Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham doesn't land its style or substance
While the newest animated DC film plays with interesting concepts, it never quite crystalizes them
I usually enjoy watching DC animated movies. While some might consider them a retreading of the ground of already good comics stories, I think there’s a lot that can come along with the tools of animation (voice performances, sound, movement) to tell even already familiar stories. Unfortunately, these feelings did not extend to the newest DC animated film, Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham, an adaptation of a comic of the same name written by Mike Mignola and Richard Pace with art from Troy Nixey on pencils, Dennis Janke on inks, and Dave Stewart on colors..
There are moments in The Doom that Came to Gotham, where we see a few frames of a Mignola-esque design or even a cool animated sequence (a particularly interesting one featured vulture-type creatures in the dark), where the art really seems to be leaning into something visually interesting and fresh. But instead of really leaning into the aesthetic, Doom only takes some of the vision of this quasi-Victorian, quasi-Prohibition style and overlays it onto the regular DC animated movie house style. The effect is haphazard and mostly boring.
Unfortunately, the plot and the characters don't exactly help, giving the audience very little to latch onto other than the slight excitement that comes with recognizing the sames and differences in the regular cast of Gotham characters as they pop up in their this-universe equivalent.
At the end of the day, Doom that Came to Gotham simply doesn't have enough story to stretch out to an hour and a half movie. One could imagine an effective 10- to 20-minute animated film that takes the time and effort to really lean into the style and aesthetics that could make this story interesting in animated form. But the majority of Batman: Doom that Came to Gotham just drags on with a mishmash of visual style and a lot of people talking about Doom, but not a lot of actual doom itself.
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