The Gotham Knights TV series will center around a Batman mystery that is sure to divide audiences, however, this plot has also been done before in The Dark Knight Rises. The CW show will focus on Gotham City without Batman or Bruce Wayne, shifting the focus to his adopted son Turner Hayes. After being framed for a crime they didn’t commit, Turner and the children of Batman’s greatest enemies decide to team up to prove their innocence. While taking this approach to Batman is a risk, The Dark Knight Rises already did something similar, so it has the potential to pay off if done right.
Gotham Knights needs its risky Batman plot to work because it’s going to have a hard time winning over some fans. The Gotham Knights TV show has already been compared to the unconnected Gotham Knights video game, which similarly centers around members of the Bat Family coming together in a Gotham City without Batman. The CW show was also developed by the writers and producers of the Batwoman TV series, which received a great deal of criticism during its time on the air. Despite these more recent comparisons, Gotham Knight’s Batman plot can also be seen as a mirror of The Dark Knight Rises.
Gotham Knight’s Batman mystery will be about Gotham City after the Dark Knight’s murder, which mirrors the Gotham seen in The Dark Knight Rises. To save Gotham from a nuclear explosion, the Dark Knight trilogy’s Batman flies the bomb out over the bay and is seemingly killed in the resulting blast. Gotham honors Batman by unveiling a statue in his honor, and Bruce Wayne’s closest friends and allies mourn his apparent loss. Each character handles Batman’s absence differently, with John Blake determined to continue his legacy by becoming Gotham’s next protector.
The state of Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises is very similar to the trailers for Gotham Knights. Following Batman’s mysterious murder, Gotham is in a state of disarray, with Harvey Dent and the police department now trying to protect a city without the Dark Knight. Bruce’s family is also mourning his loss, namely his son Turner Hayes, and new heroes have to rise and pick up where Batman left off. The main difference is that Batman escaped in The Dark Knight Rises, and having cheated death is only a slim possibility in Gotham Knights, but the two Batman plots still have a lot in common.
Having Batman dead in Gotham Knights is certainly a risk, but there is a chance that it will pay off. The reason Gotham Knight’s Batman plot is so risky is that it’s been done before, often with mixed results. The Gotham Knights video game and the Batwoman TV series have shown that many fans have a hard time embracing a story that takes Batman out of the equation, and the end of The Dark Knight Rises was also very divisive. Audiences were split over the reveal that Bruce Wayne was alive, with some feeling relieved and others disappointed over the movie not committing to his death.
On the other hand, there are several potential benefits to Gotham Knights taking this approach. With Batman gone, more obscure DC characters will be adapted for a change, with Turner Hayes being created specifically for Gotham Knights. A season-long mystery of who killed Batman could be highly engaging, with a possible reveal and explanation for how Bruce Wayne survived. Gotham Knights may have a lot of factors working against it, including a Batman plot copied from The Dark Knight Rises, but the CW show may surprise fans by having its biggest risk pay off.
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