- Title: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
- Author: Frank Miller
- Artists: Klaus Janson, Lynn Varley
- Line: Elseworlds Stand-Alone Novel
- Characters: Bruce Wayne, Carrie, Joker, Two-Face
- Publication Date: 1986
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/14/2016
This is the first graphic novel I ever read, and unlike most graphic novels, it’s one I periodically re-read. Simply put, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is a classic that influenced graphic novels, comics, and even the Super Hero genre for over two decades. First published in 1986, and I have an early printing – this graphic novel has never been out of print, which is highly unusual.
The story takes the kid-friendly Batman of the time and turns it on its ear. The time is the “near-future”, a dystopian future of gang violence, televisions everywhere, and where even Bruce Wayne has given-up retiring the cape and cowl. The Dark Knight Returns introduces a darker, scarer Two Face and Joker, a female Robin named Carrie, a very dark future, and an older, more grim Batman, who comes out of retirement out of necessity. Miller’s story is a classic and not to be missed. The 2-volume animated film based on it (The Dark Knight Returns parts 1 and 2) also does the original graphic novel justice, and includes nearly all of the more controversial images and parts of the story. The movies mimic the unique look of the graphic novel as well.
If you’ve never read this classic story, I highly, highly recommend it – it’s not to be missed.