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Batman – The Long Halloween

October 2, 2008

“I Made a promise to my parents that I would rid the city of the evil that took their lives” – Bruce Wayne / Batman

When it comes to Batman, there are only a few artists’ names really worth mentioning. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are definitely amongst them. The Long Halloween is one of the best Batman stories ever told, following Frank Miller’s Year One in both style and atmosphere. The series was originally published in thirteen issues and the story spans over the period of a year, from one Halloween to another.

If you wonder what happened to Falcone’s crime syndicate after Year One, this book is not to be missed. Harvey Dent, District Attorney extraordinaire, is planning to take down the crime lord and his organization, together with James Gordon and the Batman. However, when Carmine “The Roman” Falcone’s men start to get killed off one by one by a mysterious serial killer, things get out of hand. The killer only strikes on holidays, the first being Halloween, and is therefore named Holiday by the media. The number of suspects rises with each murder. Is it Maroni, Falcone’s biggest rival? Or is it the Catwoman, who tries to get rid of the bad elements in town? Maybe it is Harvey Dent himself, frustrated with his fight against crime? Or how about Falcone, his sister or Batman?

The whole story is very well constructed in a film noir, detective story kind of way. The reader is kept guessing and by slowly introducing all of Gotham’s worst villains into the story (The Joker, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, etc.) we get everything that makes Batman comics so exciting to read. Drama, Comedy and a big portion of pure maniacal evil, are all present in the Long Halloween. Jeph Loeb manages once again capture the tone of this special universe and Tim Sale’s art is insanely well done. Next to Kelley Jones I would probably count him to one of my favorite artists of the dark knight. I especially enjoyed the black and white panels that Sale uses when Holiday commits a murder.

So if you want to find out who is Holiday and are looking to read the best Two-Face origin story so far (ok, part two of the Two-Face mini-series is only coming up, but it does not look good), then look no further.

Story                  9

Art                      9

Reread Value     8

Overall rating    9/10

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