Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 10th Ann. Edition

Last updated on December 6th, 2012 at 10:38 am

1996 was the tenth anniversary of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  It’s hard to believe twenty-five years have passed since Miller brought his dark future to comics; I haven’t heard of DC doing anything to celebrate this year but in ’96 they had big plans.

There was a bunch of material offered but the highlight was a slipcase containing a new signed and numbered hardcover collecting Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, two mini prints of Dark Knight posters and three 48 page prestige format softcover books of sketches, scripts and press  reviews.  Click the image above to see the entire breakdown of the package.  The big item here was the $100 price tag: the highest DC had ever charged for a new book ever; don’t get me started with the $140 CDN exchange.

The hardcover collects the original series and adds 24 pages of extras at the back.  It included a signature plate with Frank Miller’s signature and the number out of ten thousand editions.  The original covers are here and are the only examples of poor reproduction in this slipcase edition.  The rest of the extras are Miller’s complete issue one script including notes and sketches.  A new introduction by Miller rounds it out.  This volume was also published as-is in a softcover version.

The three prestige format softcover books are hit and miss.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Sketch volume, filled with never before published material, mostly roughs, that show the genesis of the character design.  Less thrilling is the complete script to book one, although aspiring writers could glean much.  I really don’t know why anyone would want to read ten-year old (at the time) reviews from various U.S. press outlets.

Last but not least are two 6×9″ card stock prints of the original Dark Knight Returns poster and the 10th Anniversary poster.  I had the posters; they hung on my wall for a good long time. Great images.

This slipcase edition is collectible for two reasons: it’s the last signed edition Miller did for DC and it’s the only place to get the prestige format softcover books.  It’s a must for hardcore Miller or Dark Knight fans.  Oddly prices vary from $90 to $300 so a keen-eyed purchaser can get it for less than cover price fifteen years later.  The ISBN below is the only one printed in the book for the hardcover, yet it seems those ending in “X” indicate a slipcase.  I’m not able to locate this edition through the normal online sources using the ISBN and most sellers use “10th” instead of tenth in the title.  Good hunting!

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Tenth Anniversary Edition
DC, 1996, ISBN 1-56389-341-X

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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One Comment

  1. Charlie
    February 7, 2011

    I’ve been an FM fan ever since I first discovered him in the pages of DD many years ago, but DKR is particularly special for me cause it was the last comic I ever purchased when I decided to stop collecting in order to focus on my studies as I entered college. Miller, and again, DKR in particular was also the impetus for my return to comics a few years back when I finally opened an eBay account and decided to pick up a sharp DKR set, mostly for the nostalgia. DKR lead to DD, which lead to Elektra, Sin City, Martha Washington, and so on. Thanks to this online resource: http://moebiusgraphics.com and many others like it, I was able to source the rest of Millers work and today, I’m the proud owner of the ultimate Miller collection. Yea!

    25 years later, I have to say I still enjoy his DD run more than anything else I’ve read since. His way of story telling, the dialogue, the way he worked the panels to create mood was absolute art. His recent work has been less impressive but considering what he’s achieved, I’m tolerant and hopeful that he may yet deliver to us fans the stuff that sends chills up your spine and makes the hair on your arms stand on end…

    In addition to DKR and Millers DD run from 158-191, 227-233 (Born Again), also pick up Batman 404-407 (Year One, of course) and the often over looked Ronin 1-6. All of which to me are highly undervalued considering the quality of story telling… The art in Ronin is incredible, unlike anything Miller has done before and since (although we see a glimpse of this in DD#191 with sudden change of style and more cross hatching). I guarantee you wont find Star Trek or TV dialogue that exists in today current books. Enjoy!

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