Posts tagged "Bill Finger"

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (Review)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
2013
Based on the comic book by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
Written by Bob Goodman
Characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and John Sikela
Directed by Jay Oliva

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
When last we left the Dark Knight, he had returned, and so had a lot of problems. Both an immediate threat and a looming menace have been defeated, and now things need mopping up. But new dangers lurk in the shadows, preparing to strike. And Batman’s activities have gained the attention of powerful people, who aren’t fans of things happening outside their control. The Dark Knight Returns continues with Part 2, covering issues #3 and 4 of the comic series. Fair warning, we pretty much go over every detail of the movie and comic, so SPOILERS!

The Joker has awakened from his catatonic state, for without the Batman around, there was no meaning in his life. Now he is infused with revitalized purpose, and the doctors at Arkham Asylum have taken a break from appearing on television to blame Batman for everything to praise Joker for the breakthroughs he’s accomplished. They feel the Joker has genuine remorse for his crimes. The manipulation here is more forced and too brief, in the comics Joker awakens earlier and we see him develop through a few scenes instead of jumping to the point. Though it does highlight the incompetent doctors by making them more incompetent. Joker is playing them like a fiddle, but he does manage to get them to agree to have him appear on a television show: The David Endocrine Show (a take on David Letterman, here voiced by excellent stunt casting with Conan O’Brien!) Batman immediately knows that Joker is planning to kill everyone. And he’s right.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
The Mutants have splintered in the wake of their leader’s defeat and humiliation. Some have taken up the mantle of Batman and viciously attack criminals in the streets. Others have formed more smaller gangs run by strongmen, or strongwomen, in the case of the Bruno gang. Bruno being a rather muscular woman who runs around without a shirt and only red paint Nazi swastikas covering her breasts. She’s referred to as Joker’s girl (this was pre-Harley Quinn), and she’s Batman’s next target as he tries to figure out what Joker is up to.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
The cops are now lead by the new Commissioner Yindel, whose first act was to call for Batman’s arrest. They are guarding the roof of the studio with a massive force. The battle will be futile, the cops are well armed enough that despite all of Batman’s skills and tricks, there are just too many of them with too much force that he can’t get through. He’s saved by Carrie as she flies the Batcopter in close to pick him up. By then it is too late, everyone in the studio is dead and the Joker is free.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (Review)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
2012
Based on the comic book by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
Written by Bob Goodman
Characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, and John Sikela
Directed by Jay Oliva

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
The Dark Knight Returns is one of those comics that literally changed everything. With four issues, Batman was transformed as a character from the 1960s camp into a gritty dark hero that echoed parts of the original tales. It became one of the main influences of the Tim Burton Batman film, which further popularized the darker, more serious Batman that survives to this day in how the character is interpreted. The comic series is considered one of the best comics of all time. Fair warning, we pretty much go over every detail of the movie and comic, so SPOILERS!

With how high of a regard The Dark Knight Returns is held, it is only natural that there would be a cartoon movie adaption of it at some point. It became a thing both anticipated and feared (especially after a brief bit was used in an episode of The New Batman Adventures), and was finally announced as a two-parter DC animated movie. As the DC Animated films are hit or miss, there is always room to worry. Miller’s other work Batman: Year One had been successfully adapted in 2011, sticking closely to the comic (almost too closely), and DKR follows the same pattern, following the original story, even being split into two films to better incorporate it all.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
The series is four separate stories that are part of a larger tale, the stories divided into the two films (with bits shoved both ways to make things flow better). This structure works better in comic format, but leaves DKR Part 1 feeling a bit anticlimactic, especially with the teaser that comes much earlier in the comics.

Let’s focus more now on how things are in the comic/movies for The Dark Knight Returns and less on whatever nutty thing Frank Miller has said or published recently. The Dark Knight Returns becomes a snapshot into the values of Frank Miller at the time of publication, and events that happen subsequent to the production of the comic have no bearing on how the comic was created, though they have the same ultimate origins.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
DKR is less of a fascist tale and more of a skewering of those that have power. Organized institutions are represented at weak and buffoonish, and all sides of the political spectrum are skewered via the constant media commentary. The television news framing devices is one of the most brilliant parts of The Dark Knight Returns, actually preceding the 24 hour news cycle, but still capturing the highs and lows of idiotic news programming. The Mayor of Gotham is a endless stream of no actions ever, constantly diverting questions on issues by saying he’s still weighing opinions. He literally only makes one real decision in the entire film, and it proves to be a fatally stupid one. He’s replaced by a mayor just as spineless, but thinner, showing that the new mayor can at least make a decision to skip the extra slice of cake.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 21, 2014 at 7:44 am

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