Comic Review: Batman The Long Halloween Special #1 (DC Comics)

It’s an eight-dollar return to the scene of long ago drama, this new special comic from DC: it’s Batman: The Long Halloween, “Nightmares”. And it’s dark, with patches of brightness. […]

It’s an eight-dollar return to the scene of long ago drama, this new special comic from DC: it’s Batman: The Long Halloween, “Nightmares”. And it’s dark, with patches of brightness.

Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale return to Gotham City, with the Calendar Man now teaming up with a bunch of nasty crooks. And Batman is kicking heads and taking names, looking for a reckoning day with the Calendar guy.

It’s an interesting, many-faceted, two-faced kind of story. Loads of Dick Tracy-style disfigured villains, pursued by a Batman who is quiet and angry. There are loads of support characters who hover in the background.

Colourist Brennan Wagner keeps a palette full of weird bright greens and oranges, never shying away from lurid 1940s tones. It’s fun to read, part theatrical self-parody, part straightforward thriller.

Letterer Richard Starkings’ captions are rendered in upper and lower case, making for smaller letters and slower reading. The dialogue font has a retro look, resembling the olden days of yore hand-lettered balloons.

Tim Sale’s drawings also harken back to less formal days, those Golden Age days when shadows covered a lot of the background, where exaggerated faces and simple panel compositions were more than enough to entertain. And isn’t that what we actually long for at Halloween?

DC Comics, Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1, $7.99 for 49 pages of content. Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!