Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller; with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley
(DC Comics, 2013, 224 pages)
I was drawn to this graphic novel because I’ve heard it cited as the best version of the Batman comics and a classic graphic novel – in fact, the back cover has Stephen King calling it “probably the finest piece of comic art ever published in a popular edition.” The story has Batman, fifty-five years old and semi-retired, coming back to try and bring order to a Gotham City that has been decimated by crime. He’s old, broken down, and cynical; but he is still driven to bring justice to the city. Besides psychotic criminals, like the Joker, Batman has to deal with a police force that views his own vigilante actions as criminal acts. The novel culminates with a showdown between Batman and Superman.