This is an operating table... and I'm the surgeon.
The Dark Knight Triumphant, being the second chapter in the Frank Miller mini series "The Dark Knight Returns", delivers an excellent follow up and climax to the build up established in Chapter 1. The media runs rampant as more details on Batman's return begin to surface. Of course, my one gripe with this book is that Frank Miller feels the need to show us everything that's on the news, as I stated in my review of Chapter 1. A few pages in, we see that Carrie Kelly has adopted the identity of Robin and decided to go out and fight crime. The Dark Knight Returns is really broken up into three stories that run together seemlessly. The first is Batman's struggle with the Mutant Gang, the second is his struggle with the Joker, who came out of a ten year catatonia after it was announced that Batman had returned. The third is Batman's final duel with friend-turned-enemy, Superman, who has become a tool of the government to resolve conflicts with the Soviets. May I just say, I love the scenes with Ronald Reagan. He's always dressed in red white and blue robes, talking about how he knows what's best, sometimes, he's just a floating head on a red, white and blue background. And the way he talks is just perfect. The whole thing screams Cold War propaganda. Superman has been asked to talk to Batman or bring him in. They also give him the option of killing Bats, but the big blue boyscout doesn't go for it. It tears my heart out to watch Superman, the Man of Steel, get treated like the nations lap dog and getting talked down to by Reagan. The conflict between Supes and Bats builds throughout every chapter as does the conflict in Corto Maltese, a South American island fought over by America and Russia, which could easily lead to all out nuclear war. Really, all this over Batman? Just kiddin'.
A lot of us have heard about Frank Miller's controversy with this little beauty, how he got hate mail from former Batman writers telling him how he "ruined their character." I find this to be a bit drastic, but then again, these are passionate men in a passionate business. I thought that the book portrayed Batman very well and was possibly one of the best comics ever made except for one... little... detail. Batman uses a gun. I:(
He doesn't kill anybody, but Batman could find about five different ways to handle the situation. Sigh. But I digress. With the Mutant Gang demanding Gordon's head and Batman's corpse, Batman decides to make his final move and take out the gang for good. Let me just say the final fight between Batman and the Mutant leader is one of the greatest fight scenes in comic book history. I'll never spill a damn thing for you, so just go and read it already.