Gotham’s key strength has always been in its villains, and in that regard Season 2 seriously delivers. Robin Lord Taylor’s interestingly sympathetic take on the Penguin continues to beguile, but it’s Cory Michael Smith’s Ed Nygma whose emerging alter-ego of the Riddler gives proceedings an added punch and dark wit.
The show – an origin story of the classic DC Comics super-villains and vigilantes, for the uninitiated – traces one cop’s rise through the corrupt city of the title. As well, of course, as chronicling the birth of, inarguably, the greatest superhero of all time.
It’s a smart show and a concept that allows its writers to play with long-established mythologies in interesting new ways. And if some hardcore nerds may struggle with this fiddling with what’s considered comic-book canon in their circles, the rest of us can just sit back and delve into a brave new world where Batman and Catwoman hung out together as kids.
Aesthetically the show is stunning to look at, a pulpy, cartoonishly violent comic-book noir that sits fascinating character dynamics alongside sequences of savage action. But Season 2’s real trump card is its decision to move David Mazouz’s Bruce Wayne firmly into centre-stage, tracing his first rejection of guns (he will ultimately, of course, develop far more impressive toys to play with further down the line) and seeing him first find his taste for the theatrical. One great shot in particular is packed with cute detail, cropping in close on his awestruck face as a villain in a cape swoops through an abandoned warehouse with a style he will later adopt to such iconic effect.
That, above all of Gotham’s many other appeals, is its most basic. After all the comics, all the TV shows and all the movies that have gone before it, here is your chance to have a front row seat to witness the birth of The Batman.
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