"Gothic: A Romance, Volume Four: The Hangman's Tale": A criminal named Hooper holds a gun to a boy's head in a building that the Gotham City Police Department have surrounded. They call for him to release the boy and surrender, but the criminal refuses. [[Bruce Wayne (New
- I remember the headlines. That's what changed you, wasn't it? That's when you were plunged into the darkness. You're still little more than a brutalized child for whom the world is all shadows and fear. I pity you. I suppose it's a kind of Hell. But don't worry. I will deliver you.
Appearing in "Gothic: A Romance, Volume Four: The Hangman's Tale"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Morgenstern (Dies)
- Mister Whisper (Flashback and main story)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Hooper (Single appearance)
- Kane Brothers (Flashback only)
- Leo Graziano (Flashback only)
- Mr. Trimble (Dies)
- Murray (Single appearance)
- Ottavio (Flashback only)
- Monastery of the Capuchins (17th Century) (Flashback only)
- United Kingdom (Flashback only)
- England (Flashback only)
- Gotham Cathedral (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Gothic: A Romance, Volume Four: The Hangman's Tale"
A criminal named Hooper holds a gun to a boy's head in a building that the Gotham City Police Department have surrounded. They call for him to release the boy and surrender, but the criminal refuses. Batman arrives, saves the boy and knocks Hooper unconscious, leaving him for the police. Later, Batman goes to see a mobster named Morgenstern, who tells the Dark Detective about the night the mobsters killed Mr. Whisper.
Batman returns to the Batcave and studies the blueprint he found in Austria before he decides to follow the last clue, given to him by Morgenstern, and goes to the industrial district. Inside a warehouse, Batman finds several bodies hanging from the ceiling. Whisper reveals himself and attacks Batman. The surprise attack gives Whisper the advantage and he captures Batman and ties him down.
With Batman trapped, Whisper tells the story of how the deal with the devil prevented him from dying, but gave him enough time to come up with a plan to cheat the devil. Over the years, Whisper studied architecture, chemistry and other occult sciences. Using this knowledge, Whisper managed to trap his soul inside a cord, which removed his shadow. Then, he experimented with cells and samples from the victims of the plague in order to recreate another strain. Whisper created the deadly formula and found a way to insert it in glass. The final step of his plan was the construction of the Gotham Cathedral. He hid his soul cord in the foundations of the building and used the plague glass to decorate the place. Now, he has weakened the glass so that when May Day comes, the Cathedral's bell crushes the glass and releases the plague, killing most of the people of Gotham. Whisper then will offer the Devil all the victims' souls in exchange for his, which will allow him to live forever.
Before leaving, Whisper then lights a candle and tells Batman that when the candle goes out a chain reaction will crush his skull, killing him.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Gothic trade paperback.
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