Batman:The Long Halloween #11:
Roman Holiday



        It is August 2, the date on which Maroni is going to trial to testify against Carmine Falcone, but before Harvey can leave home and head for court, Gilda stops him. She is disturbed by something she has found in the basement--a .22, just like one of Holiday’s guns. Harvey claims that it’s simply evidence he brought home from work, curtly ignoring Gilda’s surprise as he goes.
        Batman has other things on his mind than the trial, namely finding the Riddler, who Holiday let live on April Fool’s Day. Batman tracks him down at a small tavern and challenges his connection to Holiday. Riddler explains that the Roman hired him to find out who Holiday was but kicked him out when the solutions he gave were less than satisfactory. This information leads Batman to posit that maybe Riddler was left alive to spread the word that the Roman was looking for Holiday.
        Carmine is similarly being disputed by Carla, who disapproves of the family hiring freaks like Poison Ivy and the Riddler, as they have done of late. Sofia interrupts the argument to lead Carmine away... to a surprise party in his honor. August 2 is the Roman’s birthday.
        In Sal’s cell before the trial, Jim Gordon pats Maroni down to make sure he’s not carrying any weapons into the courtroom. But Vernon meets Sal at the door of the court to give him stomach medicine for his ulcer. Harvey is optimistic as Sal takes the stand that his testimony will bring organized crime in Gotham to a halt. Once under oath Maroni admits to killing two members of the Gazzo family, a mob operating in Metropolis. When Harvey inquires if the Roman ordered the hit, Sal fakes a coughing fit and reaches for his stomach medicine.
        It is not medicine but actually acid. Sal hurls it in Harvey’s face and he falls to the floor screaming. Harvey is rushed to the hospital but once there he stabs a doctor and escapes.
        And Carla Viti, investigating the coroner’s files on the Holiday victims, becomes one herself.

























Annotations/Analysis


  • Page 1--Even Gilda’s face is half in shadow now. Harvey’s fall from grace is imminent.
  • Page 2--Harvey is angry with Gilda here so his face too is half in shadow.
  • Page 3--Here on the right side of that first panel we see the furnace that plays an important role in the closing of TLH’s final issue (and IT’S half in shadow!!!).
  • Page 4--
    • The workbench in panel one is a red herring; don’t fall for it. The vice is in the foreground so the position of items on the pegboard doesn’t matter. Besides, if Harv had been Holiday, the workbench we saw Holiday using in ish one blew up on the final page with the rest of the house.
    • Notice the two contrasts shown here in how Harvey and Gilda define themselves. In panel one, Gilda says to Harv, “I’m your wife.” Harvey’s reply in panel two: “I’m the district attorney.” Ouch. Does not bode well for the marriage.
    • Gilda’s final comment in the last panel of this page is “All the time...?” which could be taken one of two ways. One, if you’re not inclined to believe that Gilda was Holiday, it might be her surprise at the fact that he brings evidence home, displaying her lack of knowledge about his practices at this point and thus meaning she’s lying later when she says she read Harvey’s files before this and knew how to commit the crimes. This interpretation jibes with her comment in panel one, “since when do you bring evidence home from the office?” A second interpretation might be that she is surprised by the fact that he does it ALL the time, as if she finally realizes that this practice of him bringing work home won’t end when Carmine is gone.
    • Another thing that doesn’t quite go along with what Gilda says in ish 13 is Harvey’s comment in panel one, “We’re all working on this “Holiday” thing. It has to stop.” If Gilda really believed that Harvey had taken up the mantle after she quit killing on New Year’s, then wouldn’t this comment that Holiday has to stop shock her? Wouldn’t she just say, “Then stop killing them, Harv, like I did” or something like that? I think this page has a lot of proof in it that Gilda’s comments in the end of ish 13 were just bunk.
  • Page 5--
    • Wonder who the “JB” in the bartender’s tattoo, seen in panel one, is.
    • There’s a box sitting behind the bar next to all the liquor bottles that is labeled “Reciept.” “Receipt” is spelled wrong.
  • Page 6--Batman’s comments about “superstitious” and “cowardly” in panel four harken back of course to the line of dialogue from Batman’s origin. As he sat in front of the bust of his father, thinking “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot,” a bat flew in through the window and landed on the bust, thus influencing Bruce’s choice of costume.
  • Page 8--The Riddler says two important things in the fourth panel. First, he says that Carmine kicked him out because “He asked me who Holiday was and didn’t like my answers.” Batman doesn’t even question what his answer was, and he should have. Since his final answer (which he didn’t need any lifelines for... sorry, the pun was there and it had to die) was Carmine himself, the Riddler’s subsequent manhandling could have been out of disgust with how wrong he was, or with how right he was. The latter is the case, I think. The Riddler’s second comment, “Why didn’t Holiday kill me?”, leads Batman to the conclusion that it was because Carmine wanted the word spread that he was looking for Holiday, as if to draw suspicion away from himself. These two comments combined prove that Carmine in some way controlled Holiday, but Batman is too thickheaded to think to simply ask the Riddler who it was that pointed the gun at him.
  • Page 9--The TV’s back on the Roman’s desk in panel two but on the left side now.
  • Page 11--
    • Vernon’s pretense in panel one to be meeting Sal for the first time should have tipped off the guards here. Surely since they came from the prison, one of them must have known that Vernon visited Sal in jail, esp. since you usually have to log in when you go to visit someone in prison.
    • The “Yeah, yeah” comment Sal makes to Vernon in the last panel should also have been a clue that something was amiss. You’re not allowed to be rude to the prosecutors like that.
    • Panel two tells us that Sal’s trial occurred in courtroom seven.
  • Page 12-13--
    • Note the family tree from issue three on the easel at the top of page 12.
    • Behind Harvey on the table is a pile of .22s with the handles taped. I don’t really see how evidence relating o Holiday is relevant to Sal’s case.
    • Notice in the right-hand corner of page 13 that the guy in the stocking cap will be seen in later panels. It’s Bruce in disguise.
    • Maroni’s “medicine” is visible in his hand on page 13.
    • I can’t help wondering if Tim didn’t hide folks he knew in the courtroom somewhere. In his Comics Scene interview, he said he doesn’t normally do that kid of thing, but in the jury in Challengers of the Unknown #2, Matt Wagner, creator of Mage and Tim’s friend, appears.
  • Page 14--I’m not sure if we should recognize any of the partygoers or not. I looked back at the people at Johnny’s wedding in issue one but couldn’t place any of those folks here. If anybody notices a resemblance, let me know and I’ll post it here.
  • Page 15--
    • First, a slight art glitch. The jury visible over Harvey’s left shoulder in panel one is different from that on page 13. Previously in the front row, there had been a man with glasses on on the farthest right (facing the jurybox) and then a woman. Here to the farthest right is a woman (who looks sorta like Carla) and then a moustached man (who looks sorta like the moustached man from issue one).
    • The only real reference to the Gazzo family which operates out of Metropolis, outside of the Falcone family tree, comes in Sal’s dialogue here in panel one where he claims to have killed Mickey and Frankie Gazzo. One of the two of them apparently had a son named Bobby who appeared in the first issue of DV, but who has yet to return.
    • That surprised comment of Harvey’s in panel two REALLY should have tipped off the guards who escorted him in that something was up. They must have been slacking that day.
  • Page 16--
    • That’s clearly Bruce now in panel four.
    • A bottle of Jiffy Fast-acting Antacid is visible in panel five, and it is seen again (with a caution warning on the side--I love black humor!) in panel two of the next page. Jiffy acts fast, alright, but I’d still rather stick with Pepto, thanks.
  • Page 17--
    • The first panel’s shot of Harvey’s left side in shadow and his right side angry foreshadows the quick emergence of Two-Face.
    • I love the shocked look on Harvey’s face in panel three (from the left side’s POV, I’ll point out).
    • I really love the shot of the candles being blown out in the last panel, just as Carmine’s wish comes true.
  • Page 19--GREAT! So simple, yet so symbolic, this page is also among my favorite artwork in the series. The contrast of the angry dark red and the sheer darkness of the black, coupled with that pained first panel and the single angry eye on the right side... oooh, it just gives me chills.
  • Page 20--
    • Don’t know why a poster in Gotham Hospital (as it is identified in panel one) would say this, but under Barbara’s word balloon in panel two, the poster’s last word is visible: STUPID.
    • Jeph himself recently pointed out to me that, just because the doctor gets stabbed and collapses in the bottom two panels, doesn’t mean he died. First, the scalpel isn’t in too deep, and second, he’s in a freaking hospital, the best place in the world to get help because medical attention is mere feet away.
  • Page 21--This is one that confuses me. As Carla searches the coroner’s files, she finds two files in the drawer (in panel two) labeled “Toots” Marelli Luca and “Curly” Joey --ndano. This file is labeled “Holiday” but Toots was killed by the Joker on Christmas and “Curly” was still alive at the end of the issue. He might have been killed in the car on Valentine’s Day or at the St. Paddy’s Day massacre, but in neither case is he readily visible. So why are these files in the “Holiday” drawer?
  • Page 22--This one escaped me totally, but luckily my good pal Killer Smile pointed it out to me--There’s no Holiday clue here! No snow globe, cornucopia or anything. Just the gun and the file drawer. And I never realized it until he told me, even after reading it at least fifteen times.




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