The Justice League animated series was one of the most exciting shows on TV in my childhood. The show was broadcasted during my dinnertime, and I often finished my dinner early to sit in front of the TV to enjoy my favorite superheroes fighting against evil. And not only that show but other shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, The Spectacular Spiderman, and many more also give me the same excitement to witness the conquering of good over evil. After passing that period, I was introduced to big-budget Hollywood live-action superhero films, and perhaps without anybody’s expectation; they became the primary thing of the movie industry post-2010s. Despite being greatly ambitious attempts at storytelling, they never get me to feel the same excitement I feel for the childhood cartoon series. Also, the films are too prevalent to reproduce the existing materials to cater to the fanbase; they become the same wine in a new bottle. But when I sat down to watch the new animated film Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, I was somehow transported back to my childhood days and felt the same excitement.
Based on the little-known comic-book miniseries by Mike Mignola and Richard Pace and illustrated by Troy Nixey (pencils) and Dennis Janke (inks), the story does not follow the original Batman origin story. Rather, they put the original DC characters into an alternate universe with a Lovecraftian setting.
This article intends to detail everything about the story of the film. So, the readers are warned to read any further as this is going to be full of spoilers.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
As the film unfolds, we are introduced to the daring billionaire-adventurer Bruce Wayne, residing in the early twentieth century, embarking on an expedition to Antarctica alongside his adopted children Dick Grayson, Kai Li Cain, and Sanjay ‘Jay’ Tawde, as well as his loyal butler, Alfred. Their mission: to locate a certain Professor Oswald Cobblepot and his crew. Upon discovering Cobblepot’s shipwreck and the unfortunate demise of most of the crew, Bruce catches sight of a figure resembling Cobblepot and follows it, leading him to a mysterious cave.
Within the cave, Bruce stumbles upon a pale and disfigured crew member named Grendon, tirelessly chiseling a chunk of ice. To Bruce’s horror, he learns that Grendon aims to release a primordial cosmic deity residing beyond time and space, a being capable of unleashing catastrophic consequences upon humankind. As Bruce glimpses the form of this deity in his mind, he is overwhelmed with excruciating pain. Determined to prevent disaster, Bruce decides to guide Grendon out of the cave, but their exit is interrupted by a horde of vicious and grotesquely mutated creatures. Grendon absorbs a fragment of the trapped deity within himself amid the chaos. Sealing the cave with explosives, Bruce ensures it remains forever inaccessible.
As the team departs from the harrowing encounter, they notice a monstrous figure resembling Cobblepot observing them, accompanied by mutated penguins. Delving into Cobblepot’s journal, Bruce uncovers a conspiracy that aligns with an ongoing investigation he had been pursuing, revealing a mysterious cult with deep connections to Gotham. Motivated by these findings and haunted by memories of his parents’ tragic demise, Bruce resolves to return to Gotham after a prolonged absence. Meanwhile, his companions continue their journey to Gotham, with Sanjay assigned to safeguard the consignment containing Grendon.
Upon reaching Wayne Manor, the team stumbles upon a lifeless body, triggering a vision for Bruce, revealing his alter ego as Langstrom. At the manor, Bruce encounters Jason Blood, the human half of the demon Etrigan, who imparts three premonitions. These premonitions include encounters with two spirits, one engulfed in flames and the other resembling bats, Bruce’s demise leading to the acceptance of his true self, and the necessity of burning Gotham to the ground before its salvation can be achieved. Following their arrival, Bruce’s longtime friend Oliver Queen invites them to a dinner where they encounter another mutual friend, Harvey Dent. While Oliver wallows drunkenly, Bruce discreetly ventures out as Batman, his vigilante alter ego. Exploring Dr. Kirk Langstrom’s notes, Bruce discovers that an ancient cult known as the “Cult of Ghul” is pursuing a testament capable of unleashing primordial horrors upon Earth. Determined to prevent the cult from obtaining the testament, Bruce begins his pursuit.
Despite his best efforts, Bruce finds himself overpowered by creatures summoned by the sole surviving member of the “Cult of Ghul,” Talia Al Ghul. In the nick of time, Etrigan arrives to save Bruce from certain death but becomes imprisoned within a talisman by Daitya, the demon summoned by Talia. Talia successfully resurrects her father, Ra’s al Ghul, an ancient sorcerer and necromancer who had once terrorized the world with his dark arts. Ra harbors a desire to summon his master, Iog-Sotha, an omnipotent cosmic deity, to grant him dominion over Earth. Meanwhile, the trapped entity within Grendon’s being reveals its presence by systematically eliminating Grayson and Sanjay, leaving a devastated Kai Li and a grief-stricken Bruce in its wake. Bruce daringly attempts to thwart the Ghul’s plans but finds himself in the Lazarus Pit instead. Emerging from its depths, Bruce is haunted by vivid and psychedelic memories of the being he witnessed in his childhood, realizing that the elemental bats are crucial in combating these celestial adversaries.
Amidst the turmoil, Oliver confesses tearfully and inebriates that he will forever carry the burden of guilt due to his father’s involvement in Wayne’s murder. Bruce’s vision, aided by spiritual medium Barbara Gordon, reveals that even the Wayne family’s history is tainted by corruption, implying that Gotham has long been a breeding ground for impending doom. Centuries ago, the Wayne family, alongside Cobblepot, Queen, and Langstrom, engaged in a heinous ritual that granted them prolonged life and prosperity. However, it also drew the cosmic tyrants closer to Earth, ensuring an inevitable clash. Motivated by his father’s transgressions and inspired by the sacrifices of Bruce’s children, Oliver prepares to confront supernatural threats, ultimately sacrificing his life in a courageous battle against Poison Ivy.
Overwhelmed by tragedy and facing insurmountable challenges, Kai Li contemplates abandoning Gotham and starting anew elsewhere. Bruce, however, reassures his protégé, expressing his unwavering trust in her character and emphasizing that this moment demands their utmost strength to save their city. Invoking the power of the Bat Spirit, Bruce adopts appropriate measures to confront the impending threat. As Harvey fully transforms into Two-Face, a gateway to another dimension opens, allowing Bruce to enter surreptitiously and confront the horrifying reality of battling his deceased loved ones, now transformed into undead thralls.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:
What Happens to Bruce in the End?
Bruce kills them all and enters a chamber where Ra’s al Ghul and Talia perform a ritual to open a portal to the dark dimension for Iog Sotha to enter the physical world.
While Ra’s chanting the incarnation to open the portal, Talia and Bruce fight to stop each other. Bruce successfully kills Talia after a fierce fight and charges Ra to stop him. But it is too late. The portal is already opened, and Iog Sotha slowly starts to enter through the portal. In the meantime, Ra’s al Ghul also reveals himself to be the prime cosmic deity, Cthulhu.
He then brutally beats Bruce and takes him to the verge of death. Though Bruce resists initially, he remembers the words of Blood/Etrigan that to stop this doom; Bruce Wayne has to die so that he can be himself. So, Bruce stops to resist death and transforms himself into a bat monster. It calls him the ‘Batman.’
Batman kills Ctulhu but can’t find any way to stop Iog Sotha from entering the physical world. In a panicked state, it opens the spell bottle and releases Etrigan. Etrigan eventually scorches the whole chamber and the connecting tunnels resulting in the portal’s closure and preventing the doom upon Gotham. But as collateral damage, Gotham’s underground tunnels are set to fire, which comes on the ground as fire fountains by the maintenance holes.
In the ending scene, it is revealed that Gotham is now peaceful, and the Bruce Wayne Memorial Foundation takes up the work of rebuilding the city. Kai Li, now the acting head of the foundation, comes forward to address the citizen of Gotham and tells them about the bravery of Harvey Dent, Oliver Queen, and most importantly, Bruce Wayne. She mentions that it is for them the city of Gotham now lives a prosperous life. She also tells people that it is the city Bruce loves the most, and in troubled times, he will come back to save it from evil no matter what.
With Kai Li saying that the scene cuts to the bell tower, the camera moves to the ceiling, revealing the bat monster hanging from there. It suddenly opens its big red eyes, signifying that the battle against evil is not finished yet, and for the upcoming battle Batman will be ready to face them at any cost.
Read More: All Batman Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) Movie Trailer
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) Voice Cast: David Giuntoli, Tati Gabrielle, Gideon Adlon
Rating: PG-13 (Language | Disturbing Images |Brief Partial Nudity | Some Strong Violence)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Animation
Original Language: English
Director: Sam Liu
Writer: Jase Ricci
Release Date (Streaming): Runtime: Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment