The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller

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“Freedom of speech is a powerful thing — so long as nobody’s listening.”

— Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Strikes Again

          This is the most epic, mind-boggling, creative, throne-worthy and more-colors-than-an-90s-arcade-game piece of garbage that the comic industry must have ever known; I really hope it can’t get worse than this. Almost two decades after the release of The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, the man returns with a brand new storyline—I don’t even think that’s appropriate. You know how a writer has an idea and feels the urge to scribble it away as soon as paper meets hand? Well, Frank Miller didn’t have one. What he has created for our fellow comic readers is a nightmare where anything and everything goes. From News in the Nude to a sadistic Batman who barely even appears in a comic while his name’s on the cover page. “The Great Miller” has stooped very low to release a sequel to what a lot would call a masterpiece. Albeit some very interes- no. Fuggedaboutit (Manhunter’s voice). Nothing interesting in this bowl of baloney!

        I must proclaim that The Dark Knight Strikes Again is the most mentally challenging comic when it comes to describing its plot. All over the place. Skipping basic premises. A complete mash-up of the DCU superheroes, from the Justice League to Saturn Girl (who the f**k is that, right?). All hate aside, this sequel follows the events three years after the ending of The Dark Knight Returns. Society is run by a computer generated president, thanks to Brainiac and Luthor. However, after the rescue of the Atom from captivity, these two villains, scared to lose their control on every citizen, orders Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel (How… Why… I don’t know) to capture all supposed dead, retired or disappeared heroes that are starting to rise. This unleashes a war; war that seems to satisfy the needs of Batman. As the “story” progresses, more characters appear and things become more chaotic; as if it wasn’t already. Conflicted, Superman finally finds himself in a situation where he has to decide between Kandor (in Brainiac’s palms, literally) and Earth. There’s so much going, but that’s all my brain could process.

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“This is it, Clark. No more skirmishes. No more compromises. No more deals. No more secrecy. No more silence. No more pretending that we don’t exist. Not one more lie. Damn the consequences. The war begins.”

— Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Strikes Again

           What’s truly astonishing in The Dark Knight Strikes Again is that it barely has any Batman, his villains or Gotham City in it. In fact, the dark knight appears around 5 times throughout the whole volume. How do you make a Batman story without playing with his universe? You know what’s worse? Superman is the protagonist in this one. It’s his world, his Metropolis, his family, his villains, his character, that we see the most. You thought it couldn’t get worse, right? Wrong. Frank Miller has a deep, unresolved, gushing hatred for Superman and he didn’t miss the opportunity to question everything about the man and his cape. Not a single panel goes by without you seeing Superman ridiculed and portrayed, not as the Man of Steel, but the Man of Marshmallow. Frank Miller makes sure that you understand that the hero with brains will always be Batman and that Superman will remain a simpleton, nothing more. Then again, Superman wasn’t the only one that got Frank Miller’s blinded fury for superheroes. Although his hatred for probably one of the most well-known superheroes (at least just his name) is real and felt throughout this comic, every other hero gets a nasty dose of Miller’s personality. Batman is shown as bloodhound who loves to inflict pain upon others. Manhunter becomes some alcohol and cigar consuming gangster who loves to say “goddamn”. Green Arrow wants to be seen as a communist every time he gets a panel on a page. Geez. Frank Miller did a nasty good job at destroying heroes, didn’t he.

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“Just try to ignore this, Clark. Just try to sweep this one under the rug. Your masters control almost every aspect of human life — but they can’t control information. That time has passed.”

— Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Strikes Again

                 An unmissable and predominant element in this volume is the image of women; and boy, it’s not a good one. As you might recall from The Dark Knight Returns, little panels showing news reporters, debaters on air and what not were spread around the story, which gave an additional layer of storyline. It gave readers a cast of characters that reflected on the events going around Gotham and helped put an interrogation mark on Batman, superheroes and their impact on society. In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller brought back this innovative idea, but completely abused and messed it up. Not only are these little panels repetitive and all over the place, the wrong places, they were also largely degrading and offensive to women. Remember News in the Nude? Yeh. Women are portrayed as dumb, uneducated, sexual eye candy. The artwork doesn’t miss the chance to make that last point obvious as well; although this whole book has the most horrible artwork of all time. Even I could’ve done a better job and that says a lot about it. Wonder Woman was probably the worst example of horrible women depiction by Frank Miller. Embodying feminism since her creation, in The Dark Knight Strikes Again… she’s been reduced to Superman’s “rightful prize”. To sum it up, there isn’t a single character that was done justice through dialogue and especially artwork—Captain Marvel did look a little good though… No. Screw it. He’s SHAZAM’ed better before. Hmph.

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“We aren’t here to rule. We aren’t here to bring chaos or anarchy. We’re here to end the reign of criminals. Luther. Brainiac. This is only the beginning. Tyrants, your days are numbered. You can’t fight us — and you can’t find us, we strike like lightning — And we melt into the night like ghosts.”

— Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Strikes Again

          Frank Miller has reached unattainable lows with this one. Although his earlier works merit credit for changing the comic scene quite dramatically, as soon as he boarded this ship to chase after a sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, things went haywire. Before reading The Dark Knight Strikes Again, I’ve read Batman/Spawn by Frank Miller and saw what Frank Miller sees in Batman. A bully. I hated it. I don’t understand why he had to take that path, but Miller blows away potential for ridiculousness. However, this won’t stop me from taking a peak into All-Star Batman & Robin and every other work from the man. But The Dark Knight Strikes Again… or should I say The Man of Steel Strikes Again (careful now, this does not exist to my knowledge), is the perfect comic volume that every other writer should NOT follow. It haunts people at night. It gawks over the kindest souls and preys on them. It even has some people come back to relieve it, only to be reminded what colorful galactic waste would look like.

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An extra picture. Just because it soothes headaches..not…

             As always, don’t forget to share your thoughts on this graphic novel and this review, as well as like and follow us as we continue to get you guys reviews to enjoy. Is your inner masochism stimulated by this story? If you feel like exploring rock bottom and seeing the horrors of this volume for yourself, you can purchase a copy of Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★☆☆☆☆/

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17 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller

  1. killkenny16 says:

    Nice review. Whenever people make out Frank Miller to be some sort of genius, I always point them in the direction of this book, All-Star Batman & Robin and Holy Terror…… You should review All-Star Batman & Robin and Holy Terror!

    To be fair, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race has been really good so far, but I think that’s mainly because Brian Azzarello is co-writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thanks man. Couldn’t wait to see what was all the fuss behind this book. Now it’s clear. I have Holy Terror but I didn’t know Frank Miller had something to do with it. Or were you just referring to comic atrocities. LOL
      I’ve heard great things about Master Race too. And the change in artists and the fact that Brian Azzarello is co-writing it must have helped a lot. So glad it did though.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Totally agree. I would love to see revolutionize the comic industry once again, but his time in this scene seems to be up. And I’m fine with that since there are plenty of outstanding new writers out there. His first works will always be cherished, but his arrogance and opinion-driven “writing” (if one could really call this writing..) are a real nuisance. Thank you so much for the kind words by the way! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephane says:

    Funniest review I’ve ever read so far ! The artwork is so horrible…my grandma could do better than that. I don’t know what were they thinking by doing it. Frank Miller hit so many lows too.. like why ? Thank you for sharing ! Always appreciate it to see people sayign real stuff

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      I know right.. The true face of Frank Miller was unveiled after this. That’s for sure. Thank you so much for the kind words too! Glad we see TDKSA the same way! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

  3. Caroline says:

    BAHAHAH ❤ THIS IS THE BEST. I HATE THIS MOTHER FCKING GRAPHIC NOVEL SO MUCH. WHAT HAVE THEY DOEN TO MY SEXY BRUCE WAYNE. For real, this was garbage. I bought it full price..stupid me

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      HAHAH THANK YOUUU! 😀 That sucks sooooo much. I knew about the bad reviews on this volume and got my copy of it pretty cheap in the States. Even told my best friend to get this extremely cheap copy we found if he ever wanted to still grow his comic collection; even if it meant having a shitty graphic novel sequel! LOOL 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

  4. Matt says:

    THIS WAS THE BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL EVER- Said no human in this planet. How stupid was that to put Superman 90% of time ? He the Dark Knight now ? He not that dark with that ugly red blue costume in that artwork. Many thanks for this beautiful review

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! The fact that Supz was there 99% of the time and this was supposed to be a Dark Knight sequel too makes it soooo bad! 😦 At least its one less crappy graphic novel to check out from his arsenal! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

  5. Chris Evans says:

    Great review! Garbage is certainly the right word for this, whereas The Dark Knight Returns is an all-time classic and masterpiece, I found Strikes Again a chore to get through and you certainly made more sense of the plot than I did. Luckily Dark Knight III is off to a great start (you can read a review of the first ish on my blog) but that may largely be due to Miller relinquishing much of the writing to Brian Azzarello and some stellar art from Andy Kubert.

    There’s no disputing Miller has created some classic material but his more recent stuff is just awful, unfortunately All-Star Batman & Robin isn’t great (in fact the reinterpretation of Batman there borders on atrocious) although it’s bolstered by Jim Lee’s art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Yeh man.. it’s insane. I do plan on checking out All-Star as well, just to know how bad a writer could get. I’m also really glad Brian Azzarello is part of the writing “team”. He definitely keeps hope alive for DK3, and hopefully he’ll be there for DK4 too. I’ll definitely check out your review of the first issues too, while skipping anything spoiler’ish, since I haven’t started it yet and plan on getting the collected paperback instead of the issues (for now anyways, might end up collecting the issues in the end XD). Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review! Truly appreciated.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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