Monday, April 30, 2012

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

by Frank Miller with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley, John Costanza (lettering); Batman created by Bob Kane, 227 pages

The Batman hasn't been seen in Gotham for years, but as skyrocketing crime statistics threaten to drag the city into chaos, his aging alter ego struggles against the urge to come out of retirement.

At last I can eliminate this title from my comics-loving conscience's not-yet-read list--woot!

Bruce Wayne is no spring chicken. Pushing sixty tends to take the edge off one's crime-fighting pizzazz, and I love that Wayne acknowledges this, is a little worried about it, and finds less-taxing workarounds when he can. It helps, of course, to have a talented teenage sidekick to pick up the slack. Batman fights not only punk gangs with bad grammar, "rehabilitated" old foes, and vigilante-averse authorities, but his own body and the changing of the guard. The layers of conflict here besides just those between good and bad give this seminal addition to the comics world, and the superhero genre in particular, its depth and staying power.

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