Batman: The Long Halloween

23 Jan

longhalloween

Crappy seasonal tie-in? Nah, not really.

On my recent trip to Kinokuniya I browsed through almost all the trade paperbacks they had, and this one really caught my eye. Or, more specifically the intro from Chris Nolan made me buy it. I’m a massive fan of Chris Nolan and his Batman trilogy, and in the intro he cites this book as a major influence on the first two films. I’ll probably rehash a lot of what he says in this review.

The Long Halloween tells the story of a spate of killings by an unidentified ‘holiday killer’ who is being sought by everyone in Gotham. Batman, the police, the major crime families, Catwoman. Along the way we meet several of Bats’ most notorious enemies. Nolan says that this is the most cinematic of the Batman stories, and I have to say that’s true. I’ve read a few others but you can see how this could easily transfer onto the big screen. It even wears it’s cinematic influences on its sleeve, directly quoting The Godfather trilogy – “look what they’ve done to my boy!”

What was really cool was the way in which Batman was represented as a small part of a living breathing city. Gotham feels real, therefore Batman is believable. He’s not a one-man army like Superman, there’s only so much he can do. He has doubts and fails sometimes. He needs the help of the police and the DA Harvey Dent to clean up Gotham and again this is something that transferred into Nolan’s trilogy. It’s as much Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent and the crime families’ stories as Batman’s.

Being a noob, I didn’t realise the how important inking is (I vaguely remember them making fun of inkers in a Kevin Smith movie (found it! Your Mother’s a tracer!!!). This book really shows what a talented inker can do, with the inks being the most expressive facet of the art. Its got a noir-ish feel that really suits the story. This also added to the tone of realism in the story. It’s not something you see much in the big two comics these days, with most being clean and colourful. It was a refreshing change for me.

Anyway, this is a great read. Not as dense as The Dark Knight Returns, but an expertly told story with perfectly matching artwork. You really can’t go wrong.

Rating: A

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2 Responses to “Batman: The Long Halloween”

  1. Baby Nightsoil January 25, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    If you liked The Long Halloween, you should also check out Hush and Haunted Knight.

    • socrates81 January 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      I’ll check them out next, thanks! I was wondering what Batman trade to read next.
      Enjoyed browsing your site by the way. Very random!

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