Channel Awesome
The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Part 1

At4w dksa part 1 by masterthecreater.jpg

December 7, 2009
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Behold the book that makes the political commentary in Amazons Attack seem nuanced!

Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. (suddenly looks up as if a thought came to him) Say... (checks pocket watch) It's Miller time!

(The title "Miller Time" is displayed)

Linkara: Welcome once again to Miller Time, where we look at the insanity and awful works of comic book writer Frank Miller. Now, in our last session, we saw Frank's most recent work with Batman and how he has lost his mind on how the character, or writing in general, is supposed to work.

(Cut to a shot of a Batman script)

Linkara (v/o): After seeing some of those script excerpts, you're probably wondering how in the hell Frank Miller could possibly have gotten away with this nonsense. But like I said before, Frank Miller has had a history of really great stories.

(Cut to a shot of a comic Miller did called "The Dark Knight Returns")

Linkara (v/o): So let's talk for a moment about "The Dark Knight Returns". Bear in mind that before the mid-1980s...

(Cut to a clip of the old Batman TV show from the '60s, in which Batman is in the ocean, but Robin, in a helicopter, helps him out, but Batman has a shark biting his leg)

Linkara (v/o): ...the popular consciousness of Batman was shaped by the Adam West TV series. Sure, in the comics world, that image had been dead for years, but up until 1985, if you asked somebody who had never read a comic book in their life about Batman, they'd say, "Yeah, bat shark repellent, right?"

Batman: (calling up to Robin) Hand me down the shark repellent bat spray!

(Cut back to "The Dark Knight Returns" again)

Linkara (v/o): But in 1985, Frank Miller wrote "The Dark Knight Returns". In preparation for this review, I reread "The Dark Knight Returns", and it's still pretty damn good. It tells the story of a future where Batman retired after the death of Jason Todd; Superman is a tool of the U.S. government; crime has overrun Gotham City; and the mass media seem to be the most prevalent aspect of our lives, with news programs having talking heads that drone from story to story without real substance and spew soulless diatribes.

Linkara: (waving dismissively) But that'd never happen in today's society, right? (after a beat, Linkara's expression turns sour)

Linkara (v/o): And in this dark future, Bruce Wayne decides he needs to step back into the role of Batman and show the criminal world who has the real power in the city. Now, it's still an epic story and really well written, but there's a lot wrong with it, too. Frank Miller should've just kept this a straightforward Batman story, but instead, he felt the need to comment on the mass media, Reagan, the rehabilitation of criminals, talk shows, the freaking Cold War?! What does a Cold War have to do with Batman?! But anyway, despite the flaws, it's, at its heart, a story of an old man who reclaims his former glory and saves the city he loves. The coloring, the murkier look, and the angular proportions, it all is genuinely there to help set the mood.

Linkara: And of course, in 2001, we had to have a terrible sequel! So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Part One".

(Title sequence plays; title card has "Carmell Dansen" playing over the cover; cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)

Linkara (v/o): Okay, I admit, I'm a sucker for this kind of cover. I couldn't tell you what it is about the idea of a fist that makes it an enduring symbol, especially since it can be used either to show resistance or oppression, but there's just something pure and iconic about it that I love. Made better is that it's Batman, baby! You don't get more iconic than that!

Linkara: Hey, kids, spoilers: Batman doesn't even really appear in this thing until the very end of it! And this thing's supposed to be about him! (nods)

Linkara (v/o): Also, for some reason, this comic's abbreviation is "DK2". What's wrong with "DKSA"? It's not like the original was just called "Dark Knight". If you wanted to point out that it's a sequel to "The Dark Knight Returns", then it'd be "TDKR2". Otherwise, it just looks like you're talking about Donkey Kong. Anyway, onto the actual book.

Linkara: By the by, if you're expecting a rage-filled review of this with lots of shouting bits, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed. (dons a pair of glasses) Today, we're putting on our brainy specs and doing analysis, like I was a real reviewer instead of some loser who does video reviews of comic books on the Internet.

Linkara (v/o): We open to Batman's narration over a series of news footage, including Sinead O'Connor as a newswoman, someone mildly resembling George W. Bush, a pair of lips, and a middle-aged Jimmy Olsen.

Linkara: Goody! Jimmy Olsen! I can't wait for the romance subplot involving a bug lady!

Linkara (v/o): Basically, the Bush stand-in, President Rickard, is giving a State of the Union, while Jimmy rebuffs every statement. Basically, we have the comic book equivalent of a mainstream news channel combined with friggin' C-SPAN.

Linkara: You know, if I wanted to watch Keith Olbermann, though I can't imagine why I'd ever want to, I'd watch Keith Olbermann. I really don't need this kind of thing in my superhero escapism.

Linkara (v/o): This is something you're gonna have to get used to in this comic, by the way. Like I said earlier, in "The Dark Knight Returns", Miller had lots of satire of the mass media in place, but while I felt it was distracting and unnecessary, it did help to paint a picture of the kind of culture Batman was returning to. The satire took a back seat to the plot. But in this comic, it's the opposite: much of the plot takes a back seat to the satire! Why, here's a spiffy example: there's an advertisement for banking services that uses lots of sexual innuendo and a naked woman covered up by dollar bills.

Linkara: Ha! Isn't it just so true how many investment firms use sex to sell their services? (beat) Wait, what?

Linkara (v/o): And in a rare case of art imitating art, that awesome iconic fist from the cover has been turned upside-down, like any hope of this being truly awesome is plummeting downwards.

Jimmy Olsen: What happened to them? Where are they? Where are our heroes?

Linkara: So, in other words...

(Linkara raises his index finger in the air, and "I Need a Hero" plays briefly)

Linkara (v/o): We cut to a scene of a naked, muscular man with a beard fighting inhuman monsters.

Linkara: (looking at comic, as this man) Aw, nuts! (calls offscreen) Steve! Frank's been writing 300 again! Did he get his pills?

Linkara (v/o): No, actually, as we soon learn, this is Ray Palmer, the Atom, who's living inside a Petri dish. Apparently, he's been there so long that he's mostly forgotten his humanity, and as such, the melodramatic narration has a bit of power behind it, and it doesn't come off as pretentious twaddle. I know, I know, I keep being really fair to this comic. Well, maybe I was wrong about this comic. Maybe it's not all that bad. (the next panel shows Carrie Kelley in a cheetah suit) Oh, look, Carrie Kelley in a cheetah-print cat suit. And on this panel, her head is bobble-head huge. Never mind, false alarm, this is crap. Another quick history lesson...

(Cut to "The Dark Knight Returns", in which Kelly is seen dressing up as Robin)

Linkara (v/o): In "The Dark Knight Returns", Carrie Kelley was a teenage girl who, inspired by Batman, took up mantle of Robin. She did what any good Robin did: bring some youthful energy and backup to Batman's more scowly existence.

(Back to this current comic)

Linkara (v/o): For some ungodly reason, Frank Miller has decided to change her from Robin to the idiotic moniker of Cat Girl.

Linkara: Which, knowing anime, you'd think would at least give us something nice to look at, or at least the heterosexual males in the audience, but just look at this!

Linkara (v/o): Even though she's only 16 years old, Carrie's got massive collagen injections into her lips and huge, ridiculous ears. Now, purportedly, she became Cat Girl to honor Selina Kyle's memory, but I don't remember Catwoman ever running around looking like Chester Cheetah. And to compound the crappy artwork, we also barely have any backgrounds. Not that I think they'd be drawn any better, but that's something else you should get used to in this mess. As the alarm sounds, Ray Palmer shrinks down to a more manageable size, and Carrie, since I refuse to call her Cat Girl, commands her shoes...

Cat Girl: Chucks-- give me wheels!

Linkara: So, in other words, Go-Go-Gadget Chuck Taylors!

(A clip of the Inspector Gadget title sequence plays before cutting back to the comic)

Cat Girl: Stop it. Don't think like a loser. You are not toast.

Linkara: Kid, you're not even a waffle.

Linkara (v/o): Several guards dressed in silly postal worker hats chase after the two, and we see the first signs of the Torgo syndrome we see in "All-Star Batman and Robin", though, again, in the interest of fairness, this actually makes sense, since she's in a stressful situation, and she's a teenage girl and unsure of herself, as opposed to Vicki Vale figuring out best to push up her boobs to attract Bruce Wayne. Oh, just to confound this nonsense, Carrie tells Ray to shrink down to aspirin size and actually tosses him in her mouth.

Linkara: Wow! That's, like... six different kind of gross.

(The background of the next panel looks like the climax of 2001: A Space Odyssey)

Linkara (v/o): Essentially, it's because she needs to use her hands, but I think it's rather– wait, what the hell? What the Flying Dutchman is up with this background?! Is this 2001: A Space Odyssey all of a sudden?

(A clip of the Star Gate from that movie is shown briefly before resuming the comic)

Linkara (v/o): So she apparently leaps off a building – not that I could tell with the lack of backgrounds – and accidentally swallows Ray, forcing her to hurl.

Linkara: How charming.

Linkara (v/o): As the news comments on this in hilarious satire, we learn that the U.S.A. is under martial law and that the government is blaming foreign powers for taking Palmer. Well, of course, they don't say that it was Ray Palmer, they say it was a biological weapon.

Linkara: This is going to turn into that stupid plot cul-de-sac from the V For Vendetta movie, where they said that the government manufactured a terrorist plot, isn't it?

Linkara (v/o): Superman is quite unhappy with this news.

Superman: Bruce, you maniac. You damn fool. What the hell are you doing?

Linkara (v/o): Oh, yes, this is something we didn't get into during "All-Star Batman and Robin", nor something I often comment on in comics: weird emphasis on words.

Superman: It's you. I know it's you. Nobody else could be so good at being crazy.

Linkara (v/o): You know, Frankie, emphasizing random words does not a talented writer make!

Superman: This wasn't the deal. This wasn't the DEAL.

(Cut to a panel of the ending of "The Dark Knight Returns")

Linkara (v/o): What deal? At the end of "Dark Knight Returns", he faked his death, you heard his heartbeat and winked at him. When the hell did you cut a deal with him?

(Back to the current comic)

Linkara (v/o): Anywho, Superman exposits that he's been trying to negotiate for Ray Palmer's release, and because of Bruce's behavior, he continues to put people's lives at risk.

Linkara: Yeah, I know I'm commenting on a lot of seemingly little things, but that's the rub, isn't it? (slowly starts to raise his hand in the air) The few good parts of this comic are buried under the building tower of every tiny, little thing that sucks about this book, until it all (drops his hand abruptly) topples over into a huge pile of fail!

Linkara (v/o): So let's get back to Satire Comic Guest-Starring Batman. It's time for News in the Nude!

Linkara: Get it? Because news programs have women dressing more and more provactively! (laughs, then becomes confused) Wait, what?

(Cut to a yellow background with a Yahtzee-like version of Linkara standing there)

Linkara (v/o): And if you'll allow me to steal Yahtzee's bit for a minute, I'm sure there's gonna be some Frank Miller fan who rolls their eyes at this and tries to tell me...

(A second figure appears behind Linkara)

Linkara (v/o): "Linkara, you handsome but completely inept dickweed!"

(The word "SATIRE!" appears behind them)

Linkara (v/o): "Miller is making commentary on the increasing amount of sexuality in the mass media..."

(An ad for American Apparel is shown, showing a scantily-clad woman)

Linkara (v/o): "...particularly the exploitation of the female form, and you should be applauding him for wanting to take on a subject..."

(The definition of "Feminism" pops up: "The radical notion that women are people")

Linkara (v/o): " your own feminist views!"

(Another message pops up: "I CAN'T IMITATE YAHTZEE'S STYLE TO SAVE MY LIFE.")

Linkara: To which I respond, (exasperatedly) "What the pluperfect hell does that have to do with Batman?!"

Linkara (v/o): And even if this was some sort of clever commentary, perhaps he should have disguised it behind something more plausible, because I can assure you that outside of the Playboy Channel, the FCC is gonna have a teensy bit of a problem with a show called News in the Nude! And what sort of commentary is it, exactly? That in the future, the news programs will be so desperate for ratings that they'll put naked women out to make sexual innuendos while shouting, "Hey, look at my boobs"? It doesn't say anything, it's just there! You want to know there are only a few TNA comics out there these days, when they seemed to be a lot more prevalent in the '80s or '90s? Or why fan service shots in comics get annoyed scoffs and eye-rolls from the majority of fans? I mean, besides for their pointless stupidity? It's because of the Internet!

(Cut to a shot of an image of a man holding up a box of tissues, accompanied by the phrase: "PORN! The Internet is for it!")

Linkara (v/o): We don't need to get our jollies from seeing silhouettes of naked women in our sequential art, because half a dozen artists across the web have done hardcore porn of it already.

(Cut back to the Dark Knight comic, with its News in the Nude)

Linkara (v/o): And this was made in 2001. While the Internet does apparently play a part in this book, they couldn't have predicted the rise of YouTube or sites like it or even full-scale reviews of web shows of reviews of nostalgic material or actual news programming, so clearly, it's not some Internet-based news show.

Linkara: So if you're wondering why I've spent a minute of your time ranting about this, allow me to make it clear: (leans forward) FRANK MILLER JUST WANTED TO DRAW NAKED WOMEN!!

Linkara (v/o): So, by the way, in 25 pages, what have we accomplished plot-wise? Well, Carrie rescued the Atom. Well, whoop-de-dumbass! And, oh, I guess Superman saved a shuttle, but the only point of that was to set up the News in the Nude segment, and to establish that Superman's getting weaker with age. Now, here's an actual decent scene, one of the few in this book: Carrie goes to Ray Palmer and apologizes for, you know, throwing him up. However, Ray tells her that she nevertheless did a good job accomplishing her mission and kept her cool for the most part.

Linkara: Ah, character development. It's easy to forget that this is the same Frank Miller that wrote "I'm the goddamn Batman!", isn't it?

Linkara (v/o): Oh, but enough of that; it's naked ladies time again! Once again, its only point is to establish two things: one, that an asteroid is headed towards Earth, and two, that the President is in fact a hologram, as his image distorted in front of live witnesses.

Linkara: And yet, somehow, he remains more lifelike than actual politicians! (looking up, imitating Ed McMahon) HIYO!

Linkara (v/o): This is stupid on many levels, not the least of which is that, in a generation we live in, with constant news coverage that bothers to give a crap about what the President eats for breakfast, that no one would notice until this point is pretty damn silly. In Part 2, we learn from interviews that plenty of people don't even care, that even if he is a hologram, "he's still a good American".

Linkara: Did I mention that this comic was supposed to be about Batman?

Linkara (v/o): So who's the mad puppeteer behind the hologrammatic President? The Hunchback of Notre Dame! No, believe it or not, this troll thing is supposed to be Lex Luthor. Wow, way to undercut your own stupid satire, Frankie! Here, we have another good scene, as we see the faceless superhero known as The Question, originally invented by Spider-Man co-creator and Blue Beetle creator Steve Ditko. Frank Miller has returned The Question to his Objectivist roots, and, in my humble opinion – "opinion" being the key word for the naysayers I'm sure to get – all the better for it. In fact, as we see, this typeface of him writing about how he'll expose the lies of Luthor, bring him to justice, and right wrongs, and triumph over evil, and punish him the name of the moon. I can't help but think this would have been a better book if it had been called "The Question Strikes Again".

Linkara: However, this scene does raise two very important questions. One, what does this have to do with Batman? Two, WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BATMAN?!?

Linkara (v/o): And now we resume our actual plot, 33 pages in! In "The Dark Knight Returns", Batman took over a gang of thugs by defeating their leader in combat, and now he's turned them into a full-fledged Bat army, sending them to a power plant, with Carrie as their field leader. Batman's still there, though, in not-so-full-silhouetted glory.

Batman: (narrating) And dear Carrie. Catgirl.

Linkara: (clutching his head in pain) Ugh, I get a migraine saying it.

Batman: (narrating) She's a natural. Stay sharp, my little darling.

(Linkara raises his finger in the air, bringing up the following statement: "Bruce Wayne: Agent of Nambla")

Offscreen singers: The Ambiguously Gay Duo!

(Linkara waves dismissively, and the singing stops and the message disappears; he raises his finger again, again bringing up the corrected statement from before ("Bruce Wayne: Agent of Namgla"), but with no singing this time)

Linkara (v/o): Of course, it's hard to follow just what in the hell is going on, since, once again, NO FREAKING BACKGROUNDS! I know a fight scene is supposed to be frenetic and action-packed, but where in the hell is Carrie?! Why is there a huge staircase to nowhere, along with giant enemy crabs? Also, one of the Bat Legion is shot, and he spazzes out, grabbing a gun and shooting at the enemy troops.

Bat Legionnaire: You bastards! You BASTARDS!

Linkara: OH, MY GOD! YOU KILLED KENNY! (holds up his magic gun) YOU BASTARDS!

Linkara (v/o): And now, to restore sanity, a giant fingerprint.

Atom: Don't look at it!

Linkara: (holding comic away from himself and looking away) Don't look at it! It's such a crappy comic!

Atom: It's about to blow!

Linkara: It already does.

Linkara (v/o): So, yeah, in lieu of real backgrounds, enjoy a Photoshop effect.

(An image of a crude version of the panel, made by Linkara himself with MS Paint, is shown)

Linkara (v/o): Also, enjoy this Photoshop effect I put together in about a half-hour, give or take a few minutes. Isn't it nice to see that pretty much anyone can make it into the industry these days?

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): So it turns out that whole thing was actually to release Barry Allen, The Flash. He's evidently been trapped by the government as a power source by putting him on a giant hamster wheel. Also, it seems that Carrie changed his outfit. Instead of the sleek red outfit, it now is completely black, with bicycle shorts and short sleeves.

Carrie: The old design was really... OLD.

Linkara: Yeah, screw you, iconography! Old stuff is OLD.

Linkara (v/o): So they all get out, and now it's time for satire again! Why, more sexed-up newscasters while Batman's narration tells us about they "get control, information, blah, blah, blah." Now it's time for more of Superman being pissy. Yeah, it seems that before Frank Miller got into the habit of repeating his dialogue, he instead decided to repeat entire scenes. We have established that Superman is angry at Bats. We have established that in the future, nude newscasting is apparently beloved by all. And we have established that the government sucks. This whole three-part story could have been condensed into one or two issues if not for the mindless padding!

Superman: (narrating) No--never an inch of compromise for Bruce Wayne. You--with no powers except your paltry human skills and your bottomless egotism-- Your relentless, pitiless, unforgiving hatred for everything that isn't utterly perfect...

Linkara: Yeah... Frank, Superman's not exactly the first person I think of when it comes to "people who will jump at the chance to compromise their principles".

(A shot of an old Superman comic is shown, depicting him as Clark Kent)

Linkara (v/o): And that's just when you consider Superman on his own. What about Clark Kent, the reporter? The man raised on Midwestern values and a reporter who seeks to uncover the truth. Is it really believable that he'd be so eager to work for a sworn enemy, and deride who would combat him?

(Another shot of Superman is shown from the comic "Kingdom Come")

Linkara (v/o): There are plenty of stories of Superman questioning his values. That's not the problem. The problem is that this a complete character 180; make Superman look bad so you can make Batman look good.

(Back to the current comic)

Superman: (narrating) We who live in the world of men have to consider the greater good--and come to terms with the way things are.

Linkara: (as Superman) If I emphasize my words at random, I will undoubtedly sound more serious than if they were just normal.

Superman: Diana. Can you hear me?

Diana: Loud and clear, Clark.

Linkara (v/o): Wait, are two people talking to each other? Is Superman telepathic now? What the hell? I mean, they didn't even change the color of the text boxes.

Superman: I need to see you, Diana. I need to meet with you.

Linkara (v/o): Oh, dear Lord! She's even in a skimpy little sheet! This is 300! Back to stuff that actually something tangentially related to Batman: Carrie is chewing out the one guy who started using a gun, since he ended up killing people. The guy bitches about it being a war, and once again, I find myself giving credit to the only good parts of this comic. Yes, Carrie's new moniker is idiotic, but she's the only character in this mess who's remained consistently good. So she beats up the guy, somehow ending up creating a time vortex behind her. Oh, wait, that's just more of the painted, swirly background, though once again, to be fair, the swirl moves in an arc like her kick, giving it some actual purpose.

Linkara: (having a thought) Geez, I keep giving this thing credit. Could it be that in my analytical approach, I might be starting to like it?

Linkara (v/o): Wait, never mind. Another newscast, this time by Jimmy "I have my own talk show" Olsen. Because when I pick up a comic called "The Dark Knight Strikes Again", the thing I want to see is Jimmy friggin' Olsen!

Linkara: Hey, Jimmy, you know what would be really useful in fighting off the evil, oppressive government? Turning into a giant turtle-boy! Just saying.

Linkara (v/o): So then we cut to an orbiting satellite, probably one of the JLA's old ones, not that we're told. Here, we see that not only has Superman succumbed to being a puppet of Lex Luthor, but also Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Luthor contacts them to–

Linkara: (waving dismissively) No, no, no! Stop right there. I don't buy it. Not for a minute.

Linkara (v/o): Luthor contacts them to remind them how he could kill the Amazons or Mary Marvel–

Linkara: (holding up his hand) NO! This... This is bullcrap. It was a stretch already for Superman, but no, not buying it.

Linkara (v/o): Luthor tells them how he's working with Brainiac, and they have the Bottle City of Kandor, where the last remaining Kryptonians live, and how they could kill them all off and–

Linkara: NO!! You're not getting it, are you? This scene? It's over! You lose, Frank. Sorry. I award you no points. Captain Marvel? He's a little kid with the body of an adult. He's an even bigger Boy Scout than Superman. And Wonder Woman? The pride and freedom of the Amazons would never allow them to fall into blackmail at the hands of someone like Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman knows that! She would never work for him! You fail!

(A shot of the panel showing the DC heroes serving Luthor)

Linkara (v/o): You fail, Frank!

(The word "FAIL" appears over the panel to a buzzer sound)

Linkara (v/o): You fail a thousand times! In the hands of a decent writer, maybe, but no! This is failure of the highest accord!

Linkara: So instead of the failed comic, enjoy some ninja-style dancing.

(Cut to the Ninja-Style Dancer dancing to the "Carmell Dansen" briefly before returning to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): So, let me summarize what's left here of the comic: Superman, enraged by Lex Luthor killing some of the citizens of Kandor to further make him obey, decides to blame Batman for all this, and flies down into the cave to get him. However, Bats is ready for him and has his allies beat up on him for a bit. First, Barry Allen plants explosives all over him. I noticed Barry's not exactly upset at the prospect of fighting his old pal. Then Batman gets to talk about how awesome he is, since he's got no powers, and that means he gets to think strategically.

Linkara: Yeah, because Superman's such a brainless brick all the time! Like when he tricked the Kryptonian villains in Superman II and... (looks up and sobers) Oh.

(Cut to a shot of the Superman comic "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?")

Linkara (v/o): Oh, how about "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?", where he figured out how to disable each of the antiheroes and... uh... hmm...

(Cut to still another Superman comic, this one with Batman)

Linkara (v/o): Ooh, I know! How about when he gives Bruce Wayne the Kryptonite Ring in case he ever went rogue? That must be how he never thinks strategically. (beat) Or rather... it's foresight at the possibility that he might get taken over by an evil entity, or that he himself might lose his way, thus showing he can think strategically...

Linkara: Hmm, seems to me he's only an idiot when the plot requires him to be an idiot, Frankie!

(Back to this comic)

Linkara (v/o): So, once again, back to the comic. Green Arrow shows up, even though he hasn't appeared in the comic so far. Yeah, yeah, he was in "Dark Knight Returns", but come on, you could have reintroduced him into the story before this point. It's not like Jimmy Olsen's scenes contributed to this whole thing. So Green Arrow shoots a Kryptonite arrow at Superman, weakening him even more. Then Ray Palmer shrinks down and knocks out Supes' equilibrium, before Batman finally arrives to knock Supes around, wearing the gloves that...

(Cut to a panel of "Bimbos in Time", showing the Tim Curry lookalike's glove)

Linkara (v/o): ...Tim Curry had on in "Bimbos in Time #1".

(Back to this comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Yeah, Batman's such a pure and good hero. Look at him just whaling on a symbol of hope and goodness in the world. And so, our comic mercifully ends with Batman telling Superman to get out of his cave.

Linkara: (angrily holding up comic) This comic sucks! I know it doesn't seem like it when compared to "All-Star Batman and Robin", but trust me, the first issue of "Dark Knight Strikes Again" is just the icing on the cake.

Linkara (v/o): Out of 76 pages, 14 of them are either fully devoted or partly devoted to the media satire, and even among the pages devoted to the plot, there are seven unnecessary splash pages used to pad out the comic. And speaking of padding, a lot of the scenes quite overstay their welcome, and it was made none the better by the crappy artwork and even crappier writing!

Linkara: And before you ask, no, next week, we're not covering Part 2. (drops comic) I need something... happy after this. Something... (smiles as he holds up comic for next week) festive.

(Credits roll)

Let's face it – the only good holograms are the ones with "H" on their forehead or the ones that possess mobile emitters.