Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
review by Bobby Blakey
DC Entertainment continues to be on a role with their animated features. Each one gets better and better and they look to keep that trend going into the New Year. Their latest to get the animated treatment is the popular Elsworld’s title from Mike Mignola and Brian Augustyn, Gotham By Gaslight, but does it do this classic graphic novel justice or will it never get out of the alley alive?
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight follows the turn of the century as America’s continued industrial revolution is to be showcased at a World’s Fair hosted by Gotham City. But while the world prepares to witness the glittery glory of Gotham’s technological advances, there is a killer loose in the city’s darkest shadows. 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 regarding the butcher called Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman enacts his own detective work – with the help of confident, capable Selina Kyle – to stop the Ripper’s murderous spree.
I remember reading this graphic novel when it came out in 1989 and thinking this was like nothing I had ever read and loved it, so going in I had some high hopes for this and was not disappointed. They did change some elements of the story but for the better and expanded others since I am sure there was no way to make a full feature with the length of the original book. They pull no punches with the violence here which is a necessity for dealing with anything involving Jack the Ripper. They waste little time showing you that this is not for the kids and just gets better as it goes along.
They have put together a great voice cast here once again including Bruce Geenwood, Jennifer Carpenter, Anthony Head, Kari Wuhrer, Tara Strong and John DiMaggio who all bring their A game to the project. The animation is excellent as always and fully captures the essence of the book as well as the time period. With every one of their films it seems they get better and that there is no way to top it, but this proves once again they can.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including commentary, featurettes and a sneak peek at the next DC animated feature Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay. Join the Dark Knight Detective on his quest to uncover Jack the Ripper when Gotham By Gaslight hits Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on February 6, 2018 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.