cyclonus_the_warrior's Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 - TPB/HC review

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ohhh boy the suckage!

After the events in Gotham City 5 years earlier, Batman goes underground and begins training his new faction. The world has fallen deeper into madness and now is the time to strike. Batman resurfaces once again to try and restore order but he still needs help. The new Robin, Carrie Kelly, now calling herself Cat-Girl assists him through tough missions to put his big plan in order. -summary

Wow, I mean just holy shit here. After all these years my original thoughts are still the same for this putrid graphic-novel. After all these years I still can't believe this was written by the same guy. How can writer Frank Miller be responsible for two of the best Batman stories ever written in the forms of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, and at the same time be responsible for quite possibly the worst Batman story after 1986? The only reason that makes sense to me could only be drugs. I guess this explains all the flashy out of place backgrounds that heavily resemble shroom trips. Released as a three part series through 2001 - 2002, The Dark Knight Strikes Again is the sequel to the Dark Knight Returns, and this is one of those cases where sequel bashers are given more fuel for the fire.

This story has received mixed reactions like crazy, but the criticism leans far more towards the negative and I always saw why. In all seriousness, I find this goddamn book so bad I really don't know where to begin. Wait a minute, I can't believe I just said that; the artwork is complete shit. I mean wow, there's NOTHING I like about this visually. Miller attempts to recapture that hazy, artistic feel found in DKR and it simply doesn't work out here. The artwork in his earlier story told you a lot of things; the gray backgrounds, the gritty atmosphere, it had plenty of things to say and it worked in unison with the narrative roping the reader into this world, which was clearly seen from a black and white point of view. DKNS on the other hand resorts to a cartoony look with horrid character designs that appear to be heavily influenced by Bat-Mite's character design. No way in hell can that be a good thing. The backgrounds, when they are included, add absolutely nothing to the artwork and they come off completely aimless with clashing colors, and sometimes you just can't tell what's going on. To make matters even worse, there are occasions when it's difficult to follow the dialog boxes, because you won't know when the perspective has switched from Superman to Wonder Woman. Seriously, there's just no excuse for something this lazy.

Miller borrows from DKR quite a bit; the story and plot contains social and political commentary, as Miller pulls out the soap box and goes on about the things that pisses him off; such as George Bush, media propaganda, and people just not giving a damn about the lies in front of their faces. This is not necessarily bad material, instead it can actually be considered brilliant. The problem is the narrative being saturated with too many moments of Miller simply repeating himself, by hammering home the exact same points over and over, which doesn't exactly border but steamrolls into being pretentious. Once you ignore this is a Frank Miller work and read it from an objective point of view though, you'll notice the cheap little tactics being used as mere padding, and then the possibility of this being a very awkward story masquerading as a work of art becomes more evident.

One aspect of the original story that stood out was the satire playing second to the plot. Here it's the complete opposite and the plot is very hard to follow with numerous subplots coming in and out of play, plus a character making an appearance at the end just because. And speaking of characters, there is very little in character development along with very bad characterization that will only bother long time fans.

I'm pretty sure to some folks it may seem impossible that a Frank Miller graphic novel can actually be bad, let alone so horrible to the point where it can be classified as garbage; but there's no exaggeration here, The Dark Knight Strikes Again is garbage. It does not belong in your Batman collection, it's not a necessary companion piece to Dark Knight Returns either. It's a disease that should be quarantined from the general public. I was once told that you can get a thousand "attaboys", but it takes one "ah shit!" to ruin everything you accomplished. When looking at this along with his All Star Batman and Robin comic. I think it's safe to say Frank Miller is working on destroying his legacy.

Pros: A few good points here and there

Cons: It's an island of errors

Other reviews for Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 - TPB/HC

    A Misunderstood Masterpiece 0

    People hated this story. People exploded with rage, insulting his writer, thinking he went mad, that he was only doing this to cash in, to flip the middle finger to an entire generation of fan that waited fifteen years to a sequel of another masterpiece. They we're all wrong. This story, this graphic novel, this comic book, however you want to call it, it' a masterpiece of epic proportions. Not perfect, I'll admit that, but still a masterpiece.    The Story Superheroes as freedom fighter, but wi...

    1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

    It is What Miller Wanted It to Be 0

    No one should have been surprised that this was different from The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller had already told that story. If you wanted to read TDKR again, just re-read it. Miller had to tell a different story with this to be worth his time - even if many people didn't like the direction of his future world. There isn't much of a "story," here, though. It is an overload of contemporary media satire. TDKR balances story and satire well, but that balance feels lacking in this installment....

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

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