Friday, June 9, 2017

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Moments in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Earth

Welcome to another dark installment of Top 5 Fridays! BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE DARK KNIGHT III IS FINALLY OVER! What started as a highly anticipated miniseries turned into a year and a half slog... But overall, I'll admit it was much better than I thought. Alright, it wasn't perfect, FAR FROM IT, but it was a massive improvement over The Dark Knight Strikes Again with some fantastic and memorable moments. It was a wonderful conclusion to The Dark Knight Earth... Then I realized: The Dark Knight Earth is no longer continuity as of The Multiversity series. This is disappointing as the series that comprise this Earth(More Returns and Master Race) are full of fantastic moments that define it, and that's what we'll be going over today! As always, this is an opinion-based list, so if you don't see something you like, I apologize. With the formalities out of the way, grab your capes and hop into this week's list!

5: The Death of Captain Marvel
I present to you the only good part from The Dark Knight Strikes Again. When one writes a death for a superhero, I look for two things. The hero must die heroically and they must die in character. What I mean by the second part is that a hero should die in a way that fits their character. Imagine if Superman died in a berserk rage reminiscent of Wolverine. Not many would find the death a good one. In the case of Captain Marvel, he died doing his duty. After an attack by Brainiac, the World's Mightiest Mortal ends up holding a giant building up, while wounded, to give the people inside a chance to escape. When the last are out, Wonder Woman suggests switching to Billy Batson so he can recover. However, he explains that he can't, as the Billy side of Captain Marvel died a long time ago. Marvel used his final moments to save people as he always had, and went out with a "lion's roar." If this death proves anything, it proves that Miller wasn't completely insane... Plenty enough to ruin the rest of the story, but still.

4: Superman vs. Kryptonians
Ironically the number four slot is the only one I'm not convinced was Frank Miller's original idea to end DK III. I say this because Miller has stated several times in the past that he has not ever been a fan of the Man of Steel. That's why in both Returns and Strikes Again, he is portrayed as a puppet for the government or for Batman if the need arises. This changes in the final battle against the evil Kryptonians. Batman is ready to throw down, but Superman tells him he has it covered. He then proceeds to beat down Quar and his cronies with advanced precision. As surprising as it sounds, this is the first time we actually see Superman be more than a loud punching monster; he became a tactical fighter, not unlike how Batman is throughout the three series. Even Batman is shocked by the precision that Superman had unleashed, stating that he had been holding back after all of these years. Overall, it was a fantastic way to show that Superman belongs in this world just as much as Batman.

3: The Assault on the Mutants
Do you know what was an awesome addition to this universe? The Bat-Tank. Yeah, it's not as slick and shiny as the regular Batmobile, but considering that it was designed to settle riots, it looks pretty friggin amazing. With such a background and design, what better way to show off its capabilities than to have it tear through the Mutant gang that was established during the first part of the The Dark Knight Returns.  Rubber bullets and smoke grenades fly around taking down dozens of mutants before the Leader orders Batman to get out of his tank and fight him one on one. It's one epic scene to show off how brutal the returned Dark Knight will be to the punks of the city, even if it looks like the odds are stacked against him, as well as the savage animals that now infest the city. This battle for supremacy is one that echoes to this day...but not as much as the final two...

2: Batman v Superman
Like this battle wasn't going to be on the list. This battle between the two heroes is one of the most iconic battles in comic book history even to this day. God vs. Man. Day vs. Night. Hope vs. Fear. This battle is one that comic fans were debating over the years on who would win, and I personally think the battle itself was able to show off the skills of both fighters, even though it's clear which one would win. While Superman truly showed off the powers that made him mighty, the real highlight of the battle is the strategy behind Batman's attack on him. With the exception of magic, Batman was able to pull every vulnerability that Superman had into his arsenal. Sound guns, Electricity, you name it, he had some form of it. This battle goes to show you that just because a man has power, it doesn't mean he instantly wins.

1: Batman & Joker's Final Dance
In the story The Killing Joke, Batman originally went to Arkham Asylum to talk to the Joker, try to convince him that this battle between them will eventually lead to one of them killing the other. In a sense, we see the actual ending Batman was worried about than in this story. I find this final battle between the two to be the perfect way for their long and tedious relationship as enemies to come to a close. First off, the setting of a carnival is perfect for the Joker with the final confrontation in the tunnel of love symbolizing the twisted dark "romance" between the characters. Second, as if to show the dark nature of this conflict, the actual fight between the two is very real. No big mallets, jokes, gadgets, or advanced fighting techniques. Just a brutal brawl leading to Batman losing control. It's a dark ending to their story and probably a defining moment of this Earth.

That's it for this week's Top 5 Friday! What were your favorite moments from The Dark Knight Series? What did you think of the conclusion to Master Race? Leave a comment and I'll see you next time!

1 comment:

  1. Great write up and great list! I could have sworn I read the first Dark Knight, but don't remember any of these. Bad memory and all that... May need to reread the series.