Batman is Judge Dredd In The Dystopian DCU

A line of DC collectibles featuring Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman as leather-clad outlaw bikers has become so popular, that it’s getting its own comic series titled Gotham City Garage.  This story is set in a reimagined DC Universe and these three heroines have adopted the biker lifestyle and drive the open world in a Mad Max like world.

In this post-apocalyptic version of the DC Universe, Lex Luthor controls a cyberpunk city known as The Garden, the only city untouched by the devastation that surrounds it.  The government and superheroes have no power here.  To keep the peace in man’s last city is The Bat.  Charged to keep the people in line by any means necessary.

Co-writer Jackson Lanzing had this to see about the seemingly huge departure from the honorable Dark Knight we all know and love:

“The world basically clicked into place when we realized that rather than trying to tell a…it’s not an Elseworlds.  We found a bifurcation point.  So thirty years back within the history of the DCU, something fundamental changed – something we call The Dark Age.  And that essentially wiped out the world.  Destroyed all the cities and left only one: Gotham.  And that’s when Luthor built his super city on that he called The Garden.

This is a universe where Superman never existed.  Where the only iteration of Batman this universe knows is, essentially, a Judge Dredd character in The Garden…working for Luthor.”

A little confusing since it’s technically an Elseworlds, but I guess a better term is “alternate history/timeline” of the DCU since it’s supposed to take place in the current version of the DCU.

Lanzing also doesn’t care if you think Batman becoming a tyrannical bully for Lex Luthor doesn’t fit your assumptions about the character, because circumstances are different in this world he created.

“When we meet The Bat he is a force of nature, he is a thing to be feared, a thing to be run from, he is the darkness and the shadow that brings you to justice.  And what am I describing?  I’m describing Batman, it’s just that the laws he’s holding up are not the laws that we understand as being ‘good’ laws.  So ultimately, over time, whether or not Bruce Wayne starts to recognize what he’s become a part of – that’s a great question for us.  Is he still a good man in there?  Let’s see, right?  We’re not trying to change the core of the character, we’re trying to take away the assumptions so we can get to the core of the character.”

Other interesting twists and differences to look forward to in this world are the Joker becoming Harley’s sidekick, Supergirl being raised by Gordon, and new versions of Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Jason Todd to look forward to.

Gotham City Garage will be a digital first title, with Issue 1 arriving on August 16th, with new chapters being released biweekly through October 2017, then weekly after that.  Print issues will become available in October.

Chris Foti

Lifelong fan of Batman and Boston Sports