The explosive moments of The Dark Knight Returns…
Frank Miller was born 65 years ago on Jan. 27, 1957. He is doubtlessly one of comics’ greatest storytellers even if his body of work is somewhat checkered.
Still, no matter how you slice it, 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns is his magnum opus, an industry-shattering work of art whose aftershocks are felt to this day (for good or bad).
Among the many things I love about TDKR — and there are many — is the way the story is told: a series of narrative timebombs that explode at just the right moment.
Most people probably think of pages like this when they think of The Dark Knight Returns:
So many panels, so much subtext, so much plot, so much characterization. Miller, with the substantial aid of inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley, jams these pages together, building up suspense until the inevitable splash page. He may not have invented to concept, but in The Dark Knight Returns he perfected it. A lot of artists use splash pages to show off or as a way to jam a lot of action into one place. Miller uses them to pay off tension and drama.
And they look magnificent.
So dig these 13 SPLASH PAGES from The Dark Knight Returns. Plus, if you want more on this modern classic, check out the links below the gallery:
— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: The Greatness of DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Click here.
— PAUL LEVITZ: What Happened the Day DC Learned DARK KNIGHT RETURNS Was a Smash. Click here.
— DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: A Storytelling Landmark — Whose Cracks Show 35 Years Later. Click here.
— The TOP 13 GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER — RANKED. Click here.
January 27, 2022
So great–all those pages are just burned into my brain!
January 27, 2022
Happy birthday to Mr. Miller.
January 28, 2022
That “This Should Be Agony” splash from the first issue is just awesome…and I was really bummed out when I got my Dark Knight Returns Gallery Edition from Graphitti Designs to find that page was not scanned from the original art. Would love to see a scan of that page.