Sometimes you show up at your local comic shop and there’s just nothing to buy. My pull list for Wednesday 12/16 was woefully thin. All I had waiting for me at Royal Collectibles in Forest Hills was Batgirl #46, Bprd Hell On Earth #138, Teen Titans Go #13. This would not stand!
So I perused the new comic wall… I looked and looked and though there were a bunch of great titles on the shelf none really grabbed me. But there at the top, with the trades, was Mike Mignola and Richard Pace’s Batman: The Doom that came to Gotham! Oh man a Mignola Batbook! This was a must buy.
Gotham City, 1928. Twenty years have passed since a madman slayed the parents of young Bruce Wayne, heir to one of the oldest fortunes in Gotham City. Then, Bruce fled the carnage of Gotham and the unearthly voice warning him to prepare for the world to come.
Now Bruce Wayne has returned. And hell has followed…
You didn’t think Mike Mignola would have the Joker and the Riddler robbing banks and throwing pies did you? Nope this is old gods stuff, the stuff he’s famous for. And he brings the entire pantheon of Gothamites into the world of Lovecraft style horror. This is Hellboy level stuff, but Mignola doesn’t make the mistake of turning Batman into Hellboy. Instead he gives us a perfectly believable totally on the money Bruce Wayne.
Bruce is an expatriate of sorts sailing the oceans in search of, as best I can figure trouble. Oliver Queen asks if he’s run out of revolutions, insurrections, and civil unrest? If he’s gotten tired of sticking his nose in other people’s business. We find him in the on page one investigating the remnants of The Cobblepot Expedition in Cape Victoria Antarctica, which is where he stumbles upon the doom that the title teases us with.
He travels with a crew of loyal men, men with names like Dick, and Jason, and even Tim. They may not look familiar but you know them by their personalities and how much he needs them. All throughout the story we meet familiar faces, slightly altered, familiar back stories slightly different but it all works so well. These heroes and villains are our archetypes and whatever world you drop them in feels right in the right hands.
Speaking of the right hands Troy Nixey’s artwork is as big a star of this book as Mike and Richard’s writing. An artist probably best known for Harley Quinn and Deadworld once again he totally knocks it out of the park. His Gotham is gothic, creepy, crowded, dirty, and his character designs are all that and more! Not to be spoilery but his Etrigan is amazing, and the Batman, the costume, the body language, just perfect.
Then there was the experience of reading it. I had a moment that can only be described as serendipitous. I was kicked back reading the book, listening to a cable television music channel, classic rock of course, and a song came on that worked so well was so in tune with the atmosphere, the tone, of the book I had to find the song on youtube and keep it playing for the rest of book. Luckily it’s a 17 minute song so I didn’t have to play it too many times.
Yes sir the perfect compliment to this book is Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida. Haunting, menacing, with the perfect tempo to compliment the detective work and the fight scenes. This is one of those trades that I’ll be proud to place on the shelf with Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman: Earth One, Batman: Noel and all my other well read trades. Want to grab a copy? Head to your local comic shop, book store, or amazon.com.
Batman: The Doom that came to Gotham
Mike Mignola (Author), Troy Nixey (Illustrator)
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: DC Comics (December 22, 2015)