First things first, I don’t like that the DC logo has caused the comic title alignment to be pushed right, rather than centred on the page. I know it’s their new logo, but it shouldn’t be given the same billing as the title.
The art was at times a little distracting as I went from thinking it was excellent, to not being sure, to thinking it was excellent again.
I think the overall effect is positive as you get a whiff of Miller as well as JrJr without either being overpowering. I didn’t realise Peter Steigerwald inked stuff, and his colouring on this was nice.
Who knows how much Frank Miller or Brian Azzarello there is in the story? I enjoyed it though.
I suspect having read The Dark Knight Returns in the 80’s, then reading this now gives me a healthy separation of the two; as even if The Last Crusade was shite, I would still always have my unsullied Dark Knight Returns.
I did like the way John Romita drew the Joker, although there was one panel where I couldn’t tell if the Joker had closed his eyes, or they had just gone white, but that’s down to colouring as much as anything else. I decided they were closed and
moved on. He does feel like the same character from DKR, but wilder and without the period of extended inactivity that informed his character in that.
The Batman/Robin side was a little heavy handed, almost like Batman had aged 20 years overnight, and Jason Todd was on his way to the Dark Side at the same breakneck pace as Anakin Skywalker in Episode III. I doubt the lower page count than initially advertised had an effect on this.
The ending is also quite abrupt, but that works in its favour. Feels more brutal than it would have if dragged out and over analysed.
So yeah, I quite liked it.