The Dark Knight Returns
June 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Has it really been 75 years since Gotham first saw the Bat? Seventy-five years of vengeance, brooding detective work and campy shark fights? Three-quarters of a century of iconic introductions, gritty reboots and the ongoing vigil that Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s most iconic creation keeps over his city. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. (We’re still wrapping our minds around the fact that it’s been 25 years since Michael Keaton put on the cape and cowl.) Ever since Gotham’s winged creature of the night swooped down and cracked “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” the world — from the DC Universe to our own — has never been the same. Although Superman made his debut a year earlier, Batman represented something truly new for comic readers. A tortured soul, a man driven by revenge yet committed to principles. […]
Jan. 29, 2013 | 5:01 p.m.
Kevin Smith has no small amount of praise for Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” “‘The Dark Knight Returns,’ for many people of my generation, for many people that followed, from the moment it was published forward is kind of like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ of comic books,” Smith said at the West Coast premiere of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2,” the concluding chapter of Warner Bros.’ animated adaptation of Miller’s landmark 1986 miniseries. “It’s a very important book that we all carry with us and just like the ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ they’ve never done a movie of it, because most people thought it was unfilmable,” he said. Perhaps, though the animated format seems to have served the story just fine, judging from the reaction of the audience attending a screening of the new PG-13 rated […]
Jan. 28, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Frank Miller’s genre-shaking graphic novel “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” is getting the movie treatment. The second installment in the two-part animated adaptation premieres Monday evening at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The premiere includes a panel discussion moderated by filmmaker and geek personality Kevin Smith, featuring director Jay Oliva, dialogue director Andrea Romano, executive producer Bruce Timm and screenwriter Bob Goodman. The panel will be live streamed from PaleyCenter.org beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m. The film — which doesn’t stray far from Miller’s classic 1986 story — features the voice talent of Peter Weller (“Robocop,” “Dexter”) as a time-worn (and probably psychopathic) Bruce Wayne who becomes so disturbed by Gotham’s worsening crime that he decides to come out of retirement against the wishes of local and national government. The president turns to none other than Superman to […]
Aug. 01, 2012 | 7:32 p.m.
The most famous supervillain in comic book history — the Joker — returns to the pages of “Batman” in a big way later this year, DC Comics has announced on its website. The new story, “Death of the Family,” which begins in October with issue No. 13 of “Batman,” was planned long before the movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. The timing of the Joker’s return to the pages of the bestselling DC comic may discomfit some in the wake of the shooting during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Suspect James E. Holmes reportedly referred to himself as the Joker during questioning by police. Representatives of DC Comics did not respond to questions about the timing of the Joker’s return to the Batman story line. DC Comics has more or less kept the Joker on a shelf in recent […]
Sept. 05, 2008 | 9:31 p.m.
A few weeks back we brought you an exclusive interview with Ice Cube talking about his admiration for Mr. T and his hope to bring back his character “B.A.” Baracus in a proposed “A-Team” remake. And this week we told you about the uncertainty surrounding the 21st century viability of Superman. That got me to thinking about this You Tube golden-oldie (well, 2006 seems like a long time ago) that mashes up dialogue from “Rocky III” with “The Super Friends” and Mr. T’s painfully bad Saturday-morning cartoon. You can see it by clicking below, it’s about Superman retiring … I especially like Wonder Woman as the shocked girlfriend of the champ. Nice. And, hey, great choice for the character to handle the lines of Burgess Meredith — it’s the Penguin as Hawkman! When I was listening to Sylvester Stallone’s voice […]
July 23, 2008 | 5:38 p.m.
Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance and the author of "The Umbrella Academy," is our featured contributor on The Essential Shelf, and this is the final installment of his Top 10 all-time graphic novels. You can find the first installment here and the second one here. Below are Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 on his list: "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave GibbonsThis is the first graphic novel I tell people to read if they are slightly unfamiliar with comics, and it is the graphic novel that changed the way I thought about superheroes and mainstream comics. I often refer to ‘Watchmen’ as a gateway drug because that’s exactly what I think about it. It’s the one graphic novel that leads you to more cerebral, “outside-thinking” works. In suggesting this first to people, I realized that […]