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Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again

(The Dark Knight Saga #2)

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  13,258 ratings  ·  729 reviews
It's been three years since the events of The Dark Knight Returns, and everything is just fine.  At least on the surface.  What the world at large doesn't know is that it's a total sham.  A perfectly choreographed, pretty little world where everything that's ugly, or even potentially disturbing, is all nicely wrapped up with neat little ribbons and swept under the carpet.  ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by DC Comics (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
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 ·  13,258 ratings  ·  729 reviews

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Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nope
Shelves: nope

Vomiting a mixer is about how I feel. I realized the fundamental problem with this comic is that it's not even about Batman. Seriously. Batman is barely even here. This is basically a JL/JLA/JLI/JL-whatever-else-you-can-think of comic. And this comic has nothing to do with The Dark Knight Returns except that Batman and Carrie Kelley are in it. Which makes me feel like smashing Frank Miller repeatedly in the face.

Vomiting a mixer is about how I feel. I realized the fundamental problem with this comic is that it's not even about Batman. Seriously. Batman is barely even here. This is basically a JL/JLA/JLI/JL-whatever-else-you-can-think of comic. And this comic has nothing to do with The Dark Knight Returns except that Batman and Carrie Kelley are in it. Which makes me feel like smashing Frank Miller repeatedly in the face.

Let's begin shall we? Like any Justice League comic there are a zillion characters. I listed just the major ones for your convenience. There were so many I probably missed one:

Batman. Catgirl. The Question. The Atom. Barry Allen as The Flash. Green Lantern. Wonder Woman. Captain Marvel. Green Arrow. Elongated Man. Plastic Man. Martian Manhunter. Supergirl. Guardian. Creeper. Hawk and Dove. Hawkman. Saturn Girl. Genetically modified Dick Grayson. Lex Luthor. Brainiac. Thanagarians? Rush Limbaugh. Donald Rumsfeld.

Why in Robin's name are there this many characters in a Batman comic? That never happens. It's no wonder Batman barely makes an appearance. He's playing 34th fiddle to all these other characters. For as much as Miller obviously definitely totally hates Superman he sure wrote 250 pages all about him. The villains? Superman's. The people in danger? Superman's. He's the main character in a Batman comic, which means this isn't a Batman comic at all. No grit, no Gotham, and zero Batman villains.

Then there's the plot, which makes absolutely no sense. Here's my understanding...

Three years following the events of The Dark Knight Returns, The Atom fights a sea monster in a petri dish. Enter Carrie Kelley aka Catgirl, who looks exactly like Chester Cheetah on roller skates. They escape together. Enter Superman who's pissed. News in the nude (?). A warhead knocks an asteroid toward Earth. The President is a hologram (?). Enter The Question. Enter Batman (finally!) and the war begins. (What war?) The heroes assemble. Lex Luthor and Brainiac task Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel to capture the heroes. (Wait, why?) The heroes beat the shit out of Superman. (What is happening?) Then Superman and Wonder Woman fight. (What the fuck is happening?) Lex Luthor yells. Batman, Catgirl and Elastic Man go to Arkham to rescue hostages that have been there for five years. (Wait, what?) That's right, kids. There were hostages in Arkham during The Dark Knight Returns which Batman apparently forgot about. And that's when I stopped caring.

Themes that were screamed in my face: Corporate/consumer America. Fascism. Martial law. Freedom FROM information act. Response to Bush and post 9/11? Censorship. Corporate oligarchy. Secretary of state Robert RUGER EXXON, i.e. gun and oil lobbyist/four star General Starbucks. We get it, Miller. You hate corporations/government/dictators/the wealthy/America/consumers/women/gays. But wait, don't you need corporations to publish and distribute your book? Government to ensure the freedom of speech you're so blatantly parading? Consumers to buy this stuff?

Problems I found with this book...

Miller was sexist as hell in this comic, which I didn't notice in TDKR. In the first few pages Catgirl says swallow two or three times, something like "Uh oh I swallowed, I think I'm gonna puke." Most women are either dumb, whorish, or submissive, and very exposed, especially the whole News in the Nude thing and the Euphoric (sp?) investment ads. Even Wonder Woman, the embodiment of women's rights, talks about herself as a prize to be taken, which she is, because she does Superman, immediately gets pregnant (faster than a speeding bullet after all), and then she's pregnant hungry. That's right. Now get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.

This comic is filled with horrible cliches. Asteroid headed for earth. Sea monster. A giant monster destroying the city. That's it? 20 years and that's what you come up with? Then there's Lex Luthor trying to control the world, assisted by Brainiac who does I don't even know what. Those are the villains. Seriously. And Batman has little to nothing to do with them.

The dialog is okay to downright horrible, generic, and irrelevant. You know in TDKR how there was some random civilian social commentary? Well it's on every page, sometimes pages long, usually right in the middle of what's happening. It's like Miller continued the TV idea and injected the idiotic couch commentary right there in the action. It was so stupid and distracting and repetitive. It was lazy. Write goddamn it! Give me some exposition, some inner monologue to move the story along.

Bruce Wayne, the corporate, independently wealthy, trust fund billionaire, apparently has a problem with oligarchy. How's that for idiotic writing? Then there were dinosaurs in South America. Plastic Man yells "Rodney King!" Those creepy genetically engineered orphans. Dick Grayson who can't die and looks like The Joker. And the artwork. Oh my god the art was so damn bad. There were a few splash pages that were normal and reminded me of TDKR. The cover art is deceiving because it's the size of a large postage stamp and does not represent the artwork. There's a blurb inside that says this comic does for comics what The Ramones did for music. Well, The Ramones suck. And this isn't punk rock. It's Limp Bizkit meets Spice Girls. It's messy millennial digital wallpaper blasted with sharpies. It's fucking neon diarrhea. It's brain-blasting, seizure-inducing maximalism.

If this is what happens when Frank Miller waits 20 years I'm afraid to see what DK3, Batman Master Race looks like. TDKR was satirical, dark, weird, but plausible. But here he threw in the Justice League, son of a bitch Superman and Wonder Woman, every back alley DC hero he could find, disappointment, tie dye, extra fat sharpies, and his hatred for basically everything, and then you have The Book That Comes After But In No Way Resembles The Dark Knight Returns. And good night.
Sam Quixote
Oct 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again is rightly reviled by all Batman fans because of how terrible the book is on every level but made doubly damning because Frank Miller wrote two of the most acclaimed Batman books - The Dark Knight Returns and Year One.

The plot is a paranoid maniac's delight: the President of the United States is a hologram created by Lex Luthor and Brainiac who're essentially in control of America behind the scenes. Superman is still their lapdog because they hol
Jun 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
OK, so I just finished re-reading the precursor to this, the rightly worshiped The Dark Knight Returns. (my review here)

That was a masterpiece, and I'll just leave it at that.

Well, for everything that book was; this one is NOT.

Written 15 years after the original, yet only set 3 yrs after the events of that book, this feels forced, reactionary, chaotic (in a bad way) and is ugly in every way. Miller himself takes over the art, and I want to apologize to the artist of the original, because that was 10 times better than his gar
Jan 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
A steaming, drizzling, stinking pile of poo so foul it is rumored that God himself may actually cut the lifespan of the universe in half just to rid all existence of the stench left behind by Miller's ass wipings known as B:TDKSA.

Let me ask you a question -- What would be the stupidest storyline in the history of comics?
A) Ultimate evil is defeated by ultimate good,
B) Ultimate evil is defeated by a stronger evil,
or C) Ultimate evil is defeated by people's interest in fashion and fashion acce
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
Jul 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

This is the most epic, mind-boggling, creative, throne-worthy and more-colors-than-an-90s-arcade-game piece of garbage that the comic industry must have ever known; I really hope it can’t get worse than this. Almost two decades after the release of The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, the man returns with a brand new storyline—I don’t even think that’s appropriate. You know how a writer has an idea and feels the urge to scribble it away
Jonathan Terrington

This is a nice follow up to The Dark Knight Returns, save for the fact that the artwork and plot are regularly more obscure and bizarre than their brilliant predecessor. However, that said, Frank Miller remains a strong writer regardless and his ability to use Batman and the DC universe to talk about politics and craft, essentially, a beautiful dystopian novel is fantastic (and I mean that in all possible senses).

It's three years after the previous novel and Batman has been presumed
Jesse A
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
The art is just so gosh darned mother-lovin ugly its hard to tell if the story was any good (not really, its not).
Ryan Mishap
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Do yourself a favor and read Miller's Batman graphic novels as he re-creates a darker, more troubled Batman and a Gotham that parodies modern life at the same time it fulfills the definition of a crime-ridden cesspool Batman has to mop up.
This one is set three years after The Dark Knight Returns. Batman is in his sixties, I think, and plots to take down the fascist, technological government of Lex Luthor with the digital president and Brainiac trying to take out Superman.
Batman as
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, a
The story seemed to ramble without much cohesion. It's set in the future of DC - which is always awkward to do since none of the future-states collaborate with the current DC-world status. Many of the characters have their personalities altered, or rather, the personalities are filtered through Miller's assumption that everyone is neurotic and psychotic.

The art is inconsistent, but mostly bad, although I do love Miller's style and his paneling, this book just feels rushed. Some pages are stunni
Rory Wilding
Jul 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Re-Read, 2017
Having purchased the third instalment of Frank Miller's Dark Knight trilogy, I felt to re-read this much critical reviled sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, given how much I disliked it the first time round.

Gosh, the re-read was a chore as Miller as a writer is just trying to edgy for the sake of shock value, from the talking media heads reduced to naked women giving us the news, to a sex scene between Superman and Wonder Woman that literally shakes the earth; so irksome. The art, however, is eve
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I greatly enjoy Batman stories that don't feel like Batman stories.

Readers expecting to see a followup on par with The Dark Knight Returns will be deeply unimpressed. It feels like a disjointed and jumbled mess. There's a story in there, but it doesn't always feel connected. Like someone put all the smoothie ingredients in a blender then didn't bother to turn it on.

But wouldn't ya know it, 4 stars. Clearly I am a fan of Frank Miller's more notable train wrecks. Add this one to the list wit
Mar 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, superheroes
Frank Miller's long awaited sequel to his popular Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is possibly the worst comic I have ever read. Its a terrible sequel but that barely covers how terrible it is itself.
Throughout Dark Knight Returns there was a commentary on events done by the media. This worked as both a satire of mass media, as well as providing plot exposition. It also was a small subplot that didn't take up too much space. In The Dark Knight Strikes Again the media satire takes up most of the book and has little to noth
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: old-colony
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Often ridiculous art and dialogue, likely purposefully, but still entertaining.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, dc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arun Divakar
Mar 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Page 1 :

Three years after TDKR and a different world, oh boy oh boy ! Now I just gotta wait for Batman ? rubs hands in glee and grins maniacally

Page 5 :

Superman has come and…and…why does he look so odd ? Where is Batman ?

Page 10 :

Umm….Batman ? This is supposed to be a Batman comic wasn’t it ? Why is Superman such a bozo here ? Who are all these naked women ?

Page 20 :

Who are all these people ? They look like something the Justice League threw up on the carpet ! Where’s Batman ? And what a/>Page/>Page
Aug 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is just sad. If you enjoyed The Dark Knight Returns for it's dark, gritty, "real" look at masked vigilante-ism that is somewhat reminiscent of Watchmen, then you will want to stay the hell away from this book.

I can't fully get into listing why this book is terrible, I'll just end up getting all disappointed again. So I'll just briefly touch on 3 things: 1)Art: I can understand if you want to change the style from the previous work (although I might not agree, loved the art on th
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This one is hard to grade. I liked some stuff in it, some moments and felt lost a lot of times. It's very inconsistent.

I'll just tell you about the stuff I liked and leave you with that.

I liked the breakout of the Atom and the breakout of the Flash.

I liked the part where Batman was fighting Superman with the help of Green Arrow, the Flash and the Atom and says: "That's the problem with all those high and mighty powers. They made you cocky.  Over confident. You never lear
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay.... So I have heard horrible things about this book, people saying "don't read it!" So Why am i reading this book? Well there's a short answer to that, they announced Dark Knight Master Race, so i might as well read this.

First off the artwork is absolutely fugly! Lex Luthor looks like kingpin, and Wonder Woman runs around in boxer shorts! haha! Frank Miller's art is usually pretty cool so I don't know what happened here?

The Story is that the heroes are now divided, Heroes such as Superman
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Not terrible, but not much new ground covered here. Miller re-hashes the themes of the original Dark Knight Returns: The powerful are corrupt and tyrnnical. The citizens are apathetic. Superman is a sellout. Only Batman has the strength of will to fight back. Superman gets another beating at the hands of Batman. This time Metropolis gets the heavy dose of carnage, tinged with 9-11 imagery. Batman faces down his "ultimate" nemesis.

Much more disjointed than the original, the story jerks from one
Γιώργος Γιώτσας
A bad moment of a great creator.
Still there are memorable moments like the ones in the end, with Bruce and Lex, Carrie and Grayson.
Overall a bad repetition of DK returns (if we assume there can be a good repetition of the magnificent DK returns)
Jan 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" as Tolstoy famously said. Similarly, all great comics are great for what are, in the end, pretty similar reasons. Bad comics usually are bad for wildly different reasons. And then there's The Dark Knight Strikes Again, which breaks new ground in terrible. It is horrendous in ways that you have never seen before. It sets a new standard in awful; it's an original. It's the Don Quixote of failure, the Velvet Un ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Okay, firstly I want you all to know that I only signed up for this site to warn you that this graphic novel sucks so much ass it's ridiculous. I'll list, in step form, the many ways this book is horse shit (there will be swearing and there may be spoilers. You've been warned.

1) The artwork is abysmal. I TDKR the artwork was bad, but in a cool way (I am in no way, taking away from the brilliance of The Dark Knight Returns, by the way). I've seen better art from a four year old. nothi
Oct 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
So bad... Big disappointment for me! The illustrations and the frame of pages were a bit messy and the story just too weird. Batman is also mostly not there... for a Batman comic this is ridiculous, there are a lot of heroes, almost Justice League materials, and yes Batman is there, but maybe in 10% of the comic. A waste of money!
Oct 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
What a crock of shit this is.
Jedi JC Daquis
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
If The Dark Knight Strikes Again is taken by the public as a cult, unorthodox, non-Batman and definitely non-mainstream story of our DC heroes, then DK2 might get into the positively-reviewed territory and become an unconventional cult classic. It is crazy, unordered, with so many wrong things in it. Hell, it is all wrong in the most explicit, boombastic and explosive ways. It defies the bounds of graphic literature. It may even be a topic for academic discourse and dissertations.

May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I cannot believe this was the mess that followed up The Dark Knight Returns, this gave me a headache attempting to read it. The artwork and storyline is incoherent, just a complete messy letdown. I just thought I should read this before tackling the 3rd book in the series. This is way too much like Sin City, granted that series works to Millers strengths but not the whole DC library. I wish I ignored this and went straight to Master Race, I wouldn't have the anger I have now for this giant waste ...more
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I hated the artwork. I loved the writing. Frank Miller continues his epic "Batman vs. World" story with all those long-forgotten heroes. Who has gone too far trying to die as a hero? And who has lived long enough to see himself become the villain? You'll only know when the Dark Knight strikes again!

Ahmad Eddeeb
October 2012
Apr 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
What can I say about this that hasn't been said before? Its bad in every possible way a comic book can be bad. Bad art, bad storytelling, bad coloring, not to mention its also sexist. I don't know what Frank Miller was smoking when he wrote this...
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Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in th/>Librarian

Other books in the series

The Dark Knight Saga (4 books)
  • The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • Batman Caballero Oscuro III: La raza superior