|“||You will be a curse upon Gotham. Children will wake from sleep screaming at the thought of you. Your legacy will be death and madness.||„|
|~ Paul Cicero's foreshadowing quote predicting Jerome's effect upon Gotham City.|
The Cult of Jerome is an underground movement in the television series Gotham, who are obsessed with the maniac Jerome Valeska. These followers began to surface after Jerome was betrayed and murdered by Theo Galavan. They appeared as very-minor villains in Season 2, and return in Season 3 as supporting antagonists.
During Jerome Valeska's attack on Gotham City and leading Maniax, several people became obsessed with his philosophy and madness. After Jerome was murdered by Theo Galavan during a hostage situation at a charity gala, a few individuals began mimicking him. The first known copycat was a man watching Jerome's performance on television during the children's gala, and he proceeded to cackle at the bar he was sitting at. The second copycat was a young boy in a dysfunctional family, laughing manically at Jerome's broadcast while his parents were arguing. The last two are a pair of men who at night see the news of Jerome's reign of terror on Gotham and his attack on the Gotham City Police Department. The pair begin to laugh maniacally in a similar manner to Jerome. Noticing a passing bum, they follow the man into an alley and knife him to death. Then one of the men proceeds to stab his friend repeatedly to death.
The followers of Jerome began to evolve beyond just four individuals, as a criminal and band member Jeri started running a nightclub entitled to Jerome, and the individuals there began wearing clothing similar to the Maniax (such as their straight jackets). The groups of followers took to wearing clown like makeup. Bruce Wayne stumbled upon it when looking for Jeri to ask on the location of Matches Malone. When Detective James Gordon infiltrates the nightclub to try and stop Bruce from going after Malone, he ends up being lynched by the followers, although manages to put up a fight and brings Jeri into custody.
Graffiti in the form of a smile with "HAHAHAHA" written started appearing in locations across Gotham City. This is most likely the work of Jerome's followers.
The followers of Jerome ended up becoming a network, operating in Gotham City. Morgue worker and former Indian Hill scientist Dwight Pollard appeared to command the followers of Jerome, and they had plans to resurrect Jerome from the dead. The group then raid a Wayne Enterprises warehouse which stores bodies from the Indian Hill facility, with one of them being a preserved Jerome.
When seemingly unable to bring Jerome back from the dead, Dwight cuts off Jerome's face and wears it as a mask, and states that they are all Jerome and that he lives through them.
Jerome ends up returning from the dead after a short delay, and kidnaps Dwight from police custody and takes him to a power station. Jerome reattaches his face, and leaves Dwight tied up and surrounded by explosives, which detonates and wipes out the power in the city, plunging it into chaos.
Jerome takes control of the group and they launch an attack on Wayne Enterprises, so he can finish off his original goal in murdering Bruce Wayne.
- These four candidates give the viewers more of an emphasis that Joker is an ideology than just a person, making Jerome's death help the unknown man undertake the identity.
- The multiple copycats could also be a reference to how Joker prefers his origin story to be multiple choice, given that Gotham is a prequel series.
- They are played by Joey Elrose, Dante Melucci, Joshua Alscher and John Dewey, and are credited as Shadowy Figure, Young Boy, Young Man One and Young Man Two respectively.
- The Jerome copycats may be a nod to The Jokerz from the Batman Beyond series, in which members of the gang imitate the deceased Joker and try to continue his legacy and madness.
- They are also likely based off the Cult of the Joker, which were formed after the disappearance of the Clown Prince of Crime.
- The nightclub owner, Jeri and some of the people there don on the classic Joker image wearing clown face paint with Glasgow smiles. The screen of performance shown Jerome's mugshot and news report footage of his crimes. Jeri and others also mindlessly attacked Jim Gordon as soon as they recognized him as a GCPD officer.