|Date||November 2, 2011|
Batman: Noël is an original graphic novel written and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, who previously did the artwork for Joker. It is based on Charles Dickens' classic novel A Christmas Carol and features characters from both Dickens and the Batman mythos. Like Joker, the story is narrated by one of the Clown Prince's henchmen.
During winter in Gotham City, a financially struggling man named Bob, who works as a delivery man for the Joker, finds a package full of money in a trash can, but almost immediately, Batman (referred to as Scrooge by the narrator), attacks him and demands to know where the Joker is. When Bob tells him that he doesn't know, Batman lets him go, but secretly attaches a tracer to him as he runs home to his son, Tim.
Back at the Batcave, Bruce watches Bob and his son, informing Alfred that he intends for the father to be arrested so his son has no chance to follow in his footsteps. During this, Bruce constantly coughs, implying that he is catching a cold. Alfred then reminds Bruce that a similar plan led to Jason Todd losing his life. Afterwards, Bruce sees a vision of Jason (taking the role of Jacob Marley), which disturbs him throughout the rest of the night.
Batman responds to the Bat-Signal, where Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that Catwoman (playing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past) has tipped off the GCPD that she has information about the Joker, but demands that she only talks to Batman. Confronting Catwoman, Batman discovers that she was lying and only called him so she could "play with him", under nostalgia of their adventures together. After some provoking, Batman chases Catwoman before falling to the ground.
Afterwards, Batman is confronted by Superman (playing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present), who after using his x-ray vision on Batman, discovers he is coming down with pneumonia, though Batman shrugs it off. Superman then takes Batman to watch Bob and Tim, then to watch Commissioner Gordon talking with an officer about their differing opinions of Batman.
Superman then leaves after dropping Batman off at the Batmobile, which explodes upon activation and knocks Batman out. The Joker (playing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future) then comes and drags Batman to a graveyard to be buried alive. While buried, Batman suffers a vision where Gotham is plunged into chaos after his death, with civilians killing criminals in cold blood, mirroring Batman's ruthless behavior and black-and-white view of the world after Jason Todd's death. Realizing what he has become, Batman digs himself free and saves Bob and Tim from the Joker.
Bob manages to grab the Joker's gun and holds the latter at gunpoint, but Batman convinces him to show his son the man he truly is; not a criminal. Bob lowers the gun and Joker is arrested. Learning a new lesson in life, Bruce gives Bob benefits, like a raise and an actual Christmas tree. The narrator is revealed to be Bob himself, relating the tale to Tim and asking him what he thought the moral of the story was.
Rob Patey of Ain't It Cool News called Batman: Noël "an instant classic," complimenting Bermejo's "kinetic artwork" and his ability to keep the story grounded while deftly transcending reality. Shawn Morrissey of Outer Realm Comics was less impressed saying that it "is a good read, but it's all thanks to the source material" and that the overly realistic art ruins the comic book fantasy.
- In Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman Noel batsuit is an alternate outfit which can be used in challenge mode, online multiplayer, and in Story mode after beating the main story on Normal or Hard. The game's story takes place during Christmas Eve.