Holy smokes, Batman! The OC’s growing wings with star Ben McKenzie, aka the one and only Ryan Atwood, taking the lead in a new Batman TV series. So is Ryan the fellow donning the iconic black and hopping behind the wheel of the Batmobile?

Not exactly. Ben, now 35, will play Detective James Gordon, the police officer who runs interference between Gotham City’s law enforcement and the city’s resident superhero. Unlike in the movie adaptations of the comic, however, Gordon isn’t playing second fiddle to anyone in the latest reboot of the story.

In the new FOX series Gotham, Detective Gordon takes center stage as we learn more about his time as a rookie on the city’s homicide squad. This is the early days of Batman’s crime-fighting career, too, but don’t worry. Still plan for plenty of appearances by our favorite evil villains including the Joker, the Riddler, and Catwoman as Bruce Wayne figures out what to do with his life (spoiler alert: He decides capes are totally in).

This is not some adjunct companion series,” Fox president Kevin Reilly said of the new entertainment venture. “This is the Batman franchise, just backing it up [in chronology].”

Gotham doesn’t have an air date yet so keep your eyes trained on the sky for the Bat-Signal. Actually, just check back here. That’s less likely to cause a neck cramp.

Sources: Vulture, TVLine

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!