Breaking – DC Comics announced today that the superstar team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale will reunite to answer the long-burning question—Who is Holiday?—in the long-awaited follow-up to 1996’s Batman: The Long Halloween. Coming this summer, Loeb and Sale will revisit the story in Batman: The Long Con Job to definitively settle the question.
Spanning a year’s worth of stories, Batman: The Long Halloween was Loeb and Sale’s epic story of how Gotham City transformed from a mob-run city to a city of criminal freaks in Batman’s early years. The central mystery concerned the villain “Holiday,” an unseen killer who targeted the Falcone and Maroni crime families only on holidays, leaving behind festive tokens at each killing. An incredibly influential story, The Long Halloween spawned two sequels—Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome, and was a source of inspiration for material on Gotham and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins trilogy.
On returning to the original story, Loeb says “Obviously, the biggest teaser we left our fans with was: who is Holiday’s? The penultimate issue revealed it was Alberto Falcone, but Tim and I kept dropping hints that it was actually Harvey Dent, before he even became Two-Face. In a way, it was Dent, because he carried out the final Holiday killing.”
However fans were left perplexed when Two-Face’s wife, Gilda, made a silent confession at the end of the story that she had been the Holiday killer for most of the story. Fans have puzzled over the ending for years, with multiple theories as to whether the true killer was Alberto, Harvey, Gilda or some combination. “I’ve been asked for years by fans on which theory was correct,” Loeb says. “To date, I’ve never given up the answer. The clues are there in the story, but that’s not enough for a lot of people. The Long Con Job is going to answer it once and for all, and fans won’t be let down.”
Like its predecessors, The Long Con Job will span thirteen issues, this time opening in August on the late Carmine Falcone’s birthday. “That’s a clue,” laughs Loeb. “Batman will be running around after the Riddler, who’s trying to desert Gotham City. It’s a decade after the Holiday killings, and it turns out someone’s after the Riddler—someone who’s left him a Holiday clue. It’s left the Riddler in tears—remember, he’s the only guy who’s survived a Holiday killing—and he knows that he needs to get out without even saying goodbye to Gotham.”
“Not that Batman will have it,” he adds. “When Batman learns that Holiday—or someone like him—is back, he realizes the original Holiday investigation may have been wrong. So we end up with this reluctant partnership between Batman and the Riddler to find the truth. I’m not going to lie—what the two learn will hurt you as a reader.”
Loeb plans to revisit much of the original story, as Batman and the Riddler work together over a year to cover their original tracks. Bruce Wayne will be forced to reconsider his old friendship with Harvey Dent, and the biggest unanswered question will be explored—whatever happened to Gilda Dent?
“Trust us, this is gonna be great.” Loeb remarked. “I’m really looking forward to working with Tim [Sale] again. He’s got some great updated designs for the characters and Gotham City, and we’ll explore how things have worsened a decade after the original story.”
And does Loeb care to offer any hints on Holiday’s identity? He laughs: “Trust me, you already know who it is. You just don’t know that you know. Part of the fun of this story will be going back to show you what Holiday was doing between the panels of The Long Halloween.”
What are the plans after this book? “The Long Con Job is going to take a lot out of us, but Tim and I are excited to be doing this. We’ve got longer-term plans to get back to our Marvel ‘color’ series like Spider-Man: Blue and Daredevil: Yellow.”
Those plans? “Our priority is to do X-Men: Red, which has so much room to explore there. Red covers the love triangle on the team—it’s Jean’s hair, but it’s also Scott’s eyebeams and Wolverine’s rage. So we’ll be doing a Silver Age look at how the team grew and matured. We’re definitely also doing a Fantastic Four: Orange, and Black Panther: Black. Finally we’ll wrap up with Thor: Rainbow, which is going to look at the Odinson’s involvement in the New York gay community in the 1960s. It’s going to really stick to Stan and Jack’s original vision, trust me.”
Batman: The Long Con Job will launch August 16, 2017.