The Dark Knight Returns

In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns fragmentation, I think, would be the one term that sums the book up. Book 1 really focuses on storyline and the drive of the plot. Readers follow along as they see old Bruce Wayne start to come out of his “retirement” as Batman in order to restore justice in his city. We watch as Batman struggles to take down the dominant force of the mutants, as well as observe Batman struggle with his older age. Book 1 was in depth enough to maintain a steady flow for the reader but as the book began to merge with book 2 the panels started becoming quite fragmented. I would start to see a collage of different panels and they almost seemed unrelated at times, furthering the confusion. This was a somewhat frustrating aspect about this book and I could not imagine many readers having the ability to stay on track at all times. Unfortunately I have to confess, though I am truly a big fan of Batman there are many things that I saw which did not make me such a fan. First of all, the fact that Miller had Batman riding in on a tank shooting at mutants made me very annoyed. Not just a tank, but guns were present as well and Batman is never supposed to, at least the Batman I grew up watching, use weapons other than his utility tools. Furthermore, it is very hard to imagine that with so much graphic detail to all of the violence in these comics, that many parents would be okay with allowing their children to read them. I can completely defend the parents for not wanting their children to be exposed to such violence from Batman, especially this Batman. Even the mutants are cruel and graphic when Miller writes, “…I will rip the meat from his bones and suck them dry” (Miller 61). That alone is the most graphic gesture I have read so far in a comic.


One thought on “The Dark Knight Returns

  1. Hi Christian,

    I was annoyed with Batman shooting, too. I kind of liked the mythology of the fear of guns, since a gun killed his parents. However, Miller took narrative and artistic control in these books and turned the “innocent” Batman into an extreme vigilante. Honestly, I became afraid of Batman through these books because he does not seem to care as much. Perhaps old age has drastically changed him physically and mentally. Moreover, we see that he cares for Carrie, but treats her like an annoyance as he threatens to fire her if she disobeys him.

    Great post, looking forward to reading more!

    -Nguyen, Alina


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