Nikki 's Reviews > Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Batman by Frank Miller
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Oct 12, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: graphic-novels-and-manga

Second book of the readathon.

And god, I am not a Batman fan. I wasn't a fan of the art in this comic: I found it cramped, hard to follow, and that claustrophobic sense penetrated all through the narrative for me. There's nothing I find inherently wrong with the idea, and intellectually I can appreciate everything that's going on with the figure of Batman. I think this handles that creeping old age well, and Batman's driven qualities... but he's not a hero I can admire. Half the time, he's just a bully.

Now maybe you can see that as a more honest version of what's going on with a favourite of mine like Captain America -- you can't really kid yourself that people don't look at Steve and go, "oh shit, I better not give this guy any trouble." But Steve sums it up for me in the movies: "I don't want to kill anyone. I just don't like bullies. I don't care where they come from." Steve cares about people. Even bullies. He might hurt and even kill to protect others, but he doesn't want to. Bruce Wayne seems to care about people... except bullies. And as bits of this comic demonstrate, a lot of perfectly ordinary people aren't that far from crossing that line.

In practice, there's not that much difference, maybe. But Steve just has a warmth about him that Batman doesn't -- and I don't say that out of some sort of nostalgia: I loved watching Batman as a kid and never really heard about or gave a thought to Captain America until the past couple of years.
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Erik What's your opinion on comics in general?

I really just plain don't care for em, but I'm curious to see why people who do like em like em so.


Nikki I didn't really get into them until a couple of years ago, but I can't really put my finger on what switch flipped for me. I think it's still mostly for me about the characters -- I'm not a very visual person, so sometimes comics can add a dimension of understanding, showing how a character moves and reacts, facial expressions, etc. And of course, there's good and bad comics; I took a Coursera course on comics which really helped me learn to appreciate how a writer and artist put a page together in collaboration, and how all the elements work together to give you pace, tone, etc. I think that taught me to appreciate comics more than any amount of reading 'em!


Erik Nikki wrote: "I didn't really get into them until a couple of years ago, but I can't really put my finger on what switch flipped for me. I think it's still mostly for me about the characters -- I'm not a very vi..."

Seems like you've taken a lot of Coursera classes (well you mentioned sci-fi one in Left Hand). What else have you taken?


Nikki Oh, goodness, a whole bunch -- one on online gaming, three or four on genetics... I think linguistics (or I might have dropped out of that), psychology, neurobiology, ethics, history... I'm eclectic!


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