Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham Writer Jase Ricci Talks Expanding Oliver Queen’s Role For The Animated DC Movie

Oliver Queen dressed as a knight in Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

Warning: SPOILERS for Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham are ahead!

Although the majority of characters who appear in Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham naturally hail from the Caped Crusader’s corner of DC Comics mythology, there is a special spot reserved for Oliver Queen, better known as Green Arrow. Even better, this latest of the animated DC movies gives Oliver (voiced by Christopher Gorham, who previously played The Flash in the DC Animated Movie Universe timeline) a bigger role compared to the original story that was written by Mike Mignola and Richard Pace, and illustrated by Troy Nixey and Dennis Janke. Given my familiarity with the source material, I had to ask writer Jase Ricci about this particular change.

With its horror elements and use of Lovecraftian lore, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham marks a sharp contrast from Jase Ricci’s usual family-friendly output, like Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure and Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse. The 1920s-set story revolves around Bruce Wayne combating supernatural threats upon returning to Gotham City, and while Oliver Queen wasn’t a minor character by any means in the 2001 three-issue miniseries, he’s given more to do in this adaptation. When I brought up Oliver’s expanded role to Ricci, here’s what he had to say:

Oh, thanks for noticing that. He was the most fun character, and I was joking earlier, the relationship between Kai Li and Oliver, I’d love to make a series about those two together… I felt like Oliver was, and again, it’s no fault of the book because the book is a different medium than film, so you don’t have to highlight certain things and you don’t have to bring things to the forefront, but Oliver, to me, seems like a really great mirror for Bruce Wayne. They are sort of kinder spirits in a way with both of their fathers, the whole concept of the sins of the fathers. And Oliver is probably more tragic because he has a very similar upbringing to Bruce, he has a similar sort of weight of his father and he makes a sacrifice, but what’s more tragic about him is he makes that sacrifice and he’s not the chosen one. So it was kind of for naught, which I just found devastating. If we had more time, there would be more Oliver. Not that I think he’s more interesting than Batman, but I just think that parallel really… like I said before, Batman isn’t the most talkative character, and by having characters like Oliver that sort of reflect, you get to explore your main character as a surrogate.

Oliver Queen is one of the first people Bruce Wayne sees once he’s back in Gotham City, and initially he’s presented as a braggadocious, drunken buffoon who annoys original character Kai Li Cain (Tati Gabrielle). However, it’s later revealed that Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’s Oliver is a templar knight who’s tasked with battling the forces of Iog-Sotha, and his arsenal includes arrows dipped in the blood of Saint Sebastian. While Oliver’s overall narrative arc is the same in this movie as it was in the original comic story, he does appear in a few more scenes, resulting in the character feeling more fully fleshed out. 

As Jase Ricci explained, he sees Oliver Queen as a tragic reflection of Bruce Wayne, and while he had nothing against the way the character was utilized in the original story, he saw the movie as an opportunity to spotlight him a little bit more, particularly through his dynamic with Kai Li and using him as a tool to explore Bruce more deeply. Unfortunately, Oliver’s story with him dying while battling Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’s Poison Ivy, but he plays an integral role in Bruce’s later battle by leaving behind his arrows capable of killing these unholy beasts. Granted, Bruce is ultimately victorious over Iog-Sotha by agreeing to give up his humanity (something David Giuntoli went all out with voicing), but he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did without Oliver’s help.

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is now available to buy from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital, 4K Combo Pack and Blu-ray. Catch up on past animated DC movies with your HBO Max subscription, and keep an eye out for Justice League: Warworld, the next chapter in the Tomorrowverse continuity, which is expected to be released this summer.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.