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‘Gotham’ Casts Donal Logue As Detective Harvey Bullock

In what’s without exaggeration the seventy-ninth casting announcement this week from the world of comic book films and television, Donal Logue will portray fan-favorite Detective Harvey Bullock in the CW and DC Entertainment’s Gotham, based on the Batman characters from DC Comics.

Detective Harvey Bullock’s role in the Batman comics has been to stand in stark relief  next to the squeaky clean Commissioner Gordon as a living reminder of Gotham’s compromised but resilient infrastructure. Bullock is the police’s most vocal opponent of the Dark Knight, which is ironic because while Harvey distrusts the Batman so much for operating beyond the confines of the law, a defining element of his own mythos is a reputation as a possibly corrupt cop prone to violent abuses of police power. How dark and dubious Bullock’s actions are is determined by whatever story a writer sees fit to place him within. His quirks like rudeness and gluttony have been frequently played for comic relief, and a deeply villainous but differently-named version of him appeared in the film Batman Begins. Notably, when Bat-baddie Killer Croc framed Bullock for murder in the “Vendetta” episode of Batman: The Animated Series, the detective’s persona and past made it impossible for his fellow cops to dismiss the question of his guilt completely. But in that story as well as most others, it turned out the gruff detective was mostly on the side of the angels, and even grudgingly accepted Batman’s help to clear his name.

Deadline reports that Bullock will maintain some of these qualities in the Gotham television show, where he will be a partner and mentor to Ben McKenzie’s “idealistic rookie” James Gordon. It’s a remarkably good fit for Logue. The actor earned rave reviews for his turn as a sadistic and vengeful federal agent on the most recent season of Sons of Anarchy and has a long history of comedic roles. But it’s his role in the hugely acclaimed but woefully under-watched Terriers makes the actor a shoe-in for Bullock. In that series, Logue played an alcoholic and disgraced ex-cop, two qualities that Detective Bullock has embodied in various forms since he was created by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin in a 1974 issue of Detective Comics, perhaps most notably in the excellent Gotham Central graphic novel series that almost certainly informs the CW television show.

UPDATE: A previous version of this article confused “A Bullet for Bullock” with  the Batman episode “Vendetta.” The writer has been terminated. We’re leaving the “Bullet for Bullock” title card though because it is cool.

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