Connect with us
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Kryptonian Age #2 cover
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age’ #2 continues to develop a believable world

An immensely enjoyable comic that offers a serious bang for your buck.

After Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1 reintroduced the world of steampunk bats, Batman is finally ready to delve deep into this ever-twisting world. Andy Diggle, Leandro Fernandez, and Dave Stewart jump right back into a Victorian setting where Kryptonian influences are slowly starting to poison a world that was once Batman’s sandbox alone.

There is something genuinely eerie and outright horrifying about the tone that Gotham by Gaslight so carefully cultivates. From the bartender insisting that the very stars are wrong to the ominous narrator that shares the details of tragedies before they even happen on-page, everything paints a gruesome picture. It is the perfect narrative tone for a Batman story, but it is even better for an ancient and (somehow) more jaded Dark Knight.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #2 also continues to play on the ideas of the people of another age lacking the knowledge of today. Characters constantly have misunderstandings that modern science might answer, but they are left questioning how the compasses fail, how the seas work, and anything else that might play out in the story.

DC Preview: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Kryptonian Age #2

DC Comics

That difference in knowledge and comprehension makes the reader feel brighter and more worldly, before the reveal of Kryptonian technology makes even that turn sour. Though the Gotham by Gaslight world is not quite as advanced as our modern one, modern readers, too, can be stumped by the technologies of the future.

Besides that, it’s extraordinary to see the world grow in real-time as more characters are introduced. Every single new addition ties back to their original DC characterization, but the traditional Gotham by Gaslight twist makes them more compelling and more unique. Instead of diving into the exact same character, each one has a twist that inhibits relationships, powers, or even just motivations. One special guest of this issue has a delightful introduction that ties right back to Andy Diggle’s comedic chops, while also considering the eerie setting.

The slow introduction of other characters also does a great job of setting up the world. At times, it really does feel like there is much more than a handful of stories that coexist within the Gotham by Gaslight universe. Every character has complex motivations and a long-standing history that plays into their actions without the audience ever needing to see it. In a medium wherein most characters have played out their stories for decades, that makes it a breath of fresh air.

DC Preview: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Kryptonian Age #2

DC Comics

Even without decades of history, instead of existing solely as an aesthetic for Batman to run around in, the world feels like a deep-seated reality, wherein magic once reigned supreme and now exists only in small fleeting moments that come and go. As more characters enter the picture, that feeling only grows by the panel.

Dave Stewart’s coloring, too, plays a definitive role in developing this world. Everything is dull, dim, and dour. Even the ruins of the Krytonian Age are nothing but a muted blue. The only color with any hope of standing out is the bright red blood that jumps off the page or the glittery orange sounds of swordfights and explosions. It makes the action scenes stand out in a sea of dreary darkness, which makes for a more rewarding and compelling experience.

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Kryptonian Age #2

DC Comics

Gotham by Gaslight also has a strong handle on humor. After a near-deadly fight for Batman, there is an excellent scene that sees him crashing through a window to the surprise of the inhabitants inside. Though Batman has no way of knowing it, he offers the perfect quip. The scene stands out as the rare bit of levity in the comic, and it makes it all the more palatable.

The only true critique to have with this book is that there is simply not enough Batman. In a story centered around the Dark Knight, he hardly appears at all. Roughly half of Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #2 focuses on other characters and subplots. Juggling too many storylines means that the central story of Batman’s tussle with Talia can be easily forgotten. Like the previous issue, this is an incredibly dense issue, and that means that it can be difficult to remember every detail on each page when the next one comes.

Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #2 is an immensely enjoyable comic that offers a serious bang for your buck. Every panel offers unique colors and art that helps to paint a real picture of a well-developed world. More characters are slowly filling this universe, and the growing sense of mysticism and magic seriously adds to an otherwise melancholy reality. It’s always fun to see the Elseworlds franchises grow, and Gotham by Gaslight is getting more rewarding with each passing page.

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - The Kryptonian Age #2 cover
‘Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age’ #2 continues to develop a believable world
Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #2
Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #2 is an immensely enjoyable comic that offers a serious bang for your buck. Every panel offers unique colors and art that helps to paint a real picture of a well-developed world. More characters are slowly filling this universe, and the growing sense of mysticism and magic seriously adds to an otherwise melancholy reality. It's always fun to see the Elseworlds franchises grow, and Gotham by Gaslight is getting more rewarding with each passing page.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.4
This is a dense book that packs in as much story as it can possibly fit.
The world feels like a real place with a defined history and well-developed characters.
The coloring and sense of humor really adds to the Victorian aesthetic.
There are so many juggling plotlines that the main plot can be lost in the muck.
9
Great
Buy Now

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

X-Men #1 X-Men #1

‘X-Men’ #1 is an exciting relaunch

Comic Books

DC Comics reveals SDCC 2024 exclusives and panels DC Comics reveals SDCC 2024 exclusives and panels

DC Comics reveals SDCC 2024 exclusives and panels

Comic Books

Marvel reveals new addition to the Ultimates with new 'Ultimates' #2 cover Marvel reveals new addition to the Ultimates with new 'Ultimates' #2 cover

Marvel reveals new addition to the Ultimates with new ‘Ultimates’ #2 cover

Comic Books

New comic book company teased New comic book company teased

New comic book company teased

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup