Robin died and it was one of the reasons why Batman decided to retire. Now 10 years later, Gotham city is overrun with new wave of crime and terrorized by a gang known as the Mutants. Eventually this forces Bruce Wayne to return as Batman once again, but he got old in the meantime and has to face it sooner or later. The story also follows his enemies; the Joker is catatonic in Arkham Asylum since Batman retired, while Harvey Dent / Two Face underwent plastic surgery that fixed his face, is declared sane and released. Now Batman has to face new and old foes alike.
This is where things get really interesting. Joker manipulates his way to a TV show, where he kills the audience and escapes. In the final showdown Batman realizes that Joker will never quit and if he had killed him before many lives would be spared. After Jokers murder and Batman’s constant humiliation of authorities, President dispatches Superman (he now works as the governments operative) to stop the vigilante of Gotham.
This is the part when all hell breaks loose, because Batman Vs. Superman standoff is inevitable. All I have to add here is that it is an epic fight and it was great to see how The Dark Knight handled Superman with a little help form an unexpected ally. The Dark Knight Returns is one of the best Batman titles I have ever seen, with great atmosphere and stunning animation. It is based on Frank Miller’s comic of the same title and you should check them both.
Apart from being an action title it also serves as a little documentary on what happened to DC’s superheroes when they retired, or to be more precise the government and people stopped tolerating them. So if you wish to know how things go for Catwoman, Green Arrow, Superman and few villains from DC Universe, check this one out (both comic and the movie).
I really hope that upcoming Batman Vs. Superman will borrow at least some parts from Frank Miller’s vision. Here are the trailers: