I think it's a bit relevant to note that the DCU is, in fact, larger than the real world. So it stands to reason that there is just flat out more people in the DCU.
Gotham City's geography, like other fictional cities' geographies in the DC Universe, has varied over the decades, because of changing writers, editors, and story lines. The majority of appearances place Gotham on the Northeastern coast of the United States, where New York City is located. Also, Manhattan is an island in the Northeastern United States, which corresponds to maps depicting Gotham City.
However, the Atlas of the DC Universe states that Gotham is located in New Jersey, across the Delaware Bay from Metropolis, which would place it on the southern coast of New Jersey.
Metropolis is frequently depicted as being within driving distance of Gotham City, home of Batman. This happens, for example, in the three-issue 1990 mini-series of World's Finest Comics by Dave Gibbons, Steve Rude and Karl Kesel. Like Metropolis, Gotham's location has never been definitely established; however, it is usually treated as also being a major city. The distance between the two cities has varied greatly over the years, ranging from being hundreds of miles apart to Gotham and Metropolis being twin cities on opposite sides of Delaware Bay, with Gotham City in New Jersey and Metropolis in Delaware.
All stories are imaginary, so you get to decide what's important and what isn't. Continuity is fluid.
Quoted for truth....
My favourite explanation, though of course it doesn't work story-wise, is that Metropolis is New York by day, Gotham is New York at night.
The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language tells us that Gotham is a nickname for New York.
My weird imagination or bad memory tells me that Metropolis is Chicago.
Let's just get this out of the way right now.
It has been shown numerous times that the DC universe has all of the major cities as in the real world, but also has the fictional cities. New York City was the home of the New Teen Titans and Supergirl; Green Arrow lived in Seattle for a while.
Gotham, Metropolis, etc. do not take the place of real-world cities, they are in addition to them.
The writers might have particular facets of real-world cities in mind when creating the fictional ones, and that's worth discussing, but the fictional ones don't actually take the place of the real ones.
And given the fact that the DC Earth is bigger than the real one, they might not even take the place of smaller real-world cities that might appear to have been absorbed by them when looking at the maps. Things just might be a little rearranged.
I think Gotham was inspired by NewYork, Metropolois was inspired by Chicago, and Coast City was inspired by Los Angeles. Additionally while LA, NY, and Chicago exist in the present DC world, it seems real city names were not used nearly as much in early comics.
Central City was inspired by Chicago, Keystone by Philadelphia, Midway by Detroit, Coast City by LA, Evergreen City by Seattle, Gateway City by St. Louis the first time, by San Francisco the second time, Ivy Town by New Haven, and on and on.
Star City, oddly enough, was originally a Gotham knockoff.
They've changed things around since, abandoning various of these parallels, but that's how they started out.
Smallville was near Metropolis pre-Crisis, when it was modeled on pre-war midstate New York small towns, and it's near Metropolis on the TV show, but it's not near Metropolis in the post-Crisis DCU, because that's when it was moved to Kansas, while Metropolis stayed on the eastern seaboard.
And just to be completist: The Superman series was initially based in Cleveland, where Siegel and Shuster lived. They stopped naming the city quickly, and it had elements of Toronto, where Shuster was born -- a building design or two and the name of the newspaper, the Daily Star -- but by the time they started calling it Metropolis it was a New York stand-in.
Last edited by Kurt Busiek; 02-06-2012 at 08:29 AM.
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I do think it's incredibly silly for Metropolis, Gotham and New York to all be these huge New York-sized cities on the Eastern Seaboard. I think one of them should be moved to Chicago. My vote is Gotham, but Metropolis could be cool too.
Both are meta-textual statements. Which is fine, unless you're actually talking about a textual subject.
I have never understood the identification of Gotham with Chicago, except inasmuch as Nolan has filmed/is filming Gotham out there. Talk about a "textual" subject, the fictionalized history of Gotham makes it out to be founded by pre-revolutionary Calvinists. It's not just obviously not the Midwest; it obviously is on the East Coast. Metropolis is harder to pin down. I think, in terms of its omnipresent deco features and generally populist attitude, that it's far more appropriate a candidate for the Midwest. Cleveland or West but probably not as far as Kansas.
My point is, either we're speculating as to where the cities are geographically located, or we're talking about which real-world cities they are based on. I consider those to be two different discussions.
Metropolis can be in Delaware but based on New York City.
And my point is that those, too, are meta-textual subjects.