Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by a Fitting Conclusion

This week’s edition of Comics Disassembled starts in the best place possible: with an exciting new comic doing something cool. What’s not to like about that? Let’s get to that and more as we look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics.

1. Batman’s Last Halloween, Paying Tribute

I don’t think it’s a hot take to say that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween is a great comic. That’s pretty undeniable. It’s also an influential one, as comic creators and filmmakers alike have talked about the impact it’s had on them as Batman storytellers since it arrived on the scene. While its follow-up, Batman: Dark Victory, never earned the same acclaim (despite being solid in its own right), it’s clear that this larger story is a massively impactful one, and one that is the defining work from one of the more renowned creative teams of the past 30 years.

Apparently that duo had meant to finish their story off with one final chapter, but when Sale passed away in 2022, it seemed unlikely to ever happen. Seemed, but it seems a solution was found. Batman: The Long Halloween – The Last Halloween will be launching with the first of ten issues this September. This series finds Loeb teaming with an array of other artists, as Eduardo Risso kicks things off with Dave Stewart coloring him, with Mark Chiarello and Klaus Janson coming later on. This is proving to not just be a final chapter but a tribute to Sale himself, with a final piece of Batman art from Sale adorning the first cover even. This story opens around Halloween once again, and it finds the Holiday Killer returning to make Batman’s life hell. Hijinks ensue. I’m not entirely sure what this will entail, but needless to say, though, I’m into all of it.

I do have two small beefs, though. One is that the name is clunky as heck. Batman: The Long Halloween – The Last Halloween is really one too many subtitles. And its titling on the cover is strange, if only because the “B” in “Batman” is backgrounded in white while the rest is backgrounded inblue. That’s bewildering to me! My brain immediately reads it as “ATMAN” when I look at it rather than Batman. But those are two small quibbles about what should be a tremendous comic and a fitting conclusion to a beloved story. I can’t wait for this one.

2. Dog Man, Doubling Up

Cartoonist Dav Pilkey is a whole lot of things — successful, talented, enormously popular, just to name a few — but towards the top of that laundry list are “timely” and “productive.” The guy can produce, produce, produce, and he always seems to deliver comics right when is necessary to keep that Dog Man gravy train rolling. Case in point: This week, it was announced that the 13th entry in the Dog Man series — Big Jim Begins — will arrive in December, making it the second Dog Man release in 2024 alone. That’s well-timed, as the upcoming Dog Man animated film is slated to arrive in January 2025, which means that there will be a new Dog Man graphic novel in the market for anyone who discovers the joys of the character when they see the movie the following month.

That’s pretty incredible! Two graphic novels in one year (or really, between March and December) is wild, even for an unstoppable force like Pilkey. But hey, that’s good for everyone, from the bookstores and comic shops who sell the series to the cartoonist’s enormous collection of fans.

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