In February 1989, DC Comics writers Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola with artist P. Craig Russell brought us the first-ever Elseworld graphic novel. They envisioned Batman not as a modern-day pulp hero, but instead as a Victorian-age steampunk Sherlock Holmes who is hot on the trail of Jack the Ripper in Gotham By Gaslight.
Following a journey abroad, Bruce Wayne heads home to Gotham City where he encounters police Inspector James Gordon and family-friend Jacob Packer, whom he calls Uncle Jake. Gordon warns Bruce of deadly gangs that are striking fear in the hearts of the citizens and that there seems to be no hope for the city.
Bruce sees this as an opportunity to fight crime and takes up the mantle of Batman to do it in disguise. He soon finds himself on the trail of Jack the Ripper, who appears to have escaped London and come to the streets of Gotham. Soon, however, Wayne himself is accused of the murders. Can he solve the problems while being locked up in Arkham Asylum?
This graphic novel is one of the best. It is hard to take a character brought on with so much history and discovery, and to create a new version of him. This was the first time an Elseworld (though it was retroactively called that) had ever been imprint. Augustyn and Mignola had a big job. With Russel doing the artwork, the three of them brought us an amazing Batman story that is out of time.
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a graphic novel you’d like me to review. Check out my review of Batman: Two-Face/Scarecrow Year One. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
This article has been updated from a previous version.