February 13, 2009

The Dark Knight Returns?


I read The Dark Knight Returns the other day. You know, it's supposedly one of the best comic books (sorry, graphic novels) created, right up there with Watchmen and Maus if you listen to the right people. This book gets taught in college courses, you know, so it's not a trifling thing. Now it's not graphic novel aspiring for literary status like you think of Persepolis or others of that ilk, but it's a comic book in violence and BRAPPPABRAPPA all caps onomatopoeia business.

But, I read it, and frankly I just don't get it. Now, I have read it after reading Watchmen, loving that movie The Dark Knight, and everything else, so my contemporary mind may not be able to fully appreciate what genre changing thing that book was at the time it was released, particularly what it did to the Batman character.

However despite that, and my concession that maybe this book is more of a book of it's time than timeless, there are a lot of things that I can't quite figure out. 1) Why did Green Arrow show up at the end, what does he have to do with any of the episodic business that came before...and when did he lose an arm? 2) Since when can Superman suck up energy from flowers and shit, not to mention calling planet earth "mother" when he clearly is a friggin alien, so this makes no sense. And finally, the biggest question I have, 3) Why the hell did Superman and Batman have to fight at the end after that nuclear explosion?

Anyway, I got other problems too, like that whole horseback thing because that part, and especially that fight at the end, is story telling of badassery instead of having a reason within the story. Yeah, Superman and Batman fight, how awesome!, how neat!...but why? Why didn't Superman just take him in earlier in the funny book when they met? What was it about the nuclear explosion that meant then was the time, and why do that stupid carving "Where?" in fire on Wayne's lawn if not to just be bad ass. If Supes wanted to fight him, why not just zip down and fuck him up right then? He's Superman for Christ's sake, not like he can't do it. Just, man, explain it to me if you don't mind.

viva el mustache

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