Top positive review
Made to be a masterwork. Almost get it.
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2019
I always thought this story was made with a precise intention to be a masterwork. However in its detriment the effort is noticeable so it feels forced. The Long Halloween has a tone of tragedy but seems acted, not natural; the characters utter flamboyant discourses, they try so hard to sound epic and memorable.
All above considered the Long Halloween is nevertheless a must read in Batman stories. It succeed in being a continuation to Batman Year One. If you have ever read Year Two with that absurd Joe Chill jumping from roof to roof as a dark Mary Poppins then you better forget that story and read this one. Without giving spoilers this is the tragedy of a city turning from common evilness to straight monstrosity, contaminating its citizens and making something unseen. The first numbers feel quite professional but toward the 12th number it grows in emotional impact. The last page of the twelfth number is jaw dropping :O if the story had ended in that point I would asked not an special edition in black and white but one in sheets of pure gold and an adamantium statue of Loeb in the Roman pantheon. But sadly there is a thirteenth part and in that the story negates the punch of the previous issue. It makes sense, is inteliggent, and fit with the clues given along the story. But it diminishes the scale the story had until that moment and for that the four stars rating.
About the black and white edition I am a bit confused. I had read the first numbers at color and I feel those look better as I suspect Tim Sale draws thinking in the final color. It could be a subjective impression because the more I advance in the story the more fitting I feel the black and white. It could be that Tim Sale works more with silhouettes in the last numbers, which works better in black and white than in color; or it could be simply that as I have seen those numbers first in black and white I am mentally more used to them. Whatever the answer Tim Sale art is superb; both in black and white or with the original color is a pleasure to the eyes. For the Joker he is not realist as the teeth seems more fitted for a whale or a leprechaun. Inversely for Catwoman the drawing is quite realistic as she has the muscles of a woman that has to achieve powerful physical feats, for example, she has a thick muscular back. The question is how could Selina still being considered attractive because despite her elegant dresses and feminine posture she looks masculine (as realistically she should look) But these are not objections, just personal curiosities. Tim Sale is a great artist in comparison to our times where sometimes is used to just lazily trace 3D models in soulless and generic styles.