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Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again Paperback – January 1, 2004

3.0 out of 5 stars 363 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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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Product Details

  • Series: Batman
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563899299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563899294
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (363 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What's not to love here? "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" dares to go where no DC comic has ever gone before! How?

Unlike the usual depictions of Superman, where he is shown as being somewhat intelligent - or at least minimally above average - here Superman is depicted as a total tool. He's a completely incompetent moron. He stands around helplessly wringing his hands while innocents suffer. Isn't this a great take on Superman? Something we've never seen before? I might have expected that from a parody comic, but this is coming direct from DC! Cool.

Braniac is different too. Now he looks like a giant, godzilla-sized frog who likes to terrorize cities. As you might imagine, this looks very, very intimidating. It's a far cry from the cold, detached machine intelligence we've come to know and love over the years. It's hip. It's happenin'. It's got more of an "earthy" feel to it. AmIright?

Lex Luthor now looks like a giant Kingpin clone, except with bad acne. And with fists larger than most people's heads. Rather than use his brain to coolly and methodically strategize to destroy his enemies, he prefers to just yell and shout a lot like an oversized troll, albeit hairless.

And speaking of hairless people, old Bruce Wayne finally lost his. It's a bit of a startling look for him, but I guess a comb-over just wouldn't have cut it for the man behind The Bat. And in the (very) few times in this comic we actually get to see Batman, he's wearing a cape and cowl over his aged, liver-spotted head anyway. So no matter.

We are introduced to an incredibly awesome new hero: Catgirl! She has the extremely cool power of wearing skin-tight leapard-skin leotards! (Try saying that 5 times fast!) She also likes to shout out random words, like "Chucks!
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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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Format: Paperback
A long time ago, the character of Batman in comics was in a bad state. He had lost a lot of what made him unique and interesting, and it was time to clean things up. The ongoing series got a major overhaul, thanks to the likes of Denny O'Neil, and Batman gained back his darkness, but it wasn't enough. Long time lost readers wouldn't just come back without a call, something attractive, something that would distinguish itself from the rest of the comics out there.

Enter The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller. It wasn't really any more dark or interesting than the comics were after the change, but it consisted of enough different things to make it stand out. It was bold, as it dared to show a Batman who had abandoned his crusade. It was out of continuity, so it made its point without interfering with the ongoing series. Its art was different, not good in the "realistic" sense, but good in a gritty, powerful and defining way. To top it all off, the series was printed in the new "Prestige" format, which nowadays is the norm, but it was striking back then.

Long story short, it was a monumental success. Batman was again in the spotlight, Miller was put on a pedestal and the influence the comic had spread throughout all media, and paved the way for Hollywood's inmense success with comic book movies, starting with Tim Burton's "Batman", heavily inspired by that comic.

Years later, for one reason or another, Miller made a sequel to that iconic story, titled "The Dark Knight Strikes Again". The very existence of that story should give pause to everyone, since TDKR was a self contained story with a perfect conclusion, it didn't need to be expanded. "Unnecessary" would be the first expression to come to mind. "Cash Grab" would be a cynic but probably realistic one.
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