Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Batman.
This section contains 434 words
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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Summary & Study Guide Description

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (comics).

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is the story of one man's journey to discovering his true self and finding comfort within it. Conflicted throughout most of his life, Bruce Wayne's mission never changes. Almost without volition, Bruce Wayne is sucked back into the lifestyle and calling he had given up decades earlier. Whether it is a conscious act of redemption or not, Bruce grapples with what he must do in order to make things right within himself and within the city of Gotham. In addition, the other characters also have their own conflicts to resolve and true natures to discover or rediscover. Ultimately, only one identity can exist at one time, which is what Batman learns at the end.

The story begins as Bruce Wayne is still in retirement as Batman. It is only through a subconscious decision that he goes back to being Batman. Especially in the beginning of the story, it is clear that he is struggling with inner demons that are telling him to pick up where he left off as Batman. He becomes fully aware of what is going on when Alfred points out that his moustache is gone. His first act as Batman occurs as he comes to the defense of two young girls walking home at night. Carrie Kelley is one of these girls and the experience changes her young life. Seeing her opportunity to make a difference and in turn help Batman, she gets a Robin costume and joins forces with Batman as his new sidekick.

Batman next battles Harvey Dent, who is newly released from the Arkham Asylum and whom the doctors believe is no threat to society. Unfortunately, the first thing he does is go straight back to his life of crime. Batman puts an end to it right away and then the secret is out: Batman is back. When the authorities catch wind of it, they do everything in their power to stop him, as they see him only as a menace. Even Superman comes out of the woodwork, at the bidding of the president, to quiet him back down. He refuses, and then goes on to squash the Joker, who is also newly released from the asylum.

He manages to transform the Mutants teenage gang to the Sons of Batman, who fight crime at his bidding, albeit in a violent manner. Then, he goes toe-to-toe with Superman, who mistakenly believes he kills Batman. After an elaborate scheme to fake the death and funeral, Bruce Wayne is in fact dead, although Batman is not. His legacy continues through the work of the Sons of Batman and Robin.

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This section contains 434 words
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