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May 6, 2004 Meeting

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson with Lynn Varley

Current Comic of the Month | About the Club

Since the beginning of the Heroes and Dragons Comic Club, our members have been anxious to tackle "the big ones" comics stories whose impact has been felt throughout the comics-reading community and into parts of "the real world."  After several months of feeling our way around the topic, we feel the HDCC is ready tackle one of these monolithic reading assignments.  So, in honor of our one-year anniversary, we're taking on the Dark Knight.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is arguably the most important graphic novel of them all.  First released in 1986, Dark Knight captured mainstream media attention in a way that no comic before it had.  It was the first comic book for mature readers to reach the mainstream audience, and it might be argued that DKR was the subject of the first "Biff! Pow! Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore!" newspaper article.

A brooding, violent, and surprisingly canny reflection on 1980s America, The Dark Knight Returns tells the story of 60-year-old Bruce Wayne, a man who long ago abandoned his famous alter ego, and the world in which he lives a degenerate near-future landscape of advertising, pop psychology, and consumption gone mad.  Gotham City is no longer a tough, film-noir backdrop for super-hero adventure it's an urban cesspool of bad choices and even worse consequences.  Crime runs rampant.  Traditional Bat-villains like the Joker and Two-Face are prominent leaders in society.  Even the thugs, bullies, and robbers of Batman's past have become more vicious, transformed into a pack of barely-human killers who roam the streets unchecked.

Into this bleak world, Frank Miller reintroduces the Dark Knight and unwittingly changes the face of super-hero comics for the next 20 years.

How did Dark Knight change comics?  Why was this particular story the one to put comics on the cultural map?  (Or are we overestimating its impact?)  Join us at 7:30pm Thursday, May 6, to discuss The Dark Knight Returns and its implications for modern comics.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is available at Heroes and Dragons now, with a retail price of $14.95.  (Comic Club members pay only $11.96 when they show their membership cards at the counter.)

Comic Club members save 20% on all graphic novel purchases at H&D!

Previous Comics of the Month:

April 2004  | Hellboy: Seed of Destruction
Hellboy: The Corpse
March 2004  | Superman Past and Present:
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Man of Steel
February 2004  | Torso
January 2004  | Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place
December 2003  | Kingdom Come

November 2003  |

Batman: Arkham Asylum
October 2003  | Vault of Horror, Volumes 1 and 2
September 2003  | Blankets
August 2003  | Sin City, Volume 1
July 2003  | Astro City: Life in the Big City
June 2003  | The Golden Age
May 2003  | League of Extraordinary Gentlemen