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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

(The Dark Knight Saga #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  178,488 ratings  ·  3,994 reviews
This masterpiece of modern comics storytelling brings to vivid life a dark world and an even darker man. Together with inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley, writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in his saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, ten years after the Dark Knight's retirement.

Crime runs rampant in the streets, and the
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published November 2012 by DC Comics (first published January 28th 1986)
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Outerhound I recommend Batman: Year One. The best introduction to Batman, Gotham and the Gotham Police Department.
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  178,488 ratings  ·  3,994 reviews

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Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
........................ FIRST A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON................

................BEFORE "The Dark Knight Returns".............................


and don’t forget (though I know you WANT TO)


.....................AFTER "The Dark Knight Returns"....................



Because the best kind of classic has pictures...


So. I've actively (and successfully) avoided reading TDKR for many years now.
Why, you ask?
Well, to be honest, I was kinda scared. Now, if you aren't a comic book reader, then you might not understand how big of a deal this book is, but if you are...?
Yeah, you know.
Which means, you're also aware of all the rabid comic nerds out there who go all stabby when you don't like their favorite character, publisher, title, bobblehead action figure...the lis
Ahmad Sharabiani
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (The Dark Knight Saga #1), Frank Miller, Klaus Janson (Illustrator), Lynn Varley (Illustrator)

The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopian version of Gotham City in 1986. Bruce Wayne, aged 55, has given up the mantle of Batman after the death of Jason Todd ten years prior, and now lives as a bored bachelor. As a result, crime is running rampant throughout the city and a gang calling themselves "The Mutants" has begun terrorizing the people of Gotham.

Batman: The
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
You gave my book two stars?

Yes, it was boring and too political. Who wants a bunch of boring politics?
I couldn't take it anymore...and I've always been your fangirl.


Don't make me give you the Batglare...you aren't a whiny ass


Quit whining..Two stars from me is pretty good.




Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed this comic; I keep wondering why it took me so long to read it. I finally got around to reading it after being blown away by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (Region 2) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2 [DVD]. I thought it was finally time to get round to the source material. I am glad I did.

I quick recap of the story. Bruce is no longer Batman. There has been no Batman for 10 years. To curb his urges Bruce has become something of an adrenalin junkie study. Gotha
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
I know I'm alone in this, but I didn't really like The Dark Knight Returns. I struggled with the story structure -- all the perspective switching left me frequently scratching my head to figure out who was speaking, where we were, and what the Heck was happening. I was confused by some characters (the guy with the freaky flying baby bombs?). I was bothered that there was no discussion of Ellen/Robin's family -- we have VERY little information on her or why she wants to join Bats, how she really ...more
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphicnovels
When I was growing up, comic books (this was years before 'graphic novels') were frowned upon in my household, but I was addicted to them anyway. X-Men, to be precise, because, OMG, Jean Grey was smart and tough (at least until Dark Phoenix) AND had both Scott Summers and Wolverine in love with her. (I do love a good soap.) Batman was a joke back then, thanks to that moronic TV show. But Batman, the real Dark Knight, wasn't a joke--if Superman is who America yearns to be; Batman is who we're afr ...more
More often than not Dark Knight Returns is considered one of the greatest graphic novels -- if not the greatest. I can't deny its importance to the form (and to the myth of Batman -- responsible as it is for Bruce Wayne's shift into the "Dark Knight" era), but having taught it a handful of times and read it for "pleasure" a few more (this reading having been prompted by Christopher Nolan's disappointing trilogy capper, The Dark Knight Rises) I feel that it is a vastly overrated work.

And Frank Mi
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
It's one of the definitive Batman stories! It's brilliant! It helped comics become more serious! I hate it!

Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of Tim has an unpopular opinion.

Okay, so that last one is an exaggeration, I do not hate the Dark Knight Returns, but I do not like it, and I certainly do not love it like so many do.

Let's get this started with the direction most people seem to go with, I do not like Frank Miller. There has been plenty said about how Miller has become a self-parody

This is a totally different spin on Batman first published in 1986 by Frank Miller.

Don't expect it to be like the old cartoons.

Definitely not like the Adam West Batman from the 60s.

Not the Justice League of America.

Batman and Superman are hardly on speaking terms. The governments have passed laws against vigilante super heroes so most of them are in prison or banished, or, like Superman, secretly working for the government.

Batman, after a series of traumatic incidents, has not been seen
Another work of genius from Frank Miller, the book most oft quoted as the best in the superhero comics genre, truly lives up to all its billing. An ageing and retired Bruce Wayne picks up the Batman costume to fight crime again in a world of no-heroes and a Gotham City consumed by crime. Miller proves to me, yet again, why he could be deemed the greatest writer of all time in this genre; but that not being enough he also drew this (as well as Sin City, Daredevil etc.)! Astonishing book! 10 out o ...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-comics, comics, 2019
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Gotham is overrun by crime.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Commissioner James Gordon is retiring.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, the world is on the brink of nuclear war.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Bruce Wayne has had enough!
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, The Dark Knight Returns!

The first time I read The Dark Knight Returns, I was an impressionable lad of twenty. Now, two decades later
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, batman
This is EXACTLY the kind of Batman story I was looking for. Delightfully dark, which is when the Dark Knight is at his absolute best.

Batman comes out of retirement after 10 years and returns to save the streets of Gotham once more. It focuses on how he doesn’t seem to realise, that at 55 years old, his age will limit him. Alongside him is a rather fantastic female Robin, easily one of my favourite incarnations of the character.
The Joker doesn’t feature too heavily compared to some of my other f
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

2.5 Stars

Egads, I think this is going to be really long. Sorry : (

My first superhero graphic novel review. It’s like diving right into shark infested waters. Please be gentle and keep in mind that I hold zero belief that anyone should ever take my reviews seriously. Period. But even more so when it comes to this one.

As I said, this is my first foray into the unchartered waters of the world of Batman other than through television and fi
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, a fifty-five-year-old Bruce Wayne comes out of a ten year retirement, amid a historic crime wave caused by the youth gang known as the Mutants, to take up the mantle of Batman again and rid the city of Gotham of their menace. We encounter old foes in this story in Two-Face and Joker, but there are some fresh faces as well.

One such character I found to be a very welcome addition to the Batman universe was Carrie Kelley, the new Robin. Not only is she a welcome
What a mess!

Most pages had 4 lines of 4 pictures with dialogue above it. Much of the story was told through the media and news, which is a boring device when used this much. There was some great art, but so much of it was tiny and we did not get landscapes.

I also thought the story thread was choppy and things were slopped together. What was Superman doing in this. Dots are not connected and some things don't make sense. Batman is also old here. Robin is around, but not the Robin we know, but a
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sequential-art
Call it art if you want to, but at the end of the day it’s still a dopey comic book about a guy in a form-fitting outfit who runs around beating people up. Am I missing something?

But really, I’m just mad at myself for giving four stars to Batman: Year One the other day, apparently during a manic episode. So I’m downgrading this bad boy. Year One has the stronger artwork anyway, and its ectomorphic Batman is drawn on a more human scale, with some of the ludicrous pathos of a young Adam West still
Michael Finocchiaro
I kind of dropped off reading comics when I was a kid, so it was only thanks to the Christopher Nolan trilogy that I went back and read several of the sources of stories used in the movies. I talked to comics geek friend m.poulet and he recommended Batman, The Dark Knight Returns in particular. I recalled also an episode of Comic Book Men where Kevin Smith and the boys reminisce about the impact that this particular comic had on them. I had read and enjoyed Sin City (and LOVED the Rober
Dec 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I generally know what happens in these older stories because I’ve either heard about what happens or read about it.
This time I literally read the last issue first. It was back in 2015 but still.

This time I really tried to pay attention to the art. I think it totally worked for the story.
I loved how it began in grayscale or black and white then colour was slowly introduced until about the middle of issue #3 where it was almost all colour!

I liked reading the interview right at the beginning be

Three reads and my opinion changes every time. While complex and full of great moments, it's prosaic as hell. This time I really struggled with all the exposition and talking heads, it's so unnecessary--I think Frank just likes to hear himself talk. It's strange that he could write the minimalism of Batman Year One and then this, which I would argue is pretty maximalistic. I also feel like Carrie Kelley, for being Robin, is a token character to show that Frank is progressive--'look I wro
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Kids, remember: always be yourself.

Unless you can be Batman.

Always be Batman.

Incredibly, I did not LOVE this.

I liked it, no doubt. The IDEA of an aging Batman donning the cape and cowl, kicking creeps ass and then needing a rubdown later, picking a fight he could not win only to get up, dust off his old and tired self and BE the Dark Knight again was great. Miller is a genius and there were parts of this that reminded me of Alan Moore’s CLASSIC Watchmen, with it’s subtle and not so subtle poli
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Batman of today can be traced back to this book. Before Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” Batman was a joke; the comics were weak with Batman and Robin doing the same thing week in week out, it’s no coincidence that there are few books worth reading before Miller’s work - all the great Batman “must-reads” (The Killing Joke, Year One, The Long Hallowe’en, Hush, Dark Victory) follow this interpretation of the character. And it could largely be attributed to the phenomenal success of the cam ...more
Sep 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I know that this is one case where there must be something wrong with *me* and not with the book, because it's been lauded as one of the greatest graphic novels in superhero history, and I thought it sucked.

The story is very difficult to follow - and this coming from someone who is well-versed in Batman lore, and who is used to the comic book medium for storytelling. Poor writing.

The pictures are sometimes difficult to interpret - it's hard to even figure out what's
Jonathan Terrington

Before Christopher Nolan came alone and further redefined the idea of superheroics, Frank Miller was doing well enough to keep Batman fresh and interesting in his own way. The Dark Knight Returns tops my list of best graphic novels ever written for what it did for the genre, what it did for Batman and what it stands as today. Though Watchmen is universally accepted as the greatest graphic novel I personally believe this is greater in that it was written previously and from what I've read appears
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sit up straight, Robin." - Bruce 'Batman' Wayne

"Yes, sir." - Carrie 'Robin' Kelley

Yes, do sit up straight and pay attention like the ultra-serious Dark Knight orders, fellow readers - while author/artist Miller is a divisive figure (even my own GR ratings are all over the place in regards to his various works) I thought his The Dark Knight Returns was, next to 300, probably my favorite (so far) of his books. Featuring an older and wiser Batman, obviously in the twilight of his decades-long que
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites
Comic books of the early '80s weren't really that good. I was a young child reading about Batman and a variety of other superheroes. Then along in 1986 came a comic that was utterly different than the usual fare. It was a four-issue mini-series from Frank Miller. In marked contrast to the contemporary trends, he posited a very dark interpretation of Batman and emphasized the "Dark Knight" aspect. This collection originally had four similar, but different titles for each of the four issues. They ...more
Never have been a Frank Miller fan. The art, page layouts, characterization (especially Batman and Superman), and dialogue in this one left me saying "What is so great about this again?" Guess I'll reread Watchmen again. ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You don't get it, son. This isn't a mudhole... It's an operating table.
And I'm the surgeon.

The Dark Knight Returns is Frank Miller's most popular comic (at least here on GR) and arguably the best Batman comic ever. Originally published in four installments in 1986, it single-handedly undid the damage done to the Bat by the goofy 60's show with Adam West. Situation at the time was pretty tragic. Initial success of the West show influenced the writers of the Batman comics who adapted a simila
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
(UPDATE: just to be pedantic ... reading the other reviews, I've come to realize that people use "The Dark Knight" as a nickname for any old Batman these days -- like calling Satan "Old St. Nick," or George Bush "Dubya". So to whomever may have said "Frank Miller isn't my favorite Dark Knight writer" I'd just like to point out that FRANK MILLER INVENTED THE DARK KNIGHT! If there's any earlier use of that phrase in history, I'm bat-ignorant. Back in the day, everyone else called him Caped Crusade ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel

I hated this. It took me an age to get through as I had no desire to pick it up. It's badly drawn, badly narrated, and too muddled to make a coherent story and grab my attention. I found some of the text hard to read and not stylised in what I would class as an easy comic book format. I read comics/graphic novels more for the art than the story and this was just piss poor.

Compared to some of the other Batman works I've read (not many in all honesty) this pales in comparison to say Batman: T
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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 the

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The Dark Knight Saga (5 books)
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