Batman:The Dark Knight Returns. So much has been said. It has been called so many things, but when we really get down to it, what is Dark Knight, really? Social commentary? Political opinion? A showcase of what can be accomplished through this magnificent artform we call comics? Perhaps there's an element of all of these in Dark Knight. But none of that matters, when compared to what lies at the heart of this watershed work -- the character of The Batman. A character who has been interpreted in thousands of different ways, but who is in Dark Knight finally presented in his definitive form.
Frank Miller managed to capture so perfectly this character -- his feelings, his motivations and his actions -- that his seminal work served, almost solely, as the basis for the next decade of superhero stories. The fact that the vast majority of the followers failed in capturing the magic of Dark Knight only makes us examine the book in greater detail, to try and find what it is about it that makes it a masterpiece. The answer is really quite simple -- a powerful story, told with striking artwork. These two elements, along with a third, the unique combination of art and prose that only comics can offer, combine to give us one of the finest works of fiction in modern literature.
The near future. The world is dark. Wet. Cruel. Gotham's worse.
Violence and evil are all the citizens know. Terror is the only thing they all share.
There was a champion here once, a man who dared to fight back. But he has not been seen in ten years. He sits at home now; his obsession subdued, his inner voices finally quieted. This man's obsession is justice however, and justice's cry cannot be silenced, nor ignored. He will not sit much longer.
He will rise. The Dark Knight will rise and when he does, he'll do what he has to - he'll protect the innocent. Nothing will stop him - not a gun, not a flag, not a Clown Prince.
Not a Man of Steel.
This is the tale of a man doing what he must.
It's been three years since, in the eyes of those who live above, I died.
I've been very patient.
I've trained my students and honed my skills.
I've waited -- and watched the world go right straight to hell...
My patience is at its end.
The time has come.
15 years later...The Dark Knight Strikes Again. DK2, published in 2001, is radically different, bursting with a vitality and a welcome, overwhelming exuberance. It upset a bunch of people who wanted a straight sequel, and I'm glad it did so.
Get used to it...
It's a whole new ballgame.
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Batman and all related characters, locations etc. copyright and trademarked by DC Comics. Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' and 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again' are written and illustrated by Frank Miller.
I make no money from this website, in fact I make no money at all, from anything.
And soon I will die. Good night.