Monday, December 24, 2012

Batman: Noel



Tonight you shall be haunted by another adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," except this one's really damn good.



98 comments:

Breno Ranyere said...

Merry cristhmas Lewis!

SiFi270 said...

"The Joker was just a standard criminal psychopath. I can hardly remember him telling JOKE in it."

Aaaaaand that's why I think The Dark Knight, especially Heath Ledger's role in it, was overrated.

SamJH said...

I thank you for your comments on the Christmas Carol story at the beginning of the video. I don't understand how anyone can get tired of this story. Honestly, I can't think of a single adaptation of it that I haven't enjoyed. and even if I didn't like it, that is probably more to do with who is adapting it (namely, the Flinstones) than the story itself.

Tyler said...

SNOWFLAME WANTS YOUR CHRISTMAS COCAINE.

Ashtonyss said...

Snazzy new intro! And Merry Christmas, Lewis! I honestly didn't expect an episode today.

Seriously. It's been a great year, and let's make the next one even better.

Daniel T. Stack said...

Well at least the transporter on Comichron 1 Can easily get Harvey's things back for him...

Thank you for the Recommendation.

The Clerk in Hell was in more than just that play. It was also used in a movie interpretation where they end up bringing in his chain and declaring him the only person who will be cold in hell. To revisit the conditions of his own office and the suffering of Cratchet.

As to the Skitch cover... Maybe Lindsay Doug and the rest would like to do their own covers to put together for a Channel Awesome Christmas Album for next year?

Thank you for having Harvey get some closure. Its so much better than ending with his own grave. His rant was something I never really see but half the time expect in stories where the characters already know the narrative of Dickens Christmas Carol.

Thank you for the Snow Flame Cameo at the end. You know his suit could be an interesting take on a Santa suit if you ever wanted to go that way.

Snow Flame has friends. Now I just wish the captcha wasn't giving unreadable having to click reload multiple times is annoying. but its been on the numbers Lately its like they are out of legible images.

Information Geek said...

Thank you! Thanks to you, I remember that verison of A Christmas Carol where Scrooge went to hell. I saw that one when I was a hell and it screwed with me a lot. It as so freaky!

Speaking of other books Lee Bermejo drew, he also did the art on Luther: Man of Steel, which focused on Lex Luthor. It was a pretty good book from what I recalled, but I was wondering, did you ever read it and what did you think of it?

Also, fun facts! Luther: Man of Steel was written by Brian Azzarello, who also wrote Joker (like you mentioned in the credits), Before Watchmen: Rosarch (also drawn by Lee Bermejo), and currently writes Wonder Woman! So many ways to connect these two and their works all together!

LucasChad said...

Great stuff with the final scene and song! Makes me want to hunt down a copy of The Muppet Christmas Carol on Blu-Ray.

My favorite version of the story remains the 2009 version starring Jim Carrey not just because I'm a huge admirer of him, but also how highly faithful to the story it really is and how the animation helped brought to life the ghostly aspect of the story. I know a lot of people say "bah, humbug" to it, but I say it's great and I cannot deny it.

Coinciedentally, I've been watching several movie versions in the past month. I do like the 1970 version with Albert Finney because of the music especially "Thank You Very Much!" The 1984 version with George C. Scott may be the best TV adaptation of the story, and the fact that Scott is effin' awesome. The 1951 may be my least favorite of the bunch mostly because some scenes in the past dragged way too long. I just don't care for it and I think Alastair Sim was playing a depressed Scrooge more than typically grouchy, which I liked better. Just giving you my two cents.

JerryScott said...

I really enjoyed this episode. Where do I begin? The review was very good. It had praise for the book as well as some pointing out of the stupid moments. Also, I did like the ending of "The Harvey Finevoice Christmas Carol" arc. I was hoping for an appearance of the "Future Linkara" I also liked the stingers. Harvey's stuff is still stuck at that hotel room, huh? Well he can go back and get it later. Oh yes and, SNOWFLAME! I laughed so hard at the ending with Snowflame. So all in all, I really enjoyed this one.

Brandon Brinkmann said...

I only just read this last week. It was an early christmas present from my friend before he went to visit family. I absolutely loved it and read it 3 times in the last week. Planning to read it tonight with my little cousin.

harmonicajay said...

The latter two versions that you listed as your favorite are two of my favorites as well. I will have to check out the Patrick Stewart version. I might read this comic myself. Bats is a bit too brutal in this for my tastes, but I will give it a shot. Merry Christmas Lewis and I like the ending of the Harvey Finevoice story. I would buy the Finevoice album, I assure you, but... well it is the shopping season, but I do like the samples.

james cousins said...

summary:Loved the comic, loved the story.
extended thought 1: your father always does a great job with the "future" Linkara" bits. Its good to see family participate in internet reviews.
Extended thought 2: Harvey's dealing with the death of his son is particularly poignant given... recent.. events. I'm not saying anymore on that tangent.
Bottom line, great work, Merry Christmas, have a Happy New Year, we are all looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

There was a previous Batman/"Christmas Carol" riff in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's "Ghosts," collected in Haunted Knight.

Say, returning to ASBAR is a great idea, but I wonder if you might also consider taking on Batman: Widening Gyre some day. I can honestly remember a time when I admired Kevin Smith... feels a million years ago.

kyle jordan said...

Dude this review was great. Honestly feels like a gift. Love the ending by the way. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you dude.

harmonicajay said...

also, as always, love your dad's cameo. Again, Merry Christmas.

Sekele said...

Speaking of "A Christmas Carol" and superheroes, there's a thing I'd like to share with you and everyone interested

http://gilmec.deviantart.com/art/SANTAMAN-The-Christmas-Movie-133362650

I've been watching this short film every year since 2009, when it's creator first posted it on DA, and I do think it's something up you'r alley

Laura F. said...

Oh, Harvey... ALL MY FEELS!

...Okay, I haven't been able to post on here for the last few videos due to vacationing in Miami for a month, but I kept up the best I could. And might I just say that the backstory and drama we've gotten with Harvey is some of the best stuff I've seen to date from this show.

Seriously, props to Lewis for a great job both writing and acting these scenes. A tip of the hat and Merry Christmas to you, sir! :)

Nikki Blanton said...

Merry Christmas!!!

Thank you for the Harvey Finevoice Christmas Carol arc. I really enjoyed watching it and I am glad we finally got to find out where Harvey really was. I was afraid you had gone the soap opera route and he was in a coma or something.

It's a pity that this song wasn't included on the album, because it has the levity that is missing from it. Maybe you could release it as a single next year.

Miss Angel said...

Merry Christmas, Lewis! I'll admit that I haven't really been in the holiday spirit, but I think you singlehandedly mananged to put me in it. This is possibly one of my favorite episodes of this show.

The comic does seem pretty good; though the narration seems kind of pretentious. The only comics I've read were Marvel digital comics, but the art was beautiful. It's amazing how I've only watched your show for a month and have fallen in love with it.

As for the conclusion of your Christmas Carol arc: Wow. Great performance as Harvey. I got the warm fuzzies at the end and loved the singing. And it was nice seeing your father again. You must have the best family ever if they're willing to help you out so much!

Thanks for the great episode and hope you have a great holiday!

Conan_Edogawa said...

Seems like a decent read. I'll have to look into it sometime.

Wow, Harvey. All of my feels.

And that last stinger is just the icing on the cake for this video.

PopCultureOtaku said...

Merry Christmas! Note that I mentioned about the box of christmas comics was missing. I found it including DC Christmas TPB that 2 out of 4 christmas comics were reprinted in this month.
Batman Noel isn't perfect but it has beautiful artwork and good story.
Powerful stuff with Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Surprised you didn't comment on the "not a criminal" bit. Regardless of what state Gotham is in, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be illegal (at least not because the Joker has just demonstrated he could easily get out of such a situation, not to mention his reputation)

Hawkx1 said...

So why wasn't this released on Tuesday instead I think the fans would have understood. Was also thinking you could've also made this on X-Mas eve though it loses the ghost concept that way I guess.

KamenRiderGumo said...

The "Take the bull by the horns" expression essentially means to have the courage to do just that. Yes, it's a very risky thing to do, but that's kind of the point.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Extended thought 2: Harvey's dealing with the death of his son is particularly poignant given... recent.. events. I'm not saying anymore on that tangent.
Bottom line, great work, Merry Christmas, have a Happy New Year, we are all looking forward to it!"

Yeah, I actually did consider dropping the storyline because of that.

Serial Wordsmith said...

Wonderful episode. Thank you Linkara and Merry Christmas! I had actually disregarded this story because of it's connection to "Joker", which I hated. Nice to see I was wrong about that.

BTW, was Harvey at his son's grave referencing the DS9 pilot with Sisko in the wormhole?

Tracey said...

I remember, back a few reviews (I think it was the Identity Crisis review, but I'm not sure), you were complaining abut the concept of retconning tragedy into a hero's past

Now you essentially demonstrated how such a thing can be in fact done right (I seriously doubt you had this origin in mind when you first introduced Harvey)

I'm not sure if this was you'r intention, but it sure kept evoking this in my mind throughout this whole story-line

Marry Christmas, and a happy new year

Blackcat325 said...

"I actually did consider dropping the storyline because of that."

Yeah, I think I mentioned that in my comment, I wondered if there was meant to be more to last weeks's storyline part but you pulled it back. I think you made the right decision to go through with resolving the storyline this week, though.

Proper comment on this episode later - for now, it's Christmas morning here, I'm putting the HF Christmas album on in the car and heading out for the day. Have a great Christmas!

Tracey said...

"

"Extended thought 2: Harvey's dealing with the death of his son is particularly poignant given... recent.. events. I'm not saying anymore on that tangent.
Bottom line, great work, Merry Christmas, have a Happy New Year, we are all looking forward to it!"

Yeah, I actually did consider dropping the storyline because of that.

"

I personally don't believe in changing one's plans due to events one had no control over, and that do not affect one directly (no matter how tragic they are)

Tragedies happen every single day around the entire world, it's only that the media don't cover them (don't get me started on the media leeching off of other people's tragedies)
The only thing we can do is live our lives to the fullest, and not allow the world to get us down

Shanethefilmmaker said...

Great ending. I lost someone very close to me around the holidays last year and this show actually was one of the things that kept me going after it happened. This episode now was not only a reminder of that moment which isn't as bad as when it happened, but also a reminder that I needed to let go and move on and I thank you for it. You probably hear that a lot, but you deserve it. Thank you Lewis Lovhaug, Linkara. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may good will go toward you, your crew and your family.

Gonzo said...

*puts this comic on next year's Christmas wishlist*

Also, Snowflame was obviously the Ghost of Christmas Snowflame. What more do you need?

Merry Christmas to you too, sir. :)

Ellipsis Flood said...

Merry Christmas, everyone.

And thanks, Lewis, for this beautiful reinterpretation of the Christmas Carol (and I'm not just talking about the comic). I, the huge cynic, got enough feels out of this video to get through an evening full of relatives.

I love how Harvey reacts to the ghosts how pretty much everyone with knowledge of the tale would. At least, until things click together. I like how it's not really about Christmas itself, but about the general attitude and coming to terms with your past. That spin on it made this version special. It didn't force round characters into square roles, like some other adaptations do.

And damn, Christmas at Atop the Fourth Wall seems to be fun.

Tom Badguy said...

I fucking loved this comic. I had to review it as soon as I read it. It was really awesome.

J.P. Doyle said...

Hey, I watch "The Muppet Christmas Carol" every year too! It's also my sister's favorite version, and my first exposure to the story as well.

As for the songs, do you even like the one that often gets cut from the home video versions, "When Love is Gone"?

Anonymous said...

Great review, although you didn't get to mention one of my favorite Christmas Carol adaptations, the 1983 Mickey Mouse one, with Scrooge McDuck playing the role of his namesake.

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Oh man ... I cried so hard at the conclusion of the Finevoice storyline. Great job, guys. I remember seeing this graphic novel at Hastings last year and now I'm sad I didn't get it.

Chelsey Magnuson said...

Y'know, just when I think I couldn't possibly love your show any more - you make an episode like this one! The jokes were great - I wasn't expecting quite so many with the review of a good comic, but a lot of lines had be laughing. And then the emotional 180 at the end there...your acting is /phenomenal/, actually got me tearing up. Poor Harvey =(

Hope you have a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!

Lord Tristan said...

Another great episode, I loved the SnowFlame bit at the end there, Merry Christmas I hope you have a good one.

ps your megazords legs are the wrong way round i couldnt help but notice that (yes I know mega nerdy and pointless but i had to point it out)

Cenobite829 said...

Outstanding and very heart touching ending. A really nice cover of an outstanding song and The Snowflame bit at the end made me almost fall out of my chair with laughter. So Merry Chirstmas Lewis.

SNOWFLAME DEMANDS COOKIES AND EGGNOG!!!!!!!!!!!

le-messor said...

Merry Christmas everybody!

It actually is Christmas for me today... but I'm not gonna tell you what you're getting!

""The Joker was just a standard criminal psychopath. I can hardly remember him telling JOKE in it."
Aaaaaand that's why I think The Dark Knight, especially Heath Ledger's role in it, was overrated."

Aaaand that's why I agree with you... I love Heather Ledger's villain in that movie, but I refuse to call him the Joker, since he's nothing like the Joker. If we want to go with the villain of a late 80's Burton movie, starring Michael Keaton as the title character, he's more like the one from Beetlejuice than Batman.

LoneWolf said...

I guess there really was more of gravy than a grave about them.

Anonymous said...

I loved the ending. Your writing is alot better than Frank Miller's nowadays. Yours has real emotion, while Frank makes Batman OOC.

FugueforFrog said...

Weirdly I was never into the Muppet Christmas Carol, mostly since it was after Jim's death. I know a ton loved it though and I really should see it in full now it's been all this time but...I guess I've always been more an Emmit Otter and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street kind of person for Muppet christmas specials.

This was an interesting comic and really showed the bad moments even in a good comic. The weird art at times, some of the way they overemphasized Batman as a bit of a loner and a miser (when he really does get way too into the crime-fighting in some interpretations) and the overangelic nature of Tiny Tim...which they always tend to overuse in these Christmas Carol adaptations. And yeah, Superman remains a dick...that's enough said on that one.

BTW: I like mostly the 1970 musical more due to the closeness to the book as well as the weird stuff with Alec Guiness as Marley, which you brougth up at the end.

And finally...yeah, Harvey seemed to finally get his lesson in the end. It was hard for him to get over the death of his son and old wounds reopened with the holo-Kara incident. Maybe he'll be better from here on.

Daniel T. Stack said...

/ quote "Lewis Lovhaug"

Yeah, I actually did consider dropping the storyline because of that.
\ quote
I'm really glad you didn't drop it. Like I said in my earlier comment. Harvey really needed this. Real life might have painted a painful situation in hundreds of lives with tens of thousands reacting to it but that doesn't change it being a really great way to end this.

MetaKnight said...

This is a deep episode...

I especially liked how your version of the Christmas Carol story was more about Harvey finally accepting his son's death and moving on. I applaud your ability to craft a story and add depth to your characters without it seeming forced.

Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Lovhaug as well as your friends, family, and the cast of Atop the Fourth Wall.

jenbrait said...

Ok 4 things.
1: Great review as always.
2: Aww. Poor Harvey, I wished I could go give him a hug.
3: LOL on the Snowflame bit. That was a great way to end such a sad tale.
and 4: Merry Christmas to you, Will, and everyone else at Channel Awsome.

Comics, Old Time Radio and Other Cool Stuff said...

Thanks for the great review. I always enjoy your talent for doing different voices, but I was really, really impressed with your Mark Hamill-esque Joker voice.

Red Spearow said...

Oh, that was good. That was very good. I feel for you Harvey.

On a side note, recently started getting into comics. Loved reading Batman: Hush and Green Lantern: Blackest Night. Also read as much as I could find of World War Hulk and Dark Reign. I enjoyed Dark Reign a lot, but WW Hulk was just ok. I really hope you review GL: Brightest Day one day. It started out slightly interesting, then got stupid at the end.

Also, Merry Christmas! May God bless you as you sit atop the fourth wall, as well as in all your endeavours.

Rob Green said...

Merry Christmas Lewis. What a great 3 week story arc that was.

Cat C said...

First, Merry Christmas, Lewis! Blessing and luck to you and yours this season and all the year round.

Next, the comic itself. Wow, that was really cool. Though as for the cover, I think Batman is standing like that because of the Weeping Angel behind him. 'Oh god, no, don't blink!' Though my husband pointed out how he was already not looking at the Angel so, eeps to the Batman. I agree about the beautiful artwork, though I think I like the scenery better than some of the faces.

Also, the review was very funny.

Next, the story line stuff. I REALLY enjoyed this story. And extra yay! for seeing your dad. It's always awesome when he can appear. I had been wondering if he would do the review as if it were really far in the future, but I think what you ultimately did worked better.

On a purely random note, I see you got the couch moved out of the way for filming.

As for the Christmas Carol story itself. I enjoy the story, and have fond memories of watching many versions with my dad in the past. (though it does make remembering which ones I like a little tougher.) I do love the Muppets version and one of my other favorites is the Disney version with Mickey Mouse and well, Uncle Scrooge McDuck. That one is because I grew up with classic Disney as a big part of my life.

What's weird though is, I don't like reading Dickens. I read a lot of work in his time period when I was getting my BA in English but most of the style then just interest me. Anyway it's nice to see the story presented in so many other forms.

Very much enjoyed Harvey singing at the end, and nice stinger. Was it hard to not burst out laughing when Will was behind the couch?

Joshua Ford said...

Hmm you've got me interested in this. However just judging from this review, I think the "Christmas Carol theme" was played much better in the 3rd chapter of Batman: Haunted Knight by(pre-insane)Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. I'm pretty sure you've already read it, but I recommend it if you haven't :).

murderouscow said...

I'll be your friend Snowflame!

Anonymous said...

Supeman vs Goku! Who would win? Place your bets now! My bet's on Superman!


http://www.screwattack.com/shows/originals/death-battle/goku-vs-superman-next-death-battle


It's not related to your review but whatever. Merry Christmas, Mr Lovhaug!

Ming said...

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, Linkara. This was a fine Xmas episode.

This was a great story arc -- showing a tragic side of Harvey that just happened to be tied in with a Christmas Carol theme. Kudos to your dad for reprising his role as Old Man Linkara/Ghost of Xmas Future. I knew this was about the death of Harvey's son. I'm surprised you didn't actually set the last sequence in an actual graveyard.

This comic is actually a very good rendition of A Christmas Carol. This has beautiful artwork, the use of actual Batman characters as stand-ins for Marley's Ghost and the Three Spirits, and a noir setting that's reminiscent of the original Victorian era.

Loved the rendition of Thankful Heart (including the end where Harvey realizes his stuff is still at the hotel) and the Snowflame gag.

Say, you going to do more episodes on comics that don't suck?

Comics, Old Time Radio and Other Cool Stuff said...

My favorite Christmas Carol adaptation is the George C. Scott version from the 1980s, though I have a real fondness for Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Zack Rogers said...

How do you move on from something like that? How do you let go, when it feels like there is a gaping hole in you're heart?

E. Wilson said...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The biggest thing that takes me out of this story is that Bob is working for the Joker. We're supposed to sympathize with Bob, but he's aiding the worst monster Gotham ever spit out. He's not just party to a crime scheme; he's most likely party to a scheme that would have killed a lot of people. I don't think you can pull willful ignorance when you're taking a job from the freaking Joker.

It also contradicts some of the Dickinsian elements of the story, because now "Scrooge" punches the embodiment of the future, death and inevitability right in the face.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I'm surprised you didn't actually set the last sequence in an actual graveyard."

It was considered (and my dad suggested it several times), but the fact of the matter is that outdoor shooting is a pain in the ass, especially during winter. Forgiving that I'd have to get permission from the cemetary owners for anything longer than the 2 minutes I was there for the Past sequence, it's BITTER cold out here and it takes time to do multiple takes out there, which means potential damage to the camera. On top of that, you can't control the sound or lighting outside in the middle of the day, so it just makes the whole thing into a big mess.

Lotus Prince said...

"The Joker was just a standard " criminal psychopath. I can hardly remember him telling JOKE in it." "

"Aaaaaand that's why I think The Dark Knight, especially Heath Ledger's role in it, was overrated."


I disagree. There WERE jokes. They were just subtle.

There was the magic trick of "making the pencil disappear."

There was "let's not blow ourselves out of proportion" as he reveals his grenades.

There was "TERRIBLE choice of words" when Batman told the Joker to let his girlfriend go, as he was hanging her out of a window.

Most of all, he blocked a road in Gotham with a turned-over firetruck, which was the only thing around that was on fire.

They were jokes, but they weren't "ha ha" funny. They were "I get it, but dude, that's fucked up" kinds of jokes.

Ultimalice said...

Now that this mini-story arc (for Harvey I mean) is finished, I would like to say that I really enjoyed it but there's something about it I can't shake off on the back of my mind...and that this mini-arc might've been originally for Iron Liz. I know that she left the show off-screen due to real life reasons but hear me out here (cuz I gonna talk about the character of Liz, not the real life one).

The whole thing with Harvey being angry and distrustful at Linkara for leaving for 3 months while having the hologram in charge which then went nuts, then Harvey leaving cuz he was ashamed that he was willing to kill Linkara out of mistrust/paranoia, than being talked to by various people to go back to Linkara, while revealing his own backstory showing Harvey had an emotional attachment to him cuz he saved his life when Harvey hit rock bottom and that Linkara reminded him of his dead son. I think that would've suited Iron Liz's character better than Harvey since she was supposed to be Linkara's successor/girlfriend.

Granted it wouldn't be entirely the same but here's how I would see it: During "The Thing" reviews, Iron Liz would get into an argument with the others like Harvey did, but also accusing Linkara of not trusting/loving her anymore thinking that Liz drags the show's viewership down while saying stuff like "If you cared about me so much Lewis, why the hell would you put a psychotic hologram of YOU in charge instead of the person who YOU HANDPICKED TO BE YOUR SUCCESSOR!"

Than after 90's kid saves the day (BTW I hope you do a character arc on 90's Kid next year ^_^), Linkara would have a talk with Liz about the whole thing and saying that he's sorry for not trusting her with the show because Linkara was tired of people trolling/insulting on Iron Liz in the comment sections and wanted to protect her feelings after he accidentally saw on Liz crying over the hate mail (which may have happened before the Gunslinger showed up).

But Iron Liz says that she needs to go to think about things cuz she nearly tried to kill the man she loved out of paranoia. Then Iron Liz would have an on-screen reason why she left the show, that she felt ashamed at what she had nearly done, and she would go on a training arc to improve her sword skills to take her mind off things. Then she would be visited by the AT4W supporting cast telling her to start things over with Linkara while Liz reveals her own back-story and how she met Linkara.

Then at the end she would reunite with Linkara, then they would reconcile by confessing their love for each other, then hugging each other in a romantic embrace.

That's how I would do it, but the Harvey was pretty good and poignant too and it fit the Christmas Carol thing better than my Iron Liz arc (which I hope doesn't sound too cliche).

Anyway that's my piece, Merry Xmas Linkara and I hope you have an awesome New year. :)

Blackcat325 said...

Oh, wow.. that ending was... I'm... yeah, kinda speechless. That's why I didn't comment after watching it yesterday – not just lack of time, I really didn't know what to say. This whole storyline has just been... wow.

Back to that in a minute... the review first. See, you can make jokes on a good comic! :) And it was nice to see you talk about a good comic for a change. Had one really bizarre thought – about halfway though I decided that Batman was basically Javert. Got to get that picture out of my head before I see the Les Miserables movie...

The storyline... it was a nice touch to have Harvey aware the whole time of how the ghosts were expected to play it out. Because, really, everyone knows the story so it makes no sense when the character in it doesn't. Like Harvey, the audience think they know what's going to happen next, so it adds to the impact when the gravestone isn't Harvey's.

Thanks for explaining why you didn't film this part at the graveyard, I had wondered although I figured there might be a practical reason. It still works to film it in the apartment, imho, because of Harvey's state of mind at the time. Like when places and people who can't possibly be together in reality, often are in mixed-up dreams because of where your thoughts are. It might have just made it a little better if it had faded to the actual graveyard as Harvey stood up from the grave, and we'd seen him walking away (going home after that). That was the only transition that felt like it didn't quite work, although it might be just because of the way it would fit with my own interpretation of the whole thing.

My interpretation – which might be wrong but I'll put it out here anyway – is that all the ghost parts were in Harvey's imagination. Most if not all of the story actually happened at the graveyard. He went there from the hotel, probably without even really knowing what he was doing. At the end of the first sequence, when the Ghost of Christmas Past asks him, where do you think you are right now, that's not another flashback. We're seeing him 'really' outside the graveyard, immediately before the sequence at the grave. When he said goodbye, that was when his mind and reality were back in line with each other, which is why I mentioned him leaving the graveyard.

Linkara's comment about Christmas being a time to spend with family feels a bit harsh after all that... he probably means family in the broader sense of loved ones in general, but I'm guessing he still doesn't know about what happened to Harvey's family.

The whole thing was really moving, but there was one single line that really got me – when Harvey asks Future Linkara, “Could you say goodbye (to your son)?”. It actually made me shiver, although I only worked out why when someone mentioned it on TGWTG – it was the casting.

I'm loving this storyline overall – the Gunslinger story overarching it all, and the individual subplots – the lost magic, the thing story, Harvey's story – all self-contained but all linked into each other and growing out of each other. Its deeper and more complex than any you've done before, and probably its a bit unusual for something essentially tagged onto the end of a review show, but it's working so well.

Would I watch if there were just reviews? Yes, because my reasons for enjoying the reviews are different to my reasons for enjoying the storylines. Getting both in one show is what makes AT4W so unique and special. So Merry Christmas Lewis and everyone else who has been involved in the show, and thanks for all the great moments in the past year.

(And, yeah, I know... for someone who said they were speechless... *shrugs* It didn't last long :))

le-messor said...

While you were talking about how great the rock formations were in the Batcave, I was busy being impressed by the bats. Well done, that man!

The Patrick Stewart Christmas Carol is one I've always held up as a 'worst'. Not for the show itself - I haven't seen it, but would like to - but the trailer that used to play on Foxtel.
You've heard of trailers that give too much away? This one told the entire story. Literally. It went through every beat; 'this is the classic tale of a miserly man who's visited by three ghosts and learns to be kind and generous' (and I'm shortening it).
I figured most people already *knew* the story and didn't need to have it recapped like that; and for the 1% of people in the West who don't, spoilers, man, spoilers!
(Obviously, I blame neither Patrick Stewart, nor the production for this, but whoever is responsible for that trailer.)

It should probably be pointed out that 'Bob' was the name of The Joker's Number. One. Guy. in the '89 movie.

"BTW, was Harvey at his son's grave referencing the DS9 pilot with Sisko in the wormhole?"

Yeah, that's what I got, too. Also, the 'future echoes' as a Red Dwarf reference.

Lotus - sorry, not convinced. I get that people think of those things you list as a couple of jokes (not to menion the brilliant pun on 'laughter is the best medicine' :) ); Heath Ledger was still nothing like the Joker.

Is that a 'pi' in my capcha? 'coz I can't type that. (probably: it didn't accept my 'k'.)

Sijo said...

Sorry for the late comments, I was out celebrating with family on Christmas like most people. :)

Anyway, Batman: Noel was an interesting idea, and well enough drawn, but I wasn't particularly impressed by it. The batmobile thing in particular left me wondering, "Isn't it protected against such tamperings?" Oh well.

As for the Harvey Finevoice part, I still think it was unnecessary here but anyway, it was moving enough. Your acting is still pretty good. And nice twists at the end. ;)

Thanks for your hard work, and Happy Holidays for you and yours, Lewis!

The Man in Black said...

"You're saying the three ghosts were just cholesterol?"
There's more of gravy than of grave about them.

Doug Puthoff said...

Why didn't the Joker use the gun to shoot Bats in the head instead of burying him alive? I thought only the Cesar Romero Joker did that sort of crap!

Dark Patrician said...

A new episode of Atop the Fourth Wall....Linkara, how'd you know what we wanted for Christmas?

A great review, I'm going to have to find this comic to read it myself.

And now you've made me cry! For those of you who don't like his storylines...you're just mad Linkara's so good at playing on your emotions aren't you? Seriously the reviews are great on their own and then you come up with these moments like Harvey at the grave and it just tugs at your heart like so few things can.

So the Nostalgia Critic moonlights as the ghost of Christmas past and Snowflame wants to moonlight as a ghost of Christmas. Is there some sort of glamor to this job I'm missing?

I read your tweet about saving Santa next year...note to all evildoers, next year...don't kidnap Santa!


On a slightly serious note, last year I wrote a little fan-fiction one-shot called "The First Piece
of the World is Missing." It was mostly unnoticed although a couple people liked it enough to make
it a recommended fiction on TV Tropes and that really made me feel good when I found out about it.

So thanks Linkara for creating a great series and universe.

Merry Christmas.

Arianne said...

Alright, I enjoyed the image of a Santa Hat wearing Pyramid Head and the Snowflame bit at the very end made me smile and lol. As for the comic. It makes me smile to hear about good comics on this show.If I get near my local comicbook shop I'll check it out. Now, for the Harvey Finevoice Christmas Carol I got teary eyed at the grave scene. Good job with the Ghost of Christmas Future part. Have a Happy Holiday and a good News Years eve everyone!

Doug Puthoff said...

Of course, what I want Linkara to give me for Xmas was to tear FUNKY WINKERBEAN a new one. Tom Batiuk deserves it.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque said...

Infer means that the speaker has drawn a conclusion, imply means that the speaker wants others to draw a conclusion. I think you meant that Batman was trying to imply that Bob was a 17 year old girl, not that he had drawn the conclusion (inferred) that he was.

There, that's my pedantry for the year.

Frosty said...

Daw, it's over!
I'd still be interested to see the details of Harvey's son's death, like how he died, was it maybe partly due to Harvey's drinking problem, or did he "just" abandon his family, etc.
Then again with all that it'd be probably hard to keep the generally lighter tone of the show.

Anyway, still a nice growth for a comic relief character who had chickened out of the first fight against Mechakara. :)


...Oh yea, had some good laughs at the review too, but Harvey pretty much stole this show for me. :D

Benjamin J said...

Just throwing this out there, but that might be the best performance I've seen Lewis give on an AT4W episode. EXTREMELY well done, man.

Andrmina said...

Nice review as usual. With that out of the way I think I have to join in with those praising your acting abilities in this one. I legitimately teared up there at the end. Very well done.

Finn Hutchinson said...

Don't even pretend that anyone knows how time travel is supposed to work in Doctor Who.

James Williams said...

"Superman is more like Santa"? Sounds like the kid's been reading Superman: At Earth's End.

Zanya said...

Damn Lewis! You do a pretty good Mark Hammil impression!

Kinda want to see you review more Joker stories now.

Turkish Proverb said...

That was...wow. Wonderful.

Loved the resolution. Felt respectful. And it was nice to hear a new recording of an old muppet classic.

Anonymous said...

The Comic: I'm inclined, based off of your review since I haven't read this one *yet*, to chalk any characterization discrepancies up to his being sick. I know I don't tend to think straight when I'm not well.

Harvey's story: Got a bit of a Sisko vibe this time around. Not a problem in my book.

Fiery Little One

Shanethefilmmaker said...

This was great but now that I think about it you kinda missed one ghost. Odds are you didn't have time to do a Jacob Marley, but if you did I was thinking Margaret should have been it. True the Marley Character would be an old friend in his business, but also it would be a ghost forever stuck in purgatory which fits Margaret since her ritual pretty much made her spirit stuck to the real world. Much like how Harvey is stuck on the memory of his son in life.

narya100 said...

I didn't see that coming, the ending. To be honest, I didnt watch the review, though I intend to. I didnt feel like a comic, good or not, but the storyline it was what i needed. I loved the elements of Emissary that was included in the story, intentional or not, it was well done either way. I keep forgetting its your father that plays an future incarnation of you. Thank you Louis, youve made an interesting christmas that much better, and thank you for the reminder of a tradition I almost let slip. You are a great artist and actor, and yeah i know you probably hear that a lot, but you truly are great. That scene with the gravestone was beautiful. Have a great holiday season, its a tad late for Merry Christmas, but still its the thought that counts.

DanSlottsisaHACK! said...

Hey Linkara, I know that this shouldn't be on a Batman review but, I'm really pissed about Spider-Man issue 700, it's the new One More Day and believe it or not it's worst than that. Even Stan Lee hates it to the point where he shreds it. And Dan Slott writer of the issue wished him a happy birthday and Stan replied with and I quote “@DanSlott what a gift, some guys give a nice cigar, a watch, but no not you, I get a dead #PeterParker Thanks for the bday wishes my friend!”

And If Stan himself is saying that it's bad, then you should review it or even talk about it. And there are people defending this piece of crap!

*SPOILER ALERT*

Doc Ock is now the new Spider-Man Peter Parker died in Doc Ocks withering body and New Peter Parker AKA Doc Ock is sleeping with M.J. Doc Ock is Doc Ock it doesn't matter that he has Peter Parkers Memories you DON'T KILL A MAJOR CHARACTER LIKE THAT!
Also One More Day Was Not Fixed!

Drew said...

I just wanted to say that I thought the acting in the ending was superb.

Anonymous said...

"Heath Ledger was still nothing like the Joker."

HUGE problem with that statement: just as there is no definitive Batman, there is also no definitive Joker. Mark Hamill's Joker is different from Jack Nicholson's Joker who is different from Ceasar Romero's Joker who is different from many comic iterations of the Joker.

So long as he's a crazy clown criminal who has a twisted sense of humor, then it's the Joker. And Heath Ledger fits that description.

The Joker in the graphic novel "Joker" does not because he has NO sense of humor whatsoever. He's perpetually ANGRY, if anything. Any smiles he cracks or laughter he gives is portrayed as just demented, rather than dementedly jovial.

Anonymous said...

Huh,anyone else notice that neon sign? Sprang's, as in the Batman artist Dick Sprang.

Kraken said...

See, the thing is that Bob is telling the story in the broad strokes way that he remembers his father telling it to him, complete with embellishments to make it more interesting (like beautiful dames). He's never read the Christmas Carol. Ne knows nothing about Batman's personal existence.

It's just a broad-strokes coincidence.

le-messor said...

"just as there is no definitive Batman, there is also no definitive Joker."

People use that to say you can do anything.

Next week in Detective Comics: It's revealed that The Joker is a six-year old girl from China!
... but she's still a crazy clown criminal with a sense of humour...

"So long as he's a crazy clown criminal who has a twisted sense of humor, then it's the Joker. And Heath Ledger fits that description."

I'm glad that works for you - you can enjoy that movie a lot more than I can (and I do enjoy it).
Problem is, Heath Ledger doesn't do that for me. 'Crazy criminal', yes: but those are twelve for ten cents in Gotham, and that counts for exactly nothing to me when portraying The Joker.
Besides not really getting 'twisted sense of humour' out of the performance, at least not as a defining characteristic, I certainly didn't get 'clown' out of him. Closest he got was spilling white-and-red make-up on his face. (His hair's supposed to be green, but I had to wait 'til I saw the special features on DVD to figure that out.)

For me, there's more to the Joker than what you've just written; He should be a genuine freak, beyond scars that I can't tell are there.
(Seriously, when I first saw him saying 'want to know how I got these scars?' my honest reaction was 'what scars?' - but when we saw him without make-up later on, they were visible.)
I also want a certain joi-de-vivre and suaveness that were entirely lacking from that performance; I kept thinking 'this is MAYBE the Joker after he'd lived on the streets for a year'.

"The Joker in the graphic novel "Joker" does not because he has NO sense of humor whatsoever. He's perpetually ANGRY, if anything."

I've not read it, but from your description I think I'd agree with you.

~ Mik

Anonymous said...

Damn...

I don't even know what the current story is behind the reviews (admittedly haven't been keeping up), but that one performance as Harvy Finevoice drove me to tears.

babyhenchy said...

"Joker" I feel was a very interesting idea with a bad execution. The idea of looking at the Joker from the eyes of the little guy was something that I hadn't really seen tried before.

But they sacrificed everything that made him enjoyable. Depraved is one thing. He's depraved in "The Dark Knight" and Scott Snyder's story. But in both, he's riveting on-screen or panel.

He wasn't the least bit appealing in Joker nor could I see any logical enjoyment he would derive from the horrible crimes he commits as opposed to the two above. Great concept, weak execution.

Dr_Gustav said...

I thought the narrator was Tim Drake, considering kid in the story was named Tim, and the narrator seemed to know a pretty good amount about Batman.

Elijah B said...

"...but we already suspected that for sometime now when he talked about feeling his dead mother's breast."

Oh Linkara, that wasn't Batman, that was Crazy Steve pretending to be Batman. Silly Linkara :P

Kitland54 said...

Wow, that's a really sad backstory. It's amazing how characters that start off as minor jokes on this show can evolve into their own 3-dimensional people. I wonder if 90's Kid will ever get a backstory or character development too?

WordSarien said...

I know I'm necroposting (for my first post, to boot), but I just wanted to let you know--I've seen this review twice now, and both times made me cry at the end. Harvey is my favorite of your side characters, and I loved this arc of his. :) Excellent review; if I ever find a copy of Batman: Noel, I plan to pick it up now. :)

Dr. Cakey said...

I've only been watching your videos for a couple weeks now, but I had to cease my lurking and comment on this one, because this storyline was excellent, and your acting was really superb. There were, as they say, feels.

And it didn't occur to me until afterwards how your father playing future-you gave this scenario that extra meta-textual depth.

Megan said...

Poor, poor Harvey.:'( Excellent acting, Sir.

William Ngo said...

"I don't understand how anyone can get tired of this story"

No matter how good a story is, if it's repeated enough, it will get dull. Even if you swap out the characters and certain ideas, it can still be predictable and boring if it's obvious what you're doing with it and/or drawing inspiration from.

Anyway, good review. My favourite line is definitely "He's a cowardly criminal degenerate, and I WILL DESTROY HIM BLAGHADKLJSADKLAW!!!11!!1!1!11!"

Pom Rania said...

I was legitimately tearing up at the end. Good job.

Jesse Saunders said...

Oh, pleeeaaase tell me the reboot didn't ruin Gordon.

DriveByPoster said...

"Past, present or future?"
"Yes!"

Why does Snowflame need friends? He's a super-villain, he has minions. Come to think of it... if his minions are as messed up on cocaine as he is, shouldn't they be called "snowflakes"?

Adam Graham said...

Thanks for the good comic recommend and kudos on the acting and the singing.