Jeffery Moulton's Reviews > Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Batman by Frank Miller
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's review
Jan 07, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novel, superheroes, dystopian

For anyone not familiar with the comics world, this book was a landmark in the genre. It, along with Alan Moore's Watchmen changed comics forever. So both are required reading for anyone researching superheroes (as I do). That being said, both books are difficult to read and to rate. They are both dark and depressing and have dismal views of humanity. They mirror the worst excesses of society as a warning of how far things could go if left unattended by those who should know better. They also mistrust their own heroes (a distinctly post-modern view) and turn them into characters that, while fascinating, are often unlikable.

But that does not take away from their brilliance. They rocked the world for good reason and are excellent touch points for that time in the history of comics.

That being said, I didn't care for The Dark Knight Returns as much as Watchmen. The latter was an intricate deconstruction of the hero that engrossed even as it disturbed. This one was more disturbing for me and I had a much harder time getting through it. It is dark and depressing and its significance is buried at a deeper, more raw level than Watchmen. My rating is more focused on my personal feelings for the book rather than its value. I recommend it to anyone who is serious about comics and superheroes.

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