Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weather Week: Gotham City

I’ve had weather and the seasons on my mind lately, for several reasons.  One, I live in Washington DC, where the weather is always on everyone’s mind.  The District is at the confluence of all the weather patterns that happen on the east coast (cold air from the north, warm air from the south, and whatever ridiculousness blows in from the west) and therefore has nearly randomized weather that changes very rapidly.  The most impressive thing about this phenomenon is not the meteor-illogical aspect, but the social one. Despite the fact that in the 25 years I lived in the District the weather has always been like this, Washingtonians are always surprised by the weather (regardless of what it is) and vaguely huffy that Mother Nature  has dared to inconvenience the center of federal  power.  “How can we be having snow/rain/drought/heat wave/cold snap/fog/cicadas… in the DISTRICT?!”  Of course, in their defense, here those things can all happen in the same week. 
Still, you’d think most people would eventually get used to it.  When we finally colonize Mars or Venus, I just assume the bulk of the colonists will come from the DC-metro area because we’re the only people accustomed to that kind of weather.
Two, I’ve recently purchased the Seasons expansion for EA Games' digital human ant-farm, the Sims 3, which adds weather to the Sims' previously unseasonal existence. While it doesn’t affect actual gameplay very much other than adding more ‘stuff’ Sims like to do (skating, making igloos, bonfires, seasonal holidays) it makes the game much prettier, more realistic, and helps add variety (Because Snowflake Day is not like Spooky Day at all!).
As a result, I’ve really started to notice and contemplate the weather in DC comics, specifically, the seasonal calendars of its major fictionopolises. 
Gotham City, which you kind of expect to be extreme in some respect (because Gotham City is extreme in most respects, is actually rather normal, weather-wise. By 'normal' I mean it seems to have the four seasons characteristic of mid-atlantic seabord cities.
It is quiet easy to picture Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter in Gotham City, because we have seen them. They all get play in Gotham City stories and fairly evenly.  Particularly compared to other fictionopolises where certain seasons are simply unheard of.  Not only can you easily picture Batman & Robin running around Gotham City in all four seasons, you can do the same for most of their major villains, too, because you have probably seen them doing it. 
Oh, there are certainly some preferences.  I can’t recall lots of Penguin stories that seemed to be set in summer or Riddler stories set in winter.  But on the whole the Gothamites are a year-round bunch.
I've tried to visual the seasons in each of the major fictionopolises. Here's what I came up with for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter in Gotham City.

Yep.  Nice evenly distributed seasons, with terrible danger in each.  Welcome to Gotham City.

What's the weather look like in Metropolis?  Tune in tomorrow to find out!


Bryan L said...

But ... it's Tuesday and these aren't in haiku!

Poison Ivy springs
into action without a
working plan again.

The Joker poisons
Gotham City's water to
thin the herd once more.

The Scarecrow lurks around
A spooky house in the fall
Trick or treat indeed!

The Joker's gun fires
Another victim falls dead
Quiet snow covers him.

Fixed it for you.

Bryan L said...

Crap. One too many syllables in that last line.

How about "Soft snow covers him."

Nathan Hall said...

Apex City - All I can think is perpetually sunny and unusually dry for Florida, perfect conditions for fires. The kind of place where weathermen pre-record their broadcasts weeks in advance, like Steve Martin in LA Story.

Scipio said...

Oh, we'll get there, Nathan...