Who doesn’t like Batman? For Christmas, my husband had to get me at least one graphic novel and this year is was Batman Noel by the amazingly talented Lee Bermejo.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller Inspired by Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol, BATMAN: NOEL features different interpretations of The Dark Knight, along with his enemies and allies, in different eras.
Along the way, Batman must come to terms with his past, present and future as he battles villains from the campy 1960s to dark and brooding menaces of today, while exploring what it means to be the hero that he is. Members of Batman’s supporting cast enact roles analogous to those from A Christmas Carol, with Robin, Catwoman, Superman, The Joker and more playing roles that will be familiar to anyone who knows Dickens’ original holiday tale.
I’m a sucker for comics, but this one was particularly amazing. Batman Noel takes the classic Dickens Christmas tale and paraphrases it into a dark, yet strangely heartwarming comic. The narration is humorous and minimalist, allowing the images to really tell the story.
And the artwork… The artwork is absolutely phenomenal. Each page spread is a masterpiece of gothic subtlety with clean lines, interesting angles, and great use of light and shadow. This novel would have been beautiful in black and white, but subdued color work emphasizes the story rather than detracting from the original images. The end of the book includes images of the original penciled planning sketches, including a few failed panels. It was a great display of the often messy creative process.
This graphic novel is wonderful for both new and old fans of the Batman world. The story is told using polarized images, comparing the dark and threatening modern day incarnation of Batman to the 1960’s fun and often ridiculous origins of the comic classic. Seeing the old costumes again was a flashback to my own childhood, full of technicolor spandex, bat gadgets galore, and other craziness.
I would highly recommend Batman Noel for old and new fans alike. Five Stars!