Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
Happy Valentine’s Day, from Gotham City. There’s nothing like villainy, murder and violence to show that love is in the air.
The mob continues to be on edge, as the threat of the Holiday killer looms like a dark cloud over the city. In this case, Sal Maroni is the one hit hard, again, with the killer striking just outside of his restaurant (again). Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent pay a visit to Wayne Manor, ready to ask Bruce questions concerning his father’s relationship with the Falcones. Thankfully, the bachelor isn’t home, but is spending the holiday with Selina Kyle. But his night ends unexpectedly, has he been pricked by a rose stem.
This issue was entertaining, but doesn’t further the plot too much for The Long Halloween. Jeph Loeb doesn’t answer or ask any questions, but sort of stretches for 20+ pages. Nothing really progresses with the Wayne/Falcone history. The Holiday killings don’t feel like they make much of an impact. And Batman is nearly nonexistent in this issue.
However, that doesn’t mean this is a bad chapter in the story. I really enjoyed witnessing the always charming relationship developments of Selina and Bruce. The opening scene at Wayne Manor does nudge the story toward a few major moments down the line. AND the little “prick” at the end of the issue sets the table for some major moves next issue. So while it doesn’t provide answers, it is all relevant to the overall story.
Tim Sale’s art is as good as ever. While we don’t get to really explore Gotham, he does make the most of his settings. His love for shadows is key for The Long Halloween, and they’re put to use in every panel of this issue. While his opening scene at Wayne Manor is delicious, his favorite pages had to have been outside of Maroni’s restaurant. Each one of the goons sitting in the car are straight out of an old gangster movie, and the black & white holiday pages seal the deal.
Another worthy chapter in this perfect Batman tale. The plot doesn’t really go anywhere, but we spend 20+ pages in Gotham, and that’s fine by me. Some more character moments, and interesting plot notes, make chapter five another enjoyable read. This Valentine’s Day, you’ll find something to love in this issue.
To check out our previous reviews of The Long Halloween chapters, click here.
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