Comics Features

6 Ways The Long Halloween Personifies Batman the Detective

It’s the 20th anniversary of a seminal Batman work called Batman: The Long Halloween. The story personifies Batman the Detective for reasons that will follow in this list-article. The Long Halloween is set early in Batman’s career (but not too early so that most of his Rogues’ Gallery exist to plague the city). It covers a year’s worth of holidays, where a murder takes place each one. It is also the origin story for Batman villain, Two-Face, the former DA Harvey Dent. Equal parts mystery and tragedy, The Long Halloween is an important Batman story. 

6. Batman Working With Law and Order

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These days Batman does not work with the authorities. He barely works well with the Justice League and his own family anymore because DC upped Batman’s broody and jerk tendencies to eleven. The Long Halloween establishes the friendship of Batman with Commissioner Gordon and DA Harvey Dent. They believe in changing Gotham for the better. Batman actively helps them with cases.

5. The Gangs of Gotham

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The mob scene in Gotham was intense prior to the influx of supervillains like the Joker, Penguin and Poison Ivy.  The Falcone family runs the Roman Dynasty with other families like the Maroni and the Sullivan vying for power in Gotham. The mob controlled city hall, the drug trade, gambling and other activities before and shortly after the arrival of Batman. The fact was that the trio of Batman, the Commissioner, and the DA were trying to take down the mob of Gotham was important. Investigative mob cases tend to be more realistic and Batman really has to work to put them behind bars because these villains don’t wear costumes or masks.

4. Origins

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Batman was always a dark, broody figure, but he was always first the detective. The detective is the core of Batman’s character. His major villain Ra’s Al Ghul always refers to Batman as ‘The Detective.’ In the original Bob Kane written Batman stories, Batman was a figure of the night who solved crimes that the police couldn’t.

3. Multiple Suspects

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Batman had to investigate multiple suspects. He actually had to work to get his answer. The best part about The Long Halloween was that Batman didn’t actually get all the murderers known as Holiday. There were three characters—Falcone’s son and Harvey Dent and his wife—that were the murderer known as Holiday.

2. Mystery

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The mystery of how and why the murders were taking place and why Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery were getting involved (because they were all at the beginning of their careers and not yet true super-villains terrorising Gotham) was fun.  A good mystery is lacking many new Batman stories, just saying.

1. Brains Over Brawn

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Batman’s fighting skills and gadgets are more the focus than his actual brains. It’s probably why the newest version of Batman didn’t sit well with me because Batman got played by Lex Luthor’s manipulations. Batman is one of the smartest characters in the DC Universe. He’s the World’s Greatest Detective.

Batman: The Long Halloween is a seminal Batman work that should be praised for its great storytelling and for its portrayal of Batman, Harvey Dent and other characters. Batman the Detective shown through in his story.

What did you think about Batman: The Long Halloween? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.

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