Picture it.

It's a city that, like every other, was affected economically and socially by the war; a city back on its feet, a whole three years after said war ended.

It's a city; and indeed a world unto itself.

A man's world.

A mad world.

In years to come, they will call this the "noir period". In movies. In literature. In fashion.

The era's got its stars. Hollywood is entering the "Golden Age". In another few years there will be no stopping it. The fifties will give birth to stars that will become pop icons. Elvis Presley. Marilyn Monroe. Buddy Holly.

For now, there's Frank Sinatra. Judy Garland. Fred Astaire. Katharine Hepburn. Bing Crosby. Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall. Gene Kelly.

Technicolor dreams to brighten up your day.

The Wizard of Oz, often rerun, offers escapism. Singing in the Rain is sure to brighten up your day, no matter how the weather has been. Casablanca is there for the romantics. Or there's the serialized chapter movies, two cents or so a seat.

If you'd rather keep your few cents for something you consider more worthwhile, there's plenty of reading material around now. Pulp books are as popular as ever, the last decade or so has seen immense rise in comics, and there's always the radio. Radioised stories of fantastical heroes and wonderful worlds beyond this; current affairs; comedy shows; perhaps a little Glenn Miller.

Consider the atmosphere.

It's dark. It seems like it's always dark. This will later be replicated in "noir".

In this particular city there's permanent smog overhanging the streets and buildings. Perhaps this city more than any other.

It's an era of cigarette smoke; of shuttered blinds; of trench coats and fedoras and suits and ties and waistcoats and braces.

An era whereupon women, freed by the war which took the men from the industrial work, have found their feet. Make-up and shorter skirts are acceptable. They are more beautiful than they have ever been – and more daring.

More dangerous.

The femme fatale has been born.

It's an era of detectives and gangsters. A violent, passionate time of robberies and shoot-outs, of murders and confessions, of uncertainty and belonging.

That is, some belong here in this world.

And some do not.

Picture this city; perhaps in a black and white photograph from a sixty-odd year old newspaper, faded yellow with age by now.

This is Gotham City.

The year is 1948.

Picture it.

Compare it.

Imagine it.

And then imagine being told you've never known anything else.