The Dark Knight Returns (2012)
Film review by Kofi Outlaw
The Batman that many people know (and love) today was spawned not in the 1930s, when the Caped Crusader first appeared in comic books – but rather in the 1980s, under the revisionary design of writer/artist Frank Miller, creator of Sin City and 300. Miller’s seminal Batman story arcs – Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns – have directly influenced every iteration of the superhero thereafter, including Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises (respectively). In short, it was Miller who put the “dark” into The Dark Knight.
DC Universe has already paid homage to Miller’s work with a Batman: Year One animated film, but with The Dark Knight Returns, director Jay Oliva and screenwriter Bob Goodman are taking on what might be the most ambitious (read: potentially disastrous) DCU project, ever. Does the animated version live up to its legendary comic book source material? Or is Miller’s graphic novel too complex and twisted for the cartoon world?
Skeptics should rest easy, as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is a rousing success in many ways, and easily conquers its own faults by delivering a Batman movie experience that is unlike any other. Note that I say “Batman movie experience,” because to limit Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 to just being a great animated movie experience would be selling it short...