Batman meets the Lovecraft Mythos

First of all, I’d like to say how saddened I am by the shootings in Denver.  I know that we all are.  I don’t understand what motivates someone to kill others.

I sometimes feel that being a Lovecraft fan is one of my ways to deal with the horrors of the real world.  I am weary of humanity.  Lovecraft was, too… and I feel that kinship.  As Michel Houellebecq writes in H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life:

Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more. Humanity, such as it is, inspires only an attenuated curiosity in us…

Now, here is Howard Phillips Lovecraft: “I am so beastly tired of mankind…”

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937). We need a supreme antidote against all forms of realism.

Those who love life do not read… No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.

As for Lovecraft, he was more than a little fed up….

My thoughts are with the victims and their families.

image by Tracy Hickman, author of WAYNE OF GOTHAM

The Doom That Came to Gotham, book 3

On to something happier.  Here is some news I’ve been saving for The Dark Knight Rises opening day: Did you know there is a comic mini-series where Batman battles Lovecraftian monsters?

Oh, yeah.  You guys might not know this, but I’m really into Lovecraft.  I’m also a huge Batman fan.  Both of them together?  Heaven.  (Not for the characters, of course.)

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is from DC Comics’ Elseworlds series.  This 3-part story is set in the 1920s.   As the story opens, Bruce Wayne and pals (Dick, Jason, Tim, and Alfred) are in Antarctica searching for survivors from the “Cobblepot Expedition”.  They discover a frozen ship, with almost everyone dead.  Everyone, that is, except for Professor Cobblepot and another survivor, who have both gone crazy and are muttering things like “I am chosen by Him to be His messenger to the world” and “Hark, the lurker is on the threshold, and behold a shadow out of time.”

I won’t spoil the story, but suffice to say that it was written by Mike Mignola, he of Hellboy fame.  The Doom That Came to Gotham scores high on mood and gets a lot right, but it’s not perfect.  It’s a bit more Derleth than Lovecraft, but still… Batman and the mythos?  Sold.  All in all, it’s a pretty good graphic novel.

It also appears to be a good investment.  Originally $7.95, book 1 is currently for sale at Amazon for $15.47 (used) and $19.95 (new).  Book 2 is available for $12.37 (used) and $13.89 (new).  Book 3 is available for $21.00 (used) and $22.95 (new).  And they are in short supply.

If you’re a fan of Batman and Lovecraft, I think you’ll really enjoy The Doom That Came to Gotham.  I did.

Buy Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham:  Book oneBook twoBook three


Coming soon: Doctor Who and Lovecraft: together!  Stay tuned.  Stay in the loop: Subscribe to this blog via email at the top right of this page, LIKE Lovecraft eZine on Facebook (just below that), and follow me on Twitter.

The Doom That Came to Gotham – something is fishy


The Doom That Came To Gotham – Harvey Dent is the portal

10 responses to “Batman meets the Lovecraft Mythos

  1. “First of all, I’d like to say how saddened I am by the shootings in Denver. I know that we all are. I don’t understand what motivates someone to kill others.”
    Yes per your statement I too am saddened with the loss of lives from the shootings in Denver. Watching the news this morning and seeing the lives that were shattered by one person brought tears to my eyes.


  2. All right, I’ll play devil’s advocate here. I read this series and actually didn’t care for it. Not for any reasons relating to the quality per say, though (and I’m sure I’ll get rocks thrown at me for this) it does have something to do with the fact that Mignola doesn’t ring my bell. Just a matter of taste, not talent, I want that clear. And it probably has mostly to do with the obssessive sacredness in which I hold Batman villains. Do not enslave such a massive group of individuals to the service of something else, especially since, in my view, the villains he chose didn’t always work in the way he wanted them to. The artwork, however, is awesome and perfect for the story.

    But I also think that I disliked it largely because it was unnecessary to “mix” Batman and the mythos. Batman wouldn’t be what it is without Lovecraft. Lady Lovecraft is right, it goes well beyond Arkham Asylum.

    I also wrote a little piece about the influences of Lovecraft on Batman a few months ago and put it up on the Hubpages website. I think some would disagree with my definition of Lovecraftian, but when I read Lovecraft, it’s what I take away.

    One of Nyralthotep’s masks IS clown white…


  3. Mike Mignola also wrote a story called “Sanctum” about the legacy of an evil occultist; you can find it in the collection “Batman: Dark Legends”. There are some definite Lovecraftian vibes in that story. (The other stories in the collection aren’t really Lovecraftian, but they’re still dark–and enjoyable.)


  4. I too am a HUGE Batman and Lovecraft fan. And when these books came out it was like the planets algned just right. I love these books! I wish they would release it as a hardback novel.

    Not to mention some of the best n the comic industry in here (in my opinion ) Like Dave Stewart , by far the absolute best colorist out there right now. If you don’t believe me, check out his work with Eric Powell and the Goon. And his stuff he colored for Carey Nord and Conan!


  5. Excellent books and a fun read! But honestly, the Arkham Asylum is as Lovecraftian as it gets at times … I wrote an article (in german) a few years ago for a german Batman page, trying to explain the connections between both universes. Turns out there far more than one would suspect … and it’s not just the Asylum …


  6. Wow, this looks really good! Wonder if there will be any sort of reprint or collected edition?

    As for Colorado, I am at a loss for words, as I always am when these sorts of things occur. I agree with your sentiments, and to a degree with Houellebecq. A few days ago I was re-reading “The Medusa” by Thomas Ligotti, which contends “[w]e may hide from horror only in the heart of horror.” Indeed.


  7. My brain is currently oozing out of my ears at the sheer epicness of Batman and Lovecraft together. Then you tease us with The Doctor and Lovecraft? Yep, there goes my drool reflex.


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