Batman: Haunted Gotham

Batman: Haunted GothamWhen Bruce Wayne’s parents are killed by a werewolf, he dons cape and cowl to become The Batman!

I was skeptical about how haunted Haunted Gotham could be since the standard DC Universe Gotham City is already pretty spooky. But this Elseworlds series clears the bar, presenting a Gotham City with ghouls, talking skeletons, and snake men. This Gotham doesn’t appear on any maps and if you enter it, you can never leave. Even death brings no respite with Dark Gods hunting down souls of the dead.

Here an adult Bruce Wayne has been trained by his parents so he can assume his destiny. With their murder at the hands of a werewolf assassin, Bruce becomes Batman and a pawn in a much larger game. Dr. Thomas Wayne was a member of the “Invisible College,” a league of mortals aligned against the Dark Gods and The Batman was their ultimate weapon, but can Bruce fight evil without becoming evil?

Imaginary stories usually change the setting while the basic hero versus villain story plays out like normal. Bruce Wayne might be Batman in the Old West or he might be fighting against a vampiric Joker, but there’s no real surprise in store. This Batman seems less sure of himself and his ability to take on the supernatural. He’s challenged in ways his DCU counterpart isn’t – ways that make for a compelling – and dark – read.


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