Writer… Jeph Loeb
Artist… Tim Sale
Colorist… Gregory Wright
Letterer… Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Original Story Editor… Archie Goodwin
This story is similar in some regards to the beginning of “The Godfather,” with many of the prominent characters converging on a wedding hosted by a Mafioso. Carmine “The Roman” Falcone would like Bruce Wayne’s vote to join the board of the Gotham City Bank. Needless to say, Bruce Wayne is not interested in conducting any business with a crime lord like Falcone, but the night is not a total loss as Selina Kyle is attending this reception. Bruce was looking to duck out early, but cannot refuse when Selina asks to dance. Meanwhile, Harvey Dent is snooping around in the garage, jotting down license plate numbers. Falcone’s goons surprise Dent and rough him up. Bruce and Selina find Dent down in the garage, a little worse for the wear, but he brushes them off. “I believe in Harvey Dent,” says Bruce. Dent, disillusioned, meets up with Captain James Gordon, who assures him that they are not alone in their struggle against the mob.
Later, Falcone’s study his infiltrated simultaneously by the Batman and Catwoman. As the two tussle, they exchange repartee, their usual sexual tension. Falcone’s goons arrive, Catwoman flees, and Batman pursues. Falcone is so irate that he paraphrases lines from “The Godfather, Part II.” Salvatore “The Boss” Maroni takes pleasure in Falcone being dishonored. Falcone puts a bounty out on both Batman and Catwoman. The implication is that the scars on Falcone’s face were courtesy of Catwoman. Batman is given the slip by Catwoman before he can decipher what she was up to. Batman then convenes with Gordon and Dent, passing off the ledger he confiscated from Falcone’s study. The three men agree that they can bend the rules in their pursuit of Falcone, but never break them. Batman stealthily disappears into the night. “He does that,” Gordon explains to Dent.
Bruce Wayne does not want “The Roman” to have any dealings with the Gotham City Bank, so the Batman pays a visit to Richard Daniel, Falcone’s inside man on the board, and aggressively persuades him to vote against the gangster. Alberto Falcone wishes to support his father, but is urged to stay out of the family business. He is like the Michael Corleone of the family, while his cousin, Johnny Viti, the Sonny Corleone, is not being as helpful as he should. Richard Daniel is eventually whacked out for defying Carmine Falcone. Batman impugns the mob, but does not hold himself accountable for placing the late Mr. Daniel in such a predicament. News of this murder reaches Gordon, whose wife Barbara is clearly fed up with life married to a cop. Gilda Dent, is worried that her husband might be next on the mafia’s hit list, but he assures her that everything will be alright. Johnny Viti is then assassinated in his bathtub and the mystery assailant leaves behind a jack-o-lantern as a calling card.
Catwoman wants to keep the ire of the mob off of her, so she gives Batman some useful tips. On Halloween night, Batman and Harvey Dent break into a waterfront warehouse, where Carmine Falcone has stockpiled millions of dollars in cash which he was unable to launder. Brazenly, our two heroes doused the money with gasoline and set it ablaze. Retribution is immediate as Dent returns home to his wife, who was giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Moments later, a fiery explosion, which was the cliffhanger of chapter one. What will transpire in the following chapters? Will Catwoman’s agenda finally be revealed? Will Alberto Falcone follow in his father’s footsteps? Will Salvatore Maroni make a power play? Will Harvey Dent emerge from the flames as Harvey Two-Face?
“The Long Halloween” was obviously an inspiration to Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Not only for the inclusion of Carmine Falcone in “Batman Begins,” but for the relationship between Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent, which played out in “The Dark Knight.”