Tag Archives: Batman

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

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Do you remember the campy version of Batman from the 1960’s TV show?  That’s the way he was portrayed for several decades. But everything changed in 1986 thanks to Frank Miller’s Batman: the Dark Knight Returns. Miller’s depiction of the Dark Knight, along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen, ushered in a new, darker era for comic books.

The Dark Knight Rises is itself a very interesting read. Batman retired ten years ago. But crime has continued unabated in Gotham City. When an extremely violent gang appears, something within Bruce Wayne snaps and he can’t keep Batman hidden inside anymore. But Wayne is over fifty years old; fighting crime is much harder in his aging body.

Gotham City has also changed. Commissioner Gordon is retiring. His chosen replacement, the first woman Commissioner, feels the Dark Knight is a menace who must be hunted down. This is part of a larger debate within Gotham City, where various individuals weigh in on how they feel about the Dark Knight’s return. This part of the story feels very relevant to today, both in the way that it is presented (with talk show hosts bringing in various guests to debate) and in how divided in thought everyone is. And while The Dark Knight Returns has these modern aspects, it is also very much a product of its time, having been written during the Cold War; it expressly deals with people’s fears from the time (but with a superhero twist).

One warning though: the physical book is rather daunting thanks to the sheer amount of dialogue in it. The art is also not particularly appealing, making this graphic novel a bit harder to get through as well. But the story is very much worth it!

Batman: Knightfall

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It’Broken Bats been almost a year since I read it, but Batman: Knightfall remains one of my favourite graphic novels.  Knightfall Part 1 tells the story of a burnt-out Batman, who is in desperate need of a rest.  Unfortunately for him, an unknown enemy has just released all of the villians from Arkham Assylum and it’s up to Batman to round them all up again.  He’s barely able to defeat even the weakest villian, and every fight leaves Batman in worse shape than he was before.  Part 1 ends on who rules the nightan unbelievable note when Batman finally faces the enemy who put him through this.  Knightfall Part 2 begins with everyone trying to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Part 2’s battle, and Part 3 concludes the story.  I found Parts 2 and 3 alright, but nothing could compare to Knightfall Part 1: Broken Bat.  This is a dark, amazing tale, unlike anything you’ve ever read before about the Dark Knight.