Updated in April 2021 with “Dark Victory”.
A Long Halloween
Batman: A long Halloween (Un long Halloween) by Jeph Loeb & Time Sale was recommended to me by Batman fans in the Bubble Family & Friends Facebook group, a forum used by users of the excellent Bubble application that I use to manage my BD/Comics/Manga collection.
Note: This book is a fantastic American comics, I will therefore write this critics in English although I read it in French 🙂
I’m not really a super-hero fan so, for me, finding in which order comic books should be read and moreover which ones deserve to be read, is a perilous task! There are so many parallel stories, reboots, crossovers… If you’re like me, a Batman fan but not a comics' nerd, you should first read Batman: Year One by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli, a reboot of Batman’s “birth”, it’s really excellent! And then you should read “A long Halloween”.
A long Halloween is a very thick book, 400 pages for the French edition! I was first intimidated and did not like Bruce Wayne’s drawing in the first pages, I thought I was going to waste my time… but after a few pages I could not put the book down anymore! I finished it in two evenings and loved it.
The plot is very dense, there are many surprises, and many villains, Batman’s recurring enemies, appear in the story, including the well known Catwoman and Joker. The story is about a trio’s struggle (Batman the super-hero, James Gordon the honest cop and Harvey Dent the tough District Attorney) to get rid of the 2 families who control Gotham City (Maroni and Falcone’s mafia) all the while solving a series of mysterious crimes, all committed on celebration days (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day…).
The search for the criminal, named Holiday, will be very long, full of murders, plot twists,
villains and darkness.
I won’t go into detail (and please be careful as the Wikipedia links I shared above contain spoilers!), but I really loved this book and recommend it!
Five months after this comic, I read its sequel in April 2021,
“Dark Victory”. It is as dark and
breathtaking as the first one!
Of course, the mechanics of the scenario is the same and this is the only reproach I would make to
this sequel: the scenario hides us some key information by revealing only silhouettes or
unidentifiable voices of characters who remain in the shadow. And it’s only at the end of the
comic book that we say to ourselves “oh yes, I understand now!”.
Apart from this repetition, this volume is excellent, and the character of Batman is as ambiguous
as ever. As the title says, the victory of “Good” is always bitter.
It is in this volume that the authors introduce the first Robin, aka Dick Grayson. As in all
the recent DC Comics, I find that the reinvention is always very good, the genesis of these
characters is less caricatured than in the historical comics.
I also warmly recommend this second volume, but don’t read it if you are in a dark mood!