ByFergus Coyle, writer at
Movie lover, wannabe director and resident DC nerd. Get more from me at:
Fergus Coyle

So by now, pretty much everyone knows that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to incorporate elements of the Dark Knight Returns. Yes, I'm aware that when announcing the film Zach Snyder specifically said that they aren't adapting it straight up, but if you look at Batman's costume, it's pretty obvious that it's going to take some inspiration from it. And for the most part, I'm cool with that.

But for those who at this stage think that the Dark Knight Returns is a typo of the Dark Knight Rises, let me give you some background. In 1986 Frank Miller wrote the four book mini-series "The Dark Knight Returns", and it changed everything. It was (pretty much, there were, i admit precedents) the first Batman story to go out and out dark, giving us a near suicidal, psychotic Bruce Wayne and showing more of how broken a man he is. If you haven't already, I would recommend you check out either the comic or the two part animated film as regardless of your opinion of the story, it definitely makes for interesting viewing.

straight out of the dark knight returns
straight out of the dark knight returns

The first confirmed parallel is that Bruce Wayne will be an older (mid to late forties I believe), grittier and more rage fuelled character than we normally see. On one hand, I do like that depiction of Batman, especially in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and it's one of the very well done things in the Dark Knight Returns. but on the other hand, I would really like to a more human and relatable take on the caped crusader, maybe more reminiscent of the fantastic 90's animated show. Though perhaps we'll see a balnce of the two, and if Ben Affleck's turn in "The Town" is anything to go on, that sounds like a plan.

The other similarity is the fact that Bats and Supes will go toe-to-toe at some point. And that's where my first problem lies. If Dawn of Justice does go for the DKR approach towards this then I'm not going to be happy. Because the reasoning behind that fight is the weakest part of the comic. Especially towards Superman as it depicts him as the governments pet muscle, which is a complete misconception of who Superman is and what his character is. There's also the fact that there is not a chance in hell that Batman should win that fight. Yeah, I prefer Batman to Superman, both in the comics and in their respective screen adaptations, but the fact of the matter is that Superman could crush Batman in the blink of an eye, suit or no suit. Batman would need to surprise him, and that, he does not. Though that's a minor nitpick. The point is that I really hope Warner Bros. come up with a more authentic feeling reason for the two to go at each other with hammer and tongs. Because in my mind, Batman and Superman aren't polar opposites, but rather, flip-sides of the same coin.

Why do they have to fight?
Why do they have to fight?

Beyond this point I'm really just speculating about what elements of TDKR we'll see on screen, so it could all be meaningless. Just as a full disclosure.

I've already expressed my dislike of how Superman is handled by Frank Miller, but I do have one other major gripe (granted it's the only other gripe) with the comic in question: Batman goes too dark for me. This is really just one part that I'm talking about, for the rest of it, I really do like the darker depiction. However, when Batman brutally and systematically hospitalises the mutant gang leader, he overdoes it in my opinion. And it is an opinion thing I'll admit, but I just can't root for a guy who does that to another human being, and it's not something that I could ever see (my idea of him, we all have our own) Batman doing. Like I said, it's mainly a personal thing but when he did it, I expected the fight with Superman to take place because he felt Bats had crossed a line. It's also true that the scene happening in Dawn of Justice is very unlikely as no-one expects the mutant gang to appear, but still, I'm hoping that the new take on Batman isn't THAT gritty.

Just too far for, in my opinion
Just too far for, in my opinion

Then there's the question of Robin. Now I want Robin to at least cameo in the film, but I'm quite lukewarm on the idea of Carrie Kelley showing up. I don't dislike her, I just feel that she's severely underdeveloped and I would much prefer either Dick Grayson or Tim Drake to show up or to at least be referenced. Still, if they do just do a cameo, I don't have anything against Carrie putting in an appearance, it just wouldn't be my preference as she never really gets much of a character in the comic. And because why the hell would you pass up the chance to put Nightwing or Red Robin in your film?

Overall, I like the Dark Knight Returns, I will say that. It has major issues which I've said, but without it we might not have a lot of the great Batman material we have today and as a story in its own right? Yeah, it works. It's perhaps a touch overrated, but it's a very good read.

So thanks for reading guys, if you have your own opinion on the subject, feel free to drop a comment, but till next time guys, enjoy your lives!


Latest from our Creators