The CW Network has been a bountiful harvest for comic book fans for the past decade. Starting with the Arrow series, the channel has expanded upon the DC comic book world, creating what is now known as the Arrowverse. Additionally, there are other fan-favorite shows such as The Flash, Black Lightning and Superman & Lois, but not even this network is immune to some terrible ones, such as Batwoman and Stargirl. And somewhere between these extremes you will find a smattering of fans for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl (To be fair, Supergirl was an acquisition from CBS, so does it truly count as a CW original?).
Comic book fans are willing to allow some leeway in storytelling, but when you go too far away from the original source material, networks should expect a backlash. The CW knows this all too well.
The latest entry into CW’s arsenal of comic-inspired shows is Gotham Knights. When I first heard of this show, I was confused. Last year, a video game was released with the exact same name, which even featured the same basic storyline. But upon watching the show, it is a far different adventure.
The CW’s Gotham Knights takes place just after the death of Bruce Wayne/Batman (David Miller). Bruce’s adopted son, Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan), who did not know about Wayne’s secret identity, is framed for his murder, along with siblings Harper (Fallon Smythe) and Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara), and a woman named Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan), the daughter of Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker.
Realizing they were going to take the fall for a crime they did not commit, the unlikely teammates break out of jail and, with the aid of the current Robin, Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson), and Turner’s best friend, Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore), begin tracking down the real killer.
At the time of this review, Gotham Knights has aired four episodes, with only two remaining in Season 1. As a Batman fan, I can tell you this show is hitting on all cylinders. The main antagonist of the show, thus far, has been the shadowy criminal organization known as the Court of Owls. Just like their comic book counterparts, the Court of Owls consists of very influential people in Gotham who control the city in every aspect, including Mayor Hamilton Hill (Randall Newsome).
But in Episode 4, Mayor Hill is killed by the Court of Owls, and D.A. Harvey Dent (Misha Collins) enters the race to become his successor. All of this happens just as Turner is ambushed at Wayne Manor by the Court of Owls and Bruce’s attaché, Cressida (K.K. Moggie), who poisoned him, leading to his death at the hands of the Court’s top assassin, known as the Talon. This new information will lead to the ultimate ending for the show, wrapping up on April 25th, 2023.
While there are some changes to the core story, the writers behind this series have been able to keep the heart of what makes the Court of Owls interesting. While there’s only an hour to tell the whole story each week, it is hard to include a deeper story for everyone, leaving characters like Duella and the Row siblings on the back burner.
Unfortunately, the show is not doing well with the majority of the audience, and Season 2 has not been confirmed. Hopefully, these two remaining episodes will redeem the series and green light a full season where all of the characters can be fleshed out more. If they do make a second season, I would like to see an arc where Tim Drake or Dick Grayson returns to Gotham to possibly take over the role of Batman (maybe in a crossover with the HBO Max series, Titans).
I really think The CW has a hit show on its hands that could replace The Flash as its No. 1 show. Time will tell. I have to give Gotham Knights three out of five stars.
Be sure to check out the series before it is possibly buried in the vault of lost shows.