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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Haunted Knight is a collection of three Halloween specials: Fear (previously published as Choices), Madness and Ghosts. Each story is independent to each other but have some themes in common. They all take place at Halloween and each force Bruce Wayne to face old fears and private miseries. When it comes to Halloween Batman stories, Loeb and Sale excelled themselves with The Long Halloween which remains one of the best Batman adventures in existence. This trilogy of tales touches on the same level of quality and even sometimes equals it, but each part is very much its own stand-alone story.

The first of these stories shows us Batman chasing down The Scarecrow - he's been causing powercuts and looting the blackout areas with his henchmen, the book doesn't require you to be familiar with The Scarecrow to enjoy as it briefly explains who he is and his modus operandi (the villains in the other stories get a similar introduction). The first we see of Batman is him dishevelled and suffering from lack of sleep, this is a Batman aware of his vulnerability and sheds blood several times throughout this Halloween trilogy. This manages to combine both the grittier Batman and also the 'holiday' feel of a seasonal special, the stories are shorts and not as involved as other Loeb/Sale collaborations but still read well and don't feel rushed into a smaller space.

There are elements of humour in here too, Bruce Wayne throwing a costume party but saying that he isn't one for wearing fancy dress will bring a smile to any Batman fan and guests at his soirée will find Harrison Ford playing pool. This reference to real life outside of the 'DC Universe' is pretty rare and a Halloween special seems a good place to do it. Jim Gordon features prominently in one of the more edgy stories in the book, 'Madness' shows us the strained relationships of the Gordon family caused by his job though the Hatter gives a serious story an almost pantomime feel. Loeb is careful to never let the villains become silly parodies and, as I mentioned earlier, he feeds us information to make sure that we understand the motives of the more sinister costumed Gotham City characters. The final story, 'Ghosts' is the weakest of the three and feels quite gimmicky, it's still a worthy read and manages to delve deep into Bruce's mind and reveal his inner demons. It's amazing that such a well-established character still has plenty of scope for development in the hands Loeb and always leaves you feeling that you know Bruce Wayne better than you did before you started the story. The artwork is different between the three stories and is consistently good, there are black and white pages along with full colour spreads and Sale captures the drama of everyday kitchen-sink drama as well as he does rooftop battles.

In a nutshell: These may be three independent Halloween related stories but it's not kids' stuff, there's a bit of strong language, kidnap and child murder in these pages. There are themes which only an adult can really relate to such as James Gordon reflecting on his jealousy of Batman, he assumes that for Batman things are less complicated and that all he has to do is stick on a costume and sneak out into the night without worrying about family. The strength of Loeb and Sale graphic novels is their exploration into the mind of their subjects rather than relying solely on action and although these aren't in depth stories they still manage to involve themselves in the psychology of their subjects. This is a good set of tales which aren't as remarkable as Long Halloween or Dark Victory but still great to add to any collection without being essential, the first 2 stories are the strongest with the third feeling fairly average and a bit of an experiment.
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on 14 August 2005
I started reading Batman comics after watching Batman Begins. I first read 'The Long Halloween' and 'Dark Victory', both from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, and I suggest to read those too, you will not regret it because Loeb & Sale are the best! They bring Batman to life, with a great story line and marvellous drawings.
This book, 'Haunted Knight' contains 3 stories, made a deep impression on me. Gripping and dark, these stories show Batmans distress from the past and present. He suffers and you share in his grief. Does he have a choice? The city has chosen him to do what he has to.
In the first story he has to deal with the Scarecrow. And there's also room for some romance in his life,... or not?
The second one is about the Mad Hatter kidnapping children, including Gordon's daughter. Moving scenes from the past, when Bruce's parents were murdered. One page almost brought me to tears, read it and you will understand.
The third one is... well, let's say out of the ordinary.
I enjoyed this comic and I'm sure you will too!
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on 21 May 2015
A collection of three seperate Halloween specials by the dream team Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Each of the stories are set a year apart each occurring on a different Halloween during Batmans early years.
The first story consists of Batman hunting Scarecrow whilst internally battling Scarecrows fear toxin and considering abolishing his Batman persona to settle down with his new girlfriend. The story is as to be expected, well written with emotional depth to the characters and psychological conflict throughout. Alfred is on point in this story with his stiff upper lip, Sarcasm and fatherly instincts all being used in perfect tangent. I prefer Scarecrow in this tale to how he's portrayed in Long Halloween as we get to see the intelligence of the character rather than just some Nursery Rhymes.
The second story is my favourite of the three. With Mad Hatter on the lose kidnapping children to use for perverse entertainment the stakes have never been higher when Jim Gordon's daughter Barbara is kidnapped. The Mad Hatter really works here being portrayed at his creepiest. The Mad Hatter is often seen as joke by writers and readers alike but when you really stop and think about a short creepy man with an obsession with not just children's literature but children themselves, especially young girls and using intimidation, drugs and control to manipulate them and make them dress up for him you begin to think actually he's not very funny atall. He's one of the sickest characters in the comic book universe. The Gordon family is heavily featured with Barbara Gordon and her dad at war with each other. It's always good to see significant characters personal lives and how they act with their own friends and families compared to how they work with Batman.
The final story is based on Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol but set at Halloween. After defeating the penguin Batman is visited by his father and three spirits that show him .... Himself. The weakest of the three stories but still entertaining.
The art by Sale is obviously the same throughout the three stories and once again is pleasant and eye catching. Although it doesn't work aswell as it does in long Halloween by now I'm used to the concept of this art and can appreciate it for the ambience and personality it brings to the characters and their environments.
If your a fan of Long Halloween this book is a must have.
Contains Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, Batman: Madness: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special, Batman: Ghosts: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special
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on 21 October 1998
Simply fantastic. This collection of three Halloween specials written by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale is up there with 'The Dark Knight Returns' and 'The Killing Joke' as some of the best Batman ever written.
The writing is inspired, although the final story - a variation on 'A Christmas Carol' - does not quite live up to the first two.
The art is consistently excellent, with the inks and colours complementing Sale's pencils wonderfully.
Both a perfect introduction to Batman and a great collection for existing fans. Show this to someone who thinks comics are for children.
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on 12 February 2004
This graphic novel is a collection of three Halloween stories involving Batman. In Fears, the Scarecrow returns to Gotham City, and he's turning the lights out for one scary Halloween. In Madness, that arch-villain the Mad Hatter is stealing children, and when he grabs Commissioner Gordon's daughter, it becomes personal. The final story is Ghosts, in which Bruce Wayne is visited by the ghost of his father, who warns him that three spirits will visit him for his own reformation; it's a Halloween version of the Christmas Carol, and Bruce hates seeing someone use his father's image - somebody needs to be taught a lesson, but who?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought that the artwork was very good, and I certainly enjoyed the stories. What was the meaning of the third story? I guess that it is up to you (and Bruce) to decide. As for me, I highly recommend this book.
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on 15 August 2012
This is an interesting but non-essential collection of 3 short stories from Loeb and Sale. If you've ever read the classic Long Halloween or Dark Victory, then this collection of Halloween specials act as the precursor to those lengthy volumes. However, don't expect anything like those bulky graphic novels as this is a pretty thin volume by comparison. Artwork is excellent and the stories are strong (referring Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens)
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on 28 May 2014
Well there is not much to say.
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Yet another surprise? I think not.
Recommended for those who appreciate this duo, do not betray the expectations, we talk about graphic novels.
The bat ... is increasingly haunted ... just like Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb could do.
Highly recommended.
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on 16 December 2013
This book is the smallest in the 'haunted knight'-series, but it does what you want it to do: show batman, the human behind the mask with amazing drawings and an intelligent insight in the characters. This serie is a must have for every batman collector!
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on 7 November 2011
The 3 mini-stories in this book are highly enjoyable and great fun. Interesting art as always from Sale and solid writing from Loeb. Nothing to do with Long Halloween or Dark Vitory, but if you like them, then you'll like Haunted Knight. The 3 stories are quite an easy read and its good to see the Hatter get a little love. Totally worth a buy.
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on 21 March 2011
Were as Batman: Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory were some very fine works by the duo of Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale, the stories collected in this volume don't quite match up. Although they stack up as a few short stories their's no real new ground explored here and nothing you couldnt find in the previous mentioned books. Not nessicarily a bad book, as the writing is up to par an some of the scenes depicted by Sale are excellent I just didn't find this as good as a stand alone book.
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