"Gothic: A Romance, Volume Three: The Burning Nun": Batman returns to the Batcave after his failed encounter with Mr. Whisper, who Batman knows is his former headmaster Mr. Winchester. After healing some of the wou
- Would it be too much to inquire of your cloak? Did you perhaps give it to some particularly desperate charity?
Appearing in "Gothic: A Romance, Volume Three: The Burning Nun"
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Flashback and main story)
- Bride of Christ
- Bunny Babbitt (Mentioned only)
- Conrad (Flashback only)
- Fallen Angel (Flashback only)
- Henry (Only appearance; dies)
- Martha Wayne (Mentioned only)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Gothic: A Romance, Volume Three: The Burning Nun"
Batman returns to the Batcave after his failed encounter with Mr. Whisper, who Batman knows is his former headmaster Mr. Winchester. After healing some of the wounds caused by the struggle, Bruce Wayne rests for a while before going back to his old childhood private school. There, he asks for a recording of Winchester's poetry tapes and the reluctant headmaster agrees to give Bruce what he wants only after he has been promised some money for the school fund.
Back in the Batcave, Batman analyzes the recording in the Batcomputer and learns that Winchester's recording was created somewhere in Austria. However, the tape soon turns into that of Thomas Wayne and Bruce Wayne, many years ago. The voice of Thomas talks about Lake Dess and Batman deduces that this fortunate mix-up has given him the location to learn the secret of Mr. Whisper. At that moment, the mob boss Morgenstern starts to take over the Gotham Organized Crime and he is glad to see Batman leaving Gotham in the Batgyro.
Batman arrives to Austria and goes directly to an old monastery near Lake Dess in order to ask for directions. The Abbot helps Batman, but before giving him the instructions on how to reach the lake, he tells Batman the story of an ancient monk called Manfred, who fell into temptation and led an entire monastery into a sinful path. Among the many atrocities committed by the group was the abusing and torture of unsuspecting nuns and the final burning of the last woman of that group. After that, Manfred became victim of the plague, but legend has it, he struck a deal with the devil and surrendered his soul in exchange for three hundred years of life. Although he was immune to death, Manfred and his sinful followers were decimated by the rising waters of Lake Dess, which drowned their monastery entirely, killing most of them. After the Abbot has finished his story, Batman asks about the possibility of Manfred being real, to which the Abbot replies that the time would be ripe for the devil to claim the man's soul. Finally, the Abbot gives Batman directions to reach the drowned monastery in Lake Dess and Batman goes to investigate.
Batman submerges into the cold, dark waters, pondering about the unknown things he might find in the abandoned place. The locals believe that the place is haunted by the soul of the last nun, who was burned at the stake and will not rest in peace until Manfred is gone. Eventually, Batman finds an entrance to the monastery and makes his way into the building, which is still half submerged in the lake. Using a flashlight to guide his path, Batman notices a strange light on a hallway and when he approaches, he is shocked to see the burning spirit of the nun. However, this was all a trick of his own mind, as he was simply staring into a mirror. Batman continues the investigation of the old monastery and finds a secret safe, which is locked with a rose combination. Batman recalls his nightmare and the words "unlock the rose". After opening the safe, Batman finds an old blueprint of a building, which much to his surprise, resembles the Gotham Cathedral.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Gothic trade paperback.
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