Dark Knight Returns:

The Last Crusade  review

                                 by Bobby Blakey

There are few stories in comics that had the impact of the Batman storyline The Death in the Family that saw the murder of Robin back in the 80s from Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo and covers by Mike Mignola. Now after all of these years creators Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello and John Romita Jr. have teamed up to fill in the gaps of the iconic story with Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade one-shot.

 

This special one-shot offers up a standalone story that focuses on the struggling relationship between Bruce Wayne and Jason Todd as they try to evolve to the perfect new dynamic duo. The constant distrust and fighting causes friction between the two that leads into the fateful story we have all come to know. The story itself is excellent offering up all the action you could want along with plenty of nostalgia that takes you back to when that series was originally released. While the action is front and center the real treat is finally getting to see a more detailed struggle between these two that was always missing whether you knew you wanted it or not. John Romita Jr’s art is as great as ever and getting to see him expand his work in the DC Universe is a treat unto itself. Bring it together with Miller’s story of this iconic time and you have one of the best Batman books to come along in some time. The build-up in this issue is excellent offering up a complete story with brutal action but it is the final page that really brings it home as anyone that ever read the original story arc, especially when it was first released. It will instantly have you flashback to that powerful page depicting the fate of Robin at Joker’s hands that has stood the test of time.

 

This is the perfect companion piece to that story, but also works as a standalone story that will leave you to create what happens in your own mind if you choose to do so. If you have never read the original series than you are truly missing out and this is one of those instances where you should really read it first before jumping into this one just to get he full impact of it all.

 

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