Published in 2007 by DC Comics in Batman issue #666, Batman in Bethlehem is a standalone tale featuring Damian Wayne – the son of Bruce Wayne. In the story, set 15 years into the future, Damian has taken over the role of Batman, becoming Gotham’s dark new protector.
Written by Grant Morrison and pencilled by Andy Kubert, Batman in Bethlehem sees Damian investigating the murders of various Gotham mob bosses. As the death count rises, the Gotham Police Department become convinced that Batman is the killer, but the Caped Crusader is busy tracking down the real culprit.
What happens in Batman in Bethlehem?
Having taken on the mantle of the Bat in an increasingly hostile world, Damian Wayne investigates the deaths of five prominent mob bosses throughout Gotham City. All five bosses were murdered at different points in Gotham, with the location of the bodies forming the pattern of a five-pointed star.
The killer is Bat-Devil – a faux-Batman who claims he is the anti-Christ. His goal is to upset the balance and create a world “where the strong are free to exploit and abuse the weak.”
Bat-Devil and his gang of miscreants invade Hotel Bethlehem – located at the centre of the five-pointed star. The villains make hostages of all the guests, then wait for Batman to arrive.
The Dark Knight storms the building and cuts a bloody path through Bat-Devil’s gang. The two engage in battle, with Batman being triumphant.
Commissioner Barbara Gordon and the GCPD arrive to find Bat-Devil’s body ablaze. Batman has taken the action he felt necessary and announces the apocalypse is cancelled… until he says so.
Is Batman in Bethlehem a good read?
Showcasing stunning visuals, as well as an intriguing and stark (possible) future, Batman in Bethlehem is a great read. It leans heavy on action, rather than story, but this allows for some dynamic fight scenes with Damian Wayne kicking all kinds of butt as a very brutal Batman.
The story’s only downside is that it is too short – this tale runs to just one issue (22 pages) and could have easily been developed into something more. It also seems to end rather abruptly.
But shortness aside, Batman in Bethlehem is a strong story – and one that demonstrates how good Damian Wayne is as a character.
Has Batman in Bethlehem been adapted into film?
Batman in Bethlehem has not been adapted for film. There are a number of animated movies featuring Damian Wayne (including 2014’s Son of Batman) but these films tell very different stories.
Maybe one day.
I hope this information on Batman in Bethlehem has proved useful. Should you want to read more posts about Batman, please take a look through I’ll Get Drive-Thru, or alternatively check out one of the recommended reads below.