Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb

Batman: The Long Halloween

"THE LONG HALLOWEEN is more than a comic book. It's an epic tragedy." —Christopher Nolan (director THE DARK KNIGHT RISES)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, Batma...

Title:Batman: The Long Halloween
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1563894696
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:376 pages

Batman: The Long Halloween Reviews

  • Andy
    Aug 12, 2008

    Every comic book artist thinks their interpretation of Batman is the best, but most of them are overdrawn. Tim Sale gets it – he’s one of the best Batman artists I’ve seen. I think he captures the insanity of the Mad Hatter and the Scarecrow so well, and his rendering of Batman is one of the best.

    I was listening to Amon Tobin’s “Out From Out Where” while reading “The Long Halloween” and the music fit the comic perfectly (especially “The Searchers”). Try it some time: I think Tobin should score

    Every comic book artist thinks their interpretation of Batman is the best, but most of them are overdrawn. Tim Sale gets it – he’s one of the best Batman artists I’ve seen. I think he captures the insanity of the Mad Hatter and the Scarecrow so well, and his rendering of Batman is one of the best.

    I was listening to Amon Tobin’s “Out From Out Where” while reading “The Long Halloween” and the music fit the comic perfectly (especially “The Searchers”). Try it some time: I think Tobin should score the next Batman movie.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    Nov 20, 2011

    This was one of the three Batman comics which influenced the making of the movie BATMAN BEGINS. The sequel to that film THE DARK KNIGHT grabbed heavily from this particular graphic novel. It's something of an early years of Batman's time as he deals mostly with the mob and an avenger named Holiday who kills people during almost any holiday. There are some good connection setups between Batman, Gordon and Dent. Film noirish style as to the murders some would say.

    This was one of the three Batman comics which influenced the making of the movie BATMAN BEGINS. The sequel to that film THE DARK KNIGHT grabbed heavily from this particular graphic novel. It's something of an early years of Batman's time as he deals mostly with the mob and an avenger named Holiday who kills people during almost any holiday. There are some good connection setups between Batman, Gordon and Dent. Film noirish style as to the murders some would say.

  • Jeff
    Oct 28, 2013

    If I met anyone that had never read a Batman book, this is probably the one I would recommend. This is the quintessential Batman story. The volume revolves around mobsters being murdered on each holiday and takes place early in Batman’s career. It’s a vehicle for Harvey Dent’s transition from Gotham City district attorney to Two-Face. Dent along with Captain Gordon and Bats (puts “Detective” back in DC comics) attempt to figure out who’s the killer.

    It features most of Batman’s rogue’s gallery (w

    If I met anyone that had never read a Batman book, this is probably the one I would recommend. This is the quintessential Batman story. The volume revolves around mobsters being murdered on each holiday and takes place early in Batman’s career. It’s a vehicle for Harvey Dent’s transition from Gotham City district attorney to Two-Face. Dent along with Captain Gordon and Bats (puts “Detective” back in DC comics) attempt to figure out who’s the killer.

    It features most of Batman’s rogue’s gallery (where the heck did Solomon Grundy come from?) before they went super-mega villain. In this respect, it shares the same vibe as Batman: The Animated Series - relatively simple stories sans other superheroes, aliens, Omega Sanctions, etc.

  • Kᴇᴇ Queen
    Jan 29, 2014

    I won't lie. I had high hopes for this story. After all, it has been consistently placed in the Best Batman Stories lists, either as part of the Top 10 or Top 5 graphic novels you have to read. Comprised of thirteen issues, Jeph Loeb's

    had great promise. It had all the right ingredients. We got Bruce Wayne just starting out his early years as Batman, and his partnerships with Commissioner Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent. We got the Falcone and Maroni crime familie

    I won't lie. I had high hopes for this story. After all, it has been consistently placed in the Best Batman Stories lists, either as part of the Top 10 or Top 5 graphic novels you have to read. Comprised of thirteen issues, Jeph Loeb's

    had great promise. It had all the right ingredients. We got Bruce Wayne just starting out his early years as Batman, and his partnerships with Commissioner Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent. We got the Falcone and Maroni crime families in the spotlight, and a serial killer hunting the mobsters down using holidays as the common theme of this string of murders (hence earning him the name of the Holiday Killer). As a bonus, we also get appearances of the rogues gallery like the Joker, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

    However, that great promise I mentioned dwindled to unrealized potentials the closer I get to the supposed climax. Also, its commendable traits from the beginning such as the Batman-Gordon-Dent triad, mob involvement, serial killer murder mystery and rogues' gallery participation, look good in theory but REALISTICALLY SPEAKING the actual execution of all these elements together fell short. Being served by so many samplings in one sitting could cause indigestion, no matter how potentially good each serving should be.

    And that's mainly my problem with

    . Much like Jeph Loeb's later work HUSH (which, granted, was more enjoyable in its approach than this one), this story suffers with putting so much material in its scope that it was pretty much inevitable for some of its parts to collapse under the pressure of the multiple baggage it struggles to carry along. I don't necessarily think this was a bad story, period. I believe that if you take each individual parts and separate them from the convoluted mess of its sum then what we get are compelling subplots that might have deserved their own separate arc altogether. But instead we get them all squeezed into one dragged-out arc that was unable to flesh out its main characters particularly Harvey Dent whom I did not connect with in any way, let alone be emotionally invested enough on his moral struggle and dissociation that his transformation as Two Face became meaningful to mourn about.

    Seeing this story having high ratings in Goodreads and scintillating reviews from common friends (save a noticeably one-star review from the mix) is a real head-scratcher for me at first especially when I was stuck in the seventh issue and found myself getting increasingly annoyed withe everything already. But after finishing it and thinking about what to write for twenty minutes or so, I realized that

    is still a work that I suppose deserves its place in the top Batman stories because of the fact that it gave us Two Face's origin story, and that we were able to get the organized crime aspect of Gotham City explored and its enforcers like Carmine Falcone which Batman is also supposed to butt heads with, and not just duke it out with the likes of the Joker, etc. But those merits alone for me are really not enough to encourage newbie Bat-fans to pick this up at least not as a must-read. Maybe only as a passing suggestion. And that's a weak 'maybe'.

    The trouble is that, because of so many elements put together, everything is half-baked. The mob families are goddamn one-dimensional. I did not care if they get killed at all which defeats the purpose of whatever the vendetta the serial killer has in disposing , and why readers should look forward to solving these crimes. Batman feels the same, apparently, since it took the Holiday killer so close to completing his holiday-themed killing spree for either Batman and Gordon to solve it. Only it doesn't get solved, not really. In the most baffling twist, it turns out that there are THREE KILLERS with each one's motive more unbelievable than the next. The more I examine each thread of this story, the more nonsensical it gets. And not laughably so, like HUSH, which I actually had fun reading even if most of the reason is because it's so dumb at times.

    This was one, however, is just disappointing. The appearance of the rogues gallery could honestly just get cut and it won't affect anything. They were completely unnecessary and interrupted the flow of the narrative (if there even is one, sorta up to debate for me). I wished they focused more on the serial killer story because the holiday-themed covers were amazing to look at and that key feature to the killings was pretty impressive. Sadly, since there are three killers, the chilling aspect and the mind-fuckery of the method were diluted. As for the visuals themselves…Tim Sale has a surreal style but his illustrations have made certain scenes so incomprehensible that I have to stare at some panels over and over just to make sense of what I am looking at. Much like Loeb was with the writing of this story, the art could have been realized better.

    I don't know have anything else to say now other than I have nothing more eloquent to offer in my piece. Just rehashing the entire story of

    here has gotten me a little bit depressed because I thought I was going to like this story but after unloading all of these complaints I realized I wish I could just forget what I read. Not even the two volumes of

    made me this sorely disappointed.

    But I still have

    to finish which is a sequel to this fucking thing. I will keep an open mind and give it the benefit of the doubt. Originally, I was going to review

    tomorrow but it occurred to me that I want to get it over with as quickly as possible so I forced myself to come up with this and I hope it was sufficient enough.

  • Mad Tom
    Feb 22, 2014

    The Long Halloween deserves its hype. It's a classic Batman story and belongs among the greatest like Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke.

    I have to say, this is probably Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's best work.

    Loeb's writing is incredible. It definitely draws from Frank Miller's Batman Year One with its sense of noir, crime drama, mystery, and the addition of light horror. But largely The Long Halloween is, as the cover blurb says, "an epic trag

    The Long Halloween deserves its hype. It's a classic Batman story and belongs among the greatest like Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke.

    I have to say, this is probably Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's best work.

    Loeb's writing is incredible. It definitely draws from Frank Miller's Batman Year One with its sense of noir, crime drama, mystery, and the addition of light horror. But largely The Long Halloween is, as the cover blurb says, "an epic tragedy." Because we see Batman and Captain Jim Gordon fail, and most of all, District Attorney Harvey Dent descend into hell and madness. The story itself follows the serial killer Holiday and the tangled web of the Maroni and Falcone crime families. What's most fascinating and tragic is to watch Bats, Gordon, and Dent affected and irrevocably changed by Holiday and the destructive mafia war.

    Like Loeb's writing, Tim Sale's artwork here is the best I've ever seen. I really believe he draws Batman and his world better than anything else. Dark, angular, gritty, dramatic. Deep colors and brilliant use of light. Some of the rare artwork I'd love to have framed on my wall.

    There's also a fantastic visual contrast between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Bruce, although big and tall, is similar to Clark Kent. Amorphous and stoic, or emotionally haunted by his past as we see in one scene. Batman, however, is this gigantic looming figure with long sharp ears and sprawling cape, rippling muscles, growl and scowl. He's more monster than man, and it's brilliant to see.

    This is in my top 5 favorite Batman stories. It's also one of the subtlest, a sort of cousin to Batman Year One, with the addition of mystery and some horror. The story is riveting, the dialog is solid, and the artwork is incredible. If you're new to Batman or a longtime fan, you have to check this out.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    Dec 28, 2014

    What? 3 stars is good! It was way better than

    For reals Bats? Are we going to go there?

    This book had some draggy parts that bored me, but it did have Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Joker, Catwoman and The Scarecrow..so it had some good stuff...but what the hell was with Soloman Grundy? He had no place in the frigging book.

    Plus the art made you look hot.

    Now you are gonna grope me?

    I could go for that.

    *image removed-censored*

    Ok weirdo...

    What? 3 stars is good! It was way better than

    For reals Bats? Are we going to go there?

    This book had some draggy parts that bored me, but it did have Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Joker, Catwoman and The Scarecrow..so it had some good stuff...but what the hell was with Soloman Grundy? He had no place in the frigging book.

    Plus the art made you look hot.

    Now you are gonna grope me?

    I could go for that.

    *image removed-censored*

    Ok weirdo...

    Are you really my husband in disguise?

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    Jun 28, 2015

    I’d been hearing great things about this the past few years (I’m a late comer to the game, what can I say?) The story is broken up by different holidays, some major and some I basically forget exist until they pop up during the year.

    All the stories connect as Batman works with Gordon and attorney Dent to try and figure out who the killer is, as he strikes during the holiday season, setting forth a solid detective battle. They investigate, contemplate, interrogate, make wrong guesses, get shown

    I’d been hearing great things about this the past few years (I’m a late comer to the game, what can I say?) The story is broken up by different holidays, some major and some I basically forget exist until they pop up during the year.

    All the stories connect as Batman works with Gordon and attorney Dent to try and figure out who the killer is, as he strikes during the holiday season, setting forth a solid detective battle. They investigate, contemplate, interrogate, make wrong guesses, get shown right ones, and – even better – the reader leaves the series knowing something Batman doesn’t. Not something that happens often. Usually the ‘great detective’ doesn’t get led astray.

    The writing is simple and direct, the story working because it shows the background political machinations of Gotham’s crime bosses and their twisted families who go from suspecting each other, fighting each other, to aiding each other. Throw in Batman’s well known villains like The Riddler with his side story that ties into the main one, Joker of course in his crafty goals to ruin holidays for the innocent, Poison Ivy using her seductive charms to reel in victims, and catwoman hopping around never revealing all the cards in her deck. We even get an appearance from Solomon Grundy, who I always had a draw toward since seeing him in animated series.

    Truth told, Joker’s story was one of the least impressive and is gotten out of the way early on. Poison Ivy had a starring role at times and ended up surprised me. The Riddler showed himself as a strong villain like always, but as a flawed one too. The story works to show the evolution of Dent as a main character from hero to wacked villain.

    The artwork is pulpy and fresh, fitting into the story well. Batman is menacing and a force to be reckoned with. Some of the deaths were surprising, many of them startlingly violent for this type of comic collection. Some of the holiday stories worked better than others, as I mentioned with Joker being weaker, and Mother's Day was particularly brutal - the grimmest of the group on a depressing level with Bruce and his mother memories.

    I’m noob level with comics and their stories, so my opinions shouldn’t weigh as much for this stuff as some of my fellow reviewers who have read more of these and know the faithfulness of the character’s stories, but as an outsider looking in I have to say this was a fun read and impressive. It lived up to the hype in my eyes and will be something I’ll re-read in the coming years.

  • Brad
    Oct 27, 2016

    Pretty decent volume, full of all the favorites and the beginning of Two-Face, featuring a ton of mobsters and everyone, including the villains and Batman, are bright and shiny and new. It's Year One for the DC line, and it's just fine. Coherent, fun, even having a bit of depth.

    I like the quality and it's a good story. I especially loved all the interactions with Catwoman.

    Other than that? It's just the classic Two-Face opener. :) Good mystery, interesting reveal. Solid.


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