DC Comics published the Elseworlds comic book Batman: Holy Terror written by Alan Brennert with artwork by Norm Breyfogle. Taking its cues from alternate history genres, it presents a different take on the Dark Knight.
In a different world, Oliver Cromwell succeeded in reforming England and maintaining America as a colony, including Gotham City. The country is ruled by a corrupt theocratic government and Gotham City is controlled by the mysterious Star Chamber. Bruce Wayne, years after having witnessed his parent’s murder, is preparing to become a reverend, selling Wayne Manor to the state. However, Inquisitor Gordon tells him the truth, that his parents were killed because the state approved their deaths when it was revealed they worked in the resistance. Angered, Bruce drives himself into the cave beneath the Manor and decides to become the vigilante Batman. With this new identity, he will exact holy vengeance on the hierarchy that killed his parents and make new allies along the way.
The story has vibes similar to V For Vendetta and Ultraviolet, a corrupt theocracy rules the government. They conspired against the protagonist. The protagonist figures it out. What sets this one apart is that is Batman. I will say, I also appreciated that it made itself clear that the Bible is not the source of corruption, but that an evil government is corrupting it. That was a nice diverging from the usual stories.
I will say the artwork is pretty good. Norm Breyfogle is known for illustrating several prominent comic book characters including Batman, Bloodshot, Superman, The Avengers, Prime, and Black Panther.
As for the story, it is not bad. It definitely borrows heavily from its inspirations, but seeming Bruce Wayne take on the mantle of the Batman in this manner was highly imaginative. I also liked the cameos from popular characters including Barry Allen and Arthur Curry, but I was hoping for more appearances of Gotham’s more infamous citizens. Other than that, I did find it interesting and engaging.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.