Batman: The Long Halloween is among the most highly regarded limited series in the character’s history. Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale, it follows the Dark Knight at the beginning of his crime-fighting career as he attempts to discover the identity of an elusive serial killer. Over the course of the story, a gang war erupts between Gotham’s crime families, and we see the first appearances of many in Batman’s celebrated rogue’s gallery.
The series has been hugely influential since its 1996 publication, showing the hero in a (relatively) realistic, psychologically grounded, and adult-orientated situation. All of which makes sense why it was selected for the DC Universe Animated Original Movie treatment. This has seen popular Batman comics like The Dark Knight Returns, Under the Red Hood, Hush, The Killing Joke, Gotham by Gaslight, and Son of Batman adapted for animation – usually with good results.
But The Long Halloween is considered one of the best to date. Streaming audiences agree as both parts are exploding in popularity on HBO Max. I suspect part of the reason for this is the growing hype for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. After the incredible new trailer at DC FanDome people are craving more Dark Knight, and The Long Halloween has repeatedly been linked to the movie.
Both find Batman in a ‘Year 2’ type situation, and both seem to be aiming for an intense and grounded atmosphere. At one point, it was even rumored that The Batman would be a straight-up adaptation of The Long Halloween, though that appears to have been a misunderstanding based on the graphic novel being given to the cast to explain the tone of the movie.
Whatever the case it’s a great watch and HBO Max’s viewers are right to be tuning in.
Both parts of Batman: The Long Halloween are available on HBO Max and The Batman arrives in theaters on March 4, 2022.