2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (Paperback)
The Dark Knight Returns is a wonderful book, one of the best and most critically-acclaimed graphic novels in history. It tells a dark and gritty tale which explores Batman's strength, integrity, rebellion and determination with an art style which perfectly matches the tone of the story.
The sequel, however, lacks all of this. It starts off with the same tone in mind but, somehow, this gets lost along the way. The story is extremely convoluted and weak, including appearances from other big-name DC heroes without any real point other than fan service. Nothing (including these appearances) is fleshed out, explored or expanded on. It's a very hollow and empty tale. Whereas the first book does a great job of showing the reader that the Batman is within Bruce Wayne and, regardless of his age or situation, he can never escape what he is and what he is always compelled to do. This point is almost shoved down your throat and it is executed flawlessly. By the sequel, this idea has worn thin and Batman's 'determination' almost becomes an irritation, losing all emphasis and gumption.
The art style similarly matches the strange and convoluted story. I, personally, found it very off-putting due to it being, for lack of a better word, freaky. It certainly doesn't stand up against other modern Batman stories. One thing I've always applauded Batman stories for is having art styles which complimented the theme and tone of the tale (The Long Halloween, Year One etc.) but that is not the case here. The art is messy, lifeless and unnecessarily strange.
While I recommend The Dark Knight Returns to anyone with an appreciation for Batman (comic book fan or not), I can't say the same for it's sequel.
It certainly doesn't measure up.