“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank MIller
“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” is a Batman comic book miniseries written and drawn by Frank Miller and published by DC Comics from February to June 1986. It reintroduced Batman to the general public as the psychologically dark character of his original 1930s conception, and helped to usher in an era of “grim and gritty” superheroes from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. – Description from Wikipedia
When I read “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” it was in a complete graphic novel and it was an amazing read. It made me understand the origin of Batman and how tragic and psychologically disturb Bruce Wayne is.
Before then I was only exposed to the campy version with Adam West and Burt Ward. Frank Miller made him an aged man, loner pass his prime haunted by the choice he made and the lives he felt responsible for.
Grounded in a grittier and darker world a place that you conceived needed a superhero like Batman to survive and function. It is a city that you and I would fear to live in, where the 2nd amendment would be a requirement to live in Gotham City.
The tale that Frank Miller wrote and drew pulls the reader in. You are constantly wondering where he’s going to take Batman’s journey. I exampled each panel and how he captured the right moment to tell his story. It’s one of those graphic novels that change my perspective on things I believe that comic book characters were. It made he love Batman; a character that despite his flaw tried to bring justice to a world dying, decaying and falling all around him. Having recently reread it I found that it was a lot of Miller characterization in this novel that influenced what I loved about Batman.
It also gave one of the most memory images in life and mind; Batman defeating Superman. As a kid “Superman” and Christopher Reeves was my hero, He truly made me believe a man could fly. I would run around the house and I once asked my mom if I jumped out of our two-story window I fly out the window like Superman. At three years old I she told the different between real and fantasy. To this day it’s something that I can never live down.
Frank Miller gave me an image that I have never forgotten. Even despite being a big fan of Superman made me realize Superman is as frail as any human on this planet. That Batman is a true hero. At 55 in the comic he took down the ‘Man of Steel’.
If you have never read the graphic novel this is just one of the reasons you should read it. It’s dramatic, and thrilling to read. It’s something that you just can not believe it is unfolding before your eyes. In my opinion this is what makes it an instant classic among the countless story told in the history of Batman and Superman.