Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham – DVD Review

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is the latest Batman animated feature film from Warner Bros. Animation.  Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame’s comic book miniseries serves as the source material for the film: this is the second of his Batman stories to be adapted as an animated film, Gotham by Gaslight was the first. Both films and comic books are period takes on Batman. This one is set sometime in the 1920s or ‘30s, the exact date is not exactly clear.

What makes this different from most Batman stories is that it’s unabashedly in the horror genre, and specifically, the cosmic horror genre popularised by H.P. Lovecraft. The opening is an obvious homage to Lovecraft’s masterwork At the Mountains of Madness with its arctic setting, It’s an impressive opening, and has some strong voice work from David Dastmalchian as a version of August Grendon, more commonly known as Mr. Freeze—it’s a far cry from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal or the Batman TV-series takes on the character. I’m not completely sold on David Giuntoli’s take on Batman’s voice after this and Batman: Soul of the Dragon. He just doesn’t seem right to me, but Kevin Conroy is irreplaceable.

As is usual with these films, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham runs at breakneck speed til around the 80 to the 90-minute mark, and with this one in particular you will wish they had made it a two-parter. It’s overstuffed but the essential idea, which is basically Batman vs. Cthulhu, is tantalizing. There is so much invention on screen, and the new origins for much of Batman’s rogues’ gallery of villains are inspired. Eventually, the film gets bogged down in black magic mumbo jumbo, but it ends with an interesting take on the duality of Batman: “Is He Man, or Beast?”

For those who are looking for a new perspective on the Caped Crusader, you could do a lot worse than Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham. I just wish it was given more time to breathe, because it’s such an inventive take. The trippy imagery, the monsters, and much of the animation is among the most impressive among DC animation films. I do, however, wish they had just copied Mignola’s distinctive style here instead of relying on a more generic animated look that’s in tune with other DC Animated features. You also didn’t need the five-minute Batman origin story AGAIN! Still, worth a watch, and I’ll be picking up the miniseries in print when I get the chance.

I received the DVD version to review, which doesn’t have any extras. The Blu-Ray, however, does have audio commentary with producer/co-director Sam Liu, screenwriter Jase Ricci, DC creative director Mike Carlin, and producer Jim Krieg; a making-of featurette for the film, and also featurettes about Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Superman: Red Son. As usual with Animation Batman features, you also get two episodes from Batman: The Animated Series, which are generally linked to the villains from the accompanying feature. 


Ian Schultz

Buy Here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s