* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Batman bringing up that [[spoiler: Dick Grayson being]] the New Joker was the result of a long series of experiments on him by "your masters" (Luthor and Braniac). So perhaps all his taunts about [[spoiler: having "fired" Dick]], let alone his rant about it being due to [[spoiler: Dick]] being a "sissy" DirtyCoward, were just to make New Joker mad so as to catch him off guard, as Bruce understood that [[spoiler: the long-brainwashed Dick is sadly beyond saving at this point]]. FridgeBrilliance and AlasPoorVillain all rolled into one.
** When [[spoiler: Dick plunges to his death as a result of Batcave's destruction]], Bruce seems to have something of a solenm or possibly sadden expression before saying [[spoiler: "Farewell, Boy Wonder."]] It even looks like his eye was wet for a moment. This seems to he regreted his past behavior and what it drove [[spoiler: Dick]] to do.
* ContestedSequel
* CrazyAwesome: Plastic Man fights soldiers by turning into a toilet. And then flushing them.
* DesignatedHero: Batman, who despite his aim at overthrowing Luthor, displays very little regard for human life. He breaks into Luthor's office early on and has the chance to end things right there, and instead just leaves. When Superman explains to his daughter why they shouldn't just take over the world, Batman actually argues against him, and perhaps the crowning MoralEventHorizon is that he assembles a rebellion composed of girls in costumes, who play no important role in the story and simply die and accomplish nothing.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Many fans of ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' would prefer to pretend this comic doesn't exist.
* FridgeLogic: Batman claims Arkham degenerated into anarchy and cannibalism five years before [=DK2=]. Looked perfectly fine (although staffed by a certain celebrity psychologist) in TDKR, three years back.
* HilariousInHindsight: The moment where, amid Hal Jordan's destruction of the orbital cannons, an Islamist terrorist calls out "JIHAD!" And someone offscreen goes "Ah, ''shaddap''!" See: ''ComicBook/HolyTerror''.
* LoveItOrHateIt
* {{Padding}}: There are a ''lot'' of cutaways to news programs. The second issue actually does something with them (the superheroine-cosplaying band [[spoiler:is used by Batman to kick start a revolution]]), but the first issue is just top heavy with needless arguing between peripheral characters.
* ShockingSwerve: Infamously, [[spoiler: the Joker's identity as Dick Grayson comes out of nowhere and the book does very little to explain how it actually happened.]]
* SoBadItsGood: The art contrasts extremely with that of its predecessor in being neon, simplified, [[http://i.imgur.com/5KLjf.png and much worse.]] Also, Frank Miller seems to think that female pelvises are horizontally placed. In fact, there's barely one woman in the entire comic who ends up looking normal/slightly physically possible/not horribly warped, and when they do, it's usually because they're concealed behind something. Even when they are ostensibly standing up straight, they get warped into having one leg massively thicker then another or are leaning waaay over to one side.
** The Atom ''rides a modem through the air into somebody's cell phone''.
*** OlderThanTheyThink: He's been doing that for decades.
* TheyJustDidntCare: Frank VERY clearly has little respect for the characters that aren't part of the Batman mythos.
** Though he does treat Hal Jordan, The Atom, Captain Marvel, and Plastic Man[[note]] to the point of emphasizing that Plastic man is SO powerful, EVEN BATMAN [[{{Deconstruction}} fears what would happen if he were to lose it]] [[/note]] with a great deal of respect--along with Steve Ditko's original treatment of The Question.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodLineArt: While Frank Miller's art wasn't exactly gorgeous, the colors were often garish, in stark contrast to the muted coloring of the original (which was done by the same colorist).
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: Several times.
* UncannyValley: FM was pretty new at using Photoshop and this was his first attempt to make a full book with it. It shows.
* UnfortunateImplications: Batman taunts [[spoiler: Dick Grayson]] with homophobic slurs in their final battle.
** Franchise/WonderWoman's line about Superman "throwing her down" and "claiming" her has more than a few overtones of [[SexEqualsLove Rape Is Love]] too.
%%*** Not to mention a not so well hidden mysoginistic hints. "Claiming" makes it sound like Wonder Woman is being taken as property, or as an inferior being.
* The fact that Miller seems to imply Superman should be a world conqueror that rejects his "human" side to act as a PhysicalGod is ''really'' unsettling as a concept.
%%*** Batman actually ridicules Superman for ''not'' using his powers to sovereign the earth.
%%*** This despite an InternalMonologue mocking Superman for thinking he was better than everyone else in ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns.
* VillainDecay: Played with. It's not Luthor's best showing, and Miller lets you know why: Luthor--his look, his views and his motivations--is little more than an ObviouslyEvil, unhinged, trollish, rage-filled thug in a business suit threatening the world to give him what he wants ([[FridgeBrilliance which is precisely what Luthor's always been; here you just get to see its unvarnished form]]). And yet, it's fairly cool to imagine that this is the man, or kind of man, that at the end of DKR Batman calls "worse than thieves and murderers."
** Brainiac however, suffers an inexcusable amount of this. He's working for Luthor because, because...