The first three Robins will all be appearing in the new animated movie Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, and we’ve got the clip to prove it. DC Comics’ latest animated film is an adaptation of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola’s 1989 graphic novel of the same name. In what’s widely considered DC’s first Elseworlds story, Bruce Wayne suits up as Batman in 19th century Gotham to take on Jack the Ripper, who’s travelled from London to wreak havoc on the Dark Knight’s hometown. The upcoming animated film is rated R, so we expect that the Victorian Era-set adaptation will be pretty heavy on the violence.
The Caped Crusader won’t be taking on the infamous serial killer all by himself, of course. In the original comic, fan favorite characters like Alfred Pennyworth and
Commissioner Inspector Gordon play key roles in the story. But from the looks of things, the upcoming animated film will be adding a trio of beloved supporting characters to the proceedings.
In the clip above, we meet three young boys — Dicky, Jason, and Little Tim — looking to hustle some cash out of an unsuspecting couple. Their names are no coincidence; the three are this universe’s Oliver Twist-like take on the first three Robins that Batman ever took under his wing: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake.
Judging by the clip, the characters’ personalities have been tweaked slightly for the film. (Save for Jason, who’s always been a jerk.) Fans don’t often get too riled up about these sorts of changes when it comes to Elseworlds tales, though, especially when they allow for fun Easter eggs. The weapons the trio are packing, for instance, are nice nods to the tools favored by the characters’ mainstream counterparts. Street rats Jason and Tim are packing a knife and a long pole or stick, respectively, mirroring Jason Todd and Tim Drake’s preferred weapons, a dagger and a bo staff. Dicky’s crowbar, meanwhile, is a clear nod to Dick Grayson’s trusty Eskrima sticks. Hell, even Jason’s red hair is probably a reference to his Red Hood persona.
We don’t imagine that the boys will end up playing a very significant role in the film, since it would be pretty impossible to shoehorn in an adoption story of any sort into the movie’s brief 78 minute runtime. Still, it’s a fun nod to the Bat-fans who will be watching at home when Gotham by Gaslight is made available for digital download on January 23rd. The Blu-ray drops on February 6th.