Book Review: Batman The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller

Book Review: Batman The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller

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Release Date:
May 28th 1997
Publisher: DC Comics
Pages: 224
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this for a University class
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


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 man who was Batman is still tortured by the memories of his parents’ murders. As civil society crumbles around him, Bruce Wayne’s long-suppressed vigilante side finally breaks free of its self-imposed shackles.

The Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence. He is soon joined by this generation’s Robin—a girl named Carrie Kelley, who proves to be just as invaluable as her predecessors.

But can Batman and Robin deal with the threat posed by their deadliest enemies, after years of incarceration have made them into perfect psychopaths? And more important, can anyone survive the coming fallout of an undeclared war between the superpowers—or a clash of what were once the world’s greatest superheroes?

Over fifteen years after its debut, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns remains an undisputed classic and one of the most influential stories ever told in the comics medium.


Copy of book coverWhen I was at University I took a literature class on popular culture and this was one of the required texts. I really enjoyed reading it at the time but haven’t picked it up for a number of years. I thought it would be a fun reread and I’m so glad I decided to give it another read, this classic Batman tale is dark and gritty and a must read for superhero fans.

This story is quite a slow burn, following Bruce Wayne as he returns to his life as Batman many years later. Gotham City has become plagued with crime and the criminal underworld is bigger than ever. Donning his Batman costume one more, Batman returns to Gotham. But Bruce Wayne is older, he’s not able to move as fast things aren’t as they were ten years ago. When Superman tries to put a stop to Batman’s vigilante behaviour, their frosty relationship gets a whole lot worse.

I really liked the art style in this. It was pretty different to the other Batman graphic novels I’ve read before and it was enjoyable to read this classic of the Batman universe. Having read it before I was surprised by how little I remembered of the story, but it was dark and intrigued and easily kept me engrossed in the story.

This was a fun and quick read, and if you’re looking to read more Batman graphic novels I’d recommend giving this one a go. It’s definitely made me want to pick up a few more Batman graphic novels over the next few months!
4 Stars

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