DC Movies Wiki
DC Movies Wiki
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
Batman The Dark Knight Returns 1
Director: Jay Oliva
Producer: Bruce Timm
Sam Register
Writer(s): Bob Goodman
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Running Time: 77 minutes
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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 is the eleventh animated film in the Batman animated film series. It is based loosely on Frank Miller's 1986's story arc of the same name.


In a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City, 55-year-old Bruce Wayne has retired from being Batman following the death of his former Robin Jason Todd. Criminals now run amok and the city is constantly terrorized by a gang known as the Mutants. Bruce Wayne is now something of a recluse, despite his continuous philanthropic endeavors and friendship with Commissioner James Gordon (who now knows Bruce's former identity as Batman).

However, the escalating brutality of the Mutants prompts Bruce to take up the mantle of Batman again, but the public opinion over Batman and his methods is sharply divided. While the public generally approve of Batman's return, richer and more powerful people such as the Mayor and Dr. Bartholomew Wolper (head psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum) brand Batman as a fascist. Bruce's old friend Harvey Dent (formerly Two-Face) undergoes plastic surgery and his face is repaired but at the high cost of eradicating Dent's good side forever. Batman confronts Two-Face and stops him holding the city ransom with a bomb.

Encouraged by Batman's actions, 13-year-old girl Carrie Kelley buys herself a Robin costume and searches for Batman to aid him. She finds him at the city dump where the Mutant gang is gathering. Onboard a tank-like Batmobile Batman defeats most of the gang shooting them with rubber bullets before confronting the Mutant Leader in to a hand to hand combat where he is overpowered but Kelley distracts him long enough for Batman to pacify him and rescue the injured Batman. Kelley attends to Batman's wounds as the vehicle drives toward the Batcave. Once home, Batman takes Carrie on as the new Robin despite the objections of his butler Alfred Pennyworth. Batman instructs Carrie to disguise herself as a Mutant and spread the word of a meeting at Gotham Pipe while Batman arranges the Mutant Leader's escape from prison. The Mayor attempts to negotiate with the Mutant Leader in his cell, but the Mutant Leader brutally mauls him to death. Gordon then "accidentally" allows the Leader out of his cell and he makes his way through the ventilation system leading him to Gotham Pipe where he finds his entire army waiting. Batman appears and engages the Mutant Leader in battle again. Only this time, Batman manages to outsmart the Leader's moves and eventually subdues him, breaking several of his bones in front of his army. Accepting defeat, the Mutants disband into smaller gangs. One gang in particular operates under the name of "The Sons of Batman" where they work to purge Gotham of crime with questionable methods.

Batman's return and victory over the Mutants becomes public news. Nearing retirement, Gordon meets with his successor Police Captain Ellen Yindel who also voices her doubts over Batman's methods. Meanwhile in Arkham Asylum, a catatonic patient sees Batman on the news. With a disturbing grin on his face, he ecstatically exclaims the phrase "B-B-B-Batman, darling."


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Animated Films
Stand-alone films Superman (1941) | Gen¹³ (1998) | The Batman vs. Dracula (2005) | Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo (2006)
Tales of the Black Freighter (2009) | JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time (2014) | The LEGO Batman Movie (2018) | Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018) | Teen Titans GO! To the Movies (2018) | Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)
Animated Original Movies 2007: Superman: Doomsday
2008: Justice League: The New Frontier | Batman: Gotham Knight
2009: Wonder Woman | Green Lantern: First Flight | Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
2010: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths | Batman: Under the Red Hood | Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
2011: All-Star Superman | Green Lantern: Emerald Knights | Batman: Year One
2012: Justice League: Doom | Superman vs. The Elite | Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
2013: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 | Superman: Unbound | Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
2014: Batman: Assault on Arkham
2015: Justice League: Gods and Monsters
2016: Batman: The Killing Joke | Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
2017: Batman and Harley Quinn | Batman vs. Two-Face
2018: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight | Batman Ninja
2019: Justice League vs. The Fatal Five | Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2020: Superman: Red Son
2021: Batman: Soul of the Dragon | Injustice
2022: Catwoman: Hunted | Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons
2023: Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham
DC Animated Universe Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) | Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) | The Batman/Superman Movie (1998) | Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) | Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
DC Showcase The Spectre (2010) | Jonah Hex (2010) | Green Arrow (2010) | Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010) | Catwoman (2011) | DC Showcase: Sgt. Rock (2019) | DC Showcase: Death (2019) | DC Showcase: The Phantom Stranger (2020) | DC Showcase: Adam Strange (2020) | Batman: Death in the Family (2020) | DC Showcase: Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! (2021) | DC Showcase: The Losers (2021) | DC Showcase: Blue Beetle (2021) | Constantine: The House of Mystery (2022)
Animated Film Universe Post-Flashpoint (2013) | Justice League: War (2014) | Son of Batman (2014) | Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015) | Nightwing and Robin (2015) | Batman vs. Robin (2015) | Batman: Bad Blood (2016) | Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016) | Justice League Dark (2017) | Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018) | The Death of Superman (2018) | Reign of the Supermen (2019) | Batman: Hush (2019) | Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019) | Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
Tomorrowverse Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020) | Justice Society: World War II (2021) | Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021) | Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021) | Green Lantern: Beware My Power (2022) | Legion of Super-Heroes (2023) | Justice League: Warworld (2023) | Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One (2024) | Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part Two (2024)
Batman Unlimited Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015) | Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015) | Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)
LEGO DC Super Heroes DC Super Heroes Unite (2013) | Batman: Be-Leaguered (2014) | Justice League vs. Bizarro League (2015) | Attack of the Legion of Doom (2015) | Justice League: Cosmic Clash (2016) | Gotham City Breakout (2016)
The Flash (2018) | Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis (2018) | Batman: Family Matters (2019)
DC Super Hero Girls Super Hero High (2016) | Hero of the Year (2016) | Intergalactic Games (2017) | Brain Drain (2017)
Super-Villain High (2018) | Legends of Atlantis (2018)