Batman: Noel

batman noel cover christmas carol review
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

A Batman holiday tale

Art doesn't go well with the story

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman:  Noel

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Lee Bermejo

Artist:  Lee Bermejo

# of Issues:  1

Release Date:  2011

batman noel cover art review

Textless Cover

It’s Christmas Eve and Batman is hunting the Joker.  A boy named Tim whose father Bob has told him the story of Scrooge and his visits from the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future remembers the tale as Batman questions his methods and if he’s making a difference.  Batman’s encounters with Catwoman, Superman, and the Joker are about to make this a Christmas Eve that Batman, Tim, and Bob will remember forever.

Written and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, Batman:  Noel is the DC Comics adaptation of Charles Dickens’ often told 1843 story of A Christmas Carol.  The story was mostly praised, but there was some criticism of the art.

Batman:  Noel is kind of frustrating.  I think it was a clever use of A Christmas Carol, and its application to Bruce Wayne was a smart move.  It has been done before however with things like Mr. Magoo, Fred Flintstone, and other pop-icons taking on the Scrooge role.  Despite the innovative use of the DC characters for this version, I don’t know that I really enjoyed the story much.  In addition, while good, the art is kind of distracting to me.

batman noel superman christmas carol

Superman…Ghost?

A Christmas Carol is a rather sugary-sweet tale when it comes down to the relationships between the characters, and it just doesn’t seem to apply as much to Bruce and this unknown WayneTech employee named Bob.  It would have been better if it were a more one-on-one relationship with the Bob character or an establishing shot to reveal that Bob works for Wayne.  Catwoman’s use as the Ghost of Christmas Past doesn’t feel as developed as the use of Superman as the Ghost of Christmas Present (the best “ghost”).  The Joker as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was good…I just think it should have really put more focus on these characters as “ghosts” rather than implying it since it feels like an Elseworlds tale anyway with the holiday ties.

I feel that the story would have worked better if it were more whimsical.  Lee Bermejo’s art is very real but someone like Darwyn Cooke or even a Chris Bachalo might have brought out the fairy tale aspect better.  I’m not going to take the story seriously, so why should the art be serious?

Batman:  Noel is a quick read so not much of a commitment.  If you want something different to read around the holidays, this could be fun.  It isn’t the best Batman story ever, but there aren’t many full-story holiday based comics that don’t feel gimmicky so this is above average in that respect.

Related Links:

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) (1951)

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

Scrooge (1970)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

Christmas Carol—The Movie (2001)

A Christmas Carol:  The Musical (2004)

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

Zombies Christmas Carol

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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