- Title:Batman: The Long Halloween
- Written By:Jeph Loeb
- Art By:Tim Sale
Usually in Batman stories, the Dark Knight can take anything from one night to one week to find and capture the villain of the story, no matter how hard they try to hide, no matter who gets in his way, he always finds the “one” who committed the crime. So when I picked up a copy of ‘The Long Halloween’ having no previous knowledge of the story or of anything that may unfold within the pages of this graphic novel, I at first assumed it was a title that simply meant the one night of the year which would be so horrid that it would feel like one night lasted a lifetime. However, upon having read the story now, and followed Batman and other characters through this ‘Long Halloween’ it certainly fells very different to my original thought.
I absolutely loved this story because it takes you on such a journey and has you questioning what you’ve already read, in order to try and figure the big mystery. The brief plot of the story is that there is killer who at first seems to only kill members of the Falcone family, but soon decides to target other unlucky victims. It all begins on the night of Halloween, and it ends on the night of Halloween, but not on the same night.
This killer decides that they will only kill on certain days of the year; the holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year etc. and yet it is not the suspect that Batman first thinks of. This new criminal mastermind is dubbed by the Gotham newspapers with the name ‘Holiday Killer’ or simply ‘Holiday’. So what is so great about this story, and this new villain. The story itself feels long and slow in parts, but that’s not a bad thing in this case, because this book feels like a true drama and tragedy, playing out in similar ways to a film, with each murder inked instead of coloured (mostly inked at least) and there is a true crime mystery to this story which is a delight upon first introduction such as mine. I would certainly read this book again, but I doubt that my feelings would be the same as this first encounter because honestly, emotions were running high, my brain was all over the place with questions such as;
“Who could it be?” “Is it them? Or is that too obvious?”
“It has to be this guy? or is it that gal?”
One of my favourite elements of the story was the involvement of so many of the Dark Knights more classic villains, which helped add to the suspense of who was working for who and why were they involved. It’s a really dramatic story with lots of suspense and plenty of questions, some of which are answered, others which are not.
It takes Batman a whole year to bring the criminal to justice, so it has to be said that this was one of Batman’s more intesne villains, because who else could escape the ‘World’s Greatest Detective’ for that long? Not only that, but who could make Batman question so many different suspects and still get the wrong answer each time, which in turn makes him question his own sense of judgement? How many villains can you say have done that against the Dark Knight? Not many in my experience, but I would certainly love to read more like this if they are out there (and I know there are some).
This story also includes a new interpretation of the origin of Two-Face. Harvey Dent is a prominent character in this story, and as the story goes on, as the killer continues his streak, we can only watch as Dent sinks deeper into darkness until suddenly the ever famous story of acid being thrown into his face in a courtroom, disfiguring one side of his face and spawning a new obsession with the number Two, unfolds before us, which leads us into the mindset of Harvey Dent. Once a respected D.A. and now a deformed man, full of rage, thirsty for vengeance, we feel sympathy for him, but we know as a reader that he is a villain….or is he simply a victim of this whole thing?
My only issue (and this is just because of my mind, not a real flaw because honestly this book is incredible!) is that it left me with so many more questions than it answered. I know that is the way the book is meant to be like so many other great works out there across all mediums, but in my mind I hate being left with unanswered questions! Perhaps I’m similar to The Riddler in that sense HaHa!
Overall I give this story 4.5/5 (the 0.5 is lost through questions I’m afraid….so many unanswered questions, some of which I understand, others I’d have like to have understood). I highly recommend this book to anyone reading this blog, because if you haven’t read it yet, you’re in for one hell of a ride.