AUTHOR'S NOTES: Someone at the JLA Unlimited boards suggested a 'real Batman' show, complete with the kind of real crime you'd see in a detective or cop show like 'Law and Order' – not just the cartoon bad guys. An adult version of Batman with the darker and seedier parts of life uncensored. The suggested title? 'Batman: Gotham.' I liked the idea enough to ask someone to start writing 'episodes,' then wrote out this idea as a kind of blurb or opening credits – something like the, "In every generation..." introduction for the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' series.

Batman: Gotham – Welcome To Gotham

This is a city of night.

By day, the people go about their business, much as they do in any city in the world.

By night, the city transforms.

Barely respectable by daylight, when the sun goes down, the thin cotton dress of her respectability peels off, revealing a call-girl's lacy stockings. Of course, she's got a pearl-handled gun in her purse, and she'll be more than happy to relieve you of any spare cash and valuables you have around your person, too; but she'll give you a good time while she's taking your money.

Just pray she doesn't take your heart.

If New York is the city that never sleeps, this is the city that never weeps. There's a cold, hard undercurrent to this place, a modernity that cuts deeper than the knife between your ribs.

It's the perfect place for crime.

The crime lords breed like rabbits in the dark shadows of the city. There, the nightlife is hot and heavy, breathing down your neck like a man trying to get his hands on your body – or maybe your money. There, the seedy underbelly of the universe scratches itself in parts unmentionable and pauses only briefly in the light, checking both ways for coppers, before slinking off to other haunts and disappearing into the night.

Gotham City is hell on respectable citizens.

Or it would be, were it not for Gotham's Guardian.

Even crime lords have their nightmares, and he is theirs.

Metropolis' protector soars far above the madding crowd, plain to see and be seen. Gotham's guardian slips in and out of shadows, more of a myth than a reality.

They don't know from where he came; they don't know his mission; they don't know his name.

He comes out of nowhere and vanishes into nowhere; and fear seeps into the hearts of hardened criminals when the signal lights up the night sky. Gotham is his, indeliably branded with his mark, tamed to his hand.

The hand that rules Gotham belongs to the Bat.

Welcome to Gotham.

- fin -