Incoming Batman writer James Tynion IV has shared his vision of Gotham City post “CIty of Bane” and into his run on the title. In this week’s installment of his newsletter, the writer goes into detail about Gotham City in 2020: a dystopian, gothic-industrial urban sprawl that reflects the darkest aspects of the city.
“Gotham is not New York City. It is a nightmare of New York City. It shouldn’t feel like a real city, it should feel like GOTHAM,” reads Tynion’s description. “It’s the grime and grit of the 1970s and 80s in a world where the city never got cleaned up, but kept growing. Now it needs to become something new… But the eerie sense needs to be that it might become something even more horrifying than before. We’re creating a present day dystopia that will serve as the bridge to what’s next. Every element of it should be visually dynamic and exciting.”
Tynion goes on to invoke the version of Gotham director Tim Burton and art director Anton Furst envisioned for their 1989 Batman film.
“The city itself should be juxtapositions of strange Art-Deco insanity by way of Anton Furst and Tim Burton, and sleek modern towers that somehow look more frightening. Strange high tech skyscraper cathedrals, complete with sleek modern gargoyles,” Tynion describes. “It’s a new industrial age in the city, and people are walking around covering their mouths to not breathe in the smog. Construction dust falls like snow around the city. It’s a strange and isolating place.”
Even the Gotham City Police Department will escalate under Tynion’s watch – and under the watch of newly named Commissioner Harvey Bullock, who Tynion describes as “an overworked, overstressed political appointee. He’s unnerved by the changing police force around him, but is powerless to stop it.”
“The Police have also been upgraded to something more ever-present and frightening,” he explains. “They are wearing SWAT style armor and carrying military grade assault weapons. Their faces are covered by swat helmets, and their cars are armored and plated. Detectives are still operating in plainclothes, but they look like odd men out and feel pushed out by the new generation of officers on the streets who want to wield the heavy GCPD gear and the power it represents. These cops are meant to instill order, but they feel like the harbinger of a darker future around the corner.”
Tynion’s run begins with the addition of special “bonus pages” in December 18’s Batman #85, followed his full-issue debut in January 8’s #86.