So, this week's lecture took a scholarly look at our first comic-book-cum-graphic novel, Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The first hour placed the book in the nested grid of themes and genre that Miller compresses into the title: to wit, a satire on contemporary television media, under the rubric "Returns" with in media term is synonym for (a.) financial profits and (b.) ratings; a satire on Left-wing or 'progressive' dogma on law and order issues relating to security of person and property, from the position of the medieval chivalric code invoked through the designation of the protagonist as a Knight-errant; and lastly a rejection of the gloriously junk-y Batman of golden-era comics and, of course, 1960s television, fame, denoted through the title's witty sense of it now being "a dark-and-stormy-night" and no longer the sunny escapism of Adam West and Burt Ward. (Me, I want my Adam West ....)
The second lecture hour submitted Miller's work to a close reading of pages, panels lines and even individual words, in order to see if the text can support the level of academic scrutiny that canonical texts in English Literature must bear. At the close of lecture, the result was that Miller's work had stood up, conditionally, to the close analysis.