Tag Archives: Poison Ivy

Batman: The Long Halloween

 

51f81ETUlvL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_First of all, just to be clear, this story has it all.  Taking place early on in his career and following on from Batman: Year One we see Batman attempt to solve a case over the span of a year.

The story begins with Batman, Harvey Dent, and Jim Gordon working together to take down Carmine ‘The Roman’ Falcone, one of Gotham City’s biggest crime bosses.  What ensues is a new killer named Holiday committing murders during national holidays.  In the pursuit of this mysterious killer, Batman runs into many villains in his rogues’ gallery such as Catwoman, Solomon Grundy, and the Joker.

In true detective form, this story continually has you guessing who Holiday is.  One of the lead suspects is Harvey Dent who at the beginning of this story has not yet become Two-Face.  What this story portrays brilliantly is that Harvey Dent didn’t become Two-Face because of half of his face being horribly scarred but because of several factors and events that chipped away at his soul.  Seeing Harvey fall from grace and become a monster makes for an interesting read and one of the key plot threads in this story.

Another key character in this story is Selina Kyle and her romance with both Bruce Wayne as herself and Batman as Catwoman.  Her duality of being both friend and foe are depicted well here.  In most cases, she gets in Batman’s way but in others, such as Batman’s run-in with Poison Ivy, she pretty much saves the day and deals with situations that Batman cannot handle.

As this story is set over the span of a little more than a year we get to see how busy Batman’s life is.  While juggling between taking down the Roman and finding Holiday we get to see how other crimes that are unrelated are dealt with swiftly so that Batman can get back to solving the big cases.  The best example of this is when the Joker makes an appearance and causes all of his usual brand of trouble.

This story is perfect for both new readers and long-term fans of Batman.  It has a steady paced plot that keeps you guessing and a selection of characters from Batman’s Rogues’ gallery.  This story is a must read for any fan.

Purchase Batman: The Long Halloween

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Batman: Four Of A Kind

Batman Four of a kindThis collection of Batman tales focuses on Batman earlier years of crime-fighting.  Each story is a separate story portraying Batman’s first run-ins with popular villains from his rogue’s gallery.

In the first tale, we see that Batman is still building his arsenal and has his first encounter with Poison Ivy.  As is often the case with Poison Ivy storylines, Batman falls victim to her toxins and needs to find the cure.  There isn’t a lot to this storyline and the plot is a little thin, however, we do get to see a younger, naive Ivy which is great for Poison Ivy fans as it indicates that the beautiful seductress we all know and love was at one point a little green.

The second story gives insight into Edward Nigma’s loneliness as a child which led him developing his know it all persona.  This need to be recognized and praised instead of being a laughing stock allows us to see a side of the Riddler we aren’t used to.  What this story illustrates brilliantly is that the Riddler can be a successful criminal and at times can outsmart Batman.  However, it’s his arrogance that often leads to his downfall.

The third story takes Batman’s main weapon of fear and turns it against him.  Drawing Parallels to the Wizard of Oz and Sleepy Hollow, the Scarecrow’s origin is fleshed out.  We get to see why he is obsessed with fear and what led to his creation of the Scarecrow.  We even see how he managed to use his skeletal frame to his advantage.  Similar to the Riddlers origin, this story shows how the bullied becomes the bully.

The fourth story is, in my opinion, the weakest story of the bunch.  This is the origin story of the Manbat.  Professor Langstrom attempts to cure his deafness by taking a serum that he has developed.  At first, the results are as expected but then things go horribly wrong.  This is your stereotypical mad scientist turns himself into a monster story that has been seen over and over.  It’s not a bad story but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

Overall this is an enjoyable collection of stories, each story is different and each one adds to Batman’s earlier years as the Dark Knight.  It is certainly worth a read if you are a new reader and wish to understand some of Batman’s more popular villains.

Purchase Batman: Four Of A Kind

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