Why you should read… Batman: The Long Halloween

The best Batman story? Maybe.

longhallolweThis stunning crime saga takes place over the course of a year – between two Halloweens – as a killer known as Holiday takes the life of a single person on a holiday every single month. Batman works with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent to try and stop Holiday.

The Long Halloween is often cited as one of the best Batman stories. The reason for this, I believe, is down to the convincing execution of such an ambitious idea – writer Jeph Loeb does an excellent job of sustaining interest in the core mystery, while weaving it around key parts of Batman mythos, like the birth of Two-Face. For fans of Frank Miller’s Year One, this is the ideal continuation, and elements of it were adapted into 2008’s The Dark Knight, such is its influence on the Batman character.

Tim Sale’s gorgeous noir-stained artwork recaptures the Gotham City depicted in Year One, while bringing its residents to life with his own distinctive style. The character and the universe he inhabits is a perfect match for Sale – during the story, you get to see the artist’s interpretation of pretty much the entire Batman rogue’s gallery.

This is one of the most exciting comic book stories I’ve ever read. A perfect murder mystery.

Batman: The Long Halloween is available in trade paperback from DC Comics in the US, or Titan Books in the UK.