Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of Batman
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Brian Augustyn
Artist: Michael Mignola
What would happen if the great detective went up against one of London’s most famous serial killers? In 1989 DC Comics tried something a little different with one of their main characters; they allowed Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola to pen a one-shot Batman tale outside of Batman’s continuum. Gotham By Gaslight is set in Gotham during the 1800s, where a woman has been murdered a`la Jack the Ripper style. Thus begins a dark and suspenseful tale of Batman versus Jack the Ripper. Who is the killer? How did he come to be in Gotham? Is Jack the Ripper really Bruce Wayne? The story has a great period drama feel to it, with all the assumed pomp and circumstance. In Gaslight, as in the original series, Bruce’s parents are killed by a robber, which–in turn–sets Bruce on a quest for vengeance. Yet, in this story, he spends some time in London, learning detectives skills from Scotland Yard. Bruce happens to be in living during the time of the Ripper murders.
This version of Batman looks every bit the part of a highwayman and, of course, this is to strike fear in his enemies. Though Batman’s important utility belt is still present, it is full of anti-crime deterrents such as: rope, knives, and smoke pellets. The story was so successful that DC Direct created a Gotham by Gaslight Batman action figure in 2007. The detail was exceptional, and closely resembled the character concept of the graphic novel.
Currently there is a live-action version of Gaslight in the works by James Campbell, it is called Ripper. You can watch the teaser trailer here. Also feel free to visit the Facebook page for Ripper, as it has come very cool concept art to boot.
Cool Factor: Gotham by Gaslight is the very first Elseworld title from DC and is one of the few with a standalone sequel.
Format: Trade paperback