Batman: Gothic

Batman: Gothic

Cover to trade paperback of Batman: Gothic.
Publisher DC Comics
Publication date April – August 1990
Genre Superhero
Title(s) Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10
Main character(s) Batman
Creative team
Writer(s) Grant Morrison
Artist(s) Klaus Janson
Letterer(s) John Costanza
Colorist(s) Steve Buccellato
Editor(s) Andrew Helfer
Collected editions
Gothic ISBN 1563890283

Gothic is a Batman comic book storyline written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Klaus Janson.



Batman finds that a man known as "Mr. Whisper" is killing off five mobsters bosses one by one. The mobsters explain to Batman that he was a child killer over thirty years ago, and (similar to the film M) the mobsters had found and killed him when there was too much pressure from the cops over them. At the same time, Batman's investigation links Mr. Whisper with a hideous event in Bruce Wayne's school days, a bargain reminiscent of Don Giovanni, and the Gotham City Cathedral.

The events take Batman to a Monastery in Austria, where he finds the truth about the Monk Manfred, who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for avoiding the Black Plague. Manfred was also given three hundred years of life, after which he will be taken to hell. Manfred is indeed Mr. Whisper, and also Mr. Winchester, a teacher Bruce Wayne had when he was a child and was studying in a men only-British like school. Winchester had terrorized Bruce and a lot of young students, and murdered one of them. Before leaving the school, Bruce saw clearly that Winchester's figure was shadowless, like Manfred's figure.

Batman monitors the mobsters that can be attacked by Mr. Whisper, who's out for revenge. When Whisper makes his try at one of them, Batman chases him, but he is eventually captured by him. Whisper tells Batman that as a sign of appreciation over his abilities, his persona and what he represents, he has prepared an elaborate death for him (the trap is essentially a Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson-style device). He also has a young nun that has recently arrived to Gotham as a hostage. Manfred reveals his plan to Batman: He is going to cheat the Devil by giving him the souls of the whole city instead of his own. For that he needs a combination of magic and the very same plague that almost killed him, and he has both ready.

Batman escapes from the trap and fights with Whisper in the Cathedral, but the floor collapses and they fall into the subway tunnel. There, Whisper is run over by a train. Batman disables the Cathedral's bell that should have rang, and thus the plague is kept contained in the Cathedral.

Whisper is then confronted by the young nun, who reveals herself as Satan, finally taking Manfred to Hell where he belongs. Later, Bruce Wayne receives, in a package, Whisper's heart. He flies back to Austria, and throws the heart into the river to let the nun who was killed by Whisper so long ago finally rest in peace.

Critical reaction

IGN Comics ranked Batman: Gothic #16 on a list of the 25 greatest Batman graphic novels, saying that "Gothic offers not only a new twist to the origins of Bruce Wayne, but a dark and suspenseful tale perfectly suited for the Dark Knight."[1]

Collected editions

The storyline has been collected into a trade paperback:


  1. ^ The 25 Greatest Batman Graphic Novels, Hilary Goldstein, IGN, June 13, 2005


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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