Monday, December 19, 2016

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns


Paul Christy
Q1: How is the novel illustrated?  Be specific: would you characterize it as sketchy, realistic, cartoony, artistic, ornate, spare, expressionistic, tight, loose, etc.?  What is the overall feel of the artwork, and what kind of tone does it create for the reader?  Do you feel it is the uniquely suited to the story being told?  Or is supposed to go against the grain of the story?

            The artwork in this comic book had a sketchy feel to it. The artwork is reminiscent of newspaper comic strips at the beginning of the comic and changes to a style used in modern comic books closer toward the end of the comic book. The comic is a reminder of how the artistic style of comic books has changed over their lifetime.

Q2: Why do you think this story written as a graphic novel/comic book?  What might this story lose if translated to a novel, short story, or even a film?  What elements of the story almost require the juxtaposition of words and images? In other words, what does the comic format allow us to see and experience that a traditional novel wouldn’t?  Again, be as specific as possible. 

            This story works as a comic book and a film adaptation, but it would fail as a novel. The artwork seems to give a different vibe than what the story would suggest in the early stages of the comic. Trying to develop this story into a novel would only bring confusion into the mold as the artwork is what makes the story work and without it the reader would be left in a state of confusion most likely.
Q3: How does this comic discuss the ethics of being a superhero—someone who has powers and abilities beyond that of normal men/women, and is thus able to influence the world based on a hero’s specific notions of good and evil? According to this comic, what does it mean to be a “hero” and a “villain”? Do the heroes ever cross ethical boundaries in his/her quest to save humanity? Also, does a superhero always play by the same rules, or does one’s age, sex, race, or religion also play a role?

            In this comic, Bruce Wayne is much older and has to come out of retirement to save Gotham as the Batman. The notion that he had in Batman: Year One about not killing anyone are over and have been replaced by letting the villains die. This Batman is very different from his younger days and it shows how he evolved over time as a superhero. This Batman has learned with age that some people can’t be saved.
Q4: Examine a single passage in the novel, either a frame or a series of frames (but no more than 1-2 pages) that you feel is particularly significant to understanding the book.  Help us appreciate what this passage helps you (and others) see and why. Choose the passage more for the theme/characters than the technique (though you can mention how the technique helps underline the larger thematic concerns).  Make sure we can not only see what’s going on here, but we see how it relates to the story at large.

            The passage that I fell is significant to this comic is when Batman catches Harvey Dent when he is falling from to his death. Harvey Dent asks Batman what he sees and all Batman sees is a reflection. Bruce Wayne did all he could for Harvey, but he couldn’t help him anymore. This is moment I feel like finally understands that he can’t save Harvey Dent from his Two-Face personality.

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