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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member tbaron's Avatar
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    Default When did Batman become so dark?

    So I am reading a lot of older stuff like 60s and 70s justice league 70s Brave and The Bold and 60s Batman. In those stories Batman does not have an edge. he Shares that he is Bruce Wayne with anyone in a mask, he works with the police and even in a couple of issues lets himself be arrested, he even throws puns at the bad guys. So when did Batman change to the dark Batman that he is in later stories. And why did they do the change?
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  2. #2
    Titans Together!! byrd156's Avatar
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    Dark Knight Returns was probably the turning point. There were dark stories before but this was pretty mainstream and it changed comics for a lot of people. Same as Batman 89 so I would say both these things worked together.
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  3. #3
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    Batman Year One id say.

  4. #4
    Titans Together!! byrd156's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Batman Year One i’d say.
    This too, pretty much Frank Miller was mostly responsible.
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  5. #5
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Batman was pretty dark to begin with when he began in 1939.

    When he added Robin as his sidekick (in 1940), he definitely lightened up for a while.

  6. #6
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    Yeah Dark Knight Returns was the turning point, he was already written back to his dark roots by O'Neil and Adams but TDKR cemented Batman's grimness with 1980's macho Rambo/RoboCop attitude. I actually had only gotten into Batman comics by reading several Pre-Crisis Gerry Conway, Don Newton/Gene Colan stories and those were pretty grim.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Frank Miller. Though even he didn't take it to the insane lengths that subsequent writers who learned the wrong lessons from TDKR did.

    The darker, atmospheric stories were prominent in the Bronze age, but Bruce was still sort of a goofy dork. And I don't say that as a knock, I actually vastly prefer him that way.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member jb681131's Avatar
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    DC wanted Franck Miller after what he did with Daredevil, so they asked him to make an elseworld Batman and he made The Dark Knight Returns.
    A very dark Batman story. The darkest at the time. This was in early 1986.

    As well in 1986 there was a reboot of the DC Univers with Crisis on Infinit Earths.
    DC asked Franck Miller to write an Orgin story for Batman after the success of his Dark Knight Returns.
    Miller kept the Dark Batman and since then Batman is like this.

    But the "dark" in any comics comes from the Bronze Age.
    In the 50's 60's the comics couldn't be so dark because of the Comics Code that was imposed.
    As society and mentalities evolved, the writters and readers were fed up of this Comcis Code, so in the 70's the code slowly disapeared from comics.
    So during the mid to end 70's that's when Batman stories started to get darker.
    Around 1986-1989 all Comics stopped following the Comics Code, and this code died. That's when the "Modern" age of comics started.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member SixSpeedSamurai's Avatar
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    Batman to most degrees has been based off the Dark Knight Returns since it's release. They keep pushing it further nowadays though. I think the Animated Series is one of the fews things that got a good balance of grim and gritty and light in them.
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  10. #10
    Incredible Member tib2d2's Avatar
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    IMO it started in the early 70s when the stories themselves became darker. The artwork was also darker and more macabre. You still had some things we'd consider "silly" like Batman walking around in broad daylight, and the original Robin outfit, etc. But I love reading 70s issue with Marshall Rogers as the artist and its night and day difference from the 60s stuff.

    But yes, Miller's work in the late 80s made him dark and serious, which lead to Burton's Batman, which in a lot of ways was a pivotal point as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Batman Year One i’d say.
    I'd have to agree with you that Year One was the real line in the sand. Even DKR was ultimately more a satire, and a deconstruction of the Silver Age ideal of Batman as the ultimate lawman, as embodied by Adam West. It was with Year One that we really got the aesthetics and the tonality that has come to define Batman's world ever since.

    That's not to say that we got an abrupt transition from the days of 'BIFF! BAM! ZAP!' to Bruce Wayne being beaten to a bloody pulp. The 70's were all about getting Batman back to the noir-ish tone of his early days. But it was in the late 80's that he truly became 'the Dark Knight'.

  12. #12
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    I would say Batman got darker a few years after the Batman TV show. DC seemed to want to take the character in a different direction, that the "real" Batman wasn't the character you had seen on TV.
    They wanted Batman to be taken seriously instead of a joke.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    I am fairly sure that it begun with DKR by Miller but it was an elseworld type story. The Bat family became officially dark post Crisis of Infinite Earths. Again by Frank Miller with his Year One story which was something similar with Burne's Man of Steel but for the Batman franchise.

  14. #14
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerboh View Post
    I am fairly sure that it begun with DKR by Miller but it was an elseworld type story. The Bat family became officially dark post Crisis of Infinite Earths. Again by Frank Miller with his Year One story which was something similar with Burne's Man of Steel but for the Batman franchise.
    Okay, going to my collection and grabbing some copies. The Dark Knight Returns came out in February to June 1986. I don't see Batman #420, June 1988 being any darker than Batman #380, December 1985.
    Or even Batman #240, March 1972. So I am wondering where the idea that Batman became darker after The Dark Knight Returns comes from. Because what is in the comic books doesn't justify that assertion.

  15. #15
    Fantastic Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osiris-Rex View Post
    Okay, going to my collection and grabbing some copies. The Dark Knight Returns came out in February to June 1986. I don't see Batman #420, June 1988 being any darker than Batman #380, December 1985.
    Or even Batman #240, March 1972. So I am wondering where the idea that Batman became darker after The Dark Knight Returns comes from. Because what is in the comic books doesn't justify that assertion.
    No Comics in a whole became dark during the 70's when the comics code started to disapear and writter were free-er.

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