Batman, Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na Batman! …
But I digress, I wanted to write about the most important Batman story I believe to be ever written. There are so many great works of Batman in the market from years ago, up to today. But this work, is not only a great story but my personal favorite. This is a story that focuses on Batman, and showcases some wonderful writing and equally wonderful art work.
This story shows pieces of Batman’s origin, all the while developing The Dark Knight as he gains allies and looses more than he’d imagine. Batman here is already an established threat to criminals all across Gotham City, a city ready to fall apart at the hands of the mobsters who shine through out the book, a crafty holiday serial killer, and the in coming super villains that we all know love who want their piece of Gotham as well. The beautiful story that I’ am typing about is The Long Halloween written by Jeph Loeb and art by Tim Sale.
This is not a recent tale. This is not a story that coincides with Christopher Nolan’s 2007 blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” No, this wonderfully woven story “The Long Halloween’s” first (out of thirteen) issue came out in 1996. The first issue introduces us to several main players as the first killing in a string of murders coinciding with holidays begins to tear the the city. We met the District Attorney, Harvey Dent and his wife and even gives a brief take at Dent’s background, and a remembering scene at how he becomes the iconic villain Two-Face. Also, we have one of the few Batman allies – Captain James Gordon, pre-commissioner dealing with the toll of taking on these crime families and all the while worrying about his wife and child at home. hen there are the gangsters like Carmine Falcone and his family as they do their best to control the havoc wrecked by the “freaks” – the villains like Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy – who most in the town believe are bought in by the presence of The Dark Knight himself.
Even the Bruce is at the start of his Batman career, following the events from Frank Miller’s “Year One” (which is a great Batman origin story) Loeb has Batman at his finest here, from combat, to his detective work he’s at his best. And Tim Sale’s art work, is so cinematic and posed immaculately that each page will stick in your brain well after reading. And once your mind returns from being blown, pick up “Dark Victory” also by Loeb and Sale, the sequel that picks up where Long Halloween left off, and adding new familiar characters with interesting angles that are well written and well drawn.
This is a story, that stands the test of time. And a story that I’ve introduced to all my friends who show the slightest interest of comic books, as an introductory to the greatest DC super hero of all time. A highly praised story, highly influential in the world of comic books and something that is, and should be on ever Batfan’s shelf. If you have the time and about fifteen bucks, do yourself a favor and head to your local comic book store, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, where ever, and pick this book up immediately. I promise you wont be disappointed. How could you be? This is the best Batman story ever.