A blog post by Joe Gross at Austin 360 makes an interesting comparison between the frustrating second season of True Detective and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The latter was Frank Miller’s 2001 follow-up to the brilliant Dark Knight Returns, a four-issue series from 1986 that more or less rescued the character of Batman and paved the way for a Batman-mania that is still going strong, despite the best efforts of George Clooney and (as some fans predict) Ben Affleck to derail it.
But Dark Knight Strikes Again was a flop, and Gross notes some similarities in the way both TD2 and DK2 flopped:
True Detective [season 2] blew up everything that was interesting about the first season in favor of something that worked, at is top dollar best, as noir-camp, unintentionally semi-amusing without ever crossing over into the are-you-kidding-me-with-this? fun of, say, Showgirls.
Much like the first wave of response to True Detective season two, most critics and fans seemed faintly horrified, even vaguely offended, by The Dark Knight Strikes Again (or DK2). The combination of a bonkers plot (Batman liberating captured superheroes!, Superman’s daughter is kind of a handful! Dick Grayson is insane and immortal!) and the hyper-lunatic art felt like a bridge way too far, almost like trolling the reader.
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, and Gross goes into more detail to make his case, but the conclusion pulls it all together: Both sequels, he says, fell into the trap of “making fun of me for being interested.”