This is a guide to the world and characters of The Gothamite.
Contains Spoilers. Where applicable, I’ve included a picture of an actor who I visualize when I’m writing the character.
Here’s a flag of Gotham City I made for no good reason.
The Latin roughly translates to “What is this City in the shadow of Olympus?”
Bruce Wayne | Batman
For the most part, Bruce Wayne hews to canon, with some significant deviations.
For example: He is literally the adopted son of Alfred. In The Gothamite, Bruce is much younger and closer in age to his adopted brother, Dick Grayson.
Prior to becoming BATMAN, he, Alfred, and Dick are members of a “gang” which attempts (mostly successfully) to reform lower-level criminals into leaving their life of crime and beginning careers with Wayne Enterprises or other fair-wage jobs in Gotham.
Politically, he is a professed Leftist (by American Standards in 1934, he would’ve been left of FDR, but that wouldn’t be staggeringly radical for the time).
The man who taught Batman to fight, how to be a good undercover operative, a great detective, and what it is to be a socialist.
As the trustee for the Wayne family’s significant assets at the time of Tom & Martha’s deaths, technically he, and not Bruce, is one of the wealthiest men alive.
He’s Black, and he’s not “the butler” (Or, he hasn’t been since the death of the Waynes). Alfred is American, not English, and doesn’t call Bruce or Dick “master.”
His being Black is a choice I made because it creates some racial tension in parts of the story that I think do a good job of showing who characters are, and helping to make things like “privilege” more understandable for the average reader who maybe doesn’t have that kind of experience.
Alfred was a soldier and undercover operative during “The Great War.” He’s an expert in multiple fighting styles.
Dick is a bit more flippant than the Boy Wonder of canon. He’s hotheaded, and probably more clever than smart. He’s running for Mayor of Gotham.
Lieutenant James Gordon
Somewhat important to note that I’m not a fan of police. To wit: Cops protect property, not people. Even so-called “good cops” reinforce the status quo norms of bad cops and bad policing. The best, most honorable police officer in the world almost always has to look the other way when horrible things are done by bad cops in his district, or he finds himself out on his ass (at best).
Jim Gordon Police Lieutenant of Gotham P.D. He’s a better cop than the vast majority of Gotham cops, but he’s still not like, a great person.
His relationship with Batman will more-or-less hew to canon, but he’s more skeptical of Bats, and, even knowing that there is deep-seated corruption in Gotham PD, he is an advocate of “The System.” He was the interim commissioner after Grogan was put on permanent leave. He’s the lead cop on the GPD Super Human Task Force
Detective Selina Kyle
Jim Gordon’s partner. Former (not expressly known to all characters) cat burglar who becomes a cop following her living as a foster child/orphan/ward of the state for most of her life.
Selina’s the first woman detective in Gotham or any major city in America, a decision made by the former police commissioner, mostly as a P.R. decision, and partially under duress.
She probably won’t formally be Catwoman, but I haven’t committed to that yet.
Commissioner Yiannis “Johnny” Gelio
Commissioner of the Gotham P.D. and The Gothamite’s closest analog to The Joker (a sarcastic nickname he is given by his confederates who think he takes himself too seriously).
Outwardly, he is charismatic, and a talented public speaker. As commissioner, he is stoic, deeply serious, and difficult to amuse. In spite of his too-serious affectation, he inspires loyalty in his officers, and he is very much in favor of subverting “the best way” to do things in favor of “the most efficient way” to do them.
He’s a person who maybe doesn’t naturally seek to game systems, but if the weaknesses align appropriately, he’ll figure them out (whether to shore them up or exploit them is always situation dependent) . Johnny has tetanus/lockjaw, and has facial spasms which cause him to sometimes appear to be smiling at inappropriate moments.
Dick’s campaign manager, former librarian, and something of a foil to Dick. Former worker at Wayne Enterprises. Skeptical of the “anti-police sentiment” of Dick/Bruce/Alfred, but coming around on it. Extraordinarily talented debater, but has difficulty processing things if the topic is very personal to her. She is outspoken, and willing to stand up for her beliefs/hold her ground.
AN: I feel like I’m under-writing her, but that will change in upcoming weeks. In canon, she is Batgirl/Oracle, but that’s unlikely to be a factor here.
A sweets salesman with a ratty porkpie hat and a mysterious past.
Jeremy has trouble with social interactions, which makes him awkward and often creepy. In canon, he’s Jervis Tetch, aka The Mad Hatter, but we don’t have mind control in The Gothamite, so while there are some fanservice winks, and some personality quirks, he won’t be slapping headbands on people to make them unwillingly do his bidding.
A member of The ‘Newsboy Legion,’ Pockets is a mysterious waif who is taken in by Jeremy at the outset of the Peter Pan murders. Wily and independent, he is an excellent pickpocket because people don’t like to pay attention to him.
A botanist and businesswoman, owner of a company that seeks to empower women and vulnerable people with jobs in SCIENCE! (specifically, chemistry!).
In canon, this is Poison Ivy aka Pamela Isley aka Lily Rose aka a million other dumb names.
Harriet Isley works as head of the aroma chemicals division of Rose Botanichemical, where she is the direct supervisor of Jeremy. A gifted prodigy, Harriet is recently returned from the Middle East where she learned more about traditional scent creation and novel methods of dispensation using methods more than a thousand years old.
She is non-canonical but her surname may indicate something as well.
Dr. Victor Fries
Gotham City’s Coroner works in the deeply refrigerated basement-morgue of Gotham’s courthouse.
In canon, this is Mr. Freeze, but it’s exceedingly unlikely that he’s going to have a freeze ray or anything silly like that. At least for now, just the coroner (and this will probably continue to be true).
Clark Kent | Superman
Hews to The Metropolitan Man canon, with minor exceptions:
1. I try to give a rational explanation for “super hearing,” which, while possibly not compatible with TMM, it makes more sense (and it explains how he could hear a cry for help in China, without speaking Mandarin or Cantonese, and still somehow know it was a cry for help).
2. Supes has all of his major canon powers. In TMM, if I remember correctly, he never overtly displays heat vision or “super-breath” but I didn’t want to avoid those if they would make something more narratively convenient/consistent. He won’t have out-of-canon powers (e.g. he won’t be flying around the world in the opposite direction of revolutions and reversing time as a result or like, shooting tiny Supermans out of his hand who are equally as powerful but tiny.
Lois Lane, Mercy Graves, and Lex Luthor
All of these characters should be almost entirely compatible with their The Metropolitan Man counterparts. I’m making efforts to not have Bruce discover something absolutely remarkable that Lex didn’t mention in TMM, and I think I’ve stuck to that with maybe one minor, reasonable-explanation exception.
Black Mask, aka Roman Scionis aka Silvio Falcone has, apparently, returned from the dead. Carmine “had him killed” six years prior to the beginning of ‘The Gothamite’ (details in Origin Stories: Mario Falcone), but Silvio changed his identity and fled to Italy. He returned when Carmine called for his allies from Soriano Nel Cimino, unwittingly bringing his brother back as well.
As in canon, Black Mask has carved an ornate skull mask from the coffin of his deceased father – unlike canon, Black Mask took the name “Roman Scionis” after Carmine “The Roman” Falcone died, as “Roman” was a title, and he thinks of himself as the “Last Scion” of the Falcone Family. The confusion of having a character named Roman and a character with the title Roman seemed like too much, so it seemed a novel way to get Black Mask integrated.
Gotham City is in New Jersey. Metropolis is in Delaware.
I know that the latter is stupid to the point of being hysterical, but that’s canonically true in DC comics.
There’s maybe one time the proximity of Gotham to Metropolis has been narratively important so far, but this is countercanon to The Metropolitan Man, which replaces Chicago with Gotham and NYC with Metropolis.
For the most part, it means that I won’t be making the mentions of New York politics that are made in TMM, but I don’t suspect it would impact your enjoyment of the story.