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Thread: DC Comics location of Metropolis and Gotham City

  1. #1
    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    DC Comics location of Metropolis and Gotham City

    According to some DC canon, Metropolis is located in Delaware while Gotham City is located in New Jersey. Is anyone familiar with this? I always thought of them as being replacements for New York City. However, being located in Delaware and Gotham City makes them conveniently close while still maintaining major cities like New York, Chicago, etc... as they are. The maps, which seem to vary, place Metropolis around Lewes/Rehoboth Beach, DE, while Gotham City is across the Delaware Bay around Cape May, NJ.

    MetropolisGotham.jpg
    MetropolisGotham2.jpg
    atlasnewengl.jpg
    GothamMetropolis.jpg

    http://batmangothamcity.net/where-is...ns-metropolis/
    https://www.diversetechgeek.com/2013...olis-delaware/


    Any DC fans here, please feel free to add your thoughts or feelings on the location of Metropolis and Gotham City if they existed in the United States!

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    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    The DC earth is considered bigger than our real earth to accomodate the fictional city such as metropolis, gotham and if I'm not mistaken, star and coast city also. Most fictional city are based on actual city in the start but those city evolved enough to be unique than those cities it were inspired to.

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    hmm. interesting. never seen those maps before.

    I was always under the impression that they were in New York. I never really saw where DC confirmed or even denied anything. Guess I'm wrong now.

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    I always thought Metropolis was New York, and Gotham was Chicago.

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    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    In the DCEU, Gotham is in Jersey, while Metropolis is in NY.

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    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    I never thought of Gotham and Metropolis being anywhere near close to each other. I thought years ago I read Gotham was supposed to be located somewhere on the Great Lakes

  7. #7
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    I wish I could tell you the issue number, but if you go back to the 90s Robin comics there is an issue where Tim receives his driver's license in the mail and the panel clearly shows the "NJ" abbreviation for the state.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    IIRC the earliest citation of the Delaware/Metropolis and New Jersey/Gotham came from the AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS the 70s magazine/fanzine DC put out. I think the earliest placement of Metropolis, however, puts it as New York City (in Superman #2), with the Statue of Liberty in Metropolis Harbor (Action #143).

    Also IIRC Bob Rozakis put Gotham and Metropolis in New York across the bay from one another (and Star City in Connecticut, Central City in Ohio). Mayfair Games DC RPG picked up the Amazing World placement in Delaware/New Jersey.

  9. #9
    Outlaw Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    Originally, Metropolis was supposed to be Cleveland. Then it kind of switched to be an "expy" for New York. I am not sure about the current comics continuity. I always equated Gotham with Chicago, or the "bad" part of New York. But geography in the comics is rather fluid depending on which retcon we are following.
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    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    A lot of people think early Metropolis was based on Toronto, where artist Joe Shuster was born. The biggest piece of evidence is that the newspaper Clark and Lois worked at was originally "The Daily Star" (the same name as the Toronto newspaper). This was changed in early 1940 when the radio series replaced George Taylor and the Daily Star for Perry White and the Daily Planet.

    A 1981 comic put Smallville in Maryland.

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    Outlaw Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amentep View Post
    A 1981 comic put Smallville in Maryland.
    Wow. That's different. Most of the comics I am familiar with have it in Kansas. It was kind of weird in the show Smallville, because it seemed to put Metropolis itself in Kansas or close to it. Probably would make it Kansas City MO. I lived there at the time, it was not as spiffy as Metropolis on the show.
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    Yeah, the location of Smallville is one of those things that is difficult to pin down like a lot of locations in the DCU

    It's most commonly been in Kansas (Superman the Movie and the Byrne relaunch in comics, The Kents miniseries has Pa Kent sending letters to Superman about the Kent family history, showing they settled in Kansas during real life "Bleeding Kansas" period of 1854-1861). But its also been shown in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Iowa in various comics.

  13. #13
    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amentep View Post
    A 1981 comic put Smallville in Maryland.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man View Post
    Wow. That's different. Most of the comics I am familiar with have it in Kansas. It was kind of weird in the show Smallville, because it seemed to put Metropolis itself in Kansas or close to it. Probably would make it Kansas City MO. I lived there at the time, it was not as spiffy as Metropolis on the show.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amentep View Post
    Yeah, the location of Smallville is one of those things that is difficult to pin down like a lot of locations in the DCU

    It's most commonly been in Kansas (Superman the Movie and the Byrne relaunch in comics, The Kents miniseries has Pa Kent sending letters to Superman about the Kent family history, showing they settled in Kansas during real life "Bleeding Kansas" period of 1854-1861). But its also been shown in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Iowa in various comics.
    20190910_175156.jpg

    So I was reading Superman #403 from 1984 and there is a supplemental story about the Smallville High School reunion. When showing Smallville High, it says, "About 100 miles from Metropolis..." so that logically would probably place it in rural Maryland if Metropolis is in Lewes, Delaware. For example, Baltimore, MD is about 120 miles from Lewes, Delaware, so it'd be somewhere south of Baltimore.

    Being from Maryland, it's weird to think of the concept of Smallville existing here, but there are a number of rural areas so it could fit the bill. Just an interesting note on how DC viewed locations back then.

    As many have said, new interpretations infer other places. But I can say the Metropolis in Delaware and Gotham in New Jersey do nicely as they aren't happening places/majorly spoken for so it allows you to keep other major cities as is. I had read a Brave and the Bold issue with Batman in the last year too where he visits New York City and they make it clear it's not his home turf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motogp_fanatic View Post
    The DC earth is considered bigger than our real earth to accomodate the fictional city such as metropolis, gotham and if I'm not mistaken, star and coast city also. Most fictional city are based on actual city in the start but those city evolved enough to be unique than those cities it were inspired to.

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    I loved when that was mentioned in JLA/Avengers. Superman ends up on Marvel earth and starts scanning around and says something like "This earth is much smaller than ours and has no Metropolis or Gotham at all... but they do have a few countries we don't have..."


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I always thought Metropolis was New York, and Gotham was Chicago.
    It's been described as that before, but DC also HAS a Chicago and New York. I've also heard of Gotham as being New York and Bludhaven being Jersey. Then not only do they have those connections... but the artistic references that the artists pull from. Doesn't help that both Batman AND Superman movies have put the statue of liberty in their own cities...

    Honestly It'll never REALLY be nailed down because every writer and artist has a different idea.

    I kind of liked when Metropolis went full on 'City of Tomorrow' after Brainiac infected the whole city and there was no possible way it reflected ANYTHING in the real world. It was it's own thing

  15. #15
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    For years I always felt Gotham and Bludhaven were definitely in the midwest, like Chicago or Detroit, but most recent things from the past couple of decades have definitely seemed to imply that Gotham is coastal. DC geography is definitely tricky to nail down. It's like Springfield in the Simpsons....
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    I thought it was weird when they had them so close together for the B vs S movie, but I guess it makes sense if that is how they are presented in some of the comics. I always assumed they were farther apart (like NYC and Chicago).
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  17. #17
    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    Personally I always thought of them located more along the lines of Boston and New York respectively, with Bludhaven’s relationship to Gotham being more akin to that of the cities represented in BVS. I think that distance works for the movie, though.

    Smallville is definitely supposed to be in Kansas.

    ( although the show by that name would have you think Metropolis was in Kansas too.)
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    Heroic Warrior Green Goddess's Avatar
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    Gotham is obviously New York-esque, and in the 90's & 00's there were enough hints in Superman, Young Justice, and LSH to shoe that Metropolis was in Rhode Island.
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  19. #19
    Not my Tempo Fendi's Avatar
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    To be honest? I thought Gotham was in Chicago or Boston, because of my hunch on R Kelly's Gotham City song. IMO: Metropolis is just too obvious why the inspiration are New York.

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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    I think there was always initial inspiration while be generic enough to not be a specific city.

    The problem with pin pointing it is the writers based the locations and information on what they know and grew up in . So if you have a writer born in Chicago on a Batman title it is going to look more like Chicago, and any references they make to Metropolis are going to be idealized versions of the nicer parts of New York (or Toronto as pointed out earlier).

    Distances used will be suspect. People from the more metropolitan sized cities have an infrequent tendency (note not with every one of them) of basing distances based on car travel in the area they are from. I have told people in those situations that I can travel for ~2hours to reach a city ~100 miles away and some had problems understanding the spatial reality of that. Yes some were just surprised at the lack of traffic, but other that was not the case. They literally thought it would take the better part of a day (if not longer) to travel that distance.

    Add that all to the fact you have even Batman who can instantly travel from Gotham to anywhere else, but using the same means it can take him several minutes to get across Gotham (think about it first).

    So the locations and expiness (spell if even a version of that word) of the cities is up to the writers interpretation, but understanding why that comes into play helps to see it clearer. Just look at how many Highschools these locations have, and you can see the author's roots.
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  21. #21
    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    Yes they are both East Coast cities.

    BTW it always bothered me when DC had "real" cities in their stories, like Kyle Rayner being from New York, etc. I would rather there not be any mention of real cities and keep the action in the fictional DC cities like Metropolis, Gotham, Central City, National City, etc.
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