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Non-Review Review: The Dark Knight Returns, Part I

Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns might just be the most influential Batman comic ever written. It offers a glimpse an alternate future where Batman has retired as Gotham’s protector, and where a new wave of violence brings him back out of that retirement. It is also, and perhaps more notably, a study of the character’s psychology. It’s notable for suggesting that Bruce Wayne’s obsessions might be ultimately self-destructive and that there’s a primal conflict between the “Batman” part of his persona and Bruce Wayne. Like Watchmen, it’s generally recognised as one of the comics that represented a maturity in the medium.

Warner Brothers have produced an animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic, and I can’t help but admire it a great deal. While Alan Moore’s Watchmen was a novel that never really lent itself to film, Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns always had a cinematic quality that I think director Jay Oliva captures remarkably well.

A dark and stormy knight…

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Batman: The Animated Series – Two-Face, Parts I & II (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

Two-Face is probably the most tragic of Batman’s foes. Appropriately enough, there are really two reasons why the character works so well as a Batman villain. The first is that he’s a perfect reflection for Bruce: he is one man with a dual identity; one half upstanding pretty boy citizen, the other a monster. The other is an element touched on here: he’s a friend who Bruce failed in a pretty profound way, a character who underwent a massive tragedy, and whose every subsequent appearance is a grim reminder of that failure. Interestingly enough, I think it’s fair to argue that Two-Face has often had difficulty matching the potential he offers as a Batman villain. While I think that the Two-Face episode of Batman: The Animated Series does an effective job encapsulating a lot what makes the character great, it also misses a vital element as well.


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