Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child #1 Review

I Have No Idea What's Going On

Writer: Frank Miller
Art Team: Rafael Grampa, Jordie Bellaire
DC Black Label
Release Date: December 11, 2019
Cover Price: $5.99

I'll be honest, I'm a pretty big unapologetic fan of the Dark Knight series as a whole, and if I was asked to rank where I would rate the trilogy thus far it would be DKI, DKIII, and DKII in that order. With that said I had no idea this story was coming out until I saw the cover controversy float across my twitter timeline, alerting me to the fact it was a book that existed.  So I'm basically coming in blind as one can be regarding this series, not even having read the solicit, so let's see what Frank Miller has up his sleeve on this re-visit to the Dark Knight Universe and let's all hope its not Superman Year One.

After having read this issue, and looking back on it to write this review, I think the main problem here overall is Frank Miller doesn't know who he wants to write this story about in the first place, or even what he wants to write about. Is this a Carrie Kelly story, a Golden Child story, a SuperGirl story, or hell even a Darkseid story? Who knows but after 55 pages I'm not sure Frank Miller does either.  In not choosing one point of view character, Miller doesn't do a great service to any character in this book, making the scenes feel like a random collection of hodgepodge ideas, that may have made a three-issue series at one point, but in a condensed one-shot feel like half baked ideas and political allegories for 'the times'.

I'll recap the events the best I can make sense of them mostly because I'm not reading this again to attempt to make sense of it.  After brief introductions to each of the good gals and guys, we find out Darkside is on Earth, because why, elections!!!!! To be honest, I don't know anymore beyond that, and I didn't get the idea from how DK III ended that it was an open the door for Darkseid to be the next step in this DK Earth's storytelling but here we are.

Anyway, Darkseid is possibly running a political campaign to stir the masses, forcing sides against each other. Sound familiar at all? There are Trump photos everywhere in case you weren't getting the hints, don't worry, that's about as far as that goes because the storyline is dropped in favor of Darkseid throwing a temper tantrum. Anyway, Carrie Kelly Batman, Supergirl (of Wonder Woman and Superman), and Jonathan Kent seem to be the main characters, fighting against evil here, and the characters you should be rooting for, but they do so little and come in and out of the story so quickly, I was almost always surprised when they reappeared, mostly because it was never when you expected any of them to show back up, this story is paced and moved that strangely.

 Long story short, after many winding paths of getting there, Darkseid is left one on one with Jonathan the Golden Child in a showdown to save Supergirl. Eye blasts are exchanged, as the Golden Boy vanishes, then somehow by taunting Darkseid wins the day.  I would say that's all spoilers but someone else might be able to interpret what happened differently and I would agree with their take because I just don't care enough to argue about it.  This was one of the most incoherent books I've read in a long time. with even the art in parts being just weird and offputting. I would love to know why this was put out? Do editors work at DC Comics anymore? Because this book could have used two of them.

Bits and Pieces:

Overall, if you enjoyed DK III and thought the series had you asking for more, keep waiting because I'm not exactly sure what this book is supposed to be but it doesn't feel like any Dark Knight book I've read previously.  This read like a fever dream with little to no narrative thread linking thought together and will make me question any future Dark Knight purchases in the future. This is more Frank Miller Superman Year One than Frank Miller Dark Knight.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said here but since you're my nemesis, I have to argue that you rated this too high! Take that! BIFF! BOFF!