Batman: Every Live-Action Gotham City Ranked Worst To Best

From the 1943 serials to R-Patz's The Batman.

Batman Forever Gotham City
Warner Bros.

In the world of comic books, few cities are as infamous as Gotham City. The home of Batman, Gotham has often been just as much of a character as the Dark Knight himself or the countless other characters who have walked the city's streets.

While Superman's home of Metropolis is famed for its vibrancy, it's the polar opposite for Gotham. Dark, menacing and seductive, Gotham City is the sort of place that thrives on corrupting those who decide to live there.

Throughout the decades, there have been so many different versions of Gotham to make it to screens both big and small. As is often the case, some of those have been great, some of these have been utterly dreadful. Of course, we all know that the real correct answer is that Batman: The Animated Series has the absolute best Gotham City, but hey, this list is all solely about the live-action iterations of this most iconic and infamous of places.

With that in mind, then, here are the very worst through to the very best takes on the city that Batman - and so many other heroes and villains - call home.

12. The 1940s Serials

Batman Forever Gotham City
Columbia Pictures

Way before the days of Pattinson, Affleck, Bale, Clooney, Kilmer, Keaton or even West, Batman was first seen in live-action during the 1940s.

Initially starring Lewis Wilson as the Caped Crusader - with Robert Lowery later taking over the role - these 'serials' were black and white offerings that didn't really acknowledge Gotham City. Sure, Gotham was where the action was taking place, but the locale was barely referenced and so much of the action took place in smoky offices and underground labs.

To give an idea of how different things were back in 1943 when the first 15-part serial - titled simply Batman - was released, the World's Greatest Detective is depicted as a US spy looking to foil the plot of a rival Japanese agent in the backdrop of World War II.

The follow-up to this came with 1949's New Adventures of Batman and Robin, Boy Wonder, where the titular Dynamic Duo battled the nefarious Wizard and his scheme to control all of the cars of Gotham. Even then, though, Gotham itself was utterly nondescript. As such, these serials of the '40s have to rank rock bottom on this list.


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