Reviewing Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns would be akin to reviewing Frank Herbert’s Dune , which is one of my Top Ten Favourite Novels Of All Time and so perfect, in my opinion, a review is unnecessary. A discussion of the plot and literary merit would work, in both cases. Here I’m simply going to talk about Batman and why he is my hero.
The Dark Knight Returns is work of fictional art, a book other comics measure themselves by, and a definitive statement about heroes, crime and culture. Oh, it goes much deeper, but I get lost down those sorts of rabbit holes, so going to keep this simple.
I’ve never been much of a comic book reader. I think with practice, I could accustom my eyes to the jump and weave, but I tend to read rather quickly and I like knowing where the next words are going to be. I’m also somewhat impatient. Waiting a week for the next chapter would be…painful. Likely as not, I’d pick up something else in the meantime and forget to look for issue four. I fare better with collected comics and graphic novels.
I’ve never been much of a superhero fan. I read a lot of science fiction and a good amount of fantasy. I’m not averse to the idea of super beings. Stories about them aren’t really my thing, though. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and some of my favourite novels are about extraordinary beings. What draws me to a character is just that, however. Their ‘character’. Who they are, not what they are. Bruce Wayne is one of those characters.