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My Love of the Dark Knight Returns


My Introduction to it

My first experience of the Dark Knight Returns material was the Animated Movie, and I know that is probably strange to many, but that was my first interaction with this version of Batman and this Gotham. When I initially watched the movie, it was due to my interest in Animation, and I was not aware of the comic it was based on, because I had been away from comics for a long time at that point. However I do remember loving the story, and loving the female Robin, Carrie Kelley.

The actual comic story

Once I was firmly entrenched in the Animation stuff, I slowly got back into the world of comics, primarily due to the amazing artwork, but also because I remembered so many of the classic storylines. I ended up finding a used version of the Dark Knight Returns comic, and soon fell in love with everything about it, to me it is the best comic ever. I love the use of the news media, I love the very dark and brooding and unsafe feeling of that version of Gotham, and I love the art style Frank chose to use for this story, it all presents so well, and is just a well told story.


The Mutant Gang

One aspect of the entire DKR story I love is the involvement of a new and more savage villain than was previously seen. The Adam West Batman TV Show had portrayed Joker largely as a goofy clown type. When Frank Miller did this story, he made The Joker a pure psycho, but I particularly love the Mutant threat in Gotham, and also love that not much of anything is said of where they came from, or how they came to be, and that makes it better, its more mysterious. The original Halloween movie made perfect use of the art of not showing too much, and Frank Miller did it well with the Mutants, their messages are done with just shadows, and there is no need for any kind of backstory. You see them, and you just instantly realize, okay, they are taking over Gotham. Simple works well in this case.


The way the story of The Dark Knight Returns is told, and everything about it is one of the biggest influences on my writing style to this day, I tend to use the news media as a character in my stories, and a lot of that is due to the Dark Knight Returns. It is something I often refer back to for reference, and it has become a part of my inspiration for a lot of different ideas I've created.

Carrie Kelley .... Robin!

The biggest highlight for me from the entire story is Carrie Kelley, who becomes the female Robin, and I absolutely love how she is presented in the story, as just an average kid, who seems to really be a fan of Batman, and is happy he returns to save the city, and then she decides to help out. The moment where she is asked who she is by Bruce, and says her name first, and then, after a brief thought, she firmly says 'Robin!' is easily the highlight for me.

© 2020 Jordan Weaver

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