I greatly enjoyed this sequel to The Long Halloween, as it kept the mystery going, making us slightly question what we learned in the first book. While, I like that we really don’t know who the killer is until the very end, it isn’t as big of a reveal as the identity of Holiday in The Long Halloween. Also, there are a few questions which remain unanswered, and which I wish were explored a bit more.
We have a new killer called “The Hangman,” who is murdering those who members of the police force or high government positions prior to Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon‘s rise to power and their attempts to clean up Gotham. This killer also happens to strike on holidays–a few too many similarities to a serial killer whom the public thought was safely behind bars. Meanwhile, the conflict between the freaks (Joker, Poison Ivy, The Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, Two-Face) and the gangsters (mainly the Falcone family, headed by Sofia Gigante-Falcone, the eldest daughter of Carmine Falcone) escalates, and Batman becomes increasingly alone in his efforts to save everyone.
I was also extremely skeptical about the introduction of Robin, especially as he is a 10 year old kid running around in his underwear with his guardian. Here, this is an improvement on many introductions of Robin, although I’d like to have seen them get away from the traditional Robin costume awkwardness, but I liked it better than I thought I would. Through solid imagery, the back-stories of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are linked, and Wayne wants to give his new ward a similar opportunity as he had after his parents’ murder. At the same time, Robin becomes Wayne’s lifeline to humanity and a somewhat normal life. Now, this does not address the awkwardness of Robin’s costume, which I believe is almost unacceptable to have left as is. That’s always been my biggest pet peeve.
Overall, I really liked this book, but not as much as its predecessor.