This story is not new, but an unsung 3 episode story published by DC Comics 15 years ago, and not yet published in French. Mignola is assisted in this story by Richard Pace and Dan Raspler, and only draws (magnificent) covers for three episodes, with the illustration provided by Troy Nixey.

1399332-1.png
© 2016 DC COMICS. All Rights Reserved © URBAN COMICS pour la version française
As written by Alex Nikolavitch in the introduction, Batman is like a shared house where each author brings their own baggage. And here, we can see Mignola’s obsession with monsters, who introduces the universe of the writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft to Gotham City. The references to this famous fantasy author are numerous, and transposed to the Batman universe for an unusual crossover. See for example this « book which does not exist » (the famous Necronomicon by Lovecraft, which became the testament of Ra’s Al Ghul in the Batman story), or monsters from the abyss, tentacled creatures and other gods « from the empty spaces between the emblematic » worlds of Lovecraft’s work. This story, which is clearly disconnected from the traditional Batman universe, is given a more fantastical nature than usual. “The thing is coming” is the mantra of this story which takes place in the 1920s. The phrase is mentioned by several characters, and announces a final fight between Batman and a demon from the bowels of the earth.

As Frank Mignola’s Batman does not confront costumed super-villains (even if some pass through the piece as extras, and without their costumes), but real monsters from hell, announced by an invasion of reptiles. Surprising... The strength of Mignola’s story is to use the imaginary worlds of Lovecraft as so many arguments explaining the Gothic universe of Batman by Bob Kane: an affliction which explains the mutations of Harvey Dent, the Oracle Barbara Gordon is in fact a spirit connected to monsters from the depths, and the entire history of Gotham City is based on an original curse, which explains the story of the death of Bruce’s parents. The demon Log-Sotha imagined by Mignola for this story is clearly based on Yog Sothoth by Lovecraft. Regarding Batman, and whilst…we won't spoil the surprise of the end of this story, it’s worth reading as the idea is great.

The cherry on top: a bonus Batman story at the end, and this time Mignola didn’t just write the story but also provided the illustration, which is superb. It is a monster story, but this time inspired less by Lovecraft and more by Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula. Another success which would lead us to warmly recommend this comic!