How ’Gotham’s Mysterious Fight Club Owner Could Be Connected To A Famous DC Villain

by Kayla Hawkins
David Giesbrecht/FOX

This season, characters who were once good have embraced their dark side, most notably Lee Thompkins, who now helping Cherry run her secret underground fight club on Gotham. Played by Marina Benedict, this underworld power player seems to have a couple of tricks up her sleeve. But is Cherry from DC comics, and could her appearance tie into a larger DC-inspired arc?

Since there's no character in the comics named Cherry who runs her own fighting ring, it looks like she's an original Gotham character. And she's an interesting one, as a woman who owns a space where Gotham citizens come either to brutalize each other or to watch people being brutalized. Cherry's is Gotham’s resident fight club, and Cherry has recruited Solomon Grundy, backed by an intellectually unstimulated Riddler, as her ringer. This isn't a plot taken from an existing Batman book.

But just because Cherry isn't recognizable as she exists on the show now doesn't mean that Gotham won't eventually make her — or anyone else — into a personality from the comics. Just take Cherry's main event, Solomon Grundy. For years, Butch Gilzean was an original take on an old cliche, the mobster's loyal lackey. And now he's an undead swamp monster from DC comics. Cherry is a totally original creation, it seems, but there may be plans for more.

Interestingly enough, Gotham's female club owners have been its most reliably original characters. In Season 1, Fish Mooney was a corrupt club owner who remained completely original to the series, even through several deaths and resurrections. But she ultimately helped give Penguin control of the Iceberg Lounge and was one of Hugo Strange's experiments, both comic-influenced storylines. And in Season 2, after Jerome became a cultish figure, the show added Lori Petty as Jeri, the owner of a Maniax-themed club. While Jeri never really became a comic book character either, she wore Joker-inspired makeup and helped sell the idea that Jerome could eventually become the Joker in the future.

In the comics, there is a character named Veronica Sinclair, also known as Roulette, who runs a casino that's secretly a villainous gladiatorial arena. That sounds like a brighter, lighter version of Cherry's club, and, like Cherry, Roulette has a distinctive look and love for extremely stylized makeup and hair. However, Roulette is not in the Batman universe or living in Gotham City in the comics, so it's probably unlikely that Cherry will wind up becoming Veronica on the show.

However, here's an out-of-the-box suggestion: maybe Cherry's club could become the incubator for Gotham's version of Bane. Bane is a famous Batman villain who's known for his drug-influenced fighting abilities. He has one arc where he breaks Batman's back, grievously injuring the hero. While Bane isn't featured in a fight club in the comics, the only way for someone to beat Solomon Grundy and become the next winner might be to get some illicit, strengthening drugs.

It's also possible that Cherry's name could be a reference to Cherry Bomb, the would-be hero with brightly colored hair and clothes who has the power to emit a powerful uncontrollable sonic blast. Other than name and appearance, though, there isn't much similarity between the two characters.

But even if she doesn't wind up becoming a recognizable comic book character, Cherry certainly helps sell the idea that Gotham City is becoming more dangerous, that the Narrows are a sketchy neighborhood, and that even Lee Thompkins is being affected by the changes in the city. As long as Gotham plots are centered in the fight club, there's an opportunity for Cherry to become even more important to the ever-evolving story.