10 Thoughts on Gotham: Rise of the Villains – Damned If You Do…

With The Suicide Squad and Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice a ways off, all we have now to satiate our desire for our favorite Gotham characters is, well, Gotham. The FOX TV prequel series has started its second season and we are off to the races!

Here are some thoughts on the premiere

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1. Please. We need more Zaardon, The Soul Reaper

By the end of the episode, he was spewing a weird purple gas and possibly dead. But I’m really hoping that’s not the case. Anyone who walks into a room and shouts “I AM ZAARDON, REAPER OF SOULS!!” really needs to stick around. That is some next level bad villain creation. Bob Kane would have been mortified. Slash delighted?

2. A central quandary of the Batman mythos has been completely wiped out

Namely, the question of whether or not it’s Batman himself who creates his villains. Some fans and characters speculate that because Batman dresses up like a bat (as a crazy person would) it cause criminals to follow suit and play his weird costume games and commit weird, specifically themed crimes. But in the Gotham universe, a lot of these villains already exist. Granted, they’re not galavanting around in tights yet. But they are committing crimes and are nurturing weird obsessions. I’d assume Batman showing up just allows them to let their freak flags fly a little bit.

3. Why is the Arkham holding cell co-ed!?

Barbara Kean is allowed into a holding cell with, like, forty other guys. All of whom have a history of violent mental illness. And she is known for being highly sexual! That is a bad situation WAITING to happen. No wonder this city is in the toilet!

4. Alfred is a bad caregiver

He lets Bruce use a BOMB to get in to a secret underground lair that belonged to his father. I don’t care how smart Bruce is! Using a bomb cannot possibly be the very last option. At least try more than THREE combinations to get inside! Come one, Pennyworth. You’re better than that.

5. Also, WHY is Alfred Cockney?

Part of Alfred’s charm has always been his upper-crust British accent. He was dignified as hell in every other iteration of the Batman mythos. Why is he all of a sudden Cockney and overweight? Okay, I guess there’s nothing wrong with a Fat Alfred… but a COCKNEY Alfred!? I will not stand for it.

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6. Who is Theo Galavan?

This is the big question coming out of the premiere. The wealthy entrepreneur has entered Gotham with a mysterious purpose. One which includes giving poor Zaardon some purple gas and collecting a bunch of inmates from Arkham. Could he be Ra’s Al Ghul in disguise, returned from a Lazarus Pit? Probably, is how I’m going to answer that. Probably.

7. This show is more Shumacher than Nolan

I mean, there’s purple gas. There’s a guy named Zaardon, The Soul Reaper. Sure, the show looks gritty and realistic, but it’s campy as hell. It’s much closer to the Joel Shumacher movies in terms of style and tone than it is to the Christopher Nolan movies. My hope is that the show will begin to fully embrace this reality and stop trying to volley back and forth between styles.

8. Victor Zsasz is terrifying

In every comic, every video game, every TV show and… well, he’s never made it to a movie… but in every iteration, Zsasz has been a bit of a joke. He was certainly never scary. But now, acting as Cobblepot’s henchman, he is SCARY. I guess he’s always been a little scary in concept, but to see him in the flesh… brrrr.

9. Okay. Jerome is the Joker, right?

The kid with the red hair? In Arkham? Killed his parents? They must be playing it that way. He laughs like the Joker for sure. Now the only question is how Bruce will play into his origin story because BRUCE HAS TO PLAY INTO HIS ORIGIN STORY.

10. This continuity is troubling

Jim Gordon is breaking the law to become a police officer again? That doesn’t sound like the James I know. And for Cobblepot, no less! This does not bode well for future continuity changes. Although, I guess any semblance of a recognizable Batman continuity has been torn to shreds at this point…

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