Reviews: Batman The Dark Knight Returns

Why Doesn't Gotham City Kill The Joker?

Batman is the One Man who can see the truth. He's the One Man who is willing to take action in a corrupt city. When people try to put him down and hide him away, he will not let himself be stopped and he will go to the ends of the earth to know what needs to be done. All the people around him are hypocrites and pawns. Wishy-washy psychologists who absolve people of their own actions. Self-serving politicians who say what they need to say to look good. Police commissioners who don't understand that their streets are overrun with crime. And all those people throwing around that word, "facist", that's been used against Frank Miller himself so many times.

So what if he's using military-grade explosives against police officers? So what if the only people who will follow him are sadists and gang members and murdering brain-washed mutants? So what if he's electrocuting superman, forcing him to do something that's against all he believes in. So what if he needs to beat the chief military defender of the United States into a pulp on the brink of a nuclear war with Russia? He needed to prove he was better, that he was stronger, that he had the might and will to do what was necessary no matter who crossed his path. It wasn't his fault, the circumstances were against him.

It was the world that was wrong. Not Batman.

Nobody makes a better argument against Frank Miller's philosophies than Frank Miller himself. This isn't Batman in the The Dark Knight Returns, this one doesn't use guns because they're not a mans weapon. But it's not quite Crazy Steve either, there is a lot of good in him and what he does. If the Strawman Has a Point then so does the man calling himself Batman. And in the end it's hard not to read the ending as him realising Batman wasn't quite who he needed to be or what he needed to do. Maybe there is a middle way between facist heroics and sitting by whilst terrible things happen.

The Cold War stuff is interesting to. Because who makes a better Joker than the Soviet Union? And you might say that peace talks with dictatorships is no different then a psychologist believing they can fix a patient with words. But the film doesn't side with the aggressive force here.

Why doesn't Gotham City kill the Joker? They know they can't imprison him and he'll kill until the day he dies.