A local politician in New York is eager to jump on the comics marketing bandwagon. Queens Councilman Hiram Monserrate wants to make “Gotham City” the official nickname of the Big Apple, which already seems to have a nickname but whatever.

“I see that as a marketing tool, ‘Come visit the real Gotham City,’ taking advantage of this movie which will be one of those gate-breaking, record-selling movies like it always is,” he said.

This led to an outcry from New York Magazine:

Gotham City is not New York! The differences are legion: Their geographies are totally dissimilar; Gotham’s street gangs are charmingly multiracial; multiple sources place the city in New Jersey, not New York. And, most glaring, the made-up metropolis is plagued by corrupt hypocrites in the highest levels of government — a ludicrous fictional conceit definitively indicating that “Gotham City” exists in a never-neverland fantasy world that only a child would find plausible.

While this outcry is one that only a child would find entirely serious, there is some grave debate here, heard yesterday morning on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Should New York be named Gotham City? Or Metropolis? Or Latveria?


  1. First off, the nickname, Gotham doesn’t really make any sense anymore.

    There’s not really much left in the State’s architecture that is ‘Gothic’. The Big Apple is appropriate as it entails what a lot of growers produce upstate. NYC may be the focus of New York, but it certainly isn’t what the whole state entails.

  2. As Frank Miller said, “Metropolis is New York in the daytime, while Gotham is New York at night.” As for geography, Gotham looks more like Boston, with Bludhaven playing the role of a Newark/East St. Louis/Gary parasitic suburb.
    Also of note, New York State should not be confused with New York City. Those “I [heart] New York” t-shirts refer to New York State (which owns the trademark). The Big Apple refers to New York City, and supposedly refers to it being the ultimate locale for jazz musicians. Washington Irving popularized the American use of Gotham, inspired by the British residents of Gotham, Nottinghamshire.
    Isn’t “Gotham City” trademarked like “The Daily Planet”?
    And my personal nickname for NYC is “The City of Dreams”, because any dream can be realized here (moreso than Los Angeles).
    Of course, this being New York, the locals are gonna ignore whatever nickname the council dreams up anyway. “Avenue of the Americas”? Fah.

  3. “Queens Councilman Hiram Monserrate wants to make “Gotham City” the official nickname of the Big Apple…”

    Ok … now politicians are pandering to comic book fans?

    Begin off-world colonization ASAP.

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