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Quotes / Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

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"I've got the home stretch all to myself when the readings stop making sense. I switch to manual - but the computer crosses its own circuits and refuses to let go. I coax it. It shoves hot needles in my face and tries to make me blind. I'm in charge now and I like it. Then the front end lurches all wrong. I know what's coming. I've got just under two seconds to shut this mess down and forfeit the race. The engine, angry, argues the point with me. The finish line is close it roars. Too close. The left front tire decides to turn all on its own. I laugh at it and jerk the steering wheel to the right. The nose digs up a chunk of macadam. I look up at it - then straight into the eyes of the sun. This would be a good death... but not good enough."
Bruce Wayne

Jim Gordon: "To Batman."
Bruce Wayne: "It's good that he retired - isn't it?."
Jim Gordon: "I'm grateful he survived retiring."
Bruce Wayne: "He didn't. But Bruce Wayne is... alive and well."
Jim Gordon: "Glad to hear that. You've certainly learned to drink. Remember the old days, Bruce? That playboy routine... you with your ginger ale, pretending it was champagne, fooling everybody - almost. Now - well, I'd almost worry. Spoken to Dick lately?"
Bruce Wayne: "Not for seven years, Jim. You know that."
Jim Gordon: "Still, huh? I'm damn sorry about that. Especially with what happened to Jason..."
Bruce Wayne: "Let's call it a night, Jim."

"As we part, Jim squeezes my shoulder and grins. "You just need a woman," he says... In my gut the creature writhes and snarls and tells me what I need. I leave my car in the lot. I can't stand to be inside anything right now. I walk the streets of this city I'm learning to hate, the city that's given up, like the whole world seems to have. I'm a zombie. A Flying Dutchman. A dead man, ten years dead... I'll feel better in the morning. At least, I'll feel it less... It's the night - when the city's smells call out to him, though I lie asleep in silk sheets in a million-dollar mansion miles away... when a police siren wakes me and, for a moment, I forget that it's all over... But Batman was a young man. If it was revenge he was after, he's taken it. It's been forty years since he was born... born here. Once again he's brought me back, to show how little it's changed. It's older, dirtier, but... it could have happened yesterday. It could be happening right now. They could be lying at your feet, twitching, bleeding... and the man who stole all sense from your life... he could be standing right over there. It is him, it is. And we know so many ways to hurt him... so many lovely ways to punish him... No, it's not him. Not him. He flinched when he pulled the trigger. He was sick and guilty over what he did. All he wanted was money. I was naïve enough to think him the lowest sort of man. These - these are his children. A purer breed... and the world is theirs."
Bruce Wayne

"Something shuffles. Out of sight... something sucks the stale air... and hisses. Gliding with ancient grace, unwilling to retreat as his brothers did... eyes gleaming, untouched by love or joy or sorrow... breath hot with the taste of fallen foes... the stench of dead things, damned things... surely the fiercest survivor - the purest warrior... glaring, hating claiming me as his own. Dreaming... I was only six years old when that happened. When I first saw the cave. Huge, empty, silent as a church, waiting, as the bat was waiting. And now the cobwebs grow and the dust thickens in here as it does in me - and he laughs at me, curses me. Calls me a fool. He fills my sleep, he tricks me. Brings me here when the night is long and my will is weak. He struggles relentlessly, hatefully, to be free - I will not let him. I gave my word. For Jason. Never. Never again."
Bruce Wayne

"The time has come. You know it in your soul. For I am your soul. You cannot escape me... You are puny, you are small - you are nothing - a hollow shell, a rusty trap that cannot hold me - you cannot stop me - not with wine or vows or with the weight of age - you cannot stop me but still you try - still you run - you try to drown me out... but your voice is weak."
Batman to Bruce Wayne

"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 baptism— I'm born again... I smell their fear — and it is sweet."

GCPD Officer: (After Batman paralyzes one of Two-Face's Mooks) "You just crippled that man!"
Batman: "He's young. He'll probably walk again. But you'll stay scared - won't you, punk?"

"There are seven working defenses from this position. Three of them disarm with minimal contact. Three of them kill. The other— (Batman drives the heel of his boot into his attacker's ribcage) hurts."

Alfred (to Batman about recruiting Carrie): "Have you forgotten what happened to Jason?"
Batman: "I will never forget Jason. He was a good soldier. He honored me. But the war goes on."

"You don't get it, son. This isn't a mud hole…it's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon."
Batman, saying one of the most definitive He's Back lines in history.

Don: "Hope Rob don't say balls nasty."
"I'll count the dead, one by one. I'll add them to the list, Joker. The list of all the people I've murdered - by letting you live."

Joker: (Has just gotten three batarangs to his body and eye) "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??"
Batman: "I'm through playing Joker!"
Joker: (Smiles) "Be still my heart."

[While breaking a shotgun he just seized from the leader of the S.O.B.s] "This loud, clumsy stupid thing.This is the weapon of the enemy. We do not need it. We will not use it. Our weapons are quiet — precise. In time, I will teach them to you. Tonight, you will rely on your fists — and your brains. Tonight, we are the law. Tonight, I am the Law. Let's ride."
Batman revealing himself to the SoBs. The panel in which the first three sentences appears was in common circulation after the Aurora shootings.

"Keep talking, Clark... you've always known just what to say. "Yes." You always say yes to anyone with a badge- or a flag... it's way past time you learned what it means to be a man."

"You sold us out, Clark. You gave them the power that should've been ours. Just like your parents taught you to. My parents taught me a different lesson - lying on this street - shaking in deep shock - dying for no reason at all - they showed me the world only makes sense when you force it to."

"...I want remember, Clark... in all the years to come... in your most private moments... I want you to your throat... I want you to remember... the one man who beat you..."

"My timing wasn't quite precise enough. Clark heard. That was the first thing Robin told me when she dug me up. Not that it mattered. He'd have guessed sooner or later. He knows how good I am with chemicals. I was counting on what Oliver said, and with a wink, Clark proved Oliver right. He'll leave me alone now. In return, I'll stay quiet. So will Robin and the rest... we have as many years as we need... years - to study, to train, to plan... here, in the endless cave, far past the burnt remains of a crimefighter whose time has long passed - it begins here, an army - to bring sense to a world plagued by worse than thieves and murderers... this will be a good life. Good enough."

"All of our best and oldest legends recognize that time passes and that people grow old and die. The legend of Robin Hood would not be complete without the final blind arrow shot to determine the site of his grave. The Norse Legends would lose much of their power were it not for the knowledge of an eventual Ragnarok, as would the story of Davy Crockett without the existence of an Alamo. In comic books, however, given the commercial fact that a given character will still have to sell to a given audience in ten years' time, these elements are missing. The characters remain in the perpetual limbo of their mid-to-late twenties, and the presence of death in their world is at best a temporary and reversible phenomenon. With Dark Knight, time has come to the Batman and the capstone that makes legends what they are has finally been fitted. In his engrossing story of a great man's final and greatest battle, Miller has managed to create something radiant which should hopefully illuminate things for the rest of the comic book field, casting a new light upon the problems which face all of us working within the industry and perhaps even guiding us towards some fresh solutions."
Alan Moore The Mark of Batman Introduction to Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Alternative Title(s): The Dark Knight Returns


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