Park Row, later called Crime Alley, was a historical landmark in Gotham City and was rather infamous for being the location where Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered.
Originally a ghetto street in downtown Gotham, Park Row gained its glory after thirty years. The glamour of its heyday was changed to poverty, and the street was commonly referred to as Crime Alley. One of the first residents was Leslie Thompkins, who lived there from the start.
The Park Row Tragedy
The Park Row Tragedy, as the newspapers called it, was a pivotal point in the life of Bruce Wayne. A robber named Joe Chill murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne in front of their eight year old son, Bruce after they had left the Monarch Theatre. Chill was first arrested the very same night after he murdered Thomas and Martha after he fled the scene. While the GCPD investigated, Dr. Leslie Thompkins looked after young Bruce, and the two remained friends after.
Bruce Wayne used his influence to keep the street preserved during the rebuilding of Gotham, and made it the only part of the present-day Gotham City that remained. Bruce visited Crime Alley and placed flowers on the ground where his parents were shot. Roland Daggett, director of the Daggett Development Corporation, considered Crime Alley a breeding ground for crime, and tried endlessly to get it demolished and replaced with a mini-mall. As the legal roads proved unsuccessful, Daggett sent his henchmen to evict the residents, and hired Nitro to place explosives on an old gas pipe. The plan was, however, thwarted by Batman. Only several already condemned planned demolition buildings were destroyed, while the SRO Hotel, where there were still people, remained undamaged.
Crime Alley was the location where Batman first met Jason Todd, when he attempted to steal the tires from the Batmobile. That was also where Dr. Leslie Thompkins maintained her clinic, and where Batman battled Superman in Frank Miller's graphic novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Park Row was also part of Arkham City, and the memory flashdrive that Catwoman stole before she was captured by Two-Face contained information on Crime Alley, or rather, Park Row.
Appearances and References
- "Appointment in Crime Alley"
- "Dreams in Darkness" (dream sequence)
- "For the Man Who Has Everything" (dream sequence)
- "Heroes Rise: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions" (flashback)
- "Legend of the Dark Knight: Ace Chemicals"
Crime Alley appeared in Batman: Arkham Origins. It was the place where the final Crime Scene Investigation took place.
While Crime Alley physically didn't appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum (due in part to the game's setting), it did make an appearance (in Batman's second encounter with Scarecrow in a Fear Gas induced nightmare realm). Batman came under the effects of Scarecrow's Fear Gas after he destroyed Dr. Penelope Young's notes on the Titan Formula, which caused him to relive his parents' deaths, and walk down a long, never-ending hall that turned into a city street in the pouring rain. As Batman walked down the 'street', he heard his parents and a younger version of himself talking in the background, before they were met and attacked by Joe Chill (with his voice monstrously distorted). Batman then briefly took the appearance of his eight-year-old self, and heard a younger James Gordon and another officer (who showed little concern for what the young Bruce had just gone through due to the fortune that the boy inherited) discuss the murder in the background, before Gordon himself asked the young Bruce about the criminal at which point the voices began to stop and Batman was restored to his normal appearance. Outside of the main story, there was a Crime Alley Challenge Map DLC.
Crime Alley was among the various slums in Gotham City that made up Arkham City. Its inclusion as part of the Arkham City's landscape played into Professor Hugo Strange's plan to destroy Batman (due to its status as the place where he lost his parents). Crime Alley was located behind the Monarch Theatre (it was fenced in probably to prevent the inmates from disturbing it, but was easily accessible to Batman). On the alley's right entrance, there was a sign that marked it (the scanning the sign was one of The Riddler's Riddles). In the alley itself, chalk outlines of Thomas and Martha Waynes' bodies marked the spot where they were murdered. Beside the outlines were a rose, a bouquet of flowers with a note (for Batman), and Strange's Interview Tape where he questioned Batman on the effect of the murder of his parents (eerie sounds could also be heard including gunshots, and added to its somber atmosphere). The note read: "It will end where it all began - Hugo Strange". The player could choose to pay their respects (the player obtained the "Pay Your Respects" Trophy/Achievement by doing that). In the "Close Arkham City" Arkham City Story (which was obtained for scanning the Crime Alley sign), it was revealed that Bruce's campaign to shut down Arkham City was the result of his determination to ensure that the site of his parents' death would not become a monument to Gotham's failure.
Crime Alley appeared in Batman: Arkham Knight. It appeared as a hallucination of Scarecrow's Fear Toxin where Batman paid his respects to his parents and where he fought and 'killed' The Joker by snapping his neck. Crime Alley was part of the Community Challenge Pack DLC for Arkham Knight also.
Besides Crime Alley, the Park Row area was the main area at the beginning of the game. The Ace Chemicals building, the Monarch Theatre, the Solomon Wayne Courthouse (named in honor of one of Bruce's ancestors), Catwoman's Apartment, and the Gotham Cathedral (where Aaron Cash and the medical team worked at) were all located in the Park Row area of Arkham City.