Hollywood has finally woken up to the potential of comic books. Movies and TV shows based on comics are the norm. It’s time to face facts: comic books are no longer for a niche audience. They’ve broken into the mainstream in a big way, and with film adaptations on the horizon it only makes sense to know what comics to look out for. Welcome to Comic Watch – your personal guide to the world of comics.
Without a doubt one of the biggest films this summer was The Dark Knight Rises. While some people may have been put off by the eight year gap between this film and its predecessor, this is not the first time a Batman story has tackled this material.
In 1986, comic writer Frank Miller sought to return the Batman to his dark roots after Adam West made the character campy. In response, he created The Dark Knight Returns, a four part miniseries detailing an older Bruce Wayne who returns to crime fighting ten years after retiring the Batman.
For those who do not often read comics, The Dark Knight Returns provides a thrilling Batman experience that will delight readers with its complex story and dark psychological underpinnings. Iconic villains like Two-Face and the Joker reappear to plague Batman, who gets help in the form of a new female Robin named Carrie Kelley.
However, the highlight of the comic is its exciting ending, wherein the U.S. government sends in Superman to fight the Dark Knight. A showdown between DC’s two iconic superheroes is a delight to read, and reminds us of Batman’s fighting spirit despite his human limits. While the comic is filled with Cold War themes, the story still holds up today and continues to provide one of the definitive Batman comic book experiences.