A review by Jack (Wollongong Library Youth Officer)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Written by Frank Miller, Illustrated by Frank Miller, Lynn Varley, and Klaus Janson
Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ is one of the most influential comics of the 20th century (and possibly all time). This comic was instrumental in breathing new life into Batman moving away from Adam West’s characterised version of Batman in the 1960’s. A campy style of Batman like what was seen when he first appeared in comics, which would eventually lead to people losing interest in the character. After the show had finished in 1968 Batman changed to his darker and edgier roots eventually becoming a vengeful and angsty character.
Miller’s version explores a Batman who is 55 years old and retired from being Batman after the death of Jason Todd (the second robin) who chooses to take up the mantle of Batman and protect the city once again. Miller explored the idea of what to means to be Batman whether that means through protecting the city and stopping crime but as a way for Bruce Wayne to cope with his own fears. This comic also gave us our first female Robin: Carrie Kelly who attempts to become and aspires to help people just like Batman does.
The chemistry of both Bruce Wayne and Carrie Kelly works really well and they tend to lean on each other for support and take care of each other while working together as Batman and Robin. The character is done extremely well by giving clear motives and goals. This is true to all characters and Commissioner Gordon to the Leader of the Mutant’s Gang.
I thought that the writing was well done but could be a little overwhelming at times as some pages are filled to the brim with dialogue. Still the story managed to keep me interested constantly with many ‘edge-of-your-seat-excitement’ moments throughout the whole book that made me desperate to read more and more of the story. Although there are a numerous amount of villains introduced throughout the story, they are all fleshed out and feel truly menacing and provide a decent challenge for Batman.
If you want to read a truly amazing story that re-defined a character for a whole generation or just a great story in general, I highly recommend you pick up this comic.
I rate this comic 5/5 stars
Borrow your copy here