WRITER: Jeph Loeb
ARTIST(s): Tim Sale
COLORIST: Gregory Wright
COVER ARTIST(s): Tim Sale
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: 1996-1997
Often heralded as one of the defining Batman stories of the Modern Age (along with other classics such as The Dark Knight Returns, A Death in the Family, and The Killing Joke), The Long Halloween is a must-have on any recommended reading list for the Dark Knight.
Taking place over the course of a year, from one Halloween to the next, this story tells the narrative of the Holiday killer, a masked murderer who kills some of Gotham’s most notorious mobsters, as well as certain corrupt officials. It also provides an updated version of Harvey Dent’s transformation into the villain Two-Face.
Jeph Loeb writes a great Batman. I first remarked this when I read Hush, and this was only exemplified by my reading of his Superman/Batman run and his works with Tim Sale. Our Dark Knight is truly that, brooding and controlled at all times, admittedly not the most stable man alive, but all-around a total badass, even in his earlier years (this story takes place not too long after Frank Miller’s hit Year One miniseries). I love the weaving of the Mafia and the Rogues Gallery, and how I feel like I’m watching The Godfather Meets The Injustice League at times.
I’m not as in love with Tim Sale’s art as many others seem to be. While I can definitely praise Loeb’s storytelling ability, Sale’s style just isn’t for me. It’s fuzzy-looking at times, and has a weird shading that makes it look like every character is off. I do like the cinematic look it portrays, however, and I can see why this was used as an inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It’s very fitting.
All in all, this story is a classic. The art may fall flat sometimes for me, but Loeb’s story and dialogue makes this a must-read for any comic book (and especially, Batman) fan.