Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (Mignola, M., 2001)

I've always liked DC's Elseworlds stories, especially about Batman. Despite they all are not necessarily ace material, they do very often offer an interesting peek on how Batman would work on different kinds of crossovers, like what if Batman would fight the Dracula or movie monsters like Alien or Predator, or how he'd work in an entirely different era. The Doom That Came to Gotham doesn't take Batman only to a different era, in this case in the early 20th century, but it also pits him again the Lovecraftian terrors from beyond this world.

The story begins from Antarctic. Bruce Wayne is looking for Cobblepot expedition, only to find their ship stranded and the crew dead. Cobblepot himself has gone insane, finding solace and home with penguins. The only other member the Wayne expedition manages to find is also insane, chipping off ice around a tentacled monstrosity. Him they take with, as Cobblepot they don't manage to capture.

After the party gets back to Gotham, we learn that the old families, the founders of the city, made dealings with dark forces ages past. Now, as Bruce Wayne finally returns home, the payback time is closing in and those who lurk between the worlds are finally ready to enter our world.

During this tale of cosmic horror, we'll meet other familiar faces besides Bruce. There's Commissioner Gordon, Oliver Queen, Ra's Al Ghul, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd to mention a few that are thrown in the mix. They all have to take a role a bit different, yet familiar in the tale: the Robins still are trustees of Bruce Wayne, as is Alfred, and Ra's still is evil. but this time he's an ancient magician who had a hand in writing a tome that would help to open the portals between the worlds.

Despite The Doom That Came to Gotham does take heavy influences from Lovecraft, I wouldn't call it very Lovecraftian in style. Mignola's style of writing is more matter of fact rather than the dwelling insanity that was Lovecraft trademark with his own tales of cosmic horror. It's not a bad thing though, as the way Mignola has written the tale feels more fitting for Batman, as he's always been a rational character, even when dealing with otherworldly foes.

The Doom That Came to Gotham isn't necessarily the greatest Elseworld Batman story ever made, but it's pretty solid one. In many places, it feels like it should have been much longer than it's now, as it does have a feeling of being rushed about it. Originally it was released as a 3 part mini-series, so it never was a long story, to begin with. It could have easily benefited from at least 1 or better yet 2 additional parts, but alas that wasn't the case. It is a fun story though, so I do recommend grabbing it, especially if you like alternative Batman stories.