The Green Lantern Corps Podcast

Batman: Haunted Knight

Posted in Batman,Profiles by mrread7 on October 4, 2008

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is doing well this weekend. I’m celebrating the turning on of my heat and high gas bills. I’m also dealing seeing some old friends and saying goodbye to a few this weekend. So, it’s both a happy and sad time. However, thinking about all of this made me wanted to start my reviews of the Batman Halloween specials from the creative team of Jeph Lobe and Tim Sale. The first would be the Haunted Knight series from 1995. I didn’t really discover this mini series until about 7 years ago. I was aware of The Long Halloween and it’s sequels but not the original prequel to the set. This graphic novel includes three dark tales of horror and intrigue featuring Batman facing off against his most demented and wicked foes. Taking place on the most evil of holidays, Halloween, the Darknight Detective confronts his deepest fears as he tries to stop the madness and horror created by Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Joker.

Set along the lines of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Story one is titled, “FEARS” and guess who the main villain is here? Yep, Dr. Jonathan Crane, AKA “The Scarecrow.” It is easily the best of this TPS’s three stories. It includes just about everything that makes for a great Batman story — detective work a crazy-ass bad guy, and The Batman working with (not yet Commissioner) Gordon. There is also a nice subplot involving Bruce’s growing relationship with a mysterious young woman named Jillian.
Story two, “MADNESS,” is a somewhat disturbing story about The Mad Hatter and his kidnapping of young children. One of them just happens to be the newly adopted daughter of Captain Jim Gordon, Barbara.

And the third and final chapter of HAUNTED KNIGHT is titled “GHOSTS” and is inspired by Charles Dicken’s A CHRISTMAN CAROL. Here’s the premise: take Scrooge and replace him with The Dark Knight and set it during Halloween instead of Christmas. And like A CHRISTMAS CAROL, The Batman is visited by three spirits (well, actually four if you included Marley/Dr. Thomas Wayne) that will lead to an epiphany for Bruce Wayne. Batman fans will also enjoy the appearance of Lucius Fox, including his first encounter with the young Bruce Wayne. All three stories are well written and of course my favorite “Fears” because of the story line involving the Scarecrow and how writer Jeph Lobe flushed out Johnathan Crane’s strange habits as the Masters of Fear. The early look at Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne is very well written and actually was the basis for David Goyer’s take on the character in the last two Batman movies. So, for those who are strolling by the book store or have that coupon for I highly recommend picking up this trade.


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