“It’s like this Bruce–sooner or later, somebody’s going to order me to bring you in.”

I began discussing Miller’s Dark Knight Returns as a kind of stunted version of Heart of Darkness, but I’m changing my tune… I still believe that it’s instructive to think of Batman as a Kurtz-figure (with Robin in role of the “Russian Harlequin”, or vice-versa), but now I’m ready to toss Superman-as-Marlow and Gotham/the world-as-“the-Intended” into the mix! Clearly though, the later work is no mere “remake”, or redeployment of the same archetypes in the same way… For one thing, in Miller’s work, we get most of the events through Kurtzian eyes, and that makes a huge difference.

Bruce asks us to accept his version of things: he’s just a man, ready to battle God (“There’s just the sun and the sky and him, like he’s the only reason it’s all here.”) if he must, in the pursuit of justice. But I think that there’s a way to enter this text in the guise of Superman (through Clark’s “nuclear epiphany; or, how I learned to cease striving for the sun and love the earth”, in Bk 4)–and it’s a reading which offers a very interesting critique of Batman’s Promethean/Ahabian project…

I’m outta time again!

Tomorrow, then…I’ll finally go into this in depth

Good night friends!


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