Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
“You don’t get it boy. This isn’t a mudhole…
For this “discussion”, we need to take a quick trip in the wayback machine. So buckle up, please keep arms and legs inside at all times. Do not stand while the vehicle is in motion and please… no flash photography.
The year was 1986. The Statue of Liberty was reopened after an extended refurbishment, the first PC virus, the Brain, began to spread (thank you Wikipedia!) and your friendly neighborhood jman was the ripe ol’ age of 15.
Being 15, I had shied away from comic books a few years prior, moving onto more worldly pursuits, such as listening to music. And being 15 AND into music, I had the pre-requisite subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. In one of the issues of that magic year, the mag did a feature on Frank Miller and his graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns. I was completely out of comics at that point, but the next time I was at the local mall, I managed to get the second print of the first issue. And, thusly, my world was forever changed.
Seriously, though, talk about a great book.
Flash forward in the wayback machine 27 years (Yeayeayea. It’s been that long.). A few weeks ago, I picked up WB’s animated movie, The Dark Knight Returns. I really didn’t know what to expect, when I got it. I almost didn’t watch it, in fact. I kept putting it off, finding excuse after excuse not to watch it. But, over the weekend, I found some time and finally did.
Man! Talk about a great movie.
All things considered, it’s very true to the graphic novel, as is the visual style. And much like Batman: The Animated Series before it, The Dark Knight Returns has a quasi timeless feel to it, but with a slight tinge of the 80’s. Alfred even answering the red rotary “batphone”, at one point.
I’ll tell you what, if I wasn’t sure in the beginning what to expect, I was practically off my seat repeating the lines “… it’s an operating table, and I’m the surgeon.” at the end of the movie.
For me, there really isn’t much to be nitpicky about. It did take some time getting used to hearing Peter Weller’s voice as Batman, though. After so many years of Kevin Conroy’s voice as Batman, every time Bruce opened his mouth, I was expecting Conroy. But, I got used to it.
I also would’ve liked a little more of Batman’s internal dialogue from the novel. Some of those moments from the book, are too classic not to have in the movie, but… meh. It still left me looking forward to Part 2, next year.
BTW, don’t leave your crap in the wayback machine. We don’t have a maid service here!
Just a dude. Telling stories. Raising kids.