Date: 2009-04-27 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
More than a pinch of Frank Miller will not make the Batter better.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And we all know about the the Bat-batter, don't we Robin...

Image (

Date: 2009-04-27 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is part of the reason I hate DKR so much.

Selina as a fat, washed-out madame with horrible make up. Augh!

Much as I love Year One... *stabs Miller*

Date: 2009-04-27 09:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, I"m thinking of putting up some scans for some kind of Batman Elseworlds week in the near future and Selina is a fat madame in Batman: Nine Lives. *sniff*

But still.. loving the Bat/Cat week(s)!!!

Date: 2009-04-27 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah! But you see, she's running a cathouse. A cathouse. Get it? Get it?


Well. At least it's not _just_ Miller doing whoreswhoreswhoreswhores.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh I got it. ;-P

While I haven't read DKR (It's being sent to me by a friend tho), I kinda get the feeling I'm going to be worried about what Miller does. I just have this sense with him -- and I know I'm not crazy about this one -- that something in his work just makes me think "demonization of gay people." (on top of whoreswhoreswhores)

It's not just me who thinks this, right? Right? Right?

Date: 2009-04-27 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
FWIW, I have the book from back when it first hit trades. Miller had not gone *completely* cuckoo nutso then, though there are hints of what's to come.

I don't remember any really major demonization of gay people in general unless you count the oft-done Ho Yay with the Joker. (I don't really remember what Bruno's deal was apart from looking butch and not wearing much up top besides tattoos.)

Date: 2009-04-27 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah. Maybe it is just me.

(Damn you S_D! And here I thought the community motto was infallible!! NOOOOOOOO!)

Date: 2009-04-27 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, no, he's definitely got some sexuality issues mixed up in there. It's hard not to when you've got that many woman issues; the two are pretty inextricably linked, both being fundamentally about a skewed sense of gender roles and relations.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!
I knew it wasn't just me. I just feel like even tho Miller and Moore were writing at the same time, Moore was an artist attempting to advance gay rights/advocate in his own way, whereas Miller... well... yeah. You get my drift.


Date: 2009-04-27 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Motto. Before I knew more about Miller, I had read this and it majorly pissed me off.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually liked this. A dystopian future that is likely possible, based on how the world turns out. A world without Batman and the standards he brings is a bad world. Now that I am much older and I have seen how my own circle of friends have risen and 'fallen', I can appreciate it more.

And 20+ years later, modern society looks a LOT like the Dark Knight's world than it did back in the 80's.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, but NOT all of your friends have fallen, have they? Some have risen too.

It's the sheer, utter, unremitting bleakness of DKR world which is irksome. Where are the likes of Dick (leaving aside the frankly soul destroyingly jarring DKSA), Wally and Donna? The implication from DKR is that ONLY Batman was a good man who could make a difference. Screw that!

Date: 2009-04-27 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can definitely understand that point of view, but in all fairness it is Dark Knight Returns and not The Justice League Returns. If it were a Superman story, I wouldn't expect an appearance from Green Arrow, for example.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just will never like this book. For instance, I find I totally disagree with just about everything in the above comment. I don't think society needs Batman's standards to not be this, and the world does not look any more like this future than it did in the 80s to me. It just looks like Frank Miller in any decade.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked parts of DKR. It had a few moments of awesome, but otherwise was ham-handedly dystopic and ideological.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Pretty much my opinion as well. Some of it is brilliant (if only in a technical sense) but a lot of it is just eugh.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, that's it exactly. There are moments of technical brilliance, but the whole work is undercut with skeeviness adn misery.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
Which is why I do hope we actually do DRK for the book club down the line. This is one of the truly iconic Batman comics, one touted as the single greatest Batman story of all time, with the WIZARD-bred fandom hailing it as on par with (or even superior to) WATCHMEN. Like it always comes down to those two.

I wonder how people outside of the scans_daily mentality consider DKR these days? Does the common fan see it as ugly as we do? Has it aged terribly for anyone else? Would we still have felt this way had we read it when it came out?

Meanwhile, BATMAN: YEAR ONE holds up beautifully, as does WATCHMEN (which also had the same impact of creating the grim and gritty era). Why is that? Those are the questions I'd like to see explored.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mind, I actually think the ugliness of the art serves to underscore the ugliness of the story: It's a kind of Stylistic Suck if you will. It wouldn't be half as effective if it used glossy art and beautiful people.

I think Watchmen is something of the same (it uses a lot of secondary colours for instance, which often makes it look like raw liver, but makes it very distinct, the movie totally missed the train on that one)

Date: 2009-04-27 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Personally, I'm fascinated by RONIN. I don't like Y1, never have, though I don't find it as distasteful as DKR, which I couldn't finish. But even though RONIN seems, thematically, worst of all - the entire story (spoiler!) revolves around both the metaphorical and literal rape of the protagonist, which, in the end, she basically asserts as right and allies herself with both personally and philosophically - it's the one Miller story I genuinely like and totally get the *genius* with.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The ronin wasn't, but despite the title and the misleading first act, it's Casey McKenna's story (especially by the climax, when she basically singlehandedly defeats Virgo and decides how she wants the story to end, with Billy in the catalyst/DiD role).

Date: 2009-04-27 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree.

Full disclosure, I've never actually finished DKR - because, on top of what you say, it's just badly written. The format ill serves it.

However, what I managed to get through, reading story rundowns, the scans here, even what people say when praising it, has convinced me the writing wasn't the only thing wrong with it.

Date: 2009-04-27 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Forgive me if I ramble, butI feel passionate about this topic and this book.

In regards to my above comment... the absence of Batman (and the other DC heroes) turned the bright and shiny DC universe in the Dark Knight dystopia future with looser and darker pubic morals, worse than some of Marvel's dark futures.

In this dark DC future there were no ideal heroes around to motivate and inspire people to rise above their own selfish needs. Even with Superman around (although working in a clandestine fashion). The heroes bowed out, and the standards of quality of life and moral code represented better by the Flash, the Green Lantern and Diana went down the toilet.

Further, and to quote TDK Joker, the world and gotham needed "a better class of criminal". Can you imagine the Mutant gang achieving the level of power and fear in the city with the Joker, Killer Croc or the Penguin still running the upper echelons of crime in the city? Where are the mob bosses? Sure they were very very bad men who did very very bad things, but they had standards. I will open this up for debate by saying that TDKR Two-Face doesn't count. Harvey Dent has lost his fight with his dark side, and is self-destructive and nihilistic in his despair. The attempts to clean him up were only cosmetic, and he is rotten to the core, like society.

What we get teens that are street thugs, kids getting their kicks off of theft, rape and murder.
Almost all of them that we see in the book are, except for the new Robin. Basically, teens that grew up without role models on either side. And as hard as I have to admit saying it, those teens are us - the hardened readers. Before the big climax, THE FIGHT, there was a small unspoken moments that I have come to appreciate as I look back at what Batman was, what he is and what he means to us.

It was when the news reporters mentioned that the cities of the United States were in chaos in the nuclear winter, there was ONE city where people could walk safely down the streets. Where the rebelling youth of our future were guided out of the gutter and darkness by one man. The one man who can plunge into the abyss with us and haul us (as a society) back from the brink through sheer spirit and willpower alone into the light. One man who CAN make a difference, with the sheer power of his presence or absence. A man strong enough to take our place in the shadows of our hearts and darkness of our streets and take it all... because he can. Batman.

And to all the posters who have said that we (as Americans) aren't in a world darker now (and closer to the dystopia of the DKNR world), I painfully have two things to counter-argue to you.
1) School shootings
2) the hype over the 'octo-mom'.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In this dark DC future there were no ideal heroes around to motivate and inspire people to rise above their own selfish needs. Even with Superman around (although working in a clandestine fashion). The heroes bowed out, and the standards of quality of life and moral code represented better by the Flash, the Green Lantern and Diana went down the toilet.

Except IIRC we never find out WHY. Batman giving up is his choice (presumably after Jason's fate, and even that was left vague in DKR) and Superman went "politically hamstrung". Where were all the OTHER heroes in this? Wonder Woman, the Titans, the JSA and the like?

It was when the news reporters mentioned that the cities of the United States were in chaos in the nuclear winter, there was ONE city where people could walk safely down the streets. Where the rebelling youth of our future were guided out of the gutter and darkness by one man.

I'm a Batman fan, I'm a BIG Batman fan, he's one man in one city, that works, but to suggest that he's the ONLY man, in ANY city, is just not impressive storytelling.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
**Except IIRC we never find out WHY. Batman giving up is his choice (presumably after Jason's fate, and even that was left vague in DKR) and Superman went "politically hamstrung". Where were all the OTHER heroes in this? Wonder Woman, the Titans, the JSA and the like?

The government outlawed them.

**I'm a Batman fan, I'm a BIG Batman fan, he's one man in one city, that works, but to suggest that he's the ONLY man, in ANY city, is just not impressive storytelling.**

I interpret that whole entire scene. Before Supes stopped the nuke, the most dangerous city in fictional reagan era US was Gotham. When the crap hit the fan, the most dangerous city in the DC US became the safest city. Not because law and order was being enforced, or that the "system worked" or that good people decided to help one another. Rather, it was because Batman was bringing the city under his control and his rules, not the rules of the decaying, corrupt America. And the nation looked to Gotham as an example to lead them out of the crisis. It works because this is no ordinary man. No one else in America, at the time, could do what he can do. Because he is Batman.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The government outlawed them.

Yeah, because that stopped them from being vigilantes so often before.

Date: 2009-04-28 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it HAS, actually, to some degree - remember, it's still in continuity (I think - it was, anyway) that when Congress ordered the JSA to either reveal their secret identities or disband, they went the disbanding route, and didn't get back together for a number of years. Something similar may have happened in DKR.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And not only superheroes--how about regular people? For all the kids involved in school shootings there's many more involved in charitable work trying to better the world.

Sure there are ways one could say life today is darker--there are also many ways in which life today is less dark. It always depends on the person which way they look at things. Plus I haven't read this in a while, but it doesn't sound like this Batman is so inspiring he'd make a very good role model.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, crap has been happening for a long time, we just hear about it more, and it's all that the media reports when it DOES happen.

As you say, the vast majority of folks are fairly decent, law abiding people.

There was a recent article I read about something which can only be described as the rise of hebephobia (

Date: 2009-04-27 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wonder Woman, the Titans, the JSA and the like?

To be fair, this was written in 1986, so Batman and the JSA weren't actually in the same continuity at the time. (Would have either come out during, or too close after Crisis for the changes made to have an effect.) So, only 2/3 of those are actually MISSING.

However, the Titans and most of the rest of the JLA being missing are big points - only Superman is mentioned, and only the Flashes are explicable, given the circumstances at the time of writing (at the time, Barry was missing and Wally was enough of an emotional and physical wreck that he could have ended up permanently out of the game, instead of taking Barry's place). But then there's Wondie, the Lanterns, the non-Robin/Flash Titans, Green gods-be-damned Arrow, for flip's sake. There's no reason for all of them to be out of the game. Hal and Ollie, particularly, I don't buy the 'they were outlawed!' part. Hard Travelling Heroes was still a fresh memory at this point, and that Hal and Ollie - well, any post O'Neil Ollie, but that Hal - I can see being 'screw the rules, I have green clotheswhat's right on my side'.

It makes sense, from a writing standpoint that Miller would ignore them - his story doesn't work if they're still on the beat, and only a handful of them can be plausibly explained (and I don't buy his explanation for Superman, which is another problem I have with it - while the Post-Crisis Superman is 'mine', I don't buy it for the pre-Crisis, either) as out of it, so he just ignores them.

Which is a problem in itself, since there are too many things that suggest this isn't a world that was ever lacking in heroes.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, for Ollie, we see in DKR that he was off somewhere with only one arm. I think something is also mentioned about GA being locked up and breaking out as well.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In DKSA Hal is revealed to have fallen in love with an alien woman (amusingly, she looks like a blob) and had a son. He returns only briefly when Batman asks him back. (And if you ever wanted to see Hal the God, that's it. Considering that ASBAR is roughly early continuity to this universe, it's an interesting character arc there..y'know, if you're obsessed with that sort of thing)

Date: 2009-04-27 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Where were all the OTHER heroes in this? Wonder Woman, the Titans, the JSA and the like?

Wonder Woman was off on her lovely man-free island of paradise, despising men and having earth-shattering sex with Superman.

Honestly, this is Frank Miller, even if it's Frank Miller back in the better days. WOMEN=WHORES has pretty much always been one of his mantras and expecting him to change it for a teensy little reason like coherency is only something that will leave you disappointed.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
despising men and having earth-shattering sex with Superman.

I still want to know how the fuck that's supposed to work.

Date: 2009-04-27 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Forget it, Blue, it's Millertown.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
... truefax.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
human men.

Date: 2009-04-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And to all the posters who have said that we (as Americans) aren't in a world darker now (and closer to the dystopia of the DKNR world), I painfully have two things to counter-argue to you.
1) School shootings
2) the hype over the 'octo-mom'.

You know, I'm going to have to disagree with you. I go to a public high school (and not a completely whitebread school either, majority is whites and hispanics, followed by african-americans, and then asians). I have never once had a cause to be frightened due to a shooting scare or other threat. Sure, there's a couple of police officers and some drug dogs at my school, but that's just a preventative measure. I live in the fourth largest city in the US, and can honestly say that I have not experienced or heard of a large case of school violence.

And about the "octo-mom": that's the press hyping. Some of the population buys it, but a large portion doesn't. The problem is, the portion of the people that are obnoxious and ignorant and buy into such things get highly publisized by reality TV (frex: Jane Goody). But there's a large portion of us who don't. And what I've noticed is there's a high amount of people in my generation who don't. When we eat lunch every day, one of our most popular topics of conversation is politics and current events. We aren't "nerds" (matter of fact, we're the female jocks), we aren't high class, and about half aren't in advanced classes. The thing I've noticed is that people in my generation are starting to care. There's a lot of kid's that do community service, and there's kids who formed a whole club to protest injustices in the world. They sent about 400 letters about Myanmar.

The world's not as dark as you're arguing, and there's definatley a determined generation coming up. Yes, there is war right now. Yes, the economy is in a slump right now. Yes, the state where I live might end up facing a pandemic right now. But there's still hope. As long as there are people willing to consider possibilities in the world and make changes and take responsibility, there will always be hope.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This comment earns the seal of approval.

*applauds you*

Date: 2009-04-27 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like your ideas and admire your youthful enthusiasm, but I can see that age and the generation issue gives us different perspectives to "how dark is our world". I guess I should compare the scenes in TDKR that I am using against these real-life examples.

I am referring to the return of Batman and how the depraved reacted to it. Namely, the porn star who would make a midget gang bang dressed as Snow White, and she would do it "for the children." And I am talking about the repressed pervert who blow away the people attending said porno, and the media twisted into a "Batman related crime."

The big thing that the generation before mine had to worry about was child molesters at schools, gang fights with equipment from the PE lockers, and the popular kids taking a cruel prank too far. And when my generation was growing up and in school, our school life got more of the same, with the exception that guns had come to paradise. Gang shootings were a part of life, as an accepted cultural issue and something to aspire to, getting into a gun battle after school with your homies against someone else's crew. Drive-by's were the big threat, and I have walked away from two of them within the clean suburban neighborhood that I thought was too far away to be touched by gang violence. Then I grew up, got older, let life slap the stupid out of me and got kids to share my comics with. And read the Dark Knight Returns.

Now the youth in between my generation and the up and coming ones have to deal with planned out school massacres where the kids kill their tormentors, their classmates and then kill themselves with a capable arsenal and, most frightening, a well thought out plan. I hate to sound like an old timer, but we didn't have that in my day. And I fear for the kids these days, who have one of these school shootings in the news at least once a month, and who may come to be numb to the horrors.

And the octo-mom would not have the coverage she has enjoyed of so recently. Moral disgust for such a woman back when I was young would've kept her on the freakshow tabloids with Bigfoot and the bat-baby. Now, she's been approached for her own reality show and her break downs make the news. Not the more worrthy mothers who struggle to raise kids on their own and get by... this human gets all the attention. Are worse yet, she inspires... the worst in us. Yup, you guessed it kids, they're going to make a midget porn about octo-mom. (Not that I have anything wrong against porn, one of my best friends is in porn).

Back to the point. The level of human decency and standards, has gone down, and its the argument each generation makes about the next, and it's true. And for all of the bright hope so many of you bring to the world, it only takes one rotten apple to bring tarnish the rest.

So, I am making a loose comparison where octo-mom gets so much press, and inspires the type of porn these days that is so common that it's funny but not shocking or disturbing. A day where the persecuted kids have to worry about popular kids, or the popular kids worry about the ones that keep to themselves, or the up and coming gang bangers. Based on how prevalent these issues are in our meedia and common life experience, I do believe that the US today is that much closer to becoming the Dark Knight Return's America.

But I read TDKR, see someone who has seen the horror we can unleash on one another and who fights the impossible fight to make our world a better place, and I appreciate what the writer is trying to convey as to just how much Bats can move and inspire, as Superman does.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The problem is, as you get older you simply know more about what is going on. What was always going on. I'm almost forty, and there were no 'good old days'.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I loved through those days and these days, and I think if you average it up we just haven't taken a huge step towards this dystopia. There's some new threats, some things that are better. I think my city's generally considered to have become far less of a dystopia compared to, say, the 70s. It's not some paradise, but the blackout of 77 was very different from the blackout of 03.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh--I meant I *lived* through those days and these days.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...there were no 'good old days'.


Date: 2009-04-28 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The level of human decency and standards, has gone down, and its the argument each generation makes about the next, and it's true.

You realize the "decency and standards" of times gone by include things ranging from slavery, racism, homophobia, misogyny, communist paranoia, blind patriotism, ignoring and hating any religion aside from Christianity, killing off the Injuns, and child labor? You'll have to forgive me if I don't take "things were better back then!" seriously.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Modern society has its own issues and obstacles, but anyone who looks around and says we're worse off as a society than we were a hundred, fifty or even twenty years ago has historical blinders on...or is speaking from a privileged viewpoint. We still have a long way to go, but to deny that we've made progress when it comes to issues of tolerance and equality is simply asinine.

Date: 2009-04-28 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, they're still around. That hasn't changed, and won't change after we all have left this mortal coil. that's why I didn't bring it up.

Date: 2009-04-28 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This. We're at the point where homosexuals can feel safe coming out of the closet and racism (or at least the public expression of) has an intense social stigma against it. Yes, things like the glass ceiling still exist, but women can get those jobs and live independently as opposed to years ago where they were essentially the property of the men in their lives.

It's not perfect, but we're getting better. For you to ignore that and say society is getting worse on the single basis of school shootings is disingenuous.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember waiting to floored, expecting at least to be amused. I read it in one sitting and then I read some Nancy Drew to clean my brain.

The combination of ugly art, bad writing, and themes worthy of a 15-year-old boy on crack just didn't do it for me. Batman reminded me too much of Cable, Catwoman was too pathetic, the Joker was... blah. I thought the mutant gangs were pretty hilarious, although I don't think that was what Miller was going for.

I did have one pretty weird dream with DKR!Batman threatening to kill me if I didn't paint a picture of him, but other than that I was unaffected.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like ASBAR better than this. ASBAR!


Date: 2009-04-27 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

At least with ASBAR you can laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it. This is just sad.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Motto on that motto and the whole 'ASBAR is funny because it's ridiculous' part.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, rest assured, that is how I pronounce it.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually laughed out loud at that.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ASBAR has prettier art.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:34 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-27 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Besides the addition of Carrie Kelly, who was pretty cool as a female Robin and later, Catgirl, I couldn't stand DKR. Not for what it is, and not for what it caused, which is over twenty years of Batasshole! stories striving to emulate this piece of garbage.

I actually preferred The Dark Knight Strikes Again, because whilst it was utterly ridiculous, at least it recognised that and had fun with the traditional notion of heroes versus villains. This was just crap.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The grimness it inspired in others was bad... but I think the greater long-term damage was done by having Batman "beat up" Superman.

After the CCA and the censorship of the Silver Age, I think the medium's maturity was stunted, and an overly grim "backlash" was inevitable. DKR happened to be one of the comics that started it.

But the obnoxious Batgod we've gotten as of late, owing mainly to Miller and Morrison... I don't think that was inevitable. That shit's on their heads.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing is, I don't think Miller intended that everyone follow his idea of what Batman should be. His Dark Knight Batman existed at the end of his life, and was much more vicious and brutal than the regular Batman was allowed to be, largely because it was outside the constraints of continuity. The problem was, his Batman was completely different than anything that had come before (Even the 'darker' version O'Neill and Adams put into play in the seventies), and it completely redefined what a comic book hero should be. And that, in turn, inspired hundreds upon hundreds of 'extreme' knockoffs and pieces of shit. I think it's safe to say that Miller is partially to blame for shit like X-Force and Liefeld even gaining a foothold in the industry, really.

But at the same time, I disagree that Millar's to blame for the 'Batgod' style of writing we've had in recent years. He opened up the idea of what Batman could be, but it's wrong to pin every single BatGod-style story on him. It's not entirely his fault that he made something so popular that people were so unimaginative, they just looked at the 'beating Superman' scene and thought 'I can do one better'. The faults of the stories that followed, written by other writers, are on the writer's heads. I hardly imagine Miller was holding a gun to their heads.

And, needless to say, I think it's fair to argue that it wasn't his intention to completely define the next generation of Batman stories, and judging from DKSA, he was obviously dissatisfied with what went on, and unsuccessfully tried to bring back the 'fun' Batman. He was beaten by what he'd established, essentially. Still, I'd rather read the technicolour nightmare of DKSA than the grim and ugly DKR.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I dunno...While Miller and Morrison gave us some of the most egregious examples, I think it was inevitable, too.

For two reasons -

1) Part of the stated backlash is a certain 'superheroes wouldn't be that great, anyway' undercurrent, which leads to trying to show that the 'human' characters - even those that are in costumes (the Batmen, the Green Arrows, and the like) - are in some way 'better' than the superpowered kinds. This can manifest in multiple ways. You can go the route of The Boys, and show the superpowered characters as depraved monsters, while the 'powerless' humans are morally upright victims of the crazy supers. Or, you can go the Batman route, and allow the 'human' characters to out think the ones with powers - 'see, they've got all these amazing powers, but they're not really that awesome, a smart normal can knock them down a peg with no effort!' (This is, I think, Miller's reason for doing it.)

2) A certain amount of verisimilitude has come to be expected - not realism, but the appearance of plausibility (so long as you don't think too hard) - and, under those circumstances, especially with the strain on the Trinity's relationships introduced by the darkening of Batman, his place in the JLA looks...well, a bit implausible. So, the Bat becomes the ludicrously powerful 'can beat God if he's given an hour to prepare' guy we know and loathe to explain it. 'How can he stand shoulder to shoulder with these gods? Well, look what he can do, even without powers!' (Which is, I think, Morrison's reasoning.)

How do you tell version one from version two? Look at how the situation is presented - is the Bat humiliating Superman, or is he holding his own against a foe far above his nominal level ?

Date: 2009-04-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
is the Bat humiliating Superman, or is he holding his own against a foe far above his nominal level ?

I dunno, I think the one does lead to the other, to a certain extent. Obviously if he's humiliating Superman he *is* holding his own against a foe far above his nominal level, but it works the other direction too, just more subtly. I think of the White Martian arc of Morrison's run, where the Big Guns - a kryptonian, a demigod, a green martian, and a Lantern - all get a big impressive battle victory against, like, one white martian each, and then Batgod takes down three without blinking. Yeah, he's not directly humiliating Superman, but what does it say about the other Leaguers that they all struggled to achieve a third of what he did offhand? What I take away from that story is "why does he even need them, they're useless compared to him," and that's definitely not the intent of the story (which is full of Hell Yeah moments for everybody) - but it remains the glaring subtext.

Date: 2009-04-27 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I honestly don't think that that storyline is a good example of BatGod writing. Superman, Wonder Woman and the others were all fighting fully-powered White martians, while Batman used their specific weakness. Look at how fast GL took down one of them once Flash surrounded him with candles. White Martians aren't all that tough when surrounded by fire. Jimmy Olsen could take out a fire-surrounded WM.

Date: 2009-04-27 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Point taken on the first part - I really should have phrased the second half of the sentence differently - You're right that 'humiliating Superman' is 'holding his own against someone above his nominal level' - and I never meant to imply that I thought otherwise. The second half really should have been qualified rather than left bare - my fault.

I can't remember the White Martian story too well, so I can't say whether I agree more with you or [ profile] enerprime on it. But you're right that it's possible to have one that's meant simply as giving the Bat a badass moment could come out as lessening the others. But it's usually clear which is intended, IME, even if they don't succeed in making that the actual result.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I never meant to imply that I thought otherwise.

Oh, no, I got that - I was just saying that the parallel works both ways, rather than just in the obvious direction.

I dunno, I'm rather predisposed to loathe Batgod, so I'm probably not completely objective, but I can't think of any instance of Bruce playing above his league I've seen that doesn't make someone look like a douche who shouldn't, if only by fridge logic ( inference. Perhaps taking down Darkseid in "Rock of Ages." Perhaps.

Date: 2009-04-28 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, no, I got that - I was just saying that the parallel works both ways, rather than just in the obvious direction.

Ah, OK...just so long as we're both on the same page, then. Agreed on that point, which is an interesting point.

I dunno, I'm rather predisposed to loathe Batgod, so I'm probably not completely objective

Oh, trust me, I'm with you on that.

but I can't think of any instance of Bruce playing above his league I've seen that doesn't make someone look like a douche who shouldn't

I was thinking specifically of their initial fight with the General, when Bruce was subduing him with that hypnotic voice deal. but, now that I've mentioned it specifically, I can't remember just how it ended - I remember Bruce throwing a hissy at Clark, but I can't remember if it was for kill-stealing (my initial instinct), or letting the General get away. (And, unfortunately, I can't conveniently check it right now.) And, of course, it can be taken as condescending that they rushed in to help him (though I didn't see it that way when I first read it - but that may simply be my own bias).

In any case, I do remember my thought about it, when I read it, was that he wanted Bruce to be a badass without pulling down the others, even if he didn't manage that last bit. (And he really made Bruce look bad with the shouting, even if the rest of the team came out looking bad, too - especially if it was the 'kill-stealing' version.)

Which is where the Fridge Logic comes in - if it had been intended, I don't think it would fall into Fridge Logic, but would have been obvious on a first reading. Unless, of course, my pro-Other Leaguers* preference caused me to read them in a better light than intended.

* I put it in a group, since the only Leaguer I liked less under Morrison and Kelly than Bruce is Plastic Man (Morrison just made him annoying, and Kelly had him fall into the same Uber-trap as Batman - Waid, however, made him likable, in Man and Superman, shifting Bruce to last place until the Burning Martian, when Kelly killed that).

Date: 2009-04-27 10:37 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-27 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Someone needs to re-release DKR with shiny pretty art (frex, I don't recall anything in the dialogue referencing Selina'a appearance...)

Date: 2009-04-27 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
What someone needs to do is remove all of Klaus Janson's inks and have (80's-era) Miller ink it himself.

At this point in time, Miller and Varley were both at the top of their game, but it's Janson's inks that really hideousify this art, IMO.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Er, no. Miller's heart is fucking hideous. Period.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Miller can be good, but often he's all over the place. Look at Janson and Miller doing their own stuff. Janson looks the same, Miller looks like DKR.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ignoring everything because I hate it else, the image above the cut-tag is kind of weirding me out with the Bat-tongue.

(I know it's probably NOT his tongue, but that's what I thought it was when I first saw it and I'm having trouble unseeing.)

Now, really...

Date: 2009-04-27 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Am I really the only s_d-er who likes DKR, without qualification? I'm not talking DKSA which really did suck, nor ASB&R which sucks if it's meant to be taken seriously. I'm talking the original DKR. Along with Year One, it's Miller at his best. Some of the passages are breathtaking:

  • The twice-repeated passage about the primordial Bat coming for Bruce, as a boy and again as an old man: "Surely the fiercest survivor, the purest warrior...glaring, hating... Claiming me as your own."

  • Gordon's speech about Pearl Harbor. "It was too big. He was too big."

  • Batman being haunted by the Joker even beyond the grave: "Stop...stop laughing."

  • Superman's plea to his adopted mother, Earth, to restore him after the nuclear blast.

  • Carrie's sheer awe at Batman in command. "It's just his voice. Just him."

And on and on.

C'mon, who's with me here?

Re: Now, really...

Date: 2009-04-27 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
No, I enjoyed it.

But I also enjoyed Final Crisis, so what do I know.

Re: Now, really...

Date: 2009-04-28 09:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What! Splitter! Heretic!

(I kid, I kid. I didn't even read Final Crisis.)

Re: Now, really...

Date: 2009-04-27 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't speak for everyone, but all plot considerations aside, I could never truly like DKR because I find the art hideous. I have issuses with the plot too, but for me, that's what it boils down to. Even this bits I liked, I couldn't really enjoy because, to my eyes, the art is ugly.

I always thought that the story wasn't meant to be liked. That we were meant to take it as a warning, not be entertained by it. This was a comic book attempting to be literature. I leave the speculation on the success (or not) of the attmept to others as well as arguments of the literary merits of the work.

Re: Now, really...

Date: 2009-04-28 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
::Raises hand::

Is it perfect? No. Is it a terrific Batman story? Yes.

Re: Now, really...

Date: 2009-05-01 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are things about it I hate. I don't think it's perfect. I wish people hadn't decided that its Elseworld version of Batman needed to be THE Batman. But I keep coming back to this book. And the art is beautiful to me. And those five things you named are some of my very favourite elements. Especially Superman. I keep hearing that people hate Miller's OTT dissing of Superman in this book, but regardless of the man's intentions, Superman/Clark comes off as an interesting, sympathetic character in DKR.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Turning the most famous woman in comics into a former prostitute that decides to wear a costume after seeing "a real man", and then having her become a prostitute (Madame, whatever) again as she gets older... this still remains the worst thing Miller ever did, and one of the worst moments in comics history.

Which is a pity, because I otherwise love Year One to pieces.

And of course, other people just had to keep trying to top it. Not just a prostitute, but a raped underage one that ended up in the hospital pissing blood! And her first costume was fetish gear one of her "Johns" wanted her to wear! And not only was she underage when she was introduced to prostitution, she was VERY underage, and her bestest friend in the whole wide world ended up going crazy and trying to kill her, years later, because she and Selina were both working the streets and Selina wasn't the one picked by a VERY bad man!

Date: 2009-04-27 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the Wonder Woman costume here. It's so deliberate. I don't know what precisely is deliberate - does he just want that visual of Batman kissing Wonder Woman? Is he trying to implicate Wonder Woman as a fetish concept? Was he like, "oh, she's bound and she's sort of a female superhero, wink wink"? - but it's definitely something.

To be honest, I don't have that big an issue with Selina's prostitution in Y1 - I don't care for the story either way and from where I'm standing, it's just Miller being Miller, and after a while you sort of start to pity him. It could have been just a blip on the radar, y'know? What fills me with rage is that, post-ZH, we got an utterly gorgeous and totally appropriate retcon to that, a clean, perfect, perfectly Catwoman story that made absolute sense for everything she became and the role she plays in the mythos.

And then everyone after went right back to Miller's drooling idiocy, with that feverish desire to be even more droolingly idiotic. Like... it's not even the gender stuff, because, aggravating as it is, it's also something I expect most comic writers, even the really good ones, to just completely not notice. It's the fact that the ZH reboot is simply a better story, which fits far better with her characterization and behavior. It's hard to believe that anything short of active malice could drive someone to go back to Miller after that, much less try to top it.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What is the post-ZH origin?

Date: 2009-04-27 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Precocious corrupt orphanage escapee, essentially. Gimmie a few days, I'll do a post.

Date: 2009-04-27 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You can find it in Catwoman 0, "Cat Shadows", by Doug Moench.

It's one of the Catwoman stories every Catwoman fan must read.

The other ones being
1. "Only Happy When it Rains," (Catwoman #58-60), by Devin Grayson (great great analysis of what makes her tick)
2. "Larceny Loves Company" (Catwoman 28-30), by Chuck Dixon (Selina doing an "Ocean's Eleven," kinda)
3. "Catfile" (Catoman 15-19), by Chuck Dixon (on the one hand it's brain-in-neutral comic junk food. On the other hand, when did that become a bad thing? It's got a Nazi Nursing Home and Catwoman swordfighting while wearing a wedding dress!)

Just musing

Date: 2009-04-27 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Joker would've put Selina in the Wonder Woman outfit. From his point of view, it would suit her--she is more heroic than villainous. It was probably popular: powerful woman controlling you, powerful woman at your mercy, powerful woman in your cosplay fantasy. Of course, there's all the bondage themes that go with Wonder Woman, including the one where if she's bound by a man, she loses her powers.

Or maybe Joker is a secret Bat/Diana fan. In one stroke, he's set up a Diana as damsel in distress act. It could allude to no-men-allowed virginal and pure Diana, spirit of a purer America. Or Miller knew about Supes/Diana already, and having Bruce rescue Wonder Woman the Whore sets up a triangle/threesome thing.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I kind of assumed she was more of a professional dom, which seems classier, and the whole thing about a real man can be taken as part of her shtick. I figured she put on a costume because she kind of always wanted to and it's not as weird to do so if someone else did it first. That's probably too generous of a reading for Frank Miller, though, what with his weird prostitute fixation.

Date: 2009-04-27 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know about DKR. On one hand, I think the bashing it is getting here is a little overzealous, I mean, even Miller's whoreswhoreswhores viewpoint doesn't hold up that well past Selina, since both Carrie Kelly (who's name always escapes me for some reason) and the new commissioner were both pretty awesome. It also has some themes beyond its stupendous bleakness, such as how it ultimately ends on a positive note, Bruce realising that the world doesn't have to become darker, and focusing on life rather than death.

On the other of course it goes way to far on the Millermetre (hmm,get it?) and inspired a whole era of Superman haters and Batgod stories. It also goes off the deep and creepy end quite a few times, and the mutants are a mix of scary and utter hilarious 80's styling.

Overall I wouldn't say it's a terrible book, I like to read it occasionally to see if I can still make my mind up on it. Best Bat book EVER!11!? No way. But neither is it horrible trash, for at the very least it has some clever and intriguing moments. But yeah, this scene was not my all.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Miller specializes in brilliant dialgoue. I'm not going to say that it didn't have some great moments, and I could see how it had the makings of an epic even as my eyes were bleeding from the art. I'm just saying that it was a great concept that was poorly executed. Worse, it was executed by character-assassinating some of the best-loved heroes in comics.

But if it is love you're a-wanting, I will say that it made me fangirl Ellen Yindel and Lana Lang forever. I also don't buy that Miller is a misogynist, because he was the one who first introduced a female Robin, not to mention all the strong female characters he has created (the ladies mentioned above, as well as Sarah Essen). And frankly, the scene where a beaten and dying Superman speaks to the Earth takes my breath away.

And then I counter-balance it against washed-out-whore!Selina and the utter indifference and disregard for Alfred that Bruce showed even after he died of a stroke when Bruce had him torch the manor. And the complete fucking-up of his friendship with Bruce, and the ridiculous portrayal of Superman as being spineless of all things.

But it had its moments.

Date: 2009-04-28 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, I'm pretty certain that Miller did that more to address the issues surrounding the Batman/Robin pairing than anything else. I think he's actually stated that he make the DKR Robin female because of all the 'Batman and Robin are gay' innuendo - the idea being, I think, that he was saying to himself 'so they think BM+R are GAY, do they? All right, I'll make Robin an underaged GIRL and put her in the short-shorts, ha ha, and see how much better they like THAT!' He was essentially doing it more to be provocative than anything else - although, in his favor, he did wind up writing a pretty good character.
(Interestingly enough, I think if Bob Kane HAD made Robin female and put her in the short-shorts, he probably would have gotten far more outrage than he ever got about the male Robin. Back then, when homosexuality was something polite people didn't think about, the notion of a boy in short-shorts wasn't all that outrageous - after all, little kids wore shorts all the time, and Robin was manifestly a kid for quite a while there, even if a somewhat older one - but a girl showing her LEGS? Outrageous! There would be letters to the editor! It was only after Wertham started stirring things up that people started to think things might be a little weird there.)

Date: 2009-04-28 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't imagine a time when people wouldn't look at a guy who would take a teenage boy into his life, dress him up in panties and pixie boots and let him get beaten and tied up on a nightly basis and NOT THINK THERE WERE PROBLEMS HERE!

When you think of the goings-on that must have gone on undectected at the time....

Date: 2009-04-28 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
'Tis truly said, we were a more innocent nation then. Anyway, if you look at Robin's origin story, there are clues that he may have at least partially designed his costume himself - his outfit in the circus is basically tight shorts and a wifebeater, if I remember correctly.

Date: 2009-04-28 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dick Grayson - one man fashion disaster in any universe. He didn't do much better after he became Nightwing. I refer to the Discowing outfit, the Elvis Presley in Vegas outfit and that thing with *feathers* on it. Oh, and that relic he dug up to wear while travelling with Superboy during Infinite Crisis.

And that's not even mentioning this monstrosity. (

Date: 2009-04-28 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember the 'Discowing' outfit, but not the Elvis Presley in Vegas or the feathery one. Have you examples of these?

Date: 2009-04-28 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He wears the Elvis outfit in Nightwing Year One (issues #101 to #107). I saw the feathers one in an old S_D post but the suit he wore in Teen Titans #33 has yellow metal "feathers" as actual wings. It gets destroyed en route, thankfully.

Date: 2009-04-28 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't even know there WAS a 'Nightwing: Year One'. Ah, well - I suppose there's a Year One for just about everybody these days, isn't there? (Although technically, a 'Nightwing: Year One' should really be a 'Robin: Year One', which there also has been. Naughty, naughty, DC.)

Date: 2009-04-28 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not really. Nightwing Year One is about how he got fired by Batman and created his own NW identity, whereas Robin Y1 is about his first year as Robin with the whole Two-Face and Shrike debacles.

You might like Nightwing Year One. Lots of cute Babsgirl/Nightwing moments, Bats messes up hilariously, Alfred is awesome and Jason annoys the hell out of Dick. Real cute. I liked it more than Robin: Year One.

Date: 2009-04-28 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I think I'll start with the Robin one, which I haven't read yet, but I'll keep the recommendation in mind; thanks.

Date: 2009-04-28 06:09 am (UTC)
ext_396464: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
It ran as an arc from NW #101-106.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I never remember this well, but didn't DKSA address that possible homophobic fear in a sort of violent way with Dick and Catgirl?

I don't actually think there would be a big deal about a girl showing her legs in the 40s. Wonder Woman showed her legs. I think it was far more an issue of nobody considering putting a girl in the role. Not only would a grown man not run around with a young girl as a friend, the idea would be for boy readers to identify as Robin.

Date: 2009-04-28 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
True enough - it's a fascinating subject, really. Before the rise of homosexuality in the public consciousness, there were a good deal of comics, and stories in general, that dealt with close male friendships and partnerships. Batman and Robin are a good example, as are Tintin and Captain Haddock, Green Arrow and Speedy, the Spirit and Ebony, Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy, etc., etc. Nowadays, these get dissected all to hell, and everyone automatically assumes 'Gay!', which I personally think is a terrible shame. Close, platonic friendship is a wonderful thing, and it can lead to some terrific adventures - I certainly have no problem with sex or gay relationships (would I be on this board if I were?), but their rise in the public eye means that every close friendship comes under intense scrutiny - 'are they gettin' it on' becomes the primary question. Sex, sex, sex - we're all obsessed with sex, and this obsession blinds us to some of the deeper and more rewarding spectrums of human relationships. It's not a facet of the human mind that I'm particularly fond of.

Date: 2009-04-27 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I notice how Miller's art tends to get sloppy the longer he works on something. The first chapter of DKR has nice art, and a realistic looking Batman. But the later chapters, Batman gets bulkier and faces become a mess.
DKSA has the same problem (althoug the art wasnt that good to begin with)

Date: 2009-04-27 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
DKSA made me weep. So much wasted opportunity.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Motto. I remember getting so excited when I first heard Miller was working on it, then the months of waiting, then my boggling eyes and dropped jaw when I finally got to read the first part (it was originally published in three installments). I was like, "Gah the scribbly art...the horrible writing...the overuse of ridiculous-looking newsanchors for exposition...the squicky relationship between Bruce and Carrie...Gah!" Needless to say, I didn't waste money on the other two parts, instead skimming the completed volume in a store. (And boy did I make the right decision there, given the tacked-on ending with Dick!Joker.)

Date: 2009-04-28 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You should be proud. Seriously. I went into Phantom Menace denial and picked up the second issue when it came out (eventually) and the third issue (when hell finally froze over). Rarely have I felt like a sucker for following a series, but this was the exception.

Date: 2009-04-27 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't even particularly like this book, but Carrie Kelly really made it up for me. She's just too incredibly adorable.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Since we're talking DKR (pro or con), I have a purely factual question: Was this story the first to introduce the motif of tension/resentment between Batman and Superman? I seem to recall John Byrne touching on it (though to a much less extreme extent) in his reboot Man of Steel, which was from the same year I think. Just wondering which came first, or if there were other, pre-Crisis stories that set up Bruce and Clark as foils rather than friends, as I seem to recall their being in the Golden and Silver Ages anyway.

Date: 2009-07-10 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, Dark Knight Returns was the first to introduce Batman and Superman not liking each other. Man of Steel was the second. Byrne talked to Miller about Batman so that in The Man of Steel "I could suggest the kind of Batman he was going to do." Similarly, Miller talked to Byrne so that the Superman in Dark Knight could be based on his version. Frank Miller said on Comic Book Heroes Unmasked, "I'll gleefully take credit for breaking up the Batman/Superman friendship. Bruce has been one who enforces order and believes that enthalpy is the natural state of existence, while Superman believes that order is the norm. These two people would not like each other. They just wouldn't." Frank Miller said in Comics Interview, "Batman and Superman each imply completely different points of view. Superman implies a benevolent kind world - Batman implies a benevolent spiteful world. Superman and Batman are enemies - they've never liked each other. Batman has tremendous contempt for Superman because he's such a 'good boy', because he takes orders, from the president, among other people. And Superman, frankly, is scared of Batman." Byrne agrees with Miller that the Batman represents a darker vision of the world than Superman does. Byrne says that he establishes "right from the start that these are two men who would appreciate each other's abilities and who would respect each other. But here are two men who are so different at every point that there's no way they can be friends. They're on the same side, but they're far too different in their approaches and even their personalities. Batman is obsessive and Superman is not; Superman does not need to be." Superman works within the law, whereas the Batman does not.
John Byrne said on, "The notion that Superman and Batman should be friends is very much at odds with who the characters are at heart - in their earliest incarnations, in 1939, they might have had a grudging respect for each other (tho Batman would certainly have wondered why Superman did not use his great - even then - powers in an all out war on crime), but they could never have been "friends". Only after both characters were white washed and sanitized to the point that they had little in common with their beginnings did we reach a place where they could hang out together - tho the considerations there were (as always) more commercial than logical (when I think of Superman and Batman as friends, I think of all the World's Finest issues). I think of the "evolution" of Batman back to his dark roots and how each step along that path took the character further and further away from being someone who would associate with Superman. The grim, gritty, dark, pathologically obsessed Batman - who is friends with the bright, cheery champion of the people? Uh huh."
Superman and Batman didn't even meet in a story until 1954 World's Finest #71. Before that they were always in separate stories in World's Finest but depicted together on the covers. There were a few World's Finest stories in the Silver Age were Superman and Batman fought.

Date: 2009-07-10 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is a very realistic depiction of an older woman. Many women gain weight at this age. It's refreshing to see a woman in comics who does not look like a standard comic book female.

Date: 2009-08-25 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know that dark, grim and gritty comic books are not the current fade in comics and I realize the current trend is a Wholesome Silver Age moral nostalgia/revival but there's a rebel lying deep in my soul. Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns really isn't "bad" writing at all. Frank Miller makes Gotham City a believably corrupt dangerous place like the real world because Batman works only in a world that's in terrible shape. If Gotham is a nice safe clean town then Batman is an unnecessary idea. DC was dark in the beginning in the Golden Age. Batman has his roots in the pulps, specifically The Shadow. Bill Finger and Bob Kane's Batman's Gotham City was a believably dark place full of crime. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman fought believable realistic crime and corruption. Catwoman having been a Dominatrix and later in life running an escort service is very believable. I love Frank Miller's cartoony art. Cartoony art goes back to Batman's roots. Frank Miller brought Batman back to his dark roots further than anyone else had, more in line with the original vision of the character. Closer to the police-beating, bone-breaking brutal Bill Finger-Bob Kane original. First is the use of the bat emblem on his chest without the yellow moon in Batman The Dark Knight Returns. In the Golden Age this was the standard. Batman carrying and using guns, which hadn't been seen since 1940. Frank Miller brought back Robin's sling shot which had not been seen since 1940. The gadgets and bat vehicles which had been toned way down in the '70s. Batman originally was a terror striking creature of the night wanted by the police. Batman The Dark Knight Returns was a return to that concept. Frank Miller clearly made Batman darker - far more brutal than he's been in decades - breaking bones, beating cops. He redesigned the batarangs - they're much crueler. If you actually look at the source material - the early stories by Bill Finger, Gardner Fox and Bob Kane - Batman's methods were not nice. He was extreme in his actions. They've castrated the Grimms' fairy tales. And they've castrated the American superhero fairy tales, too. I'm glad Frank Miller doesn't soften Batman any. There is humor in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns such as Robin putting a firecracker in a guys pants, Superman saying to Robin, "Isn't tonight a school night?" Even Joker having Selina in bondage dressed up in a Wonder Woman costume is dark humor.


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