Tom King and David Finch’s run of Batman has the Caped Crusader dealing with two new superpowered beings named Gotham and Gotham Girl. However, as the first arc of the new series comes to a close, we’ve learned that having superpowers and a good heart isn’t enough to be Gotham City’s savior.
Writer Tom King talked to GameSpot about the end of “I Am Gotham” storyline and revealed that the origins of these two new characters have ties to Rebirth, the DC event that reshaped the entirety of the publisher’s landscape.
Because Gotham and Gotham Girl’s powers were created in a laboratory, there may be potential for more metahumans to come out of that same camp. King explained that their origin story is part of something larger, which will be the “spine of the DCU going forward,” and it is connected to Rebirth. This will be something that drives all of the books at DC, but at this point in time, he has to be vague.
While there is no way to know just yet, there may be a connection between Dr. Manhattan–from Watchmen–and the laboratory where Gotham and Gotham Girl originated. As of right now, DC and King are keeping a tight lid on all these puzzle pieces.
While King is no stranger to writing comics, with critically acclaimed series like Sheriff of Babylon, Vision, and Omega Men under his belt, Batman is a key title in DC’s line. “A lot of people read Batman. I feel there’s a responsibility in writing that book to steer the DCU in the direction that will keep fans coming back. Part of that is having stories that star Batman and spin out into other books. Part of that is reacting to stories that happen in other books. This is one of the huge branches of the DC Universe tree.”
At this time, King was unable to comment on the upcoming story where Batman leads his own Suicide Squad, which was revealed back at Comic-Con. More information will be released in the upcoming months.
In issue #6 of Batman (on sale September 7), King and artist Ivan Reis end the “I Am Gotham” story utilizing lesser known villains from Batman’s past. “I wanted D-List villains, and I picked the ones where I could see something amazing with them” said King. “Captain Stingaree was the easiest one because he seems like the silliest villain, until you read what he wants to do. He’s a quadruplet who goes crazy, and he thinks his brothers are each secretly Batman. And Stingaree wants to kill them. That’s really f**ked up.”
“For Kite-Man, I just like the challenge of ‘What can I do that makes Kite Man cool but kind of funny?’ Once I got in my head the moment of Kite Man rushing through a window and robbing them, it was my tribute to Stilt-Man. He’d be in the background, robbing diamonds from the 80th floor of buildings. I wanted to do a tribute to him. As for Colonel Blimp, I just like his name. I love the movie it’s based on, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.”
King explained that he tries to put a little bit of light into this books–with bizarre villains from an earlier era in comics–since the majority of what he writes, tonally, is very dark. “That becomes easy to me. I feel like Batman staring out a window being obsessed with something is very easy to me, so you never want to lean into everything you’re good at, which is an odd thing to say. In Batman, I want to do something that’s not that, not just a man contemplating. I wanted to do something fun, that makes you laugh, and makes you gasp. My favorite parts of Batman are the moments that make me laugh, and that’s why I’m so excited to write it.”
The conclusion of the “I Am Gotham” storyline hits stores on September 7 in Batman #6.