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