Goodbye Gotham (#SFWApro)

batman404When I heard Fox was putting GOTHAM on the air I was tentatively optimistic. The idea of turning the Frank Miller/Dave Mazzucchelli Year One arc (cover by Mazzucchelli, rights with current holder) into a series, showing Gotham City right before the Batman and the Joker hit the streets, could be interesting in a GCPD kind of way (a DC comic that showed what life is like for Gotham’s cops coping with an endless stream of costumed crazies).

I was overly optimistic which is why I never picked it up after mid-season break. Even before that I used it almost entirely as a talking lamp rather than focusing on it.

Part of the problem is that Year One was a four-issue arc. The TV series, of necessity has to take a lot longer, given that Bruce Wayne is still only 10 (in the comic he was adult and almost in costume). And that’s a problem because despite the occasional super-villain (Zzazz, Dollmaker) mostly we’re keeping them off-stage with hints that ooh, this person will be Riddler, oooh, this guy will someday be the Penguin.

Instead what we get is a straight cop show with occasionally some bizarre villains in it. And I don’t feel the need to watch straight cop shows, even if the lead is Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne’s hanging out with a sneak thief called Selina who likes cats. For every oooh, this guy will be—, we get several hours of organized crime power struggles. Watching Falcone, Fish Mooney and Cobblepot scheme against each other ain’t exactly The Godfather.

Another problem, which took me longer to realize, is that the real Bruce Wayne was a freaky kid. Ten years old and he’s at his parents’ grave swearing to avenge them by waging war on crime. Using that Bruce could have been interesting. Maybe he starts training or trying to investigate crimes or getting into trouble or helping out Selina … But the Bruce Gotham gives us just sits around wringing his hands a lot about his life and the sorry state of the city.

I could probably catch up on what I missed, but I don’t think I’m gonna.

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Filed under Comics, TV

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