Gotham Wiki

"I finally understand Gotham in a way I suspect you always have. It's a place where the strongest and most cunning rule... where the cost of survival is paid for by others... and everyone feels alone."
Lee Thompkins' letter to Jim Gordon[src]

Gotham City, simply known as Gotham, is a city in the United States in the County of Gotham. Notoriously corrupt and plagued by excessively high crime rates, Gotham has been dominated by a series of crime lords throughout its modern history. Following the downfall of long-standing crime organization the Falcone crime family, Gotham found itself plagued with an array of supervillains, who had little interest in order like any mob family before them, which led to the city being plunged into chaos on several occasions.

The city was isolated from the rest of the United States and had been evacuated due to the terrorist, Jeremiah Valeska, with the assistance of the League of Shadows, planting bombs around the city causing the bridges to and from Gotham to be destroyed, having enabled many residents of the city to flee prior, leaving small amounts of citizens with crime-riddled villains across the city. Over a year following the cataclysm, Gotham eventually rejoined the mainland, and the badly damaged parts began to be redeveloped. Ten years later, a costumed vigilante made his presence known in the city as its protector.



Gotham City was founded around 200 years ago, by the Crowne family, the Dumas family, the Elliot family, the Kane family, and the Wayne family. After Caleb Dumas was (according to Dumas lore) falsely accused of forcing himself upon Celestine Wayne, his hand was cut off by Celestine's brother Jonathan Wayne and the Dumas' family holdings were seized and they were banished socially. The Dumas were forbidden from being mentioned by the press on orders from the Wayne family and streets and buildings were renamed that then carried the Dumas name.[1]

The Court of Owls

The city was secretly run by a mysterious organization known as The Court who controlled everything in Gotham including Wayne Enterprises and the underground Indian Hill facility.[2] Due to the high rate of corruption and madness overtaking the city of Gotham at present time, the Court passed a verdict to destroy the city so they can start anew. They had already done this twice before in the city's history,[3] they were later killed off by Ra's al Ghul.


Gotham County


Following the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, many major incidents began to plague the city, which got worse over time and out of control.

Falcone-Maroni gang war

Having been in conflict for some time with each other, a bloody gang war eventually broke out between the Falcone crime family and Maroni crime family when the latter believed the former had tried to kill their boss Sal Maroni, although this was a scheme set up by Oswald Cobblepot who had spent months pitting the gangs against each other in his plan to takeover the Gotham criminal underworld. The conflict ended with Maroni being shot dead, former Falcone lieutenant Fish Mooney being murdered by Penguin, and Falcone boss Carmine Falcone retiring from a life of crime and moving down south. With the three of them now out of the way, Penguin took control of the underworld, proclaiming himself the king of Gotham.

The Maniax

A month following the end of the mob war, Theo Galavan (as part of his scheme to take control of Gotham) formed and secretly led a group of outlaws consisting of Arkham Asylum inmates, including Jerome Valeska, Barbara Kean, Robert Greenwood, Arnold Dobkins and Aaron Helzinger, which he named The Maniax. Although Richard Sionis was also broken out of Arkham, he refused Theo's offer to join his team, and was subsequently killed by Theo's sister Tabitha for his deviance.

Monster Invasion

Professor Hugo Strange had been carrying out experiments at Indian Hill, a secret research facility under Arkham Asylum, in which he was creating superhumans for a programme for Wayne Enterprises, although the main goal was to find the key to immortality for The Court of Owls. The experiments were loaded onto a bus to be transported to another facility upstate, although it was hijacked by a recently resurrected and superpowered Fish Mooney, who escaped onto the streets of Gotham. Despite the Gotham City Police Department's efforts to stop the experiments from getting loose, the bus crashed and the monsters got loose onto the city.

The monsters plagued Gotham for six months, with bounty hunter Jim Gordon hunting them down and handing them over to the GCPD for a price. Oswald led a campaign against the monsters in an attempt to take down Fish Mooney, although in the end he decided to spare her life as she had spared his following her escape from Indian Hill. Most of the monsters were taken into police custody, whilst some were killed during Penguin's campaign, or forced to flee the city for their own safety, which included Firefly and Mr. Freeze. Firefly and Freeze eventually returned to the city when recruited by Penguin on his mission to take back the city from his rivals.

Jerome's Attack on Gotham

The Cult of Jerome resurrected Jerome Valeska back from the dead. Jerome blew up the power grid and plunged Gotham City into darkness, which allowed his cult followers loose on the city to carry out chaos and anarchy. He hoped to also prove a point that the "ordinary" citizens would show their dark side during the cover of darkness, as there was nothing truly stopping them from unleashing their bad side. Jerome kidnapped Bruce Wayne and took him to a carnival that Jerome's crew had taken over, with the intent to execute him, a goal which he failed to do before his death thanks to Theo Galavan's betrayal. The G.C.P.D. storm the carnival and begin making arrests on the followers, and Bruce manages to escape from his restraints before being narrowly killed. Bruce later fights Jerome at a hallway of mirrors and subdues him, only chooses to spare Jerome's life. Jerome is later apprehended back Jim Gordon and sent to Arkham Asylum.

The Alice Tetch Virus

The Court of Owls had tainted blood originating from the late Alice Tetch weaponized and turned into a biological weapon by Professor Hugo Strange. The virus has the ability to bring out people's darkest fears and drive them insane, which the Court hoped would wake the city up to the darkness that has plagued it, as they have grown so used to madness. Their leader Sensei manages to unleash the virus in the center of the city, which drives many insane. The city was thrown into chaos which left destruction and death in its wake, which required special units to be called in to contain the incident, and many people fled the city to escape. It was eventually kept under control after a cure was made, however the ensuing damage meant it would take years to come back from the chaos.

The Death of Jerome

Several months following his original attack on Gotham, Jerome escaped Arkham Asylum with the help of Jervis Tetch and Jonathan Crane, in order to carry out a scheme of his. Whilst Jerome dealt with his uncle and Crane prepared more of his toxin, Jervis caused a distraction by hypnotising many residents of Gotham and getting them to stand on the edge of buildings, making threats to make them jump. Gordon eventually dealt with Tetch and had him arrested, although he was busted out by Jerome and Crane.

Jerome formed a terrorist group of other Gotham super villains, consisting of himself, Tetch, Crane, Bridgit Pike, Victor Fries; and with the backing of Oswald Cobblepot. Butch Gilzean also joined the crew after being recruited by Cobblepot. Although Cobblepot hoped that the alliance was an attempt to take control of the criminal underworld, it soon became apparent that Jerome just wanted to spread chaos in Gotham City for the sake of it, which made him have second thoughts about being part of the group.

During Jerome's scheme, he also went after his twin brother Jeremiah Valeska and managed to track him down to his hideout on the outskirts of Gotham City, and made it clear he intended to drive his brother mad. Jerome, Tetch and Crane were forced to retreat with the arrival of Gordon and Bullock, and Jerome informed his brother he would be seeing him soon. After their retreat, the Scarecrow made a toxin that could drive people to insanity and kill them, Jerome used this in his next plan, which was to release the toxin to the whole city.

After taking his brother, Bruce Wayne and several others hostage, Jerome was chased to the top of a building. Jerome, having failed to release the toxin, was shot by Jim Gordon before falling off the building, he then clutched onto the edge of the building - promising that his legacy will continue on to haunt Gotham forever. His twin brother, Jeremiah, had been sprayed with a special version of Jeromes laughing toxin - turning him into a villain of his own.

No Man's Land

Gotham in ruins following the Cataclysm.

Following Jeremiah and Ra's al Ghul's plan to blow up the bridges leading into main Gotham, the government declared the city off limits and refused to either evacuate the people or send supplies. Instead, they preferred to let everyone die out once they ran out of supplies. As a result, gangs carved up the city into territories while the civilians that didn't leave Gotham during the bomb threat retreated to the Green Area, where the remaining GCPD set up a barrier. After 87 days, Bruce Wayne was forced to illegally bring supplies in through Wayne Enterprises as the government continued to refuse assistance.

The Delta Force Arrival

Following No Man's Land, one of Jim Gordon's old military buddies, Eduardo Dorrance, and his Delta Force arrived in Gotham to eliminate all criminal elements of Gotham, even if it costed the lives of the innocents. After hunting down Gordon for not following their path and taking over the GCPD, they managed to use Lee Thompkins as a bargaining chip for Edward Nygma, who had a chip in his brain that was placed by one of Eduardo's associates, Hugo Strange. After Gordon defeats Eduardo by pushing him into a pole that impales him, him and Lee escape.

Later, Theresa Walker, later revealed to be Nyssa al Ghul, saves Eduardo's life by bringing him to Hugo Strange, which later leads to the creation of Bane. Sometime after, Bane captures Gordon and Bruce, bringing them to Nyssa since Bruce was took part in her father's death. After Bane hunts down the other person who helped kill Ra's, Barbara Kean, Barbara and Lee escape with Barbara's newborn baby, leading to Bane harming Alfred Pennyworth. As Nyssa uses one of Strange's chips to take control of the general of the military and initiate "Special Order 386", causing immense damage to Gotham, she finds and kidnaps Barbara and her baby.

Following Bane taking control of the military and attacking the GCPD in search for Bruce and Gordon, Bruce and Selina destroy Wayne Enterprises, which leads to Nyssa engaging in a fight between Gordon and Barbara. After Nyssa retreats and takes Oswald Cobblepot's and Edward Nygma's submarine to leave Gotham, Bane attacks Gordon and his team, however, he soon meets his defeat after the military stand against him.

10 Years Later

Jeremiah's Return and Debut of the Dark Knight

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Under Aubrey James

Aubrey James is first seen at a press conference about the Waynes murder. He promises justice for their murders and to bring in the man who did it. When the homeless children (abducted by the Dollmaker) were saved by Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, his solution was to send the cute undamaged ones to foster homes, but send most of them to a juvenile hall facility without trial. The press called this Mayor James' "Tough Love" program. When the children were kidnapped during this program, he saw this as bad publicity. Mayor James was caught in a power struggle between Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone. Maroni put a contract on his life and hired a killer named Richard Gladwell. Bullock and James Gordon saved his life. He then announced a interview that a decision between the two plans presented would be compromised. His reasoning was to appease both Maroni and Don Falcone. The compromise would allow Falcone to construct his low- income housing, while also allowing Maroni's waste disposal plant to be constructed. Maroni would be given the contract to refurbish the Arkham Asylum. Mayor James was arrested by Gordon and Bullock for his role in the conspiracy to frame Mario Pepper for the Wayne murders.  The two officers took James with them when they attempted to arrest Carmine Falcone. However, they opted not to arrest Falcone when he threatened to have Victor Zsasz kill Gordon's fiance, Barbara Kean. After having his handcuffs removed, James took this opportunity to walk out of the room. Mayor James then ordered Sarah Essen to locate the Russian mob ruled by Gregor Kasyanov. This was due to them possessing Ian Hargrove, a bomb genius and tactical expert. Mayor James didn't want Hargrove to bomb any more locations for publicity. He later held a important press conference stating that Arkham Asylum will also be used to house the criminally insane to get them the help they need. After the cruel murder of businessmen and entrepreneur Dick Lovecraft, Mayor James scolded Jim Gordon and councilman Harvey Dent for their attempt to persecute Lovecraft and for "attacking the very foundation of Gotham". Mayor James then fabricated a story for Lovecraft's death. The story claimed to the media that a overzealous Jim Gordon pushed Lovecraft to suicide. This allowed him to reassign Gordon to security duty at Arkham Asylum.

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Abducted By Theodore Galavan

During Gillian Loeb resignation at the Gotham Chamber of Commerce, Theodore Galavan had apologized to Gillian that Aubrey James was unavailable to appear at his resignation. At one pioint, his head was locked in a box and was threatened by Theo Galavan upon his capture. later, he was tortured the whipped by Tabitha Galavan and Barbara Kean. With Aubrey in Theos clutches and deputy mayor Harrison Kane killed by Jerome Valeska, a mayoral election is held for an acting mayor with Theo, Janice Caulfield and Randall Hobbs as it's candidates. The GCPD later found Aubrey tied in a chair at a safe house in the Chinatown docks. Upon his head being freed from the box he is asked by Jim Gordon who did this. He replies "who do you think?" This led to Galavan being arrested. However, during the trial, Aubrey was scared and shaky and retracted his statement. He then claimed Oswald Cobblepot was the one who kidnapped and tortured him. He also claimed Cobblepot threatened him into claiming it was Galavan. The case was dismissed and Galavan was freed.

Back to being a mayoral candidate

Under Theodore Galavan

Theodore Galavan first appeared at Gillian Loeb's resignation in the Gotham Chamber of Commerce. He had Aubrey James abducted and brought to his safe house days prior.

Under Oswald Cobblepot

Aubrey is then present at a press conference about Indian Hill escapees, 6 months following the escape. At a press conference, Aubrey James revealed that Gotham City's elective officials present have run Gotham City following Theo Galavan's death and mentions that they want him to be reinstated as Mayor of Gotham City "against his will". 

Under Mayor Burke

Burke Succeeded Aubrey James as mayor 3 months following the Alice Tetch virus chaos. As Mayor Burke was nowhere to be found, Oswald Cobblepot asked Sofia about his whereabouts where she had no idea where he was. After walking away from Cobblepot, Sofia called Jim Gordon to let him know that Mayor Burke is laying low outside of Gotham City. While Burke was laying low, Holden Pritchard became the Interim Mayor of City. Returning to Gotham City, Burke refuses to lift the evacuation in light of Jeremiah Valeska's threat. He and those with him see Ra's al Ghul outside Upper West Side City Hall. Just then, Burke and those with him are killed when City Hall is blown up by one of Jeremiah Valeska's bombs.

Under Holden Pritchard

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Under Mayor Chang

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Gotham City map

Parks and Recreational areas




Restaurant and Bars

Shops and Stores






Other Public locations



  • E. Broodwey
  • Route 80
  • Route 77
  • Grundy Street
  • Avenue 9
  • Avenue 5

Known residents


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Gotham: A City Gone Mad

Motion Comic


Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Gotham City was in a crime-infested state; prior to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman.
  • Gotham is a long-standing nickname for New York City, which provides the basic visuals for the series.
    • The five families that founded Gotham City are the Waynes, the Kanes, the Crownes, the Elliots, and the Cobblepots. In Gotham, the Cobblepots' role as one of the founding families was replaced with the Dumas


  1. Harper, Jordan (writer) & Eagles, Bill (director) (October 19, 2015). "Rise of the Villains: Scarification". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 5. FOX.
  2. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (May 23, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Transference". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 22. FOX.
  3. Hull, Robert (writer) & McKenzie, Ben (director) (May 1, 2017) "Heroes Rise: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 16. FOX.