With over eighty years of story in comic books and graphic novels, film and television, animation, radio and video games, novels, role-playing games and so much more, there’s plenty of Batman to experience.
But this is the month of Biff Bam Pop’s annual 31 Days of Horror. And that means that certain Batman-centric stories make for perfect reading as the fall leaves start to scatter city streets and the days become shorter and colder and more ominous.
Gotham City was always a pretty scary place. It’s full of mystery, be it from its tallest banking tower or its lowest street corner. In Gotham, fear is found down every back alley.
Best be safe, here. Best be afraid.
Thank goodness, if you’re one of the good ones, for the Dark Knight Detective.
And that brings us to a classic October-esque Batman tale. You’ve heard of it before, surely.
Batman: The Long Halloween.
Originally published as a 13-issue monthly tale in 1996 and now collected in a deluxe edition hardcover, Batman: The Long Halloween, written and illustrated by comic book luminaries in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, was an immediate hit and has claimed classic status over the last twenty-five years.
The tale has been published in various compilations including hardcover and softcover, as well as Omnibus and Absolute version. It remains one of Batman’s darker and more compelling mysteries, set during the early days of his crime-fighting career.
Here is a Gotham City on the take, full of gangsters and murderers’ row of criminals, who, themselves, are seeing the rise of the super villain: a colourful gallery of rogues who would, soon become famous in the City and synonymous with the Batman mythos.
In The Long Hallween, Batman, along with trusted colleagues in Police Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, tracks the serial killer called Holiday, who murders people on holidays – one each month. To stop this fearsome and grisly rampage, the world’s greatest detective must confer with Calendar Man, a prison inmate and Batman rogue who knows Holiday’s identity.
The art, like the story, is dark and brooding. Perfect visuals for a Gotham City under criminal siege. Batman: The Long Halloween was so successful, that DC Comics commissioned two other highly acclaimed works from Loeb and Sale in Batman: Dark Victory and Catwoman: When In Rome. Those two tales can also be found in various compilations and are also highly recommended. The story was also made into an animated film, highlighted, of course, in Biff Bam Pop’s very own E.A. Henson’s column, published earlier today. You can read that here.
More tantalizingly, it’s said that much of the tale has been adapted into the new The Batman film, written and directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader. We’ll see a new trailer for that film this weekend!
Make the run to your local comic book shop or better bookstore today and pick up the new deluxe hardcover edition of Batman: The Long Halloween.
It’s a thrilling read! Thirteen can’t-put-down chapters…and eighteen days to go until Halloween!