Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is another solid entry into the DC’s animated catalogue.
BY JACK RANSOM MARCH 29, 2023
The most recent of DC’s conveyor belt output of animated features. Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is a 1920s-based tale that finds explorer Bruce Wayne (David Giuntoli) accidentally unleashing an ancient evil, expediting his return to Gotham City after a two-decade hiatus.
Both DC’s animated output, as well as their live action features, certainly aren’t the most consistent, yet they will always garner my interest and usually, when they are good, they are great. Firstly, the premise of this 23rd animated film for the Caped Crusader, is so incredibly up my alley it might as well have been tailor made for me: a gothic drenched 20’s setting, Lovecraftian monstrosities, pulp horror and a myriad of unique interpretations of these iconic comic book characters.
Gliding in at a tight 90 minutes, the film continually keeps up engagement with its thoroughly engrossing Elseworlds story of madness and treating fans like myself to catching the references and comparing these alterations to the original source material. There are certainly elements that could have been explored further, with the sheer amount of character appearances and short runtime stretching the focus somewhat, there is also a couple of tonal shifts due to the inclusion of Batman’s young assistant’s. However, when focusing on the Caped Crusader himself (with death of his parents having a striking implementation and treading the line between man and beast), the film excels.
The animation style is solid. Cutting a blend between the ongoing Tommorowverse and the previous DCAMU. The atmosphere is thick when it comes to the locales, as well as the sound design (the recurring bell motif is a standout), and fans of the Constantine & Justice League Dark will certainly be pleased when it comes to the ghoulish imagery on display. The Lovecraftian horrors certainly aren’t shied away from. Tentacular behemoth’s, bulbous eyes aplenty as well as zombies, witchcraft and Poison Ivy, Two-Face and Killer Croc’s twisted infected designs.
David Giuntoli is certainly in the upper echelon of Batman voice actors. His low, gruff gravitas and steely demeanour is absolutely perfect for this interpretation. Christopher Gorham balances drunkard and honourable hero as Oliver Queen, Navid Negahban and Emily O’Brien ham it up suitably as Ra’s & Talia Al Ghul.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is another solid entry into the DC’s animated catalogue. Delightfully weird concepts, creative and trippy imagery is frequent and the strong voice performances overshadow the film’s somewhat overstuffed narrative and potential for further exploration had the runtime been longer.