Thursday, April 4, 2013

Deep Thoughts Spawned By An Unlikely Street Sign

In yesterday's Detective Comics #900 #19 (sigh), Dick Grayson is leaving Gotham for his new haunts...

Now, that's kind of a ridiculous sign, as most highway signs aren't going to show you a city 800 miles away as the first and only stop on the interstate. If I trundled onto I-94, I'll see distance signs for Benton Harbor and Chicago, or Ann Arbor and Detroit, not New York City or Las Vegas.

Still, it does give us the first real chance in the nu52 to indulge my ridiculous obsession with DC Geography. (Although it is the second time we've been clued in by highway mileage signs while Dick trundlers by on a motorcycle. Is there some rule in the DC stylebook mandating this?)

Of course, we have usual fistful of caveats. A) Highway signs are only an approximation; B) It's driving miles, not as the crow flies; C) Highways, and indeed other "real" cities, may be substantially different in the DC Universe; and D) If the Busiek Hypothesis (that the DC Earth is larger in size than ours, to accommodate all those extra cities and such) then our speculation is really frakked.

Ah, but what's the point of being careful when you're a nerd? So, given that Gotham's ports mean she's on the water, probably on the East Coast (no matter how Nolan tried to trick us in The Dark Knight Rises). So, playing with Google Maps tells us...

Well, not all that much. Being approximately 800 driving miles from Chicago could place us anywhere from southern Delaware (820 miles) to most of New Jersey (Atlantic City--820 miles! Asbury Park--824 miles!!) to parts of Long Island to southwestern Connecticut (New Haven, at 864 miles, is problem as far as a reasonable interpretation of 800 miles will allow).

You could argue for parts of the Maryland coast--but Gotham sure doesn't feel Marylandish to me. Rhode Island and Massachusetts? Right out. (And no, nowhere along the Gulf coast is close to being 800ish miles to Chicago...

So along the Eastern seaboard, above the Mason-Dixon line? I guess we really didn't narrow it down very much at all, did we? Still, I'm going to go with Asbury Park, so we can get the Batman/Springsteen crossover we've all been waiting for.

Ah, well, keep your eyes opened for more clues...

6 comments:

Siskoid said...

In a world of super-speedsters, maybe those signs are actually useful. After all, Chicago is only a couple seconds away for them. God forbid they'd lose a second taking the wrong exit.

If the Busiek theory is correct, there's a chance a mile is physically longer. DC Earth probably has the same measurements, after all, but what if they're not using the same measuring stick?

snell said...

"DC Earth probably has the same measurements, after all, but what if they're not using the same measuring stick?"

You may have spawned a whole new series of dirty jokes..."No, Lois, those are DC Earth inches!"

SallyP said...

Well, it can't be New Haven. Sure it is a bit seedy in some areas, but they have thin crust pizza! Super villains can't cope with something that awesome.

Jon Hendry said...

Bridgeport?

SallyP said...

Haw! Bridgeport is certainly seedy enough!

J.A. said...

Nerd Time Comment!
According to the DC Atlas 1990 produced for the DC Heroes RPG, Gotham is on the South Jersey coast just about on the same latitude as Philadelphia. You are correct in your placement of The Batman's hometown.

BONUS Nerd Time Comment!
There could be a long distance sign for the interstate in Gotham. The highway sign for US Interstate 70 in Baltimore lists mileage for Columbus, St Louis, Denver, & Cove Fort. Check it out alandloisk2.blogspot.com

This concludes your Nerd Time Comments for the day.