Batman, one of DC Comics' most recognizable fictional heroes, no longer believes in God in the latest comic book issue.
SPOILERS for Batman #53 are included below:
ScreenRant shared the storyline details for Batman #53, released on Wednesday, which comes at the conclusion of comic writer Tom King's post-Catwoman/Batman wedding arc.
In the story, Catwoman leaves Batman, whose secret identity is billionaire Bruce Wayne, at the altar. This leaves Wayne in a questioning state, where he explores his life and reflects on his theological background — he had been raised as a Christian by his father, Thomas.
In one exchange with another character, Wayne is asked, "Do you believe in God?" to which he replies, "I used to."
He reflects that his father "held hallow the immortal soul, Heaven, the Father and the Son."
His father also believed in "giving your will to your Lord, trusting Him with that will."
Wayne notes that he "put aside believing in a deity — or believing in anything my father thought had saved him."
The cemetery background of the strip strongly suggests that Wayne is referring to the murder of his parents when he was a boy, which is what began the character's journey into becoming Batman. The well-known plot point has been depicted in a variety of Batman movies to date, and is one of the defining marks of the character.
ScreenRant reflected that the revelation that the character seems to have become an atheist is not "all too shocking to comic fans," given that Batman's religious background has shifted over the years. The website noted that for a long time, Batman has had an implied Christian denomination of Catholic or Protestant.
The next film about Batman will reportedly focus on a young version of the billionaire superhero, though the new actor that will be taking on the role has not yet been revealed.