The Dark Knight Returns Part Two : The Film - The Graphic Novel
Do you know what? If I was in Batman's shoes, after ten years away I wouldn't have bothered returning to a life of crime fighting. Granted, on the one hand, some of the Mutant Army have turned over a new leaf, and Carrie Kelly seems to be coming along quite nicely as the new Robin. Whilst, on the other hand, Superman has been instructed by the president of the United States to warn Batman off, whilst Commissioner Gordon's successor, Ellen Yindel, has instructed the police to bring in the Dark Knight as quickly as possible.
Oh! Wait a minute! Like an idiot, I almost forgot to mention someone. You know. That cunning clown who somehow manages to dupe his doctor into thinking he's sane again. Old pale face. The Joker. Who then kills a whole audience full of victims, before instigating a nuclear holocaust with some help from one of Selina Kyles pet prostitutes.
Yeah! I'm not messing around with you, folks! Furthermore, just after this very brazen attack, the Joker then forces Batman to do a very naughty thing during a battle he has with him in a fairground, leading
and the whole wide world to turn into
hell in a handbasket! Gotham
Still, that's most probably why what next transpires all goes Bat shaped when a master plan is hatched deep within the bowels of the Bat-cave. As hope makes people shiver - an archer brandishes his quiver - a final confrontation isn't so super - and at the end of the day, it's always good to be a cunning little trouper.
Bi-bip! Not the end. Never the end.
Off the bat, let me just state for the record that 'The Dark Knight Returns - Part Two' is a f*cking smashing film. Admittedly, like its first instalment (clink on link for the review), it does possess some of the same pitfalls as well. Like the lack of 'voice over narration' for example. As well as the way that it also slightly dilutes the concept behind original graphic novel by default. Still, apart from that, this adventure is out of this bloody world. And I sincerely hope that DC Comic's produces other animated movies in the same vein as this one.
OK, so now that I've got that off of my chest, please allow me to proceed with this... errr... whatever this-is, in a more fractured yet historical fashion.
Although this particular aspect wasn't touched upon very much within this particular adaptation, there were a number of scenarios conveyed within the original novel, which almost came to pass within the comic book world. For example: (1) In 'Returns', it was insinuated that Superman ripped off Oliver Queen's arm: and this almost happened to Ollie in 'Green Arrow #100', September, 1995. (2) Diana supposedly left 'man's world' prior to the events conveyed in 'Returns': and in 'Wonder Woman #127', November, 1997, she did. She became the Amazonian Goddess of Truth. (3) It was stated that the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, also took an interstellar sabbatical prior to 'Returns': and in 'Green Lantern #51', May 1994, he became Parallax, and did just that. (4) Two years after 'Returns' came out, in Batman #427, December, 1988, the second Robin, Jason Todd, famously died in the 'Death of the Family' storyline: as predicted in the original opus. (5) The notion that Selina Kyle was a 'street walker' first appeared in the original DKR mini-series, and not 'Batman: Year One', which came out a year after this imaginative story was published.
A FINE ROMANCE
Since Batman and Superman first met on radio -- yes, I said 'radio', not 'Worlds Best' comics #1 -- these two heroes have been fairly firm friends throughout their formative years. However, after the events of 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' and the final issue of their joint-title -- 'Worlds Finest #323', published January, 1986 -- their union began to turn slightly sour, resulting in them becoming a diametric 'odd-couple' of sorts. Now to name but a few, this specific facet about their relationship, has been optimised in 'The Man of Steel' miniseries, the 'Armageddon 2001' annual cross-over event (most notably, the 1991 Superman Annual #1), and both of their respective titles from then on in.
FULL CIRCLE WITH YEAR ONE
I'd say that you could physically draw a historical time-line from Frank Miller's 'Batman: Year One', all the way to his 'Dark Knight Returns'. But if you think about it for a moment or two, folks, in a roundabout way both of these sagas are opposed in mentality. Where as 'Year One' was more about Batman's friendships and beginnings, 'Dark Knight' was more about Batman's devolutions and endings. Moreover, the notion of rebirth is relayed in a rather brasher manner in the latter book, having a more 'Clint Eastwood edge' to it, than a 'Christian Bale bounce'.
THE DARK ZIMMER RETURNS
Generally speaking, the two comparable successors to 'Dark Knight Returns' are Frank Miller's 2001 direct sequel, 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again', and the Saturday Morning cartoon, 'Batman Beyond'. Granted, 'Beyond' did have a lot more success than 'Strikes'; due to the fact that 'Strikes' was more acquired in taste and brash in content. Also, another things that 'Beyond' had going for it, was that it wasn't compared as severely to 'Returns' either.
Overall 'The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2' was an adventure that is a must see for any Batman fan out there. Forget the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Forget the New 52 too. This is the one to watch if you want to see a new and innovative take on an old-school character with an old-school mentality.
In my eyes this is the story which made people stand up and take note that comic books aren't only for kids. Also, another thing it managed to do, is to make creators and fans alike, take heed of history, and use it in a way that is very memorable, and very natural within an urban landscape.
A class cartoon. I can say no more than that.