Dark Knight Returns Essay

Pages: 6 (2003 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology

Where the Joker revels in this reality, Batman must constantly work to sublimate it, because he can never admit to himself that what he is doing is just as subversive, counter-cultural, and potentially destructive as the Joker, even if he fights on the side of justice. Thus, every time Batman brutally defeats an enemy, he is attempting to beat his homosexual desire into submission.

This is not to suggest that Miller's representation of Batman is in itself homophobic, but rather to note that this characterization includes homophobia within it as a constituent element. Just as the Batman comics of the 1980s sought to distance themselves from the camp of the 1960s, so too does Miller's Batman struggle to force himself to conform to a heterosexual ideal even as he is confronted with the reality of his homosexual desire in the form of the Joker, and to a lesser extent, the Mutant gang leader. Ultimately, Miller's Batman seems to achieve at least some kind of temporary victory over his latent homosexuality, because he defeats the Mutant gang leader and gains a mass of "sons," achieving a kind of sexual reproduction by successfully brutalizing the young, powerful body that taunted him (Miller 103). He survives in the end because he goes underground, both literally and figuratively, and thus removes the struggle between his homosexual desire and his inclination to subvert it from the public sphere.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Dark Knight Returns Almost Since Assignment

As with any fictional character, there exist a number of possible readings depending upon the evidence available, and in the case of Batman, the evidence spans some seventy-three years, countless comics, as well as multiple television shows and movies. Each of these texts presents a different view of the character's sexuality, such that Batman has been implicitly homosexual, violently heterosexual, or embodied a conflict between the two. In the case of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Batman represents a struggle to sublimate homosexual desire into a kind of asexual crusade against crime, but this desire eternally threatens to return every time he faces an opponent. He effectively channels his sexual repression and difficulty into his violent actions, such that the offer the only kind of release available to him. Ultimately, Miller's Batman is a kind of reflection on the various readings of the character throughout history, because he simultaneously includes its homosexual undertones as well as the frequent and often violent attempt to sublimate those undertones in favor of a strictly asexual or heterosexual representation. In effect, the struggle faced by Miller's Batman is the same struggle faced by the character throughout its history, except in the case of Miller's Batman, the character takes on both sides of the equation, embodying homosexual signification while attempting to purge it from himself.

Works Cited

Medhurst, Andy. "Batman, Deviance, and Camp." Open Culture, n.d. Web. 12 May 2012.


Miller, Frank. The Dark Knight Returns. 10th Anniversary ed. New… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Dark Knight Returns.  (2012, May 12).  Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/b/dark-knight-returns-almost-since/2959002

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"Dark Knight Returns."  12 May 2012.  Web.  19 January 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/b/dark-knight-returns-almost-since/2959002>.

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"Dark Knight Returns."  Essaytown.com.  May 12, 2012.  Accessed January 19, 2021.