The First Batman: The Long Halloween Trailer Is Missing Something

Illustration for article titled The First Batman: The Long Halloween Trailer Is Missing Something
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

It was only last week that Warner Bros. Animation released the extensive voice cast for its upcoming animated adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman story The Long Halloween (well, Part One of it, anyway). Now the trailer is here, but something looks off.

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Released by IGN, the trailer has a lot of ground to cover, because there’s a lot going on in The Long Halloween, including the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, Solomon Grundy, Calendar Man, the mob, and the serial killer Holiday. It’s a solid trailer, except...

Judge for yourself, but I’m not seeing almost any of Tim Sale’s art in there, other than light nods to the story’s character design. (Also, it looks like Gordon stepped directly out of the Harley Quinn series.) Instead, it looks that the generic house style that most of these direct-to-home video DC animated movies end up with. That’s not the worst thing in the world—these designs are quite good in and of themselves—but Sale’s art was an enormous part of the reason The Long Halloween is considered one of Batman’s best series, and one of DC Comics’ best series, too. I mean, look at this gorgeousness:

The Long Halloween panel drawn by Tim Sale.
The Long Halloween panel drawn by Tim Sale.
Image: DC Comics

It’s a real bummer, honestly. Anyway, here’s the official synopsis:

Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent) in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that, instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer - the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer.

If you missed it, the voice cast includes Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles as Batman, Troy Baker as the Joker, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman, and many more. Part One is scheduled to come out sometime this summer, with Part Two following in the fall.


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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

DISCUSSION

killa-k
Killa K

Apparently it’s expensive to design character models, even if there’s a reference for them. It’s why Justice League vs The Fatal Five suddenly reverted back to the Bruce Timm art style, why this looks so much like Man of Tomorrow, and why all those New 52-inspired movies shared the same art style. It saves money, and these are direct-to-video movies. They are what they are.

ETA: This is also why I never want an animated Kingdom Come movie unless it’s theatrically released. Sorry, you’re deluding yourself if they can afford an art style - 2D or 3D - that can approximate Alex Ross’ gorgeous art on a DTV budget.