Batman’s Wayne Manor is Now Home To Gotham Girl
The following contains spoilers for the backup story “Gotham Girl, Interrupted” from Detective Comics #1059, on sale now from DC Comics.
Ever since “Joker War” happened turned Batman‘s life upside down, the Caped Crusader has been coping with the aftermath. He’s lost his fortune and his old way of life with it. Since then, many of his adventures have drawn attention to how this has altered his costumed activities.
However, Batman’s hardly the only vigilante in Gotham City left reeling as of late. In Detective Comics #1059’s backup “Gotham Girl, Interrupted” (by Sina Grace, David Lapham, Trish Mulvihill, and Rob Leigh), two heroes in a rebuilding era have a crossover of sorts.
Among the casualties of Bruce Wayne’s financial calamities was the hero’s base of operations. Despite what it means to him, the Dark Knight left Wayne Manor behind to live in a townhouse in Gotham City proper. Left unanswered since is what’s happened to the estate without a Wayne to walk its halls?
The answer is where Gotham Girl and Batman re-enter each other’s orbits once again. The troubled hero Gotham Girl, recently released from the new Arkham Tower, has struggled to return to some semblance of her life. Unfortunately, it seems things have not gone according to plan as she now dwells in Wayne Manor’s abandoned husk. Gotham Girl has had a rough time since her debut at the beginning of DC Rebirth. Claire Clover and her brother, Henry, decided to become Superman-level heroes. They gained powers directly connected to their lifespan, so the more they used their powers, the less time they had to live. Unfortunately, this led to her brother’s death, as Psycho-Pirate forced him to use up all his power fighting the Justice League.
Although Gotham Girl helped Batman for a time after this, she soon began to spiral. Bane and Psycho-Pirate conspired to turn Claire against the Dark Knight, preying on her brother’s death. During “City of Bane,” she teamed up with Flashpoint Batman and became his Robin. Although Batman was able to turn her back, it affected her psychologically. Unable to find equilibrium, she was admitted to Arkham. She may be the first successful discharge in the Asylum’s history.
Her current resident suggests “successful is a relative term, though. Wayne Manor also doubles as a mirror of Claire’s state of mind. Like the mansion, Claire feels abandoned and isolated. And, like the mansion, she seems unable to break out of that situation on her own. She’s dodging her doctor and avoiding her support group. She contemplates reaching out to Batman or other members of the Bat-family but ultimate nixes that idea. She attends high school and joins clubs but holds herself apart from her classmates. Instead, she’s made a best friend out of a misplaced Wayne Manor gargoyle. It seems safe to say, things aren’t great.
Wayne Manor itself has been all but forgotten by the Bat-Family recently. It’s only appeared in the odd story and only when it’s convenient for Gotham’s heroes. For example, Nightwing and Red Hood went to the Manor to get some equipment from the Batcave in Nightwing 2021 Annual #1 (by Tom Taylor, Raul Fernandez, and Cian Tormey). Nightwing visited again during a holiday story in Batman: Urban Legends #10 (by Tini Howard and Christian Duce) but only to take down some Scarecrow thugs and live out his version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
With the obvious connection between house and hero, Gotham Girl’s future looks precarious. On the one hand, it seems inevitable that Wayne Manor will be rebuilt, which could bode well for Claire. On the other hand, Claire is not an edifice of wood and stone. Wayne Manor only needs money and contractors to be restored. Gotham Girl may need considerably more.
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