If I had to choose one year, I’d say that 1986 was the greatest year in comic book history.
During that time I was around 15, living in the United States and very impressionable. I used to subscribe to a mail order comic book service and would buy about 30 comics a month. While comic book stores would sell new comics at that time for about 75 cents each, using the mail order service I could get comics at just 50 cents each. That meant I could buy 30 comics for just 15 bucks total. Back in 1986, the conversion was something like 20 pesos to the dollar, so I was basically spending only around 300 pesos per month at that time to buy 30 comics. I was in the US from 1984 to 1987 and collected heavily throughout that time, delivering newspapers on the side to help pay for my comic book purchases. It was my golden age for comics.
Over the next three entries, I will be sharing my favorite graphic novels of all time. And to begin, I’d like to talk about the first book on my list: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (1986).
When I read Batman: The Dark Knight Returns for the first time, it was mind-blowing. I think it was the first comic book printed in prestige format, and had a cover price of 3 dollars, a lot of money for a comic book back then. The tone of the whole comic book was so memorable; it painted Batman in his old age as such a dark character, a lot deeper and more complex then prior interpretations. The book made all the other Batman incarnations look childish in comparison.
And today, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is more well-known than ever thanks in part to the Christopher Nolan trilogy of films. This book was the catalyst. It is the most instrumental book influencing the dark Batman that we are all familiar with today.
Are you a fan of Batman? Which title is your favorite? Leave a comment or tweet us @_fullybooked.