Batman: Noël by Lee Bermejo

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“’Cuz for this story to make sense… for it to mean anything… you have to believe in something. Something very important. You have to believe people can change.”

— Lee Bermejo, Batman: Noël

    This is a gift dropped off by Santa when no comic book fan expected it under their trees. With a foreword by the great Jim Lee—another artist whose reputation precedes him—we quickly find out that Lee Bermejo’s Gotham City Christmas Carol is a tale that will go down—I’d say it has—as a classic in Batman’s universe. Batman: Noël is by far one of the best takes on the original Christmas story written by Charles Dickens. While billions of adaptations were done on Scrooge’s famous story, there’s nothing like A Christmas Carol perfectly knitted around the dark and gloomy Gotham City. Written and drawn by Lee Bermejo himself, this exquisite artistic creation presents fans with an opportunity to visit Batman’s most famous villains and friends on one of his darkest days. Struggling with his own health condition, Batman wanders building by building to capture a criminal has as escaped the grasps of the law.

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This was colour-corrected. Don’t expect such a shiny artwork in your edition. 😀

    If there’s one graphic novel that should be an yearly read during the Holidays, it is undeniably this one. For a person to truly appreciate this, they would in fact need to know the original story written by Charles Dickens, or at least know the main elements of A Christmas Carol. Being able to see how Bermejo brilliantly intertwines Scrooge’s story with Batman and Gotham City is only half the fun. Batman: Noël doesn’t just draw inspiration from its source material, it also dives into a character analysis of Batman. What do I mean? Simple. Lee Bermejo uses the three ghosts and Scrooge himself to show the change that Batman’s character has known. He shows us the transformation from the light-hearted and goofy Batman of the ’60s to the more darker superhero that everyone came to love in today’s culture. But this wasn’t the only change that was showcased. A much more heart-warming tale about change is also wrapped up neatly and delivered with grace by the end of the book. But this intricate moral is for you to go discover for yourself.

    If the story is only half the fun, what’s the rest? The artwork. The goddamn artwork. Even if you’re not a fan of A Christmas Carol, and that having it adapted to Batman’s universe doesn’t send chills down your spine (the good kind), then the artwork alone should be a sufficient reason to take a shot at this graphic novel. This is eye candy for the Holidays. Forget about candy canes and eggnog. There’s enough in the art to get you drunk in love. I’m quite glad that Lee Bermejo had a carte blanche for this project. The designs and the style that he used to bring life to both Gotham City and the characters was so heavenly. I was truly impressed by the aura that each character he drew had. From the kind and powerful to the dark and nefarious, every single one of them was sexy in their own way. Even an impressive array of emotions was perfectly drawn into the characters, from joy to anger, sadness to fear. Nothing seems to lack in the art department. If anything, the talents of Bermejo emanates throughout Batman: Noël. This is one graphic novel that you’ll want to keep close to your heart. 

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Still colour-corrected. No. The Sun did not come with my purchase. 😀

    Honestly, to maximize the reading experience, one has to go into it blind. The only thing you’d need is having some knowledge about A Christmas Carol. If you have that in your pockets, then don’t even bother reading the blurb or finding out what Batman: Noël is about. It was such a blast to wonder who the different ghosts were going to be and to find out how the story was going to be told. With the polished and slick artwork, it was hard to not look forward to all the Ghosts. I just knew they were going to pop out of the book with a lot of charisma and life. Furthermore, with a narrator that has a unique voice and a new character who’s probably purposely named Bob to give everyone the opportunity to identify themselves too, this take on the classic Dickens tale is a fantastic quick read. Batman: Noël is without a doubt THE story for the Holidays. EVERY Gothamite (yes, you.) has to read this during this time of the year. If you feel like indulging a beautiful adaptation of the classic Dickensian story, look no further. The Gods of Gotham have bestowed upon us the perfect story to appease that urge. Do not fight it. Just do it.


Did you read Batman: Noël yet? What did you think about it?
You haven’t read it, you say?
Let’s fix that right away!
You can pre-order your copy @Amazon / Indigo right here!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★/

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17 thoughts on “Batman: Noël by Lee Bermejo

    • Transhaan says:

      One of the most amazing things that I love about Batman is how, throughout the history of comics, a lot of writers have adapted classic literature to Batman’s universe. While there are some stories that poorly adapted or have mediocre artwork and execution, there are some really amazing ones that are totally worth discovering! I’m quite glad to hear your interest for this one. It’s beautiful in every way possible. Hope you’ll love it as much as I did! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Chris Evans says:

    Awesome review mate! I was curious about this when it first came out a couple of years ago (?) but it seemed to have subsequently slipped me by. So glad to have read your wonderful review on this, love Dickens’ novel and other various adaptations and to meld that with Batman makes this a must read…NOW!

    Merry Christmas to you my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you sir! Merry Christmas to you too! I had actually gotten my hands on the hardcover almost an year ago and waited till the next Holidays (now) to read and indulge myself in a Gotham City edition of A Christmas Carol (since last Holidays I had only just read the original work by Dickens). It’s definitely a delight to see how the whole narrative of Dickens’ tale fits like a glove to Batman and friends. The artwork is just the cherry (a VERY big one, in fact) on top of the cake. If you ever do get the chance to read it, I do hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zezee says:

    Yo man! I just saw this comic in a recommendations post couple days ago. I forgot where I saw the post but it had this (which made me crack up because I can’t imagine Batman in a Christmas story) and Klaus (a badass Santa Claus. It sounds cool https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29430487-klaus ). From what you’ve said above, I’d love to read Batman Noel. And I agree that the art looks pretty damn awesome. That’s the first thing to catch my eye when I saw your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Hahahha Batman in a Christmas setting is indeed quite odd, but man, I’m telling you. This one is a gem! As you can see, it’s even really soothing for the eyes. Somehow, I also like seeing Gotham in a snow-covered setting. It looks natural and very vibrant. You should definitely check this out for yourself! I’ve also heard of Klaus, it’s actually written by one of the most popular comic book writers for Batman (Grant Morrisson). He’s a… hit or miss type of writer though. But man, his Santa sounds pretty badass though!

      – Lashaan

      Like

      • Zezee says:

        Yup, I went and add it to my TBR. Also, I got the Killing Joke today because I was talking about it with a coworker and got excited. And while I was at the shop, I was convinced to pick up a Batman comic. I forgot the name of it and it’s upstairs but I was told that it’s a good one to start with. Can’t wait!
        I just read a Green Arrow comic but didn’t like it much.

        Like

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