Gotham City exists to be redesigned

Here's Jake Kring-Schreifels on the vibe of Gotham City and its strange status as a place designed over and over again: "Batman and his city are inextricably linked, and … filmmakers from Tim Burton to Matt Reeves have always paid special attention to how that city looks."

An obvious pattern emerges in the cities previously selected as the Dark Knight's hunting grounds: New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit are all within a day's drive of one another. The latest film, though, was shot in London and Liverpool, posing Gotham as an ancient yet vast low-rise conurbation, quite uncanny when transposed to an American setting.

Leaning extensively on the grounded streets and town squares of Liverpool and Glasgow and the geography and landmarks of New York City, Reeves and his team digitally composited elevated train lines and sleek high-rises, piecing together a unique metropolitan island of slight resemblances and iconic familiarities. "As a designer, a lot of it was pushed toward, 'How do we create a skyline that feels like a real American city, but still gives you these haunting shapes?'" says Chinlund, who integrated some of Furst's original designs into his vision. "My challenge was to create blends that worked."

The best Gotham? The 1960s Adam West show's, obviously, a small California beach town under the delusion that it is the big one in New York.