Released in 1989, “Gotham by Gaslight” was the first of the Elseworlds series in which DC characters were presented in settings outside of regular DC canon. In this one shot issue by writer Brian Augustyn and artist Mike Mignola, Bruce Wayne has recently returned from a tour of Europe in 1889 to a murky 19th century Gotham.
Following the Whitechapel murders in London,
Bruce appears to have been followed back to Gotham by the legendary “Jack the Ripper” and so is framed for these grisly crimes. Bruce doesn’t take this lying down but unmasks the killer in typical style giving a twist ending which whilst not unpredictable is not as obvious as it could have been (given this was a one-shot story)
I really liked the pace of this story and the artwork does a great job of capturing the shadows and murkiness of a 19th century Gotham. Batman is a very embryonic character (think “Batman Begins”) but is crucial in aiding Bruce to clear his name. Cowl is slightly different to regular canon but really does capture the style of dress typical of that period.
Overall: a great story, great artwork and fast paced (plus the “Joker/Jasper” cameo is nice!)