Classic Comics: Batman, The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

250px-Dark_knight_returnsI kind of dropped of reading comics when I was a kid so it was only thanks to the Christopher Nolan trilogy that I went back and read several of the sources of stories used in the movies. I talked to  comics geek friend m.poulet recommended Batman, The Dark Knight Returns in particular. I recalled also an episode of Comic Book Men where Kevin Smith and the boys reminisce about the impact that this particular comic had on them. I had read and enjoyed Sin City (and LOVED the Roberto Rodriguez film adaptation with the amazing return of Mickey Rourke) but somehow had passed right by the comic that CHANGED IT ALL. Apparently, this particular cycle took the comix world by storm. Learning all of this, naturally I was curious to read it and I was not disappointed.

2825661-batman_the_dark_knight_returnsThe ragging on Reagan is great and I love the graphic style. The story itself is riveting – the Mutants are killer bad guys, Robin in unexpectedly feminine (that was a surprise!) but what works best for me is the Superman-Batman disagreement and fight. Something about seeing Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne arguing while playing golf was awesome. I can see that although no particular sub-themes or characters from this graphic novel were recycled into the Batman Trilogy, the return of Bruce Wayne after retirement and his state of physical exhaustion was pretty similar in both I felt. I also thought that the darkness of Batman in this comic and in the film were very simular.

I read also the other Frank Miller Batman: Year One but was less amazed by the graphics and story. Batman, The Dark Knight Returns was truly a masterpiece of the genre.

About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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7 Responses to Classic Comics: Batman, The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

  1. Ed M. says:

    Agreed – a groundbreaking comic. The was a great era in comic books with Miller and the brits, Moore, Gaiman, and Morrison redefining the genre. Speaking of Kevin Smith and Batman, his podcast “Fat Man on Batman” is pretty amusing.

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