Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

Like most of you reading this, I’m sure, it was a real shock when it was announced that DC Comics would be releasing a film adaptation of the classic 1989 Elseworlds one-off Batman: Gotham By Gaslight.  Elseworlds, for those of you who are unaware, is DC’s imprint created strictly for stories of their characters than have nothing to do with their normal continuity.  While Gotham By Gaslight was not the first time any DC character had been taken out of it’s continuity, it just happened to be the first of it’s kind to be released under the Elseworlds umbrella.

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The original story itself places Batman in the late 1880’s, in the era of Jack The Ripper.  Long story short, Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered (well fucking duh!), and after years away from Gotham City and studying under Freud, he becomes Batman after it’s determined following a series of murders against multiple women that Jack The Ripper had come to Gotham City.  At the same time, Bruce reunited with Jacob Packer, an old family friend who was trained in medicine and also became a lawyer using the financial backing of Bruce’s father.  Bruce is framed for the murders and, despite having Packer as his attorney, is still found guilty and is sentenced to hang.

While imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, Inspector James Gordon gives Bruce documents to read in order to help him prove his innocence and with just a day to go before he’s to be hanged he discovers the Jack The Ripper was right under his nose the entire time, as Jack clearly had the skill of a surgeon and had a knife used by his father.  It was Jacob Packer.  With Alfred’s help he escapes Arkham and confront Packer as he’s about to kill another woman.  The fight ends in the site of the Wayne gravestones.  Here Packer admits that he hired an assassin to kill his parents all because he wanted to bone Martha and she rejected him.  Yet even after he had her killed he couldn’t get the sound of her laugh out of his head, so like a true pussy he decided to kill any woman who reminded him of her.  The police arrive but before they could arrest Packer he beautifully slashes Batman across his chest before the police open fire on him.

There’s a bit of ground to cover here’s so I’m going to try and make this as easy as possible.

The Great

Image result for gotham by gaslight dvd  Image result for gotham by gaslight dvd

One major aspect of the original story which blew not just my mind, but probably everyone else’s as well, was the artwork.  According to an interview segment in the bonus section of the DVD, DC might’ve had to shell out for cash than usual just to have the story printed because it involved the use of so many dark colors.  The story featured many dark shades of blue, as well as beautifully intricate detail in regards to the characters and of Gotham City.  I guarantee that recreating that look and feel for a DVD might’ve seemed just a little too ambitious but the guys making this managed to pull it off.  When I look at the way Batman alone was drawn I immediately was taken back to the moment I first read the original story.

The Changes 

If you’re one of those who hated the animated take on The Killing Joke then you’re totally going to hate this too.  Much like that movie, extra scenes needed to be added in order for the move to last over an hour.  But instead of just creating something new like what was done in 2016, DC were able to draw influence from a story I had no idea even existed.  In 1991, DC released the Elseworlds title Batman: Master Of The Future.  Taking place in 1892, it’s the sequel to Gotham By Gaslight, in which a fair is held to celebrate the new inventions that’d help bring Gotham into the 20th Century, as well as a new villain that wants to prevent any of it from happening.

So in order to fill out space, many scenes in this movie take place on the Gotham fairgrounds, which certainly allowed Bruce Timm and co. to go wild with some Steampunk stylings if you’re into that kind of thing, especially when Batman is seen riding what looks like a miniature train (a Victorian era take on the Bat Cycle, I guess).  I’m not and I actually think Steampunk is gay as fuck.  But hey that’s just me.  The bad news here is that thanks to this change it appears that the film adaption has almost nothing to do with the original story, which actually does bother me.  But that’s what leads to the most ridiculous part.

Ok What The Fuck??

Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the movie yet and don’t want spoilers.  As mentioned earlier, there are several change made just for this DVD, the one moment remaining the same being that Bruce Wayne was framed for the murders that Jack The Ripper actually committed.  Upon Bruce’s escape from Blackgate Prison he arrives as Batman at Inspector Gordon’s house.  In trying to find him he finds a white trail stopping at the wall.  Batman manages to find a secret room behind it with newspaper clippings of Jack The Ripper, as well as multiple surgical knives and pictures from his days in the military.  So let me get this straight…so in order to fuck with us all…Bruce Timm decided to make….Jim Gordon the movie’s Jack The Ripper?  Why?  Was it because he’s otherwise known for being the symbol of anticorruption not named Batman?  Who fucking knows?  I still don’t get it.

The Final Verdict

Let’s make it clear now.  I don’t hate what DC did with this version.  The artwork alone is just magnificent.  Words truly can’t describe how much that alone impressed me.  It was interesting to see bits and pieces of another story I was completely unaware of.  That turned the movie into a bit of a Batman history lesson for me.  The one thing that bothers me the most is the removal of Jacob Packer as Jack The Ripper and having James fucking Gordon taking his place.  And for what?  To have as his motive that he hates women and wanted to “clean the streets”?  I think Jacob Packer’s mental instability would’ve been much better for this.  So if I had to give this a rating of 1 – 5, I’d give Batman: Gotham By Gaslight three and a half middle fingers.

 

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The Case For Abbreviated Training

The following is my first ever article for Bodybuilding.com, written today.  It was approved by the moderators not too long ago, hopefully it’s good enough to be published.  But you can read it here and judge for yourself:

I was first introduced to the idea of abbreviated training in 2009, when a trainer at my former gym told me about a book entitled Brawn. Originally released in 1991, it’s author, Stuart McRobert wrote in extensive detail about the important of shorter training in comparison to the routines found in magazines during the time of the book’s release. McRobert stressed that the average Joe couldn’t possibly get big or strong on a pro bodybuilder’s routine, but they could totally benefit by going back to the basics.

Let me clarify something first, the average Joe is not just a non-competitive bodybuilder. It’s someone like you and me, who works a day job five days out of the week and goes to home to multiple responsibilities. Some of you work more than one job, some of you have young children at home, and then there are other responsibilities that naturally hinder us from being able to just go to the gym and do multiple exercises in the course of four, five or even six days a week.

I can actually relate to this now more than ever as someone who recently competed in his first Powerlifting meet. I live in New Jersey but I work in Brooklyn, NY so it takes me a good hour an a half to get to and get home from work. Once I’m home I still have to prepare dinner, get ready for the next day, do things around the house, etc.

My current program, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, calls for three or four day a week training; so what I decided to do was take the four day a week template and alternate it into a three day per week schedule in order to fit my daily needs as well as give myself time to recover from the previous workouts. That was a very important first step for me. The next thing I did for sake of shortening my training was reducing the amount of exercises I needed to do per training day.

This can especially benefit powerlifters. Are we training for looks come competition time or are we training to improve on the big three moves, Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift? If you chose the latter then keep reading! There are plenty of great powerlifting routines out there but if you’re like me and your trying to save time are you really going to waste your time training your secondary muscles? Sure, having thick lats can be beneficial, but are they what you’re using when you Deadlift? Fat chance! You need the power of those hamstrings and your glutes to help you bring that bar up. Same thing applies for Bench Presses. Once again referring to the lats, do they help you push the bar off your chest to the ceiling or do you need a thick chest along with strong triceps and shoulders to help you do the work?

So what’s the point of all of this? Because I’m strapped for time ten months out of the year I need to train in a way that’s practical and in order to do that I stripped my training of anything I found was unnecessary in helping to improve my functionality in the main lifts. In doing this I shortened my training dramatically and I still get results. Here’s an example of the way I currently train using just my working sets:

Day 1:
Overhead Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Barbell Curl – 3 x 10
Tricep Dips – 3 x 10

Day 2:
Deadlift – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Curls – 3 x 10

Day 3:
Bench Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 10
Chest Dips – 3 x 10

Day 4:
Squats – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Press – 3 x 10

Upon reading this you might notice that I split the assistance leg work to two different days. I chose to do that purposely based on which assistance work helps with certain lifts. If I’m squatting then I’d rather just stick with Leg Presses to help me build muscle in my quads, just as I’d rather do Leg Curls on Deadlift days to strengthen my hamstrings. Therefore I have two strictly upper body days and two strictly lower body days, all even arranged as to save time and give me more bang for my buck.

But this is just how I train, for the most part. It might be different for all of you. All I did was take a preset template and removed what I felt was wasting time, because time is money, of which I usually have none. So here’s something to think about in the future if you happen to fall in this category, because it’s amazing to see that the saying “less is more” actually fits here. So if you’re strapped for time and still want to train, get rid of the excuses and make a plan of action today!

Mike is an amateur powerlifter hoping to enter his second competition in the near future.

You can also check out the original article here if you want:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172409253