The caped crusader of Gotham City has a lot of allies and even more enemies. The character is historically a key element of the DC universe, with Batman being one of the most iconic characters ever produced in comics. As his story evolves, new characters are added into his titles in order to keep his world expanding. In recent years two mysterious heroes have been added to the ranks of his allies... and potential enemies.
Gotham and Gotham Girl are two of the most complex characters that have been recently added to the DC world. Debuting in DC Rebirth issue 1 in 2016, Gotham Girl in particular has cemented herself as an incredibly interesting hero; one with a bright future. She's certainly garnered a lot of fans so far and it seems like the writing team enjoy creating new wrinkles in her character. But not everyone knows about the latest Gotham City hero! So here's 10 reasons why every DC fan should pay attention to Gotham Girl.
10 EXPENSIVE ORIGINS
The exact origins of both Gotham Girl and her Brother, Gotham, are unclear. There's been a lot of speculation as to where they could have gained their powers. Why they got their powers is very clear however. When they were younger, the two siblings were big fans of Batman. One night, they were subjected to a mugging that could have gone horribly wrong if they had not been saved. Their hero was none other than the dark knight himself.
Wanting to protect people the same way Bats did and looking to work alongside their beloved icon, Hank and Claire decided the only way they could do this was to gain super powers. While many of the Bat family are powerless, the duo felt that the only way they could survive was to become meta humans. They therefore travelled to an unknown location to pay for their powers; which certainly isn't the most conventional way for a hero to be granted their gifts.
9 BREAKING THE BAT
Many have speculated that the villain Bane could have been partially responsible for how both Claire and Hank received their powers. Nearly all of the events that have happened to Claire were as a result of a master plan from the villainous rogue. We'll discuss the many heartbreaking incidents later in this article, but the key lesson here is that Gotham Girl's origins and subsequent fate were all as a result of the former wrestler.
Bane had a very clear method on how to break the bat. Gotham and Gotham Girl both played a part in this and for some time it looked as if Gotham Girl was actually willingly working with Bane. Her confusion over the events in her life led her down a dark path, one which Bane capitalised on. He manipulated and used Claire into helping him mentally destroy Batman; although the latest attempt to break the dark knight was of course in vain. She came out of this much with a higher sense of purpose, showcasing the strength of the character.
8 SIBLING PARTNERSHIP
A huge focus of the character is her relationship with her brother. Claire looks up to Hank in some ways and the two fight crime together side by side. They have matching costumes and even superhero names. They have been through the same ominous methods to gain their powers and both idolised Batman at a younger age. They are inseparable and this is an incredible quality that is highlighted in Claire's story.
The two managed to follow their dreams when they recruited to work with Batman. They became honorary members of the Bat family, before Claire would officially join it, after the pair actually saved Bruce's life. They rescued him from a plane that was crashing into Gotham Bay and then went on to fight Solomon Grundy alongside their idol. Their dedication to each other and the mission they set out on resulted in everything they wanted!
7 HANK'S DOWNFALL
After their team up with Batman things took a turn for the worse. Part of Bane's plane were for the siblings to encounter Psycho Pirate. He mentally broke Hank, quickly sending him insane. With his powers becoming fully unleashed over time Claire had to work with the Justice League in order to stop him. During this process it became clear what kind of power was inside of Gotham Girl.
However this whole incident had a particularly tragic ending. Hank was too far gone, with Psycho Pirate having fulfilled his mission to destabilise Gotham. During the ensuing battle Hank was killed because he overused his powers, putting an end to the endearing partnership that defined so much of Gotham Girl's life. As you can imagine, this loss devastated her and we began to see the effects of this death, as well as the impact of the Psycho Pirate long term.
6 DARK SIDE
The problem was, Psycho Pirate didn't just destabilise Gotham, he also got through to Gotham Girl. The death of her brother only triggered further dangerous emotions inside of her. She went through a much darker phase of her career, forming some kind of identity crisis. She shaved her head and her actions became less than heroic and questionable at best. She became obsessed with the loss she had endured.
The mental attack on Hank had caused him to mass murder inmates at a prison. The effect of the Pirate on Claire caused her to go into shock from fear. She never forgot that feeling. It's her subsequent downfall that led her into the arms of Bane who had ironically manipulated all of the events so this would happen. As she continued to struggle and adapt, she would often talk to her dead brother, conversing with him as if he was still there.
5 SECRET IDENTITY
It's Batman's compassion that brought this young girl from the brink of mental breakdown though. Batman very rarely reveals his secret identity to anyone. So when Bruce Wayne was unmasked to Gotham girl, it symbolised that he was truly accepting her. He spoke to her about his dead mother and how he too talks to her sometimes. This created a bond between the two and helped Claire to cope and move on.
She was then welcomed into the Bat family officially and has started going on missions alongside it's other members. She's fought alongside Nightwing showcasing her resilience and intelligence under pressure. She's even served under the alternate Batman from another dimension, Thomas Wayne, becoming a Robin of sorts to the multiversal hero. She rose like a phoenix again all because her hero helped her discover who she is.
4 HEROIC OUTLOOK
Gotham Girl is now a true hero through and through. She's had a rocky history but her motivations and passion has always remained clear. She may be a little rough around the edges but that's why Batman took her under his wing in the first place. She may also have a darker side but so too does Bruce Wayne himself, so there's a lot of similarities between the characters and indeed many others within the DC universe.
An interesting element of her powers is that they are adaptive. This represents the type of hero she really is. Her powers are only really as strong as the enemy she is fighting. This means that she can power up when a threat is too large to handle in a weakened state and can power down when she needs to show restraint or even mercy. There is something very heroic and morally virtuous about this behaviour. The nature of her powers also showcase just how selfless she actually is.
Every time Gotham Girl uses her powers she is sacrificing a part of herself. Gotham died because he overused his powers. If Gotham Girl was to do the same she would also perish, as the powers she has bought are tarnished in some way. They take her life force as she uses them, meaning that pushing herself too hard really could do some serious damage to Claire. However, the effects are more long term than this.
The more her powers are used the shorter her life will be. Each time she commits to a daring rescue or helps to battle a ruthless criminal, she could be taking years off of her life. But she continues to do so for the greater good. If she wishes to increase her powers for larger threats, to have a chance of beating them, she must sacrifice more of herself to boost her powers. Yet she doesn't really hold back from a heroic situation which shows how inspirational Claire is.
Both Gotham and Gotham Girl's costumes are spectacularly designed and more people need to appreciate the work that went into them. The two love their city, as evidenced by the names they have chosen. By even donning a costume that has a mask and cape, there is also some sort of tribute to their hero Batman within the design. But the costume's colours and logo perhaps go even deeper than this.
The colours chosen are of course the colours that represent many members of the Bat family. The blacks, dark blues and greys are reminiscent of Bruce's costume or even that of Nightwing. The yellow could even be a nod to the earlier and brighter costumes of the caped crusader, with the classic colours adorned on their chests. The logo itself seems to imply the older history of the city that they are protecting. There is a mysterious and dark past to Gotham and these two heroes are very representative of the city itself.
1 DEFEATING CAPTAIN ATOM
To showcase just how strong Gotham Girl can be, it's important to look at the incident where she fought Captain Atom. It's fair to say that the hero is one of the most powerful characters in all of DC comics. He's considered to be a big threat if he was to ever turn on Earth's heroes and Thomas Wayne and his sidekick look to take him on. However, Gotham Girl actually defeats him with great ease, as if it's not a big fight.
This demonstrates that Claire could actually be a bigger threat to the DC universe than anyone actually realised. If she is able to beat someone like Captain Atom, what happens if she turned against everyone? She's limited by the sacrifice component of her powers but what if this was removed entirely. Anything can happen in comics, so perhaps in the far future there will be a villainous twist that puts everyone at risk.