With the Arrowverse on its last legs with the final season of The Flash and the DC film franchise facing a massive overhaul with the theatrical release of... The Flash, we're looking at a whole new era for DC Comics on the little and big screens. To that end, we're also about to dive into DC Elseworlds, the purported titles for shows and movies that take place outside of the continuity of the new DC Universe.
While all of this rebranding is still in its early stages and sounds a little confusing, we're pretty confident that Gotham Knights counts as Elseworlds content. The new series on The CW takes place within its own version of Batman continuity as it focuses on a new generation of vigilantes.
The original DC Comics mythos stretches far and wide, but is CW's Gotham Knights itself based on a comic book? Here's what you should know leading up to its release.
Is CW's 'Gotham Knights' based on a comic book?
Gotham Knights on The CW follows Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan), the adopted son of Bruce Wayne. Following his father's alleged death, Turner and a group of teens — each of whom supposedly have ties to Batman's villains — are wrongfully accused of murdering him. On the run from Gotham police led by district attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins), the youngsters, including Batman's protege Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson), attempt to find the real killer all while protecting the streets of Gotham.
The story of Gotham Knights is original to the show, though it bears striking similarities to the 2022 video game of the same name. Similarly, the concept of "Gotham Knights" as a group does exist in the comics, albeit in a looser context.
The name itself comes from a comic series called Batman: Gotham Knights, which ran from 2000 to 2006. Rather than follow one cohesive narrative, however, the comic acts as an anthology featuring stories centered on other characters in the Batman mythology.
Originally, Batman: Gotham Knights focused on the vigilante exploits of Batman's fellow Gotham crimefighters and anti-heroes, including Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, his butler Alfred, and even Catwoman. Later issues of the comic series would focus on Batman's villains.
For all intents and purposes, The CW's Gotham Knights doesn't adapt any particular arc or storyline. However, it does borrow its concept from Batman: Gotham Knights as it centers on other vigilantes aside from the Caped Crusader. In fact, many of the characters in the show, save for Turner Hayes, are based on an existing character from Batman comics. For example, Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan) is the self-proclaimed daughter of the Joker who first debuted in comics in August 1976.
Gotham Knights is far from the first live-action DC series to take place outside of the Arrowverse, but it is one of the first steps for the franchise into a whole new era for DC on screen.
Gotham Knights premieres tonight at 9 p.m ET on The CW.