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"Gotham Noir": Gotham Noir is an Elseworlds story that reimagines Batman in a film noir setting. The story takes place in Gotham City in the year 1949, and is told through the character of James Gordon, written non-traditionally as a

Quote1 All I had figured out was that things were definitely not going my way, and I had no real idea why. And that's when the world decided to get even weirder... Quote2
James Gordon

Batman: Gotham Noir is a one-shot with a cover date of May, 2001.

Synopsis for "Gotham Noir"

Gotham Noir is an Elseworlds story that reimagines Batman in a film noir setting. The story takes place in Gotham City in the year 1949, and is told through the character of James Gordon, written non-traditionally as a hard-boiled alcoholic private detective. They are caught up in a massive conspiracy involving the corrupt Mayor's office and connections to Gotham Organized Crime when a beautiful young woman turns up dead and Gordon is framed for her murder.

Appearing in "Gotham Noir"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Judge Pitt (Mentioned only)
  • Mickey O'Malley (Single appearance)
  • Rachel Hollingsworth (Single appearance; dies)



  • This issue is reprinted in DC Comics Presents: Batman - Gotham Noir #1 and Batman: The Man Who Laughs Deluxe Edition.
  • Batman's appearance in this story is ambiguous and open to interpretation; it is left unclear whether he is secretly Bruce Wayne, or a creation of Gordon's imagination. Batman is only ever seen in Gordon's presence, and the first time they meet Gordon wonders aloud whether or not he's cracking up. Harvey Dent mentions at the end of the story that he created Batman as a rumor, and he never existed at all, but it is unclear whether or not he is joking. Selina Kyle mentions that Bruce has a habit of disappearing at social functions, alluding to his double identity. Batman rarely interacts with other characters, but he does knock out some thugs chasing Gordon and fight the Joker briefly. There is a moment when Gordon has been shot where Batman seemingly appears in the same room as Bruce Wayne in different locations without possible explanation, although they are never shown in the same panel. If Batman is indeed merely a hallucination from alcohol and post-traumatic stress disorder, this casts the story into a weird light... as the narrative for most of it is Gordon explaining everything to Batman in flashback while his family is in danger. This would mean that the Joker was holding his family hostage and Gordon spent a good forty pages standing in an alley talking to himself before going to help them.


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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This comic issue, event, or limited series takes place in its own separate continuity as an Elseworlds story; although it may exist within a larger Elseworlds continuity as part of its series. This includes both titles with the Elseworlds Logo, and titles retroactively declared as Elseworlds Stories.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the Elseworlds category.


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