Batman: The Long Halloween Part One

The adaptation of one of DC Comics’ most classic Batman stories is split into two parts, with part one of The Long Halloween debuting first. And what an adaptation it was.

DC Animation has been very successful over the years, but this one feels as if they took an extra step to make this special. The animation here is so much better than what we have seen before from DC and the story is done extremely well.

There is a killer running around Gotham knocking off people tied to Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver) on holidays, starting with Halloween. Batman (Jensen Ackles), Jim Gordon (Billy Burke) and D.A. Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) team up in an attempt to stop the Holiday Killer from continuing the reign of terror.

I have not read The Long Halloween comic, though I have heard of it. I am unaware at the comic adaptation which makes me all the more anxious to see this wrap up in Part Two. Part One showed a Batman who had not mastered the art of detective skills as he jumped from one theory to another. The film added the confrontation with the Joker (Troy Baker) in an airplane over Gotham, which was exciting and very much in character with the Clown Prince of Crime.

We meet Selina Kyle (Naya Rivera), who is in a relationship with Bruce Wayne while playing around as Catwoman. The Dark Knight visited Calendar Man (David Dastmalchian) at Arkham in an attempt to get a clue on the identity of Holiday. Calendar Man was creepier here than I had ever seen him as a character in the books.

The voice cast is really good, but, to be fair, it sounded as if Ackles and Baker were doing imitations of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, the two most iconic voice actors for batman and the Joker (both Conroy and Hamill are in the EYG Hall of Fame).

It was a fascinating choice to set this in the early days of Batman before he had become the “World’s Greatest Detective.” Seeing Batman struggle with the clues and fail with his theories creates an air of fallibility in Batman that is not usually there and it helps maintain the mystery.

With the inferior adaptation of The Killing Joke, it looks like more care and love has gone into bringing The Long Halloween to the screen. I am anxious to see if I am correct with my guess on who Holiday is (I am avoiding looking it up on Wikipedia) and I am excited for the release of Part Two at the end of July.

4.25 stars

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