By Ed Fortune
Reworking Batman so it fits into the Cthulhu Mythos is such an obvious idea it’s hard to believe it’s not been done more often. The Doom That Came To Gotham is a DC Animated Movie based on the Mike Mignola graphic novel of the same name, and it’s a delicious blend of superhero silliness and cosmic horror.
Sharp horror fans may notice that the title sounds a bit like the H.P. Lovecraft short story The Doom That Came To Sarnath, but it’s only very loosely based on this work; this is very much a Batman story, albeit an Elseworld one. What we actually get is a sort of ‘greatest hits’ of the Cthulhu Mythos wrapped up in Batman’s own world-building. The entire thing is set in a 1920s-style world, which works incredibly well for Batman, Gotham has always had one foot in nostalgia, after all.
We open with Bruce Wayne and a collection of his wards investigating a frozen wasteland. Some eldritch horror is tainting the land, and Bruce and chums are not only horrified to discover horrifically altered penguins but that one of their former associates has become corrupted by some sort of weird power. And then it gets weirder as the team return to Gotham. Bruce has been away from Gotham for so long that he has become something of a stranger, shocked by how corrupt it has become. This, and many other moments, blend the world of Batman and the horror of HP Lovecraft into one gloriously weird bit of fin.
The Doom That Came To Gotham remixes old Lovecraft ideas and classic Batman very well without losing sight of either. It avoids turning into a Hellboy story with the Bat family, nor does it melt into weird fiction halfway through. Instead, we get superb performances from David Giuntoli as Batman, and Tati Gabrielle is pretty much perfect as Kai Li Cain, one of Bruce’s wards. Jeffrey Combs is always a pleasure and nails the creepy vibe of this movie’s version of Kirk Langstrom. It’s brilliantly cast throughout.
The Doom That Came To Gotham is exactly as weird, crazy and fun as its premise suggests, and if you’re a fan of all things animated Batman or just like weird horror, you should see this.
Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham is available on Blu-ray and DVD from March 27th