Framing Gotham City as a microcosm of a modern-day metropolis, Gotham City Living posits this fictional setting as a hyper-aware archetype, demonstrative of the social, political and cultural tensions felt throughout urban America. Looking at the comics, graphic novels, films and television shows that form the Batman universe, this book demonstrates how the various creators of Gotham City have imagined a geography for the condition of America, the cast of characters acting as catalysts for a revaluation of established urban values. McCrystal breaks down representations of the city and its inhabitants into key sociological themes, focusing on youth, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class disparity and criminality.
Surveying comic strip publications from the mid-20th century to modern depictions, this book explores a wide range of material from the universe as well as the most contemporary depictions of the caped crusader not yet fully addressed in a scholarly context. These include the works of Tom King and Gail Simone; the films by Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton; and the Batman animated series and Gotham television shows. Covering characters from Batman and Robin to Batgirl, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, Gotham City Living examines the Batman franchise as it has evolved, demonstrating how the city presents a timeline of social progression (and regression) in urban American society.