5 Things I watched this year that made me go “Wow”: The Dark Knight Returns (2012/2013)

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This year I signed up for Netflix, became intimately familiar with the movies section in iTunes, and generally became a bit reckless with my spending. As a result, I have watched a lot of films and television series over the course of twelve months; some bad (most bad) and some good. Then there are those that made me go… Wait for it… “wow”.

So for the remainder of the year, I thought I’d share with you my five most favourite viewing experiences. Bear in mind that a few of these weren’t released this year, but instead I watched them this year and therefore warrant placement on the list. Anyway, without further ado, coming in at number 5 is the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic 1986 comic, The Dark Knight Returns. Hit the jump for specifics, explanations and spoilers.

I want you to remember the one man who beat you.

I can assure you, I will always remember the moment I heard these words. I was met with a flurry of emotions, most of which I expressed through shouting profanities in a somewhat victorious manner. Why? Because the Man of Steel is a hero who is altogether a little bland. Up until recently, I’ve always seen him as this incorruptible, unbeatable symbol of pure good, which doesn’t leave much room for personal flaws. Inner-conflict driven by selfishness is something we can all relate to (whether we like it or not), but Superman’s heightened sense of morality places him aside from this simply fascinating characteristic. Although I do not deny that the character certainly confronts problems, they’re just not that relatable to me. As for Batman, well, he gets me.

You possibly read an article I posted last week about how Nolan’s take on the Dark Knight has served as influential to me, primarily because of the gritty depth to each character’s backstory. Well the same is the case for Jay Oliva’s animated masterpiece. Split into two parts, the story revolves around a guilt-ridden and aged Bruce Wayne, returning to Gotham City to don the mask and cape once more. Only this time, his code has somewhat dissipated, and he’s a no-nonsense kind of guy now. As he dispatches familiar foes, and some new faces as well, the audience can see how grief may change a person, as well as the way in which they interact with others. This all culminates into a showdown between two of the comic book world’s greatest heroes, allies and friends, to produce a moment that just struck me with awe.

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If you’re a DC fan and you haven’t watched it, then do so. If you like films, watch it. If you have watched it, read Frank Miller’s graphic novel. If you have read Frank Miller’s graphic novel, please send it to me because I haven’t managed to get a copy… YET. Thank you in advance.

– Joe Aldous

joe sketch3

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