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Old 02-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
J. Custer
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Default The Dark Knight Returns....Again

I was just thinking, What if Bill Sienkiewicz painted The Dark Knight Strikes Again? I think I would've liked it better than Millers hack job art, with say an Elektra Assassin treatment (that would kick a**)....and would've enjoyed the story much better. What would you like to have seen happen with a sequel to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS? What changes to the story and art? What specifically do you wish Miller had done (story, characterization, art, etc.)?


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Old 02-21-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

keep miller away from it.

and great art does not a make up for a crappy story. strikes again is one of the comics i'm ashamed to own

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Old 02-21-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

I think Miller's sequel was just fine in his universe. I loved Hal Jordan and the criminal line, but the book itself was just too much satire.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

This is a mashup of a couple of posts I did on DKR and DKSA. I think it touches on the theme of this thread.

I remember the context in which DKR was released. It was the first major comic series of the eighties to get recognition from both genre and mainstream media. It was a boldly innovative and controversial look at a conventional hero who had been regarded as camp by most of the population who only knew Batman from the TV show.

It was also the first time that North America was exposed to the European and Japanese tradition of comics dealing with issues for adults and being treated as a valid literary art form.

Miller's artistic style perfectly reflected the themes and subtext of his message, which is that superheroes either become enemies of the system they have sworn to uphold - the disenchanted Bruce Wayne/Batman who really endorses a brand of fascism by the end- or co-opted and neutered by the very people they once fought to bring to justice - a Superman whose ability to function depends on compromising the very reason for his functioning by selling out to government control.

You also have the yin/yang or duality of the roles played by Batman and Superman demonstrated by the artwork. Batman is large and grim and as the story progresses returning to his original gray and black form. The art shows every scar and wrinkle brought on him by his life's work. His size -larger as Batman than as Wayne- indicates how diminished he felt as himself and how his power was directly related to his role as Batman. He becomes more of a untamed uncontrollable force of nature when he reassumes his destiny as Batman.

Conversely, Superman who actually is a force of nature is drawn in bright colours, and as Kent his large, round blank eyes (as portrayed by glasses made unnecessary by his acknowledgement of his identity) convey an innocent and guileless quality similar to "Little Orphan Annie". Note that he is diminished and then restored by the nuclear explosion - and the sight of the stricken and shriveled Superman is one of the most haunting images in comics IMHO - but Batman seems to go stronger and purer as the story develops as his focus returns to give him a clarity of purpose even stronger than his traditional pursuit of justice/revenge. There is no doubt of the winner in a battle between the two.

Finally, you have to put DKR into the context of literary and mythological heroes. One of the weaknesses of comics as a literary form is its inability to provide an ending point for its characters. This is due in great part to the commercial nature of its existence. Yet all great characters need an end. Arthur would not be Arthur without his death at the hand of Mordred and his final journey to Avalon, to return in Britain's time of need. Robin Hood, poisoned by Marion fires his last arrow and is buried where it lands. These denouements provide the bittersweet and dignified closure to a hero's career. We know they can't go on forever, but hope that they have found peace or, at the very least, a renewed sense of purpose at the end. DKR was one of the first attempts to do this in comics and is, I think, responsible for Marvel comics attempts to providing endings for some of their characters - ie Hulk and Wolverine- and also for DC's character rollover where the original here - ie Green Lantern - is replaced by a newer younger hero adopting his/her mantle.

Like it or not, DKR provided the paradigm shift necessary for comics to become what they now are.
The difference between the original Dark Knight returns and the DK2 to me was that DKR was a fully realized and complete story that knew from the first panel where it was going. All good legends and myths must have a final act that completes them. Robin Hood, poisoned be Maid Marian shoots the arrow that finds his final resting point. Arthur sails off to Avalon to return at the time of Britain's need. These provide both closure and renewal to a character and an idea, and in some cases an era. DKR accomplished this by having Batman waiting to come on stage for one final act. His disappearance at the end provided hope for the future. Myths and legends also must reflect and resonate the time in which they are written. DKR was a reflection of Miller's view of the state of the world at the time he wrote it . By reading it, even if you didn't agree with it, you were forced to examine the real world and your place in it.

DK2, on the other hand tries to resolve the hope left at the end of DKR and by so doing diminishes it. There is never really any further development of the themes of DKR beyond that of "ultimate power corrupting ultimately". By shoehorning Luthor and Brainiac into the plot the currency of its reflection of our times is lost. In DKR, the fear came out of the fact that the events were put in motion by "real" people, or at least Miller's reflection of them. In DK2, we have the standard comic book plot of evil villains teaming up to manipulate the world to their own ends. It was hardly groundbreaking.

In DKR, there was a linear quality to the story. Its focus, although not immediately revealed, was apparent throughout. It's why the enjoyment of reading it does not diminish with time but actually increases. Knowing how the story proceeds allows you to appreciate even more the elements that get you there.

DK2, on the other hand doesn't have that focus. It tries too hard to include random elements and tie up loose ends. It's inclusion of the original Robin in his new incarnation is a perfect example. A passing reference to an unknown fate of Grayson in DKR is turned into a extraneous incident in DK2 with weak motivation and exposition to back it up. It would have been far more satisfying to have Dick Grayson introduced earlier and developed as an actual character with understandable motivations, then to have a caricature of him summarily disposed of. It seemed like his inclusion was to provide a threat to the new Robin and answer the question as to his fate. The story would not have suffered at all if this entire subplot had been eliminated.

Finally, I found the artwork disappointing. In DKR, the power of Batman as more an idea and will than an actual man was apparent from his dominance of every panel he was in. The Bat symbol became a totem of his idealism and power. Certain images still haunt me: Superman shriveled to a husk; Bruce hunched over the wheel of his race car; Batman exploding onto the scene in full costume. In DK2, the art appeared hurried and unfinished, almost as if it was a not quite complete draft. It conveyed what was happening but no more.

Anything Frank Miller does is going to be worth reading, but he himself set the bar high with DKR ; Batman - Year One, and his work on Daredevil. While I applaud his attempt to continue the story I'm disappointed in the result.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

This is a mashup of a couple of posts I did on DKR and DKSA. I think it touches on the theme of this thread.

I remember the context in which DKR was released. It was the first major comic series of the eighties to get recognition from both genre and mainstream media. It was a boldly innovative and controversial look at a conventional hero who had been regarded as camp by most of the population who only knew Batman from the TV show.

It was also the first time that North America was exposed to the European and Japanese tradition of comics dealing with issues for adults and being treated as a valid literary art form.

Miller's artistic style perfectly reflected the themes and subtext of his message, which is that superheroes either become enemies of the system they have sworn to uphold - the disenchanted Bruce Wayne/Batman who really endorses a brand of fascism by the end- or co-opted and neutered by the very people they once fought to bring to justice - a Superman whose ability to function depends on compromising the very reason for his functioning by selling out to government control.

You also have the yin/yang or duality of the roles played by Batman and Superman demonstrated by the artwork. Batman is large and grim and as the story progresses returning to his original gray and black form. The art shows every scar and wrinkle brought on him by his life's work. His size -larger as Batman than as Wayne- indicates how diminished he felt as himself and how his power was directly related to his role as Batman. He becomes more of a untamed uncontrollable force of nature when he reassumes his destiny as Batman.

Conversely, Superman who actually is a force of nature is drawn in bright colours, and as Kent his large, round blank eyes (as portrayed by glasses made unnecessary by his acknowledgement of his identity) convey an innocent and guileless quality similar to "Little Orphan Annie". Note that he is diminished and then restored by the nuclear explosion - and the sight of the stricken and shriveled Superman is one of the most haunting images in comics IMHO - but Batman seems to go stronger and purer as the story develops as his focus returns to give him a clarity of purpose even stronger than his traditional pursuit of justice/revenge. There is no doubt of the winner in a battle between the two.

Finally, you have to put DKR into the context of literary and mythological heroes. One of the weaknesses of comics as a literary form is its inability to provide an ending point for its characters. This is due in great part to the commercial nature of its existence. Yet all great characters need an end. Arthur would not be Arthur without his death at the hand of Mordred and his final journey to Avalon, to return in Britain's time of need. Robin Hood, poisoned by Marion fires his last arrow and is buried where it lands. These denouements provide the bittersweet and dignified closure to a hero's career. We know they can't go on forever, but hope that they have found peace or, at the very least, a renewed sense of purpose at the end. DKR was one of the first attempts to do this in comics and is, I think, responsible for Marvel comics attempts to providing endings for some of their characters - ie Hulk and Wolverine- and also for DC's character rollover where the original here - ie Green Lantern - is replaced by a newer younger hero adopting his/her mantle.

Like it or not, DKR provided the paradigm shift necessary for comics to become what they now are.
The difference between the original Dark Knight returns and the DK2 to me was that DKR was a fully realized and complete story that knew from the first panel where it was going. All good legends and myths must have a final act that completes them. Robin Hood, poisoned be Maid Marian shoots the arrow that finds his final resting point. Arthur sails off to Avalon to return at the time of Britain's need. These provide both closure and renewal to a character and an idea, and in some cases an era. DKR accomplished this by having Batman waiting to come on stage for one final act. His disappearance at the end provided hope for the future. Myths and legends also must reflect and resonate the time in which they are written. DKR was a reflection of Miller's view of the state of the world at the time he wrote it . By reading it, even if you didn't agree with it, you were forced to examine the real world and your place in it.

DK2, on the other hand tries to resolve the hope left at the end of DKR and by so doing diminishes it. There is never really any further development of the themes of DKR beyond that of "ultimate power corrupting ultimately". By shoehorning Luthor and Brainiac into the plot the currency of its reflection of our times is lost. In DKR, the fear came out of the fact that the events were put in motion by "real" people, or at least Miller's reflection of them. In DK2, we have the standard comic book plot of evil villains teaming up to manipulate the world to their own ends. It was hardly groundbreaking.

In DKR, there was a linear quality to the story. Its focus, although not immediately revealed, was apparent throughout. It's why the enjoyment of reading it does not diminish with time but actually increases. Knowing how the story proceeds allows you to appreciate even more the elements that get you there.

DK2, on the other hand doesn't have that focus. It tries too hard to include random elements and tie up loose ends. It's inclusion of the original Robin in his new incarnation is a perfect example. A passing reference to an unknown fate of Grayson in DKR is turned into a extraneous incident in DK2 with weak motivation and exposition to back it up. It would have been far more satisfying to have Dick Grayson introduced earlier and developed as an actual character with understandable motivations, then to have a caricature of him summarily disposed of. It seemed like his inclusion was to provide a threat to the new Robin and answer the question as to his fate. The story would not have suffered at all if this entire subplot had been eliminated.

Finally, I found the artwork disappointing. In DKR, the power of Batman as more an idea and will than an actual man was apparent from his dominance of every panel he was in. The Bat symbol became a totem of his idealism and power. Certain images still haunt me: Superman shriveled to a husk; Bruce hunched over the wheel of his race car; Batman exploding onto the scene in full costume. In DK2, the art appeared hurried and unfinished, almost as if it was a not quite complete draft. It conveyed what was happening but no more.

Anything Frank Miller does is going to be worth reading, but he himself set the bar high with DKR ; Batman - Year One, and his work on Daredevil. While I applaud his attempt to continue the story I'm disappointed in the result.

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Old 12-04-2014, 02:43 AM   #6
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Default The Dark Knight Returns Part 3

Frank Miller And Scott Snyder Planning To Write Dark Knight 3 Together
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Johnston
The story, I am told, would concern Carrie Kelley, the Robin of Dark Knight, now in her elder years. She is now in a similar position to that of Bruce Wayne in the original Dark Knight, and she is seeking her own successor to protect Gotham.

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Old 12-04-2014, 04:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

We'll see if this eventuates but... It just seems like such a bad idea.

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Old 12-04-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Yeah, pointless nostalgic cash grab, but there's a lot of the going on between DC and Marvel these days.


I'd at least be more interested if it was still a Bruce story, especially if Sean Murphy ends up the artist (he's one of the rumored in the running). Zero interest in Carrie Kelly.

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns Part 3

Brian Azzarello, John Romita Jr, Dave Gibbons And Klaus Janson Also Named On Dark Knight Three Project

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

I'm only in if they disregard EVERYTHING brought about by TDKSA.

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Quote:
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I'm only in if they disregard EVERYTHING brought about by TDKSA.






can wait..

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

That s*** should be disregarded as well.

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Old 12-04-2014, 06:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

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That s*** should be disregarded as well.
At least with Snyder on board it might be readable

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Old 12-04-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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Unhappy Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Someone else on CBR seems to confirm it:

>About Frank Miller's health: seriously, Frank Miller is apparently going through chemotherapy for cancer treatment. He has no hair, not even eyebrows now. He had always been thin, but now he obviously is very frail and easily exhausted. Here is Frank Miller on September 13th, 2014 trying to walk to attend a tribute for him at the Deauville American Film Festival awards and he was unable to even walk on his own. He had to abandon even using canes and needed to be pushed in a wheelchair.


http://community.comicbookresources....l=1#post754069

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Old 12-04-2014, 06:22 PM   #15
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

That's awful. Not surprising considering how he's looked lately, but awful nonetheless. Hope he gets better.

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Old 12-04-2014, 09:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

That's Frank Miller?! What happened?

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Old 12-04-2014, 09:16 PM   #18
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That's awful. Not surprising considering how he's looked lately, but awful nonetheless. Hope he gets better.
This is very sad, indeed.

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Old 12-05-2014, 01:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Yeah awful news, don't care how I feel about his Dark Knight sequels he is a human being. Really hope he manages to recover.

I have a feeling his work on Dark Knight 3 may be minimal. Maybe just coming up with an outline.

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Old 12-21-2014, 12:08 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Love All-Star and TDKSA and ready to defend them both.

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:54 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Man, I had no idea. He's looked really thin in the recent things I'd seen him. But, man...that's sad to hear. I hope he beats the thing.

I've been re-reading TDKR, after finally watching the animated film adaptation (the Deluxe Edition).

I'm convinced that this book would never see the light of day, much less be seen as the mastery it is (even though, it is. It absolutely ****ing is a masterpiece). And it's kinda sad to me to think that. I've thought about how reactionary, and outrage, and how our culture attacks everything, and I mean everything, that a book like this couldn't exist. Even if, somehow, DC Comics could muster the courage...too many people wouldn't be able to get past their own opinions and perspectives to see how wonderful the book was.

Could you imagine a Batman graphic novel satirizing President Obama? Or if there had been one satirizing President Bush? Or using Superman as the vehicle for the collective American way of accepting the things blindly? Between the news media calling Batman anti-American, twitter and facebook comments demanding the firing of the writer/artist/editor, and the fanboys who will pissed off about how Superman was used...it'd never be released. We'll see the stupid, and absolutely infuriating, comments that there's no place for politics in comics (which is offensive to even consider hearing).

And considering how relevant the book still feels today, man...just kind of bums me out to see how we've seemingly taken steps back. The fact that we couldn't get a book, with a character like this, cover these themes and subject, and use satire, and lampoon the President and Superman, just feel like the medium is being held back, knowing it won't go there with a major character out of fear of backlash. Or maybe I'm overthinking it, and should see that the 80's were just a small pocket of time where a story like this could have been done.


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Old 01-06-2015, 08:59 AM   #22
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Seeing those pictures is really terrible. He doesn't look like himself anymore. MAn, this is depressing.

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Old 01-08-2015, 12:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBaleBatman View Post

I'm convinced that this book would never see the light of day, much less be seen as the mastery it is (even though, it is. It absolutely ****ing is a masterpiece). And it's kinda sad to me to think that. I've thought about how reactionary, and outrage, and how our culture attacks everything, and I mean everything, that a book like this couldn't exist. Even if, somehow, DC Comics could muster the courage...too many people wouldn't be able to get past their own opinions and perspectives to see how wonderful the book was.

Could you imagine a Batman graphic novel satirizing President Obama? Or if there had been one satirizing President Bush? Or using Superman as the vehicle for the collective American way of accepting the things blindly? Between the news media calling Batman anti-American, twitter and facebook comments demanding the firing of the writer/artist/editor, and the fanboys who will pissed off about how Superman was used...it'd never be released. We'll see the stupid, and absolutely infuriating, comments that there's no place for politics in comics (which is offensive to even consider hearing).

And considering how relevant the book still feels today, man...just kind of bums me out to see how we've seemingly taken steps back. The fact that we couldn't get a book, with a character like this, cover these themes and subject, and use satire, and lampoon the President and Superman, just feel like the medium is being held back, knowing it won't go there with a major character out of fear of backlash. Or maybe I'm overthinking it, and should see that the 80's were just a small pocket of time where a story like this could have been done.
Yeah I agree. I mean only Miller was willing to go after al-aqaeda in comic book Holy Terror BUT everyone else, NOPE! They don't think it's right or needed. Yet, they felt in the 40's that going after nazis was both right and needed. Hell, Superman and Batman told you to go buy war bonds! Propaganda much? Hell, I'd argue your heard Denny O'Neils ideas and stances through Green Arrow.

Thing is I don't think anyone is clever, smart or objective enough to try you know perhaps satirizing Obama in a comic. I for one would be OK with it. I' m not exactly pro-Obama but I ain't on FOX's side either. However, if a writer/artist has something to say about him that I never thought of I would like to know. You could argue comics are still political-ish but in their own fantasy. Take MARVEL Civil War for example. I have no doubt if superheroes existed we would face a similar problem. Or in New 52 in how the government basically wants to control the JL so instead they form the JL of America. Again, I would buy a scenario like that in our world if super heroes existed. But this is about the furthest you go, and it's starting to get tiresome when we have so many issues we could take from like drones, syrian civil war, Russia's uh expansive craziness, this hacker crap like what happened with Sony, the race riots and whatever else.

To succeed it cannot be preachy and needs a good vehicle. I think why TDKR worked is the basic premise is Batman has been retired for 10 years, comes back out but is 50 or 60 and has to deal with the current world. Going into that I do not think any of us knew there'd be Cold War stuff or Regan. If we heard we'd assume it would be basic here's a Russian spy, oh took him down, end of story. The talking heads, the psychiatry. And from what I can tell none of this was mentioned in promoting the book. So I guess I'm saying we have to be fooled into reading a comic. Hey check out this new cool Iron Man comic with premise of insert something really cool here. You read it and then "Holy crap, it satirizes our military and Obama. Holy crap it talks badly of the rich and so forth, I did not see that coming."

I dunno, just my two cents.

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Old 04-24-2015, 02:55 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Brian Azzarello working on DK3!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/ar...3-in-the-works
https://twitter.com/frankmillerink/s...90189757616128

The Dark Knight III: The Master Race



http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2015/04...urns-to-batman

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Old 04-24-2015, 03:10 PM   #25
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Default Re: The Dark Knight Returns....Again

Intriguing. Could very likely be awful, but... intriguing.

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