Comics: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Posted 6 March, 2019 by Lianne in Comics / 1 Comment

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
By: Frank Miller (Writer/Illustrator), Lynn Varley (Colorist), Klaus Janson (Illustrator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my brother’s purchase

Together with inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley, writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in his saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, ten years after the Dark Knight’s retirement. This masterpiece of modern comics storytelling, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, brings to vivid life a dark world and an even darker man.

The Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence. He is soon joined by a new Robin–a girl named Carrie Kelley, who proves to be just as invaluable as her predecessors.

But can Batman and Robin deal with the threat posed by their deadliest enemies, after years of incarceration have made them into perfect psychopaths? And more important, can anyone survive the coming fallout from an undeclared war between the superpowers — or the clash of what were once the world’s greatest heroes?

Celebrate thirty years of one of the most influential stories ever told in the comics medium with the undisputed classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, now with a new cover and introduction.

My brother is forever pushing DC titles my way so this was in the cue. I long heard of what a staple this title is to the Batman canon so here I am, finally reading it 🙂

Apologies first if this review seems a bit incomplete or whatnot; at the time that I am typing this, it has been a few weeks since I had read the comic so I’m trying to remember my impression of the story as a whole.

I remembered thinking how interesting it was that it tackled the personas of the Batman and Bruce Wayne, where the line is drawn between the two. At the start of the story Batman is believed to be dead, Bruce continuing on with his life but is unable to after crime skyrockets in Gotham with new gangs afoot. Like Bruce, I was baffled how, upon donning his suit once more, he was able to move about like a man in his twenties, which again raises the question about the distinctions between the two characters (the superhero and the man behind the mask).

And the deeper the story goes…was the recent Superman vs. Batman supposed to sort of follow this plot? Only with the role reversal of Batman trying to reign Superman in? It was interesting to read how that went down…

What was also really cool was how Robin in this Batman story was a girl! I’m surprised they haven’t decided to go with this story thread so far (the only Batman story that features a female Robin?)…Although it is rather concerning how young Batman’s sidekicks often are…and how often they end up as casualties in the fight…

While I enjoyed the artwork and the storytelling, one thing that bogged the experience down for me was much of the commentary peppered throughout from television analysts about the state of Gotham. I get why they were there and it was interesting but sometimes their commentary went on for pages, got bored after a while.

Overall The Dark Knight Returns was an interesting read, I can see why it’s such a classic in the Batman lore.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Learn more about the writer on Wikipedia || Order this book from the Book Depository

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