Soon, theaters will be playing The Dark Knight Rises (midnight showings tonight in most markets), so with that in mind, I put together a list at the Kirkus Reviews Blog called 5 graphic novels starring Gotham’s protector, 3 of which I believe helped to shape the Nolan trilogy.
The Dark Knight Returns – If we look at the Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton Batman flicks as being dark, even harsh, in their portrayal of Batman, we aren’t wrong. A far cry from the campy days of Adam West running around in the cape and cowl, these films have had a mood and tone that at least partially comes from my next pick, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (ISBN-10: 1563893428). Set in Batman’s future, Bruce Wayne is fifty-five years old, retired, and Gotham is a very different place without him. Superheroes are all but gone, and crime is mostly unchecked. When Two-Face returns, Wayne puts on the cape and cowl once more, but finds Gotham and the world, unwelcoming to his brand of vigilante justice. The Gotham PD hunt him relentlessly, the American government sees him as a threat to their authority. Worse, Batman alive and well brings The Joker back and he is deadlier than ever.
Please click through the Kirkus Reviews to see the other Batman graphic novel picks!