I’ve never been a huge Batman fan (I’m more of a Spiderman guy), but on the recommendation of another blogger (bloggist? Anyone know the correct term here?) I gave Batman: The Dark Knight Returns a read during my continuing “Let’s Give Graphic Novels a Chance” read-a-thon, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
It’s not bad, but it’s not great either.
While I loved Miller’s art (honestly, it’s just breathtaking), sometimes the story sorta crapped out one me. I very much enjoyed the notion of an older Batman with aches and pains, but Robin the girl wonder grated on me pretty quickly. I liked the more complex story and plot, but got really tired of the Reagan stuff. The graphic realism and grittiness was a lot of fun and a welcome change, but then the banter of the Mutants and the Sons of Batman bored me.
And pretty much that’s how the book went for me. Every time I found something I really liked, I found something soon after that balanced the equation again.
I know most of your comic book, I’m sorry, graphic novel aficionados see this volume as one of the best examples of the genre, but to me, Mr. Casual Reader, it’s a mixed bag.
I wanted to really love this, but if I’m to be completely honest with myself, it’s not something I’d pick up again. And yet I’m not giving up on the genre. I got a pile of stuff from the library this morning and I’m looking forward to digging in.
And I guess, in that way, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was a success.
4 thoughts on ““Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” – Review”
Funny thing is that I have the opposite problem with that particular novel; love the story, hate the art. 🙂
Actually, there's a sequel to that one — though I don't know if all of the episodes are out yet — that makes the President less of a Reagan figure and aludes more to Bush. I found it very compelling, but then our tastes do differ, don't they. 🙂
You know, I'm just not sure I'm a comic book/graphic novel type of guy, although I've recently read a few that I've enjoyed. I have no problem with serious subject matter, but somtimes they seem to takes themselves too seriously. Does that make sense?
Oh, it definitely makes sense. But I think it all depends on how much you can allow yourself to get into it. I personally don't like to take myself too seriously, and when I do write fiction I try not to do it there either. But there are some times when I just want to get down and dirty and just totally burrow in there. When I'm just writing for my own enjoyment, it's not an issue. That's what I wanted, that's what I got. But other readers are only going to enjoy it if they're open to the possibility of taking the ride, I guess.
I can see that. Maybe it's the Batman thing for me too. I've always been more of a Marvel guy anyway.
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