While there are other amazing works of writing and art in
the Batman universe, none is so complete and representative of Batman's multi-leveled
character than The Long Halloween.
Written by Jeph Loeb (Lost, Heroes, Smallville) and illustrated by Tim Sale (Heroes), The Long Halloween is a tightly woven, beautifully told and drawn noir, exposing so many facets of what makes the Dark Knight, in my opinion, the greatest comic book
Told over the course of a year, from Halloween to Halloween, what sets this story apart is not just one element but many. We have Batman as a detective, trying to catch a killer who is unafraid of striking even Gotham's most notorious criminals. A glimpse into Gotham's mob that preys on the destruction of the very city Bruce Wayne is trying to save. Cameos and key roles played by many of the key Batman villains. And probably most important, we have the incredible trio of Gotham's untouchable(?) heroes, in Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent, working to rescue their city no
matter the cost.
"I want to be clear on this, I will let you bend
the rules, but
we cannot break
them", Jim Gordon.
The work of Loeb and Sale is outstanding, as their writing and artwork take us on the trail of a killer alongside Batman, leaving clues and giving misdirection at each leg of the story. Loeb does an excellent job reimagining the relationships
between Batman and Dent and Gordon. The
trust and loyalty that is established, the ultimate and heart-breaking downfall
of Harvey's character, and the resolve of Gordon and Batman to continue their fight, is a great tragic telling. To me, Dent's demise is one of the most devastating events for Bruce Wayne's character, second perhaps only to his parents' deaths, and certainly more interesting than the death of Jason Todd. Be excited that Christopher Nolan hails The Dark Knight as a story not
about the Joker, but about Harvey Dent.
While the other excellent works of Batman lore such as The
Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, or The Dark Knight Returns, may delve deeper
into various aspects of who Batman is, this is the ultimate story for anyone
looking to get a swift shot of everything Batman.
...I believe in Harvey Dent