Awesome / Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

  • The Mutants have a military arsenal big enough to wage open warfare on Gotham—not just assault rifles, but grenades, mortars, and rocket launchers. How does Batman counter this? By driving into their big war meeting in the dump with an upgraded Batmobile.
    • Props to the Mutant Leader as the dust settles—having witnessed Batman's huge riot-killer making short work of his heavily-armed henchmen, he actually has the guts to call Batman out for a fistfight. While the Batmobile's cannon is pointed straight at him.
    Mutant Leader: Come on, man—you boring me!
    • One gets the impression that he didn't care whether or not Batman decided to open fire or not (he doesn't, of course)—either he'd get a proper fight, or he'd end up Defiant to the End. Either seemed perfectly okay with him.
  • The Joker breaking his own neck to frame Batman. After becoming quadriplegic.
  • Batman has a ridiculous amount of these, especially in his first night out. Notably, a pimp is in a taxi with a hooker and pays the driver a wad of cash to ignore him beating and mutilating the woman. Batman lands on the roof and the pimp sticks his arm and gun out the half-open window. Batman stomps down on his arm and kicks the pimp's ass. Then he leaps away...before coming back and destroying the money the cabbie got.
    Reporter: Police phone lines are jammed with citizens describing what appears to be a siege on Gotham's underworld... by the Batman.
  • "Holy... I never thought he was real..."
  • "This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching, muscle—broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would...but I'm a man of thirty—of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptismI'm born again." A Crowning Moment of Awesome for both Batman and Frank Miller.
  • But most famous of all is his beating of the mutant leader. Having gotten his ass kicked by him earlier for trying to fight him head on, he tricks the leader into fighting in a mud pit. Batman fights dirty, striking nerve clusters, throwing mud in his eyes and doing something to his leg, saying "This isn't a mudhole. It's an operating table - and I'm the surgeon." while thinking "Something tells me to stop with the leg...I don't listen to it."
    • Going by the film's adaptation and a close re-reading of the comic, Batman utilized some good-ol' Judo to break the mutant leader's arm via an arm bar...which left the schmuck's leg vulnerable to a knee bar...that Batman understandably just kept wrenching.
  • We also have Crowning Moments like Superman and Batman's not-so-final showdown, not to mention Batman riding a horse.
    • More specifically about the showdown. Batman, an aging mortal man with no supernatural powers, takes on Superman, an overpowered alien from another galaxy. How does he manage it? Superman's weakened from the nuclear missile that nearly killed him. Batman himself is in a robot suit that's draining Gotham's entire power supply so he can be full levels of badass. Batman starts off by hitting Superman with missiles and a sonic gun to further weaken him. He hits Supes with an electrical attack that would be the equivalent of a human falling onto a transformer. He also has Green Arrow shoot Supes with a trick arrow filled with powdered Kryptonite. How does the battle go? Batman inevitably loses...but only because of a heart attack — THAT HE FAKED. Not only does everything go according to plan, had he (for some reason) been so inclined he could have killed Superman then and there.
      "I want you to hand at your throat. I want you to remember...the one man who beat you."
    • Also, about the showdown. Superman is weakened by the nuke... And yet, until the powdered Kryptonite, nothing could stop him. Batman hit him with missiles, a sonic gun, an electrical attack charged by Gotham's entire power supply... And it barely slowed him down, with Superman begging Batman to not force him to kill him while casually showing he could do just that any moment.
  • During Joker's final rampage at the carnival, a young boy walks up to him and says, "You're the Joker, right? Batman's gonna kick your ass."
    • And even after being shot by the Joker while saving the young boy, he takes the time to correct him.
      Batman: ...Watch your LANGUAGE, son...
      Boy: Yes, sir.
  • The Batman: The Animated Series adaptation in Legends of the Dark Knight. One of if not the best portrayals of Frank Miller's works ever.
    "There are seven working defenses from this position. Three of them disarm with minimal contact. Three kill. The other..." Cripples Mutant "...hurts."
    It was tough work carrying two hundred and twenty pounds of sociopath to the top of Gotham Towers, the highest point in the city. The scream alone was worth it.
  • Bruce Wayne gets one at the beginning. Two mutants with knives try and pick a fight with him, and just by standing his ground they are scared off from wanting any trouble from this old man.
  • Batman turns the entire mutant gang to work for him.
  • They say that Superman is more powerful than a locomotive. We see him do just that to save a guy who had fallen on the tracks.

Alternative Title(s): The Dark Knight Returns