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View Full Version : So I read the Long Haloween This Weekend and I'm not gonna use spoiler tags.


BEAT
07-30-2012, 07:52 AM
Because seriously the book is from 1997 I mean really.

Anyways right! It's really good but I have no goddamn Idea who killed who and when. The ending claims that gilda did the first few murders, but she was pretty goddamn well hospitalized right after that, so Harvey or Alberto must have done the second. The book really beats you about the head that Harvey totally did the one on new years (YOUR HAIR IS WET) but it's a red herring because Nobody died on that day, Alberto just faked his death and after that every single shooting is a toss up.

Basically this is confusing as hell.

Octopus Prime
07-30-2012, 08:07 AM
And The Joker... The Joker needs dental work. Or else he is a beaver, and hasn't had a chance to gnaw on any trees lately.

Zef
07-30-2012, 08:46 AM
I would've been happy if it had always been Harvey and Alberto. Gilda's reveal at the very end came way the hell out of left field and broke the cardinal rule of any good mystery (that the audience should be able to deduce it as well by following the clues in the plot.) It's a "gotcha!" all right, but it's not satisfying and it destroys the drama of sweeping an innocent into the mess (as in, I was feeling really sorry for her, since she loved Harvey so much, but when it turned out she was crazy then all my sympathy evaporated.) It also retroactively hurts the scene where Gordon berates Batman for not sharing his suspicions about Harvey.

And as I said elsewhere, the most bizarre thing about the TPB is that a clue comes up in, say, January, and it's a hot clue and everyone is "Let's do something about this smoking-gun clue!" but they don't even bring it up again until April. I suppose it worked on the monthlies, but when it's collected like this, the timeline just makes everything weird.

That said, I loved it because of its atmosphere, its superb characterization, and a very nice look into what Batman's crusade is like when he faces the mob instead of the mentally unstable. The non-Joker artwork is also phenomenal. Two-Face breaking everyone but Calendar Man out because of the flip of the coin made me laugh.

Rosencrantz
07-30-2012, 08:50 AM
The problem I had with there being more than one killer was how it conveniently worked out so only one killer did something each month. But it's been several years since I read it, so maybe that was explained and I forgot?

The Raider Dr. Jones
07-30-2012, 08:54 AM
I suppose it worked on the monthlies, but when it's collected like this, the timeline just makes everything weird.

Yeah, I was following comics back when this originally came out, and I recall the whole thing was quite the hot topic of speculation (by the standards of the time, anyway, which meant there was a fair amount of chatter on Usenet). Kind of prefigured the massive speculation over whodunit in Identity Crisis.

So far as I have ever been able to tell, it's not possible to sort out exactly who did which killing. Jeph Loeb notably refuses to explain how they all fit together.

Parts of the book don't work so well for me because I've read too many comics, and it becomes very easy to tell when both Loeb and Sale are biting huge, huge chunks of their style from Frank Miller. Still a pretty good yarn, and as good an origin for Two-Face as I can recall.

Adam
07-30-2012, 10:20 AM
Yeah, it's kind of a shit mystery, but still somehow a good story.

The Raider Dr. Jones
07-30-2012, 12:29 PM
Good way of putting it. The whodunit plot is easily the least interesting part of the book. But I liked all the character study and I liked the arc of Gotham City's transition from pedestrian Mafia crime to weirdo supervillain crime.

Did any of y'all read the sequel, Dark Victory? Thumbs up/down?

kaisel
07-30-2012, 01:00 PM
Good way of putting it. The whodunit plot is easily the least interesting part of the book. But I liked all the character study and I liked the arc of Gotham City's transition from pedestrian Mafia crime to weirdo supervillain crime.

Did any of y'all read the sequel, Dark Victory? Thumbs up/down?

I enjoyed it and would probably recommend it. It's a bit more comic-booky compared to Long Halloween and doesn't have quite the same atmosphere because of it, but overall I felt it was good.

Grignr
07-30-2012, 03:20 PM
I really liked the beginner-Batman-fights-mobsters stories of both of them.

But yeah, it's a bit of a head-scratcher how the killers coordinated their schedule so well.

A certain video game with the initials "P" and "4" has a similar problem (although it does at least attempt to make it plausible) but killers must be good with coordinating work schedules or something.

Guy
07-30-2012, 03:52 PM
Good way of putting it. The whodunit plot is easily the least interesting part of the book. But I liked all the character study and I liked the arc of Gotham City's transition from pedestrian Mafia crime to weirdo supervillain crime.

This is part of why I think Dark Knight is basically a better version of Long Halloween. It also manages to do the opposite of what a lot of comic adaptations do where they recreate iconic scenes and images that fans will recognize, but divorced from the context that made them meaningful originally - The Joker burning the pile of money is clearly meant to be a reference to the scene where Batman and Dent burn Falcone's cash stockpiles, but the context of the Joker scene and what the act represents is way cooler.

Rosencrantz
07-30-2012, 03:59 PM
This is part of why I think Dark Knight is basically a better version of Long Halloween. It also manages to do the opposite of what a lot of comic adaptations do where they recreate iconic scenes and images that fans will recognize, but divorced from the context that made them meaningful originally - The Joker burning the pile of money is clearly meant to be a reference to the scene where Batman and Dent burn Falcone's cash stockpiles, but the context of the Joker scene and what the act represents is way cooler.

That brings me to a gripe I had with The Dark Knight Rises: Batman Begins and TDK went down the same route as Long Halloween in terms of phasing out the gangsters and introducing the insane supervillains, but then at the start of TDKR you find out that nothing important has been going on since The Joker was caught eight years ago. Ah, well.

Evil Dead Junkie
07-30-2012, 08:39 PM
Did any of y'all read the sequel, Dark Victory? Thumbs up/down?

It's basically the same thing but less so. If Long Halloween is a B+ it's a B-.

However, it does have my single favorite splash panel in a superhero comic ever.

Pheeel
07-31-2012, 11:37 AM
I haven't read any of Loeb's recent stuff, so I don't know if this is still the case, but the problem I always had with him was his chronic inability to structure a story so that it actually made sense. It always seemed with everything I read of his (Hush, Long Halloween, Batman/Superman etc) was that he would start a story really well, but it would always turn into a total clusterfuck by the end. I mean, I know Hush was basically just an excuse to get Jim Lee to draw the entirety of Batman's rogues gallery, but even by that token it's a huge mess.

teekun
07-31-2012, 05:50 PM
I haven't read any of Loeb's recent stuff, so I don't know if this is still the case, but the problem I always had with him was his chronic inability to structure a story so that it actually made sense.

It's still the case. He's a terrible writer despite his popularity. His modern comics are basically just a series of "OH HEY WOULDNT IT BE AWESOME IF..." events strung together.

Guy
07-31-2012, 08:59 PM
Haha, speaking of Loeb I'm finally getting around to reading Ed Brubaker's run of Detective Comics. The first story, "Dead Reckoning" is about a conspiracy involving all of Batman's rogues gallery orchestrated by a dude with bandages covering his face, and it went on at the same time Hush was happening in Batman. The difference is that Dead Reckoning kicks ass because Ed Brubaker.

blinkpen
08-02-2012, 01:26 PM
I know I read this long ago and I don't remember a god damned thing about it other than that The Dark Knight's plot reminded me of it.