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Batman: Noel Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November 8, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For a hero with no superpowers, Batman shows a remarkable resistance to market saturation, and here slips comfortably into the seemingly awkward fit of Dickens’ Christmas Carol. To be sure, the virtuoso art of Bermejo, who drew Brian Azzarello’s Joker (2008), helps as he not only portrays the physical world with jaw-dropping precision but also captures the metaphysical nature of his subject. You see every line and curve as streetlights glint off the molding of Batman’s cowl, even as you feel the harshness of the shadows he carries within him. You see the grime on Gotham’s streets, even as you feel the grime in its soul. In his first time out as scripter, Bermejo manages to plumb the parallels of Batman and Scrooge effectively enough and speaks in a strong narrative voice as Batman uses a small-time hood (the Bob Cratchit stand-in) as bait to hunt down the Joker. With the likes of Catwoman and Superman filling in for Christmas ghosts, Bermejo presents a piece of gritty urban action with some real Christmas heart, all wrapped up in some truly stunning visuals. --Jesse Karp

Review

“Amazing. This book is a visual treat.”—The New York Times

“Simply terrific.”—Scripps Howard News Service

“The caped crusader channels the gravelly paranoia of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns while a desperate father working for the Joker lends the story its moral weight and inevitable humanitarian payoff.”—Paste Magazine

“Absolutely exquisite… I'd be more than happy to add reading "Batman: Noel" and watching it to my yearly yuletide festivities.”—Yahoo! Movies

"Bermejo has simply created an instant classic with BATMAN NOEL that is larger than any holiday."—Ain’t It Cool News

“Surprising, new, gorgeous to look at, and also incredibly heartfelt. So you know, the perfect stocking stuffer.”—MTV GEEK

“[Bermejo]’s incorporating his unique style to create a fresh kind of Batman tale, lending it a distinctive flavor that would be impossible for any other artist to replicate.”—IGN

“More than just a regular graphic novel.”—UGO

“Gorgeously illustrated.”—io9

“More than a clever entertainment, and does more than just prove that Bermejo is a fine writer.” —The Morton Report

“Some artists like Bermejo seem to be regarded as having objectively beautiful illustrations. Bermejo is able to take characters we know and love and give them a sinister and realistic twist that makes them pop out of the pages. Batman Noel is worth picking up for the artwork alone."—Bloody_Disgusting.com, Pick of the Week

“Gives the classic story the dark edge that's inherent in anything set in Gotham City.”—Newsarama

“Lush.”—Comic Book Resources

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Product Details

  • Series: null
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; De Luxe edition edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401232132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401232139
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Crossing the Dark Knight with Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol may seem like a highly dubious premise for a graphic novel but writer/artist Lee Bermejo pulls it off remarkably well. Yes, it's a little bit more whimsical than your typical Caped Crusader tale. But it is highly entertaining and Bemejo's version of Batman is much more in keeping with the character than you would think.

***Minor Spoilers***

The plot of Batman: Noel revolves around Batman's attempts to use a common criminal, Bob, and his son to catch the Joker. Bob is an employee of Bruce Wayne who has reluctantly agreed to do a side job for the Joker on his day off. A very dark Batman is willing to put the lives of Bob and his son at risk to catch the Joker. In the story, Batman/Bruce Wayne's role is roughly parallel to that of Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic Dickens story. Superman, Catwoman and the Joker play rolls akin to the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Each of them reminds Batman of a different aspect of himself, forcing him to reflect on how he has become the person that he is. We also see some of how Batman the character has evolved from the more campy superhero of the 1960s to the grimmer one that dominates most Batman tales of today. At the same time, the story is really a very loose adaptation of Dickens's story, modified to capture the unique elements of Batman's world.

***End Spoilers***

One great thing about this story is that anyone with even the most basic knowledge of Batman lore can pick it up and enjoy. It really works beautifully as a stand alone story and readers will be able to understand all aspects of it even if they have not been following developments with the Caped Crusader in the regularly published Batman comic books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Batman Noel is a spectacular graphic novel. First, the art is amazing. It is dynamic and really contrasts between lights and shadows. I've seen some different Batman art forms and this is one of my favorites. Not only that, but the other characters in the novel (I won't give any away) are drawn and colored to really show off their personalities, which greatly enhances their role in the novel. They go from static, side characters to containing a sense of depth that can only come from great art. ***Minor Spoiler*** As Batman is displayed at different times in his life, the art even goes the extra mile to show his personality and disposition which adds a lot to the story.

Speaking of the story, I am hard pressed to not say that the story in Batman Noel is one of the better graphic novels I have read in a long time (which makes me feel a little bit like a traitor because I am a huge fan of Superman and I even enjoyed Batman Noel a little more than the recent novels I have read with Superman). I won't give any details away about the plot or overall story line, but the creativity that went into showing Batman and Charles Dickins side by side blew my mind. It seems kind of silly to put Batman and A Christmas Carol together but somehow this just works in Batman Noel and makes for an excellent read. You don't even need to know a lot about Batman to be able to pick up the novel and read it, so those unfamiliar or new to Batman should not be discouraged.

I strongly suggest that anyone interested in Batman picks up this amazing novel and gives it a try. I seriously doubt you will be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that the artwork in BATMAN: NOEL is phenomenal. Lee Bermejo is so talented when it comes to illustrating. Batman looks so realistic down to the last detail; it's amazing. Guest appearances by Robin, Superman, Catwoman, and the Joker are equally astounding.

Less exciting is the story itself. Is there anyone who hasn't read and/or seen Dickens' A Christmas Carol in some variation? Is anyone as tired as me of seeing it tweaked and redone for the millionth time? If not for the beautiful artwork, I would have regretted purchasing and reading this holiday-themed graphic novel.

Don't get me wrong; the book is worth it just for the artwork alone. But the story could have been more entertaining. 10 stars (out of 5) for the art; 3 for the average story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Christmas Carol with Batman as Scrooge seems like such an inspired idea that it's a wonder no one has written this book before. I knew Lee Bermejo's work from Joker, so my expectations were very high. And when it comes to the art, Bermejo does not disappoint. This book is gorgeous. The attention to detail and the way he lays out a page is striking. Every time I open this book I am again taken aback by how good it looks. The characters feel so real they're almost tangible. The ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Yet to Come are especially good. Visually, this is one of the best Batman books I've seen in years.

It's the writing that's not quite up to the same level. This is Bermejo's first time as a writer for a comic, and he does a fine job. The story stays very true to Dickens's version. There are no real twists and turns here; it hits all the major beats of the sources material. But with source material as good as Dickens's classic, that's not really a bad thing. A Batman Christmas Carol is what the book promises on the cover, and that is what it delivers. But there've been so many versions of A Christmas Carol over the years, that I just kept finding myself wanting a little more. The story is good and enjoyable, but it doesn't really say or explore anything new about the Dark Knight.

Overall, I enjoyed Batman Noel and am proud to have it sitting on my shelf. The story is a fun holiday read, but it's Bermejo's artwork that is the real selling point here. It's almost worth picking up this book just to look at the pictures. If you're looking for a fun, but not entirely innovative, Batman holiday story, you won't be disappointed.
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