Goin’ to Gotham

Is it just me, or has Gotham City suddenly become the tourist Mecca of the New DC Universe? This confuses me somewhat. For a city that’s routinely described as a wretched hive of scum and villainy, of crumbling ethics and infrastructure, with no visible tourist attractions beyond the Bat-Signal, it’s ludicrously popular as a place to visit.

I mean, this is a city whose native wildlife is probably the only such fauna to be more dangerous than that of the Australian Outback. It’s a place where bright colours are a sign of imminent danger, and dark colours a sign that danger will soon be imminent. It’s a city where they call the wind “the Razor”. Who in their right mind would ever want to go there?

Currently, DC is publishing a total of 52 ongoing series, all of them relaunched last year in a blaze of publicity. Of that number, 10 titles are actually based there (Batman, Detective Comics, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Birds of Prey and All-Star Western), with 5 more (Justice League, Justice League International, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and Red Hood and the Outlaws) featuring characters strongly associated with the city. That’s more than a quarter of the 52 to begin with.

But in the six months since the relaunch, two more titles have already begun Gotham arcs (I, Vampire and Resurrection Man), and at least two more (Grifter and Batwing) are inbound, based on either events in their own titles or press releases from DC. And that’s not counting the title that made more oblique connections to Gotham in its first issue (Supergirl), or various other Batman cameos that have occurred.

Now, I can understand the desire to play with the company’s best known, most popular and (let’s face it) best character. Not to mention that as a guest-star, he’ll produce more of a sales bump than, say, Aquaman would. And just think how much more over-exposed Gotham City will be when the other heroes that were historically based there – Ragman, Creeper, Etrigan the Demon, etc. – make their over-hyped returns to the new modern DC Universe!

But really, shouldn’t Bruce Wayne be allowed at least a little sleep, now and again?

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