The Dark Knight Returns

The Dark Knight Returns (alternatively titled Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) is a 1986 four-issue comic book miniseries starring Batman, written by Frank Miller, illustrated by Miller, and Klaus Janson, with color by Lynn Varley, and published by DC Comics. It tells an alternative story of Bruce Wayne, who at 55 years old returns from retirement to fight crime and faces opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government. The story also features the return of classic foes such as Two-Face and the Joker, and culminates with a confrontation with Superman, who is now a pawn of the government.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Cover of Issue #1
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
ScheduleMonthly
FormatLimited series
Publication dateFebruary – June 1986
No. of issues4
Main character(s)Batman
James Gordon
Carrie Kelley
Two-Face
Mutants
Joker
Superman
Creative team
Written byFrank Miller
Penciller(s)Frank Miller
Inker(s)Klaus Janson
Letterer(s)John Costanza
Colorist(s)Lynn Varley
Editor(s)Dick Giordano
Dennis O'Neil
Collected editions
Trade PaperbackISBN 0930289137
HardcoverISBN 0930289153
Trade Paperback (Warner Books)ISBN 0446385050
Trade Paperback (Titan Books)ISBN 0907610900
10th Anniversary EditionISBN 156389341X
2002 EditionISBN 156389341X
Absolute EditionISBN 1401210791
NoirISBN 1401255140
Deluxe EditionISBN 1401256910
30th Anniversary EditionISBN 1401263119
Book with Blu-ray & DVD setISBN 1401264271
Gallery EditionISBN 1401264433
Collector's EditionISBN 1401270131

When originally published, the series was simply titled Batman: The Dark Knight, with a different subtitle for each issue (The Dark Knight Returns, Dark Knight Triumphant, Hunt the Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Falls), but when the series was collected into a single volume later that year, the title of the first issue was applied to the entire series, and has remained so ever since. Some of the earliest collected editions also bore the shorter series title. The story introduces Carrie Kelley as the new Robin and the hyper-violent street gang known as the Mutants. In the Pre-Flashpoint DC Multiverse, the events of The Dark Knight Returns and its associated titles were designated to occur on Earth-31.[citation needed]

The miniseries, the first of a trilogy of limited series based on this version of Batman, was followed by The Dark Knight Strikes Again and The Dark Knight III: The Master Race.

The Dark Knight Returns is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential Batman stories ever made, as well as one of the greatest works of comic art in general, and has been noted for helping reintroduce a darker and more mature-oriented version of the character (and superheroes in general) to pop culture during the 1980s. Various elements of the series have since been incorporated into depictions of Batman in other media, while a direct animated adaptation of the story, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, was released as a two-part film across 2012 and 2013.


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