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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns [Paperback]

Frank Miller , Klaus Janson , Lynn Varley , Alan Moore
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1986 --  
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Book Description

1986
A grim look into Batman's dark future in this brutal recreation of a legend.


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; Edition Not Stated edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907610900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907610908
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 16.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

If any comic has a claim to have truly reinvigorated the genre then The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller--known recently for his excellent Sin City series and, previously, for his superb rendering of the blind superhero Daredevil--is probably the supreme contender. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself a tough task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children's cartoon character into a hero for our times. In his introduction the great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, the arguably peerless Watchmen) argues that only someone of Miller's stature could have done this. Batman is a character known well beyond the confines of the comic world (as are his retinue) and so reinventing him, while keeping his limiting core essentials intact, was a huge task.

Miller went far beyond the call of duty. The Dark Knight is a success on every level. Firstly it does keep the core elements of the Batman myth intact, with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon and the old roster of villains, present yet brilliantly subverted. Secondly the artwork is fantastic--detailed, sometimes claustrophobic, psychotic. Lastly it's a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, streetgangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham? It is 10 years since the last recorded sighting of the Batman. And things have got worse than ever. Bruce Wayne is close to being a broken man but something is keeping him sane: the need to see change and the belief that he can orchestrate some of that change. Batman is back. The Dark Knight has returned. Awesome. --Mark Thwaite

Review

."..probably the finest piece of comic art ever published in a popular edition..."--Stephen King"Groundbreaking."--USA TODAY"It's film noir in cartoon pane ls."--VANITY FAIR"There's never been storytelling quite like this."--THE WASHINGTON POST"Changed the course of comics."--ROLLING STONE"Revisionist pop epic."--SPIN --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 10 July 2009
Format:Paperback
This is probably the best Batman story ever written - it reinvented and renewed the character, made the Dark Knight a more frightening and frighteningly real person and made the graphic novel into a modern art form. Not bad comic book...

Miller's writing here is excellent (unlike the bizarre angry, sweary, trying-so-hard-to-be-gritty-it's-just-funny style he seems to be stuck in post Sin City) and the story moves along excellently. At first, things look a little to 'episodic' to really come together, but the more you read the better it seems to get. The art work itself seems a little odd to start with - it's a lot less 'comic book' like than most - but the style shouldn't put you off as it really suits the atmosphere of the story (something that becomes obvious on the Caped Crusader's first full page appearance).

If you've got no previous knowledge of the Batman, this is not the place to start. Try Miller's also excellent 'Year One' instead. But make sure you DO get round to reading this gem. Just quit before you read 'All Star's Batman and Robin'...
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 4 Jan 2002
Format:Paperback
Despite all the talk of a vital adult comic scene there are actually only two creators really pulling it off: Alan Moore and Frank Miller who together pretty much started it all off with Watchmen and Dark Knight respectively.
Rereading Dark Knight now it still reads very fresh having lost none of it's intensity or originality either in technique or narrative. The only thing that dates it as a product of it's time are Miller's pot shots at 80's American politics and the Cold War.
It's a pity Miller never hit these heights again but with the sequel, Dark Knight Strkes Again, in the shops there's never been a better time to revisit this revolutionary comic. Truly excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By DrG
Format:Paperback
You don't have to like Batman to enjoy this (although you probably will after reading it :D). This *amazing* graphic novel will grab you by the throat, and you'll struggle to put it down until you are done.

Believe it or not, this is better than his Sin City work (by a long way) and better than the popular 300 (by a long long long long way).

Guaranteed to make your heart beat faster, claustrophobic and tense, this is sheer genius, and definetely in the Top Ten graphic novels of all time. Many would say it is #1. If you have any interest in comics, BUY it now.

The only downside to readig this, is that you will look long and hard before you reach these dizzy heights again.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no better graphic novel available. 29 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought and read this book at Xmas 1986,having not read a superhero comic/graphic novel for about 10 years.It made me realise how much I loved and missed the world of DC and Marvel.Since then I have been as avid a fan as I ever was, but I have to say that this novel is unmatched by anything I've read either before or after.Bruce Wayne is old,Batman is a story parents tell their kids to frighten them and Gotham City is more violent than ever.All the ingredients are there for a dramatic and violent return of the dark knight.A lot of the old characters are in there-Superman(and the showdown that was always on the cards)Green Arrow,Catwoman and THE JOKER.If you really thought you knew how much of an evil psycopath this guy is then read this novel and think again.There is only one true super villain-buy it.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the reason adults still buy comics 18 July 2002
Format:Paperback
'Comic' just doesn't apply to some of the mature and intelligent graphic novels available on the market today. Dark Knight Returns is a prime example. Here Frank Miller brings his gritty, gothic, noir style and stamps it all over the franchise. With an aging Bruce Wayne slowly going round the bend as he battles to lead a 'normal life', fighting against his conscience to turn the other cheek, the Joker is released from jail after a 'full mental recovery'.Gotham City is plagued by a new breed of criminal and soon the Batmans voice will have to be heard.
This graphic novel is a landmark in the comics book industry, being one of the biggest and longest selling novels ever. With appearances from old flames, brothers in arms and the perfectly handled appearance of a new Robin, this is familiar territory in a futuristic Gotham on boiling point. Add to this the ultimate showdown between the All American Boyscout (Superman)and the Dark Knight himself (yes, the movie question on everyones lips today was answered years ago) and you STILL haven't scratched the surface.
Buy it.
Read it.
Love it.
'Peel'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern Batman for a modern age. 9 July 2013
Format:Paperback
The way people have gone on and on about this book, it didn't seem logical not to read it. People have promoted this as being the greatest graphic novel of all time. I don't really agree, but it was nonetheless a good read.

An aged Batman comes out of retirement, with a new Robin and a new approach to crime fighting, into a Gotham that has fallen to ruin under the new crime wave of the criminal gang 'The Mutants' and corruption of the law. Along the way, he encounters old nemeses and old comrades as well as new ones as he continues the seemingly un-winnable fight against crime.

One thing that I will say is that this book really helped to get Batman out of his awkward 1960s campiness and reintroduced him into a cynical and dark approach to comics. Much like Alan Moore's Watchmen, this book views the mythos of Batman in a more satirical, gritty and realistic light, showing that there are consequences to everything that happens. Miller's writing shows that things are never so black-and-white as in more mainstream comics. Batman's unwillingness to do bad things and to follow a moral code can only take one so far, and sometimes tough decisions haave to be made for the greater good. If only Frank Miller hadn't turned into the narcissistic, sexist and racist writer he has become today. At least in here, there was a point to everything that happened.

Miller's art varies between good and bad. I don't know how to describe it. Many times the art is scary and dynamic and badass, as we want, but then come sequences such as the television broadcasts, where the panels (shaped as tv sets) are so small that the characters look almost comically underdrawn and rather painful to look at.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome.
Published 2 days ago by ste holt
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Loved this book my favourite comic about batman. Never heard of the mutants how are they I liked them a lot read this comic
Published 2 months ago by masmac mm
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass
I was aware of it for ages and heard of the high regard it held in comic circles. So it was a slight feeling of trepidation I opened it and was glad I did. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael J. Lynch
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential?
I like it but I honestly did not think it lived up to the massive hype I heard about it. Maybe I am just not a big enough fan of Batman to appreciate it but I read a lot of other... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVOURITE COMIC
This has been my favourite comic since I first laid eyes on it as a young boy. Now in my 20's I find the story as captivating as ever but I now understand the adult humour as well!
Published 2 months ago by Robert Ashley Wild
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Complicated and Overrated.
After reading Frank Miller's "Year One", I decided to buy his other Batman book "The Dark Knight Returns". Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice change from the movies
I've read a few graphic novels but not many..... this one was excellent and while I like the Batman universe at lot already I really enjoyed the focus on a new part of his life.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An old classic
Much more darker than your average comic, the art style takes a little to get used to also, but the story is golden, I 100% recommend you buy this and read the comic!
Published 4 months ago by Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Bat-best
This will always remain an outstanding example of graphic fiction for a wide variety of well deserved reasons. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Daniel Ramsden
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
i was expecting this to be great from the hype, ended up one of the most off-beat, bizarre and just plain silly comics i have read.
Not a fan of this at all.
Published 5 months ago by T.H
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