Bruce Wayne: Billionaire, superhero … New Jerseyan?
Who doesn’t love Batman? The super-rich, Dark Knight crime fighter who doles out justice to the likes of the Joker, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, and so many more baddies on a seemingly daily basis. The city he calls home — Gotham City — is clearly based off of New York City, but it’s real-life location may surprise you.
The Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan as well as the TV show "Gotham" on Fox clearly point to a NYC-themed city with some influence from Chicago and Pittsburgh. Heck, Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was actually filmed in New York City, Pittsburgh and Newark.
One of the most memorable scenes in "The Dark Knight Rises" is when Gotham PD goes to battle against Bane’s cronies. That scene was filmed in front of Newark City Hall.
But did you know Gotham City is actually based in New Jersey? And no, it’s not exactly where you may think.
If you’re as big of a Batman fan as I am, you’ll know at least a little bit about Gotham City. You'll know it's a major port city, with a naval yard and warehouse district. You'll also know that it’s right on waterfront and leads up to a bay.
It also (according to Christopher Nolan’s films) has direct access to the Atlantic Ocean as well as bridges that cross a number of rivers, though I equate that more-so to the movie being filmed in Pittsburgh, but I digress…
Knowing all of this, you could safely assume the Jersey areas meant to be Gotham City could be Newark, Elizabeth, or even Jersey City. All great guesses, especially with the Port of Elizabeth, Newark’s use of filming location, and Jersey City’s proximity to New York City, but you’d be wrong.
According to the The World’s Greatest Super Heroes comic strip published in 1978, Gotham City is based in the Cumberland County area of South Jersey. Interestingly enough, both Atlantic City and Philadelphia exist in the Batman universe, so it’s not out of the question to see billboards for Wayne Enterprises as you head down the Atlantic City Expressway or see the Bat Signal heading home from a Flyers game.
Side note: it totally makes sense that according to this map here, Superman lives in Delaware. How else can Superman simply put on a polo, khakis, and glasses to become Clark Kent and no one notices a thing. Only in Lower, Slower, Delaware, I guess.
So, the next time you head down to AC anywhere else in South Jersey, keep an eye out for the Joker, or the Riddler because Batman could be just around the corner.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Bob Giaquinto. Any opinions expressed are Bob’s own.