I’ve wanted to write about the Clark Kent-Bruce Wayne relationship in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns since before I ever started blogging. Miller published his 1986 tale of Gotham-under-siege by criminals with no superheroes to save it as a four-book miniseries in 1986. The trade paperback went 80s-viral in 1987.
There are tons of themes to pick at in The Dark Knight Returns. There’s a critique of big media. There’s criticism of the 60’s counterculture deciding that the struggle was over and settling for comfort when they should have never abandoned the streets. There is much questioning of government authority. There’s the fact that finally, after all these years, Robin gets to be played by an actual girl and grows into a perfect Robin by the end of the story. There’s the twisted Joker-Batman relationship on full display with very little ambiguity about just how co-dependent they are.
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