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Western Animation / Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

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A 2018 movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is an Animated Adaptation of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola's Elseworlds comic of the same name. It pits a Victorian-era Batman against Jack the Ripper.

Voice actors include Bruce Greenwood reprising his Batman: Under the Red Hood and Young Justice role as Batman, Jennifer Carpenter as Selina Kyle, and Anthony Head as Alfred Pennyworth.

The first trailer can be seen here.


Tropes in this film:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Selina Kyle fled her abusive father as a girl, and was raised in Sister Leslie's orphanage.
    • James Gordon/Jack is mentioned as having burnt the "sin" out of his children as he did his wife.
    • The Cock Robins state that they've got nowhere to go, or that their homes are worse than living on the streets.
  • Accent Relapse: A variation. Jack's dialect in the "Dear Boss" letter is much different than the one Gordon uses.
  • Actionized Adaptation: The movie adds several action sequences and fight scenes that are not in the original comic.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Selina Kyle, Poison Ivy, Hugo Strange, Leslie Thompkins, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake are in the movie, whereas they weren't in the comic. Also, the film seems to draw ideas from the comic's sequel, Master of the Future, as well as the original story.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Poison Ivy is renamed "Ivy, the Plant Lady" in this movie, although Sister Leslie calls her Pamela, and a reference is made to an Isley case, suggesting her real name is still Pamela Isley.
    • Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake are only known as "Dickie", "Jason", and "Little Tim".
    • Dr. Leslie Thompkins is a nun in this movie and is only named as "Sister Leslie".
  • Adaptational Badass: Commissioner James Gordon is a fighter who is demonstrably superior to both Batman and Selina Kyle. Even if this version of Bruce and Selina haven't received quite the degree of extensive exotic training as their main universe counterparts, that's still pretty damn impressive.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Selina Kyle is not a master thief in here, hence her more nuanced nobility.
    • Ivy isn't a super-villainess here, but only a Belly Dancer and an occasional prostitute who becomes the first victim of The Ripper in the movie.
    • Hugo Strange here isn't a supervillain as well, but a psychiatrist and the Director of the Arkham Asylum who is trying to help the Police to catch the Ripper. Even if his methods are questionable, they are in line with his time.
    • Jacob Packer is a default case of this, since he isn't the Ripper here.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Harvey Dent. Unlike most of his incarnations pre-Two-Face's transformation, here he is a smug sexist who tries to cheat on his wife with Selina, cares little about the Serial Killer plaguing Gotham, and he accuses his best friend, Bruce, of being Jack the Ripper, with the implication that he's deliberately framing him just because Selina preferred Bruce over him.
    • Downplayed with the Robins who are petty criminals but ultimately just kids dealing with rough circumstances life has handed them. In Jason's case, it's pretty much averted as it's not that different from his childhood in the main universe.
  • Adaptational Job Change: In the original Gotham by Gaslight, Jim Gordon is just an inspector, with a man named Tolliver as Commissioner, who'd become mayor in the sequel Master of the Future, and Harvey Bullock, a plainclothes detective, is nowhere to be seen. This has Gordon at his traditional rank of Commissioner, Tolliver is already the mayor, and Bullock was combined with Chief O'Hara, making him Gordon's second-in-command.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Commissioner James Gordon is Jack the Ripper, ENOUGH SAID! Barbara being his Psycho Supporter also qualifies.
    • As mentioned above in Adaptational Jerkass, Harvey Dent is less noble than his normal counterpart, and is okay with framing Bruce and goes to an antagonistic role without becoming Two-Face.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • This incarnation of Ivy does not have any of her more usual super-powers (like secretion of floral toxins and mind controlling pheromones) and she becomes an easy target for The Ripper. If she had been the main universe poison ivy pretending to be this incarnation of Ivy, Jack the Ripper would've been the one who did the dying.
    • To a lesser extent, Selina Kyle too (see Faux Action Girl).
  • Adapted Out: The real-life Jack the Ripper also sent a letter telling he had I am a Humanitarian tendencies with his victims. This is mercifully never brought up.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: No matter what Jack did, anyone who knows who Commissioner Gordon is will know that a man who could've been a good cop is now dead. There's also a bit of Fridge Horror given that now his family is without a patriarch in 19th century America. Or a matriarch, given that Barb's insane.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Almost any time someone is alone with a figure whose face is being obscured, the audience knows things won't end well, although Hugo Strange gets a nice Bait-and-Switch scene due to thinking his visitor is Batman.
  • Alternate History: Apparently Jack The Ripper never operated in London; only in Gotham. (In the comic, the Ripper resumes his activities in Gotham after leaving London some time ago.) Gordon gives Batman a letter the Ripper sent to the police and it's closely based on the real "Dear Boss" letter. The Ripper does mention boxing in London, so it's possible that Batman and the police never heard of the original killings because of the setting's poor communication lines.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: That part about worrying a 15 mph speed can be dangerous, and Hugo Strange reassuring a human body can handle up to 35? Based on a completely real concern about steam trains.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: As seen in the subsequent tropes, it's unclear if Jack The Ripper a.k.a. Commissioner James Gordon suffered some type of Dissociative Identity Disorder or not. It's also possible that Gordon has neurosyphilis, as he mentions "camp followers" spreading disease amongst good men, mercury poisoning, as mercury was used to (ineffectively) treat syphilis, and definitely PTSD, though the last one doesn't cause violence despite popular belief. Any violent PTSD sufferers were usually nasty before having the PTSD. The PTSD comes from the beatings he received from the nuns for being lefthanded and from the war, particularly the battle for Antietam.
  • Anachronism Stew: On the commentary, writer Jim Krieg and producer Bruce Timm freely admitted to do this, having Selina sing "Can You Tame Wild Wimmen?", a song that wouldn't exist until the 1900s and Bruce mention learning an escape trick from Houdini when Houdini would've been a teenager around the events of the movie, using the Elseworlds Alternate History premise to say the song came around earlier and Houdini was born earlier than in our world.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Selina tried to do this on Harvey when he called her a "whore", but Harvey caught her hand.
  • As the Good Book Says...: When Alfred finds Bruce obsessing over catching the Ripper after Sister Leslie's death, he quotes a slightly shortened version of Romans 12:19.
    Alfred: Beloved, avenge not yourselves, vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
    Romans 12:19 (KJV): Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto [God's] wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • Asshole Victim: The crotchety old woman who accused Bruce of being Jack the Ripper. She tries to blackmail him by threatening to reveal she saw him at the cemetery the night Sister Leslie was killed. She ends up becoming a victim of the Ripper.
  • Auto Erotica: Bruce and Selina pretend to do it in a carriage in order to fool police officers. It's implied they do it for real afterward.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The movie shows that while cool, a whip is a piss-poor choice for a weapon. Both times Selina breaks it out, it proves largely useless.
  • Baker Street Regular: The "Cock Robin" boys fill the role to Batman's Sherlock Holmes, with some help from Alfred.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Bruce Wayne does this when he escapes from Blackgate Prison. Having stolen a uniform and orchestrated a Prison Riot, he starts yelling orders at the guards, who hasten to obey as he seems to be in charge. This leaves him a clear path to escape.
  • Bedlam House: Arkham Asylum was always this, but manages to be even worse by virtue of the time it's in. The first thing we see its patients being kept in a pit, most with some form of inhumane restraints on them, and others being kept in cages. Hugo Strange, whose psychiatry is quite literally "anything can be solved with the scalpel", is considered a radical thinker for just trying to help them.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Jack's wife has half of her face burnt off until she's loyal to his cause.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: After Batman handcuffs Gordon to a railing, Gordon commits suicide by walking backwards in the flaming World's Fair rather than face prison and execution.
  • Big Bad: Jack the Ripper, as in the comic.
  • Big Secret: When Bruce is arrested as a suspect. He has no alibi for the murder times. Batman does.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jack the Ripper, who's really James Gordon. His public persona is of a Reasonable Authority Figure but his true personality is that of a psychotic, misogynistic and xenophobic Serial Killer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jack the Ripper is dead, but only Batman and his closest allies know that. And let's not forget that Jack still killed a lot of women, especially innocent Sister Leslie. Oh, and we have no idea what becomes of Harvey Dent for throwing Bruce under the bus, who could now be hunted for escaping prison. Although given all the evidence in Gordon's room, as well as possible testimony from Barbara, it's likely Bruce will be exonerated.
  • Boxing Battler: Batman and Jack the Ripper favor English style boxing, especially Jack whose training come from being an amateur champion.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Inverted. Although Batman is by no means a poor fighter, he spends most the film relying on his intellect to investigate the murders committed by Jack, who's presented as an Implacable Man that brutally mutilates any target he sets his eye on. In the final confrontation, Jack/Gordon breaks out his superior boxing skills, but Batman subdues him with his own handcuffs through sleight of hand.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Harvey Bullock thinks that this is the situation when he accuses Bruce of being Jack the Ripper and the latter fails to recognize Jack's last victim. Actually, this is more of a case of a hero not being able to keep up with the villain's crimes.
  • Call-Forward: Bruce and Selina notes that Harvey acts like a completely different person while drunk. It was like they really wanted to say that he was Two-Faced.
  • Camp Follower: Gordon talks about the camp followers he met during the Civil War and how many soldiers died from syphilis after sleeping with them, which was his breaking point into becoming the Ripper.
  • Circus Brat: Selina was one, hence her uncommon talents. She left the bigtop behind when she went on the run from her abusive father and was taken in by Sister Leslie.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Selina Kyle is never given the code name of Catwoman. Then again she's not a cat burglar in this version.
    • Harvey Dent never goes by Two-Face as he hasn't been disfigured.
    • Cyrus Gold, since he's still a normal human, isn't called Solomon Grundy.
    • Jack the Ripper is a more special case Jacob Packer never uses the code name of Jack the Ripper with the code name being given to James Gordon, making it both a straight and inverted example.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Naturally, the Trope Namer makes his appearance here as Batman's ally. Except in a colossal twist, it turns out he's Jack the Ripper and the Big Bad of the movie.
  • Composite Character:
    • Commissioner James Gordon takes the role of Jack The Ripper, whereas in the graphic novel the Ripper is Bruce's Honorary Uncle Jacob Packer. He also shares some traits with his psychotic son James Gordon Jr. from the comics.
    • Dr. Hugo Strange is somewhat mixed with Amadeus Arkham, the founder and first Director of the Arkham Asylum. Ironically, he also takes the usual role of Commissioner Gordon, because he is an authority figure who is trying to contact Batman to help him and tell him which is the Ripper's true identity. Sadly, it does not last long.
    • Harvey Bullock takes on Chief O'Hara's Irish accent and position as chief of police.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Selina's more than a little upset when Batman rescuing her allows the Ripper to get away.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Hugo Strange is ripped in half by his patients. We don't see it, but you can see his hands and feet being moved further apart.
  • Cruel Mercy: Batman had planned on sending Jack to prison. Subverted in that he kills himself when he gets the chance.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much like Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League Dark before it, this is rated "R", compared to the usual PG-13 fare of the line.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: Jack the Ripper attempts to force Batman's head into the propeller of police airship. The ears on Batman's cowl get sliced off before he is able to break loose.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Combining this with Servile Snarker, do you expect anything less from Alfred and his famous dry wit?
  • Death by Adaptation: James Gordon. In the original graphic novel, he's the one who kills Jack the Ripper aka Jacob Packer. In this movie, he commits suicide by walking backwards into the flames of the Ferris wheel after he was discovered as The Ripper and defeated by Batman.
  • Death by Secret Identity:
    • A street woman sees Bruce Wayne rushing toward the scene of Sister Leslie's death and tries to blackmail Bruce over it. Her death at the Ripper's hands is used to help frame Wayne as the Ripper.
    • Selina Kyle tells James Gordon Batman's identity in order to get Bruce released from jail. Gordon ends up dying by suicide in the fires of the World Fair.
    • Hugo Strange drops a hint that he suspects Bruce is Batman while talking to him and while he doesn't try to use this information for any nebulous purpose, he still doesn't survive the film.
  • Decomposite Character: According to the commentary, Bruce's defense lawyer is Jacob Packer. However, he's Demoted to Extra and his true role as Jack the Ripper is taken by Commissioner Gordon.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: Selina is walking home and gets chased by the Ripper, with him eventually cornering her in a slaughterhouse. She then pulls out a whip and fights him, having lured him out in an attempt to apprehend him. Unfortunately for her, Jack turns out to be much more skilled than she bargained for and she and Batman only barely escape alive.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: A lot of characters brush off women as being hysterical when they are worried about the Ripper, Arkham is even worse than usual and the Ripper's motive rant is filled with xenophobia and sexist remarks.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the original graphic novel, Thomas and Martha Wayne play an important role in the plot and Jack the Ripper's backstory. In the movie, since Jack the Ripper is a different person, they don't play any significant role besides the habitual Batman's Freudian Excuse and they're only mentioned twice in all the movie. The character who is Jack The Ripper in the graphic novel still appears here, but as a background character with no lines.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Besides Jack goring and disemboweling his victims? One of the most gruesome ever seen on a DC animated film is Hugo Strange thrown to the madmen in his asylum where he is literally torn in half by them.
  • Dirty Cop: Chief Harvey Bullock is a reckless Cowboy Cop who orders his men to shoot-to-kill Batman on suspicion of being the Ripper without even trying to arrest him first. But his boss, Commissioner James Gordon, is far worse, as he's secretly Jack the Ripper himself, and is abusing his position of authority in order to hinder the investigation of his own grisly crimes.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Invoked. Selina is furious that the response from Gotham's elites is so muted at first and believes it is because of the women being mostly down on their luck prostitutes. Sister Leslie and Bruce do not share this view, seeing the deaths of the women with appropriate horror.
  • Domestic Abuse: James Gordon burned off half of his wife's face to "burn the sin" out of her... and it's implied he burnt their kids as well.
  • Escape Artist: How Batman ultimately beats Gordon.
    Batman: I paid Houdini $300 to teach me that trick.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Ambiguous but mostly subverted. Gordon is Jack the Ripper, and he's mutilated his wife by burning off half her face to "burn the sin" out of her. When Batman brings her up, Gordon calls wives "the worst whores of all." The only part that's ambiguous if Gordon has any feelings for Barbara is that when he wakes up from a dream of Jack, aka him, murdering her, he seems briefly scared about her.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Among the audience watching Selina's cabaret show, there are several women whose enthusiastic expressions match the men's.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Batman was very shocked when he saw that Jack burnt half of his own wife's face until she went mad.
    Batman: ...Good Lord.
  • Evidence Dungeon: A secret room in Gordon's house contains evidence of Jack's activities.
  • Expy:
    • Dickie, Jason and Little Tim in this movie are expies of the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of street boys who are employed by Sherlock Holmes to collect data for his investigations.
    • Selina Kyle here is somewhat an expy of Irene Adler, an American opera singer and actress who is the most prominent female character in the Sherlock Holmes' franchise, and frequently used as a romantic interest for Holmes in derivative works.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Confronted by the Ripper, Sister Leslie calmly informs him she won't beg and won't break down, refusing to give him any satisfaction from her death. She even forgives his sin of murder.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Selina and Bruce, to avoid being arrested. Well, they actually pretend to be a little past the makeout level...
  • False Friend: Harvey went to a lot of lengths to make sure Bruce gets sent to prison for being Jack The Ripper.
  • Family of Choice: Unlike major continuities, Batman is not what brings the Robins together. Instead, Dickie, Jason and Tim have found each other and formed a brotherly bond before they learn Batman is a real person.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jack has Pride. When Batman is looking for Commissioner Gordon, he comes across his "Trophy Room" of his past as a surgeon in the civil war, boxing gloves, and several organs he got from people he killed.
  • Faux Action Girl: For all the setup of how tough Selina Kyle is, she ends up drugged and entirely ineffective against the Ripper with Batman doing all the heavy lifting in the final battle. Though she does manage to use her wits and skills to keep him at bay for a long time. She does fair a lot better against Jack during her first encounter but still would have died if not for Batman. That being said, Batman himself is not able to defeat Jack either and was almost killed until Selina saved him.
  • Ferris Wheel of Doom: The site of much of the final battle, destroyed along with the rest of the fair.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted with Ivy here, who begrudgingly tolerates the harassment of the masculine audience in her job of Belly Dance, and looks terrified when discovers the true intentions of the Ripper with her. Played straight with Jason who, as usual, is the reckless and tough of the three Robin kids.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Selina's skill with the whip (and love of cats) comes from her past as a lion tamer.
  • Foreshadowing: Looking back, there's a lot of evidence that Gordon is the Ripper. From his dream of his wife's gory demise at the Ripper's knife, to his hatred of the 'filth' of the city, to him showing up in the manhunt for Batman only after the Ripper escapes. When you know what to look for, a lot of it adds up.
  • Frame-Up: Bruce Wayne is framed for the Jack the Ripper murders. It's implied Harvey Dent knows he's innocent but goes along anyway because he's jealous of his relationship with Selena.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gordon a.k.a. Jack states that the patients he took care of as a war doctor may have gotten an STD from a prostitute during the Civil War, and he also mentions seeing war-related horrors as well. He also stated that when he was a boy under the care of nuns, they beat him until he could use his right hand more effectively, possibly giving him even more reason to hate women, whether they're nuns or prostitutes.
  • Freudian Trio: From what little is seen from them, the Robins play off each other the same way their mainstream counterparts do. Tim is the Superego, quiet, observant and thinks before he acts. Jason is the Id, hotheaded, aggressive and concerned with short-term gratification. Dick is the Ego, quicker to action than Tim but has more self-restraint than Jason, that keeps the two in line.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Hugo Strange thinks that Jack the Ripper only targets women, and could not understand why the Ripper would break that pattern to kill him. As a bonus, it's also a case of the sane can't comprehend the insane as Strange believes the Ripper can't kill him in the same manner of his victims as killing a man like he does his female victims goes against his neurosis. He's right. Which is why he changes his technique when he kills Strange, but also to take suspicion off the Ripper as it doesn't follow the Ripper's modus operandi.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Cyrus Gold and the Robins' former boss are brawlers who, unlike Batman and Jack the Ripper, didn't have any formal training in bare knuckle boxing.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Harvey Dent, of all people, who has absolutely nothing likable about him in this adaptation. Even though he's not an actual super villain, Dent is smug, sexist, self-absorbed and, well, two-faced. He tries to cheat on his wife with Selina, cares little about the Serial Killer plaguing Gotham, and he accuses his best friend, Bruce, of being Jack the Ripper, with the implication that he's deliberately throwing him under the bus just because Selina preferred Bruce over him. The fact that he gets away with everything is equally annoying.
    • Same can be said about Jack the Ripper, who deals out Freudian Excuse after Freudian Excuse, but it makes him not sympathetic at all.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Bruce steals a horse from a warder at Blackgate when he escapes. It is not established what happens to it afterwards, but it probably wasn't returned to the prison.
  • He Knows Too Much: Hugo Strange is killed by Jack the Ripper for figuring out his identity. Same for the woman who thinks Bruce Wayne is Jack. Done deliberately to frame Bruce.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: While Selina briefly holds Jack off with her whip, he eventually uses it to pull her towards him and nearly strangles her to death with it where it not for Batman's intervention.
    • Almost happens to Bruce. A blood-covered society pin he finds at the site of a murder is kept for study before giving it to Gordon as Batman. Alfred even points out that he has a pin just like it, but Bruce says it's not his since it's covered in blood and was therefore present when the murder took place and not dropped after. The same pin is used as evidence that he committed the murder.
  • Hollywood Fire: Selina suffers almost no ill-effects from being trapped in a burning Ferris wheel car.
  • Honor Before Reason: Bruce refuses to reveal he's Batman even if he's being tried for being Jack The Ripper.
  • Hypocritical Humor: This exchange:
    James Gordon: So, who do you think Bruce will go out with tonight: Blonde, Brunette, or Redhead?
    Sister Leslie: You have a dirty mind, Commissioner. (Beat) My money's on blonde.
    • When Dick, Jason and Tim are introduced robbing a couple, with Jason referring to Dick by name and Dick lecturing him for this, while using his name as well.
  • Hypocrite: For some reasons, Jack calls murderers "scums" in his Motive Rant.
    • Harvey Dent, who tries to cheat on his wife with Selina, deliberately persecuted his friend Bruce when Selina chose him and has the nerve to call her a "whore", and threatens her when she tries to slap him for the insult.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Literally. Jack the Ripper does dirty work with his left, while his everyday life uses his right.
  • Implacable Man: Jack the Ripper doesn't let so much as a grunt when he is fighting or even when a trap door open under his feet.
  • Insane = Violent: Pretty much, the Arkham's inmates act like a horde of zombies who literally tore Strange in a lot of pieces. Although it's implied that those who are in the pit where Strange is thrown are the more aggressive and violent of all them. He mentions that abrasions to the frontal lobe can fix the insane, and might have performed lobotomies on them, which have never fixed anything.
  • Instant Sedation: Averted. Gordon injects his wife's insomnia medicine into Selina, but she's able to stab him with a hatpin, run and even summon Batman before she can't move anymore. She also never actually goes unconscious and shakes the effects off pretty quickly, probably thanks to all the adrenaline.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Invoked. When Bruce is on the run and Selina picks him up, they don't have anywhere to hide the suit and know each carriage will be searched. They then position themselves to make it look like they're in the middle of having sex when their carriage is stopped, so the officers awkwardly withdraw without searching.
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery: Averted and also notably one of the few animated video features to avert this iconic part of Batman's appearance. Bruce Timm in the Sneak peek video (at 2:15 in the video in link included in description above) even notes that to have his eyes clearly visible instead of having "squinty white eyes he usually has" is a deliberate choice by the creators of this animated movie in an effort to portray him as being a more accessible individual than he is usually presented as in the comics and most adaptations.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Alfred tells Bruce that fingerprints will never be accepted in a court of law.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Harvey Dent is a bit of a jerk at first, but seems to be a friend of Bruce's... and then turns out to be a sexist asshole who completely betrays Bruce when Selina falls for him over Harvey.
  • Karma Houdini: Harvey Dent is a smug, sexist jackass who tries to send Bruce to very possibly hang for a crime he's implied to know Bruce is innocent of, mocks Selina Kyle as a 'whore' and threatens her safety and life, with no real repercussions whatsoever.
  • Kill It with Fire Gordon does this to himself, so that he doesn't get arrested for being Jack the Ripper, and probably so Bruce can never prove his innocence. And then there's half of Barbara's face.
  • Knee-capping: After defeating Big Bill Dust, Batman tells Dickie, Jason, and Timmy to quit his gang and that they should go to Sister Leslie. When they protest that Big Bill will just chase them down, Batman stomps Bill's knee and tells them he won't be chasing anybody for a long time.
  • Knight Templar: Jack believes in destroying sin and the 'filth' of the streets, targeting all those who he feels pollute the city. Including women. Especially women.
  • Large and in Charge: Gordon is huge, nearly 6'6, and very, very well built.
  • Laughing Mad: Gordon is clearly heard laughing as he's burned to death.
  • Last Disrespects: Gordon calling Sister Leslie a whore to Batman during the final fight gives him a Heroic Second Wind.
  • Listing the Forms of Degenerates: Jack's Motive Rant, below.
  • Mask of Sanity: Barbara Gordon plays the part of an angel of the house perfectly, even behind closed doors, but when Batman uncovers the truth, she reveals being tortured by the Ripper has left her mind completely shattered.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Justified in the first instance (Selina and Bruce were just pretending to have sex so it makes sense that they'd still want to cover up), but in the next instance Selina climbs out of bed with her sheet wrapped around her for seemingly no reason other than modesty, as she disrobes a moment later out of shot.
  • Motive Rant: Jack delivers a really scary one to Selina.
    Jack The Ripper:Wayne promised this world's fair would be a paradise of cleanliness and light. But what does a light in the darkness do? It draws flies. Vile, unclean. Like YOU. But for every one of you I eradicate, two more arrive. I promised the people of Gotham to clean the scum off the streets. Thieves, murderers, confidence men, immigrants, illiterates, anarchists. This city seems to spawn them. But it's WHORES, you painted whores, that are the worst. All rosy cheeked, soft, and round on the outside. But on the inside...
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ivy, the Plant Lady provides some fanservice as belly dancer, as does Selina Kyle.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Bruce knocks out one of the warders at Blackgate and steals his uniform when he escapes.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The three Robin kids have similar weapons as their normal selves: a lead pipe (escrima stick) for Dickie, a knife for Jason and a pool cue (bo staff) for Little Tim. They also mentioned the "Johnny Gobs' story" about him and his meet with the Bat-Man, in a similar vein from the 1989 Batman movie. Dickie's "tightroping" entrance is also a reference to his circus trapezist's past. Jason is also portrayed as a redhead; a nod to how in the original Pre-Crisis comics he was a natural redhead and merely dyed his hair black.
    • Selina is constantly the subject of cat based insults and compliments. She even still uses a whip as weapon.
    • Batman being pursued by the police led by Bullock, without his mask, seriously injured, and getting rescued by his girlfriend (Selina Kyle in this case) on a vehicle resembles how Batman is fleeing of the police (led by Bullock, as well) and eventually rescued by Andrea Beaumont in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Not to mention a final battle at the World Fair...
    • Cyrus Gold, the man that will become Solomon Grundy, appears as prisoner in the Blackgate Prison.
    • This is not the first time Barbara becomes psycho.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In order to help Bruce get out of jail Selina reveals his secret identity to James Gordon who, unfortunately for her, turns out to be Jack the Ripper himself.
  • Not His Sled: Jack the Ripper's real identity in the comic is different. Might be for the best, since said character, Bruce's Honorary Uncle Jacob Packer, was a Canon Foreigner and would thus stick out as a suspect among all the added familiar Bat-faces. According to the commentary, he's in the film as Bruce's defense lawyer like in the comic, but unnamed on-screen and voiceless.
  • Not So Different: Not from the villain himself, but Hugo Strange says that Jack The Ripper has a bottomless hatred of women that will never lessen, no matter how many women he kills. Bruce later admits to Selena that he was trying to make criminals pay for his parents murder, at first, but no matter what he does they will never be able to pay enough, with the implication that he has stopped trying to pursue vengeance as Batman. There's also the fact that Bruce and Gordon have friendly personas they use to move through society and costumes to hide their identity when they go out at night to fight for their personal ideas of justice.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Subverted. Selina wakes up alone in Bruce's bed but it turns out the latter is standing at the window. Of course, they can't enjoy breakfast together as Bruce gets arrested.
  • Officer O'Hara: Harvey Bullock has a distinct Irish accent here.
  • Oh, Crap!: Where to begin?
    • Pamela seeing the man she's talking to taking out a knife.
    • Hugo Strange finding out he's been talking to Jack the Ripper.
    • Selina recognizes the bag Gordon's carrying as Jack the Ripper's.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Jack is virulently misogynist, calling most women 'whores' and 'harlots.' He also has a hatred of immigrants, anarchists and the poor.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: According to the commentary, this is why Jack the Ripper was changed to being Commissioner Gordon and presented in this as a Gotham-only problem, as keeping the Ripper's roots as starting in London would've limited the suspect pool and keeping Jacob Packer as a main character would've made it obvious that he's the Ripper.
  • Prison Riot: Bruce Wayne provokes a riot to escape.
  • Public Domain Character: Bruce mentions having studied under someone who taught him "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
  • Reality Ensues: James Gordon is an American Civil War veteran, nearly 6'6 tall, very well built, and an amateur champion of English-style boxing, whereas it is implied that Batman is at the beginning of his vigilante career. So, it's obvious why the Ripper is able to outsmart Batman in a fight. Likewise Selina, who was trained to be a circus lion-tamer, not a fighter, staggers Gordon by being unexpectedly armed with a whip at the start of their fight. It goes downhill for her VERY quickly once the surprise wears off.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Being raised by nuns has left Bruce with religious morals.
  • Red Herring: Three concerning the Ripper's identity.
    • Hugo Strange, because he is usually portrayed as a Psycho Psychologist or Mad Doctor who usually covers his true colors under a mask of respectability, and because he constantly speaks in a creepy manner. He seems like a suspect, up until he gets killed by the real Ripper.
    • Harvey Dent appears to be this for the Ripper, given how unsympathetic and sexist he is, and also displays impressive reflexes when Selina is about to slap him. Not to mention that he usually becomes Two-Face in Batman stories, and is even compared to Jekyll & Hyde by Selina; however he's not a supervillain at all in this film.
    • Jim Gordon has a nightmare of the Ripper killing his wife, and then goes to her in the kitchen and they have a Pet the Dog moment. Genuine Adult Fear making anyone think he isn't the ripper.
  • Renaissance Man: Jack the Ripper, AKA James Gordon, had quite an evolving career path. From a Union Army surgeon, to professional boxer, to Gotham City's police commissioner, until he finally degenerated into a psycho vigilante serial killer. His story also combines Badges and Dog Tags, Lawman Gone Bad, and From Camouflage to Criminal. Batman even remarks on how much Gordon has changed his professions.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: When the man the Robins are attempting to rob starts stammering in terror, they think they "broke him"... until he manages to get out the words, "Bat!"
  • Self-Made Orphan: Selina all but implies she took out the bullets from her abusive father's gun to get him killed by a circus lion.
  • Serial Killer: The Big Bad is one of the most infamous in history: Jack the Ripper.
  • Serial Killer Baiting: Selina Kyle tries to bait and catch Jack The Ripper but ends up underestimating him. She is luckily rescued by Batman.
  • Sexy Silhouette: When Bruce and Harvey visit Selina in her dressing room after the show, they (and the viewer) are treated to a silhouette of her changing clothes behind a screen.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Hugo Strange in this movie. The audience knows him as one of the oldest Batman villains, he usually covers his true colors under a mask of respectability, and he constantly speaks in a creepy manner in all his appearances. So, it's easy to think that he is at least a bad guy (if not The Ripper) who is hiding his true intentions. Instead, he is just genuinely trying to do good, using the methods of his time and the real Ripper kills him because he discovers his true identity.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Gordon is implied to be this, judging from his rants about the conditions he witnessed during the Civil War. Of course, he hated the camp followers more than anything else he saw.
  • Ship Tease: Bruce and Selina get a lot naturally.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Tim, the shortest, youngest cock robin, is also the most sensible and cautious of the three.
  • Shout-Out: A few to Sherlock Holmes, most prominently
    • The Dionysus Club is most likely an allusion to the Diogenes Club.
    • Wayne repeats Holmes' line about eliminating the impossible.
    • The note Wayne asks to deliver to Alfred? A person knowledgeable about Holmes will promptly recognize the significance of The Dancing Men
      • We don't see the last line because of the camera's positioning, but what we do see does form a legible message, which says 
    • When Jack drugs Selina, he's nice enough to explain the syringe contained a seven-per-cent solution.
  • A Sinister Clue: The Ripper is left-handed, one of Batman's few clues in hunting him down. Harvey Dent is noticeably a lefty as well and he's a completely unpleasant, sexist asshole. Turns out 'Jack' was beaten by nuns until he could use his right hand as well as his left, and only uses the left for 'Jack's Work'. Also, note the burns on Barbara's face. They are on the left side. Apparently, that's where the Ripper believed the evil is located.
  • Situational Hand Switch: Jack the Ripper is left-handed, but his alter-ego Jim Gordon is right-handed; he explains that he was born left-handed, but the nuns at his school beat him until he learned to use his right hand.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: Bruce and Harvey belong to one called The Dionysus Club, which apparently counts most of Gotham's young, ruling class males as members. Bruce smuggles Selina in in a none-to-convincing male disguise.
  • Split Personality: Downplayed significantly. When Batman confronts Gordon, he is able to use his left and right hand while wielding a knife. He claims nuns had beaten him as a boy until he was right handed, so he does "Jack's Work" with his left hand. It's not outright stated if Gordon suffers this kind of insanity, but it is definitely implied by this statement.
  • Steampunk: Downplayed, but still present, specially with Batman's gadgets.
  • Street Urchin: In this movie, Dickie, Jason, and Little Tim are three little orphans living in Gotham' streets and committing small crimes to survive. They became more as The Artful Dodger after Batman rescue them and send them to Sister Leslie, and lately Alfred more or less take care of them after Sister Leslie's murder.
  • Tempting Fate: Strange believes the Ripper won't kill him since he isn't a woman; instead he is tossed in a pit full of Arkham's inmates that tore him apart.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Alfred tells him he has an evening on the town with his "friend" Harvey, Bruce only grumbles.
  • Torn Apart by the Mob: Jack the Ripper throws Hugo into a pit containing the most insane of the Arkham patients. They proceed to literally rip him in half.
  • Truth in Television: The real Jack the Ripper is believed to have been left-handed based on the wound patterns of his victims. His civil persona would likely have used his right hand as lefthandedness was routinely and aggressively taught out of children at the time.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The World's Greatest Detective Batman vs history's most infamous uncaught Serial Killer Jack the Ripper.
  • Vapor Trail: sparks from the burning Ferris wheel ignite a trail of oil leaking from the barrel Selina punctured with a batarang. The flames burn back along the trail to the barrels, causing an explosion.
  • War Is Hell: Gordon states this when he's confronted as Jack The Ripper.
    Batman: There were no rules in Antietam, were there, James?
    Jack the Ripper: There are no rules in Hell.
  • Weaponized Headgear: Selina Kyle uses her hatpin to stab Jack the Ripper.
  • Wham Shot: Gordon's secret room is full of enough crap to drive home the fact that he's Jack the Ripper. However the room may also be a way for Bruce to prove his own innocence.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Selina is less than pleased that Bruce would rather stay in jail, than reveal he's Batman when he's needed the most.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: As in other adaptations, Gotham is here a stand-in for Chicago. The World's Fair is virtually an exact replica of the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition there, complete with the original Ferris Wheel, here invented by Lucius Fox instead, and a serial killer (though the more famous Jack the Ripper is here instead of H. H. Holmes).
  • Whip It Good: Although she isn't Catwoman here, Selina Kyle is still highly skilled with a whip. Bruce deduces that she used to be a lion tamer, and she confirms it.
  • The Worf Effect: Batman is not even close to the Ripper's equal in hand-to-hand combat. In fact, every straight fight they engage in results in the Ripper either trouncing Bruce or getting away. In their first fight, the Ripper even outmatches both Batman and Selina Kyle when they try to double team him. Even after his unmasking, the Ripper loses none of his physical superiority and only loses because Batman sneaks some handcuffs on him and he willingly allows a raging fire to consume him.


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