Who Is 'Gotham' Detective Crispus Allen? DC Comics' Path for Him May Not Be Followed on the Series
We have barely scratched the surface of Detective Crispus Allen yet on Gotham . Like his partner, Renee Montoya, he's one of the few honest cops in the city. He ranks as a major member of the Major Crimes Unit in Gotham City Police Department. That department was created to handle certain cases not being solved quickly enough and to combat the corruption happening. Allen provides a counterpoint to James Gordon's own manner of dealing with the criminal underbelly in the city. With Harvey Dent as a recurring character, the dynamics of the police department will gain more of a spotlight which means we'll be getting more of Allen and Montoya. But, who is Crispus Allen in the DC Comics?
Crispus Allen was created by one of the best modern comic book writers, Greg Rucka. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics. But he is far more well known for being one of the lead characters in Gotham Central, which was written by Rucka and Ed Brubaker. Gotham Central is a powerhouse comic book series that ended far too soon. If you like your Batman stories light on actual Batman appearances, but heavy on great character development, pulp sensibilities, and an interesting twist on usual procedurals, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Allen started out as a police officer in Metropolis but transferred to Gotham with his wife and teenaged sons. He became Renee Montoya's partner in the Major Crimes Unit after Harvey Bullock. Allen is known for his sharp sartorial sense and being a great detective who goes by the book. We witness him solve murders both mundane and outlandish, deal with Batman's intrusions, and grapple with the aftermaths of various costumed villains. Gotham Central is a comic unafraid to cause heartache in its readers. One of the ways this manifested was when Allen was brutally gunned down by corrupt cop, Jim Corrigan. Allen's murder was never officially solved even though other members of the Major Crimes Unit knew it was Corrigan. But don't worry, that isn't the end of Allen's story.
After his death Allen became the host for the Spectre, a supernatural being with seemingly unlimited power who is on a mission to evoke the Wrath of God on all who are wicked and unjust. Allen didn't believe in God or give religion much thought during his life, and he doesn't usually align with what Spectre wants to do which causes an immense amount of conflict. Spectre occupies a weird place in the DC Universe where magic, angels, demons, and superheroes coexist. Don't expect to see Crispus Allen as the Spectre at all in Gotham. It just doesn't fit the aesthetic, tone, or purpose of the show. But that doesn't mean we won't be seeing more of him.
Along with partner Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen is one of the more interesting good guys on the show, so the showrunners would be smart to utilize him more. He provides an interesting mirror to Gordon. While they are both good cops, Allen is intensely by the book. Gordon is more interested in doing whatever is necessary to save a city that may not want to save itself and plunges into far more murky moral territory.
The conflict between the two detectives will definitely come from their vastly different methods. But they will have to learn to work together in tandem with Harvey Dent to clean up Gotham, especially as Penguin continues to gain power and the various criminal factions seem poised for war. So, expect to see a lot more of Crispus Allen as he helps Dent and Gordon save the corrupt city they can't help but care for.
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