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February 24, 2011

Taking A Look Back: Batman: The Long Halloween

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Written by: Mac
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Batman The Long HalloweenBatman: The Long Halloween
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale

As I’m sure everyone is aware, there are a LOT of options when it comes to reading Batman comics. If you’re a relative newcomer to tales about the Dark Knight, it can sometimes be hard to figure out which stories to put at the top of your “To Read” list. Batman: The Long Halloween should be placed somewhere near the top.

Written by Jeph Loeb, Batman: The Long Halloween chronicles one calendar year in Gotham City. A grisly murder on Halloween night leads to a string of similar murders, each occurring on a major holiday. It’s a whodunit with a lot of finger pointing and the appearance of many familiar faces from Batman’s rogues gallery.

This comic also contains one of the origin stories for Harvey Dent’s tragic transformation into Two Face. There has always been something very compelling about Harvey Dent with his desire to do good, and his balancing act on the border between lawful do-gooder and becoming a villain himself.

The writing for the book is fantastic. There is a real sense of all of the characters’ personalities, but especially that of Bruce Wayne. It’s a deeper look into what drives him to don his cowl and mask each night and patrol the streets of Gotham City. It’s not always easy to capture the unique hardship of Bruce’s life without getting too cheesy about it, but Jeph hits all the marks. There is an especially good sequence with Bruce after his run in with The Scarecrow.

For Catwoman fans, this book is also a must have. She is heavily featured throughout, and it keeps you guessing whether or not she’s friend or foe as she continues to toe the line.

The other highlight (or downside, depending on who you talk to) is the artwork by Tim Sale. His art is very stylized, and almost harsh. The lines between shadow and light are jarring, yet somehow appropriate. I will admit that I didn’t care for some of his character adaptations. For example, I wasn’t a big fan of how he illustrated Poison Ivy. Regardless, the book has a very distinct look and it wasn’t overly distracting from the main story.

Batman Villains Tim Sale

Lastly, this book is good for the occasional Batman reader. It’s a fairly stand alone piece that doesn’t require a lot of prior knowledge of the mythology. Then again, I think most people have at least a cursory knowledge of Batman and some of his most infamous foes. On the other hand, if you’re already a Batman fan and haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

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Mac Beauvais



  1. […] Taking A Look Back: Batman The Long Halloween […]

  2. I’m in that small minority of people who have yet to read this story but keep hearing great things about it. When it’s time to grab some trades this will have to be on my list.

  3. I am a huge Batman fan, but like Speech i have yet to read this one either. I have heard great things about it but I just haven’t gotten around to it……yet!

  4. Billy

    I can’t recall if I own this or not…I’ll check immediately! Nice review though Mac!

  5. Andrew Hudson

    I can’t believe you three haven’t read this. Read it ASAP! Don’t argue with me now, we’ll agree about it later ;D Back when Loeb was on top of his game.

  6. Mac

    To those who have not read the book: fix this problem immediately. 😉

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