While I don’t typically read comic books, I do admit, the comic-book writers come up with some interesting concepts. It’s not uncommon for them to make a mini alternate-reality separate from the main time-line. The idea for Gotham By Gaslight is obvious, what if Batman lived in a time of technology of a Victorian England?
While technically in Gotham, America, this Gotham city is very much like a 19th century London would be like. We see an incarnation of Poison Ivy who is without any superpowers. She was a poor orphan who resorted to some darker things when she became a woman. She flirts with a man in a dark alley, and she is brutally silenced with a knife. Batman doesn’t get to her in time, though the Dark Knight heard her cry for help.
Bruce Wayne must also live the double life in this “old time” reality. He’s still the most wealthy man in Gotham and has used a great deal of his fortune to make a World’s Fair for the town. Though it doesn’t seem to help matters at all. Everyone is worried about the Batman, and even worse, this new serial killer Jack the Ripper.
Bruce Wayne runs into Selina Kyle, who is a talented stage performer as she started in the circus as a child. Both of them are trying to stop Jack the Ripper. For Selina Kyle, it’s because Jack is murdering women and that will not do. For Batman, it’s just because it’s the right thing to do. But despite that, Selina Kyle doesn’t want Batman’s help, but they’ll have to work together, because this Jack the Ripper is someone they both know and trust. And he can even fight against Batman at full-strength and rival him.
Overall Gotham By Gaslight was pretty good, not as excellent as I had hoped, but one of the better films in the DC animated films. I kept trying to guess the big bad Jack the Ripper’s true name, but due to a twist at the start, it took me almost to the last minute to figure it out. While Selina Kyle never adopts the name Catwoman (or the costume) in this film, this was one of the better tales where Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle form a friendship/romance.