Tim Sale is probably one of my favourite artists working in the comic book world today.
His watercolour art is unmistakable. And one of the most unique talents working with Marvel/DC. Although some of his work here isn't Tim Sale at his best, it offers a fantastic glimpse at his growing abilities and style. Story wise, though, don't expect the knockout work by Jeff Loeb, instead you get a collection of odd but still interesting stories. The three main chunks begins with "Man Men Across the Water" has zero Batman, however it refreshingly focuses on the Villains of Arkham Asylum. "Blades" (my personal favourite) showcases a new Zorro obsessed Anti-Hero who crosses paths with The Batman. and "The misfits" is another villain eccentric story told in a more a classic Batman style.
I thoroughly recommend this book for any readers who loved his work on Batman: THE LONG HALLOWEEN & DARK VICTORY.
While it's very interesting to see the evolution of a very talented artist's style and, indeed, career in this volume the resulting stories are a mixed bag at best. Only one stands out in my memory as particularly good and that is the Batman: Black and White entry which has the added bonus of featuring Sale's art as we have come to know and love it. However, as this can be purchased as part of the Black and White series, it's hardly a reason to go out and get this volume, especially as its a very, very short story!
For die hard fans who own the acclaimed Long Halloween, Dark Victory and Haunted Knight books they will probably want to pick this up to complete their collection. However, anyone looking for a solid set of Batman tales that feature that Sale/Loeb magic maybe disappointed as the ones featured here a fairly hit and miss.