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Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again Paperback

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Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again + Batman: The Dark Knight Returns + Batman: Year One
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Product Details

  • Series: Batman
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563899299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563899294
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The Dark Knight Strikes Again is Frank Miller's follow-up to his hugely successful Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, one of the few comics that is widely recognized as not only reinventing the genre but also bringing it to a wider audience.Set three years after the events of The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again follows a similar structure: once again, Batman hauls himself out of his self-imposed retirement in order to set things right. However, where DKR was about him cleaning up his home city, Gotham, DKSA has him casting his net much wider: he's out to save the world. The thing is, most of the world doesn't realize that it needs to be saved--least of all Superman and Wonder Woman, who have become little more than superpowered enforcers of the status quo. So, the notoriously solitary Batman is forced to recruit some different superpowered allies. He also has his ever-present trusty sidekick, Robin, except that he is a she, and she is calling herself Catwoman. Together, these super-friends uncover a vast and far-reaching conspiracy that leads to the President of the United States (Lex Luthor) and beyond.

The Dark Knight Strikes Again is largely an entertaining comic, but much of what made The Dark Knight Returns so good just doesn't work here. Miller's gritty, untidy artwork was perfect for DKR's grim depiction of the dark and seedy Gotham City, but it jars a bit for DKSA, which is meant to depict an ultra-glossy, futuristic technocracy. Lynn Varley's garish coloring attempts to add a slicker sheen, but the artwork is ultimately let down by that which worked so well for DKR--this time around, it just feels sloppy and rushed. The same is true of the book's denouement, which happens so quickly that it leaves the reader reeling and looking for more of an explanation. Moreover, DKSA is packed full of characters who will mean little to those unfamiliar with the DC Comics universe (e.g., the Atom, the Elongated Man, the Question). Perhaps the book's biggest failing is that where The Dark Knight Returns gave comic book fans a base from which to evangelize to theuninitiated, The Dark Knight Strikes Again is just preaching to the converted. Comic book superhero fans will find much to enjoy here, but others would be better off sticking with the original. --Robert Burrow

From Publishers Weekly

This revision of an iconic character, the sequel to Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, has been one of comics publishing's most anticipated events. As installments of the DK2 comic appeared, controversy mounted. Much sloppier and gaudier, the strip didn't really resemble Miller's earlier book, and in the wake of September 11, Miller's in-your-face confrontation with authority figures upset some readers. The collected book edition makes it easier to appreciate why he'd take such risks. Miller sees Batman as an extremist, pushed to the verge of insanity because he can't compromise his beliefs. In this continuation, he's convinced today's world is controlled by powers even crazier and more ego driven than he is. And he's right. Lex Luthor and Brainiac have imprisoned, enlisted or intimidated Earth's superheroes; but the only one they can't control is the hero with no super powers, just furious moral rage. Superman, the ultimate voice of reason, tries to calm Batman. Instead, all hell breaks loose, in pages full of bursting shapes, digitized Day-Glo colors and jagged continuity. Intense as the reading experience is, it's less disturbing than Batman's assault on the masters of America and their accomplices. Miller peppers the book with caricatures of current politicians and pundits rubbing shoulders with outrageously cartoonish goons as they defend a computer-generated president and the Freedom From Information Act. If the masters of power are engaging in terrorism, this work suggests, why shouldn't rebels use terror in return? But how does a successful rebel avoid becoming a fascist leader himself? These are the questions Miller asks in this serious, important comic, a work that's intentionally disturbing in many ways and on many levels.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I think the story has too many irrelevant characters that really don't add anything to the storyline.
J. Saenz
Dark Knight Returns = Best Graphic Novel Ever Dark Knight Strikes Again = Worst Graphic Novel Ever Not sure what Miller was thinking here but this book is junk.
The story is really bad, I wanted to read about batman but instead I end up seeing a weird story about many superheroes... I doesn't really add up.
Kenneth Rivera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 185 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I used to be a hardcore fan of Frank Miller. I mean, growing up through the 80's and 90's, I would just buy anything with the guy's name on it cause you could always trust that it would be great. Longtime comix fans know what I'm talking about. You didn't even have to flip through the pages of a new Frank Miller book at the store to see if it was worth buying. You could just bank on it. A new Frank Miller book was ALWAYS worth buying. Great writing. Great, powerful artwork. He was a modern master of the form. For years and years, this was true. But... the first time I remember thinking "Ooo, Frank - You dropped the ball on this one." Was about halfway through his book "That Yellow Bastard", around 1995 or 96. The artwork looked rushed and hacked-out. Since then, the quality of his work has only continued to decline. It is to the point where I can no longer justify spending my money on his material. I am convinced that the man has either developed a serious alcohol/substance abuse problem, or he just doesn't care about the quality of his work (or entertaining his readers) anymore. There's just no other explanation. If you think I am being unfair, go back and compare the artwork in "To Hell and Back" with the artwork in the first "Sin City" novel. Talk about your stylistic inconsistencies. It's impossible to believe that this is even the work of the same man. Well, "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" is, for me, the final straw. Look at it. It's a mess. Can you imagine a newcomer to the comics field turning material like this in to their editor? They would never work again. I'm guessing the only reason DC Comics went ahead and published "DKSA" is because they know it will sell based on Miller's (and Batman's) name value, and because they had to make back the money they paid Miller to do this job.Read more ›
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Millers on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'll be the first to admit that I had a similar reaction to many of those who have written reviews on Amazon: This sequel is terrible. But then I continued to read, and think, re-read, backtrack, and it all started to make sense. Make no bones about it, Strikes Back is an insane book. It is kinetic, ugly, and disjointed. But it portrays a world that is kinetic, ugly, and distorted. In 2003 this book shocked many that were still having waking nightmares about 9/11, but over time the message of this book has become clear, and strikes a chord with many who read it. Miller sees connections and ideas that many don't agree with, but can understand and find concerning in 2012. Moreover, I think many of the problems that people have with Strikes Back is that it isn't in any way like Returns, yet to make sense of it you need to have read Returns. Also, while Returns is symbolic and reflexive, Strikes Back is prophetic and maddening.

In the end, I believe Strikes Back will only gain popularity and respect over time, never quite reaching the populist reaches of Returns. Instead be a rare, savory morsel enjoyed by those who enjoy something wild, uncompromising, but still meaningful. One thing we definitely know: Frank Miller wrote what he wanted and didn't care what you thought, and that alone garners my respect.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth V. Cockrel on August 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Sequels s@*%!" in the words of a character in the movie "Scream 2." And while that statement was intended to describe the usual track record of movie sequels in failing to meet the standard of their predecessors, it can just as easily applied to any other medium of entertainment -including comic books.

Unfortunately, it can also be applied to the "The Dark Knight Strikes Again," Frank Miller's follow-up to his classic four-part "Dark Knight Returns" series of graphic novels.

Let's get one thing straight, Miller's original tale of an aging Batman coming out of retirement wasn't just a groundbreaking classic, it was a seminal event in comics history. Published roughly 15 years ago, it's impact cannot be overstated. Not only did it redefine Batman, changing the way the character's comics were written and drawn, but it also changed the comics medium period.

The graphic novel format, generally used only in occasional experiments prior to "Dark Knight," soon became an industry standard after it hit the stands. Comics themselves became darker and more mature following "Dark Knight." It not only paved the way for harder edged revamps of characters like the Punisher, The Spectre, and the Question but also for D.C.'s mature readers imprint Vertigo which recently prompted Marvel Comics' Marvel Knights and Max imprints.

The impact of the original "Dark Knight" was felt even beyond comic books. One could argue that Tim Burton never would have been handed the reins of the Batman movie franchise if Miller's series hadn't shown that audiences were willing to spend their dollars on a Batman that wasn't of the Adam West, "Biff, Bang, Pow" variety. And the success of that first film clearly paved the way for a new wave of cinema superheroes that continues to this day.
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47 of 62 people found the following review helpful By "roaddog379" on December 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Frank! What have you done to the legendary Dark Knight of myth? I read the original "Dark Knight" Returns in the 80's when it came out in its 4-book series, and whoa, it blew me away. It is hard to believe the same author wrote this piece of ... Instead of the classic and twisted Batman villians we get two Superman chumps and Robin. The original DK was a profound statement of justice vs. the law, government vs. vigilantism, pop psychology vs. common sense, and many other themes. There was no supervillians; the villians were more a symptom than a disease. This ham-handed cop out deserves nothing more that a funeral in my toliet, suitably adorned with some ... material. Oh for the days of "Sin City", Daredevil "Born Again". Frank, you let us down.
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