A-ha. The 'sequel' to the inimitable Batman: The Dark Knight Returns . . . and what a follow up it is too! A fantastic looking hardcover which also features original sketches dotted throughout, and a slick wraparound sleeve. When the publishers spend time and money on the cover you know you're in either in possession of a peach, or something they can't get rid of. Come on - this is Batman. It's a peach.
To the story: Three years since the events of The Dark Knight Returns, Batman returns to a world in which everything is rosy once more, or is it? Batman knows better, and the role of saviour once again falls on his shoulders. Intriguingly, the cover synopsis runs: "Features appearances by such DC icons as Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, the Atom, the Question and more. But are they still the world's greatest heroes or part of the conspiracy?"
Putting the two collections side by side, you can also see just how far Miller has moved on. Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again is a better book than the original, but will probably never be hailed as such. The story is clearer, the artwork is as smooth as you can get and the characterisation never falters for a moment.
:: Sion Smith