[World of Bats] Batman: Gotham By Gaslight & More Elseworlds!

Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

This coming week marks the return of DC’s beloved Elseworlds line, starting with a sequel to one of the first and most beloved, Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age, so what better way to celebrate than to finally read the original? And why stop there?

So first we’ll be looking at the comic Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, written by Brian Augustyn, with art by Mike Mignola; followed by the sequel, Master of the Future, written by Augustyn and drawn by Eduardo Barreto.

In an age of mystery and superstition, how would the people of Gotham react to a weird creature of the night, a bat-garbed vigilante feared by the guilty and the innocent alike? The very first Elseworlds tale re-imagines the Dark Knight Detective in Victorian times and pits him against the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper.

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Next, we’ll look at Superman: Speeding Bullets, by J.M. DeMatteis and art, again by Eduardo Barreto.

An Elseworlds classic! What if a young Kal-El’s rocket had crashed in Gotham and was found by Thomas and Martha Wayne? He becomes Batman, of course.

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Then, we’ll look at Batman: Holy Terror, written by Alan Brennert, and drawn by Norm Breyfogle.

An Elseworlds tale set in an alternate future where England manages to avoid the American Revolution and the Church rules supreme. His parents murdered before his eyes, a religious Bruce Wayne takes a vow of piety-but only until he uncovers the truth behind his parents’ death.

Finally, we’ll be looking at Batman: Masque, written and drawn by Mike Grell.

Elseworlds. Distinctive stylist Mike Grell brings a new twist to Batman in the grand tradition of The Phantom of the Opera! In turn-of-the-century Gotham City, rising young ballet star Laura Avian has acquired an “admirer,” a stalker whose infatuation leads him careening down a path toward obsession and violence. She soon finds herself ensnarled in a treacherous web of murder, betrayal and deadly deception when the fan perceives that there are rivals for his affection. But who is the secret admirer? Rich playboy Bruce Wayne, the mysterious vigilante Batman, or is it the work of another sinister, scarred mind?

Reading will run from 2024-06-08T05:00:00Z2024-06-21T05:00:00Z, but you can always come back later!

Looking forward to discussing these issues with you all! :batparrot:

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Oh, no! Anything but that!

Oh, THAT ONE. Okay. Go ahead. :wink:

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Ha, you know, I actually read that one once. I forget if I got it from a library or if I was using a bookstore like a library (:sweat_smile:), and…look, I can be a pretty strong defender of Miller’s work, but it’s hard to do on that one.

What’s sad about it is that the book does have a decent enough beginning – where we have a city doing it’s normal things (and since this was originally a Batman story, him and Catwoman doing their usual “chase me” thing) when it all stops from a massive explosion. After that, there are several pages of faces, all unique and different, more and more taking up each page until they start to fade away, signifying that they are casualties of the attack. I think if the story stuck to that tone, and did something like, say, the hero and the thief putting their chase aside to help those in the immediate aftermath, it would have been a far more effective work than what we get in the second half, which is a boring action movie so derivative that not even Chuck Norris or Steven Segal would touch it.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve read Gotham by Gaslight. I’m looking forward to revisiting it. The others will all be new to me

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