For those of you who read my review of The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1, you will know that I was disappointed with it on many levels. That’s not to say that I hated the film entirely. It means I wish certain things had been done differently. I am not going to rehash the same things over again, instead I’m moving on and looking forward to the final installment.
If you’ve never read Frank Miller‘s The Dark Knight Returns, you really should take the opportunity before the next film is released. Miller’s story is one of the most pivotal Batman stories ever written and remains a fan favorite to this day.
A lot of the overall action takes place in the second half of Miller’s story. The first half and by extension the first film was basically a lot of set up with several key action sequences sprinkled in. The confrontation with Two-Face and the Mutant leader were vital to Miller’s story. However, it is the second half and conclusion that really strikes home. I am hoping and praying that this film will capture what they failed to capture in the first film.
Perhaps Miller’s comic, released in 1986 was a testament of the times. Ronald Reagan was still President, in real life and in the comic. The interaction between him and Superman for me always struck a negative tone with me. It made me dislike Superman on some level that sticks with me to this day.
The nuclear showdown with the then Soviet Union meant something back then. For those of us who grew up in those times, it was a part of life. Possible nuclear war with the Soviets was always a real threat. It has since been replaced with terrorism and economic issues. So perhaps no matter what they replaced those events with, it just wouldn’t ring as true to me as it did in Miller’s original story.
The final confrontation between Batman and Superman put to rest (at least with a lot of fans) just who would win such a fight. Yeah Supes has the strength and speed, but Batman has the brains. He plans every move out carefully, so when you think it through, there is no doubt who would win. Even knowing the outcome, it is going to be epic to see this on film finally.
So you can make up your own mind. Wait to see the film or read the comic. I don’t want to ruin anything but if you have never read the comic, you owe it to yourself to do so. Either before or after watching the two films is entirely up to you but read it. It is as good of a Batman story that has ever been written and it truly a piece of comics history.
So what do we know so far about The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 2? If you’ve read the story, then you know. But several things were left out of part 1 that I felt were important to the overall story. Having seen the first look included on The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1 Blu-ray, we WILL get to see The Joker, Selina Kyle, Oliver Queen and of course Superman. To what degree remains unknown (at least to me) at this time. We’ll have to wait until after the New Year to find out for sure.
In spite of my disappointment with the first film, I am looking forward to the second. My love of Batman and Miller’s original story compels and draws me in. I’m a comic and a Batman fan, so how could I stay away? And when it comes to animated films, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, DC has got a tremendous edge on Marvel.
Make sure you read my review of The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1 here and check out the trailer for part 2 below.