The Dark Knight Reads: Fifteen Essential Batman Graphic Novels

The Bat-books that formed a hero
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The Long Halloween
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9. 'Batman: The Long Halloween'

Superstar writer (and current Marvel exec) Jeph Loeb's noirish year-in-the-life story about the young Batman's hunt for a serial killer features too-liberal cribbing from The Godfather and plot holes cavernous enough to park the Batmobile in. His real talent lies in providing a parade of jaw-dropping images for his artists to draw; in this case, that means his frequent collaborator Tim Sale, who gets to put his unmistakable stamp on nearly every iconic Bat-character. His every moody, expressionistic page is suitable for framing.

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