Batman: The Long Halloween
|The Long Halloween|
|Written by||Jeph Loeb|
|Art by||Tim Sale|
|Number of Issues||13|
Batman: The Long Halloween is a 13-issue comic book created by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It was originally published back in 1996 by DC Comics. The story would rather be re-released as a graphic novel, containing all of the issues in one book.
The story tells the tale of a killer nicknamed "Holiday" who murders various individuals on the holidays each month. Batman is tasked with tracking him down, but he receives help from Harvey Dent and James Gordon. A number of other major characters are included as well, such as Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and The Joker.
The origin of Two-Face is also revealed in this story.
 Issue #1 - Crime
Carmine Falcone is hosting the wedding for his nephew, Johnny Viti. Bruce Wayne is there, and Falcone attempts to persuade him to let the Gotham City Bank do business with his family. Bruce declines, and while leaving, he runs into Selina Kyle at the reception. The two dance before heading off to the parking garage, where they find soon to be District Attorney Harvey Dent on the ground injured. He was attacked by Falcone's men after snooping around for information.
Batman later finds Catwoman breaking into the Falcone residence, attempting to steal diamonds. They are spotted by some goons, but the two are able to escape. Carmine Falcone puts a $1 million on their heads. Batman heads to meet Dent and Captain Gordon at the GCPD. The three decide to join together to bring Falcone down. Batman then takes off but leaves a Ledger he took from Falcone's safe, an incriminating piece of evidence.
Batman intimidates Gotham City Bank President Richard Daniel, insisting they do not do business with Falcone. The next day, Daniel steps down from his position. Angered over this, Carmine Falcone orders his nephew Johnny Viti back from his honeymoon. Viti then assassinates Daniel. Then, on Halloween day, Johnny is shot twice by an unknown murderer, leaving a pumpkin at the scene of the crime. Later that night while discussing the killings, Harvey and Batman get a tip from Catwoman about where Falcone has hidden his money. They head off to the warehouse and burn the stacks of cash.
Harvey heads home and greets his wife, Gilda. Harvey notices a package they received earlier in the day. Before having a chance to open it, the package blows up, setting their home ablaze in flames.
 Issue #2 - Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving day, Jim Gordon and Batman are interrogating a man named Mickey Sullivan. He is responsible for creating the bomb that went off in Dent's home. Batman capture him by chasing Mickey down into the Gotham City sewers, where Batman was confronted by Solomon Grundy. The two had a little skirmish before Batman was able to get Mickey out of there. Mickey, along with his gang, all confessed to being involved in the attack. Batman believed that Carmine Falcone was paying them off to take the fall.
It is later revealed that Harvey Dent survived the explosion. He disguised himself as Mickey in an attempt to gain information from his cellmates, but with no success. Dent then goes to spend the night with his wife who is hospitalized after suffering serious injuries. Meanwhile, Carla Viti gets angry at Falcone over her sons death, but he Carmine insists things are being taken care of.
Just as Mickey and his family and friends are sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner, someone breaks into their room and shoots them all dead with a pistol.
 Issue #3 - Christmas
The individual responsible for the recent killings has been nicknamed "Holiday" due to the Halloween and Thanksgiving murders. It is now Christmas Eve and The Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum. He just robbed a family of all of their Christmas presents and took off. Batman and Gordon go to speak to Calendar Man in Arkham to see if he can help them with their investigation, but he is no help.
Meanwhile, Sal Maroni is dining with a friend of his when the man starts laughing hysterically before falling over into his food. Joker gave him a dose of his laughing gas, and he now holds Maroni at gunpoint, demanding to know the identity of Holiday. Later, Maroni's men are dumping their friend's dead body when Batman shows up. He knocks the two men out and then grabs Maroni, who tells Batman that Joker came looking for Holiday.
Harvey Dent surprises his wheelchair-bound wife Gilda with a present, a brand new house. After getting inside, Gilda heads upstairs after Dent notices Joker in their livingroom. Harvey punches him twice, but Joker gets the upper-hand and knocks him down. Joker then tells Dent that rumors are he is in fact Holiday, and then Joker laughs and leaves. Joker then heads to the penthouse of Carmine Falcone and demands that he find Holiday or he will start killing everyone in the city. After the Joker leaves, one of Falcone's bodyguards is gunned down by the mysterious killer, who leaves a snowglobe near the dead body.
 Issue #4 - New Year's Eve
The Joker has used his laughing gas on a flight crew and has hijacked a plane. He intends to release his gas over Gotham Square just as the clock strikes midnight to signal the new year. Batman finds out about Joker's plan and uses his grappling hook to hop aboard the plane, engaging Joker in a mid-air fight.
Meanwhile, Harvey Dent is working late when one of his co-workers tells him that he found some information about a connection between Carmine Falcone and Bruce Wayne. At this time, Falcone is hosting a party on his yacht, where Sal Maroni is also attending. Falcone complains to Maroni about how only people in his circle are getting killed by Holiday, hinting that he believes Sal might be involved. Falcone's sister, Carla, then walks out onto the ship deck just as Alberto Falcone (Carmine's son) is shot and killed by Holiday.
Jim and Barbara Gordon are awaiting Harvey when he arrives home as invited guests by his wife. Obviously bothered by something, Gordon asks Dent what is wrong, and he responds by saying that they need to discuss Bruce Wayne. High above the city, Batman is able to knock the Joker out cold after landing a flury of blows to the head. He picks up Joker and gets him out of the plane just as it crashes into the harbor, saving the citizens of Gotham from a possible disaster.
 Issue #5 - Valentine's Day
It is February 14th, and Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon show up at Wayne Manor to speak with Bruce Wayne. Alfred informs then that Bruce might not be back until late, so the two men leave. Meanwhile, Carmine Falcone is at his son's grave when Batman shows up. He asks Falcone if all of his death is worth it, and after he pulls a gun on Batman, Catwoman swoops in to knock it away. Later in the evening, Bruce and Selina Kyle are out on a date together when a flower peddler asks if they would like a rose. Grabbing the rose, Bruce cuts his finger, dripping blood onto the floor. The peddler smiles slowly before walking away.
At Maroni's restaurant, Sal is handing a stack of cash to a man named Vernon, who is working as a mole within the District Attorney's office. Vernon tells Sal that Dent has targeted him in the Maroni family. Outside of the restaurant, a group of men working as Maroni's bodyguards are gunned down by Holiday, leaving a box of heart-shaped candy.
Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent both arrive at their homes, greeting their wives with a box of candy and a kiss. At Wayne Manor, Bruce enters and almost ignores Alfred as he walks past him. Out on the balcony, he walks towards the peddler from earlier in the night, now revealed to be Poison Ivy. The two embrace each other in a hug.
 Issue #6 - St Patrick's Day
It is early March and a large individual is being released from the Gotham Penitentiary on early parole. They get into a limo and head over to the Falcone residence. The person is revealed to be Sofia Gigante, Carmine's daughter. He tells her that he needs her by his side during this time. Meanwhile, over at the Gotham City Bank, Bruce Wayne is having a board meeting where he is declaring he now wishes for the bank to do business with the Falcone's and their accounts. After leaving the meeting, Bruce ignores Selina Kyle and gets into a limo, where Poison Ivy is waiting.
At the GCPD, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent are discussing the Falcone case. Dent mentions how Maroni has been initiating recent attack against Falcone and his crew, believing that he is funding the "Holiday" killer. Dent believes they should focus their attention on Bruce Wayne, but Gordon insists that Maroni is the weak link in this investigation and that they should bring him down first. At this time, Carla Viti is greeted by Sofia, who assures her aunt that she will take care of Falcone on St Patrick's Day. Carla is indifferent, but she is pleased that Carmine has dealt with their financial issues.
Bruce Wayne is having dinner with Poison Ivy at Wayne Manor when Catwoman busts in and attacks Ivy. Bruce grabs hold of Catwoman, urging her to stop. She then turns around and swipes at Bruce, revealing plants wrapped over his body. She tears them away, freeing Bruce from Ivy's mind control. The following morning, on St Patrick's Day, Holiday guns down a number of Maroni's men at one of his safehouses. Sofia pulls up late in her car moments later, with angry Sal Maroni peering down from above.
Catwoman calls Batman using the Bat-Signal, and he uses this opportunity to thank her for saving him from Poison Ivy. He must fix the mistakes he has made, but Batman reaizes it could have been worse. Around the same time, Carmine Falcone is in his office, handing over a sum of cash to Poison Ivy as a "Thank you" for a job well done.
 Issue #7 - April Fool's Day
It is April Fool's Day in Gotham City as Batman sits in the batcave with the Holiday murder clues in front of him, trying to figure out who the individual is. Meanwhile, The Riddler is with Carmine Falcone in his penthouse trying to solve the same mystery. Riddler's first guess is Catwoman, as she broke into Falcone's safe and gained access to records on everyone in Carmine's family. She also had a bounty placed on her head, so that might have given her incentive to kill. The gun used in the murders, a .22 pistol, is also a very lightweight gun, perfect for a woman.
Batman believes that Sal Maroni could be Holiday. Since he is Falcone's main rival for control of the city, taking out his oppositions family and friends would be a powerful move. On the other end, the Riddler throws out Carla Viti's name as a suspect. She could have killed her own son as a means of hiding herself from blame, and then putting a bullet through Alberto could have been seen as an "eye for an eye" with her brother, Carmine.
Alfred then mentions to Batman that he is forgetting about an obvious suspect. Batman believes Alfred is referring to Calendar Man, but his loyal butler was thinking of Harvey Dent. A lot of clues lead back to the District Attorney, but Batman hopes it isn't true. Meanwhile, at Dent's office, Harvey and Jim Gordon decide on going through with arresting Bruce Wayne for his involvement with the Falcone family.
Carmine asks he Riddler who he believes the Holiday killer truly is, and he responds with Carmine himself. Laughing at this, Falcone tells Sofia to throw the Riddler out the side exit. After doing so, Riddler is confronted by Holiday, who fires a number of bullets at him. All of the shots miss, leaving a frightened Riddler to ask "When does a killer not kill?"
 Issue #8 - Mother's Day
Batman is at Arkham Asylum interrogating Julian Day (Calendar Man), a man who obsesses over days of the year, about the recent Holiday murders. Julian teases him, remembering how Batman said he would catch the killer by February when it is now May. Batman asks him why Holiday did not kill on April Fool's Day, and Julian suggests that maybe the day motivated the killer to pull a bit of deception. Batman then inquires on the topic of Harvey Dent, but Julian dodges the question without answering. He then tells Batman that he will catch Holiday if released from Arkham, but Batman refuses.
Suddenly, a guard staggers up to Batman, mumbling about an inmate who has escaped from higher level security. Rushing to the commotion, Batman finds the cell of Jonathan Crane (The Scarecrow) empty as he has escaped. A long piece of string hangs from the window, which he must have used to escape. Chasing after him, Batman punches the Scarecrow off of the horse he is riding. He is revealed to be a decoy though, as the straw falls apart, releasing fear toxin into the air.
Meanwhile, Sofia Gigante is attempting to track down Holiday herself. Threatening a man by hanging him over a bridge, she insists on getting information from him. The man tells her that someone called "The Gunsmith" makes a custom made .22 pistol every month, and that he is located in Chong's Tea House. Dropping the man to his death, Sofia heads to the tea house. However, once there, she finds the gun maker already dead with a box of chocolates at his side. Holiday got there before here.
Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent arrive at Wayne Manor and ask Alfred if they can speak to Bruce Wayne, but the butler says his master is not available, especially on such an emotional day. Gordon later encounters Bruce in Crime Alley, the place where his parents were gunned down. Under the nasty effects of the fear toxin, Bruce envisions Gordon as his parent's killer. He takes off scared, jumping onto a bus as he attempts to escape. Eventually making his way into a cemetery, Bruce runs and grabs hold of his mother's gravestone, shedding many tears. Gordon and other officers then arrest Bruce.
 Issue #9 - Father's Day
While sitting in a jail cell, Bruce Wayne recalls a moment from his childhood when his father, Thomas Wayne, assisted in removing bullet casings from the chest Carmine Falcone. Vincent Falcone had brought him to Wayne Manor, knowing that Thomas was a doctor. Luigi Maroni had put a hit out on Carmine. However, Thomas was able to save his life, rejecting compensation for the duty. Meanwhile, back in the present day, Alfred is on the witness stand during Bruce’s trial. Alfred denies a relationship between Carmine and Bruce, and when asked by District Attorney Harvey Dent why Thomas Wayne didn’t turn in Luigi Maroni, Alfred insists that his crime family might have had influence over the police and DA’s office, and that it could still be going on today.
Sal Maroni goes to visit his father, Luigi, to ask him advice on how to deal with the Holiday killer. While speaking, Holiday appears at the front gate, gunning down and killing Luigi. He then takes off as Sal holds his dead father, crying openly. Across town, Sofia Gigante meets with her father, Carmine, letting him know that Bruce Wayne was acquitted of all charges. She then offers him a tie as a Father’s Day present, but he brushes her away, saying he needs to take care of some business. Catwoman spies on all of this from an adjacent rooftop.
At the Gordon household, Jim notices a present for him held by his sleeping son. It is a tie that he puts on immediately. Similarly, Gilda Dent finds her husband, Harvey, sitting alone in the basement. He is holding a two-headed coin, a present from his father. He is still visibly upset over the outcome of the trial. Meanwhile, in Gotham Central Park, Scarecrow is creating some sort of concoction in a giant pot as the Mad Hatter approaches from behind. The two appear to be in an alliance as Carmine Falcone shows up, telling them that he got them out of Arkham Asylum for a reason, and that is to do a job at the Gotham City Bank.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce wonders how things might have been different if Thomas had let Falcone die. He then weeps in Alfred’s arms over missing his father. At this time, Harvey Dent is dragged back to his office by his assistant, only to find Sal Maroni covered in blood, suggesting the two help each other to bring down a common enemy in Falcone.
 Issue #10 - Independence Day
The Gotham City Coroner is sitting at the docks watching the fireworks when he is killed by Holiday. At Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are spending the night together. She tries to convince him to leave town with her, but their moment is interrupted by the Bat-Signal. Batman shows up on top of the GCPD, finding Harvey Dent there. He tells Batman that he was wrong for going after Bruce Wayne, adding that after Maroni brings down Falcone, he’ll take a vacation. Suddenly James Gordon shows up, telling them that Holiday has struck again.
Meanwhile, at the Gotham City jail, Harvey’s assistant, Vernon, lets Sal know that he has a visitor. It’s Sofia Gigante, who insists on knowing why Sal is intending on sending Carmine to prison when she went to prison for him a number of years ago. The two then embrace in a kiss, which is followed by Sofia suggesting they take out Harvey Dent, as it would solve all of their problems. Across town at the Gordon residence, Barbara and Gilda are discussing their reasons for staying in Gotham amidst the trouble. Barbara insists they are there because of Jim’s job, and Gilda wonders if there will ever be an end to the Roman case that has turned her husband into another man.
At the docks, Batman and Gordon are discussing the coroner’s death, with Jim wondering why Holiday killed a random citizen when all of the other murders have been related to Falcone in some way. Fireworks suddenly go off in the air, after they were supposed to be done for the night. Batman goes to investigate and finds Scarecrow and the Mad Hatter attempting to rob the Gotham Bank after blowing open a wall with an explosive that contained Scarecrow’s fear toxin, knocking out the security officers. Batman knees Scarecrow in the ribs, breaking them. Mad Hatter is then about to shoot Batman when Catwoman knocks him to the ground. She had been keeping tabs on Batman throughout the night. She suggests the two of them run off together, but Batman insists that they must deal with Falcone.
 Issue #11 - Roman Holiday
It is August 2nd as Harvey Dent prepares to head to court for Sal Maroni's testimony against Carmine Falcone. While at home, Harvey is stopped by his wife, Gilda, who asks him about a gun she found in the basement. She mentions it resembles the gun used by Holiday, but Harvey insists it's just evidence he brought home. Meanwhile, across town, Batman is able to locate the hideout of theRiddler in the back of an old tavern. Batman asks him about his connection to Holiday since he was the only victim left alive, and Riddler says that he was only asked by Falcone who the killer really was, but that Falcone wasn't happy with his answers. This leads Batman to believe that Falcone left the Riddler alive so he could spread the word about him trying to find Holiday.
At the Falcone resident, Carla Viti confronts Carmine about his alliance with all the various criminals he has hired lately. Soon afterwards, Sofia interrupts up them to excuse Carmine from the meeting. She leads him to a surprise birthday party in another room. Around the same time, Sal Maroni is patted down by Jim Gordon before his transfer. While being escorted into the courthouse, Maroni is met by Vernon, Dent's assistant, and his offered some medication for his ulcer. During the trial, Maroni admits to killing members of the Gazzo family, another mob group. When Dent asks him if they got the orders for the hit from Carmine Falcone, Maroni starts having a coughing fit before reaching into his jacket. Instead of pulling out a bottle of medicine, its an acidic substance. He tosses it in Dent's face, sending the District Attorney to the ground, screaming in agony.
With Gilda waiting in the hospital waiting area for an update on her husband, the doctor comes out to tell her that Harvey has escaped from the building after an orderly was found dead. Meanwhile, as Carla Viti is examining files of the victims from the Holiday killings, she is killed by Holiday himself.
 Issue #12 - Labor Day
It is Labor Day in Gotham City as a month has passed since Harvey Dent vanished from his hospital room. He has made his way into the sewers, where he encounters Solomon Grundy. At first, Grundy attacks Dent, but he soon calms down after Dent begins reciting the nursery rhyme from which Grundy received his name. Meanwhile, atop the GCPD building, Batman and Jim Gordon discuss evidence pointing to Dent being Holiday. Batman still believes that Dent is innocent, but Gordon demands evidence to change his mind. Batman then heads off to find Dent in the city.
Batman confronts Carmine Falcone at his penthouse, demanding to know where Dent is. Falcone accuses Batman of standing by on the sidelines while the Holiday killer took out everyone close to him. Batman leaves the residence before Sofia Gigante shows up in the room. Across the street, Catwoman is spying on the meeting. Batman sneaks up behind her, confronting Catwoman about why she is always around when Falcone is. She dances her way around his question before fleeing away. Afterwards, Batman goes to the Dent household and speaks with Gilda. He asks her if she knows why Dent had the gun in his possession, but she is clueless. Gilda then pleads with Batman to find her husband.
Batman heads to Arkham Asylum to speak with Julian Day. Batman wants his help in finding Dent, but Day says since Labor Day is nearly over, that there is only one place the killer could be. Batman then calls Gordon and tells him that Sal Maroni is the most likely target. Accompanied by two guards, Gordon transfers Maroni to a new location. On their way, Holiday appears and kills Maroni, along with the two guards. Gordon himself is then held at gunpoint by the killer, now revealed to be Alberto Falcone.
 Issue #13 - Punishment
Moments after Maroni's death at the hands of Alberto Falcone, one of the downed guards gets up and leaps towards Falcone. It is revealed to be Batman, who was wearing a kevlar vest to protect himself. He punches Falcone, knocking him to the ground. Batman then contemplates harming him even more, but he eventually leaves Falcone to Gordon. A few days later, Carmine Falcone goes to visit his son in jail. While there, he tells Alberto that he can get him out if he pleads guilty to only killing Maroni. Alberto takes offense to his father's words, commenting on how he has excluded himself from his life for so many years. Alberto then tells Carmine that Gotham City now belongs to the freaks (like himself), and not mob families anymore. Soon afterwards, Gordon comments on how Alberto will most likely be sentenced to death for the crimes.
On Halloween night, Jim and Barbara Gordon go to visit Gilda Dent at her home. She wonders if Harvey is even alive anymore, constantly wishing he would return soon. Meanwhile, at Arkham Asylum, a shadowy figure has released a number of the higher level inmates. He then walks over the cell of Julian Day and flips a coin, deciding to leave him there. Across town, Carmine is with Sofia as he expresses his anger towards Alberto refusing his offer. Suddenly, the lights in his penthouse go out as his bodyguards are all taken out. The two enter a nearby room to find it full of the Arkham inmates, including Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, The Joker, Penguin, and The Mad Hatter. Catwoman is also with them, and the group is being led by Harvey Dent, now calling himself Two-Face.
Just as Harvey is about to kill Carmine, Batman throws a flash grenade into the room and swoops in, taking down the criminals one by one. Harvey then grabs Carmine and holds him at gunpoint. Batman is shocked to find his former friend in such a state as he pleads with him to let Carmine go. Then Dent flips a coin, and it lands on the scratched out side. He then shoots Carmine twice from point-blank range, killing him. Sofia rushes to avenge her brother's death, but Catwoman attempts to stop her. The two crash through the penthouse window as Catwoman grabs onto the ledge. Her grip on Sofia loosens though as she falls to the streets below.
As Batman tries to bring Harvey back down to earth by reminding him of Gilda, he is knocked unconscious as Harvey hits him with his gun. He then goes back to his old office, finding his assistant, Vernon. Calling him out for his betrayal, Harvey flips his coin once more, which leads to him killing Vernon. Batman arrives on the scene too late, but he eventually heads to the GCPD building where he finds Dent on the roof. Gordon soon arrives as well, and Dent says that the long halloween is finally over with Carmine Falcone dead. Harvey then offers himself up to Gordon so he can be taken in as a prisoner, but he leaves the two of them with one last comment; That there were TWO Holiday killers.
Later on, while discussing what Harvey meant by his final comment, Batman tells Gordon that since Dent killed Carmine Falcone on Halloween, that he was the second killer. Gordon then goes home to be with his wife and child, promising to keep the city safe from criminals. Batman sits atop a perch in Gotham, promising the same thing. At the Dent residence, Gilda is busy packing up boxes so she can move out of the city. Going down into the basement, she describes aloud to herself how she read Harvey’s case files about the removal of the serial numbers of guns and how baby bottle nipples could be used as silencers. She then removes a .22 pistol from a box and drops it into the flames of the heater, along with a familiar-looking hat and coat. She then claims that she took it upon herself to start the Holiday killings, in an attempt to end the Roman’s hold on Gotham and thus lighten Harvey’s caseload so that they could have a child. Her belief is that Harvey took up the killings on New Year’s Eve and that Alberto is lying to the police with his confession. She also says that she knows Harvey will eventually be alright and that the two of them will reconcile.
 Critical Reception
The Long Halloween was well received by fans and reviewers alike. IGN praised the graphic novel for "tight, engrossing and intelligent writing that never betrays that characters." Along those lines, the website praised it for the great story, bestowing much of the congratulations on Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb.
The Hachiko was also very pleased with the graphic novel, scoring it a 5 out of 5. "Batman: The Long Halloween is outstanding in terms of its narrative tone, as it manages to perfectly mix the feeling of a gritty pulp noire with the introspection and philosophical nature that defines the essence of Batman and his pursuit of justice."