Comics – Batman: The Long Halloween

2 07 2007

Batman: The Long Halloween

Originally uploaded by swftoys
Here’s a much fan touted Batman title that I’ve always wanted to pick up but was rather hard to spot on shelves until recently. Batman: The Long Halloween is apparently a very good read for many. And I finally got a taste of its contents. After my first session of reading, I can confidently say I can vouch for its excellent content!

Written and illustrated by the excellent team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, The Long Halloween was a 13 issue comice series that told the tale of a serial killer known only as Holiday nailing down mafia characters vigilante style…. and on holidays. Yes, Christmas Day, 4th of July and Halloween, you name it and Batman and Detective Gordon have a mystery to solve instead of ending work early on days most of Gotham would be having a break.

The story in The Long Halloween is certainly one of the best I’ve read for a Batman trade. Although it visits the usual premise of a crime riddled Gotham, the spotlight is on problems caused by humans. Not by Joker, Scarecrow or other Batman’s enemies. In fact, these characters play a secondary role with some of them becoming hired guns of a man who wielded a vice-like grip on Gotham. And he is none other than the mafia boss – Carmine “The Roman” Falcone.

And we have an enraged Falcone who sees the members of his family being picked off by Holiday on holidays. The thirst for blood was never stronger. The mysterious Holiday represented the believe of ‘an eye for eye’ by dispatching victims mafia-style. Disillusionment in the law in Gotham no doubt led to that. And the quicker path to justice was taken by Holiday.

Our favourite detective, Batman, has his hands full not only with the solving of the crimes but he has to deal with nutcase like The Scarecrow running loose, Poison Ivy seducing his alter ego, numerous visits to Arkham to pick the mind of Calendar Man and chasing the elusive and mysterious Catwoman everytime she appears.

The pencils of Tim Sale is impeccable. Just about every character is drawn perfect. Falcone is depicted as a gangster with obvious charms, Batman is gritty as ever, Harvey Dent is frustrated and Detective Gordon’s Thanksgiving turkey looks… so lonely on the dinner table. Panel to panel was a joy to read and behold. Truly an enjoyable ride!

So who is Holiday? Find out for yourself and delve into Jeph Loeb’s and Tim Sale’s Gotham on your way to the answer!




2 responses

11 07 2007

From this book, I learnt how Jeph Loeb basically recycled the story for Hush. I really like Tim Sale’s work here.

11 07 2007

Oh yes, now that you mention it. No wonder the thing about each villain having some airtime seemed so familiar. But i definitely preferred the original.

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