“This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscle – broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would… but I’m a man of thirty – of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism – I’m born again…” – Batman in The Dark Knight Returns
Imagine Batman going up against Father Time only to plunge into his own mind and learn what he’s truly meant to be. What he truly needs to be for Gotham City. Frank Miller wrote The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 as a four part comic series with the help of illustrator Klaus Janson. This graphic novel tells the tale of Batman returning from retirement 10 years after the events SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read. Gotham City is terrorized by the dominance of the “Mutant Gang”. Bruce Wayne revisiting the thrills of wearing the dark cape and cowl seeks justice and attempts to take down this very violent street gang. Throughout the story, the Dark Knight also encounters good old Harvey Dent, also known as Two-Face, who supposedly rehabilitated after so many years in confinement. As if Batman didn’t have enough on his old plate, he also revives Joker from his state of catatonia due to the absence of dark crusader. As always, The Joker brings an amazing dimension to this storyline, especially when these two characters cross paths. The Dark Knight Returns also inserts into this masterpiece the very much loved Superman, who ended up selling his soul to the U.S. government. In fact, the last part of this graphic novel explores one of the most important fights that has inspired the soon to be released movie Batman vs. Superman (2016).
The story as a whole is one to remember, brilliant. Frank Miller never seems to cease to surprise. The plot revolving around Batman and his adventures unfolds right by the side of the media that scrupulously analyzes and explains the more political side to vigilante and criminal activities going around Gotham City. Sometimes hilarious how a person can see what he wants, this addition makes up for a great way to perceive events as if we were ourselves sitting at home watching the news. One might believe that an old Batman wouldn’t be any more entertaining than watching own grandfather’s daily routines, but The Dark Knight Returns shows Bruce Wayne revitalized after his encounter with a couple Mutant gang thugs. I got to admit, that very scene in the graphic novel was amazing. I think my own blood was pumped for a good ass whooping just as much as Bruce Wayne’s was. In fact, throughout the whole story, watching Batman fight crime and kick criminal behinds, as it age didn’t matter at all, couldn’t have been better done by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson. This definitely didn’t mean that Batman was going to look like his old self. Get it? In fact, it’s so well illustrated and detailed that you can see Batman’s struggle due to his age and physical disadvantages throughout the tale.