This week saw the pilot episode of Gotham Knights, a new series on The CW which centers on a group of teens in Gotham, all tied together by a common thread: they are suspected in the death of Batman. The Dark Knight’s body turned up in the pilot, and by the end of the hour, a suspect list emerged that included Bruce Wayne’s son, as well as familiar names like Duela Dent, Harper Row, Carrie Kelley, and Stephanie Brown. With prosecutor (and Bruce’s best friend) Harvey Dent on the case, the teens will have to solve the murder to clear their own name.
But like all the Arrowverse shows, Gotham Knights hails from Berlanti Productions, which means it’s being made by people who really love the comic book source material. Berlanti has provided ComicBook.com with a guide to the Easter eggs and DC Comics references found in the pilot.
You can check out the full list below, after the show’s official synopsis.
Batman is dead, and a powder keg has ignited Gotham City without the Dark Knight to protect it. In the wake of Bruce Wayne’s murder, his adopted son Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan, ‘De Son Vivant”) is framed for killing the Caped Crusader, along with the children of some of Batman’s enemies: Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan, “Days of Our Lives”), an unpredictable fighter and skilled thief who was born in Arkham Asylum and abandoned by her father, Harper Row (Fallon Smythe, “grown-ish”), a streetwise and acerbic engineer who can fix anything, and her brother Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara, “The Virgin of Highland Park”), a clever transgender teen who is tired of being polite and agreeable. With the charismatic and hard-charging District Attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins, “Supernatural”) and the GCPD hot on their trail, Turner will rely on allies including his best friend and formidable coder Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore, “All American”), and unlikely Batman sidekick Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson, “Raven’s Home”). But our Knights will soon learn there is a larger, more nefarious force at work within Gotham City. This team of mismatched fugitives must band together to become its next generation of saviors known as the GOTHAM KNIGHTS.
From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Gotham Knights is written by Chad Fiveash, James Stoteraux and Natalie Abrams. Fiveash and Stoteraux will serve as showrunners and executive produce the series alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Abrams also serves as co-executive producer. Danny Cannon directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot, along with David Madden. Gotham Knights is based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.
Gotham Knights airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following new episodes of Superman & Lois.
The Court of Owls
Reminder — since this list of Easter eggs comes directly from the production company, they will say “our show” and “we did,” things like that. As such, we’re putting quotes around them — even though it’s Berlanti Productions, not any one specific producer, who is being quoted.
“In the Batman: Court of Owls comic book run, Batman points out the symbol used by the Court is an Athenian Owl which “appeared on coins in Ancient Greece.” Such a coin can be seen in Bruce Wayne’s hand in the teaser of our pilot.”
ComicBook.com’s Nicole Drum took a deeper dive into the mythology of the Court of Owls on Tuesday night. You can see that here.
“Turner Hayes’ best friend is Stephanie Brown. Most recently in the comics, Stephanie (AKA Spoiler) was a member of the Gotham Knights. She’s the only canon member to make it to our show so far.”
“The shattered cowl on Bruce/Batman’s face is a nod to The Dark Knight Rises (2012).”
“Duela, Harper and Cullen were hired to steal Joe Chill’s gun, which comic book fans know is the weapon that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents in Crime Alley when he was young.”
Recently, Hellraiser star Doug Bradley was cast as Joe Chill in Gotham Knights. According to his official character description, “As one of DC Comics’ most infamous villains, Joe Chill irrevocably changed Gotham when he cruelly gunned down Bruce Wayne’s parents. And after fifty years of rotting on death row, Joe Chill is scheduled to be executed. But Gotham’s notorious ‘Patron Saint of Bad Guys’ is not about to let his secrets die with him.”
The Joker’s Daughter
“As our criminal trio escapes in a GCPD cruiser, Duela puts on a GCPD Officer’s Hat and sticks her head out the window, a nod to Heath Ledger’s Joker doing the same in The Dark Knight (2008).”
“Stephanie ribs Turner for hooking up with Olive Silverlock, who is a character from the Gotham Academy comic book run.”
“After Turner finds out his adoptive father, Bruce Wayne, was secretly Batman all along, he vents to Stephanie. She tries to comfort him by saying “Sometimes parents keep secrets.” This is in reference to her family’s well-kept secret: her mother, Crystal Brown, is a drug addict. And a nod to the fact that, in the comics, Stephanie’s father Arthur Brown is the villain Cluemaster.”
Arthur will be played in Gotham Knights by Can’t Hardly Wait star Ethan Embry, The CW recently announced.
“As the crowd disperses after Bruce’s funeral, Carrie Kelley steps toward the coffin and lays a red rose on it. This is a nod to Batman leaving two red roses on Crime Alley each year in honor of his parents in the episode ‘I Am The Night’ from Batman: The Animated Series.”
That’s a tradition we might see revisited again this year, since even before the animated series did it, Michael Keaton’s Batman was caught by Vicki Vale doing it in 1989’s Batman — and Keaton is back in the cowl in The Flash.
“The morning after the funeral, Cressida tells Turner, ‘It’s my job to protect you. Even from yourself. Your father had Alfred, you have me.’ She’s referring to Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, friend, and father figure.”
“When Duela is being interrogated, the number on her mugshot in the file is 61976. Duela’s first appearance in the comics was in Batman Family #6, which was released in 1976.”
“During Harper’s interrogation, she reveals she’s bisexual, just like her comic book counterpart.”
“After Turner’s unpleasant run-in with Brody, Stephanie knows where his best friend will be hiding at: The Belfry. In the comics, the Belfry is the secret headquarters of the Gotham Knights located in the Old Wayne Tower. In our show, it is located at Gotham Academy instead, but will serve as the HQ and hiding spot for our Knights throughout the season.”
“The keypad code to enter the Belfry is 1820. This is the year Gotham Academy was founded.”
“When Stephanie uses the Bat-computer to hack into the banks, one of the banks is “Metropolis Bank & Trust,” Superman’s city. Stephanie’s hacking skills are also pulled directly from the comics.”
While there is no indication yet that Gotham Knights shares a universe with any of DC’s super-powered heroes, this leaves the door open. The idea that Superman and Batman could share a space without interacting is not unprecedented, as there were a couple of little Easter eggs to that effect in the Joel Schumacher Batman movies.
“When Stephanie reveals the money came from an account under Turner’s name, we catch a glimpse of the Wayne Manor’s address on the screen. The address used for Wayne Manor is the same address established in Batman: The Animated Series: 1007 Mountain Drive, Gotham City.”
blac”‘Blackgate’ is the prison Detective Ford intends to transport our Knights to. Blackgate Penitentiary is a well-known prison in the comics as that’s where all non-insane criminals are taken to.”
“When Carrie/Robin arrives and saves our Knights from Detective Ford and the corrupt cops, she’s wearing GREEN TACTICAL GOGGLES. These are nod to the green sunglasses her comic book counterpart wears in Frank Miller’s Batman comic books.”
“At the cemetery, Carrie tells Turner, ‘When you work with the World’s Greatest Detective, you pick up a few things,’ referencing the famous title Batman has carried since the 40s.”
Duela and the Court
“Duela recites the Court of Owls rhyme directly pulled from the Batman Court of Owls comic run.”
“The pilot ends with The Court of Owls’ assassin THE TALON beheading Detective Ford. The Talon is the Court’s chief enforcer in the comics, and his modus operandi comes from the Court’s rhyme, ‘or they’ll send the Talon for your head.’”