I understand now. Frank Miller is awesome.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley

So this book, for anyone who hasn’t done their Batman research, is a non-canonical story about Bruce Wayne/Batman and the rest of the gang. Non-canonical meaning it doesn’t follow the story line that unfolded in the DC universe, where Batman has a weak heart and Terry McGinnis breaks into the Bat Cave and steals the suit and thus spawns the Batman Beyond series.

In this story Bruce Wayne hasn’t dawned the cape and cowl for ten years, since the death of the second Robin – Jason Todd. He’s taking retirement pretty badly and spends most of his time thrill seeking/looking for a good death, being a raging alcoholic and reminiscing with James Gordan, who is also coming up on his retirement.

Meanwhile, an enormous gang/small army calling themselves the Mutants are the new crime in Gotham, committing crazy acts of kidnapping, murder (often together) and essentially terrorism (Not in the American Terrorism way, but using fear as a weapon to subdue and control the population). At the same time, Harvey Dent is being released from Arkham with a new face and theoretically a new attitude (SPOILER – it doesn’t take).

Bruce Wayne finds himself incapable of watching these terrible events happen, so despite his age he suits up for another run.

Along the way he picks up a new Robin, a young girl called Carrie Kelly much to Alfred’s distress and together they set out to end the Mutant organization, avoid police capture now that James Gordon isn’t watching the Batman’s back, catch the Joker and keep order when an apocalyptic event occurs.

And it’s spectacular.

At first I wasn’t thrilled with the graphics – I’m still not  suppose. I tend to like big, colourful pictures with firm lines instead of little ones, sketchy ones but as I read through it I started to see the pictures as the only way to tell this story. In fragments because that’s how the story is told. We get internal monologues from Bruce, Carrie, Alfred, Oliver Queen, Clark Kent and James Gordon and a lot of the action is explained through news reports. The images have to be sketchy and hard to understand because of the time and the place the story takes place in.

I loved every single frame of this book, the way Bruce was struggling with himself, Clark Kent coming across as the sell out (which he kind of was… just sayin’), the surprise twist at the end it was all wonderful. Very dark, very powerful and very human.

Last movie I watched: Ghost. Nice movie but the DVD was all scratched for the pottery scene. That was disappointing

Last TV episode I watched: Yu-Gi-Oh or something. I don’t know. They were throwing cards at each other.

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2 thoughts on “I understand now. Frank Miller is awesome.

  1. Lydia says:

    I read that tooooo! (My husband loves comics and owns several really good ones.) I liked how it was pretty scary–not like horror, but more like, that underlying tension, that you know everything is screwed up and bad stuff WILL HAPPEN or is ALREADY HAPPENING.

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