The age old debate… Batman vs. Superman. Much like pie vs. cake there will always be people that will lean heavily one way or the other. Personally, I’ve always been a Batman girl, especially growing up with all the cheesy goodness that was Batman & Robin. But as I’ve been discovering my love of comics and graphic novels I’ve been branching out to read more about both The Dark Knight & The Man of Steel. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and these two graphic novels I read this past week have really shown some different sides of these superheros.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller is an old classic but it’s new to me. My husband picked it up and after reading it passed it along to me with a very enthusiastic, “You need to read this.”
This is a dense graphic novel. It’s intense, violent, and shows what happens to Gotham after Batman retires. You’ll see lots of familiar faces like Alfred, The Joker, Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon. You’re also introduced to a new set of villains called The Mutants who are just as dumb & violent as they sound. Superman makes an appearance not as an ally to Batman, but as another force trying to get him to fall in line.
This book also introduces Carrie Kelley as Robin. She’s a badass babe with killer glasses and she goes toe-to-toe with the criminals of Gotham! (Cosplay dream girl!) She really brings a lightness to the book, and shows that a teenage girl is not to be messed with. Also I think it’s pretty hilarious that Batman threatens to fire her throughout the story but you can tell he totally has a soft spot for her.
(Dark Knight Returns Robin by Gingerhaze)
The other graphic novel I read this week was Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar.
How would things be different if Superman had landed in Russia and not America? What if he grew up to be Stalin’s right hand man and eventually have control over the whole communist party?
Well Mark Millar gives you a look at that very different world, and it’s not always pretty. This book features Lex Luthor, Lois Lane… or should I say Lois Luthor, Wonder Woman, and even a Soviet version of Batman. Things in this world are violent and Superman does all he can to gain order & control, but at a high cost to people’s personal freedoms.
One of the best parts of this graphic novel is Superman’s internal struggle with doing what feels right and what he’s grown up believing is right.
Also, the twist at the end is just the cherry on top of this great book!
I really suggest if you’re looking for something to hold you over for a bit until the Batman/Superman movie comes out in 2015, check out these books at your local comic book store or library.
Which Superhero do you prefer: Batman or Superman?