On Gotham, some villain origin stories are obvious, one-to-one kind of deals. Young Selina Kyle will grow up to be Catwoman, for example. I'm not sure of a lot of things on this show, but that one is a gimme. Others are more nebulous; Theo Galavan, a new player in Gotham Season 2, is a well-dressed mystery. Executive Producer Danny Cannon told TV Guide that Galavan represents the "origins of a very famous DC villain," so what fans have seen so far may not be everything they'll get when it comes to that character. But the businessman's name isn't found in any Batman lore, so his future plans can only be speculated upon. The DC universe provides a list of candidates for the bad guy's true or future identity, but one in particular sticks out to me. Could Theo Galavan become Vandal Savage?
The biggest clue in favor of this theory is that Vandal Savage lives forever, and never ages. So while it makes sense for Poison Ivy to be young Bruce Wayne's peer, it also tracks that Galavan can be an adult while Batman is just a kid. Savage isn't just an immortal man, he's a compulsive leader. In comic book history, Savage is known to have exerted his power over countless peoples and societies. Note how Galavan walked into Gotham like he owns the place. This is a guy with experience in demanding loyalty and deference. And perhaps he 's already had that experience in this city. Cannon described Galavan as "a prodigal son returning." Gotham's current establishment doesn't seem all that familiar with him, so it could be that another of Savage's identities pre-dates all of them. Savage is also known to collect and retain what he's learned from his hundreds of thousands of years of living, meaning that his brain basically carries intimate knowledge of the entirety of human history.
Galavan's own words hint at his supernatural qualities. In his speech in honor of Commissioner Loeb's retirement in the first episode of Season 2, talks about Gotham in seemingly innocuous but contextually terrifying terms. He's "an adopted son" of the city, he says. "There's magic here. Magic." Like, live forever magic? I see you, Vandal. He expounds on his ties to the city in this conversation with Barbara. He basically lays claim to Gotham.
Then there's the matter of Tabitha Galavan. Unlike Theo, this character does have a name-check connection to the comics as Tigress, a fighting machine who's had a variety of incarnations in the Batman mythology. Vandal Savage doesn't have a sister, but he does have a daughter. Besides an amazing name, Scandal Savage has her father's trust and combat training. From what fans have seen of Tabitha so far, she's got those attack skills in spades. It's possible that she's posing as Vandal's sister in Gotham to rationalize their relative closeness in age.
In a recent live interview in New York City, Gotham star Ben McKenzie kept the spoilers to himself but did underscore the importance of Galavan's character to the larger story. "Trust me, it'll have a certain deep, deep resonance in the history," he said, and I do. I totally trust him. He's Jim Gordon.
The biggest argument against this theory is that Vandal Savage has already been announced as an important figure in the CW series Legends Of Tomorrow. But if the DC universe doesn't mind a little cross-pollination, two versions of Savage could be wreaking havoc in two different series at almost the very same time. Now that's power.
Images: Fox; Giphy