Once Upon a Crime: Batman Tales

Once Upon a Crime: Batman Tales
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
February 11, 2020
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Gotham City is filled with stories--of heroes and of villains, of police and criminals, of families both lost and found. But the enchanted short stories in BATMAN TALES are brought to life with a classic fairy-tale twist that will fill you with wonder.

Once upon a crime in Gotham...

Damian Wayne dreams of becoming a real boy wonder--as long as he can avoid telling lies and making his nose grow.

Batman's butler takes an unexpected trip through the looking glass and finds himself in a topsy-turvy world, for Alfred's in Wonderland!

Gotham City Police Department detectives interrogate Gotham's most dangerous criminals looking for the princess who stole the pea.

And Batman meets a snow queen who leads him on a dangerous quest.

Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen, the creative team behind LI'L GOTHAM, return to their Bat-roots--this time with a fairy-tale flair!

Editor review

1 review
Batman meets fairytales
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
BATMAN TALES: ONCE UPON A CRIME reimagines fairytales as Batman stories. There are four main stories in this graphic novel. The first is Damian Wayne who wants to be a real boy wonder, but he is stuck being Waynocchio, undergoing the trials of Pinocchio involving the villains of the Batman universe. The second is that of the princess and the pea, with detectives searching for a green gem that was stolen from the museum. As they interview villains to search for it, they encounter other fairytales, like Jack and the Beanstalk (with the Joker).

The third story takes us to Wonderland with Alfred following in the footsteps of Alice. Finally, the last story is that of the Snow Queen with Batman himself. The sketch-like drawings add some interesting art to these tales throughout.

What I loved: This was a fun way to explore the Batman universe and traditional fairytales. The stories are pretty inventive, though they do follow the plots of the fairytales they came from. The one that strayed most was Princess and the Pea. Readers who like Batman and fairytales will really enjoy the journey.

What left me wanting more: The stories seemed a little too close to the fairytales at times, and the plots were rather succinct. I would have liked to go more in-depth on one or two. The illustrations also had a different feel, with a sketch-like/unfinished quality and lots of white that will appeal to some.

I'll also add a note to say that some of these tales can be a bit scary, but they are not any scarier than the original fairytales (or the Pinocchio movie, which I also find a bit scary). They are age appropriate for the middle grade crowd.

Final verdict: Great for fans of Batman and fairytales, this is an interesting graphic novel that reimagines them in new ways.
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