Comics/Graphic Novels

‘Batman: The Long Halloween’- A Review

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it best to offer up something with a nod to this macabre holiday. Being a DC enthusiast, and knowing that DC tend to favour the dark, I couldn’t think of anything more suiting than ‘Tim Sale’s’ and ‘Jeph Loeb’s’ masterpiece ‘The Long Halloween‘.

The Long Halloween

The Long Halloween

The Long Halloween‘ first debuted as a 13 part series in 1996/1997 and takes place in Batman’s early years, before ‘Dick Grayson’ (the first ‘Robin’) has even entered the scene. The series focuses on the plight of a mysterious serial killer, aptly dubbed ‘Holiday’. This (seemingly festive) name derives from this killer’s penchant for striking only during a public holiday, each month. The story follows the rampage of this killer as well as ‘Batman’s’, ‘Jim Gordon’s’ and ‘Harvey Dent’s’ parallel quest to stop, not only this psychopath, but also a crime war brewing between Gotham’s most powerful families, the ‘Maronis’ and ‘Falcones’.

Batman, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent

Batman, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent

Now, those that follow the DC Universe and aren’t aware of ‘Holiday’ may mistake this villain as being the prolific ‘Calendar Man’, another killer obsessed with dates and the calendar. However, whilst ‘Holiday’ only strikes on public holidays, ‘Calendar Man’s’ crimes take place on any notable occasion, all be it the turning of a season.
Calendar Man

Calendar Man

It may seem strange that I’m paying tribute to, what could be considered, a side villian in this tale. However, this is widely  considered as being ‘Calendar Man’s’ true introduction into both the Batman Universe and as one of his more elusive foes. In this series alone, he shows a love of riddle and intrigue that would put even the famous ‘Enigma’ to shame, as well as an ability to taunt that could rival the Joker himself. So (fan-girl moment aside), you may wondering why I’m featuring a graphic novel that made it’s debut over ten years ago, especially as these origins may all but be re-written.
The Villains of 'The Long Halloween'

The Villains of ‘The Long Halloween’

Although the DC Universe has moved on (what with the introduction of the New 52), this is one story line that will always stand the test of time. In true Halloween style, it features some of the most enthralling of ‘Batman’ villains, such as ‘Catwoman’, ‘The Joker’ and ‘Poison Ivy’. It manages to string along the reader from beginning to end in a classic, but cunning tale of ‘whodunnit’ and also manages to masterfully craft the most painful and memorable villain origins in DC history.
In all, ‘The Long Halloween‘ is undoubtedly one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading (and yes I’ve read many). So, for those who like me are a little old for a conventional ‘trick or treat’, you’re sure to find both within the bindings of this haunting Halloween tale.
Rating- 9/10
Want to read more about it or own your own copy of The Long Halloween then click on the image below.

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