3. Batman

Gotham’s Dark Knight is a DC Comics character that protects Gotham City by night and is completely unassuming billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Bruce Wayne by day. We all now Gotham City to be New York City, but it is important to note that a comic book character did not give New York it’s nickname “Gotham.” The term is believed to come from the folktale The Wise Men of Gotham, a crazy little English town. Washington Irving started using the term in 1807 to poke fun at New York residents by comparing them to this village where people pretended to be crazy.

Today, Gotham City from the Batman comics is basically seen as New York, although Chicago and Los Angeles are also used for film locations in the Dark Knight trilogy from Christopher Nolan. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Batman first appeared in Detectives Comic #27 in 1939. In 1964, DC was planning on killing the character off completely because sales were doing so poorly but editor Julius Schwartz completely reinvented the character, saving Batman from permanent death.

Today, Batman is one of the most well-known comic book characters next to Superman. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns served as the inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s movies which catapulted Batman into even greater popularity. The television show Gotham, filmed in New York City, explores the life of Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman.

See the impressive NYC film locations for Gotham here.