If you’re looking for a more influential Bat-book, look no further.

If you have The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One on your shelf then your next comic-book purchase needs to be The Long Halloween.

In the fashion of Stefon, this book has everything. A mystery only the world greatest detective can solve. A huge ensemble cast of villains. Energetic fight scenes and Amazing art. While you read it you’ll notice a few ticks that inspired the Christopher Nolans’ Dark Knight trilogy.

For example:

 

In issue one, the trio meet to make a deal to take down Falcone and all of his connections but to not cross that line that separates the good from the bad. Loeb really dives into the personal lives of Dent, Gordon and even Bruce to show us that they are all human, and are losing a lot in this quest. Ultimately, all three of them lose Harvey to Two-Face. So much time and energy is spent on taking down the mob the right way that it may just be the crazies that have it figured out. Harvey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Essentially a year one tale, The Long Halloween incorporates every aspect of the Batman mythology into one long maxi-series mystery. Batman needs to kick a lot of ass, must deal with a tenuous relationship with the police, has to do considerable detective work, must battle most of the big guns from his Rogue’s Gallery and even has to deal with the personal life of Bruce Wayne.

Someone is killing off mob members with a .22 caliber pistol capped by a baby bottle nipple (to muffle the sound). The murders take place only during the holidays and each issue takes on the guise of a different festivity. There’s Catwoman on Valentine’s Day, Scarecrow on Mother’s Day and the Joker who stole Christmas.

Batman The Long Halloween is the perfect book to sneak away with during the Holiday season to lose yourself in. It’s the perfect Batman tale for new and old fans alike – and essential for any self-respecting Bat-phile. Next time you’re in the shop pick up a copy for yourself or someone you want to make into a lifelong fan.