Review: Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child

Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child

Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is Frank Miller‘s latest entry into his world of Batman. Following up on The Master Race, the comic feels like a bunch of ideas jotted down but not fleshed out. It’s a mess of a result.

The story revolves around Lara, Carrie Kelley, and a young Jonathan Kent. Miller sets up some interesting dynamics between the three. Lara struggles with humanity and Carrie devolves into her cold role as Batwoman. Jonathan is caught between the two. With godlike power he’s conflicted as to what it means to be human and compassionate. That could be a story unto itself with an easy conflict. It’d play off of themes Miller has previously addressed in other volumes. Instead, we get his take on the current state of political affairs and interference in elections. The result is a jumbled mess of a result.

Miller decides to make the villain of the story a combination of Darkseid and Joker whose initial gambit is meddling with an election. Donald Trump is their candidate and they manipulate the masses through computers and protests. It all feels rather odd for the pairing and with motivation unclear it comes off as lazy writing. It’s a plotline and two character that didn’t need to exist for an interesting follow up.

The end result is a comic that feels like Miller is attempting to say something but he’s unsure of how to do that and maybe even what it is he’s trying to say.

Rafael Grampá handles the art duties this time around. Jordie Bellaire joins on color with John Workman and Deron Bennett handling lettering. The art style is interesting with some scenes looking fantastic and at other times characters looking like distorted beings. There’s times it all works but at others it’s hard to not be distracted by giant foreheads.

There’s something interesting in the Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child but the end result is a mess of a result. The story comes off as if it thinks it’s an intelligent take on the current state of affairs. But, then the dialogue betrays all of that with such memorable lines like “I’ll rip yuh gonads off.” The dialogue at times is laughable, and not in a good way. It’s a frustrating comic with flashes of Miller’s brilliance but a final result that’s a chaotic mess.

Story: Frank Miller Art: Rafael Grampá
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: John Workman, Deron Bennett
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review