Before DC Comics’ New 52’s Zero Year, there was Batman: The Long Halloween (published 1996-1997). Originally, DC Comics released a series of Batman mini-series that told of his early days as The Dark Knight that were sequels to the highly acclaimed Batman: Year One. This series written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale was included among those “early years” series and was later collected in Graphic Novel form.
The story takes place over a year where Gotham untouchable mobster Carmine Falcone gets a problem bigger than Batman starting on Halloween. That problem is the serial killer Holiday. He is systematically taking out the men in Carmine’s organization and is slowly undermining his underground network. Meanwhile, Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Captain James Gordon vow not to become like the mobster and only to do things by the rules (well, bend them a little bit.) They try to turn to Julian Day aka The Calendar Man to help with the Holiday Killer, but he refuses to give them anything concrete.
As Carmine Falcone’s crime empire is falling, the crazies are rising. The Joker, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Solomon Grundy, Riddler, and the mysterious Catwoman are all rising to power in Gotham City. Carmine Falcone decides to use this to his advantage by hiring a few of them to help him hold onto his empire and flush out the mysterious Holiday Killer. This leads to disagreements with other members of his family who think the new criminal element is to unpredictable.
Friendships are betrayed. Trusts are broken. Lives are lost. Gotham City will never be the same after The Long Halloween.
This is one of my favorite Batman Graphic Novels. It is ripe with action, suspense, mayhem, and a mixture of everything that makes Batman comics worth reading. Of all the graphic novels they should do an adaption of, this is the one!