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Official Site: DC Comics
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was a Limited series, later a graphic novel comprising The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Triumphant, Hunt The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Falls, written and drawn by Frank Miller, originally published by DC Comics under the title Batman: The Dark Knight in 1986. When the issues were released in a collected edition later that year, the story title for the first issue was applied to the series as a whole. The Dark Knight Returns tells the story of a 55-year-old Bruce Wayne 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 (written and illustrated again by Miller), The Dark Knight Strikes Again, was published in 2001.
The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopia 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. The author also alludes to the deaths of Bruce Wayne's parents as being on the night of a movie theater showing of Tyrone Power in The Mark of Zorro, a movie with a release date of November 8, 1940, a time when Bruce was a youth. Virtually all superheroes, with the exception of Superman (who operates covertly), have been banned by the government or otherwise driven away by a populace that envies what they represent and disapproves of them. Bruce Wayne, now 55, has voluntarily retired from crime fighting following the death (under unspecified circumstances ) of Jason Todd, the second Robin. In the absence of superheroes, criminals run amok, and in Gotham a new breed of criminals known as the Mutants terrorizes Gotham City.
Coming to a ten year realization, Wayne's internal instincts realizes he cannot deny who and what he really is as the incessant level of rampant crime prompts Wayne to don the Batman costume once again. Part of this internal instinct is demonstrated when Wayne unconsciously shaves off his mustache in service to the face of the Batman. Batman faces Harvey Dent who was believed to be cured after Wayne paid for plastic surgery to repair his disfigured face, but his ailment was not physical nor cosmetic but deeply rooted psychologically. Dent is suspected of returning to crime holding the city for ransom with a bomb. Batman confronts Dent, whose face is swathed in bandages, and realizes that his old foe, while physically cured, is still disfigured in his own mind.
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