Batman: The Long Halloween Creators Talk About The Anniversary Special

by Marsha Reilly
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After the recent release of Batman: The Long Halloween Parts 1 and 2, the story has gained lots more attention. Back in July the classic story’s creators, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale announced a brand-new Batman: The Long Halloween Special! Hopefully, they’ll finally give us some of the answers we’ve been wanting for so long, too.

CBR recently had the opportunity to be part of a roundtable discussion with the two, who both hinted at some of the surprises in store for fans, as well as shining some light on the mystery that still shrouds the series. When asked why they chose Halloween, Loeb explained:

The holiday takes on a whole different dimension in Gotham. The day is already meant to be scary, but in a place like Gotham where crime really flourishes, you really don’t know who is behind that mask. That aspect has been a lot of fun to explore.

After saying that they were just “kids” when they wrote The Long Halloween 25 years ago, they were asked who they are writing this Special for now. Loeb answered:

If you ask any writer who they’re writing their story for, they’ll give you different answers. Sometimes they write for themselves, sometimes they write for their fans, and sometimes they write for their editors. Some are writing to complete the story they have in their head. I can tell you that I’ve always written for the artist.


I like writing things that the artist wants to draw. I think it gives them a sense of excitement and a sense of inclusion. In terms of the story, I wouldn’t write the same movie for Tom Cruise that I would for Denzel Washington or Arnold Schwarzenegger. If any of those things are comparable, I’m writing a Tim Sale story. In particular, I’m writing a Tim Sale Batman story. I think that brings out the best in both of us.

Sale added:

That’s a very unusual thing for a writer to do. I’m the beneficiary, and I’m deeply appreciative of that. I wish more writers would do that, and I can’t understand why they don’t. I think that approach has brought out the best in a lot of different artists Jeph has written for, and it really shows.

After being asked what it was like working with each other again, Loeb started with:

For me it was amazing. I haven’t written a long-form story in about 10 years. I wanted to make sure this was something Tim and DC would like, and fans would love. Aside from that, it was daunting. I almost immediately talked to Tim about story ideas.


Bringing in our editor, Ben Abernathy, gave me the confidence to move forward. I’ve always loved these characters, and my favorites are Batman and Bruce Wayne, who I consider to be two different characters. I love their relationship with Alfred and Jim Gordon, and his relationship with Gordon is one of the most special in all comics. Jim Gordon lives with the terrible problem of having to trust a man who is clearly breaking the law, and Batman knows that in order for him to do the job he does, he needs Gordon to trust him. This is incredibly challenging for both of them, and when you add Harvey Dent to that you have almost the perfect cast for a Batman story.

Sale continued:

The reunion between us was very unique. I’ve worked with a number of other writers, Jeph’s worked with a lot of other artists. When he wrote for the X-Men group of titles, he worked with a hundred or so people daily. There was a different artist every hour! But there’s something very unique about what we have here. There’s a very personal feeling to it and how we work together. It’s great to be reunited in that kind of way.

When asked about the mysterious ending of Batman: The Long Halloween, Loeb insisted:

The answers are there, as I have always said. I know they’re there because people have written to me and told me what happened! But it was purposely written as a piece that leaves some doubt.

They were then asked if the Batman: The Long Halloween Special would revisit the original plotline, Loeb teased:

Without giving anything away, the special takes into account some of the original mystery. It’s part of what fascinates me about that time in Batman’s career. It also takes into consideration everything that happened in Dark Victory as well, which happened afterward. It’s a progression of time, and I think the fans will tell us what year it takes place. For all intents and purposes, The Long Halloween comes first, then Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome takes place at the same time, right afterward. The events of the special happen after those stories.

We are truly looking forward to seeing how they will expand on the already amazing world they created all those years ago. The Batman: The Long Halloween Special is set to go on sale from DC Comics on Oct. 12

If you haven’t yet seen the two movies based on the original Batman: The Long Halloween comic, read our review for Part One!

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