GN 28. Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb. Illustrated by Tim Sale and Gregory Wright. 368 p. Published November 1999.
The Long Halloween poses a fascinating question: what ever happened to all those gangsters from Batman: Year One (the origin tale by Frank Miller)? In a breathtaking noir fashion, Long Halloween sets about telling the story of Batman and the end of mobster-controlled Gotham.
Confronted by a rising mob problem, Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent bind together in a secret pact to rid Gotham of its Dons – Roman Falcone and Salvatore Maroni. But it appears someone else has the same idea, as a new serial killer begins to strike against mobsters, marking his crime by striking only on Holidays.
Faced with deciphering who Holiday is, Batman must investigate while dealing with the repercussions of Holiday’s attacks. Cofnronted by gangsters with grudges, freaks jealous of Holiday’s popularity, and even the loss of one of Gotham’s finest, Batman is soon overwhelmed. Will he be able to contain the theat and stop Holiday in time to save what is most precious or will Gotham be lost in the growing violence.
In true noir style, appearances by some of the more famous characters and villians tie Long Halloween together in an intriguing glimpse of Batman’s humanity. This was a truly inspired project, originally published in 13 issues, this tale began on Halloween and commemorates each subsequent holiday’s theme until the following October – a truly long Halloween. With a driving story and fantastically vivid illustrations, this version of Batman is one of the greatest – glimpsing a world of moral ambiguity, where there is no right decision – not even for the hero.
Rating: 5 out of 5