Written by Howard Chaykin and illustrated by Dan Brereton, Batman: Thrillkiller came out in 1997, and it is an elseworld story taking place in the 60s.
Bruce Wayne is not Batman in this story, instead, it is Batgirl and Robin’s duty to defend Gotham City from crime. After the Wayne family lost their fortune, Barbara Gordon purchases Wayne Manor to fight crime across the streets of Gotham with the help of her assistant and lover, Dick Grayson. Bruce Wayne, however, works as a detective for the GCPD, and is trying his best to stop crime as well.
One of the most interesting things about this story, without any doubt, is the Joker. In fact, the Clown Prince of Crime, is a female criminal in this book called Bianca Steeplechase: a dangerous femme fatale and also the White Queen of Gotham.
The setup for this comic is interesting, and it is definitely fascinating to explore. Dan Brereton’s art is sublime, and it goes well with this kind of story. It is in fact peculiar, lively, vibrant and seductive.
Thrillkiller, then, is almost like a noir movie in comics, but unfortunately the comic ends with a rather unnecessary cliffhanger, which will surely frustrate the reader. However, it is worth it to give this comic a try, especially if you like noir stories.
Being an elseworld story, though, to really appreciate the storyline of this book and to keep up with the story, it is obviosly necessary to know the characters and the settings of the Batman Universe pretty well, otherwise, especially if this is the first time reading a Batman comic, there will definitely be a sense of confusion while reading the story, and it will hardly make sense.
With that said, Thrillkiller is a beautiful and fresh story, that is worth reading despite being fairly old, and shouldn’t be forgotten.