are for movie fans to be able to point to and say, "Hey, I know who that person is going to become." More astute ones will also recognize Ed Nigma, Harvey Dent, and Ivy. But they have no frame of reference for characters like Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya, so however they are played in the show, well, that's who they are.
That's not to say there aren't some Easter eggs for the longtime comics fans. For example, the waste treatment plant that is to be built near Arkham Asylum. Somewhere down the road, a two-bit criminal calling himself the Red Hood -- or perhaps just some nondescript member of a criminal gang -- is going to fall into the toxic waste there.
All that said, Gotham is much more like the early years of Dick Tracy than a superhero adventure. Gangsters who are just a bit over the top. Crimes that are too outlandish for CSI or NCIS or even Criminal Minds. And a hero who sometimes has to fight the system in order to do his job.
And if you're going to do a series about a city that grows up to be Batman's home town, it's probably the way to go.