Batman: Year One/Long Halloween

Goodwill

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I finally did it - got into some DC stuff.

I bought the trades of Year One and the Long Halloween, knowing that they inspired a lot of the stuff they do in the films.

I'm impressed. With a hero like Batman, there are all sorts of moral dilemmas popping up that you wouldn't find in a Spidey comic. Despite the fact that I am more supportive of Marvel superheroes, I gotta admit that I think that Batman is by far the most interesting hero of all... And even from these two trades, definitely the most entertaining. A couple of my favorite movies are Silence of the Lambs and Godfather and here (especially in Long Halloween) you get all of that... With costumes and disfigured supervillains. Very cool.

Next, I think I'm going to get into Dark Victory, the sequel to Long Halloween, then I would like to get into some more stuff. Really, I'd like to read more about Two Face, really, as he was definitely a bad *** in the Long Halloween. The Joker, too, as he seemed like a pain in the *** to Batman, but not necessarily the most evil or the most destructive villain. I want to see that side of him. Anyway, suggest some stuff to me - I'd love to get into more DC stuff... Maybe not Superman, but definitely more Bats.
 

Gothamite

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EDIT:

The Dark Knight Returns is the greatest Batman story ever written and arguably Number 2 below Watchmen as one of the most essential Graphic Novels that you should read in your lifetime. Kingdom Come is also superb and features Batman extensively.
 
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ProjectX2

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What?

Year One is superb. Long Halloween is alright. I haven't read Dark Victory yet. And I don't like The Dark Knight Returns. If you are interested in The Joker, I recommend The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland.

But good luck on your Batman adventure. He's a fantastic character and probably my favourite of all time.
 

Goodwill

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I liked Long Halloween a lot. It took me a while to get used to the art, but damn now that I think about it Sale did a good job.
 

ProjectX2

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If you're interested after reading Dark Victory, Catwoman: When in Rome is also by Loeb and Sale. Hush is also worth a read, by Loeb and Jim Lee, though it's vastly overrated.
 

bluebeast

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If you want something besides Batman and want some cosmic adventures then get Geoff John's entire Green Lantern run. It's the best comics run in the last twenty years of comics.
 

Dr.Strangefate

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Catwoman: When in Rome ties up all the loose ends from Long Halloween and Dark Victory.

The trouble is that there isn't as much "Year One" era stuff as you might want there to be.

I thoroughly recommend Robin: Year One, and Batgirl: Year One... But that all depends on how willing you are to accept Robin and Batgirl into this universe.

Ed Brubaker's Gotham Central is mandatory reading, even if it's focus on Batman is minimal. Batman: The Man Who Laughs retells Batman's first interaction with the Joker, and has finally been released in trade.
 

Goodwill

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Dark Victory is going to be the test to see if I agree with Robin or not. I've never read his character in comic format. I've only seen him in the movies and in the cartoons... We'll see if he works.
 

Gothamite

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Hush is also worth a read, by Loeb and Jim Lee, though it's vastly overrated.

Hush is a fun Summer Blockbuster story, without a whole of substance. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, and it's a bit of fun, if you're just getting into Batman for the first time and you want to get a feeling of what his world is like.

Dark Victory is going to be the test to see if I agree with Robin or not. I've never read his character in comic format. I've only seen him in the movies and in the cartoons... We'll see if he works.

Robin works in some stories and doesn't work in others, in my opinion. He worked in the original Animated Series, for example, because he was shown as older and more plausible as an actual threat to bad guys. Robin works fine in more super-heroic, science fiction stories (like The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul or Hush), but in gritty, urban, realistic stories, he certainly doesn't
and sadly Dark Victory is no exception. I really can't stand the way they introduce Robin in that one, compared to how they did it in the Animated Series. The finale is cool and all, but I still think he just didn't work in the story.

If you are interested in The Joker, I recommend The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland.

No-brainer. The ultimate Joker story, with magnificent art.

The trouble is that there isn't as much "Year One" era stuff as you might want there to be.

What? There's a sweet ton of stuff, especially since Batman Begins was released. Not counting the Loeb/Sale trilogy, there's pretty much every single issue of 'Legends of the Dark Knight' (which I know aren't necessarily canon), plus Batman: Confidential seems to be focusing on his earlier years as well. For an interesting, contemporary look at Joker's origin, check out Lovers and Madmen from the Confidential series. It's nowhere near as good as Killing Joke or The Man Who Laughs, but it's an interesting look at Joker's sanity as well as Batman's vow never to kill. It's certainly a warm-up read to The Dark Knight.

Batman: The Man Who Laughs retells Batman's first interaction with the Joker, and has finally been released in trade.

This is an absolute must, along with Killing Joke, for any Joker fan and it updates the old Bob Kane/Bill Finger stories beautifully.
 
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Goodwill

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In what ways did you think it was rubbish? I'm curious because I thought Loeb did a good job of not making it corny with all of those different super villains popping up in what should have been a Sopranos-esque crime drama.
 

Ultimate Houde

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That's what I found corny about it. Several of those villians were unneeded for the story he was trying to tell. Case in point, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Joker and Grundy. None of them were essential for this story and were only there because they could sell books.

And the fact that the reveal at the end was shoe horned in. It was a typical Loeb reveal, where the ending is out of left field because it obviously wasn't going to be that character, but hey, no worries, I'll explain it all here, and how there were three killers! YAY!

Let's not forget August doesn't even have a holiday in it. So instead of a month were Batman could begin to piece together clues, let's have another murder on a made up holiday. Sound good?

But like I said before, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Like the other people have suggested, The Killing Joke by Moore is good. You should look into that one.
 
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Goodwill

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I got and read Dark Victory today.

I'll say this about Loeb, since I'm getting a better idea of what he's about by reading these. It seems to me like he's a marriage between what I like about Bendis (the character development) and what I don't like about Mark Millar (his needlessly "Hollywood" plots that come off as convoluted). I think that's the best way to explain it... There were good things, there were bad things. But all in all, I think it was another entertaining chapter in the Dark Knight's story.

Two Face is definitely a bad ***. Still, regardless of the ending, Joker was still characterized as a hitman rather than a master mind, but there are stories out there that don't follow Two Face as much and highlight Joker's insanity and stuff.

Also, Robin. Didn't have a problem with him, really, but I think that's because his involvement was toned down. It was almost unnecessary to have Robin in it, really, other than for the character's sake. Which I don't care about.

All in all, I'd say I am a fan of Loeb's Batman stuff definitely.
 

Gothamite

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Also, Robin. Didn't have a problem with him, really, but I think that's because his involvement was toned down. It was almost unnecessary to have Robin in it, really, other than for the character's sake. Which I don't care about.

It certainly didn't require Robin and that's what annoyed me to no end. If you're going to do a Robin origin story, you need to centre the story around Robin. The story needs an atmosphere that suits him and he needs to be the primary character. In Dark Victory, he was just a tertiary character, whose story was going on in the background. Plus, it pissed me off how Bruce spent the whole story ignoring him until the very end. That's not how Batman (as I would have him be written) would react to a boy watching his parents die. The "Robin's Reckoning" Animated Series two-parter is the definitive Robin origin.

...

...also, I liked him in Batman Forever.
 

Goodwill

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I guess Loeb ultimately wanted to make it abundantly clear that Batman was alone again. No matter if he had a kid at his mansion in the same situation. Regardless, though, it still didn't entirely because he was only there for the finale, really.
 

Goodwill

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There any other trades in the Batman universe that kind of follow this or that I wouldn't have to read other stuff to read it?
 

DARKKNIGHT

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It certainly didn't require Robin and that's what annoyed me to no end. If you're going to do a Robin origin story, you need to centre the story around Robin. The story needs an atmosphere that suits him and he needs to be the primary character.

That's exactly why I don't want Robin to be in the next Batman movie.
 

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