Started chatting about this w/some comic book fans and none of us could figure it out–
When did Gotham become the original Green Lantern’s domain? I had assumed that Alan Scott operated in Gotham since he was created in 1940, but others thought this was a retcon when it was established that Scott lived in Earth-Two.
I don’t think it was a retcon; Alan Scott was created by Bill Finger, who created both Batman and Gotham.
Upon further wiki-diving, he apparently briefly lived in Capitol City, but moved to Gotham early on in his run. The earliest confirmed appearance of Gotham City in an Alan Scott story that I can find is All-American Comics #51 in 1943 (written by Finger), but I’m not sure DC Database’s appearance listings are necessarily complete.
When did a Batman story first reference Gotham? The earliest Batman stories have him operating in New York (courtesy of Gardner Fox).
It is interesting though if Alan Scott and Bruce Wayne were operating in the same city as early as the forties as I believe Batman and Green Lantern were still technically being published by different companies at the time. Of course that didn’t stop them from creating the Justice Society…
Gotham first appeared in an issue of Batman in 1940.
I don’t believe they were different companies. All-American Comics #16 (Alan Scott’s first appearance, also in 1940) had the DC logo on the cover, and “DC” is derived from “Detective Comics.” The wiki’s information is a little vague, but it sounds like All-American Publications got bought out by DC between issues 15 and 16, but then National Publications bought DC, but later took on DC’s name? I’d have to research this a bit more to be certain of that part.
There may be different timelines based on different sources but the way I understood it was this:
National Comics was published by Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson to put out New Fun Comics (which eventually became Adventure Comics). In order to publish Detective Comics he entered a partnership with Harry Donnenfeld and Jack Liebowitz. Their partnership created DC which purchased National after Nicholson finally ran out of money right around the time of Action Comics. Liebowitz (or maybe it was Donnenfeld) went on to form All American Comics with Max Gaines. From the beginning they were connected due to a shared owner and had their own individual copyrights though they shared creative staff (notably Bill Finger and Gardner Fox). They used the DC logo for marketing purposes and were distributed by DC’s in house distribution outfit Independent News (which also distributed the early Marvel books but weren’t fully absorbed into DC proper until Gaines left in 44 to found EC.