Beyond the evolution of the infamous Rogue’s gallery and the rise of lawman Jim Gordon, Gotham has never wavered from the primary focus: Bruce Wayne’s transition into Batman. But beyond the cape and cowl, what is the Dark Knight without his legendary subterranean headquarters?
The Batcave was first hinted at in the season one finale and then explored to an extent in season two, as a small hidden “office” that Thomas Wayne had installed before his murder. However, the cave had taken a backseat in light of more prominent subplots and focus on Gordon’s character arcs.
Given that the fifth year has been established as the last season, and Bruce’s transformation into the caped crusader is on the fast track, The Batcave will be reemerging from the shadows. Assistant Art Director Jonathan Collins teased a new design for Bruce’s home under the mansion in an Instagram photo that is no longer available for viewing. The caption reads, “When your old cave is too small for your new cave.” The photo depicted conceptual art as to the redesign of The Batcave.
As to the direction Collins is going, he has 80 years worth of history to draw on for reference. Inspired by Johnston McCulley’s Zorro, Bob Kane gave Bruce Wayne this conveniently-stationed headquarters directly beneath Wayne Manor as an initial garage for the Batmobile. Over the years it has expanded into every comic book and science fiction fan’s playground. From the grounded to the outlandish, The Batcave has been redesigned countless times in both the comics and cinema.
221The Adam West series saw a cave that housed a working nuclear reactor with only one floor. Tim Burton films redesigned it as miles of cliffs and ledges with an unseen floor. The Nolan films brought it back to basics in Batman Begins, then providing a modest computer station via elevated modules in The Dark Knight Rises. Ben Affleck’s Batman in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice went against the grain with a Batcave that was not sprawling, but rather small and claustrophobic with only one level and a housed work area.
After the Cataclysm storyline which saw the cave demolished in an earthquake, the post-No Man’s Land Batcave became a multilevel subterranean dwelling to compensate for the missing floors. And Jim Lee threw in a cave design that housed a carousel of previous Batmobile models for any occasion. Could this be the fate that is in store for what will soon house the giant penny and robotic dinosaur besides the car?
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