The Batman delivers a neo noir take on Gotham and its most famous son. Although the movie works brilliantly as a standalone, it does hint at a wider world, including one specific location…
As the film comes to a surprisingly hopeful close, Selina and Bruce part ways. It’s a heartbreaking but logical conclusion. Bruce feels deeply committed to Gotham and Selina wants nothing more than to leave the broken city behind. So where is Catwoman headed? She suggests that she might head to Blüdhaven, which Bat-fans will recognize. But if you’re not sure what that location means to Batman or where it can be found, we’re here to break it down for you.
Where any DC Comics location is in relation to the real world is always in flux. For example, in the ’90s, Gotham was said to be in New Jersey, though that has shifted throughout the 80 plus years of Batman history. But in current comics canon we do have an answer for where Blüdhaven is: it’s a city in New Jersey that sits between Gotham and Atlantic City. The population sits at around 80,000 and the superhero it’s most regularly connected with is none other than Nightwing, a.k.a. Dick Grayson.
Wait, Dick Grayson Lived There?
Yep! In fact, 1996’s Nightwing #1 (vol. 2) first introduced Blüdhaven. The story follows Nightwing as he investigates the murders of gang members from Blüdhaven. Interestingly, Dick thinks Blüdhaven is worse than Gotham, which says a lot. This issue establishes most of Blüdhaven’s backstory as a once thriving whaling town turned dangerous urban nightmare. Over the years multiple heroes and villains have set up shop in the city: Batgirl, multiple Robins, the Penguin, and more. But it’s always been most key to Dick. Basically this is a key Bat-family location which makes it a really interesting inclusion in Reeves’ grounded debut Batman feature.
How Could Blüdhaven Tie into the Future of The Batman?
It all depends on the route Matt Reeves goes. He’s talked about being open to the Bat-family aspect, so that could play into things. Especially the notion of a reimagined Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne relationship. Perhaps when Selina arrives, Nightwing or a version of Batgirl already exists? Reeves has shown he’s not afraid of upending Bat-canon, so an adult version of Dick Grayson who perhaps went to school with Bruce or lived with him as a peer rather than being his charge would fit into the world. One of the most interesting comic threads is that Dick always gets pulled between Gotham and Blüdhaven. When he leaves to help Bruce, Blüdhaven suffers. That seems prime for Reeves to reinterpret.
Another thing that seems like a realistic approach for Blüdhaven is the Secret Society of Supervillains. Although we don’t expect Darkseid to show up, Reeves has already shown a capacity for handling multiple rogues. The team used Blüdhaven as its base in the comics, so if we follow this film into a franchise we could see Selina facing down a potential reimagining made of some more grounded bad guys. Also, if there’s no Dick or Batgirl, there’s always the chance Blüdhaven could become Selina’s haunting ground—a space where she can establish herself as the anti-hero she deserves to be out of the shadow of the Bat.
What Would Blüdhaven Look Like in Matt Reeves’ Universe?
What’s really exciting about its namedrop here is the prospect of seeing Reeves create another city with as much character as his Gotham. Imagine a film based solely in Blüdhaven where Reeves gets to craft an entirely new space and a new cast of characters to live within it. His Gotham had so much texture and grit. It would be really wonderful to see him create an alternate space, one with its own history, heroes, and rogues. Especially one with such a storied history. Another coastal city, a fishing town with a different look, and perhaps an even more corrupt system seems ripe for Reeves. The city as a reflection of a Gotham without Batman would be a super interesting route for the filmmaker to go in future Bat-projects.