Tom MacDonald’s Gritty Gotham City

Rapper Tom MacDonald lets his inner Batman out in an epic music video that is slickly cinematic and a true homage to comics’ great Dark Knight.

Dubbed the “Hip-Hop Batman“, Tom embraces his nerdy interests by producing this epic homage to his love of Batman and Gotham city. At the heart of the thirteen minute long mini-movie for three of his latest singles “Hour Glass”, “Who Am I”, and “Bout It” is a deep love of comics that infuses the dark video’s every frame.

When you look at this video, it’s easy to see how much effort went into turning Vancouver into the dark and mean streets of Gotham City. It’s gorgeously filmed with locations like Tom’s vision of Wayne Manor and a brightly lit morgue standing out. While any city could be used as a stand-in for Gotham, Vancouver works especially well in this video as well as with Tom-as-Batman racing around the streets in his costume and going toe to toe with a familiar villain in a very unfamiliar visage.

It’s a sincere tribute to the character that Bill Finger and Bob Kane created all those years ago, and you definitely get a feel as if this video came straight from the Dark Age of Comics (a period known for its dark tone rather than it being a financially dark time for the industry).

Seriously, at thirteen and a half minutes long, this fan movie isn’t for people who aren’t obsessed with all things Batman. It’s an Elseworlds-esque love letter to the Bat that puts Tom in the cowl and sends him into battle against a Two-Face that’s unlike any version of him that we’ve seen so far. Gone is the suave lawyer whose good looks and charm hid the fact that he was enmeshed in a struggle with mental illness long before the acid burns ate away at his face. Instead, we’re given a Two-Face that is big and burly, almost like a lumberjack as he strides toward Tom-as-Batman. He’s terrifying and he’s unstoppable –

Of course, until he isn’t.



Batman doesn’t kill. He hasn’t since about the same time that publishers realized that a cape wearing murderer was perhaps too dark for a book they wanted to market to an audience of children. For the most part, that’s stayed the same over the years. The one place where Batman has been able to kill has been in the Elseworlds series of the Nineties. We’ve seen him kill in Batman: Red Rain and in Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham but for the most part that’s it. He doesn’t deviate from his Mission or from his code.

In Tom’s unofficial Elseworlds universe though –

It’s the only option.

This mini movie covers a lot of bases and tosses in nods to altered canon that feels familiar. While I could’ve done without the women who kind of only existed as barely there eye-candy in their underwear, the rest of the video was incredible and intense. Even if you’re a purist that believes that the Bat should remain blood free, this video will have something to appeal to you. After all, it’s not every day that a Batman fan as dedicated or as talented as Tom MacDonald gets to put his own spin on Batman.


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A massive injection of nerd!

About the author

Zina Hutton

writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories.


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