I began Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale s Batman trilogy in 2008 when I grabbed Batman The Long Halloween After 4 years, it still remains my favorite Batman graphic novel It s follow up I think not really sure of the order , Batman Dark Victory, was an excellent sequel For whatever reason, I let four years go by without picking up the final book in the series, Haunted Knight After reading this last night, I m kicking myself for waiting so long.
Contained within Haunted Knight are 3 separate stories that all take place around Halloween.
Fears centers around Scarecrow and his attempt to frighten Batman down to his core While the caped crusader comes off as a bit amateurish this time around, it does bring to light his buried quest to find happiness This desire clouds his judgement when as Bruce Wayne, a love interest enters his life.
Scarecrow has always been one of my favorite Batman villains Loeb establishes that he isn t to be taken lightly, that he s just as much a threat as anyone else in the rouges gallery of Gotham.
Madness gives us a story involving The Mad Hatter as he forces Batman to confront his unresolved issues surrounding his parents death Man oh man, does Batman let his rage shine through in this one Not only is he royally pissed off at Jervis Tetch but he also has to rescue Commissior Gordon s daughter after she is taken captive His final fight scene with Hatter is particularly brutal and managed to get an audible Holy Shit out of me.
The third and final story, Ghosts, brings us Batman s own version of the Dicken s classic, A Christmas Carol Instead of taking place during the holiday season, Batman is visited by 3 ghosts on Halloween.
While I wasn t crazy about this one supposedly Batman No l has done it better , I did like the final ghost reveal.
A fitting final chapter of the Loeb Sale Halloween trilogy, Haunted Knight delivers excellent story telling combined with jaw dropping art that establishes this duo as one of the all time great Batman teams.
Collecting three Halloween specials that feature a very reflective Batman The first story, Fears, is sort of a Scarecrow story, but is really about Batman s memory of his father The second, Madness is fittingly about his relationship with his mother Hands down my favorite of the collection The last panel Bruce reading Alice in Wonderland on a rainy day will probably remain one of my favorite memories of Bruce Wayne The last story, Ghosts, is a Christmas Carol with Batvillains as the ghosts It just didn t work for me I ll be honest, I do have a bias If it were up to me, I d outlaw all new versions of A Christmas Carol and It s a Wonderful Life That said, something about it just wasn t working The ending felt particularly false I think Batman just isn t cut out for A Christmas Carol.
5 starsI am not sure that I know why but Batman Haunted Knight reminded me of Batman the Animated Series So even if the story was rubbish I would still love it This was part of Loeb Sale s supposed Halloween trilogy, though I don t know what the hell the order is This volume doesn t really fit with the other two Their Batman is usually a serious detective and this one makes him seem pretty novice This Batman doesn t seem to know if he s going for 1950s cheesy pulp Batman, 1980s pissed off revamp Batman or 1990s balanced in every way Batman.
The art and storyline of these three stories Fears, Madness, Ghosts would ve made it pioneering if written a few decades ago when comic book writers were still trying to figure out the depths of Batman But, here, it just seems like all the villains are cliches and everything Batman says to himself is almost a parody of Batman my parents died, my father s house, no real me, etc However, the last story is slightly intriguing, as it shows the beginning of The Wayne Foundation But it s still one long variation of Charles Dickens s A Christmas Carol.
It gets two stars, but not in a disappointed way It s like, you guys were so close to something, but it just didn t work out Paaaat on the baaaaaaaack.
5My second Jeph Loeb Tim sale book about Batman, hmmmmm what do we have here Oh 3 short stories about batsie Cool.
Batman haunted knight haunted knight is a collection of 3 short stories you could say, one being about scarecrow, one being about mad hatter and commissioner Gordon and the last being about penguin and batman finding out how in the future when he dies no one will care and the name Batman in the future will be useless to everyone.
My thoughts the good and bad the first story with scarecrow was good, the second one with mad hatter shows you the struggle of being a parent mostly in the eyes of Jim Gordon which I really enjoyed and the last about Bruce Wayne finding out that in the future he will be forgotten I m still getting used to Tim sales art but it s overall pretty good, and the stories in this are pretty good My problem was that sometimes during the stories I wouldn t get attached and wouldn t care I also thought the scarecrow one was a bit boring but Jillian made it better.
Overall good book
The art makes it easier to read, but going through 50 pages consisting of Batman chasing after Scarecrow is just as uninteresting as it sounds Meanwhile there is this woman ,who makes no contribution to story what so ever, tricking the world s greatest detective only in Bruce Wayne s mode into falling in love with her so that she can kill him and inherit his money Good thing Alfred is up to her, informing Bruce Batman of her true identity before it is too late.
Next in line is the hatter s Now it is his turn to run for 50 pages, only this time involving Barbra along with some traditional hallucinations from Bruce s past AKA the death of his parents.
And finally there is the Penguin, and yet discrete hallucinations and nightmares Bruce s father shows up wrapped in chains and informs him of three ghosts to follow this night The three ghosts are Poison Ivy s, the Joker s and the ghost of a zombie Batman I have no idea why those three or what it is that they are trying to say if anything at all.
I unfortunately didn t get this one, but feel free to explain it to me if you did.
I can t friggin stand that some of this stuff is over 20 years old Hard to believe I picked up these stories as they were released back in the day Having already added the Absolute Batman The Long Halloween and Absolute Batman Dark Victory to my collection, I grabbed this latest Absolute edition, pulled up my adult diaper, and strapped in for a trip down memory lane Surprisingly, I still found myself enjoying this re read A lot than I expected anyway Loeb hasn t aged that well for me and while I was a huge fan at one point, his stuff isn t quite as solid now as I remembered it Still have a soft spot though.
Absolute Batman Haunted Knight is a collection of The Long Halloween and Dark Victory prequels in which Loeb and Sale laid the foundation for their later collaborations Fear is a Scarecrow story that was fun I believe this was Jeph and Tim s first Batman story together Madness focuses on the Mad Hatter and it reminded me of the Mad as a Hatter episode of Batman the Animated Series This is sort of the vintage Hatter story with the Alice in Wonderland flavor Ghosts is a riff onA Christmas Carol Probably my least favorite of the bunch Bruce reflects on his life and considers his future Eehh Finally, DC included Catwoman When in Rome in this edition as well I was really happy about this I wasn t crazy about this book when it first came out, but I ended up enjoying it a little this time around Selina makes a trip to Italy, with Edward Nigma in tow, in search of some answers about her own past Could have used a little Batman, but what story wouldn t be better with a little Batman I really like Loeb s Selina and this was a nice little garnish for The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
I despised Tim Sale s artwork when I first laid eyes on Fear wwwaaayyyy back when But, like cigars and bourbon, I eventually came around and found an appreciation for his unique style No mistaking his work And while I preferred his art in The Long Halloween, there is some good stuff in this collection Still don t like his Scarecrow though Some of the stuff really gets a chance to shine on the oversized pages of the Absolute format Gotta give Dave Stewart a huge shout out for his coloring on When in Rome Had a nice water colored look at times that was super smooth Awesome stuff that really compliments Sale s drawings and makes that story really stand out among the others in this collection.
I was surprised to hear that DC was making this collection into an Absolute Edition Not sure I would ve called it a necessity I imagine it s for completists like me or to bookend the Long Halloween and Dark Victory Nothing here that falls into the category of essential Batman, but a recommend to fans of Loeb and Sale s other Batman work.
Get this review and at More good stuff from Loeb Sale Although I didn t really care for the Bruce Wayne art here.