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The Statue of Freedom was a large copper and steel statue and resided on an island in Gotham's bay. It looked out to the Atlantic Ocean and was a duplicate of New York Harbor's Statue of Liberty. The statue held a torch above her head with her right hand and carried a tablet in her left hand.

The Statue of Justice is a colossal neoclassical sculpture of a robed woman that is located on a small island in Gotham Harbor and overlooks the docklands. It is sometimes also called Lady Gotham and is Gotham City's analogue to the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

History

Earth-One

The Statue of Freedom was a large copper and steel statue and resided on an island in Gotham's bay. It looked out to the Atlantic Ocean and was a duplicate of New York Harbor's Statue of Liberty. The statue held a torch above her head with her right hand and carried a tablet in her left hand.[1][2]

Batman once scaled the Statue of Freedom for a secret meeting with an informant inside the massive sculpture's torch. In exchange for protection, the informant was willing to tell Batman how to catch Doctor Darrk and bust the League of Assassins. Before he could divulge any information, however, he was stabbed to death from behind by one of two assassins who secretly climbed up the statue's right arm as well. He then attacked Batman who was able to thwart the attempted assault. After the assassin escaped, Batman turned back to the dying informant who instructed him with his final words to find Darrk on the Soom Express.[2]

New Earth

In the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the history of Gotham City was altered. When the New Earth reality came into being, the original Statue of Freedom ceased to exist and was replaced by a different sculpture. It was now called the Statue of Justice and stood on top of a giant stone pavilion near the Gotham River's shore. This sculpture was a depiction of Lady Justice, a personification of justice itself in the form of a blindfolded woman who held a sword with her right hand and scales in her left hand. It wore a crown with five spikes. The famed Statue of Justice overlooked the harbor area and was one of Gotham's places of interests that attracted high numbers of tourists.[3]

The statue's significance as a symbol for Gotham ultimately led to its demise when terrorist Erik Webber planted bombs inside the stone statue's head section. These explosives blew the colossal sculpture's head off its shoulders, whereon it fell into the nearby river and sank to its bottom.[3]

Following the destruction of the head, Batman scaled the Statue of Justice and discovered that plastic explosives were used. Oracle informed him that the security camera footage she tapped into was not useful in identifying the perpetrator.[3] During the following investigations by the Gotham City Police Department, the media briefly even wondered if Batman may have been the bomber when footage of him on top of the destroyed statue surfaced.[4] Batman later managed to figure out that Erik Webber was responsible for the bombing.[5]

Prime Earth

Following the alterations to reality caused by Doctor Manhattan, the statue's appearance changed once again when Prime Earth was created. It was now a giant statue holding a torch in her uplifted right hand and a shield in her left hand. The statue was located on a podium in one of Gotham City's parks. While the name Statue of Justice remained intact, this statue more closely resembled its Earth-One counterpart and was very similar to the Statue of Liberty in New York City.[6]

Gotham and Gotham Girl once confronted Solomon Grundy in the statue's park. During the ensuing battle, the Statue of Justice was heavily damaged by Grundy when he crashed Gotham into the stone statue, causing it to break in half. Moments before the upper half of the statue would have fallen to the ground, Gotham and Gotham Girl managed to hold onto the broken piece and were able to lift it up on top of the podium again. Grundy was then defeated by Batman, who suddenly appeared in front of the broken statue's base mere seconds later.[6]


Other Versions

DCAU

Batman once tricked Twitch into meeting him on the balcony around the statue's torch when he needed information on the Society of Shadows. However, they were then attacked by two members of the society who were able to climb to the balcony. One of them threw Twitch off the torch section into the river as punishment for divulging information about the Society's plans and Count Vertigo to the Dark Knight. The assassins then tried to escape via the statue's head section, but were followed by Batman, whereon both Society members ultimately decided to silence themselves by inhaling toxic gas. Talia al Ghul was secretly watching the encounter and consequent confrontation on top of the statue from afar.[7]

Two-Face and Gil Mason once abducted James Gordon so Mason could kill him and take his place as police commissioner. Batgirl was able to free her father and then fought Mason in a speedboat when he tried to get away. Mason was shocked to learn Batgirl's true identity when he was able to pull away her cowl, but then knocked down by her. However, the boat was out of control at this point and directly heading towards the Statue of Justice in the harbor with full speed. Moments before the boat crashed against the statue, Batgirl saved both Mason and herself by taking him and jumping into the water. The base of the statue was then damaged and partially set on fire when the empty boat crashed into it and exploded.[8]

Burtonverse

After their confrontation at the Second National Bank of Gotham, Batman was left dangling on a cable attached to Two-Face's helicopter. In order to finally kill Batman, Dent used a steering wheel lock to fly the helicopter straight into the Lady Gotham statue in Gotham Harbor. Two-Face utilized a parachute to escape while Batman was able to leap off of the helicopter into the water below moments before it crashed into the giant harbor statue and exploded. The Lady Gotham was set on fire and heavily damaged when the left side of its face was destroyed by the helicopter once it collided with it.[9][10][11]

The Batman

When the Joker attempted to spread his Joker Gas all over Gotham City, he set out on a hot-air balloon filled with the venom. Batman chased the Joker to Gotham Bay, where the villain planned to pop the balloon on the sword held by the Statue of Justice. However, Batman was able to redirect the Joker's balloon towards the water to thwart this plan.[12]

Joker later became jealous of Batman when the Gotham City Police Department deemed the vigilante public enemy number one. He reacted by going on a rampage with his "Joker Putty" formula and used it to deface the Statue of Justice, the largest monument in Gotham City. Joker vandalized the statue's face with his clay formula and remade it in his own image as a grotesque clown grimace.[13]

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

After Bat-Mite accidentally gave the Joker 5th dimensional powers, the Clown Prince of Crime used his new abilities to turn himself into a giant and then made the Statue of Justice in Gotham Bay come to life. He danced with the living sculpture for a few seconds and then pushed her from her small island into the water, whereupon the statue sank.[14]

During Batman's absence, Bane, Blockbuster, Solomon Grundy and Killer Croc later formed an alliance to steal the gold-plated Statue of Justice. Using their super-strength, the quartet managed to push the colossal statue through the streets of Gotham City, but almost dropped it on some citizens. However, Captain Marvel disguised as Batman then arrived to catch the statue and save the helpless citizens before he began fighting the villains.[15]

Batman '66

In this continuity, the Lady Gotham is a small golden statuette created by the late artist Oskar Villkoop and is part of a collection of three sculptures. Lady Gotham held a sword in her right hand and a shield with her left hand. The mayor of Gotham once decided to award the Lady Gotham statuette to the Gotham City Police Department during a ceremony in Gotham Park. However, the sculpture was then stolen by the Riddler who later left an explosive replica of Lady Gotham at Catwoman's penthouse dance club for its grand opening. Nigma was also able to steal the Dancing Cat statuette from the Gotham City Art Museum, the second sculpture from the collection.

At the Batcave, Batman, Robin and Catwoman later used the Batcomputer's 3-Dimensional Modeler to create replicas of Lady Gotham and the Dancing Cat. They found out that the sculptures were made to work together and realized that the Dancing Cat's tail pointed to a location on the map depicted on Lady Gotham's shield. The location turned out to be in Gotham Park, where the Riddler tried to steal the third statuette from inside the park's large Villkoop monument. The Dynamic Duo and Catwoman were able to outsmart the Riddler and then revealed that the third sculpture of the collection that was hidden inside the park's statue turned out to be the Golden Bat, Villkoop's final work. The Lady Gotham was returned to Commissioner Gordon who decided that from now on the statuette should reside at the Gotham City Art Museum along with the Dancing Cat and the Golden Bat.[16]

Arkhamverse

The Lady of Gotham is a giant copper statue that is located on a small island near GCPD Headquarters in the center of Central Gotham. It is a blindfolded Lady Justice sculpture that wears a crown and holds a sword. Additionally, the Lady Gotham has wings and carries a bird on top of her left hand. The Lady Gotham island is located inbetween Bleake Island, Founders' Island and Miagani Island. Deacon Blackfire and his cult took Jack Ryder to the Lady Gotham statue and attempted to kill him as a sacrifice during a ritual. Batman then arrived at the statue and was able to take down Blackfire and his cult members.[17]

Notes

  • In the early comics, Batman's place of operations was originally established as New York City. Comics like Detective Comics #63 therefore also featured locations like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. In Batman #4, Batman's home base was first named as Gotham City and slowly distanced from New York City in the following years, essentially retconning it as a separate city. However, some stories like "The Black Cat Crimes" from Detective Comics #122 still featured New York City landmarks. In this story, Catwoman fought Batman and Robin on the Statue of Liberty. Many years later, Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff also featured an unnamed Statue of Liberty duplicate on Earth-One in Batman #183. In Detective Comics #411, Dennis O'Neil and Bob Brown later retconned this sculpture into the Statue of Freedom, a Gotham City equivalent of the Statue of Liberty that was identical to the original design by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Gotham City analogues to the Statue of Liberty eventually also appeared in other media, such as Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Forever.
  • The statue was redesigned for the New Earth continuity to give it a look distinct from the real-life Statue of Liberty. Some other recent versions of the statue like the ones from the Arkhamverse and Gotham have used radically different designs for the statue, adding new elements like wings that distinguish it even more from the actual Lady Liberty in New York.
  • The Statue of Justice in New Earth continuity is based on the Lady Justice statue that is standing on top of the Old Bailey Courthouse in London.
  • In the television series Gotham, a significantly smaller version of the Lady Gotham statue appears during some of the transition shots depicting the Gotham City skyline as seen in the episode "Pretty Hate Machine" and is shown to stand on a column overlooking the city. It is made out of copper, has wings and carries a torch in its left hand. The statue was unaffected by the Tetch virus outbreak in Gotham City during which several of the nearby buildings were set on fire in the episode "Destiny Calling". This version of the statue has wings similar to the Arkhamverse statue but maintains the torch from the original design.
    • The position of Lady Gotham in the TV series Gotham appears to be based on the location of the Civic Fame statue at the top of the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York City. It is standing on a column at the top of a cupola. The base of the Lady Gotham statue visible during the Gotham transition shots is identical to the one of Civic Fame in Manhattan.[18][19]
  • In the animated series Harley Quinn, the Statue of Justice is located in front of Gotham City Hall.[20]


Trivia

  • The Lady Gotham miniature used for Batman Forever was sculpted by modelmaker Pete Gerard who also installed a rotating searchlight in the statue's torch. This miniature was then photographed and later matted into the final cityscape.[21]
    • In Batman Forever, the face of the Lady Gotham statue is also depicted on both sides of Two-Face's Coin and on one side of the National Bank of Gotham's dollar bills.
    • The name of the Lady Gotham was never identified in the Batman Forever movie, but appeared in Akiva Goldsman's script and the Batman Forever novelization by Peter David.
    • Lady Gotham was also mentioned in one of the Gotham Globe newspaper props used for the filming of Batman Forever, according to which the Metro Council took the first steps to allocate funds for the repair of the devastated Lady Gotham before the beginning of the tourist season. The newspaper issue also promised a section about the origins of Lady Gotham, including historic pictures of the original construction project and interviews with surviving participants.[22]
  • In the television series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Statue of Justice was originally located in the middle of the city in the teaser of the episode "Hail the Tornado Tyrant!". However, it was later shown standing on a small island in "Emperor Joker!". The episode "Night of the Batmen!" showed that the statue could be moved when Bane, Blockbuster, Solomon Grundy and Killer Croc attempted to steal it.

See Also

Links and References

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