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Batman The Dark Knight Returns

Frank Miller
Art: Lynn Varley

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Batman The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 22 August 2012
Back then. It wasn't so long ago. We had heroes.

With the days of taking to the night sky long behind him, Bruce Wayne sits idly by watching Gotham deteriorate. The streets of Gotham have become a hot bed of senseless killing with an inept police force lead by corruption doing little to resolve. New and old public threats are emerging from within Gotham as the countries leaders focus on dealing with those from a far. 10 years into his retirement, Bruce Wayne can watch no more.

The Dark Knight Returns is a violent story about vigilante justice and its consequences. Told from various points of view, notably a pulse of broadcast news reports and television interviews. The story flows from incident to incident at a blistering pace as the social threats rise from petty thuggery to super schemes from super villains.

This isn't the Batman you may have imagined in a comic book. He is older, wiser and not in the mood for games. The action is brutal and the dialogue is foul (in a good way) as Batman adapts his methods to a new type of criminal.

Frank Miller re-invented Batman in this book and though remaining loyal to Batman's codes and ethics, don't expect to see bad guys simply restrained and waiting for the police to take them away. The criminals have upped the ante and The Dark Knight responds in kind.

Stylistically, this is also a move away from what may be considered classic comic book artwork. Miller and Varley's distinct approach changes the face of Batman literally as the pictures help reflect the words with a very vibrant and frenzied style.

If you are into comic books, you've already read this. If you aren't into comic books, this is the one to grab to see why they appeal to an adult audience.