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  1. #46
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    So I’m listening to a podcast on The Long Halloween, which does fit this era of Batman, and I’m curious what you guys think that strlyline’s strengths were in this era, and why it may or may not be a top story of the era.

    On the one hand, I think it genuinely has a pretty weak climax, and that it somewhat wastes the buildup for its central mystery with the refusal to unfurl its answers clearly at the end (at least in most critics’ opinions regarding Gilda’s confession at the end). And some of the “Villain of the Month” ideas seem to waste more time than not the further we get away from the start. And Catwoman’s subplot basically had it meat for both this story and the next one in Dark Victory kicked away to her own When In Rome book for a variable resolution even there.

    But on the other hand... the Two-Face origin is fantastic, Bruce and Selina’s interactions are pretty good, the “politics” of the mob and of the heroic Trumivirate of Dent, Gordon, and Batman are all very good, and the theme of the mob falling to the freaks is well done in the end.

    In comparison to stuff like Prey, NML, or Murderer, the central conflict is pretty weak, but the sidestory stuff is so good in TLH is kind of makes up for it, especially when combined with Tim Sale’s Art.
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  2. #47
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    So I’m listening to a podcast on The Long Halloween, which does fit this era of Batman, and I’m curious what you guys think that strlyline’s strengths were in this era, and why it may or may not be a top story of the era.

    On the one hand, I think it genuinely has a pretty weak climax, and that it somewhat wastes the buildup for its central mystery with the refusal to unfurl its answers clearly at the end (at least in most critics’ opinions regarding Gilda’s confession at the end). And some of the “Villain of the Month” ideas seem to waste more time than not the further we get away from the start. And Catwoman’s subplot basically had it meat for both this story and the next one in Dark Victory kicked away to her own When In Rome book for a variable resolution even there.

    But on the other hand... the Two-Face origin is fantastic, Bruce and Selina’s interactions are pretty good, the “politics” of the mob and of the heroic Trumivirate of Dent, Gordon, and Batman are all very good, and the theme of the mob falling to the freaks is well done in the end.

    In comparison to stuff like Prey, NML, or Murderer, the central conflict is pretty weak, but the sidestory stuff is so good in TLH is kind of makes up for it, especially when combined with Tim Sale’s Art.
    I must admit, I really don't like The Long Halloween very much. I think if it weren't considered such a "great" comic, I wouldn't mind it so much, but it's just so sloppy in plotting, and unnecessarily long (the theme of monthly holidays would be much better if Loeb had made each chapter more satisfying on its own). Sale's art (like most of Loeb's work) really carries it.

    But I think my reaction is largely the same as my reaction to Hush - I like the art a lot, but writing is a lot more important to me, so I don't like how much weight the stories have despite the writing being the weakest part.
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  3. #48
    Mighty Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I must admit, I really don't like The Long Halloween very much. I think if it weren't considered such a "great" comic, I wouldn't mind it so much, but it's just so sloppy in plotting, and unnecessarily long (the theme of monthly holidays would be much better if Loeb had made each chapter more satisfying on its own). Sale's art (like most of Loeb's work) really carries it.

    But I think my reaction is largely the same as my reaction to Hush - I like the art a lot, but writing is a lot more important to me, so I don't like how much weight the stories have despite the writing being the weakest part.
    I totally agree with you. But I guess people like simple plots and repetitive stories.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    So I’m listening to a podcast on The Long Halloween, which does fit this era of Batman, and I’m curious what you guys think that strlyline’s strengths were in this era, and why it may or may not be a top story of the era.

    On the one hand, I think it genuinely has a pretty weak climax, and that it somewhat wastes the buildup for its central mystery with the refusal to unfurl its answers clearly at the end (at least in most critics’ opinions regarding Gilda’s confession at the end). And some of the “Villain of the Month” ideas seem to waste more time than not the further we get away from the start. And Catwoman’s subplot basically had it meat for both this story and the next one in Dark Victory kicked away to her own When In Rome book for a variable resolution even there.

    But on the other hand... the Two-Face origin is fantastic, Bruce and Selina’s interactions are pretty good, the “politics” of the mob and of the heroic Trumivirate of Dent, Gordon, and Batman are all very good, and the theme of the mob falling to the freaks is well done in the end.

    In comparison to stuff like Prey, NML, or Murderer, the central conflict is pretty weak, but the sidestory stuff is so good in TLH is kind of makes up for it, especially when combined with Tim Sale’s Art.
    Yeah you said it. The "freaks vs the mob" is my favorite part about it. It's also the only Batman book where the mafia families feel like they have weight and history and power, rather than disposable guys for Batman to beat up... even moreso than Year One.

    For awhile it annoyed me because it's always felt so overhyped -- even from the time when it was coming out -- but overall I think it deserves its place as a top story. I'd much rather a casual comic reader enjoy The Long Halloween over The Killing Joke.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Yeah you said it. The "freaks vs the mob" is my favorite part about it. It's also the only Batman book where the mafia families feel like they have weight and history and power, rather than disposable guys for Batman to beat up... even moreso than Year One.

    For awhile it annoyed me because it's always felt so overhyped -- even from the time when it was coming out -- but overall I think it deserves its place as a top story. I'd much rather a casual comic reader enjoy The Long Halloween over The Killing Joke.
    Well, I'd disagree that it's the only comic where the mafia families have weight and history - Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood also deals in a complex and threatening way with the mafia in Gotham. And to a smaller extent Birds of Prey, the arc where Huntress decided to become a capo.

    I'm really torn about Long Halloween over Killing Joke - because while I loathe The Killing Joke, I think it's undoubtedly much better crafted than Long Halloween. But it's much less destructive.
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  6. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I must admit, I really don't like The Long Halloween very much. I think if it weren't considered such a "great" comic, I wouldn't mind it so much, but it's just so sloppy in plotting, and unnecessarily long (the theme of monthly holidays would be much better if Loeb had made each chapter more satisfying on its own). Sale's art (like most of Loeb's work) really carries it.

    But I think my reaction is largely the same as my reaction to Hush - I like the art a lot, but writing is a lot more important to me, so I don't like how much weight the stories have despite the writing being the weakest part.
    Blasphemy!

    I think there are glaring plot holes; but one this that Loeb did was make Batman SUPER approachable. You can read any of his bat titles and immediately know you are in for a fun ride and I think this is why they are so well regarded.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Blasphemy!

    I think there are glaring plot holes; but one this that Loeb did was make Batman SUPER approachable. You can read any of his bat titles and immediately know you are in for a fun ride and I think this is why they are so well regarded.
    I'm not sure what makes the other "big names" of the Post Crisis era not approachable, though. I mean, I say this all the time, but the first Batman comic I loved was a middle issue of Bruce Wayne: Murderer, having zero context for anything that was going on.
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  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I'm not sure what makes the other "big names" of the Post Crisis era not approachable, though. I mean, I say this all the time, but the first Batman comic I loved was a middle issue of Bruce Wayne: Murderer, having zero context for anything that was going on.
    I think it is because Loeb's works are closed loops. You can pick up a tpb start it and finish it and know everything that you needed to know without ever picking up another bat book and you are completely satisfied with the story.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    I think it is because Loeb's works are closed loops. You can pick up a tpb start it and finish it and know everything that you needed to know without ever picking up another bat book and you are completely satisfied with the story.
    I mean, I get the appeal of "this is a self contained story," but I would never say I was anywhere close to completely satisfied when I finished a Loeb book.
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  10. #55
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    I love this era and feel like it's criminally under-collected. Brubaker's run on 'Tec (Made of Wood and Dead Reckoning are fantastic), Beatty's run on GK (Huntress and Bane stories), Cassandra Cain v4 (I love Batgirl 48-50), Batman: Family, Robin's post-NML Brentwood run and Steph's time as Robin all need collected editions on my shelves. And that's presuming DC actually gives us Gotham Knights v2.

    As to War Games, it wasn't just Steph's death, but also Orpheus's that really seemed shallow and useless. They'd just brought the character in, he'd barely had time to make a dent as a member of the Bat-family (and at the time, the only black superhero in Gotham), then he's just gone, senselessly, and with no payoff or import to it. The follow-up with War Crimes did no favors to what happened in War Games, either. That whole arc (and period in Batman comics) was just poorly conceived.
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  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I mean, I get the appeal of "this is a self contained story," but I would never say I was anywhere close to completely satisfied when I finished a Loeb book.
    Well not you per se; but the average mainstream fan

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Well, I'd disagree that it's the only comic where the mafia families have weight and history - Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood also deals in a complex and threatening way with the mafia in Gotham. And to a smaller extent Birds of Prey, the arc where Huntress decided to become a capo.

    I'm really torn about Long Halloween over Killing Joke - because while I loathe The Killing Joke, I think it's undoubtedly much better crafted than Long Halloween. But it's much less destructive.
    Off course, The Killing Joke is better, Alan Moore is a much better writter than Jeph Loeb will ever be.
    And no, The Long Halloween is not at all the only story where the mafia families have weight and history.

  13. #58
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob.schoonover View Post
    I love this era and feel like it's criminally under-collected. Brubaker's run on 'Tec (Made of Wood and Dead Reckoning are fantastic), Beatty's run on GK (Huntress and Bane stories), Cassandra Cain v4 (I love Batgirl 48-50), Batman: Family, Robin's post-NML Brentwood run and Steph's time as Robin all need collected editions on my shelves. And that's presuming DC actually gives us Gotham Knights v2.

    As to War Games, it wasn't just Steph's death, but also Orpheus's that really seemed shallow and useless. They'd just brought the character in, he'd barely had time to make a dent as a member of the Bat-family (and at the time, the only black superhero in Gotham), then he's just gone, senselessly, and with no payoff or import to it. The follow-up with War Crimes did no favors to what happened in War Games, either. That whole arc (and period in Batman comics) was just poorly conceived.
    There's so much from around 2000-2009 that is under-collected. And they keep cancelling more volumes.

    Though if people are simply not buying them, I can understand. But I don't get why they couldn't do a digital first collection or something.
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  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    There's so much from around 2000-2009 that is under-collected. And they keep cancelling more volumes.

    Though if people are simply not buying them, I can understand. But I don't get why they couldn't do a digital first collection or something.
    A lot of stuff is available on DC Universe, the streaming/digital comic catalogue service. Highly recommended.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    A lot of stuff is available on DC Universe, the streaming/digital comic catalogue service. Highly recommended.
    I have it! Also recommended. But sadly, sometimes reading singles for crossovers can be really difficult.
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