From Publishers Weekly
Miller, the man who kicked off the grim and gritty era of superhero comics with the 1986 Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns
, returns to write the iconic character once again in a series that takes the tropes of superhero excess and explodes them into satire. Miller casts Batman as an obsessive lunatic who enlists traumatized children into his war on crime, calls himself the goddamn Batman and is prone to cackling maniacally. Sex and violence are constant preoccupations, but even during sex scenes, Miller can hardly keep a straight face. After a shared rampage against corrupt cops that includes the interjection, Eat glass, lawman! Batman and heroine Black Canary celebrate with an intimate encounter on a burning pier during a lightning storm. Although the bombastic, repetitive narration and decompressed storytelling (two and a half issues pass before Batman and Robin leave the Batmobile) often borders on hilarious, Miller aims for more obvious jokes later in the series. It's an over the top in-joke for the superhero crowd, though its irreverence may not have the most zealous and serious superhero fans laughing. (June)
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Miller returns to the character he so audaciously reinterpreted in the groundbreaking The Dark Knight Returns (1987). His Batman is again a genuinely nasty, borderline-psychotic piece of work; here, however, Miller mitigates the character’s vicious sadism through the use of thought-captions revealing unspoken reservations about the course his war against crime has taken. Set in the early years of Batman’s career, the tale sees him groom 12-year-old aerialist Dick Grayson as a sidekick after the senior Flying Graysons are murdered. Once Robin’s on board, the story line meanders, growing ever more extreme and skirting silliness as Miller introduces his irreverent versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, and other Justice Leaguers. This time out, drawing duties are assumed by Jim Lee, whose admittedly gorgeous but ultimately shallow approach substitutes overrendered flash for the thoughtful economy and innovative storytelling techniques Miller used in Dark Knight. Controversial among fans and not nearly as artistically successful as its companion, Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman, Miller’s new Batman still has been DC’s top seller of late, guaranteeing this compilation an eager audience. --Gordon Flagg