Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Go To

  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • "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 Moment of Awesome for both Batman and Frank Miller.
  • After having been heavily wounded during his first fight with the Mutant Leader, Batman, now patched up and with his arm in a sling, goes into the depths of the Batcave, to (as Aflred puts it) "find his strength". There, we are treated to perhaps the best Batman monologue ever written:
    • Batman: "You're never finished with me!"
  • 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."
    • Advertisement:
    • 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.
      • However, after “The Master Race” came out, this one unfortunately may or may not be moot, depending on how you see it, since it’s was revealed that Superman was holding back during the entire fight and could’ve easily beaten Batman. Even Batman himself admitted this when he realized the truth.
  • 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.
  • The iconic lightning strike image is recreated perfectly in the animated film.
    • The animated version's lack of internal monologue makes all the Mook Horror Show even scarier, especially the famous through-the-wall-grab scene and the first batch of goons at the construction site.
    • The lack of internal monologue means we miss out on gems like this:
    "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.
    • It's not so much that they're scared, it's that they sense that part of that old man wants to get into a fight a lot more than they do.
  • 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.
  • Toward the middle of the book we see the negative effects Batman has over the populace, inspiring copycats or lunatics with guns to take the law into their own hands. At the end of these long, drawn-out scenes, we get a brief glimpse of a normal citizen reading about all of these incidents in the news and thinking about how disgusted he is at Batman's return note . In four panels we see that in spite of all the violence, Batman does spark something in decent Gothamites who just want a better life for themselves. The citizen finds himself outside, a rolling pin in his hand, smiling as a mugger flees and a woman keeps her purse. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
    A devout Catholic, Peppi Spandeck can't say he approves of this Batman. And when he hears a woman scream down the street he knows he should be afraid. Instead he's looking at the alarm system that cost him two months profits and the iron bars over his windows that make his beautiful shop look like a prison...
    He can feel his pulse, just below his ears. He knows he's gone crazy. But the mugger is running, afraid. Afraid of Peppi.
    Nobody is hurt badly enough for this to make the news.

Alternative Title(s): The Dark Knight Returns