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on August 23, 2016
This was a book I picked up because I no longer have my original copy. I enjoyed it then and even with the passage of time I still found it enjoyable to read. I've always been a fan of Breyfogle's art and the writing matches it well. I don't read comics much anymore (not thrilled with what they've made of them) but this one is a fantastic example of the best of 90s comics. I really enjoyed the "Elseworlds" series of books that DC did back then.
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on July 29, 2016
One of my all-time favorite Batman stories, so well written with fabulous artwork by Norm Breyfogle...this is comic writing at its best!
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on August 16, 2016
Good condition
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on December 24, 2014
I love seeing alternate storylines and this one tops the list. Loved seeing this side of Batman.
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on May 22, 2014
A good Elseworlds book to read about the Batman. Alan Brennert crafts a very good story, that grabs your attention.
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on October 26, 2013
The best part about this book was the cover. You and me can both acknowledge that it strikes you as interesting and memorable, but everything inside is assuredly forgettable. The art is simple and somewhat acceptable, it reminds you a bit of the 40's or 50's. The colors are the same, highlights are everywhere, which is not how gotham should look, even in a theocracy. Shadows are green, yellow, brown, or blue. Overall it fails to impress visually and unfortunately also in its portrayal of Wayne's journey to becoming batman. This is probably due to its short length of 40 something pages. But the fact that he doesn't plan to rid the city of the criminal element immediately after his parent's deaths also lower the quality of this work. It feels as if he had already gotten past the anger and frustrations, or had not developed any in the first place. Without his obsessions, he has no motivation for reaching the peak of human ability. He is not a detective or a creature of the night. He is not a business man so where would his gadgets come from? Even after all that, his mission to discover who ordered his parent's deaths end up being an exercise in futility with him already knowing what he had to do in the first place.. The short length also makes me feel like no one had any faith in this book in the first place. If the did, they would have allowed for a longer story. My advice is to read the Wikipedia summary, I guarantee that it is more exciting than this book!
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on January 11, 2013
What if America were a Christian theocracy (Christianity - popular in America? The mind boggles!) and issues like abortion and equal rights for gays were outlawed (hmm.. is this "Elseworlds" or 21st century reality?), and there is no higher power than the Church. And the Church has killed Bruce Wayne's parents because they were secret underground dissidents, working against Church dogma to help people - the sheer audacity of practicing Christian charity! This Church is obsessed with experimenting on people in Dr Mengele-style for some reason but Bruce is going to dress as a bat and find vengeance for his parents against the Church.

This "Elseworlds" - an alternate reality series for DC's biggest characters - is the worst one I've read because it's mind-numbingly boring. Once Bruce becomes Batman (through a series of inane contrivances not worth listing) he enters Church HQ, we see the Church's horrible experiments on other famous DC characters - for no reason other than because that's what bad guys do - and then Batman vows a jihad against the evil Church. The end! There's no point in putting Batman in a Christianist dystopia when it's definitely not entertaining and the writer doesn't have anything to say other than, duuuh, bad people manipulate others through religion. Holy Terror, Batman, this book sucks!
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on January 18, 2013
In a world where church and state are one, the "random" murder of two prominent citizens with ties to those in power has some lose ends swept aside. But they won't stay lost forever, and the surviving child named Bruce Wayne will have some dark choices to make when he's told the truth behind his parents deaths...

Batman: Holy Terror was the beginning of DC's Elseworlds stories. The "strange versions of familiar characters" theme had been done before, but the approach of these stand-alone stories had a fresh feel when they came out.

Of course the concept has been beaten to death since, and as a result many of the Elseworlds stories lose a fair bit reading them nowadays. Holy Terror isn't quite as good as I remember from years ago, but is still one of my favorites. It's a slowish, atmospheric tale about the world Bruce is trapped in and the creation of the Batman. There is a small cast of characters who are given at least a little development in this short tale, and a lot of great little touches, many involving the fates of our heroes in this twisted world. The art is of a very different style than most of today's comics, but I love it. The cover remains one of the most striking I've ever seen.

I like the way the unfolded, and the historical and religious inaccuracies present in the set up didn't bother me (I honestly probably missed most of them), but new readers might have a different reaction. This is not a wall to wall action epic. This is about ideals, truths, and fighting one's way towards an answer through a layered maze.

Holy Terror won't impress everyone, but it is a solid reimagining and for me remains one of the best of the Elseworlds comics.
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on June 21, 2005
This is an Elseworlds tale in the tradition of Gotham By Gaslight but released before the Elseworlds name came to be.

The time is the present but one different from the one we know. Oliver Cromwell did not die when he did in our world, instead he rose from his sickbed and persisted for another decade. Because of this, the mother church is in full control of Britain and the New World colonies (and much of the world that they have conquered). Here a young Bruce Wayne has finally found peace after the death of his parents. He is about to take his vows with the church when Inquisitor Gordon reveals that Wayne's parents were rebels and were executed my the Church in a way made to look like a random crime. Now Bruce does not know what to do.

His confidence in the church has been shaken and Bruce sets out to revenge himself on those that decided to kill his parents. But his quest leads him higher and deeper as he discovers that there are people with amazing abilities that have been either enslaved by the church or imprisoned. Bruce sees that his problem is not with the Church itself but with the way some men are wielding its power. With his faith strong Wayne continues to don an old demon costume of his father's and goes out to fight the injustice of the system.

This was one of the best of the Elseworlds tales. The alternate history worked well and the parallel heroes that Bruce discovers were very well done. While Gotham By Gaslight had a couple of sequels, this one has remained alone although it is rich enough to spawn many new tales. Check it out.
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on November 9, 2004
This is, as far as I know, the first official Elseworlds book. The "What If" is Oliver Cromwell's survival for a decade, which ensures that the Puritan Commonwealth remains in place indefinitely in Britain and its colonies, including North America. Bruce Wayne's parents, dissidents in this harsh, totalitarian theocracy, are murdered by order of the Court of Star Chamber, a shadowy religious authority. This sets in motion the cogs and wheels that will lead to Batman's advent. Seeking answers, Batman penetrates the bowels of Gotham Cathedral and runs into a government project, run by the demented scientist Erdel, to control superhumans and turn them into government stooges. Flash, Green Lantern, Vicky Vale, Aquaman, Lori Lemaris, Clayface, Zatanna, Metamorpho and, most memorably, Superman, turn up and are either crushed by the government and turned into slaves. The story is well told, and remarkably sophisticated. The artwork is acceptable, though not brilliant.

The book is, nonetheless, full of mistakes. The Commonwealth police were never called "Inquisitors", and in fact the term would have been repugnant to them, since it would have smelled of Catholic popery. The same goes for the flagrant use of religious imagery in Bruce Wayne's gymnasium and in a Church where he is ordained. The Puritans were iconoclasts and did not accept the use of human representation in a religious context. In fact, they destroyed most of Britain's medieval imagery, which was a significant part of its culture. The religious structure, with Bishops and ordained priests, looks rather Episcopal, and would have been inconsistent with the Puritans, many of whom were Presbiterians who did not accept tbe bishopry. And also, the Puritans were very divided among themselves and could never have held power for 350 years irrespective of Cromwell's survival. Plus the book is clearly intended as a heavy-handed criticism of the American religious right. Comic books can do social criticism, but then they need to be better informed (cf. The Watchmen is still the gold standard for this).

Having said this, who cares? The story is nonsensical but fun and memorable. So buy it, already!
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