Following the success of BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN it was sort of inevitable that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale would team up again for a sequel, and DARK VICTORY was the result. Picking up after the Holiday murders in the first series, the bad guys are either dead, in Arkham, or disabled – and the same goes for some of the good guys as well, with Harvey Dent’s transition to Two-Face completed by the end of HALLOWEEN and at the start of this series, he’s locked up in Arkham.
There’s a hell of a lot going on in this collection so I’m not going to do a big review of the entire series, but suffice to say not only was the story wonderfully paced, with twists and turns galore, but the art was excellent as well, with splash pages such as this:
Catwoman and her relationship with Batman also got some coverage, the complicated toing and froing between her and Batman, and Selina and Bruce running through the book.
But I think the biggest reveal was the inclusion and introduction of the first Robin. I’m pretty sure I read an interview with Loeb when this series was coming out where he said he’d never really liked Robin so hasn’t used him in any of the previous Batman stories he’d done, but with DARK VICTORY he found a way to bring the character in.
And at the end of the book, the main plot is tied up, though there are enough threads left hanging that there could have been a third (apart from CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME) but for whatever reasons, it never happened.
Still, as the final page shows, we’ve got a good idea of where things go from here: