Proof I still love comics
I was a huge fan of Jeph Loeb's Batman: Hush, so I was interested in reading some of his other Batman stories. I always heard a lot of praise given to The Long Halloween, so I decided to give that a try. And I'm happy to say that it lives up to the praise.
The story takes place during the early days of Batman's career. The plot focuses on a killer named "Holiday", who (surprisingly enough) kills people on holidays. Batman, along with Harvey Dent and James Gordon, races to try and discover who Holiday is before he kills again. I found this a really good and interesting storyline. I like a good mystery, and this book had that. It kept me guessing who Holiday is, and I was pretty surprised by the end. It was just a good, interesting story that I felt really invested in.
I liked a lot of characters in this story. I've never been a huge fan of him before, but I really liked Harvey Dent in this book and thought his story and origin was very well-done and handled. I never knew anything about Calendar Man before (except for his Arkham City apperance), but I really liked his few appearances in this and really want to learn more about him. And Joker was just awesome, and I kept smiling whenever he would say or do something. There were other characters I liked, but those are just the 3 that stood out to me. And in addition to the characters, I thought the interactions all the characters had with each other were great and probably the best part of this book.
I liked the art style this book had (not the artwork, just the style). I'm not sure how to explain it, but there was a huge use of darkness and shadows in the book that looked really good and gave it a nice feeling. There's some pages in it where it basically turns to black and white, which again looked good and gave a nice feeling to it. I just liked the style the art had in this and it fit very well.
One minor thing though is that the book drops hints to what Harvey Dent becomes, but they aren't very subtle about it. They have him saying stuff like how he'll have to work twice as hard or that he doesn't get how Batman lives as two people. Not a real issue, but I just noticed it and felt like mentioning it.
My only real issue with this book was the artwork. As I said before, I liked the style the art had, but the art itself I wasn't a fan of. It's hard to explain why, but I just thought a lot of the faces, details, and sometimes bodies looked really bad. Just look at this panel with Riddler:
This wasn't always the case, as a few things in the book looks really good (partly due to the style the book had), but overall I wasn't a fan of the artwork and it dragged the book down to a 4/5 for me.
Despite that though, this was still a great book that I really liked. It's been a while since I've been into a comic this much, and I was beginning to think I was getting out of them, but this book proved I can and still love them. I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it, and even if you have read it I think it's worth reading again.