Batman & Demon: a Tragedy
by Alan Grant, Jim Murray
(DC Comics, 2000)

Bruce Wayne wakes in a medieval/fantasy very unlike the Gotham he inhabits today. In this neo-Celtic and magical world, Wayne is a normal, mortal man by day, the murderous bat-demon Etrigan by night. Only the goodness of Etrigan's mortal cage prevents him from killing indiscriminately.

As is typical in Elseworlds titles, much is changed; besides combining the Batman/Etrigan characters into one, the plot circles around the likes of Catwoman, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Jim Gordon and, of course, Alfred -- but none are exactly who or what you'd expect. In a world influenced heavily in appearance by the berserker-hero Slaine of 2000 A.D. fame, illustrator Jim Murray has taken the Alan Grant tale and given it dark, thick life.

I am quite often fond of the less-trodden paths explored in Elseworlds, and this one is rich and mysterious. Unfortunately, it is also brief, and as is too often the case, the story would benefit from a more detailed look.

by Tom Knapp
10 February 2007

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