D A R K N I G H T S
B A C K S T O R Y
DARK NIGHTS is a mini-series set in Gotham City 15 years after its Dark Knight, Batman, has left.
15 years ago, what has become known as the ‘Vigilante Wars’ tore the streets of Gotham apart, bringing the city to its knees. A new mayor, former Police Commissioner Jim Gordon carried with him a new hope for the future of the city and with Billionaire Bruce Wayne’s heir apparent Jason Todd, they set in motion the ‘Nightwing’ project designed to offer free and renewable energy to every household in Gotham, creating jobs and stabilising a fragile economy in the process.
Unfortunately, the unscrupulous corporate greed of Lex Luthor’s ‘Lexcorp Industries’ discredited the ‘Nightwing’ programme as an illegal operation that was ciphering money from the public purse for Todd’s own lavish lifestyle. His politically motivated campaign successfully resulted in the removal of Gordon from office and the banishment of Todd from Gotham and all business associated with Gotham City. This plunged the city into further turmoil. With no money, no direction and no leadership, the city became helpless and Luthor gleefully stepped in to the vacuum that he created. He pumped money into the city, and began constructing ‘New Gotham’, a shining collection of gleaming glass and steel, corporate hospitality, entertainment, plush apartment blocks and glitzy shopping malls, attracting the outside investment and spending to create another Metropolis. However, down below the splendid example of bastard capitalism on the hill, Old Gotham was left to decay and rot, with its civilians forgotten about, marginalised and rejected. The old city, ravaged by poverty became a crime ridden danger zone, referred to “No Man’s Lan” by the sneering classes in New Gotham. Feral gangs of young and old rule the streets, fighting each other for control of their own little corner of hell and the forgotten part of Gotham operates under its own juristiction.
With a mayoral election looming, Lex Luthor sees the perfect opportunity to finish the job he started when he removed Gordon and Todd from Gotham’s council. By becoming Mayor he will be able to consolidate power and rule the city outright. But there is still an election to be fought, and Luthor ‘s opponent is one Oswald Cobblepott. Rumour has it that he was once a mob accountant and advisor to some of the most ruthless crime families in Gotham, but since the Vigilante Wars destroyed almost all of Gotham’s criminal records, he has been free to claim that any mention of his so-called criminal past is nothing more than an attempted assassination on his character by Luthor’s spin machine.
This “underdog” image has endeared Cobblepott to many of the forgotten residents of Old Gotham who believe that his policies, especially those connected to the underfunding and operation of Arkham Prison and Asylum, which has become a symbol for the repressed masses in the city, offer them the best chance of stepping out from Luthor’s oppressive shadow. However, not all of Old Gotham is convinced and there is a small, yet effective resistance operating underground, plotting to overthrow Luthor without Cobblepott’s help. They see Luthor’s plans to run what remains of the old city into the ground in order to take over completely, and feel that Cobblepott’s motives are more sinister than he makes out.
Gotham is struggling for identity, it is struggling to recreate itself and take its place back amongst the super cities of the world.
Amongst all of this turmoil, in the middle of all of this rumbling revolution there is one glaring absence…
GOTHAM HAS NO HEROES.