‘Gotham Knights’ Season 1, Episode 1 Review
by Frank Martin
Just as Batman has been adapted an incredible amount of times, so have his side characters. In order to let these characters stand on the their own, a show comes about positing Batman is either missing or dead. This happened pretty recently with the Arrowverse’s Batwoman. And ironically, The CW is doing it again with Gotham Knights, which doesn’t appear to be part of the Arrowverse. At first glance, the show comes across as another rehashing of the previous show’s premise. But when digging a little deeper, it seems as if it is putting a much different spin on the Dark Knight and his mythos.
The show starts off focusing on Bruce Wayne’s adopted teenage son, Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan). Things take a turn for the worse when Bruce Wayne is found dead with a Batman mask on. A group of poor kids who broke into Wayne Tower to rob it are subsequently framed for the murder. Things get even more complicated when Bruce’s son is also framed as having paid them to do it. They are all broken out of police custody by another teen calling herself Robin (Navia Robinson). The pilot episode ends with a tease of the Court of Owls being behind everything and their assassin, Talon, tying up loose ends.
Besides the names, things are not being adapted in a straight line from the comics. This version of Robin isn’t really a Robin. She doesn’t wear a costume and isn’t Batman’s adopted child. Instead, she’s just another street kid that acts as Batman’s eyes and ears on the ground. He also talks to her fondly about her son. This is a much warmer Bruce Wayne than fans are used to even though he never appears alive in the show. Also, there is more connection to legacy characters as the Joker’s daughter is playing a pretty large role. All in all, it wasn’t a spectacular episode, but it did provide some new and refreshing changes to the tired mythology. So there is definitely potential there as the season continues.
Gotham Knights air is Wednesdays on The CW.