Gotham tells a different aspect of the Batman story.
Not having an in depth knowledge of Batman lore, I can’t say whether or not there’s been a story before that covers Bruce’s years from the time his parents were killed to when he becomes Batman other than the actual moment with the bats.
His story has always felt rather like Jesus’s to me in that way.
But it is also vastly different. Bruce wanted to never feel weak again.
Everything he does that leads to him becoming Batman is because of that moment of powerlessness he experienced while he was unable to prevent his parents’s deaths.
One of the things he decides is to learn to fight. He has a strong desire to stop bad things from happening ever again. What his specific qualifications are in terms of deciding right from wrong are unknown. He’s a boy who is bullied briefly and seeks revenge.
He has a lot of hurt inside him.
In martial arts, we often talk about things like the 8 samurai virtues. They provide guide posts for being a good person and for how to be as a student of martial arts.
The thing is that many are fueled by much darker things like revenge, hatred, or greed. And some of the best warriors weren’t honourable. One need only look at the story of Musashi and the oar to see that.
Musashi probably seemed to have supernatural powers to some people. He was undefeated and remains one of the most legendary swordsmen to have lived. But he, by all accounts, was just a man. A man whose career started out with those around him underestimating his abilities.
Gotham also shows us a young Penguin who was also bullied and underestimated. We see his early penchant for killing others. We see him rising into power.
Being a petite woman from a small town blue-collar family, I understand what it’s like to be underestimated. I was also bullied as a child, but I learned to forgive those who did so. Most were young and it was the late 80s and early 90s when divorce was becoming frequent, but no one really knew how to handle it or make it easier on their kids.
Perhaps one day, I’ll achieve some sort of greatness too. I felt super when I passed my Nidan grading in December. And I felt super last night until I stabbed myself slightly with my sword. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.
And that’s how life’s river flows today.