Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

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Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
A gas streetlight Japanese Anime Selina Kyle in Victorian dress and a top hat, and in front of her Batman. Beneath a foggy street and the mysterious cloaked figure of the Ripper.
UK Blu-ray cover
Directed bySam Liu
Produced bySam Liu
Screenplay byJim Krieg
Based onGotham by Gaslight
by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
Music byFrederik Wiedmann
Edited byChristopher D. Lozinski
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
  • January 12, 2018 (2018-01-12) (Newseum[1])
  • January 23, 2018 (2018-01-23) (Digital Download)
  • February 6, 2018 (2018-02-06) (Blu-ray)
Running time
78 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a 2018 American animated steampunk superhero alternate history action thriller film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It is the thirtieth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. It is directed and produced by Sam Liu and written by James Krieg, based on the one-shot graphic novel of the same name and upon its sequel, which was titled Master of the Future.[3]

The film was released for a world premiere screening at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. during the "DC in D.C." event on January 12, 2018[4] and then for digital download on January 23, 2018 before coming out on DVD and Blu-ray on February 6.[5]


In Victorian era Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is operating as the bat-garbed vigilante, the Batman, who is feared by the guilty and the innocent alike.

One night, Batman saves a wealthy couple from being robbed by three orphans (Dickie, Jason and Timmy) and defeats their abusive handler, Big Bill Dust. At the same time, Ivy, an orphan turned exotic dancer and prostitute, becomes the newest victim of the serial killer called Jack the Ripper, who preys on Gotham’s poor and destitute women.

Citizens of Gotham believe the Batman and Jack to be the same man. Stage actress Selina Kyle, a protector of the women from "Skinner's End", berates Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and Chief of Police Harvey "Bulldog" Bullock for their failure to stop the Ripper murders. Later that night, Selina acts as bait for the Ripper. It works, but the Ripper gets the upper hand during their fight until the arrival of Batman. After escaping, Batman asks Gordon to help him bring the Ripper down.

At the Monarch Theatre with his friend Harvey Dent, Bruce meets Selina and the two bond at the Dionysus Club. Bruce realizes that not only were the two of them taken in by Sister Leslie, but that some of the murdered girls were orphans formerly under Leslie's care. Bruce realizes that the Ripper will target Leslie and rushes to save her, but is too late; the Ripper has already murdered her. At the crime scene, Bruce finds a bloody Dionysus Club pin, meaning the Ripper has to be one of Gotham's wealthy. At Sister Leslie's funeral, Bruce is met by Hugo Strange, claiming he knows the killer and wants to meet with Batman. Bruce also is met by Marlene, a drunken old woman who claims she saw him sneaking around when Sister Leslie was killed. Bruce's butler Alfred stops the three orphans from pick-pocketing him and offers to provide them work.

At Arkham Asylum, the Ripper attacks Strange and throws him to his own patients, who tear him apart. Batman chases the Ripper on top of an airship in a fight that leaves Batman wounded as the airship explodes and the Ripper escapes. Batman is chased by police, only to be saved by Selina when he is nearly cornered. After seeing Batman is Bruce, she takes him to her home, where they spend the night. After the death of Marlene is discovered, Bruce is arrested, and Dent accuses him of being the Ripper.

Sentenced to Blackgate Penitentiary following the trial, Bruce is met by Selina, who urges him to reveal he is Batman to clear his name and help save the girls from Jack. When he refuses, she decides to tell Gordon herself, revealing she has one of his batarangs. Bribing a guard to deliver a coded message to his manor, Bruce escapes after staging a prison fight and meets with the orphans, who deliver him his suit and a steampunk motorcycle.

Selina meets with Gordon at the Gotham City World's Fair and learns to her horror that he is the Ripper. While seeking Selina at Gordon's home, Batman learns this as well when he finds a secret room revealing Gordon's gruesome hobbies and past as an army surgeon during the American Civil War. Batman also meets Gordon's wife, Barbara-Eileen Gordon, with scars on the left side of her face that have driven her insane, praising her husband for “curing” her sins as a woman. Gordon injects Selina with a drug, but she manages to use her blood and the Fair's searchlight to give Batman a signal.

Batman arrives and fights Gordon into a Ferris wheel, where Gordon reveals his "holy work" is to rid Gotham of “filth”, especially women, whom he sees as sinful and perverse. The Ferris wheel lights on fire and begins to collapse. Selina escapes the burning wheel, while Batman defeats Gordon by using a handcuff trick taught to him by Harry Houdini, only to watch Gordon burn himself alive. Luckily, Batman and Selina are saved by Alfred and the orphans, who are now Bruce Wayne’s wards. As they escape, they watch as the World's Fair burns down, and hope it will be replaced with something better.

Voice cast[edit]


Critical response[edit]

Julian Romano at MovieWeb gave the film a positive review, going so far as to say it "ranks among the best of the DC Animated Universe". He says the film surpasses Batman: The Killing Joke, doing a better job of adapting the source material, praising screenwriter Jim Krieg and director Sam Liu, for their intelligent approach. He notes the R rating, and acknowledges that although the film is not suitable for younger audiences and features violence and coarse language it is not gratuitous.[8]

Will Romine at Bleeding Cool gave the film 9/10.[9]

Joshua Yehl at IGN gave the film 6.5/10.[10]

Kayti Burt at Den of Geek gave the film 2.5/5, praising the voice cast, and describing it as "an R-rated whodunnit horror with a twist..." and that "[i]t's not as clever as it thinks it is, but it's clever enough."[11]

At review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88%, based on reviews from 8 critics.[12]

Sales figures[edit]

The film earned $795,848 from DVD sales and $2,673,303 from Blu-ray sales, bringing its total North American domestic home video earnings to $3,469,151.[13]


  1. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (December 15, 2017). "'Batman: Gotham By Gaslight' Premiering at "DC in D.C."". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight". February 6, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Lovett, Jamie (July 8, 2017). "DC Animation's Next Movie Revealed". Comic Book. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "'DC IN D.C.' Warner Bros. Television Group and DC Comics Landmark Diversity in Pop Culture Event January 12–13, 2018 -". The Good Men Project. December 19, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Newsarama Staff (November 14, 2017). "BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT Film Release Date & New Trailer". Newsarama. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Siegel, Lucas (October 6, 2017). "NYCC: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Panel shows promise". Syfy. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e Trumbore, Dave (November 14, 2017). "'Gotham by Gaslight' Blu-ray Details Confirm Epic Cast, Release Date and Special Features". Collider. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Roman, Julian (January 27, 2018). "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Review: A Bloody Steampunk Romp". MovieWeb. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Romine, Will (January 13, 2018). "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Review: Smartly Innovative and Gripping". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Yehl, Joshua (January 19, 2018). "Batman: Gotham By Gaslight Review". IGN. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Burt, Kaytl (January 23, 2018). "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Review". Den of Geek. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (2018) Review". The Numbers. Retrieved March 30, 2018.

External links[edit]