World Comic Book Review

20th April 2024

Dark Knight Returns III #5 (review)

Dark Knight Returns III #5 (review)
(DC Comics, June 2016)
Writers: Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller

This is the fifth book in the third volume of Frank Miller’s seminal Batman title, “Dark Knight Returns”. We have previously reviewed earlier books in this third series. It is written by two veteran and acclaimed comic book writers, Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller.

The tense psychology of Batman, with his joyous release of fury and raw intimidation, the depth of the supporting characters, including DC Comics’ other paramount character, Superman, and the snappy comedic dialogue which juxtaposed with the grim monologues, was enough to propel the story in 1986. But this story, like “Dark Knight Returns II”, instead, sadly, draws heavily upon the panoply of characters owned by DC Comics – Superman, Wonder Woman, the Atom, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash. In particular, as we have previously discussed, the storyline picks up on an oddity of the Superman mythos dating back to Action Comics #242, published in 1958: that there is a city of beings from Superman’s home planet, Krypton, who were shrunk to microscopic size by one of Superman’s enemies. The city survived the destruction of Krypton by virtue of being kept as a trophy. Mr Azzarello and Mr Miller have written a story by which some of these Kryptonians, led by a fanatic with delusions of being God, are expanded to full size and terrorise the planet with their alien superpowers. Batman and his colleagues oppose these would-be dominators of Earth.

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