1996-1997’s “The Long Halloween” storyline, which examines a young Batman’s struggle against the mob and the origins of Two-Face, among other major developments, was a huge influence on 2008’s “The Dark Knight” and is widely considered to be one of the most important graphic novels in Batman’s history. That of course makes it an obvious choice to adapt, and luckily, Warner Brothers and DC Comics decided to do just that in 2021.
The two-part animated series features “Supernatural” alumnus Jensen Ackles as the World’s Greatest Detective, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, and Troy Baker as Joker. Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni (the latter two are mobsters you might remember from “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” respectively) make appearances as well. Even Calendar Man shows up here, and despite his goofy shtick of date-related crimes, he’s actually pretty intimidating.
Now, we can’t say this examination of a young Bruce, who’s still getting his Bat-legs under him and discovering who he’s supposed to be, is superior to the original, unmissable graphic novel (seriously, Bat-fans have no excuse not to read that one at some point). But we can say it’s a worthy, faithful adaptation that’s well worth a watch.