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Batman: Gothic

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Gothic is a Batman storyline written by Grant Morrison with illustrations by Klaus Janson. It's the second installation in the Morrison's Batman saga, following his Arkham Asylum graphic novel and f

Quote1 I read somewhere that the term "Gothic" might possibly be derived from the word "Goetic" -- goes in the Greek -- meaning "magical." I'm beginning to believe that. If architecture could be used to focus and direct spiritual power, then... then... could it also be used for evil? Quote2
-- Batman src


Gothic is a Batman storyline written by Grant Morrison with illustrations by Klaus Janson. It's the second installation in the Morrison's Batman saga, following his Arkham Asylum graphic novel and followed by his run on Batman beginning with Batman and Son over fifteen years later. This is the second arc on the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight series, published between Dennis O'Neil's Shaman and Doug Moench's Prey.


The elite members of organized crime in Gotham City are terrorized by a serial killer named Mister Whisper who they believed themselves to have murdered many years ago. In their desperation having lost several dons, they create a makeshift Bat-Signal to ask Batman for help protecting them.[1] Batman tells them to rot in the Hell they've created, but later in the Batcave with Alfred he remembers a shadow-less man from his past. Bruce went to an awful boarding school as a child where he was caned by the shadow-less headmaster Mr. Winchester, also believed to have killed several of his classmates. The mobster who summoned Batman is attacked by Whisper and Batman arrives to stop him, although it's too late because his wine has already been poisoned. Batman chases after Whisper and they simultaneously recognize each other before Whisper falls off a building and escapes.[2]
Mister Whisper 0001

Mister Whisper

Batman decides to investigate Whisper's history and returns to the boarding school, where information about Winchester takes him to Austria. There he learns the story of a devil-worshiping monk named Manfred who ran an evil monastery and sold his soul for immortality, until the monks were all killed in a great flood. When Batman visits the haunted monastery, he finds that Whisper's next plans involve Gotham Cathedral.[3] Returning to Gotham, Batman confronts the last mobster and learns the story of their original confrontation with Whisper. Looking into the cathedral's gothic architecture, Bruce determines that Whisper has built his own cathedral pointed down towards Hell instead of up towards Heaven. Whisper kills the last mobster and captures Batman when he tries to stop him. Tying him inside a deathtrap, Whisper explains to Batman that he plans on killing thousands with a virulent plague strain to cheat the devil out of his soul and then activates the trap and leaves.[4]
Mister Whisper 0006

The Devil takes Whisper's soul.

Batman escapes and chases after Whisper, exploding the doors off the cathedral to confront him. Whisper almost releases his plague, but they struggle through a wall and begin fighting in the subway. Whisper gets hits by a train and survives then tries to hold Batman on the tracks but fails and gets hit again. Rushing back inside the cathedral, Batman barely stops the plague from being released in time. Whisper escapes to his hotel room, where he's confronted by the Devil who explains that his time is up and forcibly takes him to Hell. Later, Batman receives Whisper's heart in the mail and journeys to Austria again so he can throw it into the sunken monastery.[5]


Paraphernalia Appearing

Items: None known.
Vehicles: None known.
Weapons: None known.


Gothic 001

Batman explains the meaning of the title "Gothic."

  • The title of this story is a reference to Gothic architecture. Much of the plot revolves around the idea that architecture can be used for good or evil, as a method of directing the prayers of human souls closer to God or in the case of Mister Whisper sending them to the Devil.[4]


  • This story reveals that the night Bruce Wayne's parents were killed, they were attending the theater to celebrate him coming home from boarding school. Whisper credits this random murder as the only reason Thomas Wayne didn't uncover him.[4] This is a reference to their original Golden Age appearance.[6] However, this story detail has been contradicted in several other places.
  • Despite being part of the Morrison's Batman mega-series, Gothic does not directly connect to the rest of the saga. However, Morrison uses similar themes to Whisper with the villain Doctor Hurt, another evil-worshiping immortal who made a deal with a greater power.[7]

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Batman Blind Justice TP
Batman Family Storyline
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This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.

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