Holiday Special #2- Batman Saves And Creates Christmas?
Batman in Silent Night of the Batman
Excerpt from Batman #219
“The Silent Night of the Batman”
Writer: Mike Friedrich
Artist: Neal Adams and Dick Giordano
Letter: Gaspar Saladino
Colorist: Jerry Serpe
The Silent Night of the Batman is a story in which Commissioner Gordon summons Batman via the Bat-signal to invite him to a police department Christmas party on Christmas Eve.
Batman resists the invitation before determining that he should be a human and enjoy himself. So, with the promise from the cops that nothing bad will happen Batman joins in caroling. During the musical numbers, we learned that crime doesn’t stop, but instead that Batman’s spirit is felt in the city.
Serious the short features Batman singing carols and people being freaked out by the imagery of Batman and stop committing the crime at hand and even committing Suicide. My favorite moment is this criminal that tries to get the drop on Batman only to discover it’s a blind man holding a sign for a Wayne Foundation for the Blind. What is even more weird is that he is dressed in a Batman suit. FOR WHAT?! Such a bizarre moment.
That doesn’t top the weirdest moment where Batman realizes it is almost morning and he has been singing all night. When Batman sings, he sings. Batman attributes this freeze in crime to the Christmas Spirit and then Batman is visited by a ghostly head of what can only be assumed to Jim Gordon himself. The disembodied head of Jim posits about whether the Christmas spirit is the human spirit. I think. He states, “But what is the Christmas Spirit Batman—might it not be…you or I?” I take the intent as saying it is embedded in the human self and not actual iconography of Batman and Jim Gordon. Then again, the entire story is about how the imagery of Batman alone is enough to change people.
Either way Batman punches himself in the face over this moment of existential thought and returns to the streets of Gotham.
Batman has a Merry Christmas
Okay this was a strange Batman short. It also may be flawed in the medium used. This story relies a lot on the idea of Christmas carols in the background. We see several panels of Batman and the Gotham police force singing various carols all while set to these scenes of people changing their ways by the fear of Batman. I think this would actually work better as an animated short so we can really get the setting better. It is definitely the most festive of the Batman stories explored today. It is just so uncanny to read.
As for the art and stuff, Neal Adams draws a wonderful Batman, and it is true here. The use of layouts is fantastic and the different ways of getting Batman imagery out of seemingly random things including a Blind man raising money for charity was a novel one.
This story is one that tends to get reprinted a lot and given its festive tone, its easy to see why. Also, it’s only eight pages. It can fill in a lot of anthologies rather nicely.
That does it for the Caped Crusader at Christmas. This was not a complete retrospective of Batman’s holiday tales, but we did see a trend that is common for a lot of Batman holiday stories. They don’t always deal with the holidays directly like Superman. Instead, the creative staff often finds ways to utilize the set pieces or themes to make it work within the framework of Batman.
This wraps up the holiday specials for this year. I want to take this moment to wish all readers a happy holidays. I hope they are merry and bright. Take care.
This has been Extremely Uncanny.