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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns [Paperback]

Frank Miller
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 1997 Batman

It is ten years after an aging Batman has retired and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now as his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory.

Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenage female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive. This collection is hailed as a comics masterpiece and was responsible for the launch of the Batman movies.

This volume collects Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1-4.

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns + Batman: Year One + Batman: Killing Joke (DELUXE)
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If any comic has a claim to have truly reinvigorated the genre then The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller--known recently for his excellent Sin City series and, previously, for his superb rendering of the blind superhero Daredevil--is probably the supreme contender. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself a tough task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children's cartoon character into a hero for our times. In his introduction the great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, the arguably peerless Watchmen) argues that only someone of Miller's stature could have done this. Batman is a character known well beyond the confines of the comic world (as are his retinue) and so reinventing him, while keeping his limiting core essentials intact, was a huge task.

Miller went far beyond the call of duty. The Dark Knight is a success on every level. Firstly it does keep the core elements of the Batman myth intact, with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon and the old roster of villains, present yet brilliantly subverted. Secondly the artwork is fantastic--detailed, sometimes claustrophobic, psychotic. Lastly it's a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, streetgangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham? It is 10 years since the last recorded sighting of the Batman. And things have got worse than ever. Bruce Wayne is close to being a broken man but something is keeping him sane: the need to see change and the belief that he can orchestrate some of that change. Batman is back. The Dark Knight has returned. Awesome. --Mark Thwaite --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...probably the finest piece of comic art ever published in a popular edition..."—Stephen King

"Groundbreaking."—USA TODAY

"It's film noir in cartoon pane ls."—VANITY FAIR

"There's never been storytelling quite like this."—THE WASHINGTON POST

"Changed the course of comics."—ROLLING STONE

"Revisionist pop epic."—SPIN


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragic but daring Tale June 21 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always criticized Frank Miller's art work on Batman. Even after purchasing 'Year one' and being pleasantly surprised by the story I still remained hesitant on purchasing "The Dark Knight Returns". Foolish me. This story is absolutely amazing. It's the most tragic piece of art in the form of a graphic novel I've ever read. The pages are filled with text, it felt as if this story was as long as a full lengthed novel! I cannot stress enough the importance of this graphic novel to the entire Batman mythos and story line. A must buy for anyone who enjoys the works of Frank Miller and/or Batman.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman comes out of retirement to whoop ass. Jan. 16 1998
By A Customer
Ten years after Bruce Wayne retires Batman, Gotham City is in chaos as psychos rip the city apart and sensitive humanitarians back-up their "socially misaligned" behavior, Bruce's alter ego fights back and enevitably wins to give criminals the justice they deserve.In the process he splits society in two.I recommend this book to everyone on Earth because it is second only to the Bible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Feb. 27 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love this story by Frank Miller. One of the all time best Batman storyline. A true classic. Must read for any Batman fan!
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4.0 out of 5 stars EPIC story by the great Frank Miller Jan. 27 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Epic classic by Mr Miller, amazing story as witnessed in the movie. This one lost 1 star from me due to the artwork which I personally think a better job could have been done. Needless to say, the story on this one makes up for this and I would highly recommend it.
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By Andre Lawrence TOP 50 REVIEWER
I BROKE his bones...I CONQUERED the fool!
I made him BEG for mercy, only by CHEATING did he escape alive!

Let him go to his WOMEN. Let him LICK his wounds. His day is DONE.

Gotham City belongs to the MUTANTS!!!!!"


Everything said about this graphic novel is true—this is, most certainly, a groundbreaking piece of fiction.

This is equal parts literature and equal parts illustration journal.

This is not your typical Caped Crusader story.

Commissioner Gordon, who until this time, was essentially a passing thought now plays a central and critical part in the life of the city faces a forced retirement as a compromised mayor and a disinterested Gotham City has been laid siege by a very visible crime syndicate.

A couple of long imprisoned career criminals are about to be released.

And, a generation of Gotham City’s children believe that Batman is a myth.

This is a carefully grafted story that has layers and layers of political and social commentary. The most important to me has to do with natural and emotional degradation of the human mind.

How does time influence one’s psychological behavior?

When does one finally reach “the end?”

If there’s a downside to this, is that the illustrations are horrendous. Absolutely atrocious.

But this is still a landmark piece of literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique masterpiece Sept. 17 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great art, an incredibly unique, dense story and a satisfying ending. A great read. I felt like I got a deeper appreciation for the recent film as a result of reading this first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing July 10 2012
This book was amazing, and sets the tone for so much of Batman in the 1990s and even into the 2000s, until Grant Morrison broke him down and recreated him. With Batman: Year One, it is a definitive Batman, and brilliant story-telling. Actually, sitting down with this book and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics will show you a huge amount about storytelling in superhero comics. If you're interested in good comics, this is one of the books you should read.

Recent books by Miller, including the sequel to this, seem to be a parody of him, but this is Miller at the crest of his creative powers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book gets way too many props Aug. 7 2000
By A Customer
If you're looking for a purely one-dimensional violence machine portrayal of Batman, you'll adore this book. However, if you love Batman as written by such writers as Bill Finger, John Broome, Gardner Fox, Steve Englehart, Paul Dini, Len Wein, and Jeph Loeb, this book is a total mess. While those writers succeeded in giving Batman depth and characterization beyond his war on crime, Frank Miller's take on Batman in a depthless, bland, completely unlikeable masochist who only cares about inflicting pain on his enemies and nearly nothing else. While the book's premise (Batman coming out of retirement to save Gotham from a disatrous crime wave) is worthy, Miller's execution, as both a writer and an artist, sinks the book like a rock. In addition to making Batman a lead character you have to hate, we're given such idiotic characters like the lame Carrie Kelley/Robin and the Mutants, disgusting characters like Bruno and the bloated Selina Kyle, silly plot devices (mind-controlling lipstick, talking doll bombs), and a Superman so poorly handled that it's embarrassing. Miller's treatment of Superman and Batman's relationship is totally off-base and uncalled for; instead of the Spock/McCoy friendship the characters have shared for years, Miller's Batman has a sheer hatred and contempt for Superman that only reinforces the the total lack of personality Miller gave him in the story. Add poor dialogue (the Mutants' lingo is ludicrous and unreadable) and bad artwork, and what you get is a complete disaster. There are so many better Batman stories out there; don't waste your money on this.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking Amazing
I would recommend this Trade paperback to anyone , its got beautiful artwork and a great story by Frank Miller . Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2012 by Tiilyre J.A.M
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Lives
Excellent, original and unique story!It was a joy to read. Dark, well thought out and great sense of humor at times.
Published on Sept. 13 2011 by Batlover
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah...its pretty darn good
This was one great graphic novel. It was the first Batman I read since the 80s.

Batman is the way I like him, tough and serious. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2009 by M. Forrest
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Batman story.
Batman : The Dark Knight returns is a very good story of Batman returning after a tough retirement. The story develops pretty nicely and definetely a must for any Batman fan out... Read more
Published on April 1 2009 by M. Reyes
5.0 out of 5 stars My First Batman Book and still the greatest!!!
Darkened streets, a city in danger and a psychotic vigilante. Everything about this book worked, a mixture of classic villains and new ones bring the Batman out of retirement. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2005 by Matt Barrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Best graphic novel ever done, period.
Best character (Batman), best writing, cool drawings, and, importantly, Miller does not deviate from the legend like most other comic (and Hollywood) writers seem to have a... Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by "psass1"
2.0 out of 5 stars poisonous
I'm a pretty big fan of comics; but I got something of a late start, with Sandman about 7 years ago. So there's a lot of stuff I just haven't got around to reading. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Olivia
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