Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Dark Knight Returns

After reading the highlights of the Dark knight returns for the fifty hojillionth time, I thought it would be fun to blab about it for a little while. But I don't want to get ahead of myself.

Another aspect of this whole Personal Repsonse Journal (PRJ) would be.... Can I just say I'm glad that doesn't form any nasty acronyms! Never even thought of that as a possibility, but I'm glad it doesn't spell out something embarrassing like FAT or GAY or something (nothing against people who are either or both of those, they were just the first 3-letter commonly used insults I could think of). At any rate, I thought a fun thing to add that my english teacher suggested would be to add a sentence that I liked every now and again. Now the goal here is a daily thing, but that seems like a goal that couldn't really be maintained, and I would want the sentences to genuinely be ones that I liked, instead of just putting one up just for the sake of putting one up. With that said, let me do my first sentence. I'll probably think of a name for this personal phenomenon (phenomenon might be a strong word), but for now, "my sentence" will have to do. Perhaps "my phrase" would be better, as they may be quite short, or be two sentences. Oh well, we'll hammer out the problems as we go!

To let them know, Merkel. To let everyone know. -Comissioner Gordon "The Dark Knight Returns"

Now, that might not sound like a lot, but I like it. He says it riiiiight before he lights the bat-signal for the first time in years and years and years since batman's gone out of retirement.
So that leads into the next segment.

Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" is one of the finest comics I have ever read. I'd say "graphic novel", but I always thought that sounded kinda pretentious, and I've always known 'em as comic books ever since way back with Spidey.
If you've ever watched "Sin city", this is by the guy who made that. That said, the two are fairly similar in tone and writing style. But if you like comic books, this book is for you. If you like Sin City, this book is for you. If you like Batman, this book is for you. If you happen to like all three of these things, then congratulations, you have probably found the second most important book in known creation. It's a gritty, intense comic book that includes Batman, explosions, hip slang like yo' momma never heard, Slicer-Dicers, the Joker, Two-face, and good life.
The book is great. It may be many things, but one thing it's not, is fast-paced. I don't mean this in some sort of "boring" way, I say this because the book isn't just one big explosion of punching and batarangs, there's a lot of buildup, susupense, and resolution. Though most of these plot methods are brought about through punching and explosions, you get so caught up in the story that the only time you really notice that he's cracking skulls is when he does it in a really awesome way, like hanging a gangster off of a building, or pulling someone through the floor. Another reason I like this book is because it has a whole crapload of really, really good one-liners. Not funny one liners, awesome one-liners, the kind that frank miller excels at. 

The book begins with Bruce Wayne in retirement, from his company and Batman. He lives a frustrated life, pining for the glory days, but convinced that those days are behind him, kept back by age and time and circumstance. And they are. Society has moved past crimefighters, with even superman having to fly under the radar of the government. Everyone else has moved on. But the world has not changed. There is still crime, and murder, and death everywhere. After being pushed farther and farther by Gotham's descent into madness, Bruce finally snaps and decides "HELLS NAW, IT'S TIME TO BE AWESOME AGAIN". From there, the book mainly changes to evil trying to overcome gotham, with villians rising up to take hold of  the city, like an animal that panics when it sees a threat. The book deals a lot with people at their core, as batman's comics usually do. It also focuses a lot on the media, and it's reaction to batman. As it was written during the cold war, the book also deals with these tensions and global catastrophe, but that doesn't really play that promenent a role in the book. I don't want to talk too much about what actually happens in the book, because there are some really good moments that would be spoiled by going into them, but all I can say is that this is a must-read for anyone who likes Batman or comics. Must-read might be going too far, I mean, you're not going to die if you don't read it, but if you buy a comic book, I'd reccomend this one, because it's aweome in a very dark, very old-school way.

To let them know, Merkel. To let everyone know. -Commisioner Goron "The Dark Knight Returns"

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