Film buffs hailed Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy for its dark, gritty take on the character. But the nerds would always tell you that Frank Miller was the one who deserved the real credit, as Nolan's depiction was based in large part off of two comics penned by the writer and artist: Batman Year One, and the book that is generally considered one of the greatest comics ever written, The Dark Knight Returns.
That four-issue series, published in 1986, depicted a gritty, noir-ish Gotham 10 years after Batman had retired. The city had subsequently slid backwards into a nearly post-apocalyptic state. Unable to take it any longer, Batman returns from retirement and goes berserk on crime, defeating the head of a mutant street gang and conscripting its members as his personal army. Eventually, the president sends in Superman to try to stop him. It's a dense and compelling read that in large part redefined the character and what comics could be.
And now that Nolan's trilogy has wrapped, an animated version, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, is set to be released Tuesday, Sept. 25, though it will tragically be a straight-to-DVD release. A trailer for the film was released today, and it features the gritty storyline paired with the vivid crime-fiction art style of Batman: The Animated Series. It also doesn't hurt that Batman is voiced by Peter Weller, aka, Robocop.
Check the trailer out below: