Much like the live-action films now, there have been different versions of Batman in the comic book medium. Four years ago, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brought us Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, an animated feature inspired by a 1989 graphic novel written by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola set in an alternate timeline where The Caped Crusader was active during the Victorian era, investigating the Jack The Ripper murders. It’s an entertaining and interesting what-if tale of how Batman would operate in an era where technology is limited. It showed that Batman had to work harder to battle against evil, but is — as any true fan already would know — skilled enough to overcome any obstacle. The 2018 adaptation was directed by veteran DC animated director Sam Liu with a screenplay by Jim Krieg. It did face some criticisms from fans for straying away from its source material, but it still ended up being an entertaining flick.
In 2001 writer Mike Mignola, along with Richard Pace, came back with a new Batman story that took place in the 1920s called Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham City. Mignola, who’s best known as the creator of Hellboy, put all his knowledge of the Lovecraftian horror world into The Doom That Came to Gotham City. Reading the story, one would think that the comic is more fitting for the DC character John Constantine, but for someone like Batman, it’s more unique for the reader to witness The Caped Crusader facing challenges so daunting that the story itself is almost impossible to be considered predictable. There have been so many diverse iterations of genres with the Batman character that there’s something for almost everybody. If someone doesn’t care much for a neo-noir crime drama, then there’s a story like The Doom That Came to Gotham, or if not that, a campy, colorful comedy adventure for those seeking something clean, depending on their palate.
Sam Liu, along with co-director Christopher Berkeley, with a screenplay by Jase Ricci, have adapted Mike Mignola’s H. P. Lovecraft-inspired Batman tale into a nearly 90-minute animated movie. Batman will be voiced by David Giuntoli (His second time cast as the hero after Batman: Soul of the Dragon), with other cast members including Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Harvey Dent, Jason Marsden as Dick Grayson, Emily O’Brien as Talia al Ghul. Brian George will voice Alfred Pennyworth. Mathew Waterson is cast as Jason Blood/Etrigan. And William Salyers will be a different version of Oswald Copplepot. Actor David Dastmalchian will be featured in his sixth DC role with this animated film. You might recognize him from such roles as Joker Thug in The Dark Knight (The one Harvey Dent almost kills in the alley), and Polka-Dot Man from 2021’s The Suicide Squad. The actor has been everywhere in the DC world, even the TV series Gotham portraying Dwight Pollard, playing Abra Kadabra in The Flash, as well as voicing Calendar Man and the Penguin in Batman: The Long Halloween.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham will be released this March 28th in Digital formats, 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray. The 4k and Blu-ray will feature audio commentary from co-director Sam Liu, and screenwriter Jase Ricci. And includes a new featurette titled Batman: Shadows of Gotham that will be, according to the DC website: “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.” Batman has gone up against foes like Superman and Darkseid, but a battle against an ultimate evil reminiscent of a Lovecraftian character like Cthulhu is something all fans should look forward to seeing.