Gotham city is described since the 70's as a crime-ridden city. Corruption is rampant, thugs walk free and cops do look out for the mafia. And it rains all the time, and it's common to quite every version of Gotham since Dennis O'Neil (who wrote "Batman's Gotham City is akin to 'Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November.'")

Such a high crime rate is bound to have effects on the economy, but Gotham still is a major city of DC Comics' USA, with many big companies despite the risk to see their goods stolen by the mob or their buildings blown up by some batvillain.

Does any part of the canon provide an in-universe explanation for this? If not, is there any study or informed guess that would justify all this? I know Gotham City is based on Chicago and/or New York, so answers using these similarities might be good enough.


1 Answer 1


Grant Morrison said in a Gizmodo interview that it doesn't make sense for Gotham to be "so bloody awful" :

If Gotham really was an open sewer of crime and corruption, every story set there would serve to demonstrate the complete and utter failure of Batman's mission, which isn't really the message we want to send, is it? You've got Batman and all his allies as well as Commissioner Gordon and the city still exudes a vile miasma of darkness and death? I can't buy that. It's simply not realistic and flies in the face of in-story logic (and you know I like my comics realistic!) so my artists and I have taken a different tack and we want to show the cool, vibrant side of Gotham, the energy and excitement that would draw people to live and visit there.

Gotham needs as many faces as Batman - it should be the loudest, sexiest, jazziest city on Earth. It has the best restaurants, the best theaters, the best art, the best criminals, the best crimefighters etc etc. People put up with the weird crime for the sheer buzz.

So the answer to the question might as well be : "no, there is no in-universe explanation"

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