Merry Christmas everyone! We’ve reviewed various adaptions of A Christmas Carol over the years here at The Bureau, but this probably our first graphic novel adaption  at least our first featuring Batman anyway.

Title: Batman – Noel
Written & Illustrated by Lee Bermejo
Published by DC Comics
Published in November 2011

The Premise

On Christmas Eve, Batman hunts The Joker, who has escaped from Arkham Asylum again. In the process, he encounters a poor Wayne Enterprises employee (or former employee), named Bob. He also encounters the ghost of an ally who had died (Jason Todd as Jacob Marley), and three people representing Batman’s past, present, and future (Catwoman, Superman, and The Joker as the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, respectively).

High Points

The story does a fairly good job of telling Dickens’ Christmas Carol, in the context of Gotham City

Low Points

While I understand that Bruce Wayne is the grim and humorless Batman, and that this story appears to be set between Jason Todd & Tim Drake’s runs as Robin, this version of Batman is a little too humorless.

Scores

Originality: Well, this is an adaptation of A Christmas Carol – though I’d never seen a superhero version of it before. 4/6

Story: On the one hand, the story of A Christmas Carol is strong enough to last for generations, and to be flexible enough to be adapted in so many different ways, though this isn’t what I’d consider one of the better adaptions. 3/6

Artwork: Bermejo’s art is gorgeous! 6/6

Characterization: As mentioned under the low point, Batman’s characterization is a bit off. 3/6

Emotional Response: A good adaptation of A Christmas Carol makes me forget that I already know the beats. A mediocre one calls out the beets as if to say “Hey, I’m adopting A Christmas Carol!” That’s what this volume does. 3/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: This is a good one-off, and I’d love to see Bermejo’s work in other books, as far as the art is concerned. With his writing though, I’d rather see him write original works with his own characters before he does more stuff with the mainstream DC heroes other than one-offs. 4/6

In total, Batman: Noel gets 29/42.