Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Long Halloween - Terrific !

I was browsing through books at landmark, Spencer’s this Saturday the 20th of Dec, as I always do whenever I go to Spencer’s. There is one beautiful comics section there, which has some of the best comics from the US. As usual, my hand went towards one particular comic, which I select every time but then replace it after looking at it with a desperate kind of look. This time also, I was about to replace it but decided against it and bought it (It was Rs. 800/- ! The prime reason why I didn’t buy it all these days).

That book was ‘The Long Halloween’, a Batman comic book . It was that exiting that I went to landmark the nest day and bought the sequel called ‘Dark Victory’ (Another 800 bucks!).

I first read Batman in Tamil during my school days in ‘Thigil’ comics, a division of Lion Comics. The book’s name is ‘Pournami Vettai’. From that moment, I became Batman fan. To me, Batman is different from all the other comic heroes. He has his flaws, his own fears and he is a very normal mortal, unlike superman or captain America or whatever. Also, his villains fascinated me more than anything. Joker, Harvey Dent aka Two face, Ivy, Penguin, Solomon Grundy, scarecrow.. The thread which unites all of these with Batman is that they all are freaks like the Batman.

This story ‘The Long Halloween’ focuses on the early years of Batman when he is trying to keep up a promise he gave to his parents. In his own words, “I made a promise... on the grave of my parents that I would rid the city of the evil that took their lives”. The very comic begins with this phrase.

People get murdered on holidays by a killer, incidentally named Holiday. All the kills have a clue left near them and it’s left to Batman and Commissioner Gordon to bring out the killer. Through some terrific encounters with the major villains of the Batman, they finally bring out the killer, who is the most unexpected.

The Long Halloween deals also with the life of Harvey Dent, who becomes ‘Two-face’, one of the major characters of Batman comics. It talks about who Harvey Dent is, how did he lived, what was his intentions and finally how he became one of the ironies of life; the exact opposite of what he was. A very interesting book.

Here are some of the snaps I took from the net. I will replace them with the original snaps I took from the comic tomorrow.

The illustrations are fantastic ! Tim Sale has donned the work with Jeph Loeb contributing the story.

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