Breaking Gotham

I like the idea of Gotham: really a young Jim Gordon who’s life intersects with future superheroes (Batman in the form of a bereaved Bruce Wayne) and super villains (everyone else).  The basic idea is intriguing, though the implementation would be challenging, and the initial script sounds pretty dismal.  Also I wonder how long it could be done legitimately without running out of ideas or going in circles.

Besides, we’ve done a lot with the heroes.  So let me suggest we take a tip from the success of Breaking Bad and do a show about the villains, how they came to be, and how they end up.

Yes villains.  Plural.

Imagine a series of interlinked tales as we explore the lives of several villains as they come to be, interact, plot, and scheme.  As they come into their own, they’re haunted by The Batman, who is almost never seen on screen, but is a shadowy presence haunting them.  In a way, Batman would almost be like the stalking killer in a horror movie, a shadowy presence tormenting them and pushing them – and only later do you remember these are thieves, madmen, and murderers.

Over time they start to team up, a sort of loose alliance, filled with with friendships and rivalries, romance and unrequited love, and of course disturbing psychological problems and backstabbing.  Schemes and criminal plans start, goals are pursued . . .

Then The Batman starts winning.  Slowly, and surely one of the villains after the other are taken to Arkham or otherwise lost.  Slowly their numbers dwindle, their nerves fray, betrayal, accusation, and brutal violence set in.

Finally there’s only one left.  The Joker, alone, sitting in a room, abandoned by his henchmen, Harley Quinn in prison, petting one of his hyenas.  Then there’s the sound of a man walking into the room, and his shadow is like that of a bat.  The Joker, tired, beaten, exhausted, looks up, smiles, and simply asks “What took you so long?”

Series ends.

– Steven Savage