It’s good to be Batman these days. Or at least, it’s good to be the studio that owns Batman. With “The Dark Knight Rises” still king of the box office, D.C. and Warner are prepping to unleash the first part of their two-part animated “The Dark Knight Returns” onto an unsuspecting populace. If you’ve never read the Frank Miller books from the ’80s, from which the movies looks to be faithfully adapted from, then you’re definitely in for a real treat.
In the bleak and ominous future of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with racecars and liquor – but the Bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.
The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from
foes new … and old.
Featuring Peter Weller as Batman, David Selby as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter as Robin, Wade Williams as Two-Face and Michael McKean as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. No signs of the Joker in this one. I wonder if they’re saving him for Part 2. Plus, not a single sighting (or blur) of Superman. I guess they’ve excised him from the story, with the Joker set up as the only combatant for Bats in Part 2. Makes sense, from a business standpoint.