3 of 5 stars
This trade fell in the same camp as “Old Man Logan,” with less enjoyable art and a better storyline. Before you crucify me for not liking Miller’s art over McNiven’s, I did like Sin City and 300’s visuals – most of my problem with The Dark Knight Returns was in the panel choices – at times it seemed like over half of the panels were of news anchors and talking heads describing the story. It would have been find in dribs and drabs, but used as much as it was, it didn’t work for me.
I also found the Batman vs. the mutants and Batman vs. the Joker story arcs to be far more satisfying than Batman vs. Superman – I never got the sense that there was a true conflict between the two of them, more of a begrudging inevitable confrontation that felt more like Bruce Wayne finding a way to make his retirement far more permanent. But the mutant and joker storylines juxtaposed together handled Batman’s “one rule” about not killing people expertly. Layer on an aging, tired Batman, attempting to reconcile what he knows he could do in the past with the limits of his body today, bring him to the realization that he can’t do this forever.
An enjoyable read, and I can see why this particular part of the Batman/Superman canon is so beloved. If the art had worked for me I would have easily been able to rate this much higher.