However, a new breed of terrorizing criminals of Gotham City called "The Mutants" has made Bruce wear his legendary cape and cowl once again. One of his allies; Commissioner Gordon was forced to retire from force and that very day, two major incident hits Gotham City. The first blast from past came in form of Bruce's old friend Harvey Dent, who used to be a district attorney and then psychotic villain Two-Face, who has been cured of his facial scars but the mental instability is something that has not been cured. As Dent has returned back in his old ways, The Dark Knight returns in action again.
The Dark Knight Returns | Comics
When Batman went into a departure, his oldest arch-nemesis, The Joker slipped into a catatonic state and upon hearing about his return in a television report, he reawakened after nearly a decade with an evil grin and his old twisted obsession over him. Gordon was now replaced by a new Commissioner Ellen Yindel, who is not a supporter of any vigilance. A 13-year-old girl Carrie Kelley was saved from a small gang of Mutants by Batman when a major crime wave hit the city. Wearing a Robin costume, she goes looking for The Dark Knight while also taking on few petty criminals on her way.
With Mutant gangs running rampant over with no one to stop them and their secret leader, Batman decides to step in. He discovers a connection to a United States Army general, who has been supplying weapons to them and during confrontation the latter commits suicide. The Mayor remains silent on this while leader of Mutant gang threatens Gordon and following a lead, the Bat found their secret lair. Incapacitating most of them from armored supertank-like Batmobile, he engaged the Mutant leader in a hand-to-hand combat but got beaten badly because of his growing age.
Carrie got mixed up into this chaos while following Batman and is recruited later as newest Robin after she managed to save his life from Mutant gang. He is taken back to Batcave so that Alfred could tend to his wounds and Mutant Leader is arrested. In custody, he kills Mayor and Jim Gordon schemes on luring that bastard in a fight in front of his gang. As his followers watched, Batman brutally cripples him down with tactics, humiliating him. While many are arrested, some of the Mutants start seeing The Dark Knight as a role model and calling themselves as "Sons of Batman".
Obsessed with Batman, the Clown Prince of Crime puts his plans on motion to meet his old friend once again and make his dramatic return. So, he escapes Arkham Asylum by killing his psychiatrist Bartholomew Wolper and every audience member from a reality show. Then he proceeds by torturing an elderly Selina Kyle, formerly Catwoman, leading Batman to face him for one last time. In a twisted way, his greatest villain delivered him one final blow that would mess him up badly and would set some events in motion. In an epic final showdown, he faces the Man of Steel, now a government agent sent to stop his reign.
The Dark Knight Returns (Comics) Wikipedia
The Dark Knight Returns (Comics) DC Wikia
|One Last Joke|
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|The Man of Steel Vs. The Dark Knight|
The series also worked as a part of inspiration for director Christopher Nolan's 2012 release The Dark Knight Rises, a finale to his Batman trilogy starring actor Christian Bale. The story was later adapted for a two part animation movie titled Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2012) from DC Universe Animated Original Movies line. The Dark Knight Returns heavily influenced director Zack Snyder to cast actor Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill respectively for portraying a near-similar brawl scene of World's Finest in his 2016's live-action superhero movie "Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice" from DC Extended Universe, which also features cameo appearance from Aquaman and a special appearance of Wonder Woman.
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