Animation,  Uncategorized


It’s Batman vs. Jack the Ripper in an Elseworld’s adventure that imagines the Dark Knight over a hundred years ago in a turn-of-the-century Gotham.

Gotham City, at the turn of the century, is experiencing a golden era of discovery and industry as showcased by affluent businessman Bruce Wayne’s World Fair. Down in the darkest alleys, there is a killer on the loose. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is as precise as he is cruel. As Police Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens over the butcher named Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman does some detective work of his own, with the help of the sultry and surefooted Selina Kyle. Witness a world in flames as the killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight! [Warner Bros.]

DC’s latest animated movie is very different, as it adapts the first big Elseworld comic book story. Gotham by Gaslight reimagines the world of Batman and Gotham City for an 1870s Victorian setting. Batman’s gadgets are more low-tech, there are no superpowers, and the main villain is Jack the Ripper. Many iconic Batman characters are greatly reinvented in this tale, making it more unpredictable.
Even though it’s ANOTHER animated Batman movie, Gotham by Gaslight is a breath of fresh air for DC’s recent efforts. In fact, it’s arguably the best film in years. Ever since Justice League: War launched a shared universe in 2014, DC’s movies have (for the most part) taken a dip in quality. Thankfully, Gotham by Gaslight is a huge step up, marking one of the studio’s best efforts…ever? I never read the original graphic novel, so I can’t say how the movie compares. That being said, the movie is great on its own.
Gotham by Gaslight‘s Elseworld story makes it feel much more unique. The plot feels more grounded than your typical DC superhero story, and its R rating allows it to have an edge. Even the animation style is different from past movies, and it’s arguably an improvement. The way this film reimagines Batman lore, from Leslie Thompkins to the Robins, was fascinating. My favorite thing about Elseworld stories is that they can do just about anything; they don’t have to adhere to a specific canon or status quo. This leads to a more engaging plot, including a shocking plot twist.
Gotham by Gaslight also boasts a strong voice cast. Bruce Greenwood previously voiced Batman in Under the Red Hood and Young Justice, and he’s just as great here. He has the classic Batman sound while making it his own. Jennifer Carpenter is great as Selina Kyle, while Anthony Head is memorable as Alfred. Scott Patterson nails it as James Gordon, John DiMaggio is good as Chief Bullock, and Grey Griffin is good as Sister Leslie. Every other voice actor was solid.
How is Gotham by Gaslight better than other DC movies? Well, its animation is on a higher quality, for starters. Many recent movies have had the same animation style, so changing it up is very nice. Its story is a lot more engaging, partly due to its unpredictability. Its deconstruction of its characters is fascinating, and its voice cast fits perfectly. If you’re a DC fan but have been burned by recent movies, I definitely recommend this one.
In summary, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a true return to greatness for DC’s animated movies. If future Elseworld stories are half as good as this one, then I’m on board. Hopefully, the film will be a big seller and similar movies will be made.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.