Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham -- from the Mountains of Boredom

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Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham

Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham is, unfortunately, one of the most plodding, soporiphic, and downright boring stories to have ever been committed to animation. The art is great. The voice casting serviceable. The concepts exciting. Yet somehow Jase Ricci's screenplay -- based on an Elseworlds imprint from DC Comics written by Mike Mignola and Richard Pace -- drags its feet as it shoehorns in the Batman characters into 1920s analogs while pitting him against H.P. Lovecraft creations.

We begin at the north pole, as a world-traveling Bruce Wayne (David Giuntoli) is seeking out some scientists who have gone missing. From his travels he has acquired young assistants -- Dick Grayson (Jason Marsden), Sanjay 'Jay' Tawde (think 'Jason Todd', voiced by Karan Brar), and Kai Li Cain (Tati Gabrielle, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Much like John Carpenter's The Thing, there is something buried in the ice that is controlling the scientissts (including Dr. Cobblepot, voiced by William Salyers), and Wayne sees to it that it is re-buried. But he fails, as it inhabits one of the scientists they take home.

Then stuff happens. Wayne begins encountering things that can only be supernatural, which flies in the face of his belief in hard science. But he runs into Etrigan the Demon (Matthew Waterson) and Talia al Ghul (Emily O'Brien), both of whom have their own interests in the thing that is destined to destroy Gotham.

And why? Because of something Thomas Wayne did -- along with three other city founders, like Cobblepot and the father of Wayne's friend, Oliver Queen (Christopher Gorham). But it's not something they did a few years ago. No, it was centuries ago, something that saved the city and gave them an immortality by calling upon a dark force, and now that dark force has returned to collect its due. The only way Batman can defeat this eldritch horror is by following the advice of Barbara Gordon (Gideon Adlon), a mental patient with psychic powers in Arkham Asylum, and by accepting the prophecy the bats (yes, the bats) made him when he was a boy -- to become one of them.

It's ninety minutes that will feel like twice that, and ends with you lying at the foot of the mountans of ennui.

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2.5 / 5.0