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"The Dark Knight series is all from Batman’s point of view. But if you look at Dark Knight 2, you’ll see a Superman who’s much calmer than the one in the first Dark Knight. Batman and Superman are dead opposites. I love Superman. Do I love Batman more? They’re not people. They’re only lines on paper."

- Frank Miller




15 pages of 51































Date: 2017-03-07 01:27 am (UTC)
lordultimus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lordultimus
Frank... you didn't answer your own question.

Date: 2017-03-07 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scorntx
He doesn't really need to.
It's pretty obvious which one he likes more.

Date: 2017-03-07 01:53 am (UTC)
lordultimus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lordultimus
Yeah, but that was still a blatant question dodge.

You'd almost think he was running for president.

Date: 2017-03-07 01:52 am (UTC)
rainspirit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rainspirit
The answer doesn't matter.

Date: 2017-03-07 02:02 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
I vaguely remember reading this in a comic book store when it came out in 1986, not really reading the text, and thinking, "That's not Bruce Wayne. He has white hair. And why is that girl dressed as Robin?"

I'm not sure what Batman means when he thinks "You gave them the power that should have been ours." Does it mean Bruce secretly resents all the people he has had to save over the years?

Why would Oliver Queen sink a submarine via computer failure?

Date: 2017-03-07 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tcampbell1000
The rest of the speech provides a clue to your first question. Superman is traditionally very into the idea that humanity must shape its own destiny, without superheroes acting as anything more than idealized police officers. This sounds pretty good as long as humanity appears to be on the right track. It's a less attractive philosophy when it seems like everything sucks, and being the stooge of a (ahem) plainly unhinged President is not Kal-El's best look.

Batman didn't grow up with faith in the system: quite the opposite. Where was the system the night his parents died? He mellowed enough to partner with Jim Gordon, but the police force was dirty as hell when he started, and only got clean thanks to the efforts of people like Gordon and Yellen. Metropolis may have been just fine between alien invasions, but Gotham was always teetering on the edge of collapse. "The world only makes sense when you force it to."

Superhero stories are full of one-time heroes who took those words too much to heart and became tyrants. But there is a middle path, and it's the one Batman takes earlier in this volume: not taking over the political world, but not abdicating his power to affect it, either. (If that seems like a pretty narrow tightrope to walk, if "bringing sense to a world plagued by worse than thieves and murderers" sounds like it could as easily be a tyrant's pretext, well, that it could. But if the world is plagued, then someone has to try.)

As for Ollie vs. the submarine, this is barely a sketch, but I assume it was a sub doing Very Bad Things that neither Ollie's conscience nor the U.S. government could abide. And because Ollie is striking from the shadows, he has to make sure the story isn't "the sub was sunk by four torpedo arrows, fired by a mysterious bearded archer in scuba gear." I mean, that WAS how he sunk it, but he made it LOOK like something else.
Edited Date: 2017-03-07 05:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-07 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tcampbell1000
Someone is going to read this story now, after seeing Batman v. Superman, and realize just how much context matters to lines like "It's time you learned what it means to be a man."

Still, well-done as the action climax and denouement is, for my money the best sequences in this book, and some of the best in Miller's entire career, are the ones without costumes, largely but not exclusively Jim Gordon's. After 160-odd pages of showing how terrible ordinary humans can be to each other, Miller puts together some absolutely breathtaking moments of people coming together in a crisis... sometimes after a forceful nudge, but no less sincerely for that. I still get a catch in my throat when I reread this bit about volunteer firefighting:

The spirit spreads as fast as the fire. Two nurses show up out of nowhere-- they don’t have a damn thing to work with. The ones they can’t comfort they get drunk. A hardhat grabs a lugwrench from the back of his dead truck and smashes open a fire hydrant. The man at the hardware store puts his shotgun away and empties paint buckets all over his new tile floor. A line forms.

Date: 2017-03-07 06:33 pm (UTC)
goattoucher: (Brimley)
From: [personal profile] goattoucher
There's something there that proved prescient today. The government and the media (ostensibly under the government's influence) paint a horrible picture of humanity. A polarizing picture. Talking heads present opinions on the issues of the day as absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

Meanwhile, in the real world, unperturbed by the din of the media, regular people get along. They help each other. They sacrifice for each other.

And there is no news coverage of their cooperation. It's off message. coexistence isn't -sexy-.

Date: 2017-03-07 01:40 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
I'm not sure if this hasn't aged as well as I remember or I've just changed since I first read it back when it was new. Likely both (certainly the latter).

Frank's dodging the question, really. He clearly doesn't HATE Superman, but his narrative has Superman...the guy who used to threaten abusive husbands, stop union busters and crooked businessmen...he has THAT guy become a stooge for his Reagan stand-in. I get that Superman is the 'big blue boyscout', but he's not a mindless stooge willing to be a tamed attack dog for the government. It was reductive then and it's much more so NOW.

It's also weird reading some of Miller's stuff as his political inclinations changed. The guy who wrote Daredevil to the guy who wrote Dark Knight Returns to the guy who wrote Martha Washington to the guy who wrote 300 and then the guy who produced Holy Terror. It's the same guy, same ticks...but the focus slides. Or maybe we gave him more slack when we thought he wasn't being serious (or when we thought he was).

As for Batman, this quote from the Hollywood Reporter I think clarifies his thinking:

HR: One of the things that led you to create Dark Knight Returns was a series of muggings. What happened?

MIller: There's something demeaning about the first time you're knocked to the ground and punched in the stomach and have a gun waved in your face and realize that you're completely at somebody's mercy. And they can take your life. And at that point, you'll do anything. There's something so humiliating about that. And to me that made me realize that Batman was the most potent symbol DC had in its hands. Sure, Superman can fly, but Batman turns me back into that guy who is scared and at the same time the guy who can come and save him. It's a perfect myth.

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