Last graphic novel, comic book, manga you read

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
edited November 2012 in General Discussion Posts: 13,071
Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns

batman-thedarkkn.jpg

Though I'm often appalled by the visual style of this comic series, I must admit I have a good time reading it again and again. What a bold move after so many decades of camp! Miller knows exactly how to strike at Reagan's world in a fashion that would be heavily copied by Watchmen a few years later. The series is gritty and quite pessimistic, raw and sometimes even upsetting. There's a constant threat for nuclear war and even Superman is brought in to make things hard on Batman. And man, does it take hours to read through this! Sometimes there are 16 panels per page, full of text that makes you think about issues one usually doesn't find in a Batman comic, such as social depression and failed rehab programs for convicted psychos. In the meantime, Batman has a tough time coping with a world he may be too old to handle and a girl Robin, eager to earn her steps in superhero business.

This comic series doesn't leave me excited and happy, but rather slightly down and at a loss of faith in humanity. It's not your average day hero stuff and you'll know it after the first panel. However, it's in the challenge of accepting this rather peculiar comic series that I find full pleasure. Its unconventional style and content, sometimes shocking and unsettling, may repulse people at first but it grows on you fairly quickly. With this series, Miller left a testament of the 80s fear of terrorism, nuclear annihilation, political corruption and social despair.

I don't know if I can strongly recommend it though. Some people may find it hard labouring through all those pages of small panels full of text. Some people may find it difficult to tolerate the ugly visual style that was adopted for this work of art. Some people may prefer a simple fight between Batman and his nemeses and might therefore reject the big picture of this story. But if you can throw those relatively unfair objections aside, you might understand why The Dark Knight Returns is one of the most popular Batman comic series ever.
«13456727

Comments

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 8,015
    Agreed, it's a fascinating novel. The visuals are jarring and not to my taste but I have to concede, seem appropriate. It doesn't detract from the story. I've grown to dislike Miller after reading some of his recent comments but I still appreciate that he is a master at this kind of storytelling.

    Personally I think 'The Long Halloween' is the best of the Batman graphic novels, bur it is in illustrious company, there are some great works out there.

    At the moment I'm knee deep in several of The New 52, Batman (obviously) 'The Court of Owls' is unbelievable. Aquaman, Green Arrow, Ravagers, Batman Inc., Animal Man plus the current Millars - Super Crooks, Hit Girl and The Secret Service.

    Aside from that I dip in and out of other series and occasionally return to Novels I've read.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    Great taste @Dimi! It has been a while for me, so I couldn't remember what the last one was that I read, but to give you suggestions, Batman Year One, Batman Hush, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and Kingdom Come are all brilliant Batman selections to get into. And of course there is Watchmen, my bible. :)
  • Posts: 1,618
    The Dark Knight Returns is a masterpiece. That and Batman Year One are my two favourite Batman stories. Apart from them, I've recently re-read Alan Moore's V For Vendetta and Watchmen comics. Steve Niles work on 30 Days of Night is also fantastic, particularly the first two installments.
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 336
    I quite enjoyed Superman Red Son and Kingdom Come. Any suggestions on what I should read next? I've also read TDKR (albeit years ago), Watchmen and Batman Year One. I've not read Long Halloween yet.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    Chevron wrote:
    I quite enjoyed Superman Red Son and Kingdom Come. Any suggestions on what I should read next? I've also read TDKR (albeit years ago), Watchmen and Batman Year One. I've not read Long Halloween yet.
    Long Halloween it is then, and follow it up with Dark Victory!
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 336
    Chevron wrote:
    I quite enjoyed Superman Red Son and Kingdom Come. Any suggestions on what I should read next? I've also read TDKR (albeit years ago), Watchmen and Batman Year One. I've not read Long Halloween yet.
    Long Halloween it is then, and follow it up with Dark Victory!
    Done. Just ordered The Long Halloween. Almost 400 pages long? Phew!

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 8,015
    You won't be disappointed. It's epic.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    RC7 wrote:
    You won't be disappointed. It's epic.

    Spot on. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are a comics power play. You get Batman, but also a mystery plot. Great story!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 13,071
    Busy day, but I managed to squeeze in

    Frank Miller's Batman Year One

    Batman_Year_One_Wallpaper_JxHy.jpg

    I've read this one a gazillion times already; it's my go-to origin story for Batman - or should I say for Gordon's Gotham City. The visual style is a lot more 'normal' versus the one Miller applied in DKR and the story is so compelling and engaging I just don't grow tired of it.

    I recommend it to all fans of Batman comics. Also, I recommend the recent animated feature based on this book.

    I love it!



  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    I have been meaning to see Year One. Is it good and faithful, @Dimi?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 13,071
    It's good and it's very faithful from where I can judge, @0Brady!
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 6,844
    Every so often I reread The Walking Dead and Highschool of the Dead. I sometimes go back to Ultimate Spider-Man, too.
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 5,873
    Dynamite - The Shadow 3
    IDW - ST next gen/Doctor Who Assimilation 2
    IDW - Doctor Who classics series 4 - 5
    Sanctum Books - The Shadow magazines 61 & 62

    expected this month:
    DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS SERIES IV #6 (OF 6)
    Uitgiftedatum: 04-07-2012.

    CROW #1
    Uitgiftedatum: 11-07-2012.

    DOCTOR WHO 100 PG SPECTACULAR
    Uitgiftedatum: 11-07-2012.

    STAR TREK TNG DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION #3
    Uitgiftedatum: 18-07-2012.

    SAINT #0
    Uitgiftedatum: 25-07-2012.

    SHADOW #4
    Uitgiftedatum: 25-07-2012
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    DarthDimi wrote:
    It's good and it's very faithful from where I can judge, @0Brady!

    That's great to hear, and I trust your judgement as you seem a big fan of it. :)
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 7,889
    SaintMark wrote:
    Dynamite - The Shadow 3

    I'm still waiting for my local shop to get that in. :-w
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited July 2012 Posts: 13,071
    You can tell the Holiday season has begun for us, teachers, here in Belgium. ;-) Another couple of hours invested in reading. This time I've turned to another love of mine: manga! Being a fan of Japanese animation and manga, I regularly seek out something new from that beautiful country, though not as often as I plough through piles of good old fashioned DC / Marvel comics.

    Either way, I just finished reading

    Doubt (a.k.a. Rabbit Doubt)

    doubtv03000acover.jpg

    In principle, the story behind this 4 issue manga series isn't new. Group of 6 youngsters wakes up in an abandoned building with all doors electronically locked. There's a murderer among them and the whole point, besides escaping, is figuring out who said murderer is. Yes, I know, it reads like Saw II, or Cube, or many other cheap thrillers and horror flicks that - if good - usually allow aspiring filmmakers to build a reputation. So in that sense, Doubt isn't what you might call 'original', or at least its premise isn't. However, what matters more is how things get executed - no pun intended - and I dare say this is where its major strengths exist. You see, Doubt is very tense and exciting, sometimes scary, often intriguing. I usually read a manga series at a rate of one issue (two at most) per day but this one just kept me going and going like a caffeine rush. It's that good! (IMHO at least)

    The art work gets a lot of praise from me. A LOT! The drawings are exceptionally detailed and the female characters are cute as hell. (Well, aren't they always in these manga? ;-) ). Allow me to exemplify:

    kei_chan_from_rabbit_doubt_by_domira-d37r9r5.png

    In case some of you have some reservations when it comes to manga but have for a long time been willing to give it a shot, I can highly recommend this series. The plot is fairly easy to understand, there's only a limited amount of characters (certainly no more than 9) and things get wrapped up in four volumes (as opposed to e.g. Berserk with 36 volumes and ongoing). However, don't read it for those minor conveniences but instead read it for the great visual style, ominous atmosphere and tense plot twists. A decent whodunit this, so I can only challenge you to read it and see if you can find out who did it before the big reveal. ;-)

    oi9uy7t6t7y8u9i0kp400x575.jpg
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 6,844
    DarthDimi wrote:
    kei_chan_from_rabbit_doubt_by_domira-d37r9r5.png

    I have a cousin who looks a lot like that, minus the Asian-ness (think American version of typical hot anime chick, you've got my cousin nailed down).
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited July 2012 Posts: 13,071
    Here's a mouthful:

    Superman & Batman vs Vampires & Werewolves

    Superman_Batman_Vampires_Werewolves_2.jpg

    Here's one of those "otherverse" crossover stories where Batman receives a standalone Gothic treatment. It was done before and it shall be done again. The fact is that such endeavours easily attract a lot of criticism - some fans just like to keep Batman within the realm of Detective Comics. The fact is also that I, for one, enjoy most of these stories, as I'm both a horror fan and a Batman fan and I think both work well together. As such, this is, again, a very entertaining reading for me. It's the first time I read this particular one. I created the proper ambience by reading it at night, with only one faint light next to me and the Christopher Young score for Sam Raimi's The Grudge keeping me horrifying company. Albeit, a frightening and rather entertaining event.

    Will I recommend this one though? It depends. Even if you like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, NightWing and Green Arrow (yes, they all drop by!) it still isn't certain you enjoy a Batman tale dowsed in black magic, occultism and good old fashioned vampire and werewolf action. It really depends on how far you're willing to give in to this alternative Batman story and let yourself carried away by this intriguing albeit unconventional mix. However, I must say that regardless of the story, the panels are exceptionally well drawn, dark and detailed, and the effect is by no means inappropriate for the kind of story that is told. IMHO it's a pleasure merely to look at the pages. I myself have a blast with this comic series so I'm recommending this book to ... well ... myself, I guess ;-). I recommend it also to those who, like me, enjoy a creative fusion with the genre that spawned a whole back-lot of Universal Monsters in the 1930s. ;-)
  • Life%26TimesofSMcD_HC_cover.jpg

    The best American graphic novel/comic book of the last 20 years.
  • Posts: 13,037
    I'm going to start Volume 3 of the James Bond Omnibus soon. I'm really looking forward to the first of the non-Fleming strips.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    Samuel001 wrote:
    I'm going to start Volume 3 of the James Bond Omnibus soon. I'm really looking forward to the first of the non-Fleming strips.
    Who is the illustrator for them? McLusky?
  • Posts: 13,037
    Samuel001 wrote:
    I'm going to start Volume 3 of the James Bond Omnibus soon. I'm really looking forward to the first of the non-Fleming strips.
    Who is the illustrator for them? McLusky?

    No, Yaroslav Horak. McLusky only did the strips in the beginning and returned for a few at the end.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    Samuel001 wrote:
    Samuel001 wrote:
    I'm going to start Volume 3 of the James Bond Omnibus soon. I'm really looking forward to the first of the non-Fleming strips.
    Who is the illustrator for them? McLusky?

    No, Yaroslav Horak. McLusky only did the strips in the beginning and returned for a few at the end.
    I think Horak is the illustrator of @Lancaster007's profile photo, if I am not mistaken.
  • Posts: 13,037
    Have you read any of the collections Brady? They're well worth buying and like the books and films give a very different view to the Bond legend.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    Samuel001 wrote:
    Have you read any of the collections Brady? They're well worth buying and like the books and films give a very different view to the Bond legend.
    I would have to look into them. Do you have any excerpts that I could view to see what I am to expect? I have seen plenty of Omnibus collections over the years, notably a lot of Indiana Jones ones.
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 13,037
    From the first of 52 stories, Casino Royale:

    http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/comics/cr.php3

    Fleming's stories really follow the novels well and are often better than the films of the same name.

    Here is a list of all the strips, published from '58 to '83:

    http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/comics/index_strips.php3?s=comics

    They were put together and published in 17 books. Now they are being republished in bigger sets. Hopefully 6 books. Links to them all below:

    http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/comics/index_titan.php3?s=comics
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    So, are they accurate to the Fleming stories?
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 13,037
    The strips based on his stories are, yes. But they are only the first 18. The other 34 are new stories, of which I'm yet to read any. The quality I think goes up and down but on the whole the entire series is meant to be very good.

    MI6 have reviewed some of them, so take a look.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 24,181
    That is cool that some are original ideas. I like that. If I ever seen a Bond Omnibus I will have to take a look.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited July 2012 Posts: 13,071
    Scott Pilgrim

    scott-pilgrim.jpg

    I love this graphic novel! I read it some time ago and decided I would rebuild my collection when the colour editions are released in this part of the world. However, I couldn't wait; I had to read it again, even if it meant dusting off my black / white version.

    scott-pilgrim2.jpg?w=640

    I love Scott Pilgrim but I must warn you: the graphic novel is IMO a lot better than the film. The film is okay for sure but if you use that as your only point of reference, you might not find the enthusiasm needed to read the graphic novel. I suggest in that case that you forget about the film for now and give the novel a fair chance. After that, you'll be dying to see the film (again) and you'll enjoy it (a lot more).

    Comedy, designed for people who were young and very much alive in the 90s, my generation so to speak, combined with a bit of surrealism, make Scott Pilgrim a true page turner. It's addictive! I worked my way through the novel in no more than two days (of course it helps that I'd read it before) and I had such great fun the second time again, my only conclusion is the same as the one that opens the novel: Scott Pilgrim is AWESOME!

Sign In or Register to comment.