New year, new me – I am gonna review comics and graphic novels as well. I always adored them but wasn’t sure if they held a space in the internet-book-review world. Well, I am making room for them!
What better one to start with than the deluxe edition of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween? It’s timely, being that the new Batman movie is coming out in a few months (*internal screaming*), and also it’s never a bad time to revisit a classic.
This was originally a 13-issue series and I do think I had the benefit of reading it all at one time together rather than separated out by publishing dates. I could see if this was a weekly or monthly issue release (which it was but not for myself…) I would be a bit confused whenever I got to pick it back up. So, the putting together of issues definitely added something for me in terms of following the characters and plot with devoted interest.
Most of the main villains make appearances in this comic – The Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and now the Holiday killer – who Batman is trying to catch with the help of Detective Gordon (who is trying to raise a baby and not get a divorce in all of this!). It was great to see Batman’s earlier detective years as well as his internal struggle with justice, vengeance, and violence. The reason I root for Batman so much is that he wants both to be good and help the greater good of society, but broken people can only fight their own demons so much in these types of missions. There are lines Batman either crosses or comes close to crossing where you can no longer see the clear difference between him and the villains he fights.
The art was lovely but not the typical designs you may be used to from recent depictions of these characters. However, I enjoyed the art style immensely, it added grungy despair to the world we find Batman in. The timeline spans over a year of holidays, but it is the prevailing color scheme of Halloween most of the time, with blacks, purples, and oranges. It helps show you that although time is passing and more killings occur, it is at Halloween where Batman’s world inevitably shifted.