Mayor: Oswald Cobblepot
The colonial-era village named Gotham, established by a Norwegian mercenary and later taken over by the British, grew into a thriving center of trade with waves of immigration from Europe to the New World. One of early Gotham’s most prominent residents was Charles Arwin Wayne, who built a considerable fortune, and the sprawling family mansion on a bluff outside of what would become Gotham City. Years later, Solomon Wayne—Charles’ son and a federal judge—commissioned architect Cyrus Pinkney to design and build many of the city’s distinctive gothic spires, a style associated with Gotham since then. Wayne Enterprises remains the most powerful and influential company in the city.
Although Gotham City became renowned as a center for trade, shipping, manufacturing, and finance, the history of the city is also infamously riddled with crime and corruption. The Gotham City Police Department was ineffectual for generations, with officers and politicians known to be on the take from one or more crime bosses. An alliance of criminal gangs practically ruled the city, while ordinary citizens got by as best they could. This began to change in past years due to the efforts of Gotham’s most famous resident, Batman.
Along with stately Wayne Manor, one of Gotham’s other noted landmarks is the Arkham Asylum. The private estate of the Arkham family was converted into a mental hospital for the criminally insane in 1921. The gothic-style former mansion has housed some of Gotham’s most notorious criminals, and many of Batman’s greatest foes. Gotham City has weathered fire, plague, and earthquake, but even the tireless efforts of Batman and his allies have never fully been able to dislodge the city’s deep-seated criminal element. Although modern Gotham is far safer than it used to be, crime remains a constant problem and the city is always in need of a few more honest cops—as well as those citizens willing to fight for justice in their own way.