Gotham City: Exploring Missouri’s Connection To Batman
I've written some stories about the underground caves in Kansas City and Springfield. In each, I've written that these underground caves would make the perfect underground lair for Batman's Batcave. Yet, is there actually a connection between Missouri, Gotham City, and Batman?
Missouri doesn't really come up when you think of Batman and Gotham City. Most Midwestern cities probably aren't first and foremost in most people's minds. Maybe Detroit comes to mind, yet for the most part, I think it's all about New York City.
Chicagoans may associate the Second City with the superhero based on the mid-Aughts Dark Knight trilogy which Christopher Nolan shot in Chicago, and whose Gotham City backdrop very much incorporated parts of authentic Chicago.
The truth is, Gotham City is fictional. Writer Bill Finger, according to Wikipedia, chose the name Gotham City so that residents of any city could identify with it. That said, make no mistake, Gotham City is closely related to the real New York City.
The Batman Fandom Wiki says before Detective Comics #48 Batman's adventures took place in New York City. Not to mention both Wikipedia's entry for Gotham City and the Batman Fandom concur that Gotham City is supposed to be a city in New Jersey. And generally, the location of the fictional city is on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.
Of course, especially in film, over the decades, the creative minds behind the films' fictional city have chosen a variety of real cities to portray Gotham City. They include the aforementioned Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Newark, London, Glasgow, Hong Kong, and Liverpool.
So what about Missouri? Missouri's connection to Gotham City comes in the form of a map in the 1960s television series "Batman" starring Adam West and Burt Ward. The Giant Lighted Lucite Map of Gotham City in the series. It's a map of St. Louis in 1966.
In 2019 after watching all three seasons of the TV series Anthony Blackham, whose website proclaims, he makes maps figured it out. There's also a whole Reddit thread on the subject. Not to mention a Facebook post around the same time as Blackham's article mentioning it from the Missouri State Archives.
There you have it, Missouri's connection to Gotham City and Batman. Unless, of course, you count the Blue Alert sent by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in January of 2022 asking the citizens of Gotham City, Missouri to be on the lookout for a green/purple 1978 Dodge 3700 GT. That's a story, however, for another day.