Popular comic book writer Grant Morrison is on record as saying that Metropolis (home city of archetypal do-gooder Superman) is New York City by day, and Gotham City is New York by night. A physical impossibility, of course, and DC Comics have clearly placed them in physically different parts of the United States, but the intention is clear. This Jekyll-and-Hyde difference between the two metropolii is emphasized in the different approaches that Superman and Batman have regarding crime-fighting.

Gotham City is the home of comic book hero Batman.

Located on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America, Gotham is a city where gothic architechture mixes with information technology. It has a bloody history. After being established in 1635 by a mercenary it was the scene of a major battle in the American War of Independence. The city also has a history of witchcraft and occultism, and although the present day Gothamites dismiss these tales as children's stories, the place does have an inimidating feel to it.

This hasn't stopped Gotham from thriving as a major economic centre, however. As a hub of industry and commerce it has been similar to New York or Metropolis. It is also a major cultural center, with plenty of museums, art galleries, theatres and high-society gatherings.

Some of the less reputable residents include The Joker, Two Face, The Penguin and Catwoman among others. Thanks to the activities of Batman, Robin and Gotham's police force, under the leadership of Commissioner Gordon, Gotham's ciminals tend to spend a lot of time in Arkham Asylum.

In recent times, Gotham's luck took a dramatic turn for the worse. Following a devastating epidemic of a man-made plague and a massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, Gotham was declared beyond hope by the US government, and was cut off from the rest of the country.

After a year when the city was classified as no man's land, Gotham is now in the process of being rebuilt. It's proving a hard task, but one that Gothamites are facing enthusiastically.

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