Warner Brothers Home Entertainment/DC Entertainment (studio)
05 February 2018 (released)
05 February 2018
This animated feature-length film is based on the eponymous 1989 comic, published by DC's imprint Elseworlds. Elseworld's stories are known for catapulting their DC comic heroes out of the usual milieu and setting them in alternative times. This is also the case with GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, where Batman is confronted with none other than Jack the Ripper!
That said, the action does not take place in Victorian London but obviously in Gotham City at the turn of the century, where 19th-century traditions try to co-exist with the looming modernity brought on by the industrial revolution. The wonders of this industrial revolution are to be showcased at the World’s Fair and no prices for guessing that Gotham hosts the prestigious event. But just as the city gets ready for displaying the latest technological inventions several bloody murders take place in the poorer parts of town – the victims are always female and were not exactly blessed with an easy life. Soon the rumour spreads that Jack the Ripper is behind the murders and seeing how Police Commissioner James Gordon is more talk than action it’s down to Batman to solve the crimes together with his unlikely alliance: feisty music hall artist Selina Kyle, a woman who knows who to whip a man into submission and a fiend to shreds! But the investigations are not as straightforward as Batman and Selina had hoped. Matters are made worse when Batman realises someone, somewhere tries to stitch him up and put the blame on the horrific murders on him. Could it be Harvey Dent? Or could it be someone much closer to him than he assumed? All will be revealed in the fiery, dramatic and steampunk-dominated finale!
The set-up is unusual because here, it’s not the Dark Knight who is the big hero but it’s music hall singer Selina Kyle. The identity of the Ripper should come as a shock to those unfamiliar with the comic book version. Bruce Greenwood lends Batman his voice and Jennifer Carpenter lends Selina her feminist-oriented slogans. Unfortunately, the animated illustrations in the movie do not look quite as sophisticated and promising as the DVD cover would suggest. Nonetheless the disc has a number of interesting extras such as 'Caped Fear: The First Elseword Featurette', From the DC Vault: 'Showdown' episode of Batman the Animated Series, Sneap Peaks, and audio commentary to offer. BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT is available in DVD and Blu-ray fomrat as well as Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook.