In this collection of Stories, we see Batman early in his career butting heads with several enemies from his rogues’ gallery.
In the first tale, Batman must confront the scarecrow again as he has begun to experiment on animals with his fear toxin. The plot is similar to most scarecrow stories, using his fear toxin, he terrorizes the city on Halloween night. What makes this story a little different is Bruce Wayne’s romance with a mysterious lady named Jillian. One of the highlights of this story is Batman’s weakness as Bruce Wayne. As a man, in reality, he misses things that he would otherwise notice as Batman but that is where Alfred shows his true worth as he does a little detective work of his own. Its this action by Alfred that illustrates that sometimes even Batman may overlook something and may at times, require the help of others.
In the second tale, we witness Barbara Gordon in her teenage years (before taking up the mantle of Batgirl or Oracle) fall victim to a kidnapping committed by the Mad Hatter. In his insane attempts at recreating wonderland, he dresses Barbara Gordon up as Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) and insists she attend his tea party. This story brilliantly shows us how manic and disillusioned the Mad Hatter really is. One of the stories sub-plots also connects the story of Alice in Wonderland to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents indicating that whenever he fights the Mad Hatter he is reminded of that night and consistently puts the blame on himself for their death.
In the third story, Batman has to deal with his very own Scrooge moment. Just as it happened in Charles Dickens ‘A Christman Carol,’ Batman is visited by three ghosts of the past, present, and future. These ghosts show Batman how his obsession with taking up the mantle of Batman affects Bruce Wayne. We see aspects of Batman’s personality and fears that are very rarely shown. The tale is very simple but also very enjoyable.
This whole book connects and references famous works, stories and children’s rhymes while maintaining the theme of Halloween throughout the whole book. All three tales are enjoyable to read and give greater depth to the character of Batman.
Purchase Batman: Haunted Knight