Who would win in a battle between Jack the Ripper and Batman? Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola asked that question nearly 30 years ago in their comic book Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, considered by most to be the first Elseworld’s title – that is, a story out of contemporary comic book continuity.
In the original Gotham By Gaslight, it appears as though Jack the Ripper has made his way from late nineteenth century London to Gotham, right around the same time that Bruce Wayne has returned from abroad and a masked vigilante has begun fighting crime in the city.
Now, in 2018, the story has been brought to the animated DC Universe in an excellent film starring the voices of Bruce Greenwood and Jennifer Carpenter as Batman and Selina Kyle, respectively.
Though it shares the same title and concept as the original comic book, the animated Gotham By Gaslight is really its own entity, with more familiar characters such as Hugo Strange, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake appearing, not to mention Catwoman playing an integral part as well. However, writer Jim Krieg managed to organically fit them all in. As a fan of the original book, I had no problem seeing this new interpretation play out.
As befitting a story starring Jack The Ripper, this film offers up a significant amount of blood, violence, and sexuality. Yes, it’s animated, but don’t plan on showing this Batman movie to the kids anytime soon. However, adults who grew up on the original Gotham By Gaslight book and who aren’t bothered by the significant changes made, will find a lot to love in this animated interpretation.
Gotham By Gaslight was released on Digital Download on January 23, 2018 and released on on DVD and Blu-ray on February 6.