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Batman by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale #1

Batman: The Long Halloween

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Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the clock as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.

376 pages, Paperback

First published November 30, 1997

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About the author

Jeph Loeb

1,302 books1,148 followers
Joseph "Jeph" Loeb III is an Emmy and WGA nominated American film and television writer, producer and award-winning comic book writer. Loeb was a Co-Executive Producer on the NBC hit show Heroes, and formerly a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost.

A four-time Eisner Award winner and five-time Wizard Fan Awards winner (see below), Loeb's comic book career includes work on many major characters, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Captain America, Cable, Iron Man, Daredevil, Supergirl, the Avengers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, much of which he has produced in collaboration with artist Tim Sale, who provides the comic art seen on Heroes.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,282 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
May 31, 2022
2.5 stars

The first thing you need to know is that The Long Halloween isn't actually a Halloween story. Sadly, if you're looking for that perfect spooky tale to curl up with during October, you'll need to keep on looking. It's a Young Batman vs the Mob story.


Ok, this is one of those Batman stories that everyone loves and I just sort of tolerate. I don't hate it or anything, I just can't really muster up any excitement for it. But I keep trying.
This was my 3rd time and I thought maybe now that I'm more mature I'd appreciate this sort of crime story.
Apparently not.


I'm just not at all interested in mobsters. They just don't evoke any real feelings in me. Yeah, they're criminals, but...eh. Live and let live. They're like drug dealers in that they wouldn't have a job if someone wasn't asking them to do that job. Plus, they're organized. As someone who likes things kept tidy, I have an appreciation for anyone who manages to stay organized.
I'm only sort of joking...


The point I'm trying to make is that these aren't serial killers or child molesters. And they're only half as dirty as the people we elect into office. So. Whatever. It doesn't excite me when Batman goes after these guys.


Ok, ok. There are a lot of his regular bad guys involved in this one. But because the main focus is on crime and corruption in the city, the supervillains seem...less cool. Like they're there as background props simply because this is set in Gotham. You know what I mean? It's expected that Poison Ivy shows up with her weird leaf hair and breathes her roofie breath on everyone.


But even the Dark Knight's entire rogue gallery showing up couldn't really save me from being a bit bored by the plot.
The gist is that there's a new killer in town.
The Holiday Killer. <--because they kill on holidays.
It's all very genius. I swear. <--I'm totally kidding.
There's a bunch of suspects and it seems like everyone is in on it, but then...NO! It's that weird janitor that you saw mopping the floors back in issue one! <--stop crying, you whiner baby, that's not whodunnit.
In other words, a lot of running around for very little reward.


To me, this one reads like Hush but without the fun jazz hands or Jim Lee's art. And you know what's weird? I actually like Time Sale's stuff in other books! But for some reason, I really don't like to look at The Long Halloween. Catwoman, especially. Her outfit is fugly and stupid. I can forgive the idiotic tail...maybe. But when you couple it with those fucking needless whiskers you've completely trip-tropped right into Furry territory.


Every time I look at her, it makes me want to reach for my tweezers and check my upper lip for stray hair. *shudder*

The main thing that makes this one interesting (to me) is that it tells the story of how Harvey Dent became Two Face. But even that doesn't quite salvage it enough to make it actually interesting. <--just my opinion


This is considered a classic Batman comic, so I'd suggest reading it and making up your own mind as to whether or not you love it.
Profile Image for Donovan.
697 reviews65 followers
November 16, 2022

"I believe in Gotham City."

The Long Halloween deserves its hype. It's a classic Batman story and belongs among the greatest like Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke.

I have to say, this is probably Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's best work.

Loeb's writing is incredible. It definitely draws from Frank Miller's Batman Year One with its sense of noir, crime drama, mystery, and the addition of light horror. But largely The Long Halloween is, as the cover blurb says, "an epic tragedy." Because we see Batman and Captain Jim Gordon fail, and most of all, District Attorney Harvey Dent descend into hell and madness. The story itself follows the serial killer Holiday and the tangled web of the Maroni and Falcone crime families. What's most fascinating and tragic is to watch Bats, Gordon, and Dent affected and irrevocably changed by Holiday and the destructive mafia war.

Like Loeb's writing, Tim Sale's artwork here is the best I've ever seen. I really believe he draws Batman and his world better than anything else. Dark, angular, gritty, dramatic. Deep colors and brilliant use of light. Some of the rare artwork I'd love to have framed on my wall.

There's also a fantastic visual contrast between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Bruce, although big and tall, is similar to Clark Kent. Amorphous and stoic, or emotionally haunted by his past as we see in one scene. Batman, however, is this gigantic looming figure with long sharp ears and sprawling cape, rippling muscles, growl and scowl. He's more monster than man, and it's brilliant to see.

This is in my top 5 favorite Batman stories. It's also one of the subtlest, a sort of cousin to Batman Year One, with the addition of mystery and some horror. The story is riveting, the dialog is solid, and the artwork is incredible. If you're new to Batman or a longtime fan, you have to check this out.
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews691 followers
October 28, 2013
If I met anyone that had never read a Batman book, this is probably the one I would recommend. This is the quintessential Batman story. The volume revolves around mobsters being murdered on each holiday and takes place early in Batman’s career. It’s a vehicle for Harvey Dent’s transition from Gotham City district attorney to Two-Face. Dent along with Captain Gordon and Bats (puts “Detective” back in DC comics) attempt to figure out who’s the killer.

It features most of Batman’s rogue’s gallery (where the heck did Solomon Grundy come from?) before they went super-mega villain. In this respect, it shares the same vibe as Batman: The Animated Series - relatively simple stories sans other superheroes, aliens, Omega Sanctions, etc.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,573 reviews5,900 followers
September 29, 2015

What? 3 stars is good! It was way better than sucky book


For reals Bats? Are we going to go there?
This book had some draggy parts that bored me, but it did have Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Joker, Catwoman and The Scarecrow..so it had some good stuff...but what the hell was with Soloman Grundy? He had no place in the frigging book.
Plus the art made you look hot.


Now you are gonna grope me?

I could go for that.


*image removed-censored*

Ok weirdo...
Are you really my husband in disguise?

Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,919 reviews10.6k followers
March 9, 2019
Someone is killing off associates of Gotham City's crime lord, Carmine "The Roman" Falcone but only only holidays. Can Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent stop Holiday before the entire Falcone crime family is dead?

I first read Batman: The Long Halloween in that mythic time before I felt compelled to write reviews for everything I read. I didn't care for it at the time but when a copy fell into my lap last week, I decided to give it another go.

Batman: The Long Halloween is a 13 issue murder mystery. Someone is knocking off criminals with a .22 pistol and Batman and the law are stumped. Who is Holiday, aka The Holiday Killer, and why is Catwoman nearby every time Batman tries to investigate The Roman? And what does Calendar Man have to do with it? And what's up Harvey Dent's ass? All of these questions and more are answered over the graphic novel's nearly 400 pages.

I don't normally go for retellings of stories I already know but The Long Halloween fleshed out a chapter in Batman's early days, Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face. While Tim Sale's artwork isn't my favorite, its cartoony, moody, dark feel perfectly suited the story. I've never been a huge fan of Jeph Loeb but he did a great job here. The mystery was great and even solveable if you were paying close attention. I wasn't and was surprised by the reveal, even though I read the Long Halloween before back before the world moved on.

The Christopher Nolan Batman movies borrow a lot from the Long Halloween. I once said Grant Morrison's Batman felt the most like movie Batman but I think I'm going to have to issue a retraction for that. The Batman in Long Halloween IS the Batman from the Christopher Nolan trilogy.

I will say that some of the story felt like filler. The bit with Poison Ivy was a little unnecessary and the whole Sofia Falcone Gigante thread could have been cut. It felt like the book was slightly stretched to fill thirteen issues instead of twelve. Those are pretty much my only gripes with it. Batman felt more like a detective in this and less an uber-prepared scientist super soldier, as it should be.

Batman: The Long Halloween is right up there with Batman: Year One in the upper echelon of Batman books. 4.5 out of 5 Batarangs.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
June 1, 2018
Comic books often deal with extremes; they deal with the extremely good and the extremely bad, highlighting the struggle between two opposites on the morality scale.

One wishes to wreak havoc, hurt people and gain some form of gratification. The other wishes to save and restore order. The two are diametrically opposed, though sometimes in order to achieve the most ultimate form of good (or evil) one needs step into the opposite camp to reach their goals. The two are not so far apart as they may appear.

Enter (and exit) Harvey Dent


Once a stalwart protector of justice, Dent is now the merciless Two Face who executes without remorse trusting in the luck of a coin to decide the fate of his victims. He has become the exact opposite of who he once was, though in reality he is a bitter reflection of the world at large.

Like Batman The Killing Joke this story shows us how easy it is to fall into chaos, madness and despair when you live in a city like Gotham. Batman’s detective work can only do so much in the face of such havoc.

Heroes and Villains are separated by a very thin line. This is a non-stop detective drama that is pulp noir, dark and gritty: it is an excellent Batman comic.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
February 10, 2017
Pretty decent volume, full of all the favorites and the beginning of Two-Face, featuring a ton of mobsters and everyone, including the villains and Batman, are bright and shiny and new. It's Year One for the DC line, and it's just fine. Coherent, fun, even having a bit of depth.

I like the quality and it's a good story. I especially loved all the interactions with Catwoman.

Other than that? It's just the classic Two-Face opener. :) Good mystery, interesting reveal. Solid.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,812 followers
April 25, 2022
I read this for the first time back in 2008, which was 5 Batman movies ago by my count. While I enjoyed it a lot back then, I didn't remember much about it so it was a shock to go through it now and realize how many things in this would go on to be included in various Bat-films.

It's an interesting idea with a serial killer taking out mob related figures on holidays over the course of the year, and it also functions as a solid whodunit that manages to work in a really good version of the Harvey Dent/Two-Face origin story. The structure allows for Batman to deal with a bunch of his villains over the course of the year which is fun.
Profile Image for Ray.
Author 16 books289 followers
March 25, 2023
A classic Batman tale, which of course inspired the excellent Nolan films covering the early years of the character. Artist Tim Sale is a great storyteller with a unique style (although he does draw Batman - and Catwoman - too buff for my tastes).

The mystery genre works well for Batman, formatted around trying to stop a killer who murders every holiday for a year. And the cast of villains makes it a well-rounded storyline that all iconic fans will love.

However, Jeph Loeb is something of a pandering writer. If it wasn't for his collaboration with Sale, and the fact that he's given leeway to use all the villains in his own miniseries to make as classic a graphic novel as possible, his scripts upon closer inspection are not all that well-written.

But the ambition is worth a try. The Long Halloween has everything a Batman story could want, and although a Frank Miller or Paul Dini would actually do a better job, it is good that this book is out there and focuses on mobsters with a noir genre angle.

As a self-contained story of reasonable quality, I'd most recommend for comic novices.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,602 followers
January 31, 2023
An overload of antagonists, organized crime, Two Face, and one serial killer

Better don´t do vacation in a Holiday Inn
While the killer is around. Although one person would know who the killer is, he doesn´t want to tell Batman. But once Arkham Asylum is already in the mix, other villains such as the Riddler, Joker, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy have to introduce themselves too. But the real second villain center of the story is

The evolution of Two Face
One of the most complex villains, his evil career leaves tons of options to drivel and philosophize about ethics, justice, and all the complex different moralities
Just like the Joker and many other tragic figures, he wasn´t born evil but driven crazy by the terrible circumstances he went through. To add even more momentum to the novel

Some mob wars are the third storyline
With all 3 plots perfectly combined, Loeb distills an immensely complex, fascinating, and in universe connected graphic novel that is outstanding in this regard. Serial killers, supervillains, organized crime, and the implications of their influence on politics and economics, also the Wayne family, combined, couldn´t be more mindblowing. The deeper one dives into the dark Batman universe, the more fascinating, interconnected, and deep it gets.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Richard.
984 reviews357 followers
January 21, 2022
In general, this might be the most quintessential Batman story ever. I wouldn't call it the best just yet, but definitely one of the most definitive. It captures a proper tone, rightfully grounding it as a crime epic and features almost all of the major bat-villains. It follows a tumultuous year early in Batman's career as a vigilante as he works with GCPD Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent to bring down the untouchable Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and his crime mob that rule the underworld of Gotham, all while contending with a mysterious serial killer that strikes on holidays. It was great seeing how this year takes a heavy personal toll on these three dedicated crime fighters and how it leads one of them down a darker path toward becoming one of the best Batman villains. Also, it's so impressive that Jeph Loeb is able to fit all of these characters into this story without it feeling TOO crowded. Some of the cameos felt a little silly but I always saw what Leob was attempting to do and I rolled with it.

There were some things I didn't like though. I thought the art really detracted from the story and was downright ugly. And here's yet another example of a writer that doesn't understand the Riddler. There is a difference between jokes and riddles, and the Riddler is not a jokester. In the future, any writer attempting to depict the Riddler should take a look at what Scott Snyder did with the character in his New 52 run, or even what Tom King does in his recent shitty run. But story-wise, it truly is one of the best Batman tales and definitely kept me riveted. I would recommend it to anyone starting out with the character. Even Christopher Nolan used it as a major inspiration for his epic crime saga-inspired Dark Knight trilogy.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,915 reviews3,402 followers
October 31, 2017
This is my very first Batman comic. Apparently it's not too bad a place to start. I must admit I'm not too much into the big superhero comics but instead prefer independent comics (mostly because of the constant re-boots of universes etc).

The Long Halloween is actually less of a superhero comic and more of a detective story. We have a bunch of mobsters such as Mr. Falcone and his Familia and on each holiday, someone dies. Thus, Batman (together with Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon) must find out who the murderer is. In between we have a number of runnings-in with other well-known characters such as Catwoman (who looked weird, so muscular in the outfit but slim in dresses). And we get the origin story of Two-Face which was nice.

The artwork is not too much to my liking. Bruce isn't handsome, Selina has atrocious hair, there is the afore-mentioned weirdness of Catwoman, ... but in some way the edges actually work in delivering the story.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,683 reviews869 followers
January 21, 2022
Any time Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale team up, it's a good thing, usually it's a great thing. By this point, they've made a name for themselves for writing "THE" Year One story for a hero. In the case of Batman, they've written five of them now. This was the first maxiseries they took a stab at, after writing three fantastic Halloween Legends of the Dark Knight specials. (For those of you not up on your DC history, Legends of the Dark Knight was an anthology series in the 80's and 90's set in Batman's earliest days.)

For this series, there's a killer on the loose, Holiday, who kills on holidays. No one knows who it is. At the same time, Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent, and Batman have teamed up to take down the crime families of Gotham. So thirteen issues, beginning and ending on Halloween (hence the name). Most of Batman's rogues make an appearance. Sale gives them all his unique, stylistic makeovers. They're amazing character designs. I can stare at Tim Sale's work for hours (Yes, I know it's not for everyone.) This is just one of those great Batman comics that can be passed along to anyone that wants to read a really good comic.
Profile Image for Jim Ef.
310 reviews59 followers
December 13, 2022
Who is Holiday?

The first victim died on a Halloween night, many followed.

Underground Gorham city is ruled by two crime bosses, Falcone and Maroni. Members of the Falcone family are getting killed on Holidays. Is it Maroni trying to get from no.2 crime lord to no.1? Is it someone from the family itself? Or is the killer someone from Gotham's many supervillains?
At the same time Batman, detective Gordon and Harvey Dent form a team in order to make Gotham a better place, a place where villains go to prison and crime lords can't buy out everyone with their money and have to face justice. They also try to catch Holiday, he might be killing bad people but that is not the right way to serve justice.

What i didn't know but find out in this deluxe edition ( to my wife: thank you baby, best Christmas gift ever )is that the story takes place a bit later after the events of Batman: Year one, so it's still early days for the caped crusader.

The plot is very interesting, a true detective story. Each issue builds up tension, there are some great moments that give depth to the characters and the ending definitely pays off.
Profile Image for Pantelis Andreou.
275 reviews56 followers
April 22, 2020
“Life is made up of little disappointments, Mr. Falcone. It’s what makes what we do so...challenging.”

This is Batman at it’s finest!

Adored the story till the last page with twist after twist! Jeph Loeb surely did an amazing job writing this mystery and Tim Sale’s art was something to behold with darker tones when some murders took place.

Only minor complaint is that i wanted more involvement with the joker here. Otherwise an amazing story for every Batman fan!
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,426 reviews1,059 followers
October 11, 2015

I’d been hearing great things about this the past few years (I’m a late comer to the game, what can I say?) The story is broken up by different holidays, some major and some I basically forget exist until they pop up during the year.

All the stories connect as Batman works with Gordon and attorney Dent to try and figure out who the killer is, as he strikes during the holiday season, setting forth a solid detective battle. They investigate, contemplate, interrogate, make wrong guesses, get shown right ones, and – even better – the reader leaves the series knowing something Batman doesn’t. Not something that happens often. Usually the ‘great detective’ doesn’t get led astray.

The writing is simple and direct, the story working because it shows the background political machinations of Gotham’s crime bosses and their twisted families who go from suspecting each other, fighting each other, to aiding each other. Throw in Batman’s well known villains like The Riddler with his side story that ties into the main one, Joker of course in his crafty goals to ruin holidays for the innocent, Poison Ivy using her seductive charms to reel in victims, and catwoman hopping around never revealing all the cards in her deck. We even get an appearance from Solomon Grundy, who I always had a draw toward since seeing him in animated series.

Truth told, Joker’s story was one of the least impressive and is gotten out of the way early on. Poison Ivy had a starring role at times and ended up surprised me. The Riddler showed himself as a strong villain like always, but as a flawed one too. The story works to show the evolution of Dent as a main character from hero to wacked villain.

The artwork is pulpy and fresh, fitting into the story well. Batman is menacing and a force to be reckoned with. Some of the deaths were surprising, many of them startlingly violent for this type of comic collection. Some of the holiday stories worked better than others, as I mentioned with Joker being weaker, and Mother's Day was particularly brutal - the grimmest of the group on a depressing level with Bruce and his mother memories.

I’m noob level with comics and their stories, so my opinions shouldn’t weigh as much for this stuff as some of my fellow reviewers who have read more of these and know the faithfulness of the character’s stories, but as an outsider looking in I have to say this was a fun read and impressive. It lived up to the hype in my eyes and will be something I’ll re-read in the coming years.
Profile Image for Tiag⊗ the Mutant.
743 reviews21 followers
July 3, 2022
The Long Halloween deserves a spot in the comic book hall of fame, it's The Godfather of the superhero world, a slow and long thrilling mystery noir story, with timeless classy art by Tim Sale, possibly my favorite Batman story of all time.
Profile Image for Artemy.
1,041 reviews946 followers
August 6, 2018

Warning! This is not strictly a review as much as me just loudly yelling into the void, so if your gentle soul can't handle some tasteful swearing, please avoid it at all costs.

My second attempt at giving Jeph Loeb another chance failed spectacularly. This book is everything I ever hated about Jeph Loeb's writing: contrived plotting, horrible character work, unbearably bad dialogue, and the story that is so fucking dull and stupid that I would literally, honestly rather go and watch paint dry in slo-mo instead of reading this bullshit. And don't forget his signature moves, like ripping off popular movies for plot and dialogue because this hack can't write to save his life, overstuffing his shitty comics with the entire rogues gallery of a given superhero because that would make his crap comic seem more exciting, and making it super fucking long (13 issues of this shit!) because that's how all the serious Graphic Novels roll.

Jeph Loeb has been doing this shit in every comic book he ever wrote, as far as I can tell (fine, fine, except for Nova, which was so surprisingly good by his standards that I'm starting to doubt if he really wrote it himself, just like Chad and Anne are doubting that Lobdell actually wrote that new Red Hood book that they like). When Loeb is writing his own books though, we're subjected to reading shit like this:

(click to enlarge this triumph of Loeb's writing genius)

And wonderfully subtle inner monologue like this:

And holy fuck, I'm not even going to attempt to break down the actual plot of this thing, because it's such a stupid fucking premise realised so poorly that it literally hurt my soul. My soul, man!

I previously thought that Hush was the worst Loeb could do, but you know what? At least Hush looked amazing. You may or may not enjoy Jim Lee's aesthetics, but there's no denying that the man can draw like nobody's business just from the technical standpoint. What really baffles me the most about The Long Halloween though is, not only is it atrociously written, but Tim Sale's artwork is just So. Fucking. AWFUL. I feel like I've gotten into one of the biggest conspiracies in the comic book industry, because almost everybody actually thinks that the art here is great! Tell me, are you not seeing what I'm seeing? I mean, I knew I hated Sale's art even before picking up the book, but for the sake of giving it a second chance, too, I even tried the black and white edition, naively thinking that it would look better without the colouring. Oh boy, was that a mistake.

Okay, tell me, do these horribly disfigured Bat-hands with a very fluid number of fingers look like good art?

(sexy, btw)

Maybe this Catwoman with a fucking six-pack, whiskers, a tail and a long cock is good art?

How about Batman's pooping face?

Or that Quagmire lookalike's seductive yawning face?

And what is up with these guys? Are they all members of some club or something?

But my absolute favourite is this Selina Kyle who looks exactly like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show, I bet it's shit like that that won Tim Sale a motherfucking Eisner!

Okay, that's it. I'm done. I could go on forever, but this horseshit doesn't deserve any more of my energy. Why is it so popular and highly-rated? I will never understand. It feels like as if everybody in the world thought that Tommy Wiseau's The Room was the greatest achievement in cinematography and screenwriting, because that's exactly how bad The Long Halloween is by comic book standards.

Profile Image for Read with Sandee ・❥・.
645 reviews1,298 followers
September 24, 2017

I made a promise to my parents that I would rid the city of the evil that took their lives.

I wasn't really intending to read The Long Halloween, even when it was highly recommended to me by my comic book reading friends. I'm member of a Goodreads group that has Batman: Dark Victory as their next group read and I wanted to participate. However, it seems that Dark Victory is set after the events from The Long Halloween, so I was just fuck it, let's read this shit.

I'm happy I did because this easily became one of my fave Batman stories. Well, to be honest, I liked all the Batman stories I've read so far, except for Hush. I did not like that at all, for reasons I don't even remember (I might revisit that at some point since it's from the same writer as this one).


The Long Halloween follows Batman, Detective Gordon, and Harvey Dent as they try to figure bring down Falcone, while on the sideline, someone else is making a scene.

Holiday was a serial killer who kills people every holiday. The killing started on Halloween, then every holiday since then. The surprising thing about the killings were that most of them were from the Falcone family. Who was killing them and why?


So the main characters we have are, of course, Batman (Bruce Wayne), Comissioner Gordon (who was a Captain here and not a Comissioner yet), Harvey Dent (if you're familiar with the name, you know this dude's fate most likely), the Falcones, the Maronis, and most of Batman's rouge gallery made an appearance here.

It's always been told that Batman is a great detective. So far, this is the closest to a detective Batman has gotten ever since I started reading Batman, which isn't really too long ago. Given I've only read the current ones and none of the Detective Comics. Batman may look invincible when he's wearing the cape, but when he's Bruce Wayne, that's a different story, which I liked. This showed us how he isn't as invulnerable as we think he is.

I feel that the characters were one of the strongest aspect of The Long Halloween. Although it is a Batman story, we also get to see other characters' lives, families, and their hidden agendas. You get to know these characters, villain or not, and understand where they're coming from. Of course, there are some that have more time to develop than others. But like I said, I liked that this wasn't just focused on Batman.


• Let's start with the illustrations. I wasn't a big fan of it - at first. Slowly, as I ease in to the story, I get to how it fits with what Loeb was trying to tell - a crime noir. Then I start to appreciate it along with the occassional black and white panels with a splash of color.

• The Long Halloween isn't just about Batman. It is about the people of Gotham City: those who wants to protect it, those who has self-fulfilling motives, and those that just want to wreck havoc.

• I loved the characters. Whether they were ones that were the main focus or not, Loeb did a good job fleshing them out, even for the secondary ones. One example of this was the Joker and the reason for why he intended to get in the way of finding the Holiday killer. He had a short role in the entire thing, but you do get where he was coming from. While this might be true for most, it can't be said for all of them, like with Poison Ivy. More could have been done for her. But my fear, if they do that, is the overcrowding of characters that would possibly end up not developing the main ones. So, i kind of get why she isn't fully developed.

• The best part of The Long Halloween is the plot and its twists. It would leave you with this sense of amazement about how certain clues were right under your nose but you couldn't see it until the very end. The plot development is pretty strong and got me at the edge of my seat the entire time.

• I am completely shipping Batman and Catwoman. Although, Catwoman's intentions are still unclear as of this point, but I still like them together. To be honest, they didn't have much scenes together, it's pretty surprising I ended up loving when they do share a panel. Their banters and the illustrations when they're at each other's throat sometimes looks passionate love.

• This is a pretty long run. I think its about 13 issues. It works for the story. I'd hate to have that many issues with no substance. Fortunately, this one isn't like that.

• Most of Batman's known villains are on here. You'd think the plot would become convoluted if this happens, but no, Loeb did a good job of using them in his narrative without making them cardboard cutout characters even with the limited time we got to see some of them.

• Like I said, this is not without flaws. It has holes in the narrative when it comes with the identity of the Holiday killer. I appreciate the sense of mystery, don't get me wrong, but the big reveal towards the end just got me scratching my head because it did not make sense to me. Did it surprise me? Yes. Pretty much. But did it work? Not for me. It should have ended when it should.

• Harvey Dent is a character I like and don't like. He is like the two sides of a coin (wink wink. see what I did there?). I liked him when the story was starting, but after a while, when the other things were happening, I didn't get the motivations for the things he did. Harvey is a good guy, no doubt about that, but I would have wanted to know what, when, and how he got pushed over the edge.


I feel like an idiot now for not reading this sooner. I should really trust my fellow comic book readers' recommendation every now and then to avoid missing gems like this one.

If you like Batman in his detective-like form and not fighting the baddies all the time, then I highly recommend this. Not only does it have an intriguing plot, the way it molds each character is equally just as fascinating as the plot. If you can forgive a few things that doesn't make sense in the end, then I am 99% you'd love this too.
Profile Image for Brandon.
901 reviews233 followers
October 15, 2018
Well, this is a rarity.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I re-read a book.  Granted, this was a graphic novel, which is generally a quick read anyhow, but usually my cup overfloweth with new reads leaving me with little interest in re-reading stuff.  Back in August when I was scheduling my reads for October (a.k.a spooky book month), I was perusing my shelf for some frightening fiction when I came across Batman: The Long Halloween.  Given that I haven’t read this one in about eleven years, I figured it was time to revisit my (at the time) favorite Batman story.

Over the course of one year, beginning on Halloween night, the story follows a new serial killer in Gotham dubbed “Holiday”.  He or she has been murdering those connected to the Falcone crime family and true to his or her name, is doing so only on holidays.  Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent and Police Commissioner James Gordon form a trio with the goal of catching the crazed killer.

After the urging of editor Archie Goodwin, Loeb and Sale picked up where Frank Miller left off with Batman: Year One telling the origin story of one of Batman’s most infamous adversaries, Two-Face.  The story of Harvey Dent will always be a tragic one and while I ultimately prefer Christopher Nolan’s version within the 2008 film The Dark Knight, it is clear Nolan borrowed heavily from this story (there are even panels that could be storyboards for the movie).

I really love this story.  The art is gorgeous given its dark and moody presentation and the writing is some of the best I’ve seen in my experience reading The Caped Crusader.  It’s good to know that nearly eleven years after I first read the book, it still holds up as my favorite Batman story.  There were rumblings that in 2019, we could see the release of the long-awaited animated adaptation, but it doesn’t look like it’s on the table for next year.  Here’s hoping we get it soon (then again, you could just watch The Dark Knight).  DC may not get the live-action films right, but they rarely go wrong when it comes to the animated division.
Profile Image for Shannon.
891 reviews224 followers
January 23, 2013
This was one of the three Batman comics which influenced the making of the movie BATMAN BEGINS. The sequel to that film THE DARK KNIGHT grabbed heavily from this particular graphic novel. It's something of an early years of Batman's time as he deals mostly with the mob and an avenger named Holiday who kills people during almost any holiday. There are some good connection setups between Batman, Gordon and Dent. Film noirish style as to the murders some would say.

ARTWORK: B; STORY/PLOTTING; B plus to A minus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus; OVERALL GRADE: B plus; WHEN READ: early January 2012.
Profile Image for Nicolo.
2,104 reviews127 followers
January 4, 2014
I almost didn't get this digital copy when ComiXology had its graphic novel sale for the holidays. I was leaning toward Batman: Hush, also by Jeph Loeb and with art by Jim Lee, but I already have that story in singles. It was best deal though, if it's measured in pages with a 353 page count. So I pulled the trigger on the purchase. I didn't regret it.

The Long Halloween is probably the best work to come out from the collaboration of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It's set in Year One of Frank Miller, when Batman was still relatively new and seeking allies in his war against organized crime. It must have a pretty good outline if Loeb managed to secure the blessing of Miller himself. It's essentially a whodunit, with many suspects though the perpetrator isn't revealed until the last pages. Anybody could have been a suspect and Loeb provided clues in the pages. The twists and turns made it hard to guess who is the suspect, but as I said, Loeb provided the clues.

Tim Sale drew masterfully here. Batman is probably the best character suited to his moody and emotional art. If rumor is to be believed, Sale is colorblind making his color choices even more incredible.

This story does belong to DC Comics' essential library. This is definitely a must read for any comics fan.
Profile Image for Eddie B..
607 reviews2,487 followers
March 27, 2022
"Holiday" is a serial killer who murders on holidays, but who is "Holiday"? The answer is revealed in one of the greatest detective stories I've read with one of the most breathtaking ends, ever! With many supervillains involveded, none of them was portrayed as deep as the other more realistic characters, like The Falcone Family (aka The Roman Empire). I didn't quite fall in love with the visual style but some drawings were brilliantly designed. I can't wait to hear about a movie adaptation. I was quite scared when I found out that I finished the book on a holiday! I believe in Harvey Dent!

Ahmad Eddeeb
August 2012

سولومون جراندي / الاثنين كان ميلادي
والثلاثاء العاصف / شهد على تعميدي
أما الزواج فيوم / أربعاءٍ رمادي
لكن يأتي الخميس / بالمرضِ من بعيدِ
وتسوء حالتي / في الجمعة المجيدِ
وسواد السبت يوحي / أن الموت مريدي
والدفن يوم أحد / والرحمة للفقيدِ

Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,179 followers
May 27, 2019
Accidentally, I finished Dark Victory before I could manage to get my hands on Batman: Long Halloween, I knew how this long series is going to end before I started on Long Halloween, still I enjoy both volumes SO DAMN MUCH!

(Link: https://nerdlush.com/category/events/)

The strongest points of Long Halloween and its sequel are the gloomy yet flawlessly gorgeous artwork, the strong crime-noir atmosphere which is shaped into perfection, the ill-fated romance between Batman and Catwoman and the use of a colorful bunch of Batman's villains: the Joker (and his huge mouth!), Poison Ivy (she is beautifully drawn), Mad Hatter, the Riddler, Scarecrow (he always has a grand entrance) and the vicious old fashion-looking Italian crime families! *What more can I ask for?*

However, comparing with Dark Victory, the plots and the murder mystery within Long Halloween is a bit weak: so there is a serial killer named 'Holiday' who is murdering the criminals within Gotham City? And this 'Holiday' mostly targets people who are tied to the most powerful crime family led by the untouchable crime lord nick-named 'The Roman'? Who is Holiday and what is he/she trying to prove by gunning down criminals during each holiday (started from Halloween)? Can Holiday actually be Harvey Dent, an ally of Batman?

The murder mystery is truly intriguing, at first; but at the end I got confused and the revealing part of the murderer's true identity a bit underwhelming: .

Anyway, this volume is still rated so, so high at my best American comics list.

Review: Red Hood: Outlaw vol. 1 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review: Batman: Battle For the Cowl: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review: Batman: Life After Death: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review: Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Book Review: Batman: The Long Halloween https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review: The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told Vol. 1 (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)
Profile Image for Daniel.
123 reviews18 followers
October 26, 2020
Batman The Long Halloween is probably one of the few comic-book events/crossovers that I actually liked.

Why's that? First of all, it didn't try to be too ambitious or confusing, which tends to be the case with huge comic book events etc.
What it does well: It's consistent, fast-paced and it gets to the point. In addition to that, the book doesn't shy away from giving the readers some unanswered questions that will make them think about them and come up with their own ideas.

I just like the whole idea, that it's actually a good detective noir murder mystery that is done pretty well.

It gets 4.5 stars out of 5
Profile Image for Andy.
Author 14 books136 followers
August 12, 2008
Every comic book artist thinks their interpretation of Batman is the best, but most of them are overdrawn. Tim Sale gets it – he’s one of the best Batman artists I’ve seen. I think he captures the insanity of the Mad Hatter and the Scarecrow so well, and his rendering of Batman is one of the best.
I was listening to Amon Tobin’s “Out From Out Where” while reading “The Long Halloween” and the music fit the comic perfectly (especially “The Searchers”). Try it some time: I think Tobin should score the next Batman movie.
Profile Image for ✨Bean's Books✨.
648 reviews2,918 followers
October 2, 2019
Batman for the holidays? What could be better?
With an All-Star cast including Catwoman, Two-Face and Poison Ivy, this is definitely one of my favorite Batman comic series. Well illustrated, story is very well-thought-out and parts of it we're even made into a movie! This one definitely gets a two thumbs way up from me! 👍😁👍
Profile Image for Frankh.
845 reviews160 followers
July 16, 2015
I won't lie. I had high hopes for this story. After all, it has been consistently placed in the Best Batman Stories lists, either as part of the Top 10 or Top 5 graphic novels you have to read. Comprised of thirteen issues, Jeph Loeb's The Long Halloween had great promise. It had all the right ingredients. We got Bruce Wayne just starting out his early years as Batman, and his partnerships with Commissioner Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent. We got the Falcone and Maroni crime families in the spotlight, and a serial killer hunting the mobsters down using holidays as the common theme of this string of murders (hence earning him the name of the Holiday Killer). As a bonus, we also get appearances of the rogues gallery like the Joker, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

However, that great promise I mentioned dwindled to unrealized potentials the closer I get to the supposed climax. Also, its commendable traits from the beginning such as the Batman-Gordon-Dent triad, mob involvement, serial killer murder mystery and rogues' gallery participation, look good in theory but REALISTICALLY SPEAKING the actual execution of all these elements together fell short. Being served by so many samplings in one sitting could cause indigestion, no matter how potentially good each serving should be.

And that's mainly my problem with The Long Halloween. Much like Jeph Loeb's later work HUSH (which, granted, was more enjoyable in its approach than this one), this story suffers with putting so much material in its scope that it was pretty much inevitable for some of its parts to collapse under the pressure of the multiple baggage it struggles to carry along. I don't necessarily think this was a bad story, period. I believe that if you take each individual parts and separate them from the convoluted mess of its sum then what we get are compelling subplots that might have deserved their own separate arc altogether. But instead we get them all squeezed into one dragged-out arc that was unable to flesh out its main characters particularly Harvey Dent whom I did not connect with in any way, let alone be emotionally invested enough on his moral struggle and dissociation that his transformation as Two Face became meaningful to mourn about.

Seeing this story having high ratings in Goodreads and scintillating reviews from common friends (save a noticeably one-star review from the mix) is a real head-scratcher for me at first especially when I was stuck in the seventh issue and found myself getting increasingly annoyed withe everything already. But after finishing it and thinking about what to write for twenty minutes or so, I realized that The Long Halloween is still a work that I suppose deserves its place in the top Batman stories because of the fact that it gave us Two Face's origin story, and that we were able to get the organized crime aspect of Gotham City explored and its enforcers like Carmine Falcone which Batman is also supposed to butt heads with, and not just duke it out with the likes of the Joker, etc. But those merits alone for me are really not enough to encourage newbie Bat-fans to pick this up at least not as a must-read. Maybe only as a passing suggestion. And that's a weak 'maybe'.

The trouble is that, because of so many elements put together, everything is half-baked. The mob families are goddamn one-dimensional. I did not care if they get killed at all which defeats the purpose of whatever the vendetta the serial killer has in disposing , and why readers should look forward to solving these crimes. Batman feels the same, apparently, since it took the Holiday killer so close to completing his holiday-themed killing spree for either Batman and Gordon to solve it. Only it doesn't get solved, not really. In the most baffling twist, it turns out that there are THREE KILLERS with each one's motive more unbelievable than the next. The more I examine each thread of this story, the more nonsensical it gets. And not laughably so, like HUSH, which I actually had fun reading even if most of the reason is because it's so dumb at times.

This was one, however, is just disappointing. The appearance of the rogues gallery could honestly just get cut and it won't affect anything. They were completely unnecessary and interrupted the flow of the narrative (if there even is one, sorta up to debate for me). I wished they focused more on the serial killer story because the holiday-themed covers were amazing to look at and that key feature to the killings was pretty impressive. Sadly, since there are three killers, the chilling aspect and the mind-fuckery of the method were diluted. As for the visuals themselves…Tim Sale has a surreal style but his illustrations have made certain scenes so incomprehensible that I have to stare at some panels over and over just to make sense of what I am looking at. Much like Loeb was with the writing of this story, the art could have been realized better.

I don't know have anything else to say now other than I have nothing more eloquent to offer in my piece. Just rehashing the entire story of The Long Halloween here has gotten me a little bit depressed because I thought I was going to like this story but after unloading all of these complaints I realized I wish I could just forget what I read. Not even the two volumes of Knightfall made me this sorely disappointed.

But I still have Dark Victory to finish which is a sequel to this fucking thing. I will keep an open mind and give it the benefit of the doubt. Originally, I was going to review The Long Halloween tomorrow but it occurred to me that I want to get it over with as quickly as possible so I forced myself to come up with this and I hope it was sufficient enough.

KINDDA RECOMMENDED but feel free to skip: 6/ 10

Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,277 reviews176 followers
December 9, 2021
#ThrowbackThursday - Back in the '90s, I used to write comic book reviews for the website of a now-defunct comic book retailer called Rockem Sockem Comics. (Collect them all!)

From the August 1998 edition with a theme of "Reprinted and Repackaged":


I'm feeling nostalgic, folks. Howzabout a few trips down memory lane this month?

When I was a young kid buying comics off the spinner rack at the my small town drug store or the magazine rack at the county seat's big grocery store, missing an issue of ARCHIE, RICHIE RICH or SUPERMAN was a tragedy. There were no comic stores with back issue bins in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. And heck, the only other comic book collector in town bought only those trashy Marvel titles, such as X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR, which I snubbed. (Hey, I was ignorant of the concepts of appreciation in value and comic book price guides. Give me a break!) If Jackson's Drug Store or Dick's Supermarket didn't get a particular comic, this little farm boy was plain outta luck.

Nowadays, the comics collector has a multitude of solutions available to him. Somewhere in the midst of all the back issue bins, comic conventions, classified ads, mail order companies, fan clubs, and distributor restocking systems, a missing comic book is sure to turn up with a little effort . . . even for little snot-nosed nerds living on isolated Wisconsin dairy farms. As a grown-up, snot-nosed nerd living in isolation in Colorado, I still agonize over a missing issue of a beloved comic book series, but now I'm flexible enough to consider the one solution that is becoming more and more common and, therefore, much easier to obtain. For those willing to bypass first-edition, serialized comics, the Golden Age of publisher reprinting and repackaging is upon us.



Occasionally I'll sit through a movie and enjoy it while I'm watching it. But then, when I leave the theater and start discussing it with my wife, I realize the script was rife with plot holes, lazy shortcuts, and stupid contrivances. While I'll have fleeting fond memories of the movie, I'm never able to think of it again without recalling the litany of flaws. BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN is a perfect example of this effect transferred to the field of comics.

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN is the saga of Batman's year-long attempt to stop the serial killer known as Holiday. Holiday -- being true to the name -- kills once a month on major holidays such as Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, etc. Holiday's victims are members of the crime family of Mafioso Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. Batman's list of suspects include the unstable district attorney, Harvey Dent; the vengeful villainess, Catwoman; the ambitious crime underboss, Sal Maroni; the date-obsessed villain, Calendar Man; and many, many more.

I really want to like BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN. After all, it is a sequel of sorts to BATMAN: YEAR ONE, the second greatest Batman story of all time. Writer Jeph Loeb (CAPTAIN AMERICA VOLUME 2, LOOSE CANNON) successfully apes BATMAN: YEAR ONE scripter Frank Miller's terse narrative and dialogue. Artist Tim Sale (DEATHBLOW, GRENDEL) knocks himself out producing the best pages of his career. His style easily invokes the mood of David Mazzuchelli's BATMAN: YEAR ONE masterpiece while being absolutely distinctive in its own right. Loeb and Sale's previous Batman Halloween specials have been quite decent, and BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN does get off to a rollicking start. But then . . .

But then Halloween lasts too long. Frankly, by the third issue it's obvious that the plot is being padded and stretched to accommodate the numerous gimmicks shoehorned into the book. First, each issue is set roughly a month apart so Holiday can commit the next holiday's murder. Second, the story itself contains an appropriate holiday theme. Sometimes the holiday tie-in is clever, but more often it is labored or even groan-inducing. Third, almost every issue is further strained by prominently featuring a different member of Batman's Rogues Gallery. Fourth, Batman makes frequent visits to the Calendar Man in jail, hoping to unearth insights into Holiday's psyche. The "Silence of the Lambs" Hannibal Lecter rip-off is forgivable and even nifty the first time, but quickly wears out its welcome over the course of the limited series. Finally, the most grievous gimmick is that Batman -- "The World's Greatest Detective" -- has to be distracted, drugged, jailed, and generally portrayed as an idiot in order to prevent him from deducing the identity of Holiday after the first murder. (Sure, I couldn't guess, but this is Batman for goodness sake!) It's too hard to believe that these events take a year of story time to unfold and resolve. Often, no attempt is even made to explain why a dramatic revelation made in one issue is not acted upon by Batman or his allies for the three to six weeks of story time which pass by the following issue.

My biggest problem with BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN comes in the very final issue. I like the ending on first reading, as it is full of plenty of twists and turns and unexpected surprises. But when I sit and think about it, I'm not sure I really understand it. I'm not terribly certain I understand who Holiday truly is, why certain people were murdered when they were, and how the murders fit into the chronology revealed in the closing pages. Also, I'm troubled by the large number of characters acting out of character with their past portrayals in the Batman canon.

So, if you buy BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, read it fast. Enjoy the pretty pictures, revel in the witty bits of dialogue and well-done vignettes. Let the plot twists take you on a jolly good carnival ride. Just don't think about the story too much afterward, or you'll end up like me: happy and frustrated all at once.

Grade: C+
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