Many fans have often wondered if Batman is an atheist and it seems like DC’s Batman #53 has just answered this.
In the #53 issue, we come across Bruce serving jury duty on Mr. Freeze’s murder trial. All jurors are against Freeze except Bruce, not because Freeze is innocent but because he knows that Batman crossed the line this time. Batman had used too much force to apprehend Freeze but somehow Bruce has to explain this to the other jurors.
This is exactly where we get a peak inside Bruce’s spiritual life. When he’s asked if he believes in God, Bruce replies that he does. Or rather, he used to. He explains how the death of his family had set aside his belief in God. This can be taken as a declaration that Batman is indeed an atheist. This question has often been debated on Reddit where some have even questioned how Batman could be an atheist if he works with Wonder Woman, who is a Demi-God (daughter of Zeus) herself.
However, this is exactly what #53 tells us: Batman does believe in something, he has just lost all of his faith in it. Bruce continues to explain that after a lot of years he finally found himself believing in something: Batman. He doesn’t say that he is Batman himself but instead, he says that Batman is a form of God for him (Bruce). But Batman isn’t really like God; he doesn’t offer solace from suffering or comfort in loss.
Bruce continues that Batman punches people in the face while God blesses them. This results in the jury acquitting Freze. However, this does tell us that Bruce has clearly lost in faith in himself too as he tells Alfred that he’s lost. Even before he attends the final panel, we see him reminding himself of who he is. He did believe in God but now that God or rather that hope has been replaced by Batman.
Although what Bruce believes spiritually isn’t prominent here but is a part of a bigger story in Tom King’s Batman series where Batman is currently struggling after Batwoman refused to marry him in Batman #50. Batman is now alone and he really needs to figure out who he is and what he wants. After all, issue #53 closes with the Bible Verse Job 1:20-21 that says, “the Lord gave and Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”