Gotham showrunner reveals another Batman villain is coming and talks the power of costumes

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Jan 23, 2015, 11:48 AM EST (Updated)

Gotham may be filled to the brim with a plethora of classic Batman villains during their pre-Dark Knight days (Oswald Cobblepot, Edward Nygma and Selina Kyle, just to name a few. Oh, and let's not forget "The Fearsome Dr. Crane"); it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more.

Well, Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller sure seems to think so, since he just confirmed in an interesting interview with Comic Book Resources that yet another Batman big bad was going to make his appearance in a future episode of Fox’s Gotham, marking the first time the show will introduce a costumed villain. In the same breath, Heller discussed the importance — or not — and power of said superhero or supervillain costumes (including the use of masks) on a TV series versus the need to suit up in comic books that we thought was very interesting.

Here’s Bruno Heller’s answer when he was asked whether the rest of season one would remain “costume-free”:

That's a good question. Especially now that we have a pick up, I always take a long-term view of a show. I'm looking at several years. So we're in no hurry to [do that] -- there's going to be an episode that involves the Red Hood, which picks up that strand, the costume strand, and sort of gives a kind of philosophical base, if that's not too pretentious a word. Why costumes? What's the power of costumes? What's the power of a mask? All of that groundwork will be laid sort of culturally for that side of the DC Universe before we start rolling into the more spectacular spandex type of deal.

Because -- I can't remember where I read it -- the reason that the comic book characters wore costumes is because in the very rough printing that they used to have in newspapers, that's the only way you could make a character pop. "Oh, that's Batman, that's Superman, that's Dick Tracy." On TV, you don't need that same color and signature to make people pop. It's the characters that pop. So we're never going to be a full-on costume drama. We're going to be a full-on character drama. Like Batman, there's the super powers, super will, and there's super strength, but only on a human level. Not on a supernatural level. It's very important, again, for the longevity of the show, that we take this step by step.

Red Hood is another of those comic-book characters that went through many incarnations over the years, including one in which the mantle was picked up by Jason Todd, who was once Robin. The Jason Todd version of Red Hood is even set to appear this February in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight videogame. Red Hood was actually first set up as an alias for the future Joker back in the 1950s, so who knows who will actually be behind the “mask” on Gotham?

What do you guys think about Red Hood showing up on Gotham? And what do you think of Bruno Heller’s comments on the role and power of costumes in comics versus TV?

(via Comic Book Resources)