The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Reviewed by Grady
The Dark Knight Returns reinvents Batman and raises important questions about modern government. The story begins with an aged Bruce Wayne in a world without any superheroes other than Superman. Superman is a tool of President Ronald Reagan and Gotham City is in a state of chaos as a violent gang attacks innocent civilians. Bruce Wayne decides to become Batman again to bring the gang to justice and this leads to a conflict between Batman and Gotham's authorities and eventually the U.S. government. Much of the story is told through scenes of the news and a great satire of 80s America is given through this vehicle. The Dark Knight Returns is particularly good because it puts Batman in a situation where he is fighting crime against the authorities. In his recreated Batman, Miller shows a man trying to bring justice to a nihilistic and corrupt city and then shows the evil of both the criminals and the authorities. He paints a grim picture of the world and shows what a hero would look like within that picture. Batman is contrasted to Superman, the hero who chose to conform, who is placed in a position where the only aid he brings to his country is the damage he does to the Russians. The Dark Knight Returns has become one of my all time favorite graphic novels.