Batman isn't the only superhero in Gotham anymore. For the past two issues, the Dark Knight has been aided by the mysterious Gotham and Gotham Girl, two Superman-esque heroes looking to make the city they call home a better place.
It's clear Gotham and Gotham Girl are good guys, but where exactly they came from, and who they are underneath their masks, has been a mystery thus far. That changes in the third issue of Tom King and David Finch's Batman.
The issue starts in a way that will be immediately familiar to any fan of the caped crusader: a mother, father and son take a trip down a dark alley, where a gun-toting criminal attempts to rob them. At first, it seems like King may have fallen into the trap of writers retelling Batman's origin story for the 10,000th time, but that's not exactly the case. The flashback scene isn't the origin of Batman, but rather the origin of Gotham (the superhero).
Batman swoops in to save the boy and his parents, and it has a profound effect on the boy. It's shown later that he soon dedicates his life to helping others and views Batman as a role model. Soon, his younger sister also adopts her brother's cause. This is all revealed by Bruce, who pays a visit to Gotham and Gotham Girl's parents under the guise of a FBI agent.
What's left a mystery is how exactly Gotham and Gotham Girl got their superpowers. It appears they may have paid for their powers using a large sum of money from their rich parents, but that's still up in the air at this point.
It's possible the man responsible could be none other than Hugo Strange. It was revealed at the end of issue #2 that Dr. Strange (not that Dr. Strange) has some kind of grand scheme at work, and he elaborates on that plan here in issue #3. Gotham and Gotham Girl may be a key component of his plan to "cure" Gotham City's populace of their love for the city. A rather obscure DC Comics villain by the name Psycho-Pirate is also revealed to be in cahoots with Strange. The villain's powers (or lack of them) have changed over the years, but they all revolve around manipulating or feeding off the emotions of others.
What does that mean for the future? That's still unclear. King has proven to be a master at slowly lifting the veil on what this new storyline is all about, giving fans just enough new information to keep them coming back for more. Thankfully, it's easy to come back for more when Finch's artwork is so great. His Batman looks consistently stunning, and Finch has a knack for drawing out the realism of Gotham City even as superheroes like Gotham and Gotham Girl fly about.
It's all the more impressive given that Batman is now a bimonthly series. King and Finch are both at the top of their game, and the first three issues have proven more than up to the task of surpassing Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. That's pretty impressive, especially considering that we have a feeling that King and Finch are just getting warmed up.