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Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) 9 months, 25 days ago

Poll: Favorite Comic Runs VOTING: Frank Miller's Batman: Year One vs. The Dark Knight Returns (257 votes)

Batman: Year One 59%
The Dark Knight Returns 37%
Unfortunately, I haven't read either. Shame on me. 4%

Welcome to the Favorite Comic Runs' spotlight, Frank Miller!

This week, we're taking a look at the writer/artist's two iconic Batman stories. One is a detailed reimagining of Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham as he puts on the cowl for the first time and Jim Gordon sees just how dirty the GCPD truly is. The other reveals a darker future where Superman is controlled by the U.S. Government and Batman aims to restore order to his city. Both are without question a must read for any fan of the Caped Crusader, but which legendary tale do you prefer and why? Will you side with the 1986 limited series that Frank Miller wrote and illustrated? Or will you give you support the Miller's 1987 limited series that was illustrated by David Mazzucchelli?

In the unfortunate event you haven't read either of these epics, voting will remain open until Friday morning (ET). That gives you plenty of time to get your hands on these two stories and jump right in. But in the event you're too lazy or too busy to give either of these a proper read, there is an option for "haven't read either." That said, we will most certainly judge you if you vote for that and we strongly recommend you rectify that mistake as soon as possible. This weeklong voting period also offers more than enough time for you to make a case for one of these stories and potentially sway more voters to your side. Last but not least, if your post is extra impressive, there's a chance we'll highlight it in Friday's updated article. We'll select one post made for each story, so be sure to elaborate after you cast your vote.

Check the homepage on Friday to see which story won and why. In the meantime, feel free to make future match-up suggestions in the comments below or via Twitter.

#1 Posted by Jphu8414 (3917 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a tough choice as both are some of the best, most ambitious, and most influential Batman stories ever created. I'm going to give the slight edge to Year One just because I see it as more of the definitive Batman and the definitive Batman origin story. I find myself enjoying Year One's story and artwork more as well.

#2 Edited by Saren (25512 posts) - - Show Bio

The Dark Knight Returns is better in the sense that there's never really been another story like it. There have been many revisits of Batman's origin, and whether they match up to Year One or not is up for debate, but no one has ever really looked at the other end of Batman's career and what his universe could be like in the distant future with as much insight as Miller in TDKR.

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety. All the commentary on society, politics and culture in the future of the DC Universe as it relates to contemporary issues cannot possibly just be swept aside because Batman beats up Superman.

Moderator
#3 Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren said:

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety.

It's inevitable, but hopefully most people realize there's much more to the story than just the outcome of their fight.

Staff
#4 Posted by bob808 (6788 posts) - - Show Bio

The Dark Knight Returns

#5 Posted by Jokerpoker (2977 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One ftw.

#6 Edited by Wolverine08 (46037 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One. It was just mesmerizing to watch Bruce evolve from a regular vigilante to "the Bat".

#7 Edited by DarthAznable (8815 posts) - - Show Bio

I like ones story more yet the art work more of the other...hmmm

#8 Posted by Billy Batson (58622 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren said:

The Dark Knight Returns is better in the sense that there's never really been another story like it. There have been many revisits of Batman's origin, and whether they match up to Year One or not is up for debate, but no one has ever really looked at the other end of Batman's career and what his universe could be like in the distant future with as much insight as Miller in TDKR.

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety. All the commentary on society, politics and culture in the future of the DC Universe as it relates to contemporary issues cannot possibly just be swept aside because Batman beats up Superman.

"But it had bad art!" (which was actually good).

BB

#9 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (36229 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren: What about Batman Beyond?

#10 Posted by SupBatz (1896 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One for me. But it is a very close call.

#11 Posted by The Stegman (26668 posts) - - Show Bio

I think TDKR will win, but honestly, I didn't like it that much, I found the art horrible and the whole thing they did with Superman ridiculous. (The animated movie was actually leaps and bounds better imo). I vote for Year One.

#12 Edited by Saren (25512 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren: What about Batman Beyond?

Not really comparable. Beyond is based on the DCAU, so some of the complexity of the mainstream universe is lost. And Beyond quite frankly had a rosier portrayal of future Gotham than anything that would be realistic given the trajectory Gotham has always been on. It's unapologetically a hellhole.

Moderator
#13 Edited by Dud317 (303 posts) - - Show Bio

There's only a handful of books that can top Year One. It just so happens that The Dark Knight Returns is one of them.

#14 Edited by Dernman (16112 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren said:

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety.

Maybe so but it's a pretty good start. :p

#15 Posted by micah (4033 posts) - - Show Bio

TDKR

#16 Posted by Alak (928 posts) - - Show Bio

Voted for DKR, but both are really good books and Batman fans should definitely check them both out if they haven't already.

#17 Posted by Captain13 (3647 posts) - - Show Bio

I went with The Dark Knight Returns because Batman: Year One is more of a James Gordon story.

#18 Posted by Jonez120 (5490 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One.

It just felt more like Batman to me. It's hard to explain really.

#19 Edited by Nahuel (391 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: katz... Can you add the option "I love both stories"?

#20 Edited by entropy_aegis (15634 posts) - - Show Bio

TDKR for me.

#21 Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

@nahuel said:

@k4tzm4n: katz... Can you add the option "I love both stories"?

This segment initially had it, but I'd much rather make people compare/contrast and ultimately grant a slight edge to one.

Staff
#22 Posted by Asbat (8 posts) - - Show Bio

I´m going with The Dark Knight Returns. The definitive Batman story, in my opinion. I agree with Captain13, Year One is too gordon-centric ( Even if its is great, of course)

#23 Posted by RustyRoy (14490 posts) - - Show Bio

Both stories are great but I'm going to give TDKR a slight edge.

#24 Posted by Depressed_Insomniac (53 posts) - - Show Bio

If you voted for The Dark Knight Returns, I don't want to be your friend.

#25 Posted by Billy Batson (58622 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n said:

@nahuel said:

@k4tzm4n: katz... Can you add the option "I love both stories"?

This segment initially had it, but I'd much rather make people compare/contrast and ultimately grant a slight edge to one.

Then why have the last option?
BB

#26 Posted by CrashBang (126 posts) - - Show Bio

Even though I despise Miller as a person, I can't deny the excellence of these stories. My vote goes to Year One because I hate Miller's art in TDKR.

#27 Posted by Black_Claw (3196 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One. TDKR was overrated.

#28 Edited by The_Vein (169 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman: Year One I felt was a more interesting and dramatic story. I love DKR, but it had a little too much of Miller's weird political beliefs leaking into it for me to consider it to be as good as Year One. Also, while Batman "beating up" Superman (if you call him pounding on Superman while Clark basically says, "Hey, hey, stop it," and then apparently dying of a heart attack "beating up") doesn't bother me, the general depiction of Superman in DKR is not one I'm very fond of. I realize it's a Batman comic, but that part always bothered me.

#29 Edited by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

@billy_batson said:

@k4tzm4n said:

@nahuel said:

@k4tzm4n: katz... Can you add the option "I love both stories"?

This segment initially had it, but I'd much rather make people compare/contrast and ultimately grant a slight edge to one.

Then why have the last option?
BB

Because if someone loves both, they have the ability to make an educated decision on which one should eventually earn their vote. The same cannot be said if someone hasn't read either and I'd like to give them that option instead of siding with one of the stories for whatever reasons they may generate. There's of course no guarantee they'll do so and people are free to vote however they wish, but it seems that at least some opt for it if it applies. I'd rather have their votes in there than unnecessarily applied to one of the stories despite having never read it. Plus, part of me hopes that'll motivate them to fix the mistake and someday read these stories. At any rate, nothing is really set in stone with these weekly segments. I'm always open to making modifications to improve them; however, I saw people complain when the option did exist.

Staff
#30 Posted by Lvenger (21958 posts) - - Show Bio

One is actually readable and well written, the other is an overrated and far too unnecessarily gritty for the sake of grittiness. I easily rate Year One as a much superior story to TDKR because of a much better story, superior themes and a better understanding of Batman and the world of Gotham in this edition than TDKR.

#31 Edited by SynCig (760 posts) - - Show Bio

I love both of these. When I decided to get into comics a couple years ago, TDKR was the first thing I bought and it hooked me immediately. With that said, Year One is my favorite comic story of all time.

#33 Edited by Frozen (17811 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Year One actually takes place in both the pre-Flashpoint universe and the DKR universe, so that's interesting. I vote DKR. I always imagine Peter Weller's voice when reading it too.

@lvenger said:

One is actually readable and well written, the other is an overrated and far too unnecessarily gritty for the sake of grittiness. I easily rate Year One as a much superior story to TDKR because of a much better story, superior themes and a better understanding of Batman and the world of Gotham in this edition than TDKR.

DKR > Any Superman story.

And Year One is grittier than DKR.

#34 Posted by Lvenger (21958 posts) - - Show Bio

@frozen: Seriously? There are loads of Superman stories I can find that are written better than TDKR. And I agree that Year One is grittier but its grittiness is executed better in the story.

#35 Posted by Frozen (17811 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: I'd also like to point out --- DKR is still relevant.

@saren said:

The Dark Knight Returns is better in the sense that there's never really been another story like it. There have been many revisits of Batman's origin, and whether they match up to Year One or not is up for debate, but no one has ever really looked at the other end of Batman's career and what his universe could be like in the distant future with as much insight as Miller in TDKR.

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety. All the commentary on society, politics and culture in the future of the DC Universe as it relates to contemporary issues cannot possibly just be swept aside because Batman beats up Superman.

TDKR for me.

Surprised you'd say that.

#36 Edited by Frozen (17811 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger said:

@frozen: Seriously? There are loads of Superman stories I can find that are written better than TDKR. And I agree that Year One is grittier but its grittiness is executed better in the story.

DKR > All Star Superman, For Tomorrow and nearly every other Superman story. The Superman stories that maybe match DKR:

  • Kingdom Come
  • Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
  • Secret Origins (1986) #1
  • For All Seasons
  • Red Son
  • Birthright

That's about it in my opinion. DKR is a masterpiece, it's hard to match it.

The problem with Superman is that he can't be interpreted very differently.

#37 Posted by Lvenger (21958 posts) - - Show Bio

@frozen: I find it really overrated personally. Sure it has some nice commentaries but stuff like The Mutants and the end of the book fails to work in the story at all. The dialogue can be stifled and the art not so nice to look at. And the Superman involvement really harms the dystopian feel of the book

#38 Edited by Frozen (17811 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger said:

@frozen: I find it really overrated personally. Sure it has some nice commentaries but stuff like The Mutants and the end of the book fails to work in the story at all. The dialogue can be stifled and the art not so nice to look at. And the Superman involvement really harms the dystopian feel of the book

The Mutants represented the anti-subcultures of the 1980s, and while people criticize DKR Batman for being 'fascist' - the story also takes the approach of Batman mentoring them rather than dumping them all in a jail.

Regarding the art, I find it fine - Crisis on Infinite Earths had similar art, DKR can be recoloured as Year One was. Eh, I wasn't too fond of the Superman but regardless, DKR changed the Superman/Batman dynamic.

#39 Edited by RisingBean (4992 posts) - - Show Bio

Dark Knight loses points for throwing Superman under the boss both in characterization and altering his powerset. Also 60 year old overbuilt Bruce doesn't look right. Lastly the slang really dates the story and makes it a chore to read (or listen to if you check out the animated film.)

Year one was strong right up until the final action sequence, which I found to be somewhat of a letdown.

Given a choice, I'd take the latter any day.

#40 Edited by Mucklefluga (2609 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One is fantastic. My favourite Batman comic.

#41 Posted by Manwhohaseverything (2169 posts) - - Show Bio

TDKR. I liked both, but TDKR 's is a Batman story..with great supporting characters, but it is his story. Year One is as much a Jim Gordon story as it is a Batman story. To me, that was Year One's flaw. Whose story is it? Batman's? Gordon's? A comment on Gotham in general before the Bat? In TDKR, there is no mistaking whose story it is.

#42 Posted by Wolverine08 (46037 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger said:

One is actually readable and well written, the other is an overrated and far too unnecessarily gritty for the sake of grittiness. I easily rate Year One as a much superior story to TDKR because of a much better story, superior themes and a better understanding of Batman and the world of Gotham in this edition than TDKR.

Or are your jimmies rustled because Batman beat Superman silly? :D

#43 Posted by Doctor_Malekith (58 posts) - - Show Bio

I despise The Dark Knight Returns. Year One is one of my favorite Batman stories ever. Therefore, this was an easy choice.

#44 Posted by Lazz33 (31 posts) - - Show Bio

I preferred Year One. TDKR was good but after a certain point I just didn't want to read it anymore. Year One may be a Gordon centric story, but it engaged me all the way though and its something I actually don't mind going back to read again. (even if I don't read bats much anymore)

#45 Edited by dannymalt (64 posts) - - Show Bio

No question. Dark Knight Returns. All-time favourite Batman story, epic in scope, love seeing Batman near the end of his career. Year One is just a good origin story. Both of these were made into animated movies as well, Dark Knight Returns wins out in that format too.

#46 Edited by Lvenger (21958 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger said:

One is actually readable and well written, the other is an overrated and far too unnecessarily gritty for the sake of grittiness. I easily rate Year One as a much superior story to TDKR because of a much better story, superior themes and a better understanding of Batman and the world of Gotham in this edition than TDKR.

Or are your jimmies rustled because Batman beat Superman silly? :D

Heh if only that was the single problem I had with TDKR :P

#47 Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND (1338 posts) - - Show Bio

@saren said:

The Dark Knight Returns is better in the sense that there's never really been another story like it. There have been many revisits of Batman's origin, and whether they match up to Year One or not is up for debate, but no one has ever really looked at the other end of Batman's career and what his universe could be like in the distant future with as much insight as Miller in TDKR.

Fairly sure this will come up a lot in this thread, but "Batman beating Superman is stupid" is an idiotic reason to dismiss the story in its entirety. All the commentary on society, politics and culture in the future of the DC Universe as it relates to contemporary issues cannot possibly just be swept aside because Batman beats up Superman.

Well said.

#48 Posted by Sovereign91001 (5142 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally feel that Year One was the better paced of the two stories, so for me it's got to be Year One.

#49 Posted by AllStarSuperman (23291 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One by a country mile.

#50 Edited by War Killer (20344 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman: Year One.