Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Batman: The Long Halloween Review


The first few pages of The Long Halloween are made up of Christopher Nolan and David Goyer gushing over how good it is. They explain how it is a real epic in terms crime stories and that it played a huge role in influencing their work with The Dark Knight.

This influence is pretty clear, as is the fact that this really is a truly great and epic crime story.

Like all good Batman stories you get to develop a clear sense of Batman's character, his dark brooding side, his motivations, desires - in this case Selina Kyle and his weaknesses. He refers to Wayne Manor as his father's house, has feelings for Selina but when it comes to trust keeps her at arm's length. The Bruce here is a relatively young one, he is established and successful in his role as Batman, not inexperienced like the Batman from Year One not quite as twisted and dark as the Batman of The Dark Knight Returns. You get a good mix of light and dark, human and symbol. 

They get along so well. 
It's not just Batman who shines however, this story gives a fantastic version of Harvey Dent and his becoming Two Face and seeing him, the young District Attorney, not quite clear with his principles as yet is great and this is made all the better through his interactions with Jim Gordon, a man with experience, with principles, with limits.

Woven throughout this brilliant character study is a gripping murder mystery as both Gotham's finest and the Falcone and Maroni crime families work to identify and stop the merciless 'Holiday', a killer who strikes on each and every holiday in the calendar. It's a brilliant game of cat and mouse with superb pacing and the effects it has on the core characters and the lengths they will go to makes for excellent reading.

Top this off with superb artwork, be it in a fight scene or during one of the many of moments of drama and character building and what you're left is a story any Batman can, or even any crime fan, should have no trouble getting on board with.

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