So don't say I didn't get you anything. Because seriously, what could you possibly want more than me writing a review of a Batman graphic novel?? Okay, probably pretty much anything. Fortunately, though, I was unable to go home to see my family for Christmas because I work in retail so I spent most of the day enjoying laying around, thinking about cleaning, and deciding to write a review instead since I read some Batman recently that's fitting for today. So, here goes, and you're welcome!
Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo
4.5 stars (although, that's seriously never an option on any website so I round it down on Amazon and up on Goodreads, trying to be fair.)
I really wasn't sure what this was all about, I just knew it was a Christmas type Batman story and the artwork caught my attention. Boyfriend gave it to me a while back so I thought, "Hey, I should read this before Christmas this year." I am so glad I did! It turns out it was Dickens' "A Christmas Story" retold.
I hate that the Amazon blurb gives away which characters play the traditional roles of the story. I had no idea who would make an appearance and that made it better for me. Because it's pretty common knowledge, I won't worry about spoiling it with this review.
What I loved:
I liked the idea of Batman being portrayed as tortured and struggling to walk the line of justice and revenge. Too often, I feel like superheroes are above emotions. Batman has always felt more real and with this, we see a path he very well could have gone down, making the fact that he hasn't even more important.
I really liked Superman in this. I usually am not a big fan of his, but in this we see a gentle man who wants to bring reason and help a friend who needs him.
I love everything about the ghost of the future and the ending. I don't want to give it away, but it was just, well, it was amazing.
I really like Catwoman, and this graphic novel was no exception. She brings something to Batman's world that just can't be found anywhere else.
I love the narrator aspect. It gave something more to this story. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about having someone other than Bruce himself giving direction, but this really was a brilliant addition.
The artwork (which is always important to any comic/graphic novel, but usually not something I'd comment on) was breathtaking at times. This added so much to the book.
What I didn't like:
It was so, so short. While this was excellent for my attention span, I felt like so much was missing. The Robin and Catwoman parts were the parts I felt suffered the most. I think it would have been much more emotionally pulling if these had been given a little more. Usually, I hate extra fluff, but in this case, I felt there were some gaps.
Overall, I would recommend this one to anyone who loves Batman, or even someone who just kind of likes him. This is a story of beautiful artwork and hope and a reminder that no one is ever lost.
Happy Winter Solstice and Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate Today!