In 2014, FOX aired the first episode of Gotham, a show following Jim Gordon, a cop on the GCPD who is trying to keep Gotham City from destroying itself and working as an extended origin to everyone's favorite caped crusader, Batman. The show was met with a mixed bag of reactions due to the fact that it didn't necessarily follow the Batman comic canon.
While Gotham is based on the Batman comics, it's known for deviating from what fans are used to in order to better serve the story they wanted to tell. Some fans enjoyed this, seeing Gotham as nothing more than a fun Elseworld. Others didn't, feeling that some of these changes undermined what made the comics special and beloved. Regardless of how we see it, it was still a successful show, ending with its 100th episode in 2019. Here are 10 times Gotham ignored the DC comics canon.
11 The Valeska Twins
The existence of the Joker within the Gotham Universe is first presented to us with Jerome Valeska. He's shown to be a psychopathic, laughing, and fearless criminal with an eye for showmanship and theatrics. Essentially everything you'd expect out of the Joker, making everyone think that, yes, this is indeed our Joker. However, the showrunners were adamant that this wasn't the case, and Jerome was just the inspiration for what the Joker would become.
This provoked a lot of theories and speculation. However, we didn't find out what it all meant until season four, when it was revealed that Jerome had a brother named Jeremiah. This brother had hidden away from Jerome out of fear, but was brought to the light and infected with Jerome's “Joker Gas,” turning him into the true Joker of this world.
10 The Penguin
Oswald Cobblepot in the comics has always been a suave little ball of greed and a surprising amount of sex drive. Seemingly always sporting a pretty lady with him wherever he went, it was clear that Cobblepot used his fame and fortune to impress women. However, the Penguin of the Gotham Universe appears to be a little more complicated than his comic book counterpart.
This universe's penguin has shown romantic yearning and feelings for Edward Nygma, AKA, The Riddler. While actor Robin Lord Taylor has expressed how he doesn't view Oswald as strictly gay, he hasn't expressed any interest in women throughout the show's run time. This romance, however, is one-sided, with Riddler not feeling the same, ending in Edward eventually shooting and thinking he's killed Oswald.
9 Bruce and Selina Meet Much Earlier
In Batman: Year One, the most cited story for a canon Batman origin, the first meeting between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle isn't exactly under great circumstances. They end up in a fight after Bruce goes out as his first night as a proto-crime fighter, not yet Batman. A tussle brews up in front of a brothel that Selina works at and she steps in to take on Bruce. She's shown to be a skilled fighter and the only one who gives Bruce some trouble. Eventually, he escapes and they don't cross paths again until they are both in costume.
This differs from Gotham's meeting of the two fated lovers (thanks Tom King), where they first meet when they are kids. They become good friends and Selina even teaches Bruce how to survive on the streets, making Selina pivotal in the road to Batman's eventual arrival in Gotham. Romance between the two blossoms at a young age, making their relationship a bit more grounded and cuter as a result.
8 Barbara Kean Is Psychopathic
Barbara Kean-Gordon as she's known in the comics is very much, not much of an eventful character. She's the ex-wife of Jim Gordon and Mother to their children, James Jr., and Barbara. Really the only thing she provides to the Canon is some drama between Jim, herself, and Barbara on the fact she's not a great mother.
Gotham radically changes her character from a neglective mother trying to make up for leaving the family to a place villainess that's hardcore to the point of catching Jerome Valeska's eye. She's a straight-up villain in this show and is even teased to be a proto-Harley Quinn, which doesn't actually come true. She was still Jim's ex-girlfriend in this world, but they brought her to the extreme.
7 Solomon Grundy
Every Batman fan knows the saying “Solomon Grundy born on a Monday.” Solomon Grundy is one of Batman's unsung villains who really adds emotional depth to a rather brutish package. A gangster who was killed in the 19th century was thrown into a river and resurrected as Solomon Grundy, a Hulking zombie looking for Vengeance against those who had killed him. That's essentially what he is, a zombie.
This, however, differs from Gotham's interpretation of Grundy, who uses an already established character to become the zombie gangster. Butch Gilzean, the right-hand man to Fish Mooney and eventual self-made gangster, is killed by Barbara Kean and dumped into the Slaughter Swamps. There, he is resurrected as Solomon Grundy and becomes the Riddler's lackey. A minor difference from the comics but enough to warrant some attention.
6 Gordon is Relentless
Jim Gordon has always been the clean cop of Gotham City, never falling victim to giving into a criminal's demands and staying on the righteous side of crime fighting. This trait of Jim is what made Bruce trust him so much as Batman. A clean man in a dirty world.
For the most part, he's essentially the same in Gotham, however, the difference lies in how far Jim is willing to go to keep peace within Gotham. In a lot of ways, Jim Gordon is ruthless in his mission to keep Gotham clean. Beating criminals senseless and threatening their lives at gunpoint didn't phase the future Gotham commissioner at all. In a lot of ways, his tactics of taking down criminals eventually inspired Bruce to do the same, albeit, with a lot more flare.
5 Bruce's Road To Becoming Batman
When Bruce's parents are shot and killed, that night he makes a solemn promise to eventually avenger their deaths. However, this promise isn't actually shown to start rolling until Bruce is in his early 20’s when he begins his training to become Batman. Until then, he was just a closed off kid who sheltered himself from the world.
In FOX's Gotham, this process is sped up expediently, with Bruce almost immediately starting to test himself and see how far he can go. He gets many tips and learns techniques and strategies from those around him. Alfred teaching him how to fight, Jim teaching him about criminals, and Selina teaching him about Gotham. All of this culminated into Bruce finally becoming Batman in the 100th and final episode of the show.
4 The Death Of The Waynes
When Joe Chill shot and killed Thomas and Martha Wayne in front of their young son, Bruce, this changed the DC world forever. This random act of violence brought into play one of the most important and pivotal members of the DC Universe, Batman. However, that's exactly what this crime was, random. No premeditation or plan. Just a mugging gone south.
This is changed in Gotham's Universe where the death of the Waynes becomes a conspiracy. It wasn't Joe Chill who pulled the trigger, and the first season explored Bruce trying to find the man who had destroyed his childhood. Eventually, it's shown to be Matches Malone, one of Batman's alter egos in the comics given a character his own.
3 The Introduction Of His Villains
In DC Comics, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman in a world without supervillains, fighting crooks alone. It wasn't until after his arrival in Gotham that villains popping up, the Joker being the first supervillain he ever faced. In a lot of ways, Batman is the catalyst that starts the trend of super-villainy within Gotham City and the DC Universe as a whole.
While this is how it turned out in the comics, Gotham had a different idea. Introduce the villains before Batman, and have them become the catalyst for what he'd become. This choice is the most cited reason for why some Batman fans can't stand the show, seeing this as a disrespect to the character and too much of a change for them to enjoy the villains on their own.
2 Fish Mooney
Fish Mooney is an original character created for Gotham to act as an extra villain at the beginning of it all, and to have someone opposite Carmine Falcone. Fish is portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith and is the catalyst for the journey penguin will take throughout the show.
Originally starting out as a lackey for Mooney, Cobblepot is ordered to be killed by the GCPD at the command of Mooney, which puts him on a vengeful path to kill Mooney, which he successfully does at the end of season one. Eventually, Mooney is brought back, resurrected by Hugo Strange with all new metahuman abilities.
1 Carmine Falcone Dies Before Batman
Carmine Falcone was one of the first crime bosses that Batman takes down when he first dons the cowl. Knowing each other as children, Falcone expressed his gratitude of Thomas Wayne saving his father's life by giving Bruce the blessing of a favor in the future. From there, their paths diverged and Falcone became the lead crime boss in Gotham.
In the show Gotham, Falcone is killed by his own daughter years before Batman is even a thought in Bruce's brain. Still the leader of the Gotham mafia, Falcone decided to take time away from organized crime for his health. Coming back to stop his daughter from losing a mob-war, she kills him, ending the legacy of Carmine Falcone. A legacy that Bruce will never be able to end himself now.