Gotham City can be a dark and dangerous place, filled with all manner of dangerous villains who perpetually plot and scheme their various evil activities. The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face and others are forever working to sow the seeds of chaos in the streets. It is a sprawling metropolis of gothic architecture, dark alleyways and a storied history.
Gotham Village in Nottinghamshire, by contrast, is a quiet and pleasant place, however, it has an equally storied history. Nicknamed by some as “The Village of Legends” it was formally acknowledged in the Batman comics in 1996 in a story titled “Cityscape”. The Village itself dates back to possibly the 10th century, and is pronounced “Goat-Um” which comes from the old English “Goat-Home” or “Goat Town”. It was in the 13th Century that the village first made a name for itself. It was announced that King John wished to build a hunting lodge in the area, however, should the King travel to the area, any local road he used would become a King’s Highway, this would, in turn, mean a hefty tax burden on the locals. They would not only have been expected to build this highway, but the responsibility of it’s upkeep would also fall to local workers. This gave rise to the story of “The Wise Men of Gotham” who hatched a plan to feign madness.
It was a commonly held belief at the time, that mental illness was infectious, thus the people of Gotham knew that if they all acted insane, the King’s road would be diverted. The story goes that when the King’s Knights and other representatives arrived in the area, locals collectively pretended to be insane, staging acts of madness and comical stupidity for the benefit of the King’s men. They reportedly observed locals engaged in acts such as fencing off a tree to keep a Cuckoo captive (Cookoo’s symbolise summer and it is thought the locals explained they were attempting to capture the summer), attempting to down an Eel, and attempting to roll cheese down a hill in the belief that it would make its own way to market. The story of “The Mad Men of Gothem” would go on to circulate for centuries.
Both towns, however, have one thing in common. When the sun goes down and the shadows grow long, a guardian patrols the night, one who’s name is spoken in hushed tones by the criminals and evil doers. A Dark Knight who defends the innocent and punishes the guilty, who can melt into shadow and sour over the rooftops, not a man, a creature of the night… a Bat Man… Our Absolutely Amazing Dark Knight recently visited Gotham and recruited some new superheroes for his team.