Love it or hate it, Fox’s Gotham is one massive television sensation. Although many believe it makes no sense without a full-fledged Batman, Gotham has found a dedicated fanbase of DC lovers. However, the show isn’t always that loyal to the DC comics that have inspired its world, characters, and themes. In some cases, the show has diverted from the source material in notable ways. Sometimes it hasn’t even been that respectful of what fans have come to expect from this gritty superhero world. This list will delve into some of the most notable examples of how Gotham has subverted fan’s expectations and went a completely different direction. Without further ado, here are 10 Times That Gotham Strayed From Canon.

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10 The Joker(s)

The Joker is perhaps as famous a character as Batman is. So, it makes sense that Gotham would include him. Although the show never really speaks his name, everyone knows that Jerome is actually The Clown Prince of Crime. But Gotham has deviated from the source material with their interpretation.

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In the show, Joker is given a full-on backstory, with specific family members, and they even made him into a villain long before Batman was on the scene. This is the opposite of how he is portrayed in canon. Joker became the monster that we know because of Batman’s presence/intervention and was this without any definitive backstory. In short, the canon version of Joker was a mystery.

9 Riddler Working At The GCPD

Although it does make some sense, Edward Nygma never worked at the Gotham City Police Department in the comic canon. This was a creation from the writers of Gotham. It makes sense for their show, since the main character is Jim Gordon and not Batman. But it doesn’t fall into line with what the comics did with him.

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Although movies and animated series have done things differently with The Riddler’s origins, the comics have maintained that he started out as a student who had a thing for puzzles and games. Eventually, he became looney and started playing around with the law and The Dark Knight.


8 Leslie Thompkins’ Relationship With Jim

In the comics, Dr. Leslie Thompkins was one of Bruce Wayne/Batman’s maternal figures. She was there for him when few others would be, and counseled him through his darkest times. Thompkins also used her medical skills to help the poor and underprivileged kids on the streets. After all, they had a lot of problems they needed help with. That was Leslie Thompkins. She was not, however, a baby-mama for Jim Gordon nor did she look like a famous supermodel. In fact, she had little to do with Jim in the comics. Her character was there to further develop Bruce. In the show, they’ve met only a handful of times.

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7 The Origins Of The Bat Cave

Although the Bat Cave took a while to come into play on Gotham, its origins are completely dissimilar to that of the comics and movies. The canon for the Bat Cave’s origins is that it was a tunnel underneath Wayne Manor that was used during the Civil War. More accurately, it was used as a shelter and a location to transport those who needed to come to the North for safety. In short, it had a positive history. But Gotham totally spins this around. In the show, the Bat Cave was Thomas Wayne’s private hideout where he did some not so nice things with Wayne Enterprises. It’s not a very inspiring place.

6 The Penguin And Riddler’s Relationship

In the comics, The Penguin and The Riddler spend a lot of time getting in one another’s way. They didn’t always appear together, but when they did, they were seldom friends. This is because both were vying for control and power. Additionally, both Riddler and Penguin wanted to take out Batman themselves. Dominant personalities like theirs don’t often click. In Gotham, their relationship has these similarities to start with. But eventually, the pair joined together in a romantic way. Although the actors behind the characters are totally for the romance, fans know that this isn’t accurate to the comic canon.

5 The End Of The Waynes

Although some movies have slightly altered Thomas and Martha Wayne’s demise, the canon is pretty consistent. Joe Chill was the random mugger that was responsible for the pair being taken out in that alley long ago. Their falling wasn’t part of some elaborate scheme like Gotham has included. It was a simple mugging in a city rampant with crime. This is what inspires Bruce to become Batman; so it doesn’t happen to anyone else. Gotham basically took out the Joe Chill thing, put in Matches Malone, and even a conspiracy with Hugo Strange as icing on the cake. Fans know that this is very much straying from the canon.

4 All Of Jim Gordon

At the beginning of Gotham, it felt like the show was basing him on what we saw in Batman: Year One or even in Batman Begins. Gordon was a young and idealistic cop who had a goal of cleaning up the mean streets of Gotham and doing the right thing. But the show has taken the character down a darker road. They’ve made him into a character who has done a lot of bad things and has even lied to the Gotham City Police Department about them. This makes him less of the Jim Gordon we know from the comic canon and more of the type of character that Batman would bring to justice.

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3 Ivy’s Name And Growth Spurt

There are about a thousand things that are different about Poison Ivy in Gotham versus the comics. For one, her name was Pamela Isley. She was a botanist and environmentalist that cared more about plants than she did humans. But in the show, her name is Ivy Pepper, the daughter of a man who was thought to be behind the demise of the Waynes. Of course, this isn’t comic accurate. Most importantly, in the comics, Ivy didn’t have some sort of magical growth spurt. In the first couple seasons of Gotham, Ivy was a young street kid. But then she was turned into an adult (and has transformed more than once) thanks to some interesting experimentation.

2 Bruce’s Age As A Vigilante

Although Gotham‘s Bruce Wayne hasn’t technically become The Dark Knight yet, he is prowling the rooftops trying to do good for the city. It just seems like yesterday that Bruce was a timid little kid. And now it feels like the show wants him to be Batman already. Unfortunately, the actor playing Bruce hasn’t aged fast enough to make him a believable or accurate Batman. In the canon, Bruce doesn’t become Batman until his mid to late twenties. But in Gotham, Bruce is already trying to be effective as a vigilante in his teens. This is totally straying from the canon and yet fans seem to like it.

1 What’s Happened To Alfred?

Sure, in the comic canon, Alfred Pennyworth once worked as an intelligence agent and had a pretty interesting and dynamic past. But, first and foremost, he was Master Wayne’s exceptionally good guardian. That has been Alfred’s focus and what he’s best at. But Gotham has continuously proven that their take on Alfred is different. In Gotham, Alfred consistently lets bad things happen to Bruce, even though he didn’t in the comics. He barely even keeps track of Bruce. In fact, other than the accent and the job title, there really isn’t much about Gotham‘s take on the character that is accurate to the canon.

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