Obviously Batman comic arcs like Knightfall and No Man’s Land were huge influences on Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-capping Dark Knight Rises, but there is no Batman comic arc more influential on Nola’s entire franchise or really the character’s cultural image in general than The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller’s theoretical finale for the hero, the comic is an exploration of the extreme ends of the potential nihilism and heroism of Batman’s world. Though Bane is traded in for the Mutant Gang Leader, Rises explores a lot of territory that Miller opened up, including Batman’s long absence, his difficulty with defeating a younger, more physically-able opponent, all with the underpinnings of a revolution of sorts brewing in Gotham.

Right on time, the famous 80s arc is now the latest DC animated film, features a Peter Well-voiced Batman, and has a trailer cut to evoke a beats that will now be quite familiar to a lot of audiences…

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I like that Weller sounds so much like Michael Ironside (who voiced TDKR(eturns) Batman in the Animated Series short), and the animation looks like a good-enough adaptation of Miller’s scratchy style into the more angular DCAU aesthetic. I’m excited to give this a watch and see how well the material translates, and how much cleansing was necessary.

Part 1 hits September 25th.