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Trivia / Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

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Trivia for the graphic novel:

  • Follow the Leader: This miniseries singlehandedly ushered in the new age of Cranky Batman.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Cold War paranoia, Vietnam is still in everyone's memory, political discourse takes place on talking heads broadcasts, Gotham is a pretty obvious stand-in for The Big Rotten Apple, and Batman doesn't have his Grappling-Hook Pistol. It's definitely The '80s.
  • What Could Have Been:
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    • Green Arrow was absent, and instead it is Bruce who releases the Kryptonite Gas from his suit. There was also a moment where the sky momentarily opens up and reveals the sun, briefly healing Superman and thereby avoiding the Curb-Stomp Battle that we all know and love. Bruce also taunts him about Lois to engage his Berserk Button, which ultimately leads to his defeat. In this version, however, Bruce barely survives the battle and ends up in a intensive care, where Federal Agents anxiously wait to question him. Alas, Bruce manages to swallow a pill hidden inside his arm that allows him to fake his death and to continue to work undisturbed. The final shot would've emphasized the theme that while Bruce Wayne dies, the Dark Knight lives.
    • The President also dies in an early draft of "The Dark Knight Falls" when the Coldbringer hits, the EMP hitting Air Force One and causing it to crash.
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    • In the book itself, it's only implied that the Joker killed Jason Todd. Rumor has it that not only was that fact going to be originally outright stated in the text but that it'd be stated the Joker raped Jason before he killed him. Supposedly, DC stepped in and made Frank take it out. However, even so, Frank Miller's Joker has been stated anyway to be a rapist in further works set in the Dark Knight Universe, aside the hint that he may have raped Selina Kyle after mind-controlling her.
    • While the book ends with Batman faking a heart attack, symbolizing that Bruce Wayne has died but the Dark Knight lives on, Frank Miller revealed at the London Comic Con 2018 that his original ending was more a The Hero Dies-one in which Batman would have been gunned down by the GCPD members led by Commissioner Ellen Yindel.
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Trivia for the animated film:

Alternative Title(s): The Dark Knight Returns

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