Amid all of the CW’s cancellation announcements, new shows have still been in the works (I know, that’s the way TV works, but it still feels a little weird). Today we got a first look at the Gotham Knights trailer, and while eagle-eyed hardcore Batman fans might be able to figure out which teenage anti-heroes are starring in the show, most of us have to rely on Wikipedia in order to figure out who these children are supposed to be.
So if you didn’t catch that, we have Oscar Morgan as Turner Hayes, Bruce Wayne’s adopted son, a fully new character that has never been in any comics, and seems relatively unimpressive. Considering Wayne is notorious for amassing wains for the sole purpose of turning them into found family adoptees/babycops, the fact that Hayes seems to just be a maladjusted rich kid feels… weird. Something is up with this boy, for sure.
There are some familiar names–Navia Robinson as Carrie Kelley, a Robin who was introduced in the ‘80s by Frank Miller, and arguably the most famous character out of all the teenagers featured in the trailer. We also have Olivia Rose Keegan as Duela Dent, Anna Lore as Stephanie Brown, the future Spoiler, Rahart Adams as Brody (who I think is a new character but the bat-verse is too massive for little old me to keep up with), Fallon Smythe as Harper Row, and Tyler DiChiara as her brother, Cullen Row (a canon character, but who only appeared as an object of a homophobic attack before Batman saves him and his sister).
Rounding out the graduating class is CW vet, Misha Collins as Harvey Dent. It’s worth nothing that Duela in the trailers is called Joker’s Daughter–an alias the character has frequently used. But with the appearance of Harvey Dent, it’s much more likely that she’s actually Duela as she is in the comics and... and just likes being associated with the Joker for the chaos factor?
While a gritty teenage anti-superhero show with a detective focus sounds like it could be cool, this trailer isn’t doing anyone any favors. There are a grand total of four colors, and with an ensemble cast made up mostly of nobodies from the comics, the emotional hooks aren’t in at all. The off-screen death of a parent is so absurdly familiar that it should be banned from all Batman related shows henceforth. Formulaic, stilted, and edited so that it looks like literally everything the CW has put out in recent years, Gotham Knights is already a disappointment. The entire trailer takes what should be a great premise—the Batfamily is full of beloved young characters, and we’ve seen that executed well in everything from Wayne Family Adventures to the much better looking video game also called Gotham Knights—is a half-assed cashgrab from a network that is tired of bankrolling original ideas and wants to instead rely on franchise properties in an attempt to guarantee to their board that they’ll break even every quarter.
Gotham Knights is set to premiere sometime in 2023 on the CW.
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