Written by Frank Miller with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley in 1986, The Dark Knight Returns is an epic story of a retired Batman taking up the Cape once more. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the story is set long after the heroes of the Justice league have retired and disappeared from the public eye. However, when the crime rates in Gotham reach a new high due to the actions of a gang known as The Mutants and Harvey Dent is released from Arkham, Bruce Wayne decides that he his work isn’t over and dons the cowl once more. As the story progresses it builds in momentum and danger (including a face off with an old enemy) leading to the final confrontation between Batman and Superman.
Many pages within the book utilise small panels with text above them -particularly for the news reports- which took me a few seconds to adapt to, but once I did, it was easy to follow. I particularly liked the different coloured boxes that were used to indicate which character was thinking those thoughts, for example, Batman had grey boxes while Robin had yellow boxes and Superman had blue boxes. The artwork as a whole is nicely done and has some very nice pages, such as the moment when Bruce Wayne decides to come out of retirement.
The Dark Knight Returns isn’t considered part of mainstream Canon, but rather part of Earth-31, which is where all of Frank Miller’s Batman comics take place. If you enjoy Frank Miller’s interpretation of Batman, a more violent and brutal crime fighter, then you’ll probably like this as well. It’s also worth reading if you simply enjoy reading about Batman, this is a classic Batman story and has some very interesting ideas and story developments within it.