Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale – A Graphic Novel Review

the long halloween

 

Blurb:

Taking place during Batman’s early days of crime-fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the clock as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman’s deadly enemy, Two-Face.

 

Author: Jeph Loeb

Illustrator: Tim Sale

Pages: 384

Release Date: 23/12/2014

Publisher: DC Comics

Chosen Format: Paperback

My Rating of ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon US

 

Review:

It’s been far too long since I read a graphic novel. I’m currently watching DC Universe’s Titans on Netflix and decided I wanted some Batman in my life, so I dipped my hands into one of the many trunks of graphic novels I have and pulled out ‘The Long Halloween’. I had forgotten most of the story and had certainly forgotten how good it was.

The Long Halloween is a noir-style tale with the main backdrop being the tension between two rival gang families in Gotham. Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent are trying their best to take these families down once and for all. Only they’re not the only ones. A serial Killer called ‘Holiday’ is killing members of one of the families, each death falling on a different calendar holiday throughout the year.

This is, essentially, a dark and gritty ‘who dunnit’ and as far as Batman stories go, you’ll struggle to find many better. The characters are incredibly well-fleshed out (to the best of my recollection there aren’t really any that felt as though they were just thrown in). The story itself moves at a fast pace and constantly keeps the reader guessing. It really plays quite heavily on the detective story aspect of things which is a nice change of pace from just a straight out beat ‘em up.

Another bonus to this graphic novel is that it features a good portion of Gotham City’s most infamous super-villains. I’ll not say who but a good few get an outing across the thirteen issues that make up The Long Halloween.

On top of this being a who dunnit, this is also one of the better origin stories you’ll read as far as villain origins go. The Long Halloween was written as Harvey Dent’s transformation from District Attorney into the Psychotic criminal mastermind Two-Face.

The artwork really adds to the gritty, dark nature of the piece and is a real pleasure to look at from cover to cover. After re-discovering how great this graphic novel is, I’m probably going to have to go and find more of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s collaborations.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale – A Graphic Novel Review

  1. That’s one of my all-time favorite Batman graphic novels. Dark, unsentimental and captivating, and psychologically realistic – especially the transformation of Harvey Dent is very believable. Sale’s style is very recognizable and quite unique, and it took me some time to get used to it, but it very well portrays the unsettling nature of Gotham and its denizens. It’s amazing how well he can depict emotions with so little detail – it’s all in the setting, the body language, the pallette of colors and the play of light and dark.

    I can also recommend “Superman for all seasons” by that artistic duo – nostalgic and melancholy, heartfelt and much lighter in tone it is somehow very different and yet, with similar emphasis on psychological realism of the characters and its decisions (maybe with the exclusion of Toxin, which was unconvincing for me) quite alike “The Long Halloween”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Superman for All seasons is on my list. I have ndver been a nassive Superman fan, but live Loeb and Sale for their storytelling.

      I liked the dynamic in this one between Batman and Catwoman. And yes, Harvey’s transformation is done so well. Its probably the best origin story I have seen. The artistic qualities you mentioned really added to the quality of it. I have Arkham Asylum as well but can’t remember enjoying it as much. The art in that was too dark and surreal. May give it another go as my next graphic novel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not a great fan of Superman’s either, but enjoyed this comic a lot. It shows the more vulnerable side of Superman, his growing up, in a nuanced, subtle manner, and the art plays a huge role in this nostalgic portrait of Clark Kent/Superman.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve bough a few Batman comics two or three years ago, including this one, and planned to re-read (Miller ones) and read (this and “Hush”) them… maybe I should finally get to it, you’ve enforced my suspicions it’s one of the great Batman stories out there.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s