About 30 years have passed since one of the most important and genuine works in comic book history, The Dark Knight Returns, burst into the picture and brought back something that was sorely lacking for a time... A Batman who was, for all intents and purposes, THE DARK KNIGHT. Putting together a story of an older Bruce Wayne who was well past his prime yet still burning with the desire to make a difference and stand against crime and injustice, Frank Miller set the bar in depicting a Batman that not only embraced his mission again, but also returned to his dark roots and didn't hesitate to instill fear and intimidation to those who preyed on the innocent.
Published as a four issue miniseries beginning in February 1986, The Dark Knight Returns forever changed the landscape of comics as we knew it then and how we know it now. It not only defined Batman for a generation and inspired his portrayal in several mediums and films like Tim Burton's Batman films and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, but it also serves as the DIRECT INSPIRATION behind the upcoming DC Films' epic "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", where Ben Affleck plays a more hardenered, older, and experienced Batman than anything depicted in film.
In fact, the regular Batsuit and Batarmor were inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, and taking on Supes is directly lifted from the last chapter of that graphic novel saga, "The Dark Knight Falls".
With a new sequel series currently running in Dark Knight III: The Master Race, attention and focus is clearly directed at this classic and its influence on BvS. We'll just have to wait and see what happens on March 25th between the Last Son of Krypton and Dark Knight on film, but for now we honor 30 years of TDKR... Happy Anniversary, The Dark Knight Returns!