Gotham has been bringing Bruce Wayne's backstory to life for the past three years, and we're only just beginning to see him take on a vigilante role to fight crime in the city. So far we've witnessed the the introductions of new allies, supervillains and deeper conspiracies entrenched in Gotham than Bruce could have imagined. All of this has taken place without Bruce even toying with the idea of becoming a symbol for the city... until now. After the third season saw the orphaned billionaire realize he could be a force for good, defending the helpless in the city, Bruce will develop his vigilante role during season 4.
Although his first heroic act went quite well, it's possible that some of his next adventures may be a little more tricky as he figures out his place as a hero. Sound familiar? That's because the show will be leaning on the classic Batman: Year One storyline by Frank Miller. After all, if the show is about showing us how Bruce became the Dark Knight, why not adapt one of the best grounded stories that details Bruce's first days as a vigilante?
The show has already set up many of the components needed for the story in previous seasons just by introducing and exploring some of the key characters in the Batman mythos. In the story, Selina Kyle and Jim Gordon all have roles to play as Bruce slowly pieces together how he can be a successful hero in Gotham. But Year One also uses the organized crime of Gotham's underworld as a starting point for Batman's crusade.
The premiere of season 4 picks up right where season 3 left off, with Bruce looking over Gotham in his black outfit, watching for criminals. His costume is still very amateur, consisting of a ski mask, a hooded jacket and a long coat that looks slightly like a cape (he's clearly already decided to conceal his identity). But this episode surprisingly incorporates some of the more famous (and advanced) skills of Batman - like his disappearing act. Bruce vanishes during a conversation with Jim Gordon, and again later on when hunting down the list of licensees. Gotham is really pushing Bruce Wayne towards the Batman persona fast, even if we may never see the cape and cowl on the series. That said, he's not a seasoned vigilante, and he still makes mistakes that land him in trouble - most notably right at the end of the episode.
It will be Bruce's mistakes that teach him to wear something a bit more protective than a hood and a ski mask. But the show isn't just focused on driving Bruce to the hero role we know he'll fill; it's also developing Bruce as his own, separate personality. Alfred tells him that there is a time to do what's right and a time to be Bruce Wayne, and that each identity can be as important and influential as the other - something that he also learns throughout Year One. The story did quickly usher Bruce into the cowl after he was injured and fled back to Wayne Manor, asking for guidance from his father when a bat crashed through the window. We doubt we'll be seeing David Mazouz put on the most famous version of his costume, but we could see the bat motif begin to give him some ideas.
Selina is still paired up with Tabitha, but we see her begin to formulate the Catwoman identity in the first episode. Her new mentor throws her in at the deep end by pitting her against a gang of thugs who attack her in an alleyway, and Selina uses that iconic whip to take them all out. After Selina gets to see an early version of Batman in action during the Year One comics, she makes the decision to wear her own costume... only, she doesn't have heroic intentions in mind. Selina changes from her current career as a dominatrix, to the cat burglar that we all know and love. Although it's not likely that Gotham's Selina will take on any adult orientated jobs (barring a sudden age boost like the one Poison Ivy got), she's definitely steering towards the iconic catsuit. Her relationship with Bruce is developed a little further on the foundations of previous seasons. We see them both looking over the city on the edge of a building, looking very heroic together as silhouettes against the sky. They've already dabbled in crime fighting activities together before, it's likely that a new costumed hero will inspire Selina to assume a persona of her own.