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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’11 – What’s the best Batman story written by Frank Miller?

Each day this month, I’ll be posting a different poll question – each poll will last five days, and I’ll reveal the results of the finished polls every Tuesday.

This way, for this month, we can see what our readers feel about various comic book questions. For a month, you folks will decide! Click here to see the other questions that you can answer as well as checking out the latest poll results!

Read on for the latest poll question!


93 Comments

I have to go with Dark Knight Returns. Blew. Me. Away.

Year One.

Next to Born Again it is the best thing Miller has ever done.

If anyone votes for anything other than Year One of Dark Knight Returns it will be… odd.

All-Star Batman is one of the only times I’ve ever actually liked Batman.
Dark Knight Returns is a close second…
then DK2…
Year One was fine… but now it reminds me of the movie, which I hated, so it loses.

hard to choose but had to go with Dark Knight returns for it showed that even aged at the end of his career batman still can kick butt. and is driven to his never to be done quest to rid gotham of crime. that plus its one of the few batman stories where the joker finaly dies.

Year One is such a milestone in not just batman comics, but all comics. It is, and I don’t say this lightly, brilliant.

DKR was great, but how can you guys ignore Year One? It was a FRESH take on one of the oldest origin stories in comics! Miller took a story we all knew like the back of our hands and made it new again. In my humble opinion Year One is not only Miller’s best Batman work, but his best work so far for either of the big two. (This coming from a guy who grew up with his DD work!)

Went with Dark Knight Returns, even though I haven’t read it in a while. I read Year One recently, and it holds up fantastic.

But I can’t get out of my mind the visceral excitement that Dark Knight gave me. Every issue was a blockbuster in and of itself.

Doesn’t hurt that, as mentioned above, Joker doesn’t end up locked up in Arkham. Talk about a fresh (and refreshing) take…

It’s gotta be Year One.

Hmm, Dark Knight Returns did blow me away the first time around, but a lot of that was style more than content. For the story itself, I’d have to go with Year One. I couldn’t stand DKSA or ASBAR.

Dark Knight Returns struck a chord with me. The Mutants and the fight with Superman really stands out for me.

Dark knight returns over year one. Why are AsBar and DK2 even on this list?

Year One. TDKR is very over-rated, and let’s face it, I’m not a fan of Grampa Batman.

I’m glad that Spawn/Batman wasn’t one of the choices.

I’m with Ninjazilla, the choice is really just between Year One and Dark Knight Returns.

All-Star all the way!

Year One is great, but DKR has much more bite.

Year One is easily my favorite Batman storyline of all time.

It’s really, genuinely difficult to choose between DKR and Year One. Two of the greatest Batman stories by miles.

Year one then Dark Knight
Y0 is maybe one of his greatest stories

DKR with DKSR a close second. Year One is a very good Batman story with excellent art but it’s got nothing on the other two.

I <3 All Star Batman & Robin.

I voted for Year One.

Where’s Spawn / Batman ?!?!

I voted for Dark Knight Strikes Again. Why? Because I was gonna click on Year One and didn’t realize I missed until I had already hit the vote button. Hooray touch phone…

EASY question.
Year One.
Hands down.
No contest (really)
Great storytelling.
Excellent characterizations.
Timeless. Can be read over and over and never gets old.

We can debate between YO and DKR all day, but let’s agree on one thing: anyone that votes for All-Shit Batman & Robin deserves to be banned from this site.

So happy we all came to that conclusion!

I voted for Year One, but it’s really a tossup with TDKR .

TDKSA and ASB&R are so bad they are almost parodies of Miller’s style, written by a man who seems to hate comic book superheroes.

A *much* more difficult poll would include Miller’s other work: Sin City, 300, the Daredevil/Nuke arc …

Someone explain the love affair with Frank Miller. He did his best work like 25 years ago and went down hill rapidly from there. Dark Night Strikes Again is the book that I promised myself I’d never by anything that he shits out again…

I loved both stories, but the fact that Miller also did the art on Dark Knight Returns means that it’s more his story, and therefore more deserving of the vote, than Year One (even though the question focused only on writing).

Year One is the best story, and has the best artwork for sure.

Read Year One & enjoyed it immensely; not read all of TDKR; not read Strikes Again; unfortunately have read All-Star.
No choice then, really: Year One.

Year One. Gordon’s story as the “one good cop” in Gotham is as good as Wayne’s decision to become a bat. Minus points for Selina as a whore, but that carried over into DKR, so it’s a wash.

I like them all, but I’m torn between ASB&R and DKSA. Anyone quick to dismiss those two are only paying attention to superficial levels of the work.

Dark Knight Strikes Again is great. Just great.

Still, I voted for Returns, which might be the best Batman story of them all. Year One is good, but it didn’t have the same impact for me.

“Anyone quick to dismiss those two are only paying attention to superficial levels of the work.”

agreed

I voted Year One, but I wonder if it won’t lose a few votes for being more a Gordon story than a Batman story, keeping in mind the title of the poll.

I love all four in completely different ways for totally different reasons.

But I voted for DKR.

Now if it was “most influential“, or the best Jim Gordon story, then…Y1

Year One loses despite being better simply because it hasn’t been read by as many people.

Forget Spawn/Batman; where’s Wanted: Santa Claus-Dead or Alive?

Sorry if I have just missed it somehow but I can only find the results for poll 1 and 2. Have the others been posted somewhere yet and I simply happened to miss them or are they not yet posted?

Buster: If you were to follow the “You Decide ’11 – Week 2 Results!” link in the sidebar on the top right of this page, it would lead you to more results. (Or when it says “click here” in the text on the top of this entry, you could click there.)

I have to say that I heartily agree with the Spawn/Batman omission, because lord knows that was worse even than the worst of these (which for my money would be DKSA).

where’s Wanted: Santa Claus-Dead or Alive?

Miller wrote that? I thought he just did the art. I would have included it, otherwise.

Year One loses despite being better simply because it hasn’t been read by as many people.

Sort of presumptuous, no?

Year One is my favorite. It’s reminiscent of Miller’s Daredevil work, from the time Frank Miller still had humanity and heart.

I’ve also re-read DKR recently, and was surprised by how good it was. I was prepared to hate it, on account of what came later, but it’s really good and deserving of it’s reputation. Still prefer Year One, though.

About what came later, the less said the better. Frank has a buttload of money. He should spend some of it with therapists to deal with all his issues of his own conflicted masculinity. I know insanity sometimes produces great art. Other times it just produces embarassment in a great scale. Frank’s case is the later.

Every time I sit down with year one I am blown away by how good it is.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I went with DKR, as I think it’s the ‘best’ Batman story he wrote – Year One is a good Batman story, but it’s pretty much solely about Batman, whereas DKR comments on a lot more than just Batman.

That said, I don’t think he’s written a bad Batman story – DKSA was a great rebuttal to the works that sprung from DKR, and ASBAR is just great fun – I see it as Miller saying ‘didn’t like DKSA? Well here’s what you SAID you wanted – not my fault if you were wrong’ – I don’t know what anyone who is disappointed in the book thought a Miller/Lee joint was going to be like.

Miller wrote that? I thought he just did the art. I would have included it, otherwise.

Miller was just on art.

I believe Denny O’Neil wrote the story.

I think it was done before Miller was any kind of a deal – from memory, it looked very Adams-y, rather than where Millers art went once he was writing/drawing.

It is in an old hardcover collecting Year One, and possibly DKR as well, which is where confusion over who did what could come from.

DKR has the bigger moments, which is why I think it will ultimately win. I almost voted All-Star because it gave us “the Goddamn Batman”, but Year One is probably my favorite of the four. DK2 isn’t even in the same class as the others.

Year One – Less ambitious, but more personal. And some of us *like* Jim Gordon stories.

I thought DKSA was an incredibly entertaining superhero romp (and it’s probably my favorite Justice League story). I had a ton of fun reading it, and I’m not sure why it gets all the hate.

P. Boz–tell you what, I’ll vote for Year One instead of DKSA since you had your mix-up. I have actually read only a portion of it, but judging by that I’d expect it to be my favorite.

Had DKR ended with the first issue (i.e., “A reflection…”), I think it would have been perfect, but I enjoyed the rest of it a lot less.

DKR question to all–The Dark Knight Returns was a phenomenon when it came out serially; lots of people went to comic shops for the first time to pick it up, right? I’ve always been curious how many people came in, bought the first issue, got a basically done-in-one story, and never went back to get the rest of the issues, assuming that they had read “The Dark Knight Returns”?

I imagine some folks would have done that. It’s the only issue actually named The Dark Knight Returns, and it’d be easy to miss the “1 of 4″ on the cover, or to assume the other 3 comics might have been one of the many other unrelated Batman comics. It’s a tall task to get someone who’s never been to a comic shop to come back in a month or two to find and purchase the next issue. Were the succeeding comics even mentioned in the original issue? Had the hype died down by the time the second issue came out? Anyone with any experience with something like this?

Year One, no contest.
It’s still a great Batman story no matter when you first read it; DKR is just too of its time, somehow, and has aged far more poorly than, say, Watchmen, the “milestone” book it’s so often paired with (unfairly, IMO; Watchmen is vastly superior).
Also, even though both somehow get equal blame for the ensuing “grim n’ gritty” explosion, I think the roots of the more egregious strain of such stuff are clearly found in DKR.

I went All-Star Batman and Robin. Why? Because it’s the most shear fun of all of the options and I know people pretty much revile it across the board. So I wanted to show some love.

Year One is great. But it isn’t as… distinctively Miller-esque as the others. I think DKR is the better of the two that people seem obsessed with because it take the premise of who and what Batman is to Miller to such an over the top level. I mean it is EVERY BIT as over the top as ASB&R. I wonder why people give DKR a pass and not ASB&R?

And TDKSA is a fun read (and the art is actually better than DKR) but it isn’t as influential. And it retreads some things. Plus I think DKR is just better as a stand alone story.

“I thought DKSA was an incredibly entertaining superhero romp (and it’s probably my favorite Justice League story). I had a ton of fun reading it, and I’m not sure why it gets all the hate.”

I also had a moderately fun time while I read the first 3 issues.

But the Dick Grayson finale, with all the confused homophobia and raw machismo and what-the-hellness made me feel like Miller had shitted on my brain.

What had been a overblow-but-enjoyable romp turned as ugly and uncomfortable as discovering your middle-aged father having sex with a 15-year old girl (something that ALSO happens in the story, if I remember right).

It was the last Frank Miller comic I bought.

The man he seems to be now creeps me out.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I mean it is EVERY BIT as over the top as ASB&R. I wonder why people give DKR a pass and not ASB&R?

I think there’s two key factors – DKR has been placed on the pedestal of being a classic, so it’s looked at in a different light, and secondly, ASBAR is less subtle in it’s comedy.
A lot of people think DKR has some satirical elements, not that it’s a satire the whole way through, whereas ASBAR is clearly taking the piss the whole time, and some people have a lot of trouble reconciling that.

A third factor would probably be the delays – if ASBAR was over and done, we’d have a complete work to judge.
It went a long time between issues, and the first delays weren’t between the best issues.
As it is, we don’t know if it’s going to be great as a whole, or fall flat.

That said, DKR is better written than ASBAR.
ASBAR has very repetitive captions when read as a whole – Batman’s voice is compared to Clint Eastwoods several times for example – and that didn’t happen in DKR.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm

But the Dick Grayson finale, with all the confused homophobia and raw machismo and what-the-hellness made me feel like Miller had shitted on my brain.

Which issue was this?
Is it in the collection of the first eight or nine issues?

What had been a overblow-but-enjoyable romp turned as ugly and uncomfortable as discovering your middle-aged father having sex with a 15-year old girl (something that ALSO happens in the story, if I remember right).

I don’t remember that.

It was the last Frank Miller comic I bought.

The man he seems to be now creeps me out.

Even if all you say is in there – that’s been a typical Frank Miller style since at least the 90’s.
He loves throwing all that sort of shit in the blender.

If you are lucky enough not to have read it, check out this dudes review about TDKSA ( he does ASBAR in a seperate video) where he really just tears it apart for the crap it is.

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/14444-ep069

I can understand people not liking DKSA, but to casually dismiss it is ridiculous.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I can understand people not liking DKSA, but to casually dismiss it is ridiculous.

I think a lot of people saw the entire point of DKR as ‘Batman is COOL!!!!!’, and then DKSA wasn’t all about that, and didn’t take the original as seriously as the fans did, so whatta ya expect people to do?
Re-asses the original as well, and see that DKSA follows on poifectly?
Not on this internet!

I went with Year One. Anyone who chooses DKSA or ASBAR should not be allowed to read comics anymore.

Didn’t Miller also write or cowrite one of the Batman-Spawn crossovers?

@Funky: I agree about the captions… sadly. But it had some really cool moments too. And finally seeing Frank Miller’s Joker before he gets old, in all his ridiculous evil prime was awesome. Yeah. The delays were bad. But I figured we were taking the work without some of that context…

funkygreenjerusalem

February 18, 2011 at 12:41 am

I went with Year One. Anyone who chooses DKSA or ASBAR should not be allowed to read comics anymore.

Because comics aren’t allowed to be fun, and must treat characters with the seriousness you feel they deserve?

Sod that!

Didn’t Miller also write or cowrite one of the Batman-Spawn crossovers?

He wrote the Image published one.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

Yeah. The delays were bad. But I figured we were taking the work without some of that context…

Yeah for sure – WE are.
I read the bugger in a trade, and thought it was great fun – though that’s how I noticed the captions were repetitive.

But I meant more in terms of popular opinion – ASBAR did take until other heroes showed up to see what Miller was really going for, and that was a few issues in, and there were delays, and a hell of a lot of bitching from people on the net (though again, what did they want from a Miller/Lee joint if not this?).
That’s why I think, a lot of people don’t see that it’s just the same sort of fun that DKR was.

hmmm…you know what?

I think maybe Grant Morrison run on Batman is actually better than anything Miller has done.
(especially the issues starring Dr. Hurt)

Funky, the Dick Grayson stuff that left such a bad taste in my mouth was in DKSA, not ASBAR. Can’t believe you guys had no trouble with that.

I love them all, but this is obviously a two horse race between TDKR and Year One. TDKR got my vote – by a smidgen.

Granted, the ending of DKSA is…bad, but for the rest of the book, it’s awesome. And the very last panel is amazing.

However, I’m voting for DKR, as much as I dig DKSA and (to a much lesser extent) ASBAR. I like Year One, but it hasn’t grown on me as much as the rest.

DKR blew up my brain so much when I read it in eighth grade that I think I hit DOUBLE-PUBERTY.

It holds up.

Year One is like the Social Network, I enjoyed the hell out of it and there were a lot of aspects of it that I recognized as pretty much perfect but it doesn’t pack enough of a punch for me to recognize it as a classic.

Good point on Year One, its been copied so much that its lost a little bit of its originality reading it now.
speaking of aging badly DKSA has the worst art of all of these easily. ASBAR reads like self parody but at least it was occasionally pretty.
DKSA is the only argument against a sequel to Watchmen anyone could ever need.

Year One was fine… but now it reminds me of the movie, which I hated, so it loses.

Yeah, I have same problem. Used to love Year One, but now when I read it I get reminded of the Jeph Loeb specials and the Nolan films, which I hated, so it suffers from negative associations. But then I remember it’s not fair to judge a work by the way later people butcher it, so I voted Year One anyway.

year one has aged better than dark knight. It’s am example of miller doing his best work because it’s controlled. Not an ounce of fat or a whiff of the self indulgence that’s ruined his later work. Miller’s masterpiece by a mile

Hard question, but I’ll go with DKR. It holds up incredibly well, in some ways better than Watchmen.

John Trumbull, save the hyperbole please.

funkygreenjerusalem, great posts I agree.

DKSA does not need the Dick Grayson fake-out ending. For me, it’s what taints the whole affair as mean-spirited. What comes before and after is glorious (a Silver Age tale for Miller’s aged Bruce Wayne), but I think it’s the unnecessary sub-ending with the sidekicks that keeps it from being as good a story as DKR.

Yeah, s1rude put it better than I did, but my sentiment’s the same. Everything NOT involving the sidekick stuff is great fun and pure adrenaline in DKSA, but that whole sidekick thing just…ugh.

@Brian how about a whats the worst Batman Story written by Frank Miller poll?

@Brian how about a whats the worst Batman Story written by Frank Miller poll?

“Least brilliant” would be better wording. There’s no “worst” with Miller’s Batman!

Damn – that anonymous was me

Year One by a mile…groundbreaking, resonated across the DCU on multiple titles including two Batman family members, and served as the groundwork for numerous other Batman projects the least of which being the Nolanverse Batman movies.

The others, while outstanding, simply can’t come close to their impact that they had compared with Year One.

Are Year one and DKR the “same” Batman? So in a way its just the begining and ending of the same story?

i love Year One and Dark Knight Returns both a ton. i really like the writing in year one more than DKR and so that gets the vote!

DFTBA

Oh and i could never vote for DK Strikes Again, as Dick Grayson is the villian & the messed up relationship between the two of them & is ASSBAR makes me sick to my stomach.

DFTBA

Actually, Ninjazilla, my understanding is that Year One is regular Batman (the post-Crisis version, anyway), and that ASBAR Batman is supposed to be the same guy as in DKR and DKSA.

Actually, Ninjazilla, my understanding is that Year One is regular Batman (the post-Crisis version, anyway), and that ASBAR Batman is supposed to be the same guy as in DKR and DKSA.

Correct.

It depends who you ask. According to Frank Miller all of his Batman stuff is set in the same world.

For me, Dark Knight Returns ceases to be a Batman story with issue 2 when it starts being more and more about the broader world it’s set in and not so much about Batman.

Dark Knight Returns part 1 is, however, one of the best Batman stories ever made, so I voted for it, even though I love Year One.

Issue 2 onwards is where there’s more about Batman’s influence on the world around him, but it’s still very much centred on him.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 24, 2011 at 2:43 am

Funky, the Dick Grayson stuff that left such a bad taste in my mouth was in DKSA, not ASBAR. Can’t believe you guys had no trouble with that.

I didn’t like him being the villain, but I don’t think there’s homophobia in there.

year one has aged better than dark knight. It’s am example of miller doing his best work because it’s controlled. Not an ounce of fat or a whiff of the self indulgence that’s ruined his later work. Miller’s masterpiece by a mile

Except… it’s not really about anything.
Which is fine – we see how Batman’s first few adventures went – but it’s not got anything going on under that.

DKR does, and the only thing I think ages DKR at all is references to specific people/shows of the time – I don’t feel it’s themes have aged at all.

Year One by a mile…groundbreaking,

What ground did it break?

The others, while outstanding, simply can’t come close to their impact that they had compared with Year One.

Up until the Nolan film, DKR was miles ahead in terms of impact on the comics industry.

Issue 2 onwards is where there’s more about Batman’s influence on the world around him, but it’s still very much centred on him.

Only in comics do people get upset when a story becomes about more than one character.

Funky’s on fire!

Year One broke ground because it led to every damn story about the beginnings of a superhero being referred to as “Year One”. Very original.

(Actually, Year One probably did lead to the Legends of the Dark Knight long running series, which is ostensibly dealing with stories set in “Year One”. Hit or miss, but there were a lot of cool LDK storylines.)

And people who love Year One more probably figure that Robin was a bad idea that didn’t fit in with the original conception of Batman, right, funky?

I was surprised to find in the results that Year One beat out DKR by quite a bit. I guess the clearer DKR connection with both ASBAR and DKSA taints it, for some people. As someone said above, and I think it works (I’ll be reading all of these stories to confirm soon), all 4 of these works WORK as the “same” Batman. But DKR rules.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

Year One broke ground because it led to every damn story about the beginnings of a superhero being referred to as “Year One”. Very original.

That’s seriously about it.

It was a ‘serious’ look at a characters origin, and probably the most popular, but it wasn’t ground breaking.

(Actually, Year One probably did lead to the Legends of the Dark Knight long running series, which is ostensibly dealing with stories set in “Year One”. Hit or miss, but there were a lot of cool LDK storylines.)

Was that part of LDK’s brief?

I thought it was just out of continuity tales.

I was surprised to find in the results that Year One beat out DKR by quite a bit. I guess the clearer DKR connection with both ASBAR and DKSA taints it, for some people. As someone said above, and I think it works (I’ll be reading all of these stories to confirm soon), all 4 of these works WORK as the “same” Batman. But DKR rules.

God, if anyone voted against DKR because of a sequel and prequel that came over a decade afterwards, then there’s no hope for us.

I think Year One would have won because it is a straight up superhero origin, raised to mythical status by follow up stories and adaptations.
As is pointed out, DKR isn’t just about Batman, and much like with Arkham Asylum, some superhero fans just aren’t into stories that aren’t just about superheros.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 24, 2011 at 3:25 am

I feel like I’m talking Year One down – don’t get me wrong, I think it’s tops, I just don’t think it’s on the level of DKR.

Dude, Frank Miller turns Dick Grayson into an effeminate murderer that is all clingy and jealous of Bruce, while Bruce disposes of his former partner in an uncharacteristically callous way, calling him pet names like sweetheart and darling in a mocking manner.

If that isn’t homophobic and twisted in a very unpleasant manner, then I don’t know what is.

But I find it sad that people let this trainwreck of an ending taint their impression even of the original DKR. That one was a masterpiece.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 24, 2011 at 5:52 am

Dude, Frank Miller turns Dick Grayson into an effeminate murderer that is all clingy and jealous of Bruce, while Bruce disposes of his former partner in an uncharacteristically callous way, calling him pet names like sweetheart and darling in a mocking manner.

If that isn’t homophobic and twisted in a very unpleasant manner, then I don’t know what is.

Hmm.
I remember not loving the end, but having enjoyed the ride, but specifics escape my mind.
Guess I’ll have to give it a re-read.

But I find it sad that people let this trainwreck of an ending taint their impression even of the original DKR. That one was a masterpiece.

Whilst one shouldn’t effect the other – they were what, fifteen years apart? – I guess for newer readers the two are part and parcel.
They never had DKR as a standalone work, just DKR and it’s sequel.

I guess they could be doubly confused with Miller saying it’s the same world as ASBAR.
I enjoy ASBAR, but in my mind, ASBAR is it’s own thing – I like to think of DKR Batman as the guy who used to get tied up to giant props by villains and such.
I don’t think there’s any gain in tying the two together.

I’m not 100% on LDK being specifically for “Year One” stories, but most of the early ones WERE set around that time period. From what I know of the early stories, Shaman, Gothic, Prey, Venom, Faces, some other of the early storylines were definitely set in that time. And I was just recently reading a few issues, and the letters pages featured votes for and against featuring Robin in the stories. Y’know, since Robin wasn’t in the original conception of Batman and just doesn’t fit :)

But later on, LDK did feature other out of continuity stories. Sometimes, like during Knightfall/Knightquest and No Man’s Land, the book crossed into other in continuity current stories.

I do know that I wasn’t sure why, at the end of DKSA, Miller had such outright hate for Dick Grayson. Like I said, this poll inspired me to go back and reread all these comics.

I think, love or hate DKSA, it’s a clear case of “be careful what you wish for” regarding sequels to beloved comics.

I don’t get people saying that DKR is somehow less of a Batman story after the first issue because it features other elements later on…

I guess they could be doubly confused with Miller saying it’s the same world as ASBAR.
I enjoy ASBAR, but in my mind, ASBAR is it’s own thing – I like to think of DKR Batman as the guy who used to get tied up to giant props by villains and such.
I don’t think there’s any gain in tying the two together.

But, Miller, the author, is saying that ASBAR IS the same world as DKR. I agree that you can and should, if you want, enjoy it separately, but the author does intend it to be part of the same storyline.

Like I said, I gotta reread all these.

It was a ‘serious’ look at a characters origin, and probably the most popular, but it wasn’t ground breaking.

Actually thinking about it you might be right. It is right up there at the absolute pinnacle in terms of storytelling and art and feeling natural while still compressing an incredible of story into 96 pages.

I guess it depends on how you define ‘groundbreaking’. Is it enough just to hit a level of synergy between writing and art to reach a level of perfection that’s rarely (if ever) been hit before – or do you have to actually do something new?

Was that part of LDK’s brief?

Initially yeah. It was only later that they opened it up to any old story that may or may not be set in current (or any) continuity.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

And I was just recently reading a few issues, and the letters pages featured votes for and against featuring Robin in the stories. Y’know, since Robin wasn’t in the original conception of Batman and just doesn’t fit :)

Stupid kiddie bating Robin!

I think, love or hate DKSA, it’s a clear case of “be careful what you wish for” regarding sequels to beloved comics.

DKSA does follow from DKR quite well, and as a sequel, rebuts the effect of the first – similar (broadly similar) to how book 2 of Maus becomes about Spigelman’s feelings on the effect the first one had on him.
Unless sequels are just meant to re-hash the original, I think this did the job of sequel quite well.

In my opinion, ASBAR is the lesson in getting what you wish for.
I mean, it’s Miller and Lee cutting loose – it just turns out people didn’t want that as much as they thought.
(Which makes me wonder what they thought they’d get).

It’s similar to the novel Hannibal – after Silence Of The Lambs, people kept saying they wanted more Hannibal, so the author wrote a book about the life and adventures of a psychopathic cannibal.
People were upset it was so horrible and immoral – you gotta ask, what did they expect?

I guess it depends on how you define ‘groundbreaking’. Is it enough just to hit a level of synergy between writing and art to reach a level of perfection that’s rarely (if ever) been hit before – or do you have to actually do something new?

Well, as your breaking new ground, I’d say it’d have to be something new.
Doing something the best is great, and worthy of accolades, but it’s not groundbreaking.

Somehow someone posed as me. I prefered Year One. DK Return was a great blockbuster tale, Year One was much more profound. DKR is Banana while YO is Annie Hall.

I think All Star got the negative reaction because it came out in pieces, making the story build up less obvious, and the art was the more traditional Jim Lee. When I pick up a Jim Lee comic like Hush, I have the expectation that it will read as a fairly conventional Batman story. If Miller drew All Star, I think the audience would have had different expectations and preconceived notions on Batman letting Robin eat rats because it would have more resembled the Sin City aesthetic. Having a traditional artist do the art makes the reader think he will be getting something straightforward like Year One or Born Again.

DKR was groundbreaking in its time, which makes it the most significant. So much of what we know as Batman today was taken from this so by now it seems cliche. But DKR was where it started. “This would be a good death. But not good enough.”

I heard DKSA had to have a new ending after 9/11 which led to the sort of odd messed up last act, and it wasn’t the ending Miller originally envisioned.

My choice is of course “Holy Terror, Batman!”

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