The Dark Knight Strikes Again Review Book #2 by Deffinition
Controversially I awarded the Dark Knight Strikes Again a 7/10. I really enjoyed the ground work that it put in and it’s introduction of Batman is one of the greatest within comics.
Yet the book as a whole still has a bad reputation.
I’m happy to say that I now know why.
Opening on ‘News In The Nude’ Book two quickly destroys all the good will that the prior entry established. It’s like going on a first date with an alcoholic. You’re getting on fine, couple drinks, couple chats and it’s all going well. Then she decides to get the sambuca out. Within 20 minutes she’s pissed herself, vomited on your shoulder and stubbed a tab out on your japs eye.
I really don’t know what happened to Frank Miller between these books but I’m guessing heavy doses of heroin.
Throughout the story the news clips completely derail the plot, acting more as random sound bites than narrative devices and it makes the book harder to read than Michael J Fox’ handwriting.
Within the first six pages of the book we are given three double page spreads and whilst in comics like Justice League and Forever Evil these are used to great effect to show a wealth of wonder and grandeur, here it’s there to fill up time. One of them is just a batmobile in the sky against a CGI background and the others look like what you hand in for your final art exam where you’ve not really put any time into it because you’ve been studying for your actual exams.
This book especially is filled with them, everytime something dramatic happens you can bet that it’s going to take up 7 huge splash pages. Clark and Wonder Woman making love – 5 splash Pages, Batman taking down Lex Luthor – 4 splash pages. When it doesn’t even seem like the writer is invested in telling an intricate story I don’t see why the reader should waste their time.
Gone is the compressed, air tight story telling of The Dark Knight Returns, replaced by a bunch of what look like sketches and half finished ideas.
This reads like a slideshow, everything wizzing by so fast I kind of wanted to stop Miller Time and bust out Hammer Time on this book….what…that doesn’t work as a joke.
After the Dark Knight completely dismantles his operation, Lex Luthor wants revenge. Unleashing a brainiac ship upon Metropolis, Superman is the only one who can stop it. After threatening to destroy Kandor if he should flee, the Man Of Steel steps down, allowing himself to lose.
Whilst this would be a signifying moment of the Last Son Of Kryptons nobility, it’s so sloppily told that it becomes hard to digest. I tried to really sink my teeth into the meat of the story but the sourness Of it left a bad aftertaste in my mouth.
In on the plot, Luthor was actually attacking the city and using Superman as a pawn in order to draw Batman out. Of course The Worlds Greatest Detective has preempted this and doesn’t take the bait.
Instead we are introduced to Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman. She mercilessly destroys the Brainiac ship and it’s a nice introduction even if she isn’t that likeable as a character.
No Bat no Bite
Unfortunately one of the biggest problems of this issue is that it doesn’t have much focus on Batman. Whilst the initial issue used the absence of the Caped Crusader to build up to his eventual return, this one seems to be missing him because there isn’t much he can do. Close to 60 he is almost useless in fighting the world level threats that are presented in the book and due to this the book shifts its focus more towards Superman than it does to Bruce, something that would be fine if the book didn’t feel like it was written by a 3 year old.
How the mighty have fallen. I don’t know whether it’s the piss poor art, the poorly paced story or the 689 splash pages but this is a bad comic book issue. Losing all of the wit and social commentary that made the primary issue so enjoyable, this feels almost pornographic in its poor taste and use of women as objects.
At least porn has a good story sometimes.
This feels completely alien to all of the Miller work that preceded it, completely directionless it’s a jumble of ideas that pile on top of each other to the point that the execution of the storyline becomes impossible.
Bad from start to finish I have no other choice but to award this Issue a…