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BATMAN: HAUNTED GOTHAM (2000)

Story: Doug Moench, Artwork: Kelley Jones

Writers of DC's popular Elseworlds series, which places variations on familiar characters in unfamiliar settings, seem particularly fascinated with Batman and the possibilities for new gothic slants on the character.

The four-part Haunted Gotham gives us a Gotham that is locked away from the rest of the world. It is a giant playpen for demonic forces, and Bruce Wayne's parents and the "Invisible College" have trained Wayne as a champion to fight those evil forces in the guise of a giant bat. The elder Waynes' deaths at the hands of a toothy werewolf triggers the creation of the Batman, who quickly finds himself fighting an undead Joker, the snakelike Lord Ophidian and various forces of Hell. Allies include trusty Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and undercover officer Cassandra Knight, an animated skeleton named Cal and the busty seer Cat Majik.