Although Batman is a larger-than-life character and has had many iterations over the years. But he has existed in the current time period in nearly all of his different iterations. The closest thing that we ever got to a medieval Batman is in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight storyline.
Batman: Gotham By Gaslight is a comic book and a movie as well. This comic book is now featured in the Elseworlds stories and is considered the first story of this collection. Elseworlds is a new story concept in which the characters from DC comics are featured in alternate stories that are not a part of the DC universe continuity. For the sake of this article, we will refer to this 19th century Batman as the Medieval Batman.
In this story we see Medieval Batman take on a criminal called “Jack The Ripper” who kills prostitutes in Gotham city in the late nineteenth century. Batman is the alter-ego of the 19th Century, Bruce Wayne. The story might be set in a different timeline but Batman is still Batman and is known best for striking terror in the hearts of the criminals of Gotham.
Gotham By Gaslight Film Plot Summary
The film begins with Batman saving a wealthy couple from getting robbed by three orphans Dickie, Jason, and Timmy. On further inquiry into why the orphans are robbing people, he also saves the orphans from their abusive handle “Big Bill Dust”.
At the same time Ivy (Alternate version of Poison Ivy) an exotic dancer and a prostitute become the next victim of “Jack The Ripper“. The Batman is believed to be this villain that kills the prostitutes. Selina Kyle is a stage actress that rebukes Jim Gordon and Commissioner Harvey Bullock on their inability to protect the innocents from Jack The Ripper.
Selina decides to take matters into her own hands and poses as a prostitute to lure the ripper. She succeeds in doing so but the plan backfires when Jack overpowers her. But she is saved by Batman but the ripper succeeds in escaping. After this Batman asks Gordon for his help in capturing Jack The Ripper.
Bruce and Harvey Dent meet Selina Kyle at the theatre and Bruce figures out the next victim would be Sister Leslie that took care of the prostitutes when they were young. He goes to save her. But she is killed before he can reach there.
At the crime scene, Bruce finds a bloody pin of an executive club that only Gotham’s elite join. Batman deduces that the Ripper has to be one of Gotham’s wealthy.
Medieval Batman Using His Detective Skills
At Sister Leslie’s funeral, Bruce is met by Hugo Strange a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. He claims that he knows who Jack The Ripper is and he wants to meet with Batman. Bruce also meets Marlene. She is a drunken old woman who tells Bruce that she saw him sneaking around when Sister Leslie was killed. Meanwhile, Bruce’s butler Alfred stops the three orphans from pick-pocketing him and offers to provide them work.
After Hugo’s claim of knowing the Ripper’s true identity. The Ripper attacks Hugo Strange and throws him to his own patients. The patients tear Hugo Strange apart. Batman intercepts The Ripper when he is trying to escape and chases him to the top of an airship.
Both of them fight and Batman gets seriously wounded and the airship explodes with the Ripper escaping. After this thinking that Batman is The Ripper, he is chased by police. And is nearly caught only to be saved by Selina. After seeing Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, she takes him to her home. The next day, Marlene is discovered dead and Bruce is arrested for her murder.
Bruce is sentenced to Blackgate Penitentiary after failing to prove his innocence during the trial. Selina Kyle meets Bruce and urges him to tell everyone about his secret identity so that he can be proved innocent. She also insists that Batman needs to protect the citizens of Gotham from Jack The Ripper.
Medieval Batman Defeats The Ripper
When Bruce refuses to reveal his secret identity she decides to tell Gordon herself and show him one of his Batarangs to prove that he is in fact, Batman. Bruce finally escapes after Selina tells him her plan to tell everybody that he is Batman. He does so by bribing the security guard. On escaping he wears his Batsuit that the three orphans delivered to him.
Selina meets 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.
Gordon injects Selina with a drug, but she manages to use her blood and the Fair’s searchlight to give Batman a signal. But Batman arrives and fights Gordon. During the fight, Gordon reveals that his “holy work” is to rid Gotham of what he sees as filth. He thinks of the poor, criminals, immigrants, the illiterate, prostitutes, and anarchists as the filth.
As the fight progresses, Gordon is burned alive after he is trapped in a Ferris wheel that catches fire. Batman and Selina are saved by Alfred and the orphans. Bruce adopts the orphans as his wards. They succeed in escaping and see the ashes hoping that this fire will cleanse Gotham of its biggest villain signaling a new era for the city.