“Silent Knight” – Part One
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Michele Bandini
Color Artist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Review by Kendra Smart
Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening?
Batman and Santa Claus: Silent Knight #1 introduces readers to a war unlike any other.
I’m a huge fan of the main cover by Dan Mora; it sparks Norman Rockwell vibes as DC’s Holy Trinity is featured. Batman and Wonder Woman are in the background while Superman has a young one on his lap, listening intently to the Man of Steel reading a vintage Batman comic featuring Father Christmas. It’s a wonderful scene.
I was really excited to jump in as the reviewer for this Christmas-themed mini-series, mostly because Zatanna Zatara’s a primary character, but also to see just what Jeff Parker had up his sleeve for us. Zatanna’s one of the most underused and underrated characters in all of comics. For me, it’s a crime that she hasn’t appeared in a monthly series since James Tynion’s brilliant run on Justice League Dark. The story’s great! I mean a Christmas special with Santa? I’m all in! I read this issue and was not disappointed. Let’s break it down!
In The Lane, Snow is Glistening
It’s a chilly night in Gotham but the carolers are out doing their best to spread good cheer… but everyone’s a critic, and someone takes the carolers out, one by one. Batman and Robin arrive after the chorus changes to screams. As the Dynamic Duo investigates the crime scene, they notice the victims each have a single puncture in their neck and have been drained of blood. All non-paranormal avenues exhausted, Batman calls on an old friend and expert. Her arrival is perfect and quite seasonal, Zatanna is indeed a performer, through and through
The great surprise of the story is the brilliant depiction of Santa himself. Jolly Old Saint Nick is not what all the stories say he is; he has his own backstory, complete with a current nemesis who’s more than willing to do whatever it takes to gain vengeance on Kris Kringle.
A Beautiful Sight, We’re Happy Tonight
If I were to ponder over what I’d be in for just hearing the synopsis, I still wouldn’t have been ready for Batman and Santa Claus #1. However, I join the cry for canon Santa Sensei, because the role they’ve cast for DC’s Father Christmas is just perfection. Jeff Parker has given us a great start to this story, captured our attention, and created a beautifully blended mix of substance and action, with a healthy helping of humor.
The art team of Michele Bandini and Alex Sinclair brings their A-game, too. It can be seen in multiple scenes but my favorite two, yes two, are Zatanna fangirling over Santa… because Santa… and the opening of a portal to the other side of the world as a weapon. Watching these scenes unfold delivered the double dose of adrenalin and excitement the doctor ordered… and then some. The artwork and colors are so crisp that they give you the warmth of cocoa on a blistery windy day.
I look forward to watching Santa team up with the Gotham gang as he tries to keep the world safe. What can go wrong with Batman getting trained by Santa Claus, an ancient Viking who slays beings who go bump in the night? The short answer is easier to explain. Batman and Santa Claus #1 gives us a gift that keeps giving.
A new holiday guilty pleasure.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment