Warning: The following contains mild “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” spoilers
Chances are you’ll have many questions when walking out of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” about the future of the DC film universe and the characters you’ve been introduced to. Why not throw a geography problem in there too, though?
In the world set up by the movie, Metropolis (the home of Superman) and Gotham City (the home of Batman) are essentially twin cities, separated by nothing more than a bay in between them. That seems a little too close for comfort and essentially an easy way to have the characters meet, right?
Well, it turns out there is some basis in the comics for the two cities being so close. Over the years the geographical locations of Gotham City and Metropolis have varied greatly — with some accounts even portraying them as the same exact place. Writer Frank Miller once famously said Metropolis is New York City by day, whereas Gotham is New York City by night. While he certainly meant in tone, it’s no surprise that geographically both are considered to be East Coast cities.
A 1990 issue of “World’s Finest Comics” — which sees Batman and Superman working together — puts them on opposite sides of Delaware Bay, with Gotham situated where Cape May, NJ exists and Metropolis located in Lewes, Del. Similarly, an earlier “World’s Finest” comic strip did the same in 1978.
Meanwhile, an episode of “Smallville” saw Linda Lake (Tori Spelling) boasting that she could see Gotham City from her office at the Daily Planet, but “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” teased briefly in an episode that the two cities were much further apart than that. When Lois mentions Clark’s secret identity out loud, he sarcastically replies, “A little louder. I don’t think they heard you in Gotham.”
So while it may seem convenient that Gotham City and Metropolis are neighbors in “Dawn of Justice,” it’s also historically accurate. Of course, that might make you wonder why, in the two years he has been around, Superman has never confronted the “bat vigilante” if they’re so close. There’s really no answer for that. Batman as been carrying out his own brand for justice for years and it’s only at the beginning of the movie that Superman seems to begin to care. He’s too busy flying around the world to know what’s going on in his own backyard.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is in theaters.