The Zeroth

Zeroth, before all the rest.

Posts Tagged ‘DC comics

Batman: The Long Halloween

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Wow, it has been ridiculously long since I posted something here, even then I did not post much before abandoning the blog. Well either way I am back, so lets get cracking.  Someone might actually care about my writing.

Batman: The Long Halloween is a Batman story with villains, mobsters and serial killers. A great detective store grounded in what feels to me a lot like classic episodes of The Batman animated series.

TLH begins like every mob story begins since the Godfather, a mob wedding. From there it tells us the story of Batman, Jim Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent trying to save Gotham from the grip of organize crime.  The catalyst of the story is the appearance of a serial killer, named Holiday who starts killing mobster, every month on a holiday staring with Halloween. The story unfolds throughout a year as everybody tries to get ahead of the killings.

This is an all out Batman story where all of the familiar villains show up at one point or another, where everybody is a suspect and at the end of the year Batman gets a new villain, and Gotham looses its grip of the Mob, but falls in the hands of the “freaks.”

The story also helps as an origins story for Two-Face. I remember Two-Face being my least favorite of the villains when watching the Batman cartoons. But I never realized how deep of a character it really was.

We have two normal guys: Bruce, and Dent who make an oath to themselves to try and save Gotham from the darkness. They both get caught up in the middle of a war, a war for the city, but also a war with themselves. They agree to bend rules, but never break them. But how far can you bend something before it snaps? Dent gets caught up in all, and when everything starts getting personal for him, he is to far in to be able to escape from falling into the “dark side.”

This could have happen to Bruce too, but the difference between this 2 normal guys is the Batman.  By having Batman, Bruce can let this side of the personality take most of the hits, but he balances it all because the real Bruce Wayne is still “clean.”  The Bruce that saw his parents murdered is there to prevent Batman from going to the other side, it prevents Bruce from crossing that line into villainy.

This also provides a reason as to the importance for a superhero to have a secret identity.  Whenever a heroic character turns to the other side it is when the danger of their hero life starts affecting their private life. Batman can deal with all of it because The Batman personality of Bruce is separated from the rest of his life. No matter how dark everything becomes, or how much he bends the rules in the end there is the comfort of going back to a semi-normal way of life where he is not always around, death, freaks and nightmares. Something Harvey Dent didn’t have here. He took his work home, his wife was endangered and in the end his life was threatened. The is no escaping that. It doesn’t get any more personal than that and the anger and the thirst of revenge turned Harvey Dent into one of the greatest Batman villains.

Unless you are crazy enough to not have seen The Dark Knight movie you will see how much from the comic is in the movie. The whole Harvey story in The Dark Knight, was my favorite part of the movie and I think it is because the character of Two-Face/Harvey Dent works so well to create a bridge, between the old-school gangster Gotham City into the new no-rules “freak-fest” it becomes. It helps to keep the story as grounded as it can possible be. It gives Batman a real, human, and complicated foe. And it is an example of the many things to come, of how easily a regular guy can turn into a super-villain.

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Written by geminiman

May 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Comics, Essay, Reviews

Tagged with , , , ,