I think the comparison of the Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel min-series “The Dark Knight Returns,” (TDKR) to “Blade Runner,” directed by Ridley Scott and the novels of Ernest Hemingway are both more than justified.
*** Mild-SPOILERS ahead for the film “Blade Runner,” and TDKR.***
Miller’s TDKR’s is comparable to the film “Blade Runner,” in several major ways:
1. The settings of both narratives heavily are polluted dystopian cultures/environments.
2. They are both set in the near future, “Blade Runner” takes place in the year 2019, in TDKR in a version of 1986 in which the character Batman is much older than in most comic narratives (55 years old to be exact).
3. Both the film “Blade Runner” and the graphic novel TDKR have cult followings.
4. Finally, the climaxes of both narratives showcase male characters, who are larger-then-life, experiencing moralizing fear of death. In “Blade Runner,” it’s the Roy Batty character on top the Bradbury building. IN TDKR its Superman in the ash covered remains of crime alley. Both Roy Batty and Superman have physical abilities greater than the average man and, by the end of their climatic battles, both are forced to know what it’s like to be the mortal.
TDKR’s is comparable to novels of Ernest Hemingway in the two significant ways:
1. In the short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro, (1936) Hemingway describes the main character (Harry) by saying the following:
“He had had his life and it was over and then he went on living it again with different people and more money, with the best of the same places, and some new ones.”
A few paragraphs later, Harry is described as having gone on Safari so “That in some way he could work the fat off his soul the way a fighter went into the mountains to work and train in order to burn it out of his body.”
This idea that without savage confrontation human life becomes is insular, claustrophobic, and that one’s soul becomes fat and un-naturally domesticated is prevalent throughout most of Hemingway’s writings as well as Miller’s TDKR. An e example of this in TDKRs is how every time Batman has a near death experience he repeats to himself “This would be a good death.”
2. Frank Miller’s Bruce Wayne /Batman is metaphorically The Old Man from and Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.
Miller’s envisioning of the Bruce Wayne /Batman character as an elderly male who (not unlike Santiago) undergoes a transformation through the destructive battles with mythic objects/people he fights. As Wayne/Batman wrestles with enemies, starting with and older (domesticated version) of Two Face and ending with Superman, he progressively battles his deteriorating physical-self, as well as, in doing so, gains a renewed sense of life from each battle (and eventual defeat with Superman).
By the end of the narrative, even though Batman is defeated by Superman, and his secret identity as Bruce Wayne has gone public, Batman is victorious in that his he has been spiritually re-born as the cave-dwelling leader of the his gang of Batman Followers.
#Cosplayer @multifluffyness_cosplay is #Elektra & ready for action! #cosplay
@Regrann from @multifluffyness_cosplay - ‘Let them Come. I will kill them, I will kill them all!’ - Elektra. So something went wrong with uploading, sorry you guys! So lets try again😊 Cosplay: Elektra. Such an amazing costume and photo made by @lenedoes ! So talented😊 We had such a fun Day together with @princesstomboy ❤ I loved walking around as an assassin on the roof, felt like such a badass. Lovely edit by @iantessler 😘 Thankfull for days like these with friends 😙😘 #assassin #geek #elektra #elektranatchios #marvel #marvelcomics #costume #cosplayer #cosplay #comicbooks #comics #geeky #woman #wig #red #badass #female #frankmiller #fun #love #games #game #nerd #character #cosplaygirl #tb #fb https://www.instagram.com/p/BE0uzRmSqE8/
This month marks the 74th birthday of one of my all time favorite Heroes in comics. He taught me as a child that theres always good behind all evil, even in myself. Much love to my hero Batman. Fictional or not youve inspired me to do more than I ever thought possible.