In Swamp Thing #53, Alan Moore authored a made-up history for Gotham City that other authors have generally followed. Based on Moore’s tale, a Norwegian mercenary, Captain Jon Logerquist, established Gotham City in 1635 and also the British later got it over-a story that resemblances the beginning of New York from the Dutch (as New Amsterdam) and later on takeover by the British. During the American Revolutionary War, Gotham City was the location of a big war (paralleling the Battle of Brooklyn in the American Revolution). This was in depth in Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing #85 featuring Tomahawk. Speculation held that it is the location of numerous occult rites.
The occult beginnings of Gotham are further delved into by Peter Milligan’s 1990 story arc “Dark Knight, Dark City“, which unveils that a few of the American Founding Fathers are involved in summoning a bat-demon which becomes trapped under old “Gotham Town“, its dark influence spreading as Gotham City grows. A similar pattern is followed in 2005’s Shadow pact #5 by Bill Willingham, which expands upon Gotham’s occult traditions by revealing a being who has rested for 40,000 years beneath the land upon which Gotham City was built. Strega, the being’s servant, states that the “dark and often cursed character” of the city was influenced by the being who now uses the name “Doctor Gotham.“
During the American Civil War, it turned out looked after by an ancestor with the Penguin, fighting with the Union Army, Col. Nathan Cobblepot, in the Legendary Battle of Gotham Heights. In Gotham Underground #2 by Frank Tieri, Tobias Whale claims that Nineteenth century Gotham was operated by five rival gangs, until the first “masks” came out, ultimately forming a gang of their very own. It isn’t clear whether these were vigilantes or costumed criminals.
Many storylines have included a lot more events to Gotham’s history, at the same time significantly affecting the town and its citizens. Probably the greatest in effect was a long set of serial story lines, which began with Ra’s al Ghul delivering a debilitating virus named the “Clench” through the Contagion storyline. As that arc concluded, the town was starting to recover, only to suffer an earth quake calculating 7.6 on the Richter scale in the 1998 “Cataclysm” story. This led to the federal government cutting Gotham off from the rest of the United States in the 1999 storyline “No Man’s Land“. This trio of storylines allowed writers the freedom to alter the nature and feeling of the city. The outcome recommended a harder city having a more tough, resourceful, and skeptical populace; an even more dramatic and varied architecture; and much more writing possibilities by attributing new locales to restoring of the city
The name “Gotham City” is usually linked to DC Comics, although it also appears in the first Mr. Scarlet story by France Herron and Jack Kirby from Wow Comics #1. Kirby historian Greg Theakston notes that this was published December 13, 1940, shortly before Batman #4 was published. A city called “Gotham City” also appears in Captain America Comics #10 (January 1942), in a story called “Hotel of Horror”.
In the story ‘Court of Owls‘, it was shown that the Court of Owls’ happen to be lording over Gotham for centuries.