Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition cover prelimSourced from the original art that has been scanned from collectors worldwide, this is the collection we’ve all been waiting for. Featured within the hardcovers of this Smythe-sewn edition is Miller’s artwork from DKR #1-4, scanned in full color from the original black-and-white pages. Also included are the covers, related art and previously unpublished pieces showcasing Miller’s artwork as never seen before.

As with all original artist’s gallery editions this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 1

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 2

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 3

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 4

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 5

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 6

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 7

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 8

Fifty pages are not scanned from original art. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but consider there are 188 pages total in the story so there are 138 page scanned from original art. Some of these fifty have some original art under then as they’re overlays with original redraws underneath. And there are a lot of overlays, as this volume contains quite a few of Klaus Janson’s original pages where Miller reinked some panels. These are shown with Janson’s page and Miller’s art on an overlay. It’s a unique perspective of original art and the process of penciler and inker.

I don’t understand why the replacement pages come in two sizes: pages where no original art was available show 7.75″ x 11.75″ yet replacement pages on overlay are full size. The largest pages for this series previously published were the Absolute edition at 8.5″ x 12.75″. Too bad the colour guides weren’t available.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 9

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 10

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 11

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 12

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 13

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 14

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 15

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 16

Scans are clear and detailed. I only found one page to be a bit soft, and it was very slight. Blacks are deep and uniform. A moderate amount of correction fluid plays throughout. Also seen are blue pencil notes, pasted in text, straight lines for the letterer in the word balloons, and an overall feel of production.

The pages have aged oddly, or at least some of them. While the normal yellowing is present on a lot of pages, there is a group that have a pink hue. Not sure if it was the paper stock or how they were stored.

Included is a very strong extras section, with fold out art from the first retail poster and the art from the retail standup leading off. Lots of art from the 10th Anniversary Edition showing the dramatic style change Miller had undergone in that decade.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 17

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 18

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 19

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 20

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 21

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 22

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 23

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller Gallery Edition interior 24

Another stellar design by Brainchild Studios. Great use of a single colour throughout, and some great choices of artwork for endpapers, title page and table of contents. The strip of DC logos in every Graphitti Designs Gallery Edition lends an historical touch.

Production is excellent. Sewn binding allows for most pages to lay flat. Thick paper stock. Book came shrinkwrapped inside a cardboard case. I did end up returning my first copy as binding glue had stuck some pages together, but that can happen with any book.



Batman Dark Knight Returns Gallery Ed HC – $157.50

Retail Price: $175.00
You Save: $17.50