Home > comics, review > Batman Dark Victory: A Review

Batman Dark Victory: A Review

Over half a year ago I reviewed Batman: The Long Halloween (you can find that review here), a few months later I got around to reading its sequel Batman: Dark Victory. It shares the same creative team for both works. First off, for those interested in the work, The Long Halloween is a must read to understand what’s going on in this comic since it’s a direct sequel. Because of that this review is going to be focused on the comparisons to its predecessor.

In terms of the art, Tim Sale’s work in Dark Victory is comparable to his work in The Long Halloween.  The artwork plays strong on exaggeration. It gives the piece a sort of expressionistic feel to it. In some ways this gives the comic a film noir feel to it. There are a lot of panels that use expressionist tendencies on playing between light and darkness. Like The Long Halloween, the character designs are exaggerated to a large extent that can be distracting at times. For example, Batman has a muscle mass that isn’t that realistic, the same applies to the Joker’s jaw which exceeds a non-reasonable anatomical limit. But these are all choices done for the purposes of adding atmosphere to the piece and for the most part they work. They add the elements to the narrative that they need to do.

While the art is arguably a carry-over from The Long Halloween, it’s the narrative that has the strongest connection. Again, the narrative is a direct sequel to the predecessor. Without spoiling the plot of the other piece, it can be said that Dark Victory does a good job of continuing on the story. I appreciated that it minimalized elements from The Long Halloween that I found to be redundant and didn’t really add to the story. For the most part the narrative that continues the story is really strong. In many ways the narrative form is more organized and effective than it was in The Long Halloween. That’s not saying that this story has its flaws. My biggest complaint in the story is the addition of the Robin origin to the Batman mythos. I found that it didn’t really fit in well with the rest of the story. It often derailed what else was going on. On the whole though, the narrative is solid is on par with The Long Halloween.

With all that said I would recommend Dark Victory for those who liked what they read in The Long Halloween and haven’t read Dark Victory yet. It’s a worthy addition into the Batman canon and both comics should be read by any fans of the character, or those who looking for some good superhero comics.

Batman is owned by DC Comics. Batman: Dark Victory is written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale.

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