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Review – Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham – “A gorgeous horror mystery with Batman facing Lovecraftian monsters”

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham is a new animated film inspired by the comic book series by Mike Mignola, Richard Pace and Troy Nixey.

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham is a 1920s-based tale that finds explorer Bruce Wayne accidentally unleashing an ancient evil, expediting his return to Gotham City after a two-decade hiatus. The logic/science-driven Batman must battle Lovecraftian supernatural forces threatening the sheer existence of Gotham, along the way being aided and confronted by reimagined versions of his well-known allies and enemies, including Green Arrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Two-Face, James Gordon and Bruce’s beloved wards. Prepare for a mystical, often terrifying Batman adventure unlike any other.

What that translates to is a gorgeous horror mystery with Batman facing Lovecraftian monsters. The Elseworlds tale is set during the 1920s and we follow Bruce Wayne and his team of explorers, including Oswald Cobblepott, from the frozen North – in a lovely homage to At The Mountains of Madness complete with creepy penguins – and back to Gotham City.

Bruce knows that something evil is heading to Gotham and he has to use his detective skills to figure out just what is going on. We see lots of hunting for clues, some great action scenes and some twisted creatures lurking in the shadows. As well as the ones mentioned in the synopsis above, there were some other DC characters involved along with some from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

The first thing to say is just how well a 1920s Batman fits with the Cthulhu Mythos. All the dark shadows and conspiracies of Gotham blend well with dark cults doing terrible things. Even better is how it mixes many of Batman’s gallery of Rogues into it all. Almost all of the villains are physically or mentally corrupted by the Lurker on the Threshold. My favourite was the creation of Mr. Freeze. It all fits with the twisted logic of the Great Old Ones, and also fits with his usual powers.

The character design for all the major players is fantastic, although I could never quite work out what was going on with Killer Croc’s face. In particular, I loved the Batsuit in this one. A little similar to the Gotham by Gaslight design, but with some cool little changes.

Gotham also looks incredible and forms a dark brooding backdrop for the events of the film.

The voice cast is comprised of David Giuntoli (Grimm, A Million Little Things) who reprises his Batman: Soul of the Dragon role as the voice of the Dark Knight. Tati Gabrielle (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) makes her DC animated debut as Kai Li Cain, Batman’s closest ally. Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Harvey Dent, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire) as James Gordon, and David Dastmalchian (Dune, The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon. Rounding out the cast is Gideon Adlon (Legion of Super-Heroes) as Oracle, Karan Brar (Jessie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise) as Sanjay “Jay” Tawde, Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, The Frighteners) as Kirk Langstrom, Darin De Paul (Mortal Kombat Legends & Overwatch franchises) as Thomas Wayne, Brian George (Seinfeld) as Alfred, Jason Marsden (Young Justice, A Goofy Movie) as Dick Grayson & Young Bruce Wayne, Navid Negahban (Homeland, The Cleaning Lady) as Ra’s al Ghul, Emily O’Brien (Days of Our Lives) as Talia al Ghul & Martha Wayne, Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager) as Lucius Fox, William Salyers (The Regular Show) as Cobbelpot & Professor Manfurd.

On the whole, they all did a great job. However, I did sometimes feel Batman’s voice was a little lackluster in places. I can see that Giuntoli was going for a character who is in control of themselves, but I wished they had gone with a bit more of the anger contained within the character.

I was very impressed with Batman: The Doom That Came To Cotham. It goes to some dark and twisted places. I was gripped all the way through and enjoyed every moment of it. As it is an Elseworlds tale you are never quite sure who will make it through to the end.

Definitely worth checking it out when you get the chance.

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham will be available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray on 27th March and on Digital Download on 28th March. Blu-Ray Discs will be available to purchase online and in-store at major retailers. Pre-order your copy now.

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  • Batman: Shadows of Gotham (New Featurette) – An examination of themes of existential dread in a world drenched in gothic overtones that combine to create one of Batman’s most unique adventures.
  • Audio Commentary – Filmmakers and storytellers, including producer/co-director Sam Liu and screenwriter Jase Ricci, take in all the gothic horror and intrigue of Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham.

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