Any character who lives in the world of Batman and DC comics knows that Gotham City disasters are as common as rain in Seattle. If you're a citizen living in Gotham (serious question, why would someone live there?), then every day your alert level is turned to red as you wait for whatever fresh horror to interrupt your normal afternoon. Maybe the Joker wants to turn all the citizens into zombies using his joker gas. Maybe there's a thousand ninjas descending upon the city with the sole desire to burn it all to the ground. Maybe a giant monster is strolling through. Maybe a natural disaster will send the entire city into chaos.
The people of Gotham may not know what's coming, but the chances of living through another of the very coommon Gotham City catastrophes is pretty damn high. Below is a list of the worst things that have happened in Gotham, so check it out and wonder why in the heck people don't just pack up and head toward the hills.
Gotham Becomes No Man's Land
The absolute worst thing to ever happen to Gotham City wasn't the result of some demented clown or alien invasion, but rather a classic natural disaster. For 20 seconds, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale shook Gotham, changing it forever. After the disaster, authorities couldn't restore order and crime and chaos in the city got much worse. The U.S. government officially cut off Gotham from the rest of the world and declared it No Man's Land. Batman had to fight harder than he ever had before, both as Bruce Wayne and as The Dark Knight, to prove that the city and its helpless citizens were worth saving. It's one of the best stories about Gotham City ever.
The Mutant Gang Overrun a Dystopian Gotham
Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns stands as one of the most influential Batman stories of all time. The story depicts a future where Bruce Wayne has hung up his cowl and retired from crime fighting, but a new threat forces him out of retirement. The story is most recognized as the time Batman and Superman beat the crap out of one another, but there's another element to the story that deserves praise. After a nuclear bomb goes off, Gotham is left in a state of darkness and the Mutant Gang rises up and starts destroying the city. It's only when Batman (riding a badass horse) convinces his own army of defected Mutant Gang members to rise up and take back the city that they're able to get things back to normal.
The Joker Infects All of Gotham with his Joker Gas
Why would anybody ever live in a city where the Joker constantly runs free? Sure, by Batman: Endgame, people have presumed the Joker dead, but any smart citizen should know that the Clown Prince of Crime always comes back for a last laugh. In this comic event, the Joker does indeed come back and enacts one of his most gruesome plans ever. First he turns the Justice League against Batman using Joker Gas, and then, the entire City of Gotham. Batman remains one step behind throughout the comic and he eventually has no choice but to watch Gotham's citizens go crazy and tear each other apart.
The Riddler Floods Gotham City
After The New 52 Event rebooted the entire DC universe, writers could establish new origins and back stories. As a result of this, readers were blessed with Batman: Year One, which showed how Bruce Wayne came back to Gotham and started his career as the Batman. The new Batman back story for The New 52 was called Batman: Zero Year, and although it offered some similarities, it was very different than previous origin stories. One of the biggest challenges Batman faces is not just the Riddler, but the flood the Riddler unleashed on Gotham by destroying a dam. The comics begin with a Gotham nearly reduced to rubble.