Batman: Dark Knight Returns Paperback – 16 May 1997
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This ground-breaking synthesis of comic-book icons and modern cinematic sensibilities redefined an American myth and reshaped the face of modern graphic novels. And now, a decade later, it's back...to inspire a new generation! This edition contains 28 pages of never-before-seen sketches, art and text, with a new cover, designed by Chip Kidd. This is the tale of a tortured hero's twilight and his efforts to save the city he had once sworn to protect from spiralling relentlessly into chaos. Batman's struggles with a new breed of criminal, the training of a new Robin, and his fateful final encounters with Superman, Two-Face and The Joker, are all woven together seamlessly to mark a warrior's mythic rite of passage.
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The story concerns an aged Bruce Wayne who, after a decade of retirement, returns to crime-fighting as the masked vigilante known as Batman. He faces opposition from much of the Gotham City police force and the US government. Yet, with the aid of the new Robin, he is able to re-establish himself as the Dark Knight and fight for justice.
The story is set in a dystopian society, an alternative reality to our 1980’s. Wayne, having given up being Batman, drifts aimlessly through life as a drunk. Yet, with crime on the rise – and a new group of villains known as mutants stalking the city – so Wayne is inspired to once again become Batman. And as he does so, some major super-villains of the past reappear … first Two-Face and then, in spectacular fashion, the Joker. In dealing with the gangs, the corrupt authorities, and finally the Joker, so the US government decides to take action against Batman … and it sends Superman to stop the Dark Knight. And so we get an all-out battle between these two titans: Batman vs Superman. Of course, the Man of Steel has all his powers … but Batman happens to be someone who prepares for all eventualities.
This is a portrayal of the Dark Knight that exists at the opposite pole of the campy 1960’s TV show. This is a gritty, menacing and serious Batman. And the world he lives in is equally dark and complex. And so Miller presents us with – what was in 1986 – a highly original conception of Batman, which has influenced many of the subsequent interpretations of this fictional character.
This is the trade paperback edition, about 225 pages in length. It comes with limited ‘extras’. Nonetheless, it’s a good read. However, if you want something more deluxe then I recommend the new hardback edition (over 500 pages long, with lots of extra content). Either way, this is an enjoyable graphic novel.
I bought this as it is regularly linked to the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy - and that is a series of films I truly did enjoy and understand.
Well I have managed to get through this once, and I am on my second read through. It is stunning, the story is amazing and the dark chilling mood of Gotham is intriguing to say the least. I can now truly see some of Nolan's script lines in here, just not where you expect them to be..
This in my humblest of opinion is well worth the read - regardless of your age, and well worth a second read if your a Batman fan. Excellent, stunning - amazing... I love literature, but comics - this is new to me and a new way of telling a story..
Set years in the future when Batman has been retired for years, Gotham is overun by criminals called the mutant gang and Bruce Wayne decides it is time to come out of retirement and set things straight.
The art style is very much of it's time and the story in places is too, but it is a deep storyline covering plenty of aspects including Batman being darker than before, the morality of what Batman is doing and what happened to the Justice League in this future.
A confrontation with Superman will decide the outcome of this book. This book did have inspiration for the recent Batman v Superman film.
Here we meet an aging Bruce Wayne in a world where the line between superhero's and supervillains has been crossed. Still struggling with guilt of the death of Robin he finds himself drawn back to the bat.
His moral code and methods are even darker and less clear, and his re-emergence reawakens the Joker.
The US government ends up sending Superman to confront Batman in an almighty battle.
The writing and artwork is raw and frenetic and this is one graphic novel that every adult batman fan should read,