Superotherside's Classic Review: The Dark Knight Returns
This classic Frank Miller tale, The Dark Knight Returns has garnered both praise from critics and fans alike, but what could be so fantastic about a 55 year old Batman coming out of retirement to done on the cape and cowl again? Make the jump to see if this classic story is worth answering the bat signal or if it's just a joke.
What's so great about Batman? Some have honestly asked the question. Well, if you're wondering this, you need to read this book. Not only does it show why Batman holds to his ideals but it also shows a different side of the DC universe.
First off, Batman's too old for crime fighting and he knows it. But what can a man who has always done the right thing that needed to be done no matter what? But like everyone else he knew, Jim Gordon, Oliver Queen, Selina Kyle, Harvey Dent, they are too old. The city has changed, people say, the old ways don't work anymore. But do they? Perhaps it's just no one has tried? Perhaps it's just because no one has stood up for something? Perhaps Batman is needed? Perhaps Batman can come back.
Thus Batman is back. While there is a sort of urban legend surrounding Batman, there are very mixed views on his return. Bruce has his even his own mixed feelings about his return. He knows someone must stand up for what's right, but he knows he's too old to do it. Or is he? Are you ever too old? Are you ever unable to take a stand for what's right? These are concepts Bruce fights more than any of the villains which show up in the series.
Oh yes, but getting to the villains. There is no shortage of them, and they are just as evil and mean as ever. Two Face psychology is even more explored than in Batman: The Long Halloween, check out my review here, showing while his face is now physically cured, Harvey is still disfigured in his own mind.
Coming out of years long catatonic state, Joker wants to play his game with Batman again. But Batman is too old to play games. As Batman always realized Joker isn't crazy. He's just evil. He has to be stopped, and he stops him the only way possible. It'll mean crossing the line Bruce as drawn for himself all these years. Killing him.
Man of Steel, the Superman. Yes, that's right. Superman is a sort of villain in this book. Clark and Bruce have a sort of friendship much like Tony and Steve have in the Avengers. They work well together, they're different as night and day, but they usually work out their disagreements and fight the bad guy. This isn't the case here. Superman has been forced to be the governments pet, the government using his abilities to fight wars for them and stop Batman, if necessary. Clark's thought is much like Tony's thought in Civil War. The people are afraid of them, so they wear a badge and get orders to do what's right... or wrong. While Bruce's theory is much like Steve's theory in Civil War, you can't let them tell you what to do, because ultimately they'll be telling you who the bad guy is. Thus the difference of opinion, finally escalates to blows. It's an amazing ride.
Honestly, that's all I can say. This story is so good, if you haven't read it, you don't want to be spoiled with more story details.
With a fantastic story, Bat fans, Superman fans, and just comic fans should pick up this book. It's just that good.
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