After The Long Halloween, several questions were left unanswered, and there had to be a sequel to put an end to the crime families, take care of the loose villains, and further explore Batman’s inner self, his inner psychology. That graphic novel is Batman: Dark Victory. The story takes place directly after the events of The Long Halloween, in which Alberto Falcone had been convicted of the Holiday killings. Harvey Dent is also on the loose somewhere in the streets of Arkham, and all of the mob families are after him. To make things better, there’s a new serial killer on the run, “The Hangman, who gets his name by hanging his victims, all Gotham City Cops. The only real problem I had with Dark Victory was that it referenced The Long Halloween a lot. They almost use it as a structure for the new story. My favorite comic artist, Tim Sale, who also does the artwork for Heroes, does a great job in this one with some wonderful depictions of Poison Ivy, Solomon Grundy, The Joker, and Mr. Freeze. A really cool thing that he does with the art style is that he accentuates certain characteristics of certain characters. For example, in the Joker he accentuates the smile, the sleek demeanor, the way he carries himself. In Poison Ivy they show off her plant physique and vines. Some won’t like it, but those looking for different looks will find favor in it. Jeph Loeb also does a wonderful job telling a compelling and interesting story. As in The Long Halloween there’s a serial killer that noone can figure out, and the final verdict is something I didn’t even think about, however made perfect sense. Which is what makes great mysteries worth sticking in for. Robin is also introduced into this storyline, which, even though it felt forced to me, made Robin seem like a thought provoking character. If you enjoyed The Long Halloween, Dark Victory without question is a must read just to finish the story. Even if you’re just a regular comic book or Batman fan, I highly recommend the “The Long Halloween/Dark Victory” story arch.
4 out of 5