Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Dark Knight returns...

1986.  Feels like a lifetime ago.  I was 14 at the time.  I had begun reading comics since I was 9.  Only a Marvel boy.  In those early years I thought that Paperchase and Book Nook were the only comic store around in the Atlanta area.

  I remember one time my two friends and I wanted to go so badly we would walk there.  Turns out to be MILES from home.  My two friends hitched a ride with a stranger but I had seen too many McGruff the crime dog commercials to know not to do that.  I hoofed it.  An hour later I arrived and my friends Kyle and Aaron were already there browsing.  They arrived safely.  But I was proud for doing the right thing.  Not riding with a stranger.  Oh well.  I am getting away from the story.  Around 1985 I discovered this place..
Oxford book store!  They carried all kinds of books mind you.  Even used ones.  It was huge right there on Peachtree Road Atlanta.  They even had a small space dedicated to comics!  And around 1986 is when I saw it.  The comic looked awesome!

Batman but not the one I knew from the 66 TV show.  Look at him!  Looks like he went through the wringer!  I was a Marvel guy though.  This was from DC!  But I was compelled to look at it.  Dark Knight returns issue 2.  Wow.  The fight with the mutant...No words.  ¨I am the surgeon¨ That was SO cool.  I bought it right there and issue two and three the following months. This was unlike any Marvel book I had read.  Spidey had problems with girls etc. but one got the feeling the city was a pretty happy place.  Not so with DKR.  It was gritty.  Maniacs were blowing away people in movie theaters.  It was hardcore.  There were no corny sound effects like in my beloved spiderman books.  There was BLOOD in this one!  Wow!  You felt with intensity the fight between the gigantic mutant leader and the old Batman. Even the Batmobile got an upgrade into a monstrous tank!

 But I didn´t have issue one.  Where it all began.  Finally tracked it down the next week as well.  Wow.  I was captured by the art and the story.  Soon after I started buying Detective comics and Batman.  Now this was WAY back when comics were around 60 to 75 cents.  NOT the $4 they are today.  So a kid like me could walk away with a boat load of them.  Soon I gravitated towards Batman´s team the JLA but right after they changed the entire roster.  I stayed with them until the end. 
Now Oxford has changed locations and what was once my sacred place for all things heroic is not outrageously expensive unfortunately.  They are also pretty much one of  the last comic store in the Atlanta area. 
Book Nook above is still kicking too and they changed locations as well...But the comic selection is kinda small.  Their DVD used are a thing of glory though!  I always schedule a trip here when I can.
So after all these years the Dark Knight returns is finally getting some love.
These figures were released by DC Direct some years ago.  I never got any.  That was around the time when my father died and I was still reeling from it.  But lo and behold....2012 is here and what do we find?
ANOTHER DARK KNIGHT RETURNS FIGURE IS GETTING RELEASED!  Hotdiggity dog!  And look at this one.  Better articulation etc.  Bruce Wayne in his 60´s never looked better!  I just hope Mattel releases the Mutant Leader as well.  I would love to have the two figures to duke it out with and relive that time as a teenage kid with eyes full of wonderment.  What is even better?  This year guess what comes out?
That is right!  An official Dark Knight returns cartoon DVD!  Wow!  That is the huge mutant leader on the right.  Now if I had the figure and the DVD what third thing could their possibly be to make it the ultimate time travel experience for me?
The Dark Knight returns complete series in the leather bound volume I had as a kid!  This thing was beautiful and included Year One in it.
I have lost lots of things over the years.  This was one that hurt alot!
So bring on the Dark Knight returns.  I will try and get ready!


  1. Great read HG!I was also a Marvel-head growing up but every once in a while would pick up the occasional DC book.

  2. It was really the DKR that got me into a LITTLE bit of DC. I am still a Marvel guy though.

  3. cool that it was the dark knight returns that got you to enter the world of dc hobgoblin. as for a mutant leader to go with the batman figure mattel would have to make him for part two now there is no time with the dvd about to hit soon. though you can also get the dark knight returns figures dcdirect did as their new rerelease. soon