Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns[1] is a four-issue comic book limited series written and drawn by Frank Miller, originally published by DC Comics in 1986. The Dark Knight Returns tells the story of a middle-aged Batman who comes out of retirement to fight crime, only to face opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government.

A sequel (made again by Miller), Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, was published in 2001.

Contents

Plot

The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City. A year is never specified, though it has been a full decade since the last reported sighting of Batman, the current American President appears to be Ronald Reagan or someone using his image, and the Cold War is still ongoing. Virtually all superheroes, with the exception of Superman, have been forced into retirement or otherwise driven away by an untrusting populace. Bruce Wayne has voluntarily retired from crime fighting following the death (under unspecified circumstances[2]) of Jason Todd, the second Robin. In the absence of superheroes, criminals run amok, and a gang called the Mutants terrorize Gotham City.

The return of an old enemy prompts a now middle-aged Wayne to don the Batman costume once again. Despite Wayne's funding his rehabilitation, including plastic surgery to restore his half-disfigured face, Harvey "Two-Face" Dent has seemingly returned to crime. Batman apprehends Dent, but the populace debates whether Batman's brand of vigilantism has any place in society. The media plays a large role in DKR, with the narrative broken up by news reports and "talking head" editorials debating events in the story as they unfold.

After Batman saves her from a Mutant attack, 13-year-old Carrie Kelly buys herself a knock-off Robin costume, and searches for Batman to aid her. She finds Batman at the city dump, where he is fighting the Mutants. The Mutants' leader defeats Batman in combat, but Kelly distracts him and pulls Batman into the tank-like Batmobile. Kelly attends to Batman’s wounds as the vehicle drives toward the Batcave. Once home, Batman takes Carrie on as the new Robin despite his butler Alfred's objections. With the help of retiring Commissioner James Gordon, the Mutants' leader is allowed to escape from jail, and Batman beats him in a mud fight in front of the assembled gang, which then disbands as a result of his humiliation. Some former Mutants create a new gang, the "Sons of the Batman," using extremely violent methods (up to and including murder) to "purge" Gotham of its criminal element in what they see as emulation of Batman's methods.

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